Dental Tips Blog

Oct
20

Is it a Good Idea to Travel During Orthodontic Treatment?

Posted in Orthodontics

Traveling while you have braces can be tricky, but it is still possible. It mainly depends on where you’re going, how long you’ll be away, and how well you already take care of your braces.

Here are few pointers that can help you have a successful journey, braces and all.

Visit Your Current Orthodontist for Advice

The very first thing you should do before heading out of town is visit your orthodontist. He or she knows your case best and can share some tips for safe travel with braces. Your orthodontist may even recommend places you can go if you have problems with your braces while on your trip.

Contact an Orthodontist at Your Destination

If you’ll be away for a long time, then you might want to contact a new orthodontist who can continue your orthodontic treatment while you’re in the new place. Your current treatment provider can pass along your treatment records.

In general, however, it’s better to complete your treatment from start to finish in one location.

Pack Smart to Care for Your Braces

You should always travel prepared to keep your braces clean no matter where you go by packing a toothbrush, toothpaste, orthodontic floss, and even interdental brushes. Also carry braces wax and a pain killer with you to stay comfortable in case your braces start to bother you.

If you’re just going on a short trip that you can fit in between your orthodontic appointments, then traveling with braces is usually very simple. Consult your family’s orthodontist or dentist if planning a lengthy trip, especially if the one with braces is your child.

With professional advice and careful preparation, traveling with braces is easy!

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

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

May
15

Why Do Misaligned Teeth Wear Down?

Posted in Braces

If teeth are the most durable substance in the entire body — even stronger than bone — then how is it that some of them can wear down in what seems like only a few years?

“Occlusion” and Why it Matters

The way teeth occlude is how they bite against one another. When you bite down, each tooth fits like a puzzle piece against the ones on the opposite arch. Fortunately, when they occlude properly, the teeth can function for years.

But when the teeth bite together improperly (that is, have a “mal-occlusion”) it makes pressure points hit heavier on certain areas.

Over time, that abnormal pressure makes tooth enamel wear itself down. Yes, it’s the hardest structure in your body, but with excess pressure from other enamel forces come bearing down, it can cause damage instead of being a good thing. 

How to Stop Tooth Wear

It’s possible to prevent flat, worn, chipped teeth before they start (or get worse.) Talking to an orthodontist about correcting the alignment of your teeth is one of the best and most holistic ways to extend the lifetime of your smile.

With orthodontic appliances such as braces or removable aligners, the teeth can gradually be nudged in the right position to help them bite together and function properly. 

It’s Not Just Your Teeth

Even your existing dental work like crowns or fillings can wear down and break if the opposing teeth are grinding against them with too much pressure. Correcting your bite extends the lifetime of the restorations that you’ve already invested time and money in.

Are you starting to notice flattened or jagged biting surfaces on your teeth? It’s time to schedule an orthodontic evaluation!

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

Apr
14

Do You Wear Braces? Here’s Why You Haven’t Gotten Results Yet

Posted in Braces

It’s no secret; wearing braces can be extremely tedious.

Braces are often uncomfortable, inconvenient, and it can feel like you’ll be wearing them for the rest of your life.

Why haven’t your braces fixed your teeth yet? As it turns out, there are several factors that affect the speed of your orthodontic treatment.

Teeth Can Only Move So Fast!

How fast that is depends on your unique bone makeup.

Braces put pressure on teeth to move them through the bone. But the bone tissue has to break down and heal up around the teeth to accommodate their movement. There are unique processes that make this happen and there isn’t much you can do to make them go any faster.

Your Teeth Have Changed Already – You Just Didn’t Notice

Until the braces come off, it can be hard to spot any dramatic changes. But the changes appear as if they aren’t happening at all.

Try taking a close-up photo of your smile at the beginning of each month. Comparing the pictures will help you to notice that you are getting results and encourage you to hang in there for the rest of your treatment.

You Might Be Getting in the Way

Your orthodontist has given you a list of “rules” as far as what you can and cannot eat with braces, and what you should do to keep them clean.

If you aren’t mindful of your oral hygiene or eating habits, you can compromise both your teeth and braces. This only adds time to the overall length of your treatment.

Ask your dentist or orthodontist about what you can do to make sure your treatment doesn’t last any longer than it has to.

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

Feb
17

4 Health Benefits of Straight Teeth

Posted in Orthodontics

A well-aligned smile certainly looks nice. But there are other important benefits to orthodontic treatment.

  1. Fresh Breath

Bad breath is most often caused by food debris and bacteria. Germs and food can get stuck between twisted or overlapping teeth and stay there for days. If you don’t clean your teeth thoroughly, that buildup will cause your breath to stink. Straighten out your teeth, however, and you’ll have fresher healthier breath. Read the rest of this entry »

Jan
27

4 Ways to Straighten Your Teeth Without Braces

Posted in Braces

Ever wished you could have a nicer looking smile? Crooked teeth can be a source of anxiety and self-consciousness. But maybe to you, getting braces doesn’t seem worth the trouble.

You may qualify for a few different options over conventional orthodontics. Ask your local dentist about the following alternatives to a straighter looking smile:

Veneers

Veneers can completely mask deep stains, rough enamel, and chips in front teeth. A veneer can also change the shape and size of a tooth. Simply placing one porcelain veneer may be enough to close up a gap in front teeth or make one slightly twisted tooth look straight. Most people get them in sets of 4-8 at a time.

Dental Bonding

Are veneers too invasive or out of your budget? Dental bonding may be a good alternative. Reshaping crooked front teeth with a little composite resin material can achieve a similar result.

The best part about bonding is that it’ll get you the fastest results possible; they’re ideal for one or two problematic teeth instead of addressing several at once.

Gum Contouring

Some people with crooked-looking teeth may actually have their gums to blame. Uneven gum tissue can give the appearance of a tooth being crooked or too short. A minor reshaping procedure could reveal a more even smile in just one appointment.

Invisalign

If your teeth need some orthodontic help but you still don’t want braces, then Invisalign braces may be your best option. This system involves a series of removable clear plastic trays which gradually nudge your teeth into their proper alignment.

These solutions aren’t necessarily right for everyone. If your teeth need a lot of orthodontic help, then you may not be able to avoid getting braces. But if a few cosmetic changes are all you want, then your dentist can explain these options to you in full.

Contact your dentist to learn more.

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

Oct
22

Straight Teeth Are Naturally Cleaner Than Crooked Ones

Posted in Braces

Crooked teeth are not a sign of low intelligence…or poor hygiene…or unattractiveness.

Many people are perfectly content with their less-than-perfectly-aligned teeth, and that’s perfectly okay.

But what everyone needs to know is that crooked teeth can potentially pose a health risk to gums and the teeth, themselves. This comes down to the fact that crooked teeth can’t keep themselves clean the way straight teeth do.

How Teeth Clean Themselves

Your teeth don’t groom themselves like animals do. They don’t even have a self-cleaning mechanism. However, your tongue, cheeks, lips, and saliva do the job for them.

But it’s when teeth are all in proper alignment, that they shed food debris more easily in response to your mouth’s natural movements.

Overlapping teeth trap food, gaps pack it in, and twisted teeth may collect debris at the gum line where it can’t be washed away. So it’s true that straight teeth kept in alignment will be naturally “cleaner” than crooked ones.

Clean Teeth = Healthy Teeth

Cleanliness isn’t just a matter of looks. When teeth are clean, they are less prone to disease. Dental plaque is made up of sticky biofilm and waste products from food. When plaque levels build on teeth, they cause all sorts of trouble: like gingivitis and cavities.

Crooked teeth, then, are more at risk for such problems because they hold onto more of that harmful bacterial plaque.

If you have a few crooked teeth, you may want to ask your dentist about your options for straightening your teeth such as invisible braces or other orthodontic treatments. At the very least, you will need to learn new ways to keep them extra clean and free of unwanted disease.

Posted on behalf of:
Soft Touch Dentistry
1214 Paragon Dr
O’Fallon, IL 62269
(618) 622-5050

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

Sep
9

4 Ways to Get Your Braces Super Clean

Posted in Braces

Oral hygiene is extra important when it comes to orthodontia. Braces do your teeth a lot of good. But ironically, they make your teeth more apt to collect plaque bacteria. As if that weren’t enough, ortho itself makes normal tasks like brushing and flossing a lot harder.

Here are a few ways to keep your braces clean and your teeth healthy.

Use Orthodontic Floss

Orthodontic floss is designed to use without contorting your hands into uncomfortable positions. You can slide the stiff end of the floss in below the wire and floss with the fluffy or thin thread, whatever works best for that space.

If your flossing routine is easier, you’ll be more likely to do on the regular.

Rinse Well

You dentist may recommend a fluoride rinse to help strengthen tooth enamel around brackets and wires. If your gums are prone to inflammation, an antibacterial mouth rinse can prevent the buildup of irritating bacteria.

Try a Water Flosser

The powerful spray from a water flosser can get your braces extremely clean while having a therapeutic effect on the gums. These devices come in handy especially when flossing is impossible.

Take a New Angle on Brushing

As you brush, remember to tip your toothbrush bristles at angles to reach all surfaces. You’ll need to do this to access the top and bottom of brackets in addition to tooth chewing surfaces.

You’ll agree that the effort is worth it to keep your smile healthy during orthodontic treatment. The braces will come off sooner the healthier your teeth are, and your smile will look great!

Consult your dentist or orthodontist for more tips on cleaning your braces as thoroughly as possible.

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

Apr
22

Top Five Foods to Avoid When You Have Braces

Posted in Braces

The better you take care of your braces, the less time you’ll have to wear them. That’s why you want to avoid foods that are likely to damage orthodontic appliances.

Here are five of the worst foods for braces:

  1. Tortilla Chips

Crunchy tacos and corn chips fall into this category, as well. Those crispy bits are like little daggers that wedge themselves between teeth and wires.

  1. Taffy & Gummy Candy

Any chewy or sticky candy is off-limits. Not only can they “pull off” brackets, but they can encourage tooth decay by sticking around a long time.

  1. Crunchy Grains

Cooked oatmeal is a great breakfast for anyone, braces or no. But watch out for crunchy dried sweets like cookies or granola, which are studded with firm grains.

  1. Popcorn

Shells, hulls, husks, whatever you want to call them, those annoying little pieces are a thousand times harder to deal with when you have braces.

  1. Pretzels & Nuts

These delightfully salty snacks have to be kept off the table if you want to keep your braces safely on your teeth.

Taking a look at the above list, it’s clear these are all foods that cause problems because of their texture. Hard foods can damage braces and chewy ones can get stuck in them.

But you’ll also notice that there are ways to enjoy your favorite foods without endangering your braces. A few substitutions and are all it takes. Choose soft tacos over hard ones. Have chocolate pudding instead of a chocolate bar. Cut up pizza and bagels into chewable pieces. French fries are still on the menu even when chips are out!

Get more tips on making the most of your braces by talking with your local dentist or orthodontist.

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

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