Dental Tips Blog

Sep
13

3 Low-Visibility Braces Options for Adults

Posted in Braces

Braces aren’t just for kids and teens! Sometimes, older results can also benefit from orthodontic treatment just as much as adolescents!

But as a mature and established member of society, you’re duly concerned about your image. So the idea of wearing traditional braces might worry you, just a bit.

The good news is that you have plenty of options to choose from if you’re interested in virtually-invisible braces.

Ceramic Braces

No one says braces have to be silver! You can opt for traditional orthodontia in a neutral and low-visibility color scheme. The brackets can be made from ceramic and the wires are clear or tooth-colored so that they blend in, too. People will have to look very closely to see that you’re wearing braces.

Brush carefully to prevent ceramic braces from picking up stain.

Lingual Braces

In defiance of conventionality, some orthodontists place the braces on the inside of teeth instead of on the front. Choose lingual braces and your teeth will gradually straighten out as if by magic. It’s very difficult for someone to notice wires attached to the inside of your teeth!

Invisalign

Invisalign is a popular orthodontic treatment for a reason. It’s probably the most comfortable and least-visible braces option out there.

Invisalign is a series of clear trays that you switch out every time your teeth adjust to the current one. You remove your trays for meals and so eating is just as normal as ever. You can even pop them out quickly for photos so that you can grin with only your natural teeth showing.

Is one of these invisible braces options right for you? Find out by contacting an orthodontist or cosmetic dentist in your area.

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

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
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

Jun
18

Is Invisalign Really Any Better Than Regular Braces?

Posted in Braces

Getting Invisalign sounds like the popular, fast, glamorous, and grown-up way to get a straighter smile.

Is it really any better than traditional braces?

Braces and Invisalign – Similar Yet Different

Braces and Invisalign are essentially the same in how they work on teeth. They both put pressure on key points to bring your smile into uniform alignment. Most dentists and orthodontists consider both procedures to be effective orthodontic methods.

What makes Invisalign and braces different? They each have their strong points that you should evaluate when you contemplate getting orthodontics. Your decision will be based on a mix of both your preferences and needs.

When Braces Are the Better Choice

Braces have a more uniform effect on all the teeth in the mouth. They’re stronger than Invisalign and can correct extremely complex cases. In fact, braces can even pull teeth up or down as necessary to reach the correct height. Invisalign is a bit more limited in that area.

What Makes Invisalign Better?

Invisalign is the winner when it comes to comfort and convenience. While you’ll still have to wear the clear retainers almost 24/7 to get results, you can take them out for simple cleaning and easy mealtimes.

Invisalign is perfect for correcting cosmetic issues in your front teeth quickly and more subtly. It’s also a good solution for correcting teeth that after traditional orthodontic treatment.

It’s pretty clear that neither Invisalign or braces is always the better option. To find out which one is best in your case, however, you’ll need professional advice. Contact a cosmetic dentist or orthodontist in your area to get started.

Posted on behalf of:
Dunwoody Family & Cosmetic Dentistry
1816 Independence Square, Suite B
Dunwoody, GA 30338
(770) 399-9199

May
19

Can You Straighten Teeth Without Braces?

Posted in Braces

Braces can be uncomfortable, expensive, and even embarrassing for some people. Personally, you’ll do anything to avoid them!  If you’re tired of having crooked teeth, then you may want a way to fix them without getting braces.

Braces May be a Necessary

If you have a severe case of crooked teeth, then you most likely will need some form of orthodontic treatment.

Crooked teeth can put stress on your gums and lead to rapid tissue recession. They also tend to trap bacteria that cause cavities and periodontal disease. Straightening teeth will harmonize your bite and improve the health of your mouth.

Sometimes, there’s no other option save for physically encouraging your teeth to move.

Don’t DIY!

You’ve likely encountered several suggestions for straightening your teeth on your own. These include encouragement to press on your teeth with your tongue or to wrap rubber bands around your teeth before going to bed.

Such techniques can be ineffective at best, and downright dangerous at the worst. If you need to physically move your teeth, then do so with the guidance of an expert such as an orthodontist.

Trying to fix your teeth at home can cause permanent damage you’ll sorely regret.

Safe Alternatives to Braces

Depending on your needs, you may still be able to improve your smile without getting braces. Clear plastic aligners are a good alternative treatment.

If you just want to make minor changes for cosmetic purposes, then you can avoid moving your teeth, altogether. Dental bonding, veneers, or crowns can change the shape of a tooth to make it look like it’s in proper alignment.

There are many different types of braces.  Which teeth-straightening method is right for you? Find out by visiting your local dentist or orthodontist.

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

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

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
18

Is it Really Necessary to Have Straight Teeth?

Posted in Braces

Society seems to push the idea of having straight white teeth as the highest standard of beauty.

But in all honesty, few people are born with teeth that look that great.

Is there anything wrong with just being content with and proud of the smile you were born with?

Imperfect Teeth, Perfect Smile!

The most important thing is for your teeth to be healthy. Next most important is to have a smile you feel confident about. If you can check those two things off your list, then how your smile looks is not important.

Keep in mind, however, that there’s a reason straight teeth appeal: they are a sign of health. Tooth alignment issues can lead to some serious problems.

Health Dangers of Crooked Teeth

Gapped, twisted, and overlapping teeth can cause a whole host of dental health issues:

  • Gum recession
  • Increased risk for gum disease and tooth decay
  • Uneven and/or accelerated enamel wear
  • TMJ stress
  • Chewing or speaking difficulties

When a dentist suggests straightening your teeth, it’s more about your smile’s health than how it looks.

A Range of Smile Solutions

Treatment for crooked teeth depends on how complicated the case is.

If you hate the look of a small gap or slightly twisted tooth, then a fast cosmetic procedure may be sufficient. Invisalign trays or dental veneers are good for aesthetic teeth-straightening.

You can just cover up a complex case of crooked teeth, however. They need to be physically straightened to improve your oral health. A dentist or orthodontist will let you know which braces options are right for you.

Schedule a consultation to get more tips on getting a smile you’ll love.

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

Apr
9

Why Are My Teeth Suddenly Getting Crooked?

Posted in Orthodontics

Crooked teeth don’t just look bad – they pose a major risk to your oral health and can even be a sign that something has already happened.

What Causes Crooked Teeth?

Teeth tend to shift easily during childhood. At this time, the jawbone is still rapidly developing. A tooth can move when it’s pressed on by actions such as thumb sucking.

Crooked teeth can also be genetic. If a child’s parent needed braces, chances are good the child will eventually need dental braces as well. It’s also possible that inheriting one parent’s small jaw and the other parent’s larger teeth can lead to tooth alignment issues.

But what if your teeth were fine throughout childhood? What does it mean if they’re just now getting crooked?

Unfortunately, that’s probably a sign of trouble.

Impacted Wisdom Teeth

If you have wisdom teeth coming in below the gum line, they can push on the teeth in front of them. This causes crowding, especially among the front teeth.

Still have your wisdom teeth or aren’t sure if you do?

See a dentist to get some x-rays to find out.

Missing Teeth

Your teeth keep moving forward. When there’s a gap in the alignment, the teeth behind the space tend to shift and tip over to fill it in. That’s one of the reasons why dentists recommend replacing missing teeth as soon as possible.

Gum Disease

Gum disease attacks the ligaments and bone that hold teeth in place. It can cause teeth to loosen. As they do, they may shift and splay out of alignment.

See your dentist for a checkup and to find out what could be causing your teeth to move out of their natural alignment.

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

Mar
13

Is There an Age Limit for Getting Braces?

Posted in Braces

Teens are popular orthodontic patients. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t benefit from braces if your teen years are well behind you.

Why Teens Get Braces

The jaw bone in teens’ mouths is dynamic and heals quickly. This is important to the orthodontic process. Traditional braces put pressure on teeth to move them through bone tissue into new positions. The bone breaks down and reforms fast enough in young people’s mouths to allow teeth to successfully relocate within months.

Complicated orthodontic cases are also easier to correct in the developmental stages. Braces in the early years can prevent the need for surgery and lengthy treatment in adulthood.

Braces Work for Adults, Too!

While braces tend to have faster success in young mouths, that doesn’t mean they can’t benefit older patients just as much.

Braces work the same way in adults as they do for kids and teens. If you’ve got several decades of life behind you, then you might expect your treatment to take a bit longer than it does for your own kid.

The good news is that it’s almost never too late to get braces and experience the benefits!

Orthodontic Options for Adults

Older orthodontic patients usually want problem-focused treatment to cosmetically enhance their smiles.

Like other adult orthodontic patients, you may want a method that’s low-visibility, low-maintenance, and as fast as possible. Some suitable options include clear aligner trays, tooth-colored braces, and accelerated ortho.

If you have only slightly crooked teeth, then you might be able to make them look straighter without getting braces, at all. Dental veneers, for example, are a good orthodontic hack for adults.

Talk with a cosmetic dentist or orthodontist in your area to find out more.

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

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