Posts for tag: orthodontics
Straightening your teeth with braces or other orthodontic gear is a positive step toward a healthier and more attractive smile. You'll likely be pleased with your smile when they're removed.
But you may also notice something peculiar once the braces are off—dull, white spots on your teeth. These spots, usually located under or around braces hardware, are where mouth acid has “demineralized” calcium and other minerals in the enamel. As beginning tooth decay, these spots are a sign your hygiene efforts weren't sufficient in cleaning your teeth of plaque.
In many cases, the spots will improve on their own after the braces are removed. We can also strengthen the enamel with fluoride pastes or gels, or inject tooth-colored resin within the spot to restore the enamel's translucence and improve appearance.
But the best approach is to try to prevent white spots from occurring at all. Here's what you need to do.
Keep up your oral hygiene. Even though more difficult with braces, you still need to brush and floss to protect your teeth from tooth decay. To make it easier, take advantage of special brushes designed to clean around orthodontic brackets and wires. A floss threader can also help you better access between teeth—or switch to a water flosser instead of floss thread.
Practice a “tooth-friendly” diet. A diet high in sugar and acid could short-circuit your best hygiene efforts. Certain beverages are big offenders: sodas, energy and sports drinks, and even “natural” juices. Instead, eat foods high in vitamins and minerals like fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins and low-fat dairy.
Get your teeth cleaned regularly. While you're seeing your orthodontist for scheduled adjustments, don't neglect regular cleanings with your family dentist. Professional cleanings at least every six months reduce the risk of dental disease. These regular visits are also a good time for your dentist to check your teeth for any signs of dental problems associated with your braces.
It's not easy to keep your teeth clean while wearing braces, but it can be done. With help from a few handy tools and continuing care from your dental professionals, you can avoid unsightly white spots.
If you would like more information on dental care while wearing braces, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “White Spots on Teeth During Orthodontic Treatment.”
While it's never too late to get orthodontic treatment, childhood is often the best time to correct bite and alignment issues as the jawbones haven't been fully set yet, making the teeth easier to shift. Here at All Smiles in Worth, IL, we are proud to serve the citizens of Palos Heights, Palos Park, Oak Lawn, and Chicago Ridge, IL, including any children that could benefit from orthodontic treatment. Read on to learn if your child should come into our office for an early orthodontic screening.
What Orthodontic Treatment From our Worth Office Can Do For Your Child
Like any dental or health issue, the earlier your child is treated for orthodontic problems, the better. After all, the American Association of Orthodontics (AAO) suggests screening children for orthodontic problems at either the age of six or seven, as this is generally when permanent teeth are starting to erupt. During this stage, the most common bite and alignment issues start to develop, some of which include:
- Open bite
While you may not be able to entirely prevent or control whether your child will need braces, there are a few things that dentists recommend you try to avoid to prevent changes in the jaw that might require correction later:
- Thumb sucking
- Pacifier use after the age of three
- Bottle feeding for too long
Birth defects like a cleft palate or trauma may also affect your child's jaw alignment, further necessitating orthodontic correction.
Concerned about Your Child's Oral Health? Give Us a Call
Childhood is the best time to instill a lifetime's worth of good oral hygiene and health habits. For more information about orthodontic treatment and screening, contact All Smiles today by calling (708) 448-0333 to schedule an appointment with one of our dentists. We are proud to serve the residents of Worth, Palos Heights, Palos Park, Oak Lawn, and Chicago Ridge, IL!
Sometimes it seems that appearances count for everything—especially in Hollywood. But just recently, Lonnie Chaviz, the 10-year-old actor who plays young Randall on the hit TV show This Is Us, delivered a powerful message about accepting differences in body image. And the whole issue was triggered by negative social media comments about his smile.
Lonnie has a noticeable diastema—that is, a gap between his two front teeth; this condition is commonly seen in children, but is less common in adults. There are plenty of celebrities who aren’t bothered by the excess space between their front teeth, such as Michael Strahan, Lauren Hutton and Vanessa Paradis. However, there are also many people who choose to close the gap for cosmetic or functional reasons.
Unfortunately, Lonnie had been on the receiving end of unkind comments about the appearance of his smile. But instead of getting angry, the young actor posted a thoughtful reply via Instagram video, in which he said: “I could get my gap fixed. Braces can fix this, but like, can you fix your heart, though?”
Lonnie is raising an important point: Making fun of how someone looks shows a terrible lack of compassion. Besides, each person’s smile is uniquely their own, and getting it “fixed” is a matter of personal choice. It’s true that in most circumstances, if the gap between the front teeth doesn’t shrink as you age and you decide you want to close it, orthodontic appliances like braces can do the job. Sometimes, a too-big gap can make it more difficult to eat and to pronounce some words. In other situations, it’s simply a question of aesthetics—some like it; others would prefer to live without it.
There’s a flip side to this issue as well. When teeth need to be replaced, many people opt to have their smile restored just the way it was, rather than in some “ideal” manner. That could mean that their dentures are specially fabricated with a space between the front teeth, or the crowns of their dental implants are spaced farther apart than they normally would be. For these folks, the “imperfection” is so much a part of their unique identity that changing it just seems wrong.
So if you’re satisfied with the way your smile looks, all you need to do is keep up with daily brushing and flossing, and come in for regular checkups and cleanings to keep it healthy and bright. If you’re unsatisfied, ask us how we could help make it better. And if you need tooth replacement, be sure to talk to us about all of your options—teeth that are regular and “Hollywood white;” teeth that are natural-looking, with minor variations in color and spacing; and teeth that look just like the smile you’ve always had.
Because when it comes to your smile, we couldn’t agree more with what Lonnie Chaviz said at the end of his video: “Be who you want to be. Do what you want to do. Do you. Be you. Believe in yourself.”
If you have questions about cosmetic dentistry, please contact our office or schedule a consultation. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Beautiful Smiles by Design” and “The Magic of Orthodontics.”
Could your smile be helped with orthodontics? Braces offer an effective way to straighten and realign your teeth, whether you're a child or an adult. The dentists at All Smiles in Worth, IL, improve their patient's smiles with orthodontic services designed to enhance the function and appearance of the teeth.
Are braces a good idea for me?
Orthodontic treatment may be an excellent option if you:
- Are Concerned About Your Appearance: Crooked or overlapping teeth can lead to self-esteem issues. It's difficult to feel confident if you don't feel comfortable smiling or opening your mouth in public. Braces re-position unruly teeth, completely transforming your smile.
- Have a Bite Problem: Orthodontics are frequently used to correct underbites, overbites, crossbites and open bites. In addition to affecting the appearance of your smile, bite problems may also lead to several unpleasant problems. Increased stress is placed on your jaw when your upper and lower teeth don't fit together properly. If the problem isn't corrected with braces, you may develop temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ), a condition that can cause jaw pain and stiffness, headaches, earaches and difficulty opening and closing your mouth. Enamel erosion, receding gums and cuts to your cheeks and gums may also occur if you have a bite problem.
- Suffer From Spacing Issues: Too much or too little space between teeth can affect your appearance and your bite. If you have gaps between your teeth, your Worth dentist can devise a treatment plan that will close the spaces. Lack of space can result in crowding and overlapping teeth. Fortunately, the problem can be easily corrected with orthodontics.
- Notice That Your Teeth Have Shifted: It's not unusual for teeth to change position as you grow older, even if you previously had a perfect smile. Whether you choose ceramic or metal braces or Invisalign, orthodontic treatment offers a simple way to restore the smile you remember.
- Experience Trouble Speaking or Chewing: Your teeth help you pronounce words clearly. When they're misaligned, people may have trouble understanding you. Eating may also be more difficult when you have an orthodontic problem. Depending on the extent of your problem, you may have difficulty tearing or chewing foods. Braces will have a positive effect on your speech and your ability to eat.
Enhance your smile with orthodontics. Call dentists at All Smiles in Worth, IL, at (708) 448-0333 to schedule an appointment.
Wearing braces takes time, but if all goes well the changes to your smile will be well worth it. In the meantime, though, you’ll have to contend with one particular difficulty—keeping your teeth clean of disease-causing, bacterial plaque.
Don’t worry, though—while keeping dental disease at bay with braces can be challenging, it is doable. Here are 4 tips for minimizing your chances of tooth decay or periodontal (gum) disease during orthodontic treatment.
Eat less sugar. Like any living organism, bacteria must eat—and they’re especially amenable to sugar. The more they have access to this favorite food source, the more they multiply—and the greater your risk of tooth decay or gum disease. Eating fewer sugary foods and snacks and more dental-friendly ones helps restrict bacteria populations in your mouth.
Brush thoroughly. Brushing with braces can be difficult, especially in areas blocked by orthodontic hardware. You need to be sure you brush all tooth and gum surfaces around your braces, including above and below the wire running through the brackets. A soft multi-tufted microline bristle brush is a good choice for getting into these hard to reach places. Brushing around braces takes more time, but it’s essential for effective plaque removal.
Use flossing tools. Flossing is important for removing plaque from between teeth—but, unfortunately, it might be even more difficult to perform with braces than brushing. If using string floss proves too daunting consider using a floss threader or a similar device that might be easier to maneuver. You can also use a water irrigator, a hand-held device that sprays water under pressure to loosen and flush away between-teeth plaque.
Keep up regular dental visits. While you’re seeing your orthodontist regularly for adjustments, you should also see your general dentist at least every six months or more. Besides dental cleaning, your dentist also monitors for signs of disease and can prescribe preventive measures like antibacterial mouth rinses. Of course, if you see abnormalities, like white spots on your teeth or red, puffy or bleeding gums, contact your dentist as soon as possible. The sooner a problem can be addressed the less impact it may have on your orthodontic treatment and overall oral health.
If you would like more information on caring for teeth and gums while wearing braces, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Caring for Teeth During Orthodontic Treatment.”