Dental Tips Blog

Sep
12

At What Age Should Kids Get Braces?

Posted in Braces

Some kids love the idea of getting braces. Others hate it.

But how do you know if your child is really ready for braces? Or if braces are even needed in the first place?

First Evaluation By Age 7

Dentists and orthodontists agree that getting your kid in for an orthodontic evaluation by the age of 7 is best.

At this point in your child’s development, he or she will have a nice mix of both adult and baby teeth. This is the best time for an orthodontist to detect potential problems and intervene to keep them from getting worse.

The recommended age for getting braces varies according to individual needs. Your child’s first orthodontic evaluation is when you’ll find out whether or not treatment is in their future.

When to Put Braces On

Ages 10-14 are good years for getting braces. Orthodontic treatment tends to be most effective if done while the jaw is still developing. Teeth respond well to the pressure of braces and retainers while the bone around them is still dynamic and young.

Of course, this doesn’t mean your kid can’t have braces if he or she is older or younger than that range. A lot depends on your child’s maturity, comfort levels, and how badly their teeth are misaligned.

In general, the sooner treatment is finished in younger years, the sooner the braces can come off in the teen years.

See Your Dentist When in Doubt

Can’t tell whether your child’s teeth are coming in normally? Not sure if your child is old enough for braces? Need a recommendation for a good orthodontist in your area?

Get started by visiting your local dentist.

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

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

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

Mar
27

Gap Between Front Teeth – Why it Happens and How to Fix It

Posted in Braces

It’s cute in little kids, but it can be a problem for self-image if it sticks around into adulthood: that gapped-tooth smile.

The good news is that this condition isn’t harmful. It’s purely a cosmetic issue. If you’re happy with the way your smile is, then that’s great.

But if you want to make a transition to a more “grown-up” look, then keep reading.

Why Gaps Happen

In childhood, it’s very common – normal, in fact – for emerging adult teeth to come in at awkward angles. These usually even out from the pressure of other teeth coming in around them.

Once in a while, however, things don’t go as planned.

A few reasons include:

  • Missing teeth on either side
  • Teeth are undersized or the jaw is too large
  • Thumb-sucking
  • Tongue-thrusting while swallowing
  • Tissue connecting the lip to the gums comes down too low between teeth
  • Gum disease
  • Tight muscles between the teeth

As you can see, some causes are purely developmental while some are a result of pressures in their environment.

How To Bridge The Gap

Your first step should be to visit your local dentist. He or she will help you figure out what may have caused (or be causing) your smile gap. If it’s something like gum disease, that will need urgent treatment.

Without treating the underlying cause of the gap, then treatment may not work.

A few solutions for correcting gaps include:

  • Braces
  • Invisible aligner trays
  • Veneers
  • Dental crowns
  • Dental bonding
  • Reshaping gum tissue and attachments
  • Implants or partial dentures to replace missing teeth
  • Trimming tight muscles around the teeth

You’ve got a lot of options to choose from if you want to enhance your smile. Contact your dentist to find out which one is right for you.

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

Dec
5

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

Sep
27

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.

Underbite/Overbite

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

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