How Are Braces Adjusted?
You have probably heard of the braces being tightened and wondering what that means.
The adjustment appointments are normally every 4-6 weeks. Some brace systems allow these appointments to be 8-10 weeks. It is vital that your treatment is regularly reviewed and monitored by your orthodontist. Your orthodontist will advise you at every visit when the next routine appointment should be scheduled.
Should I use an electric toothbrush with my braces?
We have a number of patients ask us this question. The most important aspect whether you use a manual or electric toothbrush, is cleaning the teeth on all surfaces to ensure there is no more plaque or food left behind. If you don’t brush well or for long enough time, it doesn’t matter if you have the latest best toothbrush invented!
What Is The Difference Between A Damon Brace And A "Fixed Brace"?
Modern orthodontic treatment as we now know, has advanced over time to allow precise control over teeth, which results in being able to achieve excellent results.
The fixed part of the brace is the bracket which is attached to each tooth individually. There is a wire which connects all the brackets together and is held in place to the bracket by very small ‘elastics’.
Braces and Wisdom Teeth
Wisdom teeth are commonly the last adult teeth to erupt. They are also well-known for not erupting and lying dormant for several years. They can be impacted, meaning they can be positioned at an angle instead of being positioned ‘straight’. The x-rays below shows two lower wisdom teeth being impacted horizontally. In these cases, it is very unlikely they will erupt into function.
What is crowded teeth?
Braces and Teeth Extraction
One of the commonest reasons for having orthodontic treatment is crowded teeth, which can cause the teeth to be appear crooked. The teeth often overlap each other and this can cause food or plaque to become trapped between the teeth. Flossing can be quite difficult as the contacts are very tight, sometimes unable to get floss between the teeth. The plaque trap and difficulty with flossing can increase the risk of gum disease due to the crowded teeth
Crowding means the size of the teeth is often larger than the space available in the mouth, hence the teeth erupt in the best position possible and often overlap each other. The degree of crowding is therefore dependant on the total size of the teeth and the size of the mouth. The degree of crowding is often termed mild, moderate or severe crowding.
Will metal braces cut my child's mouth if he plays contact sports?
If you are playing contact sports it is essential to wear a mouthguard. Contact sports includes hockey, rugby, boxing or any sport which involves physical contact or moving objects.
A third of dental trauma injuries are from sport. Teeth can be broken or even completely knocked out. Also the inside of the mouth and gums can be cut and damaged.
Which braces are ideal if I have sensitive teeth?
There are a number of reasons why you may have sensitive teeth, and it’s important to find out the reason why the teeth are sensitive. Before having brace treatment, it is vital to be assessed by your dentist to find the cause of the sensitivity and have the appropriate dental treatment completed.
If there is some gum recession this can result in an area of tooth being exposed which has less enamel on the surface and even a small amount of root area may now be exposed. Enamel is the protective layer on your teeth and when there is less enamel you are able to ‘feel’ sensitivity. This is often a common cause of sensitive teeth and sometimes only affects a few teeth.
Why do I have to wear a retainer after removing my braces?
This is the most important stage of treatment. The active brace treatment will result in your great smile but only the retainer will ensure it is always a great smile.
The teeth need time to adjust in their new positions and with any process in the body – it takes time for the tissues to adapt and re-organise. The fibres which hold the roots in the bone need time to adapt to their new positions and to form new fibre attachments. While this process is undergoing – the retainer ensures the teeth can settle in this new position.
However, teeth are constantly moving throughout our lives irrespective of having brace treatment or no brace treatment. Tooth movement is an aging process, like getting wrinkles or going grey. As we get older, our teeth will move more. If there is a small amount of crookedness or crowding – over the next 20 years this may become more crowded. If there are bite issues, the overbite may worsen over time. The extent of tooth movement varies in every individual – some people always age a lot better than others.
When retainers are not worn as recommended the teeth will move in varying amounts.
What is high definition digital radiograph technology and how do you use it during assessments?
One of the most important assessments before starting treatment is assessing the roots and bone levels to ensure you are suitable for treatment. One of the main risk factors with brace treatment is root shortening. In all patients with braces there will be some minor changes. However, in some cases this can be more severe and often it is not possible to tell if someone is at risk, but there are certain conditions which can make you more at risk of root changes. Having high definition digital radiographs help us assess the roots more precisely to assess and plan treatment appropriately.
Do you offer sedation for dental procedures? Would you recommend it for people with phobias?
During orthodontic treatment, you often attend every 6 weeks during an average 18-month treatment. If you had a dental phobia, orthodontic treatment would probably not be a good option until you felt comfortable with seeing your dentist in the first instance for routine check-ups. Once you were comfortable with attending your regular family dentist, then we would recommend being seen by an orthodontist to assess your bite and concerns.