Dental Tips Blog

Sep
13

Do You Need Oral Surgery Before Getting Braces?

Posted in Braces

For some people, getting traditional braces isn’t as simple as they’d like it to be. You too may be one of the unlucky few who needs oral surgery before straightening your teeth.

Why might surgery be necessary?

To Expose “Canine” Teeth

Your canines (eye teeth) are very important. They are cornerstones for shaping your smile and the alignment of your other teeth. If you have a canine or two that isn’t in proper position, then it may be impossible to place braces. Oral surgery exposes unerupted teeth that are still trapped under the gums so that the orthodontist can attach braces to them.

Remove Extra Teeth

Did you know that it’s possible to be born with a mouth that’s too small for your teeth? Or to have extra teeth you don’t need? If that’s the case for you, then you might need to have one set (usually premolars/bicuspids) extracted. Oral surgery can also help you get rid of stubborn baby teeth. Surgical tooth extractions helps free up more space in your mouth.

Prevent Complications During Treatment

Do you have disease-prone wisdom teeth or a severely fractured tooth? They may need to come out before you can get braces. It can be very difficult, if not impossible, to treat such teeth after you have appliances put in place.

Oral surgery may be necessary to restore your mouth to health before embarking on orthodontic treatment.

Rejuvenate Bone or Gum Levels

Your orthodontist may refer you to an oral surgeon or gum specialist to shore up weak areas in your mouth before the rigors of wearing braces.

Ask you orthodontist for more tips on how you can prepare for a successful course of orthodontic treatment.

Posted on behalf of:
Springfield Lorton Dental Group
5419-C Backlick Rd
Springfield, VA 22151
(703) 256-8554

Sep
11

What If I Have to Move During My Orthodontic Treatment?

Posted in Orthodontics

Military deployment, college, a new job—there are many things that can prevent you from completing your braces treatment in one place.

What should you do if you have to move before your braces come off?

Visit Your Current Orthodontist

See your present orthodontist at least one last time before your move. He or she should know about your plans for relocation so that they can put on the “finishing touches,” so to speak.

Your orthodontist will make sure you’re up-to-date with your treatment and collect x-rays, pictures, and treatment records that you can take to a new orthodontic office. Your current office may even help you out in your search for a new specialist and help out by transferring everything so that you don’t have to worry about it.

Talk about the finances with your current orthodontist. You may have worked out a payment plan or paid a down payment before you knew you were going to move. You likely qualify for at least some type of refund on any treatment that won’t be happening in that office.

Contact the AAO

Not able to visit your current orthodontist? The American Association of Orthodontics has a website which is an excellent resource. You can search out a professional based on their education, experience, and area of practice.

Ask Your New Neighbors

If you don’t know what else to do after you move, ask the locals. A new coworker or neighbor can probably recommend a reliable local dentist or orthodontist.

Whatever your circumstances may be, make your oral health and orthodontic treatment a priority. Some careful planning and research will help you make a success of your braces no matter where you move to!

Posted on behalf of:
Georgia Orthodontics & Children’s Dentistry
13075 Hwy 9, Suite 110
Milton, GA 30004
(770) 521-2100

Sep
10

What’s the Best Age to Get Braces?

Posted in Braces

The “best” time to get braces varies from person to person. Here are some factors that help determine when you or your kids are ready for orthodontic work.

The Best Time for Kids to Get Braces

An orthodontist (tooth-straightening specialist) can evaluate your child’s teeth and determine if and when treatment is needed. For most kids, the earlier they start braces the faster and more minimal orthodontic treatment will be. That’s because the bone in kids’ jaws is still growing and remodels itself quickly.

Some children’s smiles don’t need orthodontic intervention until they have reached their teens. Orthodontists and dentists advise parents to bring their children in for an evaluation by the age of 7 to ensure there is enough time to plan for early intervention.

The Best Time for Adults to Get Braces

Even if your teen years are well behind you, it still isn’t too late to get braces!

Adults of all ages can be candidates for orthodontic treatment. The braces process can take a little longer in adults who have more mature bone in their jaws than kids do. But even older adults can get straighter smiles with the help of braces.

The best time for adults to get braces is:

  • When they have well established dental hygiene habits
  • When the jawbone is healthy
  • Before getting a dental implant or partial denture
  • After active decay and gum disease have been treated

Your dentist and a local orthodontist will help you find out if your mouth is ready for braces by taking x-rays and conducting an exam. Call today to schedule a braces consultation for everyone in your family, no matter their age.

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

Sep
9

Pros and Cons of Permanent Orthodontic Retainers

Posted in Orthodontics

The hard work is far from over once your braces come off.

You may need to wear an aligner for some time after orthodontic treatment to ensure that your teeth stay in their new position. Otherwise, your teeth are apt to drift back into their old locations.

A permanent retainer is one treatment option that can prevent your time in braces from going to waste.

Permanent retainers are thin metal wires that are attached to the back of upper and/or lower front teeth. They have both benefits and disadvantages you should know about before getting one.

Pros of Permanent Orthodontic Retainers

Permanent retainers have significantly more advantages than disadvantages. These include:

  • Not visible to others
  • No risk of forgetting to put them in each day
  • No risk of misplacing your losing or damaging your retainer
  • Can be worn short-term or permanently
  • Easy for a dentist to remove
  • Harmless to tooth enamel
  • Preserves the investment of time and money you put into your orthodontic care 

Cons of Permanent Orthodontic Retainers

Since a permanent retainer is cemented to your teeth, there’s no way you as the patient can take it off. This is the main reason fixed or bonded retainers have some drawbacks.

You may have difficulty cleaning around the fixed wire. You’ll have to use a floss threader or water flosser to clean your teeth like you did with braces. Some people find that a permanent retainer makes their teeth hurt. Others suffer from heavy buildup of tartar around the wire.

The good news is that if a permanent retainer causes you trouble, your dentist can easily remove it. Ask your orthodontist which kind of retainer is best for your smile.

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

Aug
6

What Happens When You Don’t Wear Your Orthodontic Retainer

Posted in Braces

Can you get away with not wearing your retainer? What can you expect if you don’t?

Your Teeth Will Shift

Your teeth are always on the move. They respond to virtually any kind of pressure from things like nail biting, wisdom teeth forming, and even the way your tongue pushes against teeth when you swallow.

As you age, you’ll continue to experience changes in life that can alter tooth alignment. Gum disease and thinning bone in the jaw can also affect tooth positioning.

If you don’t wear your retainer, your teeth will be inclined to drift into their previous positions all over again.

Your Oral Health Might Take a Turn for the Worse

You originally had your teeth straightened for a reason. Crooked teeth increase the risk of gum disease, cavities, and jaw pain… you did your mouth a huge favor by getting braces.

Not wearing your retainer and letting your teeth shift into unhealthy positions will open you up to more dental problems in the future.

You Could Need More Orthodontic Treatment

You spent a lot of time and money on your original orthodontic treatment. If your teeth drift out of line because you don’t maintain them with a retainer, then you’re just throwing all that expensive treatment away.

What’s more, you’ll have to pay all over again for a new round of treatment to bring your teeth back into healthy alignment.

If you’re lucky, your teeth might be okay even if it’s been weeks since you last wore your retainer. As long as your retainer still fits, your teeth should be fine.

Wear your retainer as your orthodontist recommends, get regular check-ups and your smile should stay problem-free for years!

Posted on behalf of:
Georgia Orthodontics & Children’s Dentistry
13075 Hwy 9, Suite 110
Milton, GA 30004
(770) 521-2100

Jul
29

Can I Get Braces if I Already Have a Dental Implant?

Posted in Orthodontics

Getting braces later in life is perfectly safe and effective. Any existing dental work you may have, however, could limit your orthodontic treatment options.

You might wonder whether you can get braces if you already have a dental implant in place.

It is possible, but there are some limitations you need to be aware of.

Dental Implants Don’t Move

A dental implant acts like a tooth root in that it supports a crown and strengthens the jawbone. Unlike a natural tooth, however, implants are fused directly with the bone. This means that they can’t move through the bone tissue when under pressure. If you do get braces, your implant tooth won’t budge.

Your orthodontist may collaborate with your implant provider about using the implant as an anchor to help bring the rest of your teeth into proper alignment. But even this must be done with caution; excess pressure can potentially damage or dislodge a dental implant.

Braces Come Before the Implant

Ideally, you’d want to have orthodontic treatment completed before you get an implant. Your orthodontist will place your braces so that they save a space for your implant. This is one reason why getting an orthodontic evaluation and treatment early is better than waiting. So, if you have a teenager who may one day need a dental implant, make sure they’re caught up on orthodontic appointments.

Implants and Braces

For the most part, implants don’t have to stop you from getting braces. You might even qualify for problem-focused orthodontic treatment that doesn’t even involve your implant. No matter what though, braces can’t move dental implants.

Talk with an orthodontist near you to learn about your best options.

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

Jun
22

How to Know Whether or Not You Need Braces

Posted in Orthodontics

Find out for yourself whether or not you need orthodontics by looking for the following signs in your smile:

Crowding

Crowding happens when there isn’t enough space in your mouth for all of your teeth, causing them to come in twisted and overlapped. Crowding is a problem because these teeth are hard to keep free of the plaque and tartar, which lead to gum disease and tooth decay.

Overbite

In an overbite, the upper front teeth jet out past the bottom front ones. This makes those upper teeth vulnerable to injury. Any restorations in those areas are also prone to damage or wear.

Crossbite

When an upper tooth closes behind a lower tooth, that’s called a crossbite. It’s abnormal because the outer edge of any upper tooth is supposed to close over the front of any lower tooth. When it’s the other way around, teeth are susceptible to premature wear and gum recession.

Underbite

An underbite is when the upper front teeth specifically close down behind the lower front teeth. This leads to difficulties biting into food and can adversely affect appearance.

Open Bite

If the upper and lower teeth don’t fully close together when you bite down, then it’s considered to be an open bite. It can make it hard to chew food and can cause speech problems.

Here are some other signs you might need orthodontics:

  • The lower teeth contact the roof of your mouth
  • Any baby teeth fell out too early or too late in life
  • You’re constantly biting your cheek
  • Constantly breathe through your mouth
  • Suffering from chronic jaw pain.

Plan a consultation with a dentist or orthodontist to find out whether or not orthodontics are right for you.

Posted on behalf of:
West Hill Family Dental
132 New Britain Avenue
Rocky Hill, CT 06067
(860) 563-3303

Jun
19

5 Tips to Make Your Transition to Braces an Easy One

Posted in Braces

Getting braces is a major life change. The following suggestions will help you make the transition into orthodontic treatment as easy as possible.

Come Prepared for Your Appointment

You’ll have your mouth open for what feels like a long time. Prepare in advance by layering on some moisturizing lip balm. This will keep your lips from drying out and cracking.

Bring along a small pad of sticky notes and a pen. If you’re not able to talk during the appointment but need to communicate something, you can quickly jot out a note for the assistant or dentist.

Take a Pain Reliever in Advance

Some patients report being more comfortable during orthodontic appointments when they take a small dose of over the counter pain reliever beforehand. But you’re more likely to feel the discomfort in the hours afterwards, so taking medication after your braces are put on will still be helpful.

Keep a Supply of Ice in Your Freezer

Ice can numb gums and teeth that are sore after getting braces. Try popsicles and frozen wet cloths.

Stock Up on Braces-Friendly Food

Your teeth might feel too sore at first after getting braces to handle much chewing. Have your kitchen ready by stocking it with prepared soups, macaroni and cheese, yogurt, smoothies, and mashed potatoes.

Invest in Powered Toothbrushes and Water Flossers

Cleaning your tooth around the brackets and wires can be a real challenge. Difficult as it may be, you can’t slack off on oral hygiene or you’ll risk the health of your teeth and gums. Electric toothbrushes and water flossers can make your brushing routine a breeze.

Ask your dentist or orthodontist for more tips on braces care.

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

May
16

4 Health-Related Reasons to Get Braces

Posted in Braces

Getting braces will certainly give you a better-looking smile. But it’s not all about looks, alone. You might be surprised to learn that orthodontic treatment can also have a positive impact on your oral health in four main aspects…

Your Enamel Will Last Longer

When top and bottom teeth don’t line up correctly, they can wear against each other in unnatural patterns that cause premature enamel loss.

Braces put your teeth back in line so that you can chew normally with no risk of losing enamel.

You’ll Get Fewer Cavities

Twisted and overlapping teeth are hard to get clean. As a result, these crooked teeth are very prone to decay. Straighten them out with braces, however, and you’ll find it much easier to brush and floss.

Your Gums Will Be Healthier

Braces keep teeth in their natural and healthiest positions. This makes the gums around them healthy, too.

Your gums can get inflamed and infected from plaque left on your teeth. It’s easier to remove this plaque from teeth that are aligned properly, so braces play an important role in improving gum health.

Crooked teeth can also put stress on the gums and cause recession. Braces can prevent this problem as well by pulling teeth upright.

You Can Avoid TMJ Trouble

Did you know that a bad bite can put stress on your jaw? The TMJ is a complex joint and sensitive to the slightest imbalance. Orthodontic treatment can correct your bite and take a load off your TMJ disorder.

What can braces or some other orthodontic procedure do for your smile? Find out more about the benefits by contacting a dentist or orthodontist in your area to schedule a consultation.

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

Apr
24

Do Braces Have Any Unwanted Side-Effects?

Posted in Orthodontics

Getting braces will give you a nicer smile, but are there any side-effects you should be wary of?

Unfortunately, there are a couple of negative risks you should be prepared to face.

Sore Teeth and Jaws

Braces put pressure on your teeth. This is a pressure controlled by a very experienced professional so there’s no need to worry, but it is an undeniably uncomfortable process.

Your tooth roots and the bone around your teeth may be especially sore after having your braces tightened. You may even feel some discomfort in your jaw.

Cuts on Your Cheeks and Lips

The brackets and wire ends can be painfully sharp. If you don’t do something to protect your mouth, these metal extensions can irritate the soft tissue inside your cheeks and lips.

How to Eliminate the Side-Effects of Braces

You may not be able to completely avoid the discomfort that comes with the orthodontic territory. Still, you don’t have to resign yourself to suffering.

Head off the side-effects before they strike by taking a small dose of over-the-counter pain reliever right before an orthodontic adjustment.

You can also put ice on sore gums to bring down swelling. Cushion sharp brackets and wires with orthodontic wax. An anesthetic gel can soothe any irritating sores you already have.

Braces Are Worth the Time!

Braces can be uncomfortable in the short term. But your orthodontist will help you find relief. Your treatment will end one day, and you’ll be glad you endured when you see the great results (not to mention the newfound self confidence.)

Talk with your dentist or orthodontist to learn more about minimizing the side-effects of braces.

Posted on behalf of:
Georgia Orthodontics & Children’s Dentistry
13075 Hwy 9, Suite 110
Milton, GA 30004
(770) 521-2100

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