Every Day Living With Braces

The goal of this article is to go through a few of the questions people have with regards to what everyday life is like when you have braces

Q) What’s an Adjustment and What Does the Process involve?

Basically when you go see your orthodontist every month or so, you re going in to get your little elastic ligatures changed and often times the arch wire is also replaced.

Q) How Come I’m Drooling a lot more Now I’ve Got Braces?

The fact that your mouth is now producing a whole lot more saliva is something that happens to almost everyone that gets braces. It’s thought that the mouth gets a little confused mistaking the brackets that are on your teeth for food and therefore it produces more saliva to help you digest this “food”!

Q) I’ve Noticed Gaps Between My Teeth That Weren’t There Before… Should I Be Concerned?

Naturally the process of your orthodontic treatment involves slowly moving your teeth into the correct alignment, which will often mean that during the process you may get some temporary gaps as your bite and tooth alignment is changing.

You need not be worried because by the time your treatment is finished your teeth and bite will be in perfect order and you’ll walk away extremely happy with the results. If however you are concerned then be sure to bring it up next time you see your orthodontist.

brushing with bracesQ) Am I Going To Have to Brush My Teeth After Every Meal When I Have Braces?

Well, it all depends on what you happen to be eating. Often, after consuming food you will find that food gets stuck between the brackets on your teeth.

This not only looks awful but it will result in you having to deal with issues like tooth decay and bad breath if you don’t treat it. You will also feel strange because you will be able to feel the food stuck on your teeth.

Believe me, it is very easy to get food stuck in between your braces!

Sometimes you’re not going to be able to brush your teeth, but in general you will want to try and brush them as often as you possibly can!

On top of brushing regularly, you will also want to make a habit of flossing your teeth every single night before you go to bed.

You might think your teeth are clean after brushing them but you’ll be surprised at how much food gets stuck between your teeth.

Q) My Teeth Are Really Hurting Me… Is There Anything I Can Do To Get Rid of the Pain?

You should expect to be in quite a bit of pain during the first few weeks of getting your braces put on. You will have this constant feeling of pain in your mouth and teeth specifically. Most orthodontists will recommend that you take some ibuprofen to help ease the pain you feel when it gets too much to bear.

food and bracesQ) What Am I Allowed To Eat? Should I Really Listen To My Orthodontist and Avoid Foods They Mention to Never Eat?

The truth is that your braces are very delicate and can easily break if too much pressure is applied to them. It is for this reason that you will want to stick mostly to soft foods. Try your best to eat tiny mouthfuls and chew your food very slowly.

You’ll also want to avoid eating foods that are very stringy such as melted cheese. These kinds of foods will just get stuck in your braces and can take forever to get out!

You will also want to avoid biting into your sandwiches. Take your time and use a knife and fork to cut your sandwiches and burgers into small pieces that you can eat with ease. Personally I encourage all my patients to do this for the entire length of their treatment.

This stage of only eating soft foods is a stage that is only going to last a few short weeks after which your mouth and gums will have gotten used to your braces.

Pretty much every orthodontist out there recommends that you avoid certain foods during the course of your treatment. These include sticky/chewy foods such as Haribo’s and extremely tough foods such as nuts.

Again your braces are extremely delicate and eating chewy or tough foods will increase the chances that you end up breaking them which will only prolong your treatment.

Q) Is It Possible For My Brackets To Come Off?

Yes, simply because your brackets are only stuck to your teeth with a bit of glue. If this glue wears off then the bracket will just come off.

If you happen to find that one of your brackets has fallen off then you must call your orthodontist immediately to get a new one fixed on. Don’t worry because this happens to a lot of people.

If you find yourself in the situation where your brackets keep coming off then you need to sit down with your orthodontist and talk to them properly. Gluing the brackets onto your teeth can sometimes be a little tough depending on where your teeth are positioned and it can mean having to try several times before getting it perfectly right.

headgear braceQ) Am I Going To Be Able To Wear My Headgear Only At Night?

The reality is that no person out there wants to wear headgear during the day, but you need to appreciate that it is a very, very important part of your treatment.

The truth is that if you don’t wear your headgear for the recommended hours then you simply won’t get the desired end result as fast as is possible. This will essentially mean that you are going to have to wear the headgear for a lot longer.

Trust me, just listen to your orthodontist and wear it for the recommended number of hours to get the best results possible.

Q) What Purpose Do the Elastics Serve?

The basic purpose of the elastics is to help get your teeth and bite aligned in the proper way. This is why they are so important to wear in the recommended manner.

You really need to make sure that you are wearing the elastics for at least the recommended number of hours that your orthodontist tells you to wear them. This will ensure that your treatment goes according to plan.

Q) What Should I Do About the Canker Sores That Have Developed as a Result of My Braces?

The number one cause of canker sores when you have braces are the brackets that are in your mouth. These rub up against the insides of your mouth which cause the sores to develop. All you need to do is apply a bit of dental wax to the bracket that is causing the sore which will prevent any further friction from occurring. To combat the sores that have developed I’d recommend that you use a bit of medication which you can get from any good pharmacist.

Q) Will Ceramic Braces Stain My Teeth?

The stains are not caused by the brackets but rather they are caused by the little elastic ligatures that are used to hold the arch wire in place.

The good news is that the stains are temporary because your orthodontist will replace them at every adjustment appointment you go to.

Q) Will I Be Able To Smoke My Cigarettes or Cigars With Braces On?

Yes, you are going to be able to smoke but you need to know that this will likely cause staining which won’t look good at all.

Q) Will a Pregnant Woman Be Able to Wear Braces?

Yes, these days you are going to find that a lot of pregnant women will choose to go ahead with orthodontic treatment. There should be no issues whatsoever as long as you maintain good dental health throughout the period of treatment.

Q) Will You Be Able to Snorkel or Scuba Dive When You Have Braces?

Absolutely, but it is recommended that you have your braces on for at least a couple of months before scuba diving or snorkeling so that you’re used to having braces in your mouth.

Q) Will You Be Able to Play Wind Instruments While Wearing Braces?

Of course you can! There are many companies out there that make special lip protectors and mouth guards so that you can go ahead and play your wind instrument as normal.

The best thing to do is ask your orthodontist for one that they would recommend. Often times your orthodontist will be able to make you a custom lip guard.

Q) What’s The Best Way To Keep My Braces Clean While Eating Out or During Travel

The people who eat out or travel regularly usually carry a personal dental kit with them. This kit contains everything they need such as a dental pick, floss and threader, a toothbrush and of course some toothpaste.

This way no matter where they happen to be they can be sure that they will be able to clean their braces wherever they are.

There you have it; answers to some really common questions on what every day life is like with braces on!

What is Orthodontics All About?

Teeth with bracesOrthodontics is essentially at its core an extension of dentistry which involves correcting an individuals teeth and jaws so that all teeth are positioned in the correct way.

Having teeth that are crooked and not properly aligned together, are not only a lot harder to clean but are at a much higher risk of getting tooth decay and other problems such as periodontal disease. In fact in some extreme circumstances where the individual has got extremely crooked teeth, it can cause a lot of excess stress on the chewing muscles which can result in the individual suffering from chronic headaches, perhaps even back, neck, and shoulder pains.

In terms of an aesthetic viewpoint, an otherwise beautiful person’s appearance can be overlooked by having crooked teeth!

The wonderful thing about getting orthodontic treatment is that you’ll end up not only with better looking teeth but your mouth in general will be healthier and it’s more than likely going to result in your teeth lasting for a lifetime!

An individual who specializes in the area of orthodontics is called an orthodontist.

In general to become an orthodontist a person has to go through about 4 years of dental school and then do an additional 2 years (depending on location of the school) in an accredited orthodontic training program.

So Do You Need To Get Orthodontic Treatment?

The reality is that only a fully qualified dentist or orthodontist can tell you whether or not you’re going to need to undergo orthodontic treatment, and this will happen after they analyze your mouth thoroughly.

You’ll essentially go through a series of tests including a full medical and dental check, a clinical exam, and on top of that X-rays of your teeth will be taken as well as some plaster models of your teeth will be made. After all this is done your orthodontist or dentist will decide whether or not you require orthodontic treatment and then begin working on the best treatment plan specific for you.

To help you guess whether or not you’re a likely candidate for orthodontic treatment here are some common traits of people who have to go through with the procedure…

> You happen to have an overbite which is often referred to as having buck teeth. This is essentially where the upper front teeth stick out a little too forward over the lower teeth.

> You’ve got an under-bite which gives you a sort of bulldog look. This is where your lower teeth come out too forward or your upper teeth are too far back in.

> You’re suffering from a case of cross-bite. Normally when your mouth is closed your front teeth are slightly in front of your back teeth. When you have a cross-bite this does not happen.

> If you have what is known as an open bite then you will find that there is a gap between the top and lower teeth when you bite down.

> If you have a case of misplaced midline then it essentially means that the center of the top teeth don’t line up correctly with the center of the lower teeth.

> You may have an issue with having gaps or spaces between your teeth, if so then you’ll likely need to get orthodontic treatment.

> On the other hand you might in fact be an individual who suffers from having too many teeth for the space available in their mouth.

So How Does the Whole Process of Orthodontic Treatment Actually Work?

There are many different methods that are used to help fix your teeth. Some of the appliances that are used are fixed and some are removable. Some help to move your teeth, others actually help to retrain the muscles in your mouth and change the growth of your jaw.

The appliances that are used work by actually applying gentle pressure on both your teeth and jaws.

Depending on how severe your misalignment is, will determine which orthodontic treatment is going to be most suitable for you.

What Sorts of Fixed Appliances Are There?

> Braces are probably the most common type of fixed appliance and consist putting wires, brackets and bands in your mouth.

So the orthodontist starts by securely bonding the brackets to your teeth and then using bands to control the pressure.

Wires are placed through the brackets and attached to the bands. The orthodontist will then adjust the tightness of the wire to cause the correct amount of pressure, slowly but surely moving your teeth to the correct place.

In most cases the orthodontist will adjust the braces every month until within just a few short months or perhaps years you will end up with a fantastic set of teeth!

The great news is that the braces of today are a lot smaller, lighter and in fact show very little metal. Not only that but they come in a variety of different colors so you can be sure that all the kids will be happy! On top of that adults can also opt to get clear versions which many in fact prefer.

> If you suffer from thumb sucking or find that your tongue is constantly thrusting itself out of your mouth then you may end up with a special form of fixed brace. However these are usually only put on as a very last resort because they can be extremely uncomfortable during meal times.

> Tooth Space Maintainers are used if you happen to lose a baby tooth early. What this space maintainer does is simply keep the space open until the permanent tooth comes out.

This space maintainer is basically a band which is attached to the tooth adjacent to the empty space. A wire is then placed on the adjacent tooth to the space to ensure it doesn’t invade the space of the upcoming tooth.

What Sorts of Removable Appliances Are There?

> Aligners are one of the most popular type of removable appliance that are used by adults and they work exactly as a fixed brace would only there are no metal wires and brackets!

The great thing about aligners is that they are pretty much invisible and you only need to take them out of your mouth when you’re eating, brushing and flossing.

> You might not know this but there are removable versions of the fixed spaced maintainers that I mentioned above and they do exactly the same thing.

> There is something known as a splint which is basically an appliance that repositions that Jaw. You wear them on the top of lower jaw and what they basically do is help to train the jaw to close in a more natural way.

These are often used with people who suffer from a condition known as temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ).

> Another removal appliance that you may have heard of is known as a lip and cheek bumper which are basically put in place to help keep your lips and cheeks away from your teeth.

Some people have lips or cheek muscles that exert way too much pressure on the teeth, and by putting these bumpers in place it can help to relieve that pressure!

> The next removable appliance is something known as a palatal expander and this is basically an appliance used to widen up the arch of the upper jaw.

> Removable retainers are the next type of appliance which are worn on the roof of the mouth. Those devices prevent the shifting of your teeth to their prior position.

> The final type of removable appliance is basically headgear. This device is strapped up around the back of the head and attached to a metal wire in front of your face.

The point of the head gear is to slow the growth of the upper jaw which essentially holds the back teeth in place where they are and at the same time the front teeth and pulled back.

So there you have it, pretty much everything you really need to know to get a good understanding of orthodontics and what it all entails.

All About General Dentists

dentistWhen someone mentions a general dentist they are essentially talking about the one individual that is probably looking after you in terms of your dental care. These people will be looking after the dental care for patients of all ages.

More often than not when it comes to your oral health it is your dentist that will not only look after your needs but also that of your families.

Looking after your teeth is not only important when it comes to oral health but it is absolutely essential too for your overall health as well. Your dentist will take the time to understand, diagnose and treat any issues that you may be experiencing when it comes to your oral health.

If you happen to require special treatment such as fixing the alignment of your teeth then your general dentist may work with an orthodontist to ensure that you are being properly taken care of.

Where Do You Find Good Quality General Dentists?

There are almost 145,000 general dentists actively practicing in both the United States and Canada.

These days you’ll often find a group of dentists get together and open up a group practice whereas others will venture out on their own and create a practice just for themselves.

There are even dentists out there that choose to work for particular organizations such as the government, various different research facilities and perhaps even in the military.

So What Services Do General Dentists Actually Provide?

You will find that a lot of the general dentists out there are very highly educated and have deep knowledge on everything when it comes to dental procedures and how to carry them out properly.

Rather than being specialists, you will find that a general dentist will be able to provide a ton of different services for you and your family, including…

1. A variety of cosmetic procedures

2. Installing Bridges and Crowns

3. Installing Dental Implants

4. Developing Dentures for Patients

5. Providing Treatment for Gum Disease

6. Helping Patients Look After their Oral Health at Home

7. Developing Mouthguards

8. Guiding Patients on Nutrition for Optimal Oral Health

9. Doing Oral Surgery

10. Providing Orthodontic Treatment

11. Developing Partial Dentures

12. Doing Root Canal Treatment

13. Doing Sealants

14. Cleaning Patients Teeth

What Education Is Required to Actually Become a General Dentist?

In general when it comes to becoming a dentist in the USA, you’re going to have to go through 3 + years of schooling to get an undergraduate college degree and then go on to do 4 years of dental school.

Once you are done with the school aspect you need to move on and actually take an exam in the state you will practice in to get your licence.

So What on Earth is the Difference Between DMD and DDS?

Well, the truth is that there isn’t much of a difference aside from what the title actually stands for. Both types of dentist actually get the exact same education, but just end up with a slightly different title… a dentist with a DDS is essentially a Doctor of Dental Surgery, and a dentist with a DMD is basically a Doctor of Dental Medicine.

My Dentist is a Member of the AGD, What Does This Mean?

Any good general dentist cares for the long term dental health of their patients and being a member of the AGD shows a dedication to this principle.

Members of the AGD are seriously dedicated to continuing their education in the dental field to ensure that they are constantly up to date with the latest developments in the industry so that they can continue to provide their patients with the absolute best treatment.