At Perledent Dental Care we are pleased to offer a full range of dental care services and dental treatments to our patients from Beaverton OR and the surrounding communities. Our dentistry services include: children's, cosmetic, family, general, implant, preventive, restorative and sedation dentistry.
As braces have become less bulky and visible in recent years, more and more adults are wearing them, for a variety of reasons. Some adults want to correct problems with their teeth or jaws before they cause serious or further damage. Others want to feel better about their appearance by addressing longstanding cosmetic concerns. Keep in mind that even "cosmetic" problems can cause real damage over time. Teeth and jaws that are not aligned properly can lead to premature wear and tear, advanced tooth decay and gum disease, dentures or other reconstructive solutions and even more extensive surgery to correct serious problems.
New techniques and the advent of clear, less noticeable braces means that adults are increasingly turning to braces to correct:
Gaps between teeth (spacing)
Teeth that push against one another (crowding)
How do I know if adult braces are right for me?
If you think you might benefit from braces, ask your dentist to recommend an orthodontist — someone specially trained to fix problems with teeth that are not aligned properly. The orthodontist will look at your teeth and maybe take X-rays to study the underlying bone structure. Based on what he or she finds, a treatment plan will be recommended. While braces are a popular option for fixing misaligned teeth, an orthodontist can tell you whether you may benefit more from other types of orthodontics like removable retainers, headgear or aligners.
Braces and orthodontic treatment are used to correct “bad bites,” or malocclusion (teeth that are crowded or crooked). In some cases your teeth may be straight, but your upper and lower jaws may not meet properly. These jaw or tooth alignment problems may be inherited or could result from injury, early or late tooth loss, or thumbsucking.
If you have an abnormal bite your dentist may recommend braces or another orthodontic treatment to straighten out your smile. Correcting the problem can create a nice-looking smile, but more importantly, orthodontic treatment results in a healthier mouth. Not correcting an abnormal bite could result in further oral health problems, including:
affected speech and/or chewing
abnormal wear to tooth enamel
Straightening your teeth can be accomplished in different ways. The kind of orthodontic treatment you have will depend on your preference and the options provided by your dentist or orthodontist. Traditional braces realign teeth by applying pressure. They usually consist of small brackets cemented to your teeth, connected by a wire, which is periodically tightened by your dentist or orthodontist to gradually shift your teeth and jaw. The brackets may be metal or tooth colored. Sometimes they are placed behind your teeth. Under the direct supervision of a dentist or orthodontist, removable aligners are another option for treating orthodontic problems.
Orthodontic treatment may be provided by your dentist or an orthodontist, a dentist who specializes in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of dental and facial irregularities. It will depend on the orthodontic experience of your dentist and the severity of your case.
Since abnormal bites usually become noticeable between the ages of 6 and 12, orthodontic treatment often begins between ages 8 and 14. Treatment that begins while a child is growing helps produce optimal results. That doesn’t mean that adults can’t have braces; healthy teeth can be orthodontically treated at any age.
Treatment plans will vary based on your situation, but most people are in treatment from one to three years. This is followed by a period of wearing a retainer that holds teeth in their new positions. Today’s braces are more comfortable than ever before. Newer materials apply a constant, gentle force to move teeth and usually require fewer adjustments.
While you have braces it’s important to maintain a balanced diet for the health of your teeth. Of course, a healthy diet is always important, but eating too many sugary foods with braces can lead to plaque build-up around your brackets that could permanently stain or damage your teeth. Avoiding foods like popcorn, corn on the cob, chewing gum, whole apples, and other sticky foods is also a good idea. Ask your dentist about foods to avoid while you are in treatment. Not all of us are born with beautiful smiles, but with a good oral hygiene routine, and a little help from orthodontics, you can have a beautiful and healthy smile.
Braces can correct misaligned teeth to improve your smile and your dental health, but braces pain can make you uncomfortable.
How Braces Work
Knowing a bit about how braces work can help you prepare for the braces pain you might experience. Braces place continuous pressure on the teeth to slowly move them into a different position. The key components of braces are:
Brackets: A bracket is attached to each tooth or to a band placed around the tooth. Brackets hold the wires that actually cause the teeth to move. Braces pain associated with brackets may include pain from the band or the brackets.
Wires: The wires used for braces are known as arch wires. They are attached to the brackets, and an orthodontist adjusts them at regular visits. Sometimes braces pain occurs soon after the braces are adjusted.
Benefits Of Braces
Braces pain can be uncomfortable, but wearing braces to improve your bite can help to eliminate other types of mouth and tooth pain caused by misaligned teeth. Other benefits of braces include:
Easier Oral Care: Straight teeth are easier to clean, so you will be at less risk for tooth decay and gum disease.
Increased Confidence: When braces have corrected your misaligned teeth, you’ll enjoy the improved self-confidence that comes with a healthy smile.
What Causes Braces Pain?
The exact cause of braces pain is unknown, but it may be attributed to internal or external factors.
Internal: Some research has shown that braces pain may be caused by changes in blood flow that occur when the braces apply pressure to the teeth.
External: The physical rubbing of the brackets and wires can cause braces pain in the soft tissue inside the mouth. This type of braces pain usually lessens with time, as the tissues become tougher. Sometimes one of the arch wires can cause braces pain by poking into the back of the mouth, but orthodontic wax can usually relieve this.
How to Relieve Pain from Braces
Many products are available to provide relief of braces pain. For pain associated with the pressure of the braces, try over the counter pain relieving products. Tablets or capsules such as Motrin or Advil can provide relief of braces pain, or you can use topical pain relieving products. Ask your dentist for recommendations if your braces pain persists. In addition, toothpaste, mouth rinse, and dental floss designed for sensitive teeth such as those in the Crest Pro-Health Sensitive Shield regimen can help relieve tooth pain. (1), (2)
Try these additional tips to relieve braces pain:
Eat Soft Foods: If you tend to experience braces pain after an orthodontic adjustment, stick to soft foods, such as Jello®, pasta, and soft-cooked vegetables for the first day or so.
Protect Your Braces: If you play contact sports while wearing braces, be sure to use a mouth guard. Being hit or falling during sports can cause brackets to break or wires to come loose, which causes braces pain and adds to the expense of orthodontic care.
How to Brush Your Teeth with Braces
While brushing teeth with braces may be a bit challenging it’s even more important for people with braces to brush properly. That’s because food particles can easily get caught in your braces, which can lead to harmful plaque bacteria that can cause gum disease. Effectively brushing teeth with braces is very important for your long-term oral health.
How to Clean Braces
Ask your dental professional for a brush that's specifically designed for brushing teeth with braces. These brushes are made to reach in between all brackets and hardware.
Brushing teeth with braces takes a bit longer than it does without braces. Brush from top to bottom and in between all braces. Take your time to ensure you keep your teeth healthy and protected while you wear braces.
Brush more often, including after every snack or meal.
Cookies, cakes, candies and sodas – everywhere you go, there are sugary treats to tempt you and your kids. The effects of sugar on teeth may not be noticeable right away, but too much can lead to tooth decay if you don't stay on top of it. Here's how sugar can harm your family's dental health and what you can do to prevent it.
When you eat or drink sugary foods – refined, processed or in the form of carbohydrates – you're feeding the beast. Bacteria in your mouth digest the foods you eat and specifically feed on the sugar, producing acids that can slowly dissolve tooth enamel and cause tooth decay. According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), these acids do the most damage to your teeth for 20 minutes after eating; this is what is known as an "acid attack." So the more sugary foods you eat throughout the day, the more your teeth are exposed to decay-causing acids.
Sensible Food Choices
What can you do to protect your family from these ubiquitous acid attacks? Eliminating sugars completely from your family's diet is unrealistic, because most of your foods contain some form of sugar or starch. However, you can still control the amount of sugar you and your family consumes and reduce the total time your teeth are susceptible to bacterial acids. Consider the following dietary adjustments:
Eat a nutritious and balanced diet of grains, fruits, vegetables, protein and low-fat dairy.
Check food labels for "hidden" sugars.
Limit between-meal snacks.
Avoid sugary foods that stay in your mouth for a long time, like hard, sticky or chewy varieties of candy.
Offer healthy snacks, such as cheese, fruits, yogurt, peanut butter, chocolate milk and sugarless gum.
Save your sugary treats for the end of a meal or before a tooth-brushing session, rather than throughout the day.
Substitute water for sugar-laden sodas and fruit juices.
Oral Hygiene Is a Good Defense
Brushing your teeth thoroughly after eating cleans recent sugary foods and existing bacteria off of your teeth, and flossing once a day will clean between your teeth – a prime spot for bacteria to hide. For those times when you aren't at home to brush off an acid attack, disposable toothbrushes like the Colgate® Wisp™ mini-brush can be taken to work or packed with your kids' lunches. Have your family use fluoride toothpaste as an added defense to strengthen their teeth, making them more resistant to harmful acids in the future.
Preventive Care and Early Detection
Schedule regular dental checkups and cleaning appointments for your family; this way, any signs of tooth decay can be taken care of early. The Academy of General Dentistry's (AGD) George McLaughlin, DMD, recommends placing sealants on children's permanent first molars as soon as they appear in the mouth. This thin coating acts as a barrier on the chewing surface of the tooth, and protects it from decay-producing acids. Other preventive measures for children include fluoride treatment and varnishes.
There is no denying that people love their sugar. In fact, the NIDCR suggests the average person in the U.S. eats about 147 pounds of it a year – that produces an enormous potential for tooth decay. Make the necessary changes in diet and dental hygiene now, so the effects of sugar on teeth don't come when your family is preoccupied with bigger life events.
Your teeth are covered with a sticky film called plaque that can contribute to tooth decay and gum disease. Plaque contains bacteria, which following a meal or snack containing sugar can release acids that attack tooth enamel. Repeated attacks can cause the enamel to break down, eventually resulting in cavities. Plaque that is not removed with thorough daily brushing and cleaning between teeth can eventually harden into calculus or tartar. This makes it more difficult to keep your teeth clean.
When tartar collects above the gum line, the gum tissue can become swollen and may bleed easily. This is called gingivitis, the early stage of gum disease. You can prevent plaque buildup and keep your teeth cavity-free by regularly visiting the dentist, brushing twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste and cleaning between your teeth with dental floss daily.
Dental health is not limited to your teeth. Sores or irritations can develop in and around the mouth. Fortunately, they usually heal on their own within a week or two. Mouth sores come in several different varieties and can have any number of causes, including:
Infections from bacteria, viruses or fungus
Irritation from a loose orthodontic wire, a denture that doesn’t fit, or a sharp edge from a broken tooth or filling.
Serve Carbs with Care Whether it’s the crunch or the fact that they’re shaped like their favorite animals, kids love crackers and chips. The truth? “Many crackers are cookies with salt,” Dr. Hayes says. Not only do the carbohydrates in things like crackers and chips break down into sugar, they also tend to get stuck in the tops of your teeth for long periods of time. Set an Example You’d do anything for your kids. Now, are you ready to do all of the above for yourself too? Dr. Shenkin says setting an example can make a big difference in your whole family’s health. Eat well, brush twice a day for two minutes and clean between your teeth once a day. “If you want to change your child’s habits, it isn’t just about what they do,” he says. “Do the same thing with them.” To read the entire article visit MouthHealthy.org. Perledent Dental Care Kyle Van, DDS 2110 NW Amberbrook Dr Beaverton, OR 97006 (503) 533-5539 NiceSmileNow.com