Posts for tag: Orthodontists
DO YOU GET a painful jolt through your teeth every time you try to enjoy a bite of ice cream or a sip of fresh coffee? If you do, then you’re familiar with the woes of tooth sensitivity, and you’re not alone. More than half of adults between the ages of 20 and 50 experience some degree of sensitivity in their teeth, and children can have sensitive teeth too.
So why does this happen? Well, to understand tooth sensitivity, it helps to know about the structure of a tooth and how the different layers function.
The Anatomy Of A Tooth
The crown of each tooth is covered in a thin layer of hard enamel. Beneath the enamel is dentin, a bony substance with thousands of microscopic tubules running through it. These tubules are how the nerves in the pulp at the core of each tooth can detect what’s going on at the surface.
Causes Of Sensitivity
Most often, tooth sensitivity occurs when the enamel wears away, which could be the result of teeth grinding, erosion from acid, or even improper brushing. Without enamel, the tubules in the dentin become exposed. Once that happens, eating or drinking anything hot or cold — sometimes even sweet or sour — will give the tooth a nasty shock.
Another major cause of sensitivity is root exposure. Teeth roots don’t have that layer of enamel; their main defense is the gums. Gum recession, which can also be caused by teeth grinding or improper brushing, leaves the roots vulnerable. Other causes of sensitivity include cavities and having a chipped or fractured tooth.
When you have braces, your teeth are at a higher risk of enamel erosion because of how difficult it can be to keep them clean with the brackets in the way. Make sure to maintain the crucial dental hygiene habits of twice-daily brushing and daily flossing so that your braces won’t leave you with sensitive teeth.
How You Can Protect Your Teeth
If you do have sensitive teeth, there are several ways to fight back. First, start using a soft-bristled brush if you aren’t already, because hard bristles may further damage the enamel and gum tissue. You can also switch to a toothpaste specifically formulated for sensitive teeth. Finally, avoid sugary or acidic foods and drinks, particularly soft drinks.
Let Your Dentist Know
Make sure to go to your dentist if you begin experiencing tooth sensitivity, even if your next regular appointment is months away. They can strengthen your teeth with a fluoride varnish, perform dental restoration work on areas with enamel loss, recommend a gum graft to cover exposed roots, or prescribe a desensitizing toothpaste. They’ll also make sure there aren’t any other problems with your teeth!
Let’s make sure that smile stays healthy and strong!
WE ALL KNOW THAT braces shift misaligned teeth into their proper position over time, but have you ever wondered exactly how that process works? Today, we’re going to walk you through it, because it’s actually really neat.
The Pieces Of The Braces Puzzle
The different parts of your braces all contribute to the orthodontic treatment process in specific ways. You might have additional appliances tailored to your specific treatment plan, but everyone with traditional braces has brackets and archwires, tied together with o-rings (also called bands or ligatures).
If you look carefully at braces brackets, you may notice that they aren’t all placed in a straight line. At first, the braces may even seem to emphasize the crookedness of the teeth. The way the orthodontist positions the brackets is what allows braces to shift teeth into their proper place. By the end of the treatment, the brackets — and, more importantly, the teeth — will be straight!
The archwires run through the brackets on each row of teeth. The orthodontist chooses the thickness and material of the archwire carefully based on your treatment plan. As they try to straighten back into their original shape, archwires provide steady, gradual pressure in the right direction so that your teeth will shift towards their proper position. The colorful o-rings are what keep the archwires in place in the brackets.
The most common addition to braces beyond the basics of brackets, archwires, and o-rings are elastics. If you have a malocclusion (bad bite) or misaligned jaw, elastics apply pressure to bring your jaws into proper alignment. In order for them to do their job, however, it is essential to exactly follow the orthodontist’s instructions. Wearing too many or too few rubber bands will interfere with your treatment and make it take longer.
The Biology Of Shifting Dental Alignment
So what’s actually happening on the cellular level during orthodontic treatment? Specialized cells called osteoclasts and osteoblasts respond to the pressure around the periodontal membrane (the pocket of gum tissue connecting the tooth’s root to the jaw bone). Osteoclasts break down the bone tissue so that the tooth can move, while osteoblasts gradually form new bone tissue behind it. So it’s not just your teeth moving into position; your jaw bones are reshaping themselves too!
What About Retainers?
Your teeth still remember where they used to be for a while after the braces come off, which is why it’s so important for you to remember to wear your retainers as directed. Retainers will help your teeth get used to their new position, and they’ll prevent unrelated shifting that happens to most people naturally over the course of time.
Want To Learn More About Your Orthodontic Treatment?
If you have any questions about how your braces are working to give you that properly aligned, more functional smile you’ve always wanted, just give us a call, or ask us about it at your next appointment. We want all of our patients to have the information they need to feel confident in their treatment!
We love seeing our patients’ smiles!
WE KNOW THAT RUBBER ELASTICS are sometimes the most difficult part of having braces. They are, however, extremely important for improving your smile! Elastics work together with the brackets and wire in your braces to straighten your teeth and correct your bite.
Elastics Are A Key Part Of Your Orthodontic Treatment
The purpose of rubber bands is usually to correct an overbite or an underbite. They are also used to help move teeth in a way that braces may not be able to do alone.
Each patient receives a customized set of rubber bands, specifically catered to their treatment needs. When worn properly, these tiny rubber bands apply the steady pressure needed to move teeth into the correct position.
Make Sure To Wear Your Elastics Correctly
Here are some tips to remember when wearing elastics:
- Carry around extra rubber bands and replace them as soon as one breaks.
- Switch your rubber bands out one to two times per day, as they lose their elasticity with time.
- Do not double up on elastics. This can put too much pressure on teeth and set back your orthodontic progress.
- Wear as directed. Only take them off to eat, brush, or when instructed by your orthodontist.
- Practice consistency. The more diligent you are in wearing your elastics correctly, the sooner you’ll have your beautiful new smile!
Elastics Speed Up Treatment Time
Each smile is unique and we take pride in providing individualized care for your specific orthodontic needs. For many patients, elastics are essential in obtaining their new smile. If you have any questions about elastics or which orthodontic treatment options are right for you, schedule an appointment or leave a comment below!
Thank you for choosing us as your orthodontic practice. We appreciate you!
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.