Dental Tips Blog

Jul
30

The Benefits of Self Litigating Braces

Posted in Orthodontics

Self-litigating braces are another type of orthodontic therapy that provides comfortable, comprehensive treatment using a bracket that differs from traditional braces. A self-litigating bracket is smaller, does not use bands or ligatures, and is also available in a tooth-colored resin material that blends in naturally with your teeth.

These brackets work using a “trap door” system that holds the wire in place and glide beneath the enclosure. This reduces tension and pressure on specific teeth, making self-litigating braces more comfortable to wear. Because they retain the orthodontic wire within the bracket, there is no need for colorful rubber bands or wire ligatures to hold the arch wire in place. As a result, patients are more comfortable during adjustment appointments and their overall course of therapy.

Because self-litigating braces come in a tooth colored option, they are ideal for patients that are looking for a cosmetic orthodontic treatment but are not candidates for clear alignment braces like Invisalign. The low visible impact made by this type of brackets makes them almost invisible to other people when you’re talking or smiling. In fact, most people won’t even know that you’re wearing self-litigating braces unless you stop to show them.

Treatment times tend to be shorter than traditional orthodontic therapy, sometime shortening overall treatment times by as long as 6 months. They are also easier to keep clean and avoid food buildup as they are smaller and do not have rubber bands collecting food or plaque deposits.

If you’re unsure about what type of orthodontic treatment to choose, but want to have an option that is cosmetically pleasing and comfortable, then self-litigating braces provide a viable option for almost every patient.

Jul
11

White Spots on Your Teeth

Posted in Orthodontics

White spotted areas are usually just a cosmetic concern of dental patients, but to your dentist they are a signal of weakening tooth enamel. There are some circumstances that place someone at risk to develop white spots, and there are also things you can do to help them go away. Little do many people know, cavities actually start out as white spots!

Perhaps the most common sign of white spot lesions are those that are seen after an orthodontic patient has had their braces removed. There may be white spots or circles on the teeth where the bracket was once bonded. These lesions are due to long-term exposure to plaque that was not removed adequately. As a result, the plaque began to cause erosion of enamel as it always does when decay is beginning to form. Similar signs may be seen in permanent teeth as they erupt farther into an older child’s mouth, if oral hygiene is lacking.

High levels of acid exposure from drinks or candy may also trigger erosion of enamel. As minerals seep out and the tooth weakens, a white porous area is left. If left unaddressed, this area will continue to weaken into a cavity. It may or may not turn brown. Some people even appear to have spots if they breath through their mouths or are experiencing a brief illness.

Fortunately, supplemental fluoride use can help remineralize these weakened areas and help restore them to their normal appearance. An over the counter rinse may be effective, or if decalcification is extensive your dentist may write you a prescription for a stronger gel solution. If you have white spots or discolorations on your teeth, it’s a good idea for you to have your dentist check them and help you intervene before it’s too late.

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