HAVING STRAIGHT TEETH isn’t just about looks! Did you know that there are several health benefits to having straight teeth? So, if you’re wondering whether or not to get braces, don’t just think about the aesthetic benefits. Think about all the things your straight teeth will do to improve your health!
Straight Teeth Are Easier To Clean
It’s difficult to get into the nooks and crannies between teeth when they are crooked or crowded, making flossing and brushing more difficult. Overlapping teeth can even trap food particles, leading to plaque buildup and a higher risk of tooth decay. Straight teeth allow for easier brushing and flossing and thus, less plaque!
Crooked Teeth May Cause More Frequent Headaches
Headaches and neck pain are much more common in those with crooked teeth. This is because crooked teeth place stress on the gums and bone structure that support teeth. Jaw misalignment, which can be corrected by orthodontic treatment, is also a big contributor to chronic headaches as well as face or neck pain.
Eating Is Easier With Straight Teeth
Did you know that crooked or crowded teeth may compromise chewing? Misaligned and crowded teeth often reduce the effective surface area available for chewing food. This can place unnecessary stress on your jaw which can lead to pain and discomfort.
Crooked teeth can also cause abnormal tooth wear. Tooth on tooth pressure, especially when uneven, can cause cracks and chips in teeth. Such wear and tear over time can be detrimental to tooth enamel and may require special treatment to repair.
Your Overall Health Is Also Benefited
Put simply, straight teeth make keeping your pearly whites clean much easier and more manageable. Better oral hygiene prevents gum disease and tooth decay. Decreased plaque also reduces your risk for bigger health problems, such as heart disease and diabetes.
Straight Smile, Healthy You!
Not only do straight teeth improve your oral and overall health, a corrected smile is shown to improve self-esteem and confidence—which in turn leads to various other health benefits. So remember, your braces do more than just beautify your smile, they’re giving rise to a healthier, happier you!
Thank you for your continued loyalty to our practice!
WHILE MANY THINK BRACES are for correcting misaligned adult teeth, you may be surprised to learn that orthodontics can help correct your child’s bite before their adult teeth even come in!
Baby Teeth Play an Important Role in Oral Health
Primary teeth—more commonly known as baby teeth—play a key role in your child’s oral health. Besides providing an aesthetic appeal to your child’s smile and boosting their self-esteem, primary teeth have three main functions:
- They aid in proper chewing, fostering good nutrition
- They promote proper speech development
- They reserve a space for permanent teeth to grow in
If a primary tooth falls out or must be removed before its time due to decay, the surrounding teeth may shift into the gap, causing dental crowding and future orthodontic problems.
Seven Is the Perfect Age for an Orthodontic Visit
The American Association of Orthodontists and Dr. Chris Wermerson recommends that all children have an orthodontic exam at the earliest signs of any orthodontic issue, but no later than age seven. Although not every child will need treatment that young, some may benefit from early intervention.
Much of the treatment that takes place at this age is called Phase 1 orthodontic treatment, usually occurring when a child still has a mix of primary and permanent, secondary teeth. During this phase, we seek to correct any problems that may be occurring with jaw growth and even address certain bite issues. This phase is generally followed by a second phase of treatment when all of the child’s permanent teeth have erupted.
Beginning two phase treatment while your child still has primary teeth can have numerous benefits and can even reduce the time needed for a full set of braces.
Early Orthodontic Intervention Can Prevent Future Problems
Whether or not your child is showing signs of misaligned teeth, seven is the perfect age for them to come in for an orthodontic evaluation. Orthodontic treatment isn’t always necessary if there’s a space in your little one’s primary teeth or baby teeth, but we can help you determine the best plan for your child’s growing smile.
Thank you for trusting us with your family’s oral health! We love our patients.
EVERYONE’S TEETH ARE DIFFERENT. Some people’s adult teeth come in early, some come in late. In rare cases, not all of the adult teeth will come in on their own, which could be because they’re trapped beneath the gums.
Overcrowding is a fairly common issue for adult teeth, but sometimes when there isn’t room for a new tooth to come in, it stays partially or fully under the gums instead. This happens most often with wisdom teeth, which can actually endanger the roots of neighboring molars when they are crooked or sideways in the jaw.
After wisdom teeth, the most likely teeth to be impacted are the upper canines. Research has shown that these tend to pop up more frequently in families. Usually only one of the canines is impacted, but sometimes they both are. The reason this happens to the upper canines is that they come in after the incisors and premolars next to them, which don’t always leave them enough room.
The Problems When Teeth Can’t Come In
Typical complications of impacted teeth include cavities, infections, gum disease, and nerve damage, with symptoms like bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth, pain and tenderness around the jaw, headaches and jaw aches, swollen gums or lymph nodes, and visible gaps between teeth.
Not everyone with an impacted tooth will experience these symptoms, however. With an impacted canine, the baby tooth might not even loosen because nothing’s pushing at it. This can have a significant impact on a person’s face and smile, because canine teeth have the longest roots and form the “corners” of the smile, as well as providing protection and support for the teeth around them.
Putting An Impacted Tooth In Its Place
There isn’t usually a way to prevent a tooth from becoming impacted, but an impacted wisdom tooth can be removed, and an impacted canine can be moved into its proper place with the assistance of oral surgery and orthodontic treatment. After the impacted tooth is discovered in dental X-rays, the orthodontist can decide how best to proceed.
Think You Might Have An Impacted Tooth?
Do you or someone you know have an impacted canine tooth? Schedule a consultation with Dr. Chris Wermerson so that we can take a look and come up with a plan to move that tooth out of the gums where it’s hiding and into the place it belongs!
Here at Wermerson Orthodontics we’re happy to help you get the smile of your dreams!
TOO MANY PEOPLE know what it’s like to accidentally throw a retainer away after lunch. Retainers can be expensive, so losing one is never fun. Fortunately, removable retainers aren’t the only option for keeping your teeth aligned after the braces come off!
What Are Fixed Retainers?
A fixed retainer, also known as a permanent or bonded retainer, is a wire that is glued to the lingual (tongue side) of the teeth. These retainers are typically made of stainless steel. The orthodontist fits it to the patient’s teeth, placing it just right so it’s not visible when smiling or talking, and attaches it with a form of cement. Some are cemented to each tooth, while others are only cemented to the teeth at the ends of the retainer.
Most often, fixed retainers are only placed on the backs of the front six lower teeth, though sometimes they go on the backs of the upper teeth, and some people even have them just for the two front teeth to keep a gap from reappearing. Fixed retainers are intended to stay in place indefinitely. If they break or come loose, it’s important to go back to the orthodontist to get them repaired.
How Fixed Retainers Compare
Now that you know what fixed retainers are, let’s look at some of the things that set them apart from removable retainers. The most obvious benefit to fixed retainers is that they stay in your mouth 24/7, which means you can’t lose them during lunch! It also means they’re continuously keeping your teeth in perfect position. Because they are so small, they tend to be much more comfortable than removable retainers. The best part is that nobody will see that you have one!
Cleaning And Maintenance
For all their advantages, fixed retainers can be tricky to keep clean. Food can get stuck in them and plaque can build up around them very easily and calcify into tartar, but they’re not so easy to clean out because the wire gets in the way of flossing. You can solve this problem with floss threaders or a water flosser. Make sure to get all those crevices!
You also might want to be careful when eating hard, crunchy foods, because they could break the wire or pop the cement loose from your teeth. If this happens, make sure to come see us!
Bring Us Your Questions!
If you have any questions about fixed retainers, don’t hesitate to ask us! Whether you’re in braces now and thinking ahead to retainers or you already have a fixed retainer, we can fill in any blanks you might have. In the meantime, keep up your brushing and flossing!
We love our patients!
EVEN IF YOU’VE NEVER had braces before, you’ve probably still heard a lot of things about what they’re like. Well, don’t believe everything you hear, because there is some bad information out there. That’s why today we’re going to bust eight of the most common braces myths.
1. Braces Rust
While braces are often made of metal, they do not rust. The metals in braces are stainless steel and titanium, so you don’t have to worry about them rusting in your mouth.
2. You Can’t Play An Instrument With Braces
It certainly takes some adjusting to play brass or woodwind instruments with braces, but it’s still entirely doable! Don’t feel like you have to choose between proper dental alignment and the instrument you love, because you can have both!
3. You Can’t Play Sports With Braces
If you play a sport, particularly a contact sport, you may have heard that you won’t be able to keep playing while you have braces, but this isn’t the case! As long as you wear a properly fitted mouthguard, your mouth will be protected while you play.
4. Braces Are Only For Teens
It is true that it is easier to get the best possible result with orthodontic treatment as a teenager, but there isn’t a time limit for getting braces. Adults of any age can get them too.
5. My General Dentist Can Give Me Braces
To become an orthodontist, a dentist must gain years of additional training after completing dental school. Your general dentist has not completed this training to understand the best ways to safely and effectively correct dental alignment problems.
6. Rubber Bands Aren’t Important
Failing to wear rubber bands as instructed by the orthodontist is one of the biggest causes for prolonged orthodontic treatment. Wear your rubber bands!
7. Double Rubber Bands Equal Double The Movement
While some patients forget their rubber bands or don’t want to bother with them because they are uncomfortable, other patients think they can reduce their treatment time by wearing even more rubber bands than recommended. Do not do this! Too many rubber bands will cause unnecessary discomfort and they won’t move your teeth the way they are meant to move. You will probably end up needing to wear your braces longer than planned as a result. Stick to the instructions.
8. Your Teeth Will Be Straight Forever After Braces
The periodontal ligaments that hold our teeth in place within our jaws tend to be stubborn. They remember where the teeth used to be before braces, and they want to go back. To keep your teeth in their aligned, post-braces condition, make sure you wear your retainers as recommended.
Trust The Experts, Not The Myths!
Whatever you’ve heard about orthodontic treatment, make sure you bring all your questions to us. We can tell you what braces are really like at your initial consultation, as well as what you can expect from your treatment, how long it will likely take, and what you will experience.
We can’t wait to help you get the smile of your dreams!
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