Tag Archives: Dental Implants

Braces Are Not Only To Straighten Teeth

While many people think braces are only for straightening teeth, they actually help deal with many other problems.

Crowded Teeth: Sometimes your mouth is not big enough to hold all your teeth in the right place. Crowded teeth may become impacted and affect your bite. Crowding can be corrected by removal of teeth as well as braces.

Overbite: Upper teeth extend too far out over the lower teeth. The gap between the upper and lower teeth may lead you to injure your gums or lips. It can also cause your lips to be pushed forward meaning you are not able to close your lips completely over your teeth.

Underbite: Your lower teeth extend in front of your upper teeth. It is usually caused by having a lower jaw longer than the upper jaw.

Crossbite: Some of your upper teeth bite down inside the lower teeth but others bite down correctly. If you suffer from this, you may have problems chewing.

Open Bite: Your lower and upper incisor teeth do not touch when you bite down. This puts a lot of pressure on the back teeth when chewing and biting. If you suffer from this, you might rub your teeth together without intending to.

Space Problems: If you have teeth that are smaller than normal, or you have lost important teeth, you may have spacing problems. The teeth may spread out and, if the spaces become too large, you might have problems biting and chewing. However, the main issue with space problems is often cosmetic.

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Definitions of Orthodontic Terms

Definitions of Orthodontic TermsDefinitions of Orthodontic Terms
Here are definitions of some of the most common orthodontic terms.
Impressions: A mold of your teeth which is used to make a model of them

Panoramic x-ray: An x-ray made by a machine that rotates around your head to give a full picture of your teeth and jaws

Closed bite: Where the upper teeth cover the lower teeth on biting down

Crossbite: Where some upper teeth are inside the lower teeth on biting down

Crowding: Too many teeth in too small a space

Fixed Appliance: Cemented or bonded to the teeth

Lingual Appliances: Fixed to the inside of the teeth

Malocclusion: Poor positioning of your teeth

Class I: Bite is fine as top teeth line up with bottom teeth but teeth are crooked or crowded

Class II: Upper teeth stick out past lower teeth (also called an “overbite”)

Class III: Lower teeth stick out past upper teeth (also called an “underbite”)

Occlusion: The alignment and spacing of upper and lower teeth on biting down

Open Bite: Teeth do not close or come together in the front of your mouth

Proper Occlusion: All teeth are straight and top teeth line up with bottom teeth

Wax Bite: Bitemark left on wax to measure how well teeth are aligned

Definitions of Parts of Your Braces

Here are definitions of some of the key terms used for the different elements of braces.Here are definitions of some of the key terms used for the different elements of braces.
Appliance: Something attached to teeth to move them or change the shape of the jaw

Arch Wire: Metal wire which is attached to brackets to move teethBand: Metal ring placed on teeth to hold on parts of braces

Bracket: Device glued on to teeth to fasten the arch wire

Orthodontic Chain: Used to hold archwires into brackets and to move teeth

Ligating Module: Small plastic donut-shaped device to hold the arch wires in the bracketsLingual Appliances: Orthodontic devices fixed to inside of teeth

Mouthguard: Protects your mouth from injury during sports and other activities to limit injuries

Retainer: Device usually worn for some time after braces removed to hold teeth in position

Wax: Helps stop braces from irritating your lips especially in early stages

Common Questions About Braces

Here are the answers to some common questions about what it like to have braces

What is it like having braces?,
When you have braces, you will probably find your mouth sore for a few days. It can also be uncomfortable when the braces are tightened. However, most of the time you probably won’t even notice them.

Do braces hurt?
It can depend on which type you choose but usually modern braces will not hurt except for the first few days or when they are tightened.

While the manufacturers are always looking for ways to make them more comfortable, a little discomfort at the beginning is still common. You will be able to take some painkillers if necessary. The pain may be greater if you start orthodontic treatment when you are an adult.

Will it be embarrassing to wear braces?
Over 70% of teenagers wear braces and therefore most people have some experience of them so there is no need to feel embarrassed. If you start treatment when you are an adult, the proportion of people wearing braces is lower but you will still find most people supportive.

Will braces cause sores in my mouth?
Sometimes you might experience sores on your lips in the first few days. These can easily be rinsed in water or special solution and will usually heal within a week or so. You can also put wax on the braces to prevent the braces from rubbing and irritating the sore.

How long does orthodontic treatment take?
It varies a lot depending on exactly what changes need to happen in your mouth. When started young it may last a few months. From the age of 12, it can take a year or two and perhaps more for adults. However it depends very much on your personal situation and your orthodontists will be able to advise you.

Common Questions About Braces

Here are the answers to some common questions about what it like to have braces

What is it like having braces?,
When you have braces, you will probably find your mouth sore for a few days. It can also be uncomfortable when the braces are tightened. However, most of the time you probably won’t even notice them.

Do braces hurt?
It can depend on which type you choose but usually modern braces will not hurt except for the first few days or when they are tightened.

While the manufacturers are always looking for ways to make them more comfortable, a little discomfort at the beginning is still common. You will be able to take some painkillers if necessary. The pain may be greater if you start orthodontic treatment when you are an adult.

Will it be embarrassing to wear braces?
Over 70% of teenagers wear braces and therefore most people have some experience of them so there is no need to feel embarrassed. If you start treatment when you are an adult, the proportion of people wearing braces is lower but you will still find most people supportive.

Will braces cause sores in my mouth?
Sometimes you might experience sores on your lips in the first few days. These can easily be rinsed in water or special solution and will usually heal within a week or so. You can also put wax on the braces to prevent the braces from rubbing and irritating the sore.

How long does orthodontic treatment take?
It varies a lot depending on exactly what changes need to happen in your mouth. When started young it may last a few months. From the age of 12, it can take a year or two and perhaps more for adults. However it depends very much on your personal situation and your orthodontists will be able to advise you.

What are Braces and How do They Work?

Braces are devices which are used to straighten teeth, correct bite problems and fix irregular teeth.

They are made of three basic parts:
– Brackets
– Bonding (or band)
– Arch wire

The bonding is used to fix the brackets to the teeth.

The arch wire goes through the brackets and is held in place with small rubber bands.

The brackets and arch wire work together to move the teeth into new positions to straighten the teeth.

The arch wire works by putting pressure on the brackets to help move the teeth into the desired new position.

When pressure is applied to your teeth like this, they loosen slightly from the gums. Bone grows in to support the tooth in its new position but this takes time so the process needs to be done slowly.

That’s why you may have to wear braces for about two years and adjustments are only made every few weeks.

The arch wires work because they want to keep their original shape and will exert a great deal of pressure to do this. It is the combination of this aim of the arch wire and the person’s body heat that puts pressure on the teeth.

Braces are not always enough on their own to complete the task so the orthodontist may also use rubber bands or other devices to help pull the teeth in the correct direction.

After you have finished with the braces, you may need to wear a Retainer for a few months to hold the teeth in position until the bone has fully grown into place.

Overcoming Problems with Braces

Most people get used to braces quickly and wear them for as long as they need to with no problems.

However, occasional problems can arise and taking the right steps enables you to resolve them quickly.

Here are some examples of problems that may arise.

Allergic Reaction: Some people can have an allergic reaction to the elastic or the metal used in braces. Alternative materials can normally be used so it is important to let your orthodontist know of any allergies.

Mouth Sores: There may be irritation due to some parts of the braces. This is more commons in the early stages but there are many products available such as oral rinses and dental wax that help heal sores quickly.

Build Up of Plaque: It is important to keep up your regular oral care routine of brushing and flossing to prevent food building up around braces as this can lead to build up of plaque which can cause tooth decay and bad breath.

Damaged Braces: Braces can be damaged if not cared for properly. Certain hard or sticky foods can cause damage as can mouth injuries when playing sports. If damage occurs frequently, it can mean the treatment takes longer.

Arch Wire Movement: If the arch wire becomes displaced, it can cause irritation and mouth ulcers. Dental wax helps but it is usually best to have the damage fixed by an orthodontist.

Discomfort: Pain and discomfort may occur after first installation and also after any adjustments but these usually pass quickly.

Adult Braces and Self esteem

A lot of effort is made to help teenagers feel better about having braces.

However as around 70% of teenagers need braces, it’s a very common experience.

Yet adults can also need braces and it is less common amongst their peers so adults often have more issues about what other people think of them when they go to work and to social events with braces.

Feedback suggests many men feel a bit geeky with braces while women often feel unattractive.

Of course, some adults don’t care what other people think but many do.

The fact is the braces may seem like a big deal for you, especially at first because they are in your mouth. However, most other people barely notice or may just mention it in passing.

Many adults wore braces as kids or have kids who are in braces.

They are likely to be sympathetic and may even admire you for taking action to improve your appearance.

Several high profile actors and musicians have also worn braces as adults and this makes it much easier.

Of course, you may need to be prepared to answer questions – especially when some people meet you for the first time. So you may need a plan for dealing with certain events such as important business meetings.

What Adult Orthodontic Treatment Feels Like

The early stages of orthodontic treatment can be a little harder for adult patients than for teenagers.

Teenagers have the benefit of getting treatment while they are still growing and their mouth is more flexible.

In some cases, adults will need to have teeth removed or will require surgery to expand their jaw to make room for moving the teeth. This may not be fun but anaesthetics and painkillers make this a short-term concern compared to the long-term benefits.

When the orthodontist actually puts in your braces, your mouth may be tender for a few days though this should clear up quickly.

Beyond that, the only time you are likely to notice your braces is when you have them tightened.

Some adults say that they feel like their teeth have come loose at the beginning.

The reason is that when you are older your teeth are more firmly anchored into your jaw.

The orthodontist needs to loosen the little filaments that anchor your teeth before the teeth will move.

This can mean your teeth feel loose. However, the feeling is no reason for concern. They will tighten again after the orthodontic treatment.

Beyond that, the basics of orthodontic treatment are the same at any age. Your mouth will feel tender for a few days after you first get the braces and you will experience some discomfort when your braces are tightened.

Common Questions About Orthodontics

How does orthodontics work?
The job of an orthodontist is to help fix crooked teeth and jaw problems so that your teeth are in the right place in your mouth.

This may require the orthodontist to take action that helps stretch your jaw or move your teeth so that everything fits properly.

One action they can take is using tools such as braces to push on your teeth so they move into the right place.

If your top jaw is too small, they may install an expander to make it grow wider. Your jaw can be stretched or widened or moved to change its shape.

There are various other steps they can take to move your teeth or expand your jaw so that your teeth all fit comfortably and correctly in your mouth.

At what age should I start orthodontic treatment?
You can get orthodontic treatment at any age from toddlers to old age. The best and least painful time for orthodontic treatment is usually when you are between about 8 to 14.

Between 8 and 9 is usually when the jaw is growing fastest and so is the best time to reshape your mouth.

Permanent teeth usually come in between age 12 or 14 and that is the best time to start full orthodontic treatment.

What happens if I wait until I am older for orthodontic treatment?
You can get braces at any age but as you get older the treatment takes longer and may hurt a bit more. Nevertheless the benefits are still significant.