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.

Birthday 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 TMD? (Temporomandibular Disorder)

TMD (Temporomandibular Disease): Causes, Symptoms and Diagnosis

The temporomandibular joint is a hinge joint that links the jaw to the skull's temporal bones located in front of each ear.  It facilitates the movement of the jaw up, down, and from one side to the other, thus facilitating talking, yawning and chewing.

TMD or temporomandibular disease or disorders is the collective term given to problems with the bones and muscles that form this joint and help in its function.

Causes of TMD

It is not clear what causes this condition.  However, dentists believe that issues with jaw muscles or with parts of the temporomandibular joint itself are responsible for causing TMD.  For instance, injury to the jaw, joint, or muscles of the neck and head such as whiplash or a heavy blow can trigger TMD.

The following are additional causes:

  • Grinding or gritting the teeth, that results in the joint being pressured excessively
  • The soft pad or disc moving between the joint's ball and socket
  • Stress which can lead to the tightening of facial as well as jaw muscles, or gritting of teeth
  • The existence of arthritis in the joint (especially in elderly people)

Symptoms of TMD

Mostly, this disease causes severe pain as well as discomfort. It can affect either side or both sides of the face. Also, it could be momentary or could last for several years. TMD is most prevalent among individuals aged between 20 and 40 years, with the majority of victims being women.

The following are some of the common symptoms:

  • Aching or tenderness in the jaw joint area, face, neck and shoulders, plus in and around the ear when talking, chewing, or opening the mouth wide
  • Difficulties when trying to open the mouth wide
  • Jaws getting locked or stuck in the open/closed mouth position
  • Problems with chewing or having an abrupt, uneasy bite as if the teeth are not fitting together correctly
  • Clicking, cracking noises in the jaw joint while opening or closing the mouth, or chewing (this may be painful or not painful)
  • Swelling on the side of the face

Toothaches, headaches, aching in the neck, upper shoulder pain, earaches, hearing difficulties, dizziness, and tinnitus (ringing in the ears) may also be experienced.

How TMD Is Diagnosed

There are several other disorders that cause the same symptoms, for example sinus problems, arthritis, tooth decay, or gum disease. The orthodontist will therefore inquire about a patient's health history and do a physical exam in order to find out what is causing the symptoms.

This will include checking the jaw joints for pain or swellings, listening for clicking, popping, or grating sounds that accompany any movement. The orthodontist will also ensure that the jaw works properly, without locking when opening and closing the mouth.He will test he patient's bite to see if there are any problems with the facial muscles.

Full face X-rays may be taken to view the patient's jaws, temporomandibular joints, as well as teeth in order to rule out other problems.


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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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Benefits of early orthodontic treatment for your kids

Children between ages 7 to 10 is around the best age to allow an orthodontist to evaluate their teeth to see whether early treatment is required.

If some form of conditions is found, parents can begin their children on preventative treatments as it presents the opportunity for an orthodontist to have control over the development the children's permanent teeth. The benefit that comes in by addressing the shape of the jaw and the health of their teeth.

At the age of around 7 years, the mouth has grown and has enough sound structure to know how it's going to increase because it's when adult teeth will begin to emerge. It allows the orthodontist to predict their teeth's development.

It can be challenging to predict whether they require evaluation but if you see any characteristics or behavior below, then please talk to our team

  • Thumb Sucking
  • Facial Imbalance
  • Chewing difficulties
  • Teeth grinding and clenching
  • Speech Impediment
  • Breathing through the mouth
  • Early or late loss of baby teeth
  • Protruding front teeth

With early orthodontic treatment, the benefits to your children teeth health includes:

  • Guiding the growth of the jaw to promote facial symmetry
  • Create space for crowded teeth
  • Reduce bad oral habits
  • Prevent jaws/teeth development flaws leading to bad bites or TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint Disorder)
  • Reduce future treatment time when braces are required (Saves time and money)
  • Improves patient self-esteem
  • Proper chewing and biting

Early treatment is a preventive measure which sets the foundation for the development of healthy teeth and gums. Early intervention are often easier to correct (while the child's jaw bone is soft) than later in their life. Your children will thank you in the future (hopefully) with their beautiful and charming smiles. Book an appointment for your child's orthodontic evaluation at Perfect Smiles Orthodontics.

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