Dental Tips Blog

Oct
21

How Braces Can Improve Your Kid’s Oral Health

Posted in Braces

Straight teeth don’t just make your child’s smile look nicer, but they are also important to having a healthy mouth.

Here are just a few ways braces can improve your child’s oral health.

Fresher Breath

Crooked teeth trap bacteria and leftover food resulting in some pretty smelly breath. When teeth are straightened out, they’re easier to keep clean and free from debris that causes malodor.

Reduced Risk of Tooth Decay

Cavity-causing germs are hard to remove from teeth that are tightly overlapping. Sandwiched between teeth, these decay-triggers start cavities that may grow unnoticed for months.

Healthier Gums

Braces open up healthy spaces between teeth. When there’s a normal alignment of the teeth, it’s easier for brushing and flossing to do their job of preventing gingivitis and gum disease.

Brighter Smile

Properly spaced out teeth are less prone to developing stain. Your child will thank you for braces years down the road when they have a sparkling white smile!

Comfortable Bite

Your child may still need braces even though it doesn’t look like there are any crooked teeth. If his or her bite is off, this can eventually cause chewing and speech issues and even TMJ pain. Sometimes, braces are necessary to correct jaw positioning for a functionally aligned bite.

Wearing braces can make oral hygiene difficult for kids in the meantime. But with patience and diligent care, orthodontic treatment will result in a healthier smile for your son or daughter.

Your child may not appreciate the need for wearing braces, at this time. But orthodontic treatment now while they’re young could be the best thing you do for their adult oral health.

Ask your child’s dentist about scheduling an orthodontic evaluation.

Posted on behalf of:
Montevallo Family Dentistry
711 Wadsworth St
Montevallo, AL 35115
(205) 665-2224

Jul
15

Will Braces Change the Shape of Your Face?

Posted in Braces

One common belief is that braces may negatively change the shape of your face.

Is there any truth to that idea?

How Braces Improve Facial Structure

Getting braces isn’t the same as facial surgery.

Some people find that something they don’t like about their face is linked to the shape of their smile. Braces can correct some facial profiles by:

  • Bringing in an under-jetting jaw to elongate the face
  • Relax an upper lip and fill in sunken cheeks caused by an overbite
  • Helping lips close smoothly over front teeth

Keep in mind that these changes are only noticeable in cases of extremely crooked teeth.

What About Unwanted Changes?

People have complained about a changed face in the past due to having bicuspid teeth removed.

You’ll be happy to hear that this is not a common aspect of getting braces. Teeth only need to be pulled if the jaw is literally too small to comfortably contain all teeth that come in.

Ultimately, if there are any changes to your face after braces, they are likely to be subtle improvements. A very gentle rebalancing, if you will, that naturally follows when teeth are tucked into healthy alignment.

So why bother straightening teeth, at all?

Straight teeth are about far more than cosmetics. Crooked teeth can lead to other oral health issues including:

  • Increased risk for decay
  • Increased likelihood of gum disease
  • TMJ stress
  • Gum recession

Many people opt for orthodontic treatment if it means a healthier smile.

If you aren’t sure whether orthodontic treatment is right for you, consult a couple orthodontists in your area to get different opinions. Initial consultations are usually complimentary. Ask your local dentist for recommendations.

Posted on behalf of:
Broad Street Braces
2010 South Juniper Street
Philadelphia, PA 19148
213-234-3030

May
6

Why Straightening Your Teeth Is Good for Your Oral Health

Posted in Orthodontics

Has your dentist been hinting that you or your child should get braces?

It’s not a dentist thing! Providers don’t recommend braces because they are obsessive about perfect teeth. There is some solid logic behind that suggestion.

Braces Free Up Space

Straightening teeth can reduce the risk for developing gum disease and tooth decay. That’s because crowded teeth trap dental plaque that contains harmful bacteria. Open up those overlapping teeth and you’ll have an easier time flossing and brushing. Food debris will also be less likely to get stuck in certain areas.

Braces Can Get You a More Even Bite

Crooked teeth can cause your jaw to bite down sooner on one side than the other. This, in turn, leads to problems like:

  • TMJ pain
  • Premature enamel wear
  • Gum recession

Orthodontic treatment is especially effective in growing kids. Catching tooth alignment issues early on will help them avoid serious bite problems down the road.

You’ll Experience a Confidence Boost

What’s not to love about a straight, white smile? It truly is the essence of the American ideal for health and beauty. Straightening your teeth will help you keep your mouth healthier, breath fresher, and smile brighter.

Once the braces come off, you’ll find a hundred more reasons to smile!

Alternatives to Braces

Speaking of braces, you might not be thrilled to consider the prospect of wearing a mouthful of metal.

How do you get maximum orthodontic benefit with minimum metal-mouth?

You’ll be glad to hear that there are a variety of orthodontic options available to adults. Talk with your dentist or a local orthodontist to find out which methods are right for you.

Posted on behalf of:
East Cobb Orthodontics
2810 Lassiter Rd
Marietta, GA 30062
(770) 993-711

Feb
16

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

Feb
12

How Do You Fix an Overbite or Underbite?

Posted in Orthodontics

An overbite is when the top front teeth which normally overlap the lower ones do so to a deep degree. This can be so extensive that the lower teeth are barely visible in a full grin.

Underbite refers to when the opposite happens: the lower front teeth close over the upper ones.

Both of these conditions can fall under the category of a “bad bite.”

Underbites and overbites are common in children and some individuals hold onto this jaw alignment well into adulthood. While mild cases might not seem so bad, there are some inherent risks:

  • Greater likelihood of having crooked teeth
  • Uneven wear on teeth
  • Strain on the TMJ
  • Issues with keeping teeth and gums clean
  • Speech problems
  • Facial distortions
  • Low self-esteem

If you or your child is living with either an underbite or overbite, you probably want to find a reliable solution.

Whatever you do, NEVER attempt any at-home or DIY treatments you may hear about! DIY braces are a recipe for trouble – perhaps even danger. It’s always best to consult your dentist or an orthodontist for practical solutions.

Underbite

Young patients often benefit from a palatal expander which gradually encourages the upper teeth to match the alignment of the lower ones. Older patients are usually candidates for corrective surgery. “Facelift dentistry” is a cosmetic solution for a lot of adults with mild underbites.

Overbite

When correcting teeth in an overbite, braces are the preferable option for kids. Adults usually enjoy the results of using an invisible aligner.

To find out which orthodontic option is right for your family’s situation, start out by talking with your orthodontist.

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

Jan
10

Is It Bad to Have Crooked Teeth?

Posted in Orthodontics

Let’s first establish what we mean by crooked teeth being “bad.”

If your teeth are less than perfect, that’s no reason to hide your smile and you should not be ashamed. In fact, lots of people are proud of their smile, feeling that a couple crooked teeth make it uniquely theirs.

But if your teeth are twisted out of alignment to a certain point, this could actually be bad for your dental health.

Here’s how:

You could experience more staining. Some foods are bound to cause teeth to discolor. If you’re fond of coffee, tea, red wine, or dark-colored fruit juice, then the pigments will hide in overlapping teeth where it’s even harder to keep clean.

Your risk for oral disease increases. Normal teeth are meant to shed debris naturally, given their shape and position. But twisted and overlapping teeth trap plaque bacteria, increasing your chances of developing cavities and gum disease.

Your bite could be uneven. Crooked teeth experience different wear and pressure than other teeth when you bite and chew. You could end up needing dental crowns to prevent fracture.

Your gums might be under stress. Teeth pushed out of alignment could be putting a lot of tension on the gums around them. If you notice some recession around a crooked tooth, this is likely a sign that it’s only be pushed further out of line. As gums recede, teeth lose vital support and protection.

Are you a candidate for orthodontic treatment? Find out whether braces could make a difference in your oral health. Contact your dentist today to schedule a consultation.

Posted on behalf of:
Alora Dentistry
917 Trancas Street
Napa, CA 94558
(707) 226-5533

Dec
31

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

Dec
19

4 Health Benefits of Getting Braces

Posted in Braces

You might hear friends complain about their crooked teeth. Perhaps you wish your own could be a little straighter. But did you know that you have other urgent reasons for seeing an orthodontist? Braces could do your oral health more good than you may realize.

  1. Enjoy Fresher Breath

Braces open up spaces between teeth which would otherwise trap a smelly combination of food and germs.

  1. Get Rid Of Chronic Headaches

You may not see your teeth as crooked, but even slight differences could put a strain on your jaw. This, in turn, could lead to TMJ complications and headaches.

  1. Increase The Mileage Of Your Teeth

Teeth tipped out of a alignment experience uneven pressure when you bite down. Years of an uneven bite can cause:

  • Teeth to tip farther out of line
  • Gums to recede
  • Premature enamel wear and sensitive spots
  • Increased risk of tooth fracture

Straighten your teeth and they’ll stay in great shape for years to come.

  1. Lower Your Risk For Oral Disease

It’s plain and simple logic: crooked teeth trap bacteria and debris while straight teeth don’t. Improving your tooth alignment with braces can open up tight spots where cavities and gum disease are prone to set in. Most people find that their brushing and flossing are much more effective after having orthodontic treatment.

In reality, braces are about far more than just getting a great-looking smile. Orthodontia could have a huge impact on the quality of your life because of its interconnected health benefits.

Talk with your dentist to find out whether you need braces and which method will help you reach your smile goals.

Posted on behalf of:
Seven Hills Dentistry
1305 Cedarcrest Rd. #115
Dallas, GA 30132
(678) 257-7177

Nov
8

Why Should My Child See an Orthodontist By Age 7?

Posted in Orthodontics

You’ve probably heard this more than once from your child’s dentist. Today’s kids are advised to be seen by an orthodontic specialist by that golden age of 7.

Why is this so important?

What Happens At Age 7

Granted, every child develops at a unique rate. No two kids will lose their teeth on exactly the same schedule. Still, most children have lost several baby teeth by the time they turn seven. It’s typical for kids to have a nice “mixed dentition” (a combination of both primary and permanent teeth) at this point.

When there is a mix of teeth of different ages, an orthodontist can get a really good idea of your child’s smile development. He or she may be able to determine whether or not early orthodontic treatment is necessary, if at all.

What if your child hasn’t lost any baby teeth by the time they turn 7?

Some kids are late-bloomers and you should have a dentist check your child’s teeth with x-rays to see where the adult teeth are at. But you may not have to worry about an orthodontic evaluation, just yet!

Early Orthodontic Treatment

Another benefit to visiting the orthodontist while your child is young is that you’ll have time on your side. If any treatment is recommended, starting it as soon as possible will limit the amount needed later when your child becomes a teen.

Early treatment may include special retainers and space maintainers or separators to encourage proper growth. This can prevent the adult teeth from crowding together too closely as they come in.

Talk with your child’s dentist for more information on scheduling an orthodontic assessment.

Posted on behalf of:
Broad Street Braces
2010 South Juniper Street
Philadelphia, PA 19148
213-234-3030

Oct
16

Why Does My Dentist Say I Need Braces When My Teeth Are Straight?

Posted in Orthodontics

Like many others blessed with wonderfully tidy rows of teeth, you’re probably quite content with your smile. Maybe even a little proud.

So what exactly is your dentist looking at when he says you need braces?

You don’t have to worry that your dentist is trying to push an unnecessary service on you. There is a very good reason for his or recommendation.

Your Teeth Are Straight – But Is Your Smile?

Your teeth might be in a nice orderly row, but it’s quite likely that as a whole they are crooked. This means that there is some irregularity in your jaw or palate that puts your bite off balance.

As a result, a portion of your teeth may not fit evenly with their opposing neighbors.

This might not seem like a big deal, but a bad bite can eventually result in:

  • TMJ strain
  • Headaches
  • Speech issues
  • Teeth being pushed farther out of alignment
  • Gum recession

Maybe getting a little orthodontic treatment now isn’t as bad as all the treatment you’d need to fix the problems listed above.

Braces Options For Adults

If you still don’t like the idea of getting braces because a metal mouth just won’t suit your look, that’s perfectly fine. Your dentist or orthodontist will probably have several other options for you to choose from that offer the same benefits with a far less visible appearance.

So it’s definitely worth it to look into how braces can change your smile for the better – even if you think you don’t need them! Visit your dentist for a more in-depth consultation.

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

Most Popular

Tori, Exostosis, and Extra Bone Formation in the Mouth

A fairly common occurrence in the mouth is the existence of extra bone development along the outside or inside of the jawline near the teeth, or in the roof of…

Difference Between Conscious and Unconscious Sedation

Sedation dentistry is a wonderful option for many people who would not or cannot tolerate dentistry in a traditional dental setting.   Many people have a fear of visiting the dentist,…

Lingual Frenectomy versus Lingual Frenuloplasty

Lingual frenectomy and lingual frenuloplasty are both dental procedures used to correct a condition called ankyloglossia. Ankylogloassia, more commonly known as ‘tied tongue’, is an abnormality of the lingual frenulum….