Archive for the ‘Blog’ Category

Avoiding Gum Disease While Wearing Braces

Thursday, June 12th, 2014

While braces are a fantastic way to achieve a beautiful and perfectly aligned smile, they also can create difficulties in keeping your mouth completely clean and healthy. It can be tricky to clean effectively around the metal wires and brackets, and if you don’t realize the importance of maintaining a clean mouth, you may be destined for developing gum disease while you are wearing braces.

Know more about Disease While Wearing Braces

The best way to keep your mouth clean is to brush and floss regularly. While wearing braces, this often means several times a day for the best results. When you eat, the food gets caught in the wires and brackets that are part of your braces. Without brushing and flossing the trapped food away, it remains trapped and collects bacteria. This means that the bacteria combines with the acid in your mouth and can begin attacking your teeth and gums.

The more plaque and bacteria that attacks your gums, the greater your risk of developing gum disease. It starts out in the minor stages as gingivitis, but if left untreated will advance to periodontitis. If gum disease reaches this advanced stage, tooth loss can result. Your orthodontic treatment won’t be worth it if you end up losing your teeth!

Instead of fighting the battle of trying to regain healthy gums once you’ve developed gum disease, the better approach is to combat it in the first place. This means making time to brush and floss your teeth so that your mouth is kept clean. You’ll end up with a healthy mouth and an attractive smile, which was the goal of wearing braces in the first place.

Invisalign vs Traditional Braces

Thursday, June 12th, 2014

Straightening teeth and correcting alignment used to mean a mouthful of metal braces. Thanks to advances in orthodontics, traditional metal braces are no longer the only option. Today there is a newer treatment called Invisalign, which consists of a series of customized aligners that gradually move your teeth into the correct position.

Benifits of Braces:

Invisalign provides a unique method of improving your smile, along with several other benefits that traditional braces do not offer.

Invisible

The aligners are created from clear plastic, so they are practically invisible when worn. Unlike the bulky metal brackets and rubber bands worn with traditional braces, Invisalign retainers are hardly noticeable. This is very appealing to people who don’t want their braces to stand out in social or professional situations.

Removable

Invisalign retainers are not cemented to your teeth like metal braces. They can be removed for brushing and flossing, so that dental care is simple during your orthodontic treatment. You can also remove the aligners for special occasions like important social events or photographs. However, for the best results, you should follow your doctor’s instructions for the amount of time to wear the retainers.

Faster results

Treatment tends to take less time with Invisalign compared to traditional braces. Aligners are changed every two weeks to gradually move the teeth, which is a faster process than getting an adjustment at the orthodontist every six weeks or so with traditional braces. Often, patients undergoing Invisalign treatment achieve the desired results in only a year.

Deciding if Invisalign is Right for You

Thursday, June 12th, 2014

Braces have traditionally been the way to achieve a beautiful smile, but there’s a new kind of technology available that provides an alternative to metal braces. Invisalign uses a series of clear aligning trays to move your teeth into a better position, while having less impact on your lifestyle and self-confidence.

More about Invisalign:

With Invisalign treatment, you will be custom fitted with trays that fit over your teeth. They are clear, and therefore practically invisible to others. Each aligner is worn for two weeks for twenty hours or more each day. Then you visit your orthodontist to obtain a new aligning tray, and repeat the process. You continue to get new trays every couple of weeks until treatment is complete. The time period for Invisalign treatment varies from patient to patient, but typically the length of treatment is shorter than that of traditional braces.

Invisalign offers some unique benefits compared to traditional braces. Because they are removable, the aligning trays are taken out for meals. Therefore, no food gets stuck like with braces. This also means that oral hygiene is much easier with Invisalign. Your dental care routine is the same as without braces, so it’s simple to brush and floss. Another good thing is that the aligners do not break and there aren’t any wires to break either. Also, the periodic changing of trays does not trigger the amount of soreness that accompanies the tightening of braces. Finally, probably the most popular benefit is that Invisalign trays are invisible, so there is no embarrassment associated with having a mouthful of metal.

As with any type of medical care, the results and specifics of each patient’s treatment varies. Ask your orthodontist about Invisalign and if it can give you the smile that you have always wanted.

Tooth Extraction for Braces

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

If you are considering getting braces to improve your smile and the function of your mouth, you might require tooth extractions prior to getting the appliances on your teeth. Your orthodontist may recommend upon consultation that your treatment will be most effective after having some teeth removed. In fact, sometimes tooth extraction is the only way to achieve your goals for orthodontic treatment.

Reasons of Tooth Extraction for Braces

The most common reason for tooth extraction prior to braces is overcrowded teeth, in which space must be created to obtain proper tooth alignment. Doctors often recommend removing the teeth in sets of two or four, taking the same teeth from the top and the bottom at the same time. This helps create a symmetrical smile.

Another problem that can be aided from removing teeth is protrusion, which is when the upper teeth are out too far or the lower teeth are too far back. Tooth extraction can cause needed space to reposition the front teeth and stop the teeth and lips from protruding.

Overbites or underbites also sometimes require tooth extraction. When the upper jaw extends further than the lower jaw (overbite) or the lower jaw extends past the upper jaw (underbite), removing specific teeth can be helpful before moving the remaining teeth into better position. This can help prevent jaw surgery later.

If you and your orthodontist decide tooth extraction is best for you, often you will be referred to an oral surgeon. These specialists are trained to extract teeth with the ideal results and least pain. Usually you can return to your normal activities within a day or two of extraction, while following your doctor’s instructions for eating and oral care. Once your mouth has healed, you can return to your orthodontist to begin your braces treatment.

How to Know you Need an Orthodontist and How to Find One

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

The best indication that you should visit an orthodontist is that you hide your smile or resist showing your teeth. If you are embarrassed about your mouth because your teeth are misaligned or crooked, then it’s time to seek the help of an orthodontist who can transform your smile into a straight and healthy one.

How can orthodontists help?

Orthodontists complete four years of dental school, plus several more years specializing in orthodontics. Orthodontists are trained in all aspects of giving you the ideal function and appearance for your mouth. They can treat malocclusion, which means that your bite doesn’t fit together as it should. Not only can you have the way your jaws line up corrected, but also the positioning of your teeth to make them straight and without gaps. Braces, aligner trays, headgear, rubberbands, and retainers are some of the tools that orthodontists may use during treatment.

What are some reasons to see an orthodontist?

You already know that an orthodontist can help straighten your teeth and correct your bite. These improvements will likely also enhance your overall oral health, since some mouth problems contribute to tooth decay, gum disease, or tooth loss. Your ability to speak and chew may also benefit.

At what age should you get orthodontist treatment?

Orthodontic treatment really doesn’t have an age requirement. Parents may begin taking their children for evaluations as young as age 7, just to catch problems early. Most children undergo treatment between ages 9 to 14, but it has grown increasingly common for adults to be treated as well. With advancements being made such as clear braces and hidden lingual braces, adults are more likely to consider orthodontic work. Each patient’s case is unique, but the average length of treatment is 1 to 3 years.

How do you choose an orthodontist?

Asking friends and family for recommendations is a good way to find an orthodontist. Some things to consider include office location, appointment hours, cost, office technology, staff personalities, and proposed treatment plan.

Dispelling Common Orthodontic Myths

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

Starting orthodontic treatment can seem a little daunting. Understanding what is involved in having braces may help ease your mind. The following information will help you separate fact from fiction about what to expect from orthodontic therapy.

Some discussion about Orthodontic:

Myth: Getting braces will hurt.

Truth: You may experience mild soreness after the orthodontist places your braces, but this should subside after the first few days. Over-the-counter pain relievers can help with any discomfort.

Myth: I can’t play an instrument or participate in sports if I have braces.

Truth: Although you may have to get used to how your flute or clarinet feels with braces, you can continue to play your instrument during orthodontic treatment. The same goes for sports, but you need to speak with your orthodontist about a mouth guard. This soft, plastic device covers teeth and protects against injury.

Myth: After I get my braces off, my teeth will stay straight forever.

Truth: Once you finish with the active treatment phase, you will need to wear a retainer to keep teeth in their new position. Your orthodontist will fit you for the custom appliance and provide instructions for use. Often, patients start out wearing their retainers most of the day, but many move to a night-time schedule over time.

Myth: I’m too old for braces.

Truth: You can enjoy a beautiful, straight smile at any age. In fact, roughly 20 percent of orthodontic patients are 18 years or older. With options such as ceramic brackets, lingual braces, and Invisalign clear aligners, adult patients can preserve their mature images while achieving the sensational smiles they desire.

Kids and Invisalign

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

When it’s time to talk about braces for your child’s teeth, many kids cringe and cause a fuss. They don’t want to be teased for a mouth full of metal, deal with unsightly food getting stuck in their teeth, and spend years with an embarrassing smile. Now there’s an alternative to traditional braces called Invisalign, which eliminates many of the reasons kids reject the idea of getting braces.

Here are some of main reasons that Invisalign should be an easy sell to your kids:

Invisible

The best advantage to Invisalign is that you can’t see it on your teeth. The clear plastic trays fit securely over the teeth, and are virtually invisible. Many people don’t even notice you are wearing Invisalign, which means no mocking from other kids or reluctance to smile.

Removable

You can take the Invisalign trays in and out of your mouth as desired. You’ll be able to clean your mouth just as you would without braces, so that it’s not only an easy process but also you have less risk for tooth decay or other problems related to poor hygiene.

No diet restrictions

Kids are especially thrilled with the fact that there are no limitations placed on their diets due to braces. Traditional braces restrict foods like popcorn, candy, and gum. Invisalign treatment allows you to eat as you normally would, so there’s less complaining from your kids during the treatment process.

Effective

Before you think that all these benefits mean that you’re giving up on the quality of orthodontic work, you can rest easy. Invisalign treatment effectively corrects alignment and straightening issues, and almost always in less time than traditional braces treatment requires. With Invisalign, the parents and the child are happy both during the treatment process and at the final outcome.

Deciding When your Child Needs Braces

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

You may have noticed that some kids begin orthodontic treatment at a young age, and others don’t begin until their teen years. The answer is that each patient is different, and the exact reasons your child needs braces will differ from other kids. Any way you look at it, you and your orthodontist will likely share the same goals for your child of a beautiful smile, healthy teeth, and confident attitude. Wearing braces can often help achieve those goals.

Reasons for braces

There are a variety of reasons that kids can benefit from braces. They straighten overlapping teeth or move crowded teeth to achieve the best alignment. Underbites, overbites, and other problems related to how the teeth fit together can also be corrected. Jaw problems and palate issues may be addressed so that the teeth fit better in the mouth.

When to get braces

Many factors contribute to an orthodontist’s recommendation as to when your child might benefit most from treatment. Most experts advise an initial orthodontic screening around age seven, when permanent teeth start erupting. Sometimes early intervention is helpful with young children to guide the teeth, palate, and jaw during growth. Palate expanders are an example of treatment that should be done early for the best results. Early intervention isn’t recommended for all kids, because some issues must be addressed after growth is complete. Your orthodontist can identify any problems that might be treated and suggest the ideal timing for correcting them.

What braces mean for your child

Even though braces are very common among young people today, your child may still have some hesitations about treatment. Appearance is a normal concern, but there are new technologies such as Invisalign or clear braces that are less obvious than traditional braces. Fun, colorful bands may be enough to entice some children to embrace the look instead of fear it. Playing musical instruments is possible for kids with braces, and participating in sports is also acceptable as long as your child wears a mouth guard for protection.

What to Know Before Visiting the Orthodontist

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

It’s a big commitment to get braces, so you want to be as educated as possible before taking this step. Here are some important things to know before going to the orthodontist for the first time.

Important points before Visiting the Orthodontist

Braces are more than just cosmetic.

Although the goal for many people in getting braces is to achieve perfectly straight teeth, that’s not the only advantage to orthodontic treatment. The appearance of your smile may be the first thing others may notice, but braces can also improve the alignment of your jaw and bite. Serious problems and pain can result from misalignment, as well as difficulties in cleaning overcrowded teeth.

Braces aren’t just for teenagers.

Often associated with adolescence, braces are no longer only popular with this younger age group. It has become a common solution for adults who want to straighten their teeth and improve their bite. Braces can improve your smile at nearly any age.

Consultations are usually free.

The first step in considering treatment is making a consultation appointment with an orthodontist. Your teeth and jaw will be examined, and any treatment options will be presented. Consultations are usually free, so visit several specialists to find the right one for you.

Treatment and costs vary.

Don’t rule out braces because you’re afraid of the cost or the length of treatment. Your specific case is unique to you, and both treatment and financial commitment vary from patient to patient.

Braces don’t hurt as much as you might think.

A common concern about braces is the amount of pain involved. You can expect some discomfort at first and after each adjustment, but the pain is typically short-lived and manageable.

Retainers after braces

Monday, June 9th, 2014

Your braces have been removed and your teeth are perfectly straight! It’s time to just enjoy your new smile since treatment is complete, right? Wrong! It’s time to wear your retainer so that your teeth stay in their new positions. A retainer is a custom-made appliance that continues to train your teeth to remain in place after your braces have been removed.

There are three types of retainers that orthodontists use to secure your new smile:

  • Hawley: The most popular style, this is the traditional metal wire attached to an acrylic piece that fits in the roof of your mouth. You can take it in and out as desired.
  • Essix: This type of retainer looks similar to Invisalign braces or to whitening trays. These are less noticeable than the traditional type, but are also flimsier and more breakable.
  • Bonded: This permanent retainer consists of a wire being glued to the back of your teeth, and it cannot be removed by the patient. Your orthodontist will decide how long it remains in place; some remove the retainer dependent upon wisdom teeth removal, and others keep the retainer in place forever. One downside to this retainer is that tartar is difficult for dentists to remove with the retainer in place, so it’s very important to brush and floss properly and to see your dentist regularly.

Your orthodontist will help you decide which retainer is best for you. No matter what kind it is, the key is to wear it regularly for the recommended timeframe. Initially, that will be all day long for a number of months. Later, you’ll be able to only wear it at night. Remember, if you stop wearing your retainer, your teeth will shift. It may be the last step of your orthodontic treatment, but it’s also one of the most important.

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