Dental Tips Blog

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

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

Mar
9

Here’s Why You Should Get an Electric Toothbrush if You Have Braces

Posted in Braces

Do you or someone else in your family have braces? Orthodontists recommend that you add an electric toothbrush to your oral care routine. Here’s why.

It Does the Work for You

The best part about a powered toothbrush is that it basically does all the work for you. All you have to do is move it around your mouth and aim it at your teeth, no scrubbing involved. This is a major perk since you have to brush a lot as it is, when you have braces.

Powered toothbrushes can make tooth brushing time a lot more fun for unwilling teens with orthodontic appliances. They’ll probably enjoy the chore just a little bit more if they have a cool new toy to brush their teeth with.

Gentle on Your Gums

Because powered toothbrushes take care of the brushing action for you, you avoid the risk of scrubbing too hard. When you brush with a regular manual toothbrush, you might press too firmly. This can damage braces and irritate your already sensitive gums. Switch to a therapeutic electric brush, and your gums will thank you.

Gets You a Thorough Clean

The bristles on electric brushes vibrate at a supersonic rate. This helps them to completely blast away dental plaque even from hard to reach places. You may already know that brushing around brackets and wires is tough as it is. Using a powered brush will help you get your mouth as clean as possible with minimal work.

What kind of electric brush should you get? How do you maintain a powered toothbrush? Find out by visiting a dentist or orthodontist near you and asking about the benefits of a good electronic toothbrush.

Posted on behalf of:
Mundo Dentistry
3463 US-21 #101
Fort Mill, SC 29715
(704) 825-2018

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 »

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

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

Dec
12

Are Braces Uncomfortable?

Posted in Braces

Granted, having metal wires on your teeth is not going to be a natural sensation, in the beginning. But it is something you can get used to.

Getting Braces – Does It Hurt?

The process of getting braces put on your teeth is not as bad as you might imagine. Your orthodontist applies a little conditioner to your freshly-polished enamel. This process helps the cement attach a little better. Then, the brackets are secured in place. Lastly, a wire is laced through the brackets and fastened with rubber bands.

You may feel a little discomfort in the early days of wearing braces. As that wire is first set, your teeth will resent the pressure. Just be patient as you adjust. Most patients get used to their orthodontics within a week of having them placed.

What To Do When Braces Hurt

If you seem to be experiencing more discomfort than you can tolerate, it’s usually recommended to take a painkiller; whatever you usually take for a headache is enough. Check with your doctor and orthodontist first for recommendations.

What about if the brackets are chafing your cheeks and lips? That’s a very common problem and happily, it’s easy to fix. Your orthodontist or local drugstore can supply you with some dental wax that can be molded to fit over any sharp metal pieces. It can take a bit of time before your mouth becomes accustomed to having a few rough areas of orthodontic appliances inside.

Sometimes your gums can get a little sore from gingivitis if you’re not brushing well enough. Just be patient and take care to floss!

Visit your orthodontist and local dentist regularly throughout treatment to keep your braces feeling as comfortable as possible.

Posted on behalf of:
Red Oak Family Dentistry
5345 W University Dr #200
McKinney, TX 75071
(469) 209-4279

May
1

How One Crooked Tooth Can Affect Your Smile

Posted in Orthodontics

Some people are proud of how a little quirk in their smile makes them unique. It’s true that a gap-toothed grin or a pair of “buck teeth” can be pretty cute, especially in kids.

Maybe you don’t care too much about a small flaw in your smile, either way. You should know, however, that even a seemingly insignificant irregularity can cause some trouble down the road.  Braces can help you avoid these issues.

Bad Bite Blues

One or more crooked teeth can make it hard for you to bite into your favorite sandwich. You might constantly get food stuck between overlapping teeth. If your tooth is severely misaligned, then that can even affect the way you speak.

It’s even possible for crooked teeth to throw your bite off so badly that your jaw starts to suffer.

How’s the Flossing?

When teeth are in normal alignment, they do a good job at keeping themselves clean. The natural arrangement of teeth in your jaw enable your lips and tongue to help remove a lot of debris. You just help this process along with flossing and brushing.

Put one or more of those teeth out of alignment, and part of it will miss out on the self-cleaning benefits. You probably have a hard time flossing and/or brushing around that tooth, don’t you?

Difficulty cleaning a crooked tooth leads to another problem.

Cavity Concerns

Because overlapping teeth are hard to clean, they’re prone to developing cavities. The problems don’t end there because the gums around crooked teeth are also more likely to get infected.

Contact your dentist to find out whether you should correct your tooth alignment with orthodontia.

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

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