Besides Straight Teeth, What are the Benefits of Braces?

  • Besides Straight Teeth, What are the Benefits of Braces?

    October 26th, 2012

    Everyone wants a naturally aligned and beautiful smile, and it is no secret that orthodontic braces can help deliver one. However, there are greater benefits to wearing braces than just having straight teeth. You’ll gain many oral health benefits in addition to the cosmetic ones.

    Tooth Decay and Gum Disease

    Crooked or crowded teeth may overlap each other and create tight spaces in between. These can make it very difficult to brush and floss effectively, allowing bacteria and plaque to build up, and eventually leading to tooth decay and gum disease. With orthodontic treatment, your teeth will become properly aligned and spaced, which allows for more effective brushing.

    Difficulties with Speech

    Your teeth play an essential role in speech. When they are out of line or lean too far forward or backward, this can affect your speaking patterns, and possibly cause embarrassment and frustration. Braces can readjust the positioning of the teeth to allow for clearer, more professional speech.

    Bone Erosion

    Bone and gum tissues begin to erode when there are no teeth to support. This is also true for poorly aligned teeth that leave gaps and spaces or place too much pressure on the jawbone due to a bad bite. With braces, the bones and tissues are less likely to erode and can continue to support the teeth in their new alignment.

    Digestion

    Your teeth play an important role in digestion. Before food ever enters your stomach, it has been partially digested by the teeth. If teeth are severely out of line, however, they may not play their role in breaking down food as effectively as they should. With braces, your teeth will be straightened into optimal alignment for eating and chewing.

  • Rubber Band Horoscopes: What Your Color Says About You

    October 17th, 2012

    One exciting part about wearing braces is getting to choose the colorsof your rubber bands. Orthodontists place elastic bands, or ligatures,over each bracket to secure the archwire in place. These rubber bandsmay be individual or connected, depending on your mouth’s needs. Youhave the option of choosing the color of your elastics, which are changedabout once every month at every visit. Our offices keep a color wheelhandy to help you choose which ones suit you best!

    Children and teens often enjoy picking different colors each month toexpress their creativity and coordinate their braces with outfits. Decoratingyour mouth with your favorite colors is fun for kids and takes some ofthe stress out of wearing braces. Adults who wish for subtlety have coloroptions that blend in with the metal brackets and archwire. Common choicesfor adults include silver, clear, and gray tones.

    Common Color Combinations for Rubber Bands

    With individual ligatures for each bracket, you may choose differentcolor combinations for special events. You can have alternating colorsor place an entire rainbow over your teeth. Here are a few options toconsider:

    • School spirit colors
    • Favorite sports team colors
    • Patriotic colors
    • Holiday themes

    Some patients choose only one color to match their mood, personality,or favorite outfits. The palette of choices allows you to make bold statementswith your braces or go for subtler tones that blend in with the metalstructures. Keep in mind that bright colors make your teeth look whiter,while lighter shades, such as yellow and white, may cause your teethto appear less bright.

    What Your Rubber Band Color Says About You

    • Red tones indicate that you are ready for action and take charge ofyour life with aggressive, forward-thinking steps.
    • Blue tones are calm and relaxing. You are conservative and exhibitintegrity when dealing with situations.
    • Green tones represent growth and balance. You are level-headed andlook for opportunities to grow emotionally and spiritually.
    • Purple tones attract creative energies. You like to have fun and useyour imagination in every aspect of your life.
    • Orange tones indicate that you are optimistic and thrive in socialsituations where communication is open.
    • Pink is a romantic color that represents a caring personality. Youalso enjoy having fun with silly games and endless laughter.

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  • Permanent or Removable Retainers: Which is Right for You?

    October 11th, 2012

    When the time to remove your braces finally arrives, it is very exciting.Unfortunately, it can be somewhat confusing, too, because you are facedwith choosing between two kinds of retainers. Should you go with permanent,removable, or a combination of the two? It is always wise to follow yourdentist’s recommendations, but knowing more about the two types of retainerbeforehand can be helpful.

    Removable Retainers

    Removable retainers offer the advantage of easy use: you will generallyput a removable retainer in at night and take it out in the morning.Regardless of your retainer schedule, you’ll be able to enjoy some timewith no retainer. However, a removable retainer can easily be forgottenat times, and this means you won’t be taking full advantage of teethretention.

    Another potential advantage of a removable retainer is that you can takeit out and brush and floss your teeth with ease, which is more of a challengewith a permanent retainer. Although removable retainers can be very effective,they don’t tend to be as effective as permanent retainers, especiallyif they are not used as directed.

    Permanent Retainers

    Permanent retainers are the clear choice for patients who want to “getit and forget it.” Once your permanent retainer is placed in your mouth,you won’t need to worry about daily retainer schedules, since it is permanentlyaffixed to your teeth.

    Because teeth begin to shift naturally as we age, a permanent retainertypically offers better long-term results for teeth straightening thana removable one. You can’t forget to put it in — it’s already there!Temporary retainers get lost or are forgotten on trips, and often failto get used as often as they should be.

    One drawback to permanent retainers is flossing. Some patients find itmore difficult to floss with a permanent retainer, but we can show youeffective ways to floss fairly quickly with your permanent retainer.

    Some orthodontists may recommend a combination of the two; for example,a removable retainer for the top teeth and a permanent one for the lowerones because the lower teeth are smaller and tend to shift more.

    Ultimately, the most important thing to remember is that wearing yourretainer as directed is extremely important. As long as you follow ourorthodontist’s advice, you will get the best results from your retainer,regardless of its type.

  • October is National Orthodontic Health Month!

    October 05th, 2012

    Can you believe it’s already October? For those who don’t know, it’sNational Orthodontic Health Month. This month-long event is organizedby our pals at the American Association of Orthodontists, or AAO.

    Our team realizes that this is a great opportunity for us to raise awarenessabout the importance of oral hygiene. National Orthodontic Health Monthalso aims to recognize the dedicated work of orthodontists and otherdental professionals.

    The AAO recommends patients avoid the following Halloween treats, orrecipes with these ingredients:
    • Caramel
    • Nuts
    • Popcorn (including un-popped kernels)
    • Taffy
    • Jelly beans
    • Hard pretzels
    • Licorice
    • Bubblegum
    • Ice

    Trick-or-treating safety guidelines:

    • Young children should always be accompanied by an adult
    • Carry a flashlight
    • Wear a light-colored or reflective costume
    • Choose face paint over masks for young ghosts and goblins
    • Have an adult inspect all treats before the children dig in

    If you have any questions, please feel free to give us a call or askus on Facebook. Have a fun and safe Halloween!