Dental Tips Blog


Should You Get a Filling Before or After Getting Braces?

Posted in Orthodontics

Has it been years since you had a dental checkup? That first trip to the dental office can leave you with a to-do list of procedures. If you end up want both braces and needing a filling or two, which should come first?

It’s preferable (and usually more urgent) to treat decay before straightening teeth for a few reasons:

  • It’s easier to treat teeth without appliances in the way
  • Decay then won’t have the chance to spread to other teeth
  • Orthodontics can often be delayed, but treating tooth decay can’t

Braces are worn for around a year and a half. For some patients, even longer. There’s a good chance that you could develop a cavity or two during that time. 

What Then?

If necessary, most basic dental fillings can be done during orthodontic treatment. Although it’s not ideal, your orthodontist may be able to remove the wire and a bracket or two to let your dentist access teeth needing treatment.

Before Getting Braces

Get a complete professional tooth cleaning complete with x-rays and a gum exam. This will alert you to any underlying issues that could suddenly pop up while wearing braces. Ask your dentist about dental sealants, too. These can prevent cavities from forming on chewing surfaces.

While Wearing Braces

Your teeth will be more vulnerable to decay while in braces, since all of those extra surfaces can harbor bacteria. Reduce your risk of cavities by brushing several times a day. Use a flossing method that’s so easy for you that you’re willing to do it every day. Lastly, boost your fluoride use to strengthen all enamel surfaces.

To get an idea of your individual dental needs, schedule a checkup with your local dentist.

Posted on behalf of:
Milton Dental Specialists
13075 Hwy 9, Suite 110
Milton, GA 30004
(770) 521-2100


Do I Have to Get Teeth Pulled Before Getting Braces?

Posted in Orthodontics

No one likes getting a tooth pulled, period. But there’s something that just feels even worse about losing a perfectly healthy tooth for the sake of orthodontic treatment.

If braces are in your future, you’ll be glad to know that tooth extraction is not an automatic part of treatment. Just because someone you know had a couple teeth removed for braces doesn’t meant that you’ll have to.

So why do some people need to have teeth pulled for orthodontic treatment?

Perhaps there is an extra tooth (yes, that happens) that will only get in the way of things.

More commonly, teeth have to be pulled because:

  • They are too close together and removing one or two will open space up to move teeth freely with braces
  • Front teeth are very protruded and a couple back teeth have to go to give them room to be pulled into place
  • It’s easier to remove teeth than it is to surgically alter a bone discrepancy, such as a jaw being too narrow for all the teeth to fit

Orthodontic treatment takes longer if teeth have to be removed first. Pulling teeth is not the cheating route. If the dentist or orthodontist recommends it, then they really believe it’s necessary.

To avoid having to get teeth pulled, it’s best to have an orthodontic evaluation by age 7. That’s why this is the general recommendation for kids. It’s actually preferred to monitor tooth development and alignment from the time children are small and make corrections with expanders. Tooth extraction is typically a last resort.

Okay, that’s great, but you aren’t seven years old anymore. At this point, you can only find out whether or not you need teeth pulled by visiting an orthodontist for a consultation.

Posted on behalf of:
Seven Hills Dentistry
1305 Cedarcrest Rd #115
Dallas, GA 30132
(678) 257-7117


What Makes Braces Stay on Teeth?

Posted in Braces

Once set in place, braces are more stable than you may think.

Braces: The Early Years

Only a couple decades ago braces were attached to teeth via metal bands wrapped around every tooth! How’s that for a comfortable bite? Later, advancing research yielded some new techniques for securing the brackets onto just the front of a tooth.

How do today’s orthodontists make braces stick to teeth?

Bonding The Brackets

First, the orthodontist will polish and dry your tooth to get a smooth surface. Next, the enamel is conditioned with a special gel to help it lock into the cement. Then, a bonding material is placed. Finally, the bracket goes onto the tooth. Its underside has a roughened surface which improves its grip in the cement.

After Bonding

Now that the brackets are in place, your orthodontist can position the arch wire. This strong metal wire is what guides your teeth into correct alignment. It stays snug against your teeth when tiny rubber bands lock it against the brackets.

You’re all set with new braces! Your orthodontist will periodically check your brackets and wires to make adjustments and ensure everything stays in place.

Keeping Braces In Place

It’s not easy to knock a bracket off your tooth. Still, you should aim to take special care of your braces. You’ll have to wear them even longer every time they get damaged!

Follow these tips to get the most of your treatment:

  • Brush and floss carefully to avoid decay
  • Wear a customized mouth guard if you play athletic sports
  • Avoid very chewy, stringy, gummy, or crunchy foods

Contact your local dentist for more information on everything braces!

Posted on behalf of:
Touchstone Dentistry
2441 FM 646 W Suite A
Dickinson, TX 77539
(832) 769-5202


When Should My Child Stop Using a Pacifier?

Posted in Braces

Are you wondering when your toddler needs to give up their pacifier? Preferably by age 2 and definitely before 4. Extended use of a pacifier can create long-term problems.

What kind of problems?

A higher, narrower palate, which is now being linked to issues with the airway like snoring and sleep apnea.

Misaligned teeth: Before age 2, the teeth should self-correct. After age 4, the permanent teeth underneath have already been influenced and your child is more likely to need orthodontics as a teenager. 

“How can we make the pacifier go bye-bye?” 

Cold turkey

Your kiddo lost his? Just don’t replace it – especially if he doesn’t seem to miss it that much. Sounds mean, but isn’t, if done with a dose of kindness. 


Some parents will bargain with their children or have the “Pacifier Fairy” visit to make a trade. One pacifier = one prize (often something cuddly like a blanket or stuffed animal that can still provide comfort to the child in a way that the pacifier once did).  


Tell your child how proud you are of him for each night that no pacifier is required for bedtime. 


Reduce the times that pacifier-use is allowed until it is only used at bedtime, then only on occasion to not at all. 

When should the dentist get involved? 

  • See a dentist when your child’s teeth start erupting or sooner, if there are issues that you are concerned about.
  • Get a full screening of your child’s mouth to make sure the teeth are developing properly as well as the palate, jaws, and airway space.
  • Hear ideas for how to best halt your child’s pacifier use.

Your dentist is your best resource for preparing your child for a lifetime of excellent oral health!

Posted on behalf of:
East Cobb Orthodontics
2810 Lassiter Rd
Marietta, GA 30062
(770) 993-7118


You May Need Braces if You Notice This in Your Smile

Posted in Braces

Who cares if your smile is a little less than perfect, right?

But braces aren’t just about having an aesthetically-pleasing grin. Orthodontic treatment can remedy some serious dental malfunctions and even prevent potential oral health problems.

Consider some annoying smile quirks that you may actually have tooth alignment to thank for.

Gum Recession

A tooth tipped out of line puts stress on the ligaments that hold your gums in place. Under pressure, those ligaments start to break down and your gums slip down the tooth, exposing the sensitive root.

Yes, braces can contribute to some minor gum recession, but not treating crooked teeth could cause a far bigger problem.

Difficulty Biting Into Foods

Upper and lower front teeth are meant to close together in a special way that helps you chomp into pizza, sandwiches, and the like. If you have to cut those foods up first to enjoy them, then you need braces to close up your bite and expand your culinary horizons.

Food Getting Trapped Between Teeth

Doughy breads, chicken, broccoli – you name it. If you’re sick of it sticking around long after mealtime, then it could be time to give your teeth some more breathing room.

Worn or Chipped Enamel

Misaligned teeth tend to have more accidents. When they close together unevenly, it causes premature wear and tear.


Are you shy about a comical-looking overbite or underbite? The shape of your mouth may be genetic, but you don’t have to accept this design if you’re not happy with it. Ortho treatment can correct even an undesirable facial profile.

So if you’re wondering whether braces are right for you, schedule a consultation with your local dentist.

Posted on behalf of:
Dunwoody Family & Cosmetic Dentistry
1816 Independence Square, Suite B
Dunwoody, GA 30338
(770) 399-9199


Is It Okay to Get Braces Again?

Posted in Braces

Perhaps you spent years of living with a fixed orthodontic appliance. It felt so great to finally be done!

But in spite of all that time, the passing of a few years has found your smile looking a little crooked, to your great disappointment.

Is it safe for you to correct this mess by getting braces for the second time?

Why Your Teeth Shifted Out Of Alignment

The main reason why people’s teeth drift out of that tidy realignment is because they didn’t wear their retainer as directed.

Retainers are usually worn for life after completing treatment. That’s the only sure way to prevent a relapse in your tooth alignment. Some people feel that a year is long enough to be wearing their retainer. But in truth, your teeth are never going to give up their efforts to be back in their old positions!

Getting Braces Twice

As long as your teeth, gums, and jaw bone are all healthy, there’s almost no limit to how often you can straighten your teeth. It’s important to be reasonable, however. Cases vary from person to person. Talk with your dentist or orthodontist about whether now is a good time to realign your teeth.

Secondary Braces Options

If you’ve already had braces when you were a teen or (younger!) young adult, then you may have few more unique options available to you now.

Among these are a variety of conservative retainers and aligners that focus on moving only a few problem teeth. So you may not need to get full braces again. Ask your dentist whether something like Invisalign is right for you.

Posted on behalf of:
Rock Point Family Dentistry
115 S Lakeline Blvd #200
Cedar Park, TX 78613
(512) 829-3898


Don’t Try This at Home! 4 Things Braces Can Fix

Posted in Orthodontics

It can be tempting to just wait it out and see if teeth straighten out on their own. But the following dental issues illustrate just how vital braces can be…

  1. Crowded Teeth

One of the most common reasons for getting braces is because teeth are overlapping each other. These are not apt to straighten out on their own, especially once you’ve reached adulthood. Overlapped teeth aren’t merely a cosmetic issue – they’re more likely to develop cavities or wear down prematurely unless they’re corrected.

  1. Gaps

Even if it’s one cute little gap between a couple of front teeth, braces are a straightforward fix. Conservative treatment with a clear aligner could elevate your smile from “cute” to “dazzling” and “professional.”

  1. Misaligned Bite

While teeth can occasionally settle into nicer alignment on their own (particularly as kids transition from baby to adult teeth), but a truly misaligned bite will not correct itself.

A series of braces and retainers is necessary to encourage the bone in your mouth to change shape. The results can prevent problems like tooth wear, broken fillings, and TMJ disorder.

  1. Gum Disease Complications

Gum health probably isn’t the first thing you think of when you hear the word “braces,” but interestingly enough, tooth alignment does affect your chances of developing periodontal disease.

Twisted and overlapping teeth collect plaque and tartar faster than teeth in proper alignment do. It’s harder to keep these areas clean. By straightening out your teeth, you lower your chances of getting an infection.

Find out more about how braces can make a difference in your oral health by contacting your dentist for an orthodontic evaluation.

Posted on behalf of:
Group Health Dental
230 W 41st St
New York, NY 10036
(212) 398-9690


When is the Best Time to Get Braces?

Posted in Braces

From age 7 to 70, all kinds of people have benefited from orthodontic treatment.

Are braces right for you? If you’re interested in straightening either your teeth or your child’s, then it’s important to consider the timing.

The Best Age for Kids to Get Braces

Kids should have their bite and tooth alignment evaluated by around the age of 7. At this point, an orthodontist can get an idea of whether there is enough space in the mouth for all the adult teeth as they come in.

If the orthodontist decides intervention is necessary, then the first stage of treatment will begin. This Phase I treatment should make braces much more effective.

The sooner you get your kids in for an evaluation, the easier it will be to correct problems.

When Other Treatment is Needed

As an adult, you may be interested in having braces placed on your own teeth. Straightening your teeth could be an important part of your own smile makeover. You’ll need to work with your dentist in prioritizing treatment.

Say, for example, that you have a fractured tooth in need of a crown. The crown should be placed first. A crowned tooth can be moved with braces.

Interested in an implant? That can only be placed after braces create a tidy space for it because an implant fuses to bone and cannot be moved with braces.

Begin with a Professional Orthodontic Evaluation

Did you know that most initial orthodontic consultations are free?

It doesn’t hurt to get two or more different opinions as far as which treatment is right and when to start it. Ask your general dentist about the orthodontic options available in your area.

Posted on behalf of:
East Cobb Orthodontics
2810 Lassiter Rd
Marietta, GA 30062
(770) 993-7118


Are Braces Bad For My Teeth?

Posted in Braces

Thinking about getting braces for the first time?

You might even be wondering whether or not braces are worth the time and effort. Some people believe that braces will do more harm than good. Before you dive into orthodontic treatment, consider some information about braces.

How Braces Affect Enamel

Some people are worried about getting “white spots” on their teeth from braces.

What causes these?

The brackets and bands of braces don’t cause the white spots. But they can host harmful acidic plaque, which causes enamel demineralization. This demineralization makes tooth enamel look lighter.

The best way to avoid these white spots of demineralization is to work hard at keeping your teeth extra clean while wearing braces. Avoid sweet and acidic foods that contribute to demineralization, like soda.

Braces and Tooth Roots

Braces guide teeth into proper position by putting pressure on them. Because teeth are stronger than the surrounding bone, this pressure encourages the bone to reform around the tooth roots.

If teeth are moved with too much force too quickly, the tooth roots can suffer damage. But an experienced orthodontic provider will know just what your teeth need to be safely adjusted!

What You Can Do

Straightening your teeth doesn’t just improve their appearance. By getting your teeth in proper alignment, braces can help your teeth to stay cleaner and healthier and make your bite more comfortable. Braces are definitely worth it!

Excellent oral hygiene is a must if you want your teeth to be sparkling when the braces come off! Cooperate with your dentist’s directions to make your time in braces as short as possible.

Find out more today by scheduling an orthodontic consultation at your nearest dental office.

Posted on behalf of:
Walton Orthodontics
2609 Peachtree Pkwy #C
Suwanee, GA 30024
(770) 663-0955


4 Reasons Braces Are Worth the Cost

Posted in Braces

If your dentist or orthodontist ever suggested braces, you probably wondered whether they are really necessary.

You’re not to blame for wanting to save your resources for only the most necessary dental treatment! But what benefits do braces provide that can make them an essential procedure?

Listed here are four reasons braces are more than worth the expense.

1. Straight teeth are easier to keep clean than crooked ones.

Crooked teeth quickly accumulate stain, plaque, and tartar. This disposes them to cavities and gum disease, as well. Your cleaning appointments will be a breeze, when your teeth are straightened. Your smile will stay whiter longer, and even flossing won’t be such a chore!

2. Straightened teeth give you a confidence boost.

What would you do if you could smile without an ounce of hesitation? Grab the chance for a new job interview? Ask that special person out on a date? A straight smile empowers you to show it off with confidence.

3. Correcting problems later on is more expensive than braces.

Problems caused by misaligned teeth can be very expensive to correct down the road.

4. Braces can give you a natural smile makeover without harming your teeth.

There are quick ways to close up gaps between your teeth. These include dental veneers and bonding. Such techniques are safe and reshape the teeth beautifully, but they are relatively temporary and require your teeth to be irreversibly altered. Braces take time, but they guide your teeth into proper position without taking any shortcuts.

Don’t miss out on the chance to have a straighter and healthier smile thanks to orthodontics! Ask your dentist or orthodontist about the options available to you in your area.

Posted on behalf of:
Walton Orthodontics
2609 Peachtree Pkwy #C
Suwanee, GA 30024
(770) 663-0955

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