Dental Tips Blog

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

Feb
3

How Do Braces Straighten Teeth?

Posted in Braces

You might be wondering: what is the science behind a bunch of wires attached to teeth?

How Braces Work

The problem of crooked teeth runs deeper than what you see when you smile. Each crooked tooth has a long root attached to it that rests in bone tissue. You can’t fix a twisted tooth without addressing the root and how it attaches to the rest of your mouth.

Interestingly, tooth roots are stronger than bone. If you put enough pressure on a tooth, it can move through the bone.

Braces put just the right amount of tension on a tooth. The goal is to carefully move the root through the bone at a rate that the bone can heal behind the tooth as it passes. That’s why getting braces is often a lengthy and precise process.

Why Do Braces Hurt?

All that pressure on your teeth is quite intense. Your teeth are designed to move in response to the pressure, but it isn’t an everyday thing. An orthodontic adjustment may cause you some discomfort for a few days until your teeth adjust.

What About Aligners and Retainers?

There’s a wide variety of teeth-straightening methods including lingual bars to removable aligner trays such as the Invisalign system. Depending on the individual case, these methods may be used after treatment with or in place of traditional braces.

Whichever stage of orthodontic treatment you find yourself in, the idea is the same: increase or maintain pressure on the teeth to move or keep them in place.

All orthodontic methods depend on the same fundamental way that teeth move. Which technique is right for you depends on your unique needs. Visit a dentist or orthodontist in your area for a braces consultation.

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

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

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

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