Perfect Smiles Orthodontics Blog

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Enduring Special Occasions with Braces

Orthodontic treatment with braces is the most acceptable method of correcting misalignment and malocclusion.If you have crooked, crowded, crossed or spaced-out teeth, the best solution is to bring it to proper alignment with braces.

Unfortunately, treatment with braces means having to endure a metal mouth for months to a few years. This gets in the way of one's speech, smile, eating and life (so to speak). This hindrance is most especially felt in the midst of a special occasion. When a momentous event is along the way, patients with braces become anxious about the brackets in their teeth, and that's fine.

Travelling

When travelling to near or far places, with braces, the first issue will be the food. Travelling will always involve a lot of eating, so be smart about food selection. Another issue will be brackets getting dislodged during a trip. If this happens on a normal day, you would rush to an orthodontist and have the bracket reattached. As you are travelling, it will not be possible, so simply hold on to the dislodged components. If they were de-bonded from the teeth, but seem stable in the mouth, you may keep it there until you get back. Otherwise, you can try to remove it and keep it, so it may be re-bonded on your next visit. Before leaving for a trip, be sure to visit the orthodontist so all lose components may be checked. Bring a box of wax with you so that you can cover any poking metal, to avoid incurring cuts and wounds.

‚ÄčBirthday Parties, Weddings and Formals

The most significant problem with parties and formal is encountering the food and there's just too much food to conquer. Most of the food are not braces-friendly and they will be a problem. Sweets, caramels and candy floss are sticky and when they adhere to the brackets, can be quite hard to clean. They will just have to learn to choose their food wisely. At the beginning of the treatment, the orthodontist should have provided guidelines about food to ignore and enjoy while undergoing treatment. It is really all about choosing the right food and knowing how to bite through things that will help a child survive.

Wedding and formals are a whole different issue because appearances matter. People make a true fuss in the preparations and the braces can get in the way. If you cannot defer from installing braces, until after such an occasion, know that you can get Incognitos which are truly invisible or Invisalign. You can smile beautifully without that metal mouth.

Sport Activities

If you are into sports, having braces will be hard but it is not impossible. Braces can be an issue because physical blow to the face can lead to cuts, tears and fractures which are made even worse with braces on the teeth. You can protect your child from this by getting them a sport guard. Make sure that the mouth guard is fabricated especially for him, and not the ready-made ones, so that it fits comfortably and can provide proper cushion and protection. 

First Dates

If you are going out on your first date, with braces, you will be overcome by a lot of thoughts: appearance, food getting stuck in their braces, and the myth of getting stuck together during a kiss. All these thoughts can be mortifying so try to ease their fears by giving them helpful tips. First, disprove the myth because that is just ridiculous and you just have to choose your foods well so that they may be able to clean "debris" easily, in the middle of the date. If they need to bring an interdental cleaner, equip them with one. Otherwise, advise them to always flush their mouth with water, to help clean the surface.

Living with braces is not easy, no matter how old you are. As with any "obstacle" one needs to learn to look at the bigger picture. As a parent, it is your duty to make your child realize the purpose of the braces, so that he may embrace it. A beautiful and healthy-looking smile can do so much for a person. The decision to have braces at their age is important because the orthodontist is able to take advantage of the bone age and density of a youthful individual. This, of course, translates to faster treatment to achieve the perfect smile. If you make the child realize this, you help him embrace the braces on his teeth.


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Questions You Need to Ask an Orthodontist

An Orthodontist is a specialist who has received extra training to obtain skills in the diagnosis, correction and management of teeth alignment and occlusion. People have varying degrees of alignment and occlusion problems. You may be troubled by your crowded or crooked teeth. Perhaps, you are annoyed that your teeth have spaces in between or they are crossed in some areas.

With the help of this professional, you can get a more beautiful smile, usually through braces. Now if you are about to see an orthodontist, it is most likely that you have a lot of questions that you want to ask. It is important that you do, so that you can make an informed decision about it.

Here are some good questions:

  1. What are the different types of braces? There are different types of braces and if you are thinking of getting treated, then you need to choose the right path to go. You need to match your options with your preference and need. Standard or conventional braces are made of metal and they are adhered to the outer surface of the teeth. You can get ceramic braces that are tooth colored. Another option is the self-ligating braces. Also known as Damon braces, it comes with its own locks and does not need rubbers. You, even, have options like Invisalign wherein the aligners are practically invisible and difficult to be noticed when you have them on your teeth. Finally, you have the Incognito braces which are applied to the lingual or back surfaces of the teeth.Since Incognito are applied at the back of your teeth, this is the best path for true invisible braces.

  2. Is it going to be painful? A lot of people are worried about the negative experiences about braces and at the most, they worry about pain and discomfort. That's a common question and surely your orthodontist will explain how why this is part and parcel, by explaining the mechanism involved on moving teeth. Along with this, he will discuss certain remedies that should help you go through it.

  3. How long is the treatment going to take? The length of treatment varies per case and the type of treatment used. If you are working on definite time frame, knowing the time be important, so do not hesitate to ask about this.

  4. How will I clean my teeth? From teeth that are completely free, you now have teeth that are "caged" by brackets, wires and rubbers. It could be a suffocating sight and it is not going to be easy to clean them. Food can get stuck easily and they are harder to remove. Ask you orthodontist if you need special tools to properly tackle plaque, once you have braces, so that you can prepare for it.

  5. What cases are contraindicated with braces? This determines whether you will be a good candidate for braces or not. Maybe you have a dental or medical condition that renders you unfit to go through orthodontic treatment. If you are engaged in regular activities that may complicate the treatment, this needs to be dealt with, as well.

  6. How do I eat with braces? Eating will be slightly difficult for the first few days, but you will master the skills to chew food with your wired teeth in just about a week or so. You need to be careful when you bite into food because the brackets can dislodge easily if you make a mistake. The best thing for you is to avoid hard, sticky and tough foods. 

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What is the ideal bite?

The ideal smile is desired by almost every person, but not many people realize the importance of an ideal bite. You may be surprised to know how many people fail to realize that they have a problem with their bite. It's not until they develop a problem or are informed by an orthodontist about it, do they understand that their bite is off. So, what really is an ideal bite? An ideal bite may be described as a bite where the teeth of the upper jaw come in contact with those of the lower one at the same time when the mouth is closed. At the same time, the top teeth should only cover half of the lower ones at max.

There are a number of different types of abnormal bites that may be developed due to certain habits in young children or due to other dental manipulations. Here we describe the most common abnormal bites that a person can have.



  • A Deep bite, is one where the upper incisors cover the lower teeth too much when your mouth is closed.
  • An Open bite is one where the upper teeth just do not overlap with lower ones enough.
  • A Cross bite is a type of bite where the teeth cross over one another because the arch isn't perfect.
  • An overbite is where the upper teeth stick out in front of the lower ones. 


How do we develop poor bites?

There are multiple causes of these abnormal bites. Some can be caused due to damage to the teeth, or have been affected by trauma impacting jaw development. It's common to have misalignments after a dental procedure, but not treating that condition can lead to long-term problems for you. Sometimes, a common treatment like a dental filling or a root canal may shift your tooth into a misaligned position that disturbs your whole bite.

Another reason can be inflammation. The Jaw joints are susceptible to being inflamed, and any such process can lead to severe pain and inability to open or close the mouth. Also, some people have bad habits like grinding their teeth which can lead to bite defects.

A bite defect, although initially not of significance, can cause problems in the long run. They can cause discomfort on closing your teeth and can be cosmetically deforming. Also, any abnormal bite that is making a particular tooth touch the lower jaw first, will result in extra sensitivity and pain in that tooth. Besides this, an abnormal bite may cause severe wear of your teeth by constantly grinding against each other. This will make your enamel wear down at a much faster rate than normal to expose your teeth to harmful carious bacteria.

So, are there any ways that you can correct these problems?

As a matter of fact, there are. You can have that ideal bite, and the good thing is that it isn't complicated either. There are a number of ways that an orthodontist can assess a bad bite and treat it. Once the cause is identified, the orthodontist can improve the cosmetic appearance as well as the function by correcting the problematic tooth or teeth with manipulating your teeth and jaw. These procedures can help relieve the pain and discomfort during eating, talking or just closing your mouth, in general.All in all, we do know the importance of having the perfect smile, it's time we get that perfect bite too!  

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What happens if I stop wearing my retainers?

This is a commonly asked question as patient are overjoyed when braces are removed at the end of their treatment plan.  So why do I have to wear a retainer right after?

Retainers are needed to hold your teeth into their new positions.  After your braces are removed, teeth position will creep out as there is nothing holding them in place anymore.  Your bone and teeth tissues need time stablised into their new position which takes up to a year.

Straight after treatment, you'll wear retainers, full-time every day for the first 6 months.  The first month is very important as you have a higher risk of relapse meaning it'll take more time to stablise after treatment and you'll have to wear your retainers for longer period of time.  After six months, retainers can be worn at night time for a few more years.

As with braces, it takes time to get used to your new retainers.  After a month, the discomfort and difficulty in speaking will pass by so don't get discouraged.

Will retainers last a lifetime?  No, but it can take a few years to 10 years depending on the type of retainer and the condition of your teeth/gums.  Keep in mind, as we grow older, our faces mature and the teeth will continue to push forward.   Adult patients tend to wear retainers for the rest of their life to keep their perfect smile.

So is it worth slacking in wearing your retainers?  No.  You've made the investment for a perfect smile and endured throughout the treatment plan.  Wear your retainers to keep the perfect smile that you've always wanted.  

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Braces for Adults - Are They Right for You?

Middle school was usually synonymous with getting braces (which might've also induced bullying among kids). However, the trend right now sees a growing number of adults getting braces with some even starting in their 60s or 70s!

If you are considering getting braces as an adult, fear not for you are not alone. According to Oral-B, around 20% of those getting their braces right now are adults and this trend is still likely to grow. Some of the reasons braces are gaining ground in the older age brackets are because it takes a shorter period of time to finish treatment and a lot of today's braces are more aesthetically pleasing.

Traditional/Metal Braces
Old school metal braces are still fairly popular and if you're not too concerned with having "metal mouths" these are the braces for you. These classic variants are no doubt more noticeable but they still do get the job done very well and if you are on a tighter budget or want to save more, they are more on the lower price ranges compared to let's say lingual braces of Invisalign. 

Lingual Braces
These are somewhat like the metal braces but they differ in where they are placed. The brackets are on the back of your teeth and are effectively out of sight when you smile. However, lingual braces may cause some discomfort since they do come in contact with the tongue often. Treatment completion can also be a little longer compared to metal braces and they are also at a relatively higher price point.

Ceramic Braces

If lingual or metal braces aren't up your alley, there's also tooth colored or clear brackets that are almost unnoticeable. The wires used for this brackets are still metallic and will make them seem like retainers from afar. These type of braces are also at higher price points (with some brackets made from synthetic sapphires!) but they are nonetheless more aesthetically pleasing. 

Invisalign

For those who absolutely do not want brackets on their teeth but still want braces, clear aligners like Invisalign are gaining widespread attention because of how invisible they seem in the mouth. This system uses multiple sets of what look like clear nightguards and are successively changed every few weeks. What's good about this type of braces is that it can be removed when you eat or drink which means easier cleaning of your teeth. Be reminded however, that you need to strictly change each set of aligners at the recommended time in order to get the desired results in a timely manner. 

Surprisingly, the cost of braces have gone cheaper. If getting braces when you were a kid was one of your frustrations, now is your chance to redeem yourself and experience brackets on your teeth. Health insurance schemes are available that cover partial or complete payment for braces and a lot of dental clinics can also accommodate a payment scheme that will not stretch your budget too much. >

Getting braces during adulthood might make you feel a little hesitant but what is a few years of awkward looking bracket-y smiles to decades of perfectly aligned teeth? If you feel like adult braces are for you, you can get a consult with an orthodontist (a specialist in the alignment of teeth) to help you with your questions.

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