Blog

Impacted Teeth and Orthodontic Treatment

 

NO TWO SMILES ARE the same, and the teeth that make them don’t always come in at the same rates. Some people get their adult teeth ahead of schedule, others get them late, and a few are left wondering if a tooth got lost on its way out. These are the impacted teeth. Most of the time, wisdom teeth are the ones that end up impacted, but not always.

Impacted Wisdom Teeth

If there isn’t enough room for an adult tooth to come in, it might remain partially or fully beneath the gums, or even headed in the wrong direction entirely. This happens to a lot of wisdom teeth, and that can mean trouble for the roots of the neighboring molars if they aren’t extracted in time. Impacted wisdom teeth don’t necessarily impact orthodontic treatment.

Other Impacted Teeth

After the wisdom teeth, the most likely teeth to be impacted are the upper canines. This issue can even be genetic. In most cases, only one of the canines will be impacted, but sometimes they both are. Why the upper canines in particular? These are the teeth affected because they come in last after the incisors and premolars that neighbor them, and there isn’t always enough room left for them.

Tooth Impaction Complications

When teeth can’t erupt like they’re supposed to, there can be complications like infections, gum disease, nerve damage, and cavities. Symptoms include bad breath or a persistent bad taste, tenderness and pain around the jaw, jaw and headaches, and swollen gums or lymph nodes. They also leave visible gaps between teeth where the impacted tooth should be.

These symptoms don’t affect everyone with an impacted tooth. If it’s the upper canine, the baby tooth might not ever become loose because the adult tooth isn’t in the right place to push on it. The canine teeth form the “corners” of the smile, in a sense, so this can have a big affect on appearance.

Pulling Impacted Teeth Into Place

Tooth impaction can’t really be prevented, but impacted wisdom teeth can be extracted and impacted canines can often be moved into place with a combination of oral surgery and orthodontic treatment. Dental X-rays will identify the impacted tooth, and then the orthodontist will make a plan for how to go forward.

Don’t Leave a Gap in That Smile!

If you have an impacted canine tooth and haven’t begun orthodontic treatment, we recommend scheduling a consultation. If correction is recommended rather than extraction, people with an impacted canine can expect their treatment to take a little longer than it would otherwise, but they’ll have a complete, straight smile in the end!

Our goal is getting our patients the straight, healthy smiles of their dreams!

 

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Get the Most out of Your Toothbrush

Tooth Clipart Dentist , Png Download - Tooth And Toothbrush ...

AN IMPORTANT PART of keeping your teeth and gums healthy is your toothbrush. That might seem so obvious that it’s not worth saying, but you’d be surprised how many basic mistakes people make when it comes to their toothbrushes. We want to make sure our patients will get the most out of their best teeth-cleaning tools!

1. Replace Your Toothbrush Regularly

Look at your toothbrush. Are the bristles frayed or bent? Are some missing? You might be well overdue for a replacement toothbrush. The American Dental Association recommends that we replace our toothbrushes at least three times a year, because old, worn-out bristles can’t do a very effective job of cleaning teeth.

2. Take Your Time When You Brush

As often as dentists everywhere remind patients to brush for two full minutes, the average is only about 45 seconds. This simply isn’t long enough to get the full cleaning effect. The repeated motions are what clear plaque and food particles away, and we shouldn’t be skimping on that. We encourage our patients to help move that average closer to the recommended two minutes! Playing a song or setting a timer are great ways to keep track of the time.

3. Brush Gently (and Use a Gentle Brush)

When we’re cleaning grout out of the tiles in the kitchen, it often requires a little elbow grease. We understand how some people might get the idea that it’s the same with teeth and gums, but that’s simply not true. Brushing hard or using a firm-bristled brush can actually result in gum recession over time. We recommend soft bristles and a gentle hand. Brushing harder does not mean brushing better!

4. Wait 30 Minutes After Eating Before Brushing

One of the most common mistakes people make with brushing is to do so immediately after a meal. This isn’t a great idea, because the acids in our food and drink temporarily weaken our tooth enamel. If we brush then, we can accidentally cause enamel erosion. That’s why waiting at least half an hour to brush is a good idea; it gives our saliva enough time to neutralize the acid and begin the remineralization process.

5. Store Your Toothbrush Properly

If your toothbrush carries a funky smell, it could be because you aren’t giving it a chance to fully dry between uses. To keep a toothbrush fresh and devoid of moisture-loving bacteria, we should always store our toothbrushes upright and give them enough air flow to dry out. No more toothbrush covers! (And also keep them as far from the toilet as possible.)

6. How’s Your Brushing Technique?

Even brushing twice a day for the full two minutes with a soft-bristled brush that you store correctly won’t be able to fully offset poor brushing technique. Keep in mind that the goal is to get plaque and food particles out of the gum-line. Hold the brush at a 45° angle to your gums and gently sweep it in circular motions. Get each area of the mouth at least fifteen times, both on the outside and the tongue side, as well as the chewing surfaces.

Bring Us All Your Toothbrush Questions!

If you’d like any more tips about how to get the most out of your toothbrush, whether you’re looking for technique pointers or recommendations on the best toothbrush for you, we’re happy to help. And don’t forget to floss each day too!

 

Make sure you’re also keeping up with your regular cleaning appointments!

 

 

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

How Braces Move Teeth

 

FORMER AND CURRENT braces-wearers know firsthand how much of an effect a few pieces of metal can have on a smile with the help of a skilled orthodontist. It’s pretty incredible, but how does this process actually work? What do the different parts of the appliance do, and how do the tissues of the mouth respond?

The Anatomy of Braces

Let’s quickly go through a list of the basic parts of a typical orthodontic appliance: the arch-wires, the brackets, and the bands (sometimes called o-rings or ligatures). Depending on what the patient needs, they may have additional pieces to help with their treatment plan. A common addition is rubber bands, which help with correcting a bad bite. If your treatment includes rubber bands, make sure to follow the orthodontist’s instructions exactly! Don’t forget them or double them up, because either will result in your treatment taking longer!

The Brackets

Brackets are the metal pieces that are cemented onto each tooth. When the orthodontist places the brackets, the position has to be just right so that the pressure applied by the braces will be in the right direction and move the teeth where they’re supposed to be. That’s why a new orthodontic patient might look like their braces have a lot of zig-zags in their shape!

The Arch-wires

Once the brackets are in place, the arch-wires can go in. These are the strips of flexible metal that will attach to the brackets and be held in place by the colorful bands. The thickness of the arch-wire and the material it’s made of are important considerations in a patient’s treatment. Over time, arch-wires provide steady, gradual pressure to guide teeth into their correct positions.

The Biology of Moving Teeth

Now we know what the different parts of braces are for, but none of that would matter if the human body wasn’t as amazing as it is. Two critical types of bone cells are involved in reshaping a smile: osteoclasts and osteoblasts. When steady pressure is applied around a tooth, osteoclasts break down the bone tissue in the way to make room for the tooth to move. On the other side, osteoblasts build new bone tissue to keep the tooth’s root snugly encased within the jaw.

Just think about that. Our jaws are capable of literally reshaping themselves in response to the pressure from braces! It’s important to note that it takes more time for the new bone tissue to grow behind the teeth than it does for it to be broken down. That’s one reason why it’s so important to wear retainers after the braces come off. The new bone tissue needs time to finish growing so the teeth don’t shift back to a crooked position!

Bring Us Your Braces Questions!

Braces are our passion, and we’re happy to answer any questions you have about how they do what they do. So whether you’re thinking of getting them or you’re a current patient who wants to learn more, just give us a call!

 

No one has better smiles than our patients!

 

 

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

The Advantages of Straight Teeth

CONTRARY TO WHAT some people might think, having straight teeth isn’t just about looking good — not that there aren’t aesthetic benefits too. Studies show that a person with straight teeth is seen as being happier, wealthier, and more attractive than a person with crooked teeth, and knowing your smile looks good can be a real confidence boost. But there are also real health benefits to having properly aligned teeth.

Straight Teeth Are Easier to Clean

Teeth that are crowded and overlap each other tend to be harder to brush and floss effectively, which makes them more vulnerable to tooth decay. When teeth are straight, there’s plenty of space to floss between them and brush all the surfaces, so it’s easier to keep plaque under control.

Our Teeth Help Us Speak Clearly

Having poorly aligned teeth or a malocclusion such as an under-bite or severe overbite can actually make it harder to enunciate words properly, contributing to speech impediments like lisps. It might take some time to get used to speaking with braces or a retainer, but when the orthodontic treatment is over, it will be easier than ever to speak clearly!

Proper Chewing Is Crucial to Good Digestion

Chewing isn’t just about breaking our food into small enough pieces to swallow, it’s actually the first step in the chemical digestion process. While our teeth grind up the food, our saliva begins to break it down. Poorly aligned teeth are less able to chew food as much as it should be chewed, placing a greater burden on the rest of the digestive system. This can lead to a variety of gastrointestinal issues, including making it harder to lose weight.

Breathe Easier with Straight Teeth

Even breathing can be influenced by the way teeth fit together. If you can’t comfortably close your jaws when resting, you’re more likely to end up breathing through your mouth. This might not seem like a big deal, but mouth breathing has numerous negative health effects. Among them are chronic bad breath and dry mouth (which in turn increases the risk of gum disease and tooth decay).

Crooked Teeth Can Be a Pain in the Jaw

When there’s a problem with the bite, the chances of jaw problems like temporomandibular joint syndrome (TMJ or TMS) go way up. Symptoms include things like a clicking jaw joint when doing normal mouth movements, jaw pain, and frequent headaches.

Want Straight Teeth? We Can Help!

If you’ve avoided getting braces because you’re happy with the way your smile works, you could still benefit from orthodontic treatment in numerous ways that are arguably more substantial from a health perspective. Straight teeth are easier to clean, make it easier to chew, speak, and breathe correctly, and are better for good digestion and jaw health. Want to learn more about the benefits of orthodontic treatment? Just give us a call!

We think everyone deserves the benefits of having a properly aligned smile!

 

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.