Perfect Smiles Orthodontics Blog

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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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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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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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