Posts for tag: braces
Braces can transform your smile into the one you have always wanted. Whether you have crooked teeth that need to be straightened or a misaligned bite, braces can help. There are several types of braces, including traditional metal, clear ceramic, and lingual braces. An alternative option is Invisalign clear aligners. A dentist can help determine which braces type is right for you. Mapledale Family Dentistry is your dental office for orthodontics in Woodbridge, VA.
Types of Braces
Braces are an orthodontic treatment for straightening teeth, correcting jaw and bite alignment, and closing gaps between teeth. There are three main types of braces: metal, ceramic, and lingual. Your dentist for orthodontics in Woodbridge can help you select the right type of braces for you. All three types of braces utilize brackets, bands, and wires to move the teeth and realign the jaw or bite.
Brackets are cemented to the teeth in the front of the mouth, while bands are cemented around the molars in the back. Wires connect all the brackets and wires of the teeth along either the top or bottom arch or row. The brackets, brands, and wires work by exerting pressure on the teeth, which causes the teeth to gradually move into the desired position over time.
The main difference between the three types of braces is the appearance or placement of the brackets. With metal braces, the brackets are silver tone and are cemented to the front surface of the teeth. With ceramic braces, the brackets are also cemented to the front surface of the teeth. However, since the brackets are made from ceramic, the color blends in with the teeth making the ceramic braces more discreet than traditional metal braces. Lingual braces are also discreet as the silver metal brackets are placed on the back of the teeth rather than on the front.
Invisalign Clear Aligners
Invisalign is an alternative to braces that utilize brackets, bands, and wires to move the teeth. Invisalign moves the teeth with aligner trays, one tray for each row of teeth. Invisalign offers several advantages. The aligner trays are soft and flexible, making them comfortable to wear. The trays are also clear so they are not readily noticeable to others. Additionally, the trays can be removed to eat, drink, brush, or floss. Invisalign is an effective option for straightening the teeth; however, braces are the best option for realigning the jaw or bite.
When it comes to straightening your smile, there are several orthodontic options available. A dentist can help determine which type of braces is right for you. For orthodontics in Woodbridge, schedule an appointment with one of the dentists at Mapledale Family Dentistry by calling the office at (703) 580-9900.
What your dentists in Woodbridge, VA, want you to know about orthodontic treatment
There are many reasons you may need orthodontic treatment. The dentists at Mapledale Family Dentistry in Woodbridge, VA, want to share what you should know about orthodontic treatment and how it can help you.
Everyone knows orthodontic treatment is used to correct tooth and jaw alignment problems. So, why are proper tooth and jaw alignment so important? A properly aligned jaw can save you from future problems like temporomandibular joint or TMJ problems, which can result in headaches, facial pain, and other long-term problems.
When your teeth are properly aligned, it can save you from tooth wear which can result in needing dental restorations or root canal treatment. Straight teeth are also much easier to floss, which can save you from periodontal disease.
Some of the signs you may need orthodontic treatment are if you have:
- An overbite, when your upper jaw excessively protrudes over your lower jaw
- An underbite, when your lower jaw excessively protrudes in front of your upper jaw
- A crossbite, when your upper and lower jaws cross each other
- An open bite, when your front teeth don’t close together when you bite down
At Mapledale Family Dentistry you can choose from several different options to straighten your smile. Consider:
- Conventional braces, which come in several types including metal brackets and wires, tooth-colored brackets and clear wires, or lingual braces, which are placed on the tooth surfaces next to your tongue.
- Invisalign revolutionary clear plastic aligners. The aligners are comfortable, virtually invisible, and typically require only 9 to 15 months to complete treatment. You can also remove the trays to eat, brush, and floss, making them a very convenient, user-friendly choice.
Whether you choose braces or aligners to straighten your teeth, the dentists at Mapledale Family Dentistry are committed to providing excellent dental care before, during, and after your orthodontic treatment. To schedule a consultation and find out more about braces or Invisalign treatment call the dentists at Mapledale Family Dentistry in Woodbridge, VA, today!
Have you started orthodontic treatment recently? Are you having a little trouble getting used to your braces? If so, you are not alone: Everybody goes through an adjustment period during which they momentarily wonder if they’ll really ever get used to this. Don’t worry — you will! And we’ve never heard anyone say, on the day their braces come off and their new smile is revealed, that they aren’t glad they went the distance. Just ask Houston Rockets all-star center Dwight Howard, who discussed his own orthodontic treatment in a recent interview.
“I’m sure I was no different than anyone else who has ever had braces,” he told Mediaplanet. “At first I hated them so much… That changed once I got used to them and I actually grew to love them.” What’s Howard’s advice? “Do exactly what your orthodontist says and know that the outcome is well worth it in the end.” We couldn’t agree more! Here are some tips for wearing braces comfortably:
- Hard & Chewy Foods: If you love fresh fruits and vegetables, that’s great; there’s no reason to give them up, just the really hard ones. You don’t want to bite into an apple or carrot or any other hard foods like bagels and pizza that have any “size” to them. Small pieces may be ok as long as they can’t bend your wires. Chewy, sticky candy should really be avoided completely. Same with soda, sports drinks and so-called energy drinks because they contain acids that promote tooth decay and can cause a lot of damage around the braces.
- Effective Oral Hygiene: Keeping your teeth clean is more important than ever, but also more challenging than ever. It’s easy for food to get stuck under wires and around brackets, but failing to remove it can cause tooth decay, gum irritation and soreness. Therefore, the cleaner your teeth and your braces are, the healthier you will be. Use interdental cleaning brushes and/or a floss-threader to get behind your wires. A mouthrinse can also help strengthen teeth and keep bacteria in check. If you have any questions about how to clean between your teeth, please ask for a demonstration at your next visit.
- Pain Relief: Some soreness at the beginning of orthodontic treatment is normal. To relieve it, you can use an over-the-counter pain reliever and/or a warm washcloth or heating pad placed on the outside of the jaw. If brackets or wires are rubbing against the inside of your cheeks or lips, try applying wax to these areas of your braces. If this does not offer enough relief, we may be able to trim the end of a poking wire. Call us if you need help with this.
Our goal is to make your orthodontic treatment as comfortable as possible on the way to achieving your all-star smile. If you have questions about adjusting to braces, contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Caring for Teeth During Orthodontic Treatment.”
Fans of the primetime TV show The Middle were delighted to see that high school senior Sue, played by Eden Sher, finally got her braces off at the start of Season 6. But since this popular sitcom wouldn’t be complete without some slapstick comedy, this happy event is not without its trials and tribulations: The episode ends with Sue’s whole family diving into a dumpster in search of the teen’s lost retainer. Sue finds it in the garbage and immediately pops it in her mouth. But wait — it doesn’t fit, it’s not even hers!
If you think this scenario is far-fetched, guess again. OK, maybe the part about Sue not washing the retainer upon reclaiming it was just a gag (literally and figuratively), but lost retainers are all too common. Unfortunately, they’re also expensive to replace — so they need to be handled with care. What’s the best way to do that? Retainers should be brushed daily with a soft toothbrush and liquid soap (dish soap works well), and then placed immediately back in your mouth or into the case that came with the retainer. When you are eating a meal at a restaurant, do not wrap your retainer in a napkin and leave it on the table — this is a great way to lose it! Instead, take the case with you, and keep the retainer in it while you’re eating. When you get home, brush your teeth and then put the retainer back in your mouth.
If you do lose your retainer though, let us know right away. Retention is the last step of your orthodontic treatment, and it’s extremely important. You’ve worked hard to get a beautiful smile, and no one wants to see that effort wasted. Yet if you neglect to wear your retainer as instructed, your teeth are likely to shift out of position. Why does this happen?
As you’ve seen firsthand, teeth aren’t rigidly fixed in the jaw — they can be moved in response to light and continuous force. That’s what orthodontic appliances do: apply the right amount of force in a carefully controlled manner. But there are other forces at work on your teeth that can move them in less predictable ways. For example, normal biting and chewing can, over time, cause your teeth to shift position. To get teeth to stay where they’ve been moved orthodontically, new bone needs to form around them and anchor them where they are. That will happen over time, but only if they are held in place with a retainer. That’s why it is so important to wear yours as directed — and notify us immediately if it gets lost.
And if ever you do have to dig your retainer out of a dumpster… be sure to wash it before putting in in your mouth!
If you would like more information on retainers, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “The Importance of Orthodontic Retainers” and “Why Orthodontic Retainers?”
There are a few things you need to do — and not do — while wearing braces: avoid hard or sticky foods, for example, or wear protection during sports to avoid injury. There's one important thing, though, that should be at the top of your list — extra attention to daily brushing and flossing.
The fact is your risk for developing tooth decay or periodontal (gum) disease increases during orthodontic treatment. This is because the braces make it more difficult to reach a number of locations around teeth with a toothbrush or floss. Bacterial plaque, the source for these dental diseases, can subsequently build up in these areas.
Teen-aged orthodontic patients are even more susceptible to dental disease than adults. Because their permanent teeth are relatively young they have less resistance to decay than adults with more mature teeth. Hormonal changes during puberty also contribute to greater gum disease vulnerability.
There are some things you can do while wearing braces to avoid these problems. Be sure you're eating a nutritious diet and avoid sugary snacks or acidic foods and beverages (especially sports or energy drinks).Â This will deprive bacteria of one of their favorite food sources, and the minerals in healthy food will contribute to strong enamel.
More importantly, take your time and thoroughly brush and floss all tooth surfaces (above and below the braces wire). To help you do this more efficiently, consider using a specialized toothbrush designed to maneuver around the braces. You might also try a floss threader or a water irrigator to remove plaque between teeth. The latter device uses a pressurized water spray rather than floss to loosen and wash away plaque between teeth.
Even with these efforts, there's still a chance of infection. So, if you notice swollen, red or bleeding gums, or any other problems with your teeth, visit us as soon as possible for an examination. The sooner we detect and treat dental disease while you're wearing braces, the less the impact on your future smile.
If you would like more information on taking care of teeth 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.”