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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!
WHEN YOU HAVE BRACES, it can sometimes be tricky to find good food to eat that won’t put all those crucial brackets and wires at risk. Finding the right food is even trickier if you’ve just had your braces tightened and things are still a little tender. That’s why we’re dedicating an entire blog post to giving you great braces-friendly breakfast ideas to satisfy your stomach while soothing your sore teeth!
1. Puréed Fruit
One of the biggest items on the banned foods list for braces is apples, because biting into such a hard fruit can easily pop brackets off. When your teeth are sore after an adjustment, you probably wouldn’t want to eat apples or other hard fruits even if you could, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy your daily servings of fruit—in purée form! Whether it’s a fruit smoothie with no sugar added or homemade applesauce, you can’t go wrong with fruit purée.
2. Greek Yogurt
Another great option when you don’t want to do much chewing is yogurt, whether it be Greek or regular, cool or frozen, plain or flavored. You can add some fruit, cinnamon, honey—whatever you love. The creamy smoothness isn’t the only thing that makes Greek yogurt perfect for your sore mouth; it also has a ton of health benefits such as protein to build strong muscles, probiotics to improve digestion and strengthen your immune system, and calcium for healthy teeth and bones!
3. Scrambled Or Soft-Boiled Eggs
If fruit and yogurt don’t sound very filling to you, then how about eggs? Cooked right, scrambled eggs are wonderfully soft and fluffy, so you can go easy on your teeth and braces while still eating a hearty meal. The same goes for soft-boiled, hard-boiled, and poached eggs. They’re quite soft to bite into and are delicious, healthy ways to start your day!
4. Oatmeal Or Overnight Oats
If you’re looking for other hearty breakfast options, oatmeal and overnight oats are perfect, and they’re so soft and creamy! Oatmeal itself is already such a creamy meal in instant form, but when you make it into overnight oats, you’re in a whole new ballpark. You can add whatever toppings you’d like, such as fruit, honey, cinnamon, or vanilla. You’ll get a meal full of flavor with no pressure on your teeth!
5. Milk Toast
If you’ve never heard of this one before, it might be time to try something new! Normally, toast is too crunchy to eat with sore teeth, but toast soaked in milk and flavored with cinnamon and sugar won’t give you any trouble. It’s easy, it’s fast, it’s delicious, and your teeth will love it.
Enjoy Your Breakfast!
We know braces can be tough to get used to and that’s why we’re always here to help! If you need more ideas for braces-friendly foods, just let us know, and call us or come in if you have any other questions about your braces!
We’re here to make sure you have a great braces experience!
IF YOU’RE OUT OF your teens, you might think you missed your chance for straight teeth, but that’s not true! Modern orthodontic treatment is for adults as well as teens. And even if you had braces before, your teeth might still shift over time, which is another reason to consider treatment as an adult.
How Teeth Shift As We Age
Our teeth naturally move and shift throughout our lives — including in ways we’d prefer they didn’t. In a process called mesial drift, our teeth slowly move towards the front of our mouths as we age. Other factors, including enamel loss, teeth grinding, and tooth loss, can move our teeth out of alignment too. The result is an increasingly crooked, overcrowded smile that is harder to keep healthy.
Daily Habits And Shifting Teeth
Some of the things we do every day without even thinking about it can contribute to our teeth shifting over time. Sleeping on your stomach and resting your head on your hands when sitting can both be culprits of dental shifting, but good posture and side or back sleeping will minimize this effect.
Good oral hygiene is also important for keeping your teeth where they should be, because it helps reduce enamel loss over time. So keep up with that daily flossing and twice daily brushing, and don’t forget about your regular dental appointments!
It’s Never Too Late For Orthodontic Treatment
Stopping bad habits and maintaining good ones is important, but it won’t reverse dental shifting that has already taken place, and that’s where adult orthodontic treatment comes in. While it’s true that our teeth can be guided into place more easily when we are younger, they will still respond to orthodontic appliances.
One advantage adult orthodontic patients have over teenagers is that they have the self-discipline to carefully follow the orthodontist’s instruction, which ensures better, timelier results!
Go Low-Profile With Modern Orthodontics
Maybe you already knew that adults could get braces, and what’s really stopping you is the idea of spending a year or so as a “brace-face.” Don’t be discouraged! There are several ways to get orthodontic treatment without everyone noticing your appliance, such as invisible aligners or ceramic braces. No one needs to know that you’re on your way to a straighter smile if you don’t want them to!
Schedule Your Consultation Today!
Everyone’s teeth are different, and so is their orthodontic treatment. We’re sure you still have many questions about what your treatment would involve, how long it would take, and, of course, the cost. We’d be happy to answer any questions you have about adult braces, so just give us a call or stop by!
Everyone deserves to have the smile of their dreams!