Posts for tag: braces
Sometimes, looking at old pictures can really bring memories back to life. Just ask Stefani Germanotta—the pop diva better known as Lady Gaga. In one scene from the recent documentary Five Foot Two, as family members sort through headshots from her teen years, her father proclaims: "Here, this proves she had braces!"
"If I had kept that gap, then I would have even more problems with Madonna," Lady Gaga replies, referencing an ongoing feud between the two musical celebrities.
The photos of Gaga's teenage smile reveal that the singer of hits like "Born This Way" once had a noticeable gap (which dentists call a diastema) between her front teeth. This condition is common in children, but often becomes less conspicuous with age. It isn't necessarily a problem: Lots of well-known people have extra space in their smiles, including ex-football player and TV host Michael Strahan, actress Anna Paquin…and fellow pop superstar Madonna. It hasn't hurt any of their careers.
Yet others would prefer a smile without the gap. Fortunately, diastema in children is generally not difficult to fix. One of the easiest ways to do so is with traditional braces or clear aligners. These orthodontic appliances, usually worn for a period of months, can actually move the teeth into positions that look more pleasing in the smile and function better in the bite. For many people, orthodontic treatment is a part of their emergence from adolescence into adulthood.
Braces and aligners, along with other specialized orthodontic appliances, can also remedy many bite problems besides diastema. They can correct misaligned teeth and spacing irregularities, fix overbites and underbites, and take care of numerous other types of malocclusions (bite problems).
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that kids get screened for orthodontic problems at age 7. Even if an issue is found, most won't get treatment at this age—but in some instances, it's possible that early intervention can save a great deal of time, money and effort later. For example, while the jaw is still developing, its growth can be guided with special appliances that can make future orthodontic treatment go quicker and easier.
Yet orthodontics isn't just for children—adults can wear braces too! As long as teeth and gums are healthy, there's no upper age limit on orthodontic treatment. Instead of traditional silver braces, many adults choose tooth-colored braces or clear aligners to complement their more professional appearance.
So if your child is at the age where screening is recommended—or if you're unhappy with your own smile—ask us whether orthodontics could help. But if you get into a rivalry with Madonna…you're on your own.
If you have questions about orthodontic treatment, please contact our office or schedule a consultation. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “The Magic of Orthodontics” and “Orthodontics For The Older Adult.”
Wearing braces will probably never make your list of Most Pleasurable Life Experiences: you'll have to avoid certain foods and habits, endure some occasional discomfort, and perhaps feel some embarrassment about your appearance. The good news, though, is that at worst, these are mostly no more than inconveniences and additionally they're well worth the straighter, more attractive smile you'll achieve.
But there's one downside to braces that can lead to something more serious. The braces hardware makes brushing and flossing more difficult—and that could increase your risk of dental disease.
The principal goal of oral hygiene is to remove dental plaque, a thin film of accumulated bacteria and food particles that can cause tooth decay or periodontal (gum) disease. Without effective brushing and flossing, plaque can build up quickly and make the chances of having either of these two diseases more likely.
Not only does the braces hardware hinder your toothbrush's or floss's access to the parts of the teeth it covers, but it can also create "hiding places" for plaque build-up. Several studies have found that braces wearers on average have up to two to three times the plaque build-up of non-braces wearers.
There are ways, though, to make hygiene easier while wearing braces, particularly with flossing. Floss threaders or interproximal brushes can both be used to access between teeth while wearing braces. Another option is a water flosser or irrigator that sprays pressurized water between teeth (and beneath brackets and wires) to remove plaque. And braces wearers can get a prevention boost with topical fluoride applications or antibacterial mouth rinses to reduce disease-causing bacteria.
Besides taking a little extra time with brushing and flossing, you can also boost your mouth's health with good nutrition choices, less sugar consumption and keeping up regular dental visits. And, you should also see your dentist promptly if you notice any signs of tooth or gum problems—the sooner you have it checked and treated, the less damage any dental disease is likely to cause.
It's not easy keeping your teeth and gums plaque-free while wearing braces. But with a little extra time and effort, a few helpful tools and your dentist's support, you can maintain a healthy mouth during orthodontic treatment.
If you would like more information on best hygiene practices 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.”
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.”