Perfect Smiles Orthodontics Blog

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Why We Have Crooked Teeth and How to Treat Them?

We mostly want the perfect straight smile like we see on the television. But if you take a close look at your near ones, you will see that people have crooked teeth than the perfect straight. A correct treatment in time can help you overcome these crooked teeth.

What exactly are crooked teeth and its types?

Crooked teeth are those which are simply not the perfect straight ones. The pediatric dentist or orthodontist classify it mainly into broad categories of crooked teeth. They are crossbites and Class II malocclusion. Cross-bites are mainly seen very common among the kids. Cross-bites can also be classified into two categories.

  • Anterior cross-bite: This is most common due to thumb sucking where it results in the upper and the lower teeth are not meeting each other thereby leaving a gap. But the back teeth meet when bitten together.
  • Posterior cross-bite: This is most common in mouth breathers and teeth are gapped with each other.

And the Class II malocclusion is when the lower teeth are set far behind the upper ones. It is seen commonly in the mouth breathers. 

And the Class II malocclusion is when the lower teeth are set far behind the upper ones. It is seen commonly in the mouth breathers.

Reasons for crooked teeth:

  • Genetical development: Genetics is one of the most common reasons for crooked teeth. It is mostly related to the size of our mouth. Smaller the mouth, greater is the chance of crooked teeth. The jaw development, the skull and the vertebral bone involves the cranial disbalance. And hence raises as a factor for crooked teeth. However, misaligned jaws are the center of the facial growth and also leads to issues of the crookedness of teeth.
  • Imperfect habits: It is very commonly seen when breathed through mouth. The nasal breathing is mostly attached to the proper jaw and teeth development. The expansion of the maxilla and the upper jaw is by the normal breathing through the nose. But if we tend to breathe through the mouth and if it becomes a habit then the obstruction is created to increase the pressure in the airway of the nasal. At this point, it becomes utmost important to consult the doctor to have the breathing pattern corrected.
  • Incorrect lip and tongue posture: Poor lip and tongue posture is also a common reason for crooked teeth. Ideally, the lips should rest on each other but when it does not, its high time we must consult the doctor.
  • Oral behavior: Thumb sucking and usage of pacifiers should mostly be restricted to avoid the crooked teeth.

    How to treat crooked teeth?
    Once the experienced orthodontist checks the pattern of the teeth then the solution to resolve can be as simple as a retainer or the commonly used braces. For adults, who feel embarrassed to wear conventional braces can also think of invisible options like lingual braces or clear aligners. The treatment can be started at any age although there is a specific timing for the treatment duration. However, whenever you feel the first signs of crooked teeth, you should not make a delay in getting checked by a professional orthodontist. 
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Even if you brush and floss your pearly whites twice or thrice a day, you cannot think of going cavity-free. This is because the bacteria residing on the tongue are not being addressed. Cleaning your tongue is recommended as it is beneficial in fighting bad breath as well as maintaining good dental hygiene. The tongue is a very important structure in your oral cavity and needs to be kept clean from food debris. It is advised to pay maximum attention to cleanliness of your tongue.

Why is cleaning the tongue important?

The tongue is a muscular structure that has tiny bumps on it called as papillae and there are grooves between the papillae. These are the potential areas on the tongue where bacteria can build up. Bacteria, dead skin cells and food particles will settle on the tongue. This gets covered by a very fine layer of mucus which covers the entire tongue. The bacterium that gets trapped on the tongue creates bad breath and a whitish discoloration on the tongue. These bacteria can get deposited on to the gums and teeth, thus increasing the chances of plaque and tartar buildup.

Cleaning of the tongue should be made part of the daily regimen for the following reasons:

  • To remove the bacteria
    Tongue cleaning leads to removal of the bacteria and plaque that leads to gum disease. If this is not cleaned adequately, it can cause illness that can spread to other parts of the body. This improves the overall health of an individual.

  • Removal of bad breath
    The germs that causes bad odour settle on the tongue and produces bad breath in individuals with poor tongue hygiene.

  • Improve overall taste sensation
    By clearing the plaque and mucus layer formed on the tongue, the taste sensation improves. This will help you relish the food that you eat. The taste of food will increase with great intensity.

Techniques to clean tongue

Just as you brush and floss your teeth, it is essential to follow a routine for tongue cleaning. It is best to make tongue cleaning a habit. The ideal time to clean the tongue is once in the morning and once in the evening. During the day, if any foul smell is noticed arising from the mouth then rinsing with mouthwash is advised as it kills the bacteria. This helps in maintaining a fresh smelling breath.

The technique used to clean tongue is important. It can be cleaned by brushing back and forth, side to side and by rinsing your mouth with water. It is important to take care not to over brush the tongue as it can cause a break in the skin of the tongue. The tongue scraper can be used to clean the tongue.

Cleaning your tongue is a very important daily routine that should to be followed. Just like brushing and flossing your teeth regularly, tongue cleaning should be cultivated as a habit. This extra level of care which is often overlooked helps you in maintaining good oral hygiene and health.

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DIETING MAY WORK for weight loss but does it help with oral health?

Topping the list of many people's priorities is weight loss. We are currently living in the era of egotism and excess where over-consumption of food has nurtured an increasing obesity epidemic and an equally but opposite repercussion as people attempt to drop the resultant weight.

Fad Diets may not be Fab for your Teeth

Every day is seemingly greeted by new and trendy diets in every niche: gym diets, carb diets as well as no carb diets.There are diets that are recommended by celebs and their personal nutritionists and trainers. Diet can impact oral health through various mechanisms. Nutritional deficiencies can trigger numerous ailments which manifest as oral changes. People are taking various fad diets and shortcuts to get slim, often overlooking moderation.You need to be aware that your diet does not just affect your weight and physical health but your dental health as well. 

Detox through warm water and lemon: Risky for teeth

Our eating habits can have a positive or negative impact on our dental health. Furthermore, while certain foods are beneficial, they are capable of causing disease, possibly affecting not only the teeth but also periodontal structures plus mucosa. Lemon squeezed into warm water is an excellent detoxifying drink but can erode your enamel due to the citric acid.

Sugary juices and shakes: Prone for dental decay

Popular weight loss diets use a mixture of juices and milkshakes to help people shed those extra pounds. There is one problem you probably have overlooked: the quantity of sugar in these juice cleanses or the milkshake regimens.

Although the standard acidity levels in fruits and vegetables are fine, your teeth can be damaged by the high concentration of sugar in juice cleanses. 

 Meal replacement shakes can compromise your dental health

Meal replacement shakes are a healthy and easy alternative to processed foods. They keep you full for longer periods as they contain high protein and are low in calories. These shakes may often lead to tooth decay due to high levels of sugar in the shakes and consequently, the need for dental procedure.

Bad breath due to high protein diet Diets that contain high protein aimed at cutting out carbs may as well have harmful effects on your general health and well being. Protein-rich diets can lead to ketosis which is a chief cause of bad breath.

Green tea side effects

Green tea is one of the favorite beverages of those who want to grow slim. It is packed with antioxidants and is fat-free, of course. Overconsumption should be avoided as green tea can stain your teeth.

Raw food diets are detrimental for dental hygiene

Consuming raw foods including fruits and vegetables, seeds and nuts is good and healthy for you. However, when you consume a complete raw food diet only, a couple of issue will arise.

Most of the fruits are loaded with organic sugar. Moderate consumption is not harmful any day. But an exclusive diet on raw fruits can increase the sugar load on teeth thereby, putting them at a risk of developing dental decay.

As a healthy person, it is crucial to be aware of what you are eating and also how it may impact on your overall health. While losing weight and getting healthy is certainly great, it should not come at the expense of your dental health.

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The Difference In Dental Health Between Men And Women

 The Difference in Dental Health between Men and Women

There is a common saying that men are from Mars and women from Venus! This is because men and women are quite different from each other in their personality and behavior, apart from the obvious physical characteristics. Dental health and its maintenance is different in men and women. Listed below are few differences in dental health that have been observed during years of study:

  • Dental health issues in women due to hormones
    Hormones play a major role in the normal functioning of the body especially in a woman. The sudden alteration in hormone levels during pregnancy, menstruation or menopause put a woman in a definite risk of developing gum problems or dental issues. During pregnancy almost 75% of women have been reported to have gum inflammation and few women develop burning mouth syndrome during the phase of menopause. The only method of curbing dental issues is by following oral hygiene regimes diligently.
  • Women brush more often!  
    A study revealed that women brush at least 8% more than men. This shows that they definitely care more for their teeth than men do. It has also been observed that women are about 10% more likely to brush their teeth instantly after meals. Men do not take oral hygiene measures as seriously as women.
  • Men meet with more accidents  
    We know that men are involved in contact sports more often than women. This factor puts them in a greater risk of meeting with sports accidents like a fall resulting in chipped or cracked teeth. That is why, a mouth-guard is essential to be worn during such activities. Apart from that, men tend to indulge more into deadly habits of smoking or chewing tobacco than women. Hence, cases of oral cancer have been reported more in men apparently.
  • Women visit their dentist more
    Women are keener than men in safeguarding their dental health. Hence, they end up visiting their dentist more frequently than men. This habit helps them in availing timely treatment for their dental problems and prevention of future dental upsets.  
  • More dental problems in men
    Since men visit their dentist quite rarely, they are always prone to develop some or the other dental problem. Men, generally, think that they should visit a dentist only when things seem to go out of their control like excessive pain and swelling. This is why most of the dental problems remain unnoticed until it grows into something serious. Regular dental check-ups and professional cleaning can keep most of the dental problems at bay.  

So, now you know how different men and women are in taking care of their pearly whites. ​

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The Most Common Ways Medications Can Adversely Affect Your Oral Health

Medicines help us recover from various ailments. But they also have some adverse effects on our health in general and our oral health as well. It is important for you to mention all the medicines that you are having when you visit your dentist as few oral problems can occur as a response to these medicines.

Here is a brief list of the most common ways medications can adversely affect your oral health

Bleeding- If you are having blood-thinning medicines like aspirin, you have a high chance of having abnormal bleeding during any dental surgery. Drugs like aspirin are prescribed to those who have had a stroke previously or have a heart disease. Aspirin prevents the formation of blood clots hence, preventing the occurrence of a stroke or a heart attack. During a dental surgery like extraction, the bleeding takes a long time to stop due to the effect of Aspirin and this can be life threatening as well. Hence, those who are having it should inform the dentist well in advance.

Taste alteration- Some drugs like inhalants, smoking-cessation drugs or anti-inflammatory drugs can lead to a change in the taste sensation or give a constant bitter or metallic taste in the mouth.

Oral sores or discoloration- Those who are using oral contraceptives or are under chemotherapy can develop small ulcers in the mouth. Contact your dentist if you happen to get them. Your dentist will prescribe a pain-relieving or soothing gel to alleviate the soreness and promote healing.

Enlarged gums- Few medicines like antiepileptic drugs and drugs used to lower the blood pressure can cause the gums to enlarge. These enlargements are not harmful but look unsightly. Consult your physician to get an alternative drug if you notice that your gums are swelling up because of the present ones.

Dry mouth- Dryness of mouth is an irritating adverse effect of multiple drugs like anti-allergic drugs, blood pressure lowering drugs and antidepressants. In this condition, the saliva production is reduced. Hence, the mouth experiences typical dryness which can have serious repercussions like oral sores, dental decay and gum disease. Using chewing gums and drinking plenty of water can be of great help.

Yeast infection- Certain drugs used for inhalation as a treatment for asthma can cause fungal infection. After using inhalers, it is highly recommended to rinse the mouth with water to flush out the medicine particles.

Oral thrush- It is the common name used for oral candidiasis or candidal infection in the mouth. Candida albicans is a fungus that dwells within our body and the multiplication of the fungus is kept under control by the good micro-organisms of our body. When our immunity lowers the fungus begins to multiply causing infection. Different medicines like antibiotics taken for a long duration can cause oral thrush.

Bone loss- Drugs like corticosteroids and antiepileptic drugs can cause loss of the teeth-supporting bone. Bisphosphonates are a type of drug used to treat osteoporosis. The adverse effect of this drug is that it may cause destruction of jawbone.

Whenever you use a medicine it is a good idea to weigh the benefits and the side effects and use them only if you find that the benefits weigh far more than the adverse effects.

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APART FROM THE cosmetic advantages, what’s so great about having straight teeth?

Not only do straight teeth make your smile beautiful and stunning, they bring your lips, face, and teeth in correct proportion with each other. So is that all? Apart from the cosmetic advantages, what's so great about having straight teeth? Straight teeth have a great contribution to our overall health. Here are few of the benefits of straight teeth - 

  1. Easy brushing- With straight teeth, brushing becomes a lot easier than having crooked teeth. The bristles of the toothbrush reach almost every point of the tooth surface ensuring that all the surfaces are scrubbed off properly. Flossing is also hassle-free if you have straight teeth. In crooked teeth, there is always a chance of leaving some areas unclean.

  2. Healthy gums- Straight teeth also contribute to the health of gums surrounding them. As cleaning becomes easy, the bacterial load residing on the tooth surfaces and gums reduces. Hence, there is less chance for the gums to get infected.

  3. Healthy heart- When the mouth is loaded with food debris there is every possibility for a hike in the number of harmful bacteria. These bacteria percolate through the gums to reach the blood circulation. They travel down to vital organs of our body like heart and can cause infection. Straight teeth eliminate the chance of accumulation of food debris as regular brushing keep a check on the bacterial population. Hence, straight teeth can be considered vital for the heart as well.

  4. No bad breath- A clean mouth leaves no scope for bad breath. As straight teeth make the cleaning process easy there is no chance for the food particles to remain inside the mouth. Bad breath is produced by a type of bacteria that loves to feed on food remnants. 

  5. Builds up confidence- A healthy and beautiful smile is what everyone desires. With straight teeth, one can achieve that dream easily. When you know you look good, your self-esteem boosts up and that reflects through your personality. 

  6. Avoids stress on the neck- Crooked teeth result in an improper bite. An improper bite is one of the reasons for undue stress on neck and head. This may result in a headache or a sore neck. Straight teeth resolve such problems to a great extent. 

  7. Prevent excessive tooth wear- Incorrect bite can lead to unusual wearing down of teeth.  This will result in teeth sensitivity as the repeated biting is causing the wearing of top layers of teeth thereby exposing the pulp.

  8. Clear speech- For our speech to be clear and accurate, it is essential for our teeth to be in straight alignment so that they make the correct contact with each other and the tongue at the right points. The pronunciation of some specific words changes in case of misaligned teeth. This may affect the self-confidence of an individual adversely.

If you have crooked teeth and you feel that there are no problems with them you may be sadly mistaken. Visit your dentist for a check-up to know more about your dental condition. He will surely help you decide whether correction of crooked teeth is required or not. ​

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YOU MIGHT THINK saliva is merely gross, but that’s not the case!

Your saliva might be the last thing you may be concerned about in your busy schedule. For some, saliva may look gross but there are immense benefits that this liquid offers to our mouth. Saliva is a liquid that is formed by the salivary glands of our body. It is predominantly water and has a combination of mucous, enzymes, minerals and proteins. 

How is saliva vital for oral health?

Your saliva is very significant in maintaining your mouth in a healthy state. The below listed points will tell you how-

1.  Protect gums - Saliva acts like a protective layer for our gums. Hence, it can be called as the first line of defence for the gums. It keeps the gums hydrated and moist. This is important for the gums to be in their healthy state.

2.  Prevent dental decay - First of all, saliva has antimicrobial properties due to which it helps in fighting the decay-causing bacteria. Apart from that, saliva flushes out the small particles of food that tend to stick around in the mouth and then become the nutritional resource for bacteria that cause dental decay.

3.  Remineralise - Saliva helps in building up the demineralized enamel. Once the minerals like calcium are lost from the enamel layer of the teeth it is known to be in a demineralized state. A cavity develops only when both the mineral part and the structural part of the tooth is lost. Hence, a tooth can be brought back to its original state if the lost minerals are given back to the enamel before the structure collapses. Saliva contains the minerals that compensate for the loss caused due to bacterial attack. This way saliva remineralises the enamel surface of the teeth.

4.  Aids in digestion - The first phase of digestion occurs in mouth and it is carried out by an enzyme called amylase present in saliva. Amylase helps in breaking down the starch present in our food. Saliva wets the food that we consume and help in softening the food particles. This soft ball of food becomes easy to swallow as it can glide through our throat with ease.

5.  Acid neutralizer - Another important role of saliva is that of an acid neutralizer. Consumption of acidic foods or beverages compromise the integrity of our mouth due to the reduction in the pH level. Saliva helps in preventing this from happening. It neutralizes the effect of acid through the utilization of bicarbonate ions present within the saliva.

6.  Helps in speech - You may not realise it until you have a dry mouth (a condition when the quantity of saliva is low).Saliva is extremely necessary for speech as it helps our tongue and oral tissues to carry out movements that are required for speech or chewing action.

Saliva is a life-jacket that protects us from numerous oral problems. Hence, you should ensure to that your saliva remains in the adequate quantity and quality. The best way to do it is by having a balanced diet and by drinking plenty of water.

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SMOKING CAN AFFECT MUCH more than just your lungs!

It is quite known how smoking can destroy your lungs. As a matter of fact, smoking can be extremely detrimental for your overall health as well. The blood vessels harden due to smoke products causing heart diseases and high blood pressure. Your oral health is also compromised due to smoking.

Impact of smoking on oral health -

The ill-effects of smoking are listed below-

1.  Bad breath- This is, indeed, one of the most obvious adverse effect of smoking. One of the prime reasons for bad breath is smoking.

2.  Gum problems - The soft tissue lining within our mouth gets exposed to high temperatures while smoking. This interfere with the physiology of the gums and can cause problems like gingivitis (gum inflammation) or even periodontitis (inflamed gums and supporting structures).

3.  Stains on teeth - The teeth get stained with light brown to blackish stains which give an unpleasant and dirty appearance.

4.  Precancer lesion - The toxic ingredients of smoke can cause some dreadful changes in the tissue within the mouth leading to development of whitish patches on the inner side of the cheeks called as Leukoplakia. This is a lesion that can lead to oral cancer as well.

5.  Delayed Healing - Any wound within the mouth of a smoker takes a lot of time to heal and there are chances for the wound to get infected as well.

6.  Oral cancer - This is the most dangerous consequence of smoking.

Effects of smoking on orthodontic patients-

If you are a smoker and wear braces, you have some serious reason to be worried. Take a look at how smoking can affect oral health in orthodontic patients -

1.  For Invisalign - These are almost invisible aligners that are worn by individuals to correct minor orthodontic problems. Smoking can stain these aligners and thereby compromise the oral hygiene of an individual.

2.  For Conventional braces - In this case, the teeth surfaces which do not have wires or brackets on them get stained. Hence, when the orthodontic patient removes the braces at the end of the treatment, the teeth have already got stained irregularly and, at times, even permanently. An additional problem with conventional braces is that removal of stains is quite tough through professional cleaning as the wire components act as a hindrance during the procedure.

For successful orthodontic treatment, the gums and the underlying bone need to be healthy. Smoking can risk the health of gums and the underlying bone. This can lead to delay in treatment or altered results. This is something quite undesirable. Hence, it is better to quit smoking once and for all.

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Tips for a Happy and Healthy Smile over the Christmas Holidays

It's December and Santa is all geared up to bring you the season's choicest blessings and gifts! Christmas is the festival of joy and happiness and a time to party with friends and family. Hence, you indulge yourself in your favorite delicacies. In this pursuit of satisfying your taste buds, we make some unhealthy dietary choices keeping our oral and overall health at stake.

Are you ready to take care of your smile this Christmas? Here are few important tips for a happy and healthy smile over the Christmas holidays-

  • Keep soda at bay- While you are busy partying, you may get ample number of opportunities to drink fizzy beverages. Make a conscious attempt to abstain from soda as it can corrode your teeth. Soda is carbonic acid and hence is sour primarily. Loads of sugar is added to make this acid palatable and that is what constitutes your tasty-looking fizzy drinks. Using a straw to drink soda can save your teeth from damage.

  • Minimize wine consumption-Wine is considered as an essential ingredient of any Christmas celebration. So it may be practically impossible to avoid it completely. The thought of stained teeth can help you overcome the urge for refilling your wine glass. After all, who wants to join office with yellow teeth!

  • Water can help- Water is considered as an excellent detoxifier. Keeping yourself hydrated can help you flush out the toxins from the body. If you drink water after a glass of wine, there are fewer chances for your teeth to be stained.

  • Say NO to sugar- Celebrations has always been associated with desserts or sugary foods. Sugar can create havoc with our overall health. They increase the sugar levels of our blood putting us at a high risk of developing health problems like diabetes. Sugar particles stuck on our teeth help the oral bacteria to thrive and cause dental decay. Limiting the intake of sugary and sticky foods can reduce problem of dental cavities or toothache.

  • Remember to brush and floss- You may grow bone-tired after cleaning your utensils or putting your kids to bed. Still remember to brush your teeth twice daily and floss at least once. Oral hygiene measures are imperative in maintaining a healthy smile.

  • Fruit-FULL Christmas- Try to make it a Christmas rich in fresh fruits and fruit dishes. It is one of the healthiest options available to convert this Christmas into a healthier one! Fruits are rich in nutrients and fibers. Hence, they nourish your body and clean your teeth in the process of chewing.

  • Avoid hard-to-bite foods- If you wear braces try to avoid hard or sticky foods as much as possible. While biting on hard foods, your braces may loosen and get dislodged. After all, who wants to spoil their Christmas holidays running behind their orthodontist for an appointment!

These tips will help you become well-equipped to step into this festive season!

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ORAL HEALTH DEPENDS ON MORE than how many times a day you brush your teeth, it also depends on your diet

Brushing and flossing are essential oral hygiene measures that cleanse your teeth and stimulate your gums. To achieve good oral health, maintenance of oral hygiene is very important. Apart from that, diet plays a very important role in achieving good oral health. Nowadays, we tend to eat more of those things that satisfy our taste buds than those that are actually healthy. Making good food choices is extremely vital for oral and overall health.

Here are few tips that you can follow to convert your diet into one that promotes oral health:

  1. Avoid sugars- Anything sweet contains glucose or sucrose most of the times. This is the source of nutrition for decay-causing bacteria. Hence, a diet with limited sugar can protect your teeth from bacterial attack. Sticky candies also can be quite detrimental for your teeth as they tend to stick the sugar-loaded candy particles to the tiny pits on your teeth. These are difficult to remove through brushing. Hence avoiding sticky foods is also recommended.

  2. Say no to carbonated beverages- The consumption of carbonated drinks are at a sharp rise now. Parents buy colas and sodas for their kids thereby making them used to this bad habit. Carbonated beverages are loaded with high volumes of sugar and contain carbonic acid. Both these ingredients have the potential of dissolving tooth structure leading to weakened teeth and increase in dental cavities. They increase your calorie count and put you at a risk of developing several medical ailments like diabetes.

  3. Include fresh and raw fruits and veggies- Green fresh vegetables are nutrient rich and contains various minerals and vitamins. When you crunch them in a raw form, they provide your body with necessary fibre content and clean your teeth during the process of mastication.

  4. Aim for a balanced diet- A balanced diet is the most important key to stay healthy and young. Inclusion of natural foods should be your aim so that you can minimise the consumption of processed food. Research has proved that those who consume a diet that is poor in nutrients are at a very high risk of developing periodontal disease. Chapped lips and bruised corners of the mouth are often the indicators of deficiency of vitamins like riboflavin. Hence, you should try to understand the food you are consuming and regulate it accordingly to receive maximum benefits. Inclusion of citrus fruits like orange or lime can be extremely beneficial for your gums as these fruits replenish the levels of Vitamin C which is essential for healthy gums.

Let the above mentioned tips help you to make the correct food choice for good oral and overall health.

Live healthy & Eat Smart!

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Why does my Orthodontic bracket keep falling off?

Getting braces is not an easy task as your mouth needs to get adjusted to few pieces of metal fastened onto your teeth. These braces need to stay within your mouth intact for about eight to twelve months to achieve the desired results. In your pursuit for a beautiful smile what can be frustrating than a falling bracket!

Well, it is important to understand the reason for the brackets to fall off. Once you understand the cause you can take the necessary measures to prevent it from occurrence.

 There are actually a number of reasons why this might happen, and it is something that happens more often than you might think. Here are three possible reasons you have experienced bracket failure. There can be possibly 3 reasons for a falling bracket-

  • The fixing of the bracket - Before applying the brackets on the teeth, the teeth should be cleaned thoroughly. Only after that, the brackets are glued to the teeth with the help of dental cement. Even after a round of professional cleaning, there are chances for some debris to remain stuck onto the teeth. Unclean teeth fail to hold the cement strongly, ending up in a loosely-bonded bracket. Apart from that, the ratio in which the dental cement has been prepared, plays an important role in the creating a strong bond between the tooth and the bracket. A loose mix can end up in a weak attachment.

  • The wearer - After one step out of the orthodontist office, it becomes the responsibility of the wearer to take care of his/her braces. For this purpose, the orthodontist provides the patient a list of do's and don't's after wearing braces. There may be few dietary modifications like inclusion of softer foods and avoidance of hard and crunchier food items as well as restrictions on sticky foods. There are also differences in the way one should be brushing their teeth. If the wearer does not abide by these rules, he is bound to damage his brackets or braces.

  • The tooth - In some cases, the tooth itself is responsible for a detached bracket. The teeth with enamel defects cannot bond with the bracket as strongly as a tooth with normal enamel can.

  • Biting pattern - Another reason can be the biting pattern of the wearer. While placing the brackets the orthodontist makes the wearer bite to check if the brackets are coming in way of the bite. Some individuals bite in different patterns at different times. This can cause the bite to fall directly on the bracket and end up in dislodgement.

The best way to avoid the falling off of brackets is to adhere to your orthodontist's directions strictly. Stand in front of your mirror while brushing your teeth and check the condition of your braces carefully. This way you can appreciate minor changes in position instantly. If you find that a bracket has become loose or has come out, fix an appointment with your orthodontist to get it fixed.

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Why Lingual Braces Are Popular With Image Conscious Patients

Lingual braces, also known as hidden braces or inside braces were first introduced in the 1970's. They are referred to as lingual braces because although the braces are like the traditional systems, there is one big difference.Instead of being fastened to the outside or front of the teeth, they are bonded to the inside or behind. Lingua is actually the Latin word for tongue.

Gone are the days of huge metal braces - with the arrival of lingual braces. This method is fast turning out to be one of the more preferred options for orthodontic treatment for image conscious patients across the globe. It actually combines the newest technology with patients' genuine concerns and as such, it provides you with the most effective orthodontic treatment currently available.

This is why they are popular with image conscious individuals who want straighter teeth but hate the appearance of sporting a mouth filled with metal.They are bonded to the inside surface of the teeth, next to the tongue (lingual) instead of the upper surface, hence they can barely be seen when you smile.

There are various reasons why lingual braces are increasingly becoming popular.

A large number of patients tend to feel more self-conscious when wearing traditional braces. Although the positioning of lingual braces makes them hardly noticeable, the technology is however too closely linked to the conventional braces, providing excellent control over tooth movement.

Lingual braces are among the more expensive treatment options on the market – and for good reasons. There are three major benefits associated with them:

  • They are incredibly hardly visible
  • They are extremely effective at straightening teeth since they use the conventional method of brackets and archwires
  • They are suitable for people with client-facing jobs

The following are additional reasons for their increasing popularity: 

They are capable of fixing more complex issues

Each bracket is tailor made to fit perfectly into the mouth in order to enhance the comfort of patients while wearing the lingual braces. After the lingual braces have been fitted, there is a little adjustment period. However, the tongue will gradually adjust to the orthodontic gadget.

Lingual braces are tailor-made for almost all oral disorders and may be used on the majority of cases to straighten teeth as well as correct bites including the more complicated cases which other clear aligners are not capable of treating.

They can be worn by both teens and adults

Generally, lingual braces can be used on the majority of patients of different ages who want a more discreet orthodontic treatment. The custom made brackets allow invisible braces to be worn by both teens and adults.

They can improve a patient's overall dental health

Lingual braces do not just offer aesthetic benefits; they can as well improve a patient's overall dental health. Adjusting uneven teeth using braces can be helpful in relieving stress on the gums plus jaws and straightening teeth, thus making it easier to both brush and floss. This can actually lessen chances of developing gum disease.

If you desire to have an attractive smile that you have been dreaming of but are self-conscious when it comes to the thought of having to be fitted with braces, lingual braces could certainly be the ideal option for you.

For more information about incredible lingual braces, or to arrange for a consultation, get in touch with us today. 

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Why Does My Smile Show A Lot Of Gum And How Can I Fix It?

Do you feel that when you smile you show a lot of gum? A gummy smile can actually make you feel self-conscious.

A gummy smile does not have a set of definition and it is mostly based on perception. As such, it varies from person to person. However, it has been shown that a smile will generally be seen as gummy when a gum tissue measuring about three millimeters or more is exposed.

There are several reasons why your smile shows excessive gum.

Gum Tissue Is Not the Only issue

Smiles look gummy in instances where the teeth, gum issues and the upper jaw are disproportionate â€" not in harmony with each other. The upper lips position also plays a part.

Causes of a Gummy Smile

Although there are several causes of a gummy smile, the most common ones include:

  • Teeth that look short because of inadequate or incomplete eruption and remain partly buried within the gum tissue
  • Teeth which are small when compared to the gums caused by heredities or wear
  • A very short upper lip
  • Long or enlarged gums that are referred to as gingival hypertrophy
  • Vertical maxillary excess, which is an overgrowth of upper jaw that causes the gums to bulge out

The good news is that it is possible for a gummy smile to be fixed.

Well, the type of treatment will be determined by what is causing too much gingival display. The moment the dentists identify the source, they can then work on creating an attractive, healthy smile.

The following are some of the options for gummy smile correction:

In case the basic reason for too much gingival display is minor and is caused by the jaws or teeth, then sometimes orthodontics alone can be used move the bite into the proper position thus making the gums look less noticeable.

For minor to severe jaw protrusion, the most suitable option is either orthognathic or jaw surgery together with orthodontic therapy.

If the teeth are very short due to wear or genetics, then veneers or crowns can be used to make them look longer as well as improve the tooth-to-gum proportion.

In case the problem is excessive gum tissue, a periodontist can carry out a gingivectomy procedure which involves the removal of the excess gum tissue and reshaping it to allow more exposure of the teeth and enhance the appearance of your smile.

In case the teeth are not fully erupted, the appropriate course of action is crown-lengthening surgery. This procedure involves the removal of gum tissue and/or bone to allow more tooth exposure and also let the gums pull back to their proper position.

A proper diagnosis by an orthodontist is crucial before any fix can be prescribed.

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Do wisdom teeth make my teeth crooked and does it needs to be removed?

Is there a relationship between the emergence of wisdom teeth and the teeth getting misaligned after braces? If so, what is this relationship, you may ask? Well, just because the lower front teeth apparently start getting crooked around the same time wisdom teeth start erupting, the latter have always been thought to be a 'spoilers'.

Although it is widely believed that wisdom teeth tend to push the other teeth, making them crowded, experts say that is not the case. As a matter of fact, anterior crowding of teeth which are not held by retainers is as a result of latent growth of the mandibular and reduced resorption of bone inside anterior mandible. 

A study conducted at the University of Iowa by department head, Dr. Tom Southard established that wisdom teeth do not actually put enough pressure on the teeth that are in front of them to the extent of making them to become crooked. In his study, he inserted sensors between the teeth. The sensors were meant to compare the pressures both with wisdom teeth and without them.No difference was detected.

 Dental Check-ups Important

In case it seems like the wisdom teeth become partly visible and you have them either trapped underneath the gum line or they start growing horizontally in the jaw, their removal becomes necessary. In fact, the earlier in life you undergo this procedure, the better. As we grow older our bones become harder, hence this increases the chances for complications arising from wisdom tooth removal surgery. Dental check-ups are crucial in monitoring, catching and correcting potential problems and that is why we should have them on regular basis. 

As You Age Your Teeth Change

Experts have discovered through studies over the years that teeth tend to drift forward regardless of whether people have wisdom teeth or not.

What causes teeth to move forward as you age is still not very clear. Despite the fact that wisdom teeth will not undo the effects of braces, still your teeth and bite are bound to change as you grow older. Your bite can deepen, making your teeth to increasingly overlap.

Dental Issues

While wisdom teeth do not cause front teeth to crowd as it was previously believed, it is still possible for them to trigger complications such as causing crowding in the back teeth. It might not be easily visible but this can still lead to jaw difficulties as well as other health problems.

If not removed, wisdom teeth may possibly become impacted hence lead to other problems such as:

  • Defects in bone plus soft tissues, and behind second molars
  • Second molars' root resorption
  • Crowding of back teeth
  • Growth of tumors around crowded teeth
  • Gum disease

This is why, irrespective of their effects on orthodontic results, wisdom teeth are usually removed in almost all patients.
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What are elastics and why are they important?

Why do orthodontists use elastics with braces? Rubber bands or orthodontic elastics are used for orthodontic treatment and have a very important role in bringing about optimum teeth movement.

 Types of elastics

There are two types of elastics primarily-

1.Ligatures- Braces are composed of brackets (that are stuck on the teeth) and archwires (that run between the brackets). Ligatures are tiny elastics that are placed by the orthodontist on the brackets to secure the archwires in their place.

Inter-arch elastics- These rubber bands are slightly bigger when compared to ligatures. They can be placed in different patterns depending on the type of misalignment that is being treated. Mostly, they are placed extending from one arch to the other (upper to lower teeth). That is why they are called inter-arch elastics.

 Why are they important?

While the archwires and brackets perform their function of pulling the teeth into the desired position, elastics works on fixing the bite. Straight teeth are not enough. They should be aligned in a way that can set your bite right! Fixing the bite happens when rubber bands apply pressure on various points on the jaw. This is a lengthy procedure with no short-cuts and demands complete cooperation from the patients. This step of correcting the bite and fixing it in its new position determines the duration of the treatment. So, if the patient wears the elastics as directed by the orthodontist, he can take off his braces soon without undue delay!

Tips on how to wear elastics effectively

  • Wear them always. Not every case needs elastics. In the cases which require elastics to be worn, your orthodontist may ask you to wear them 24/7. This means that you are having your food with your elastics on. Your chewing movements help the elastics to align your teeth into a correct biting pattern.
  • Change them as instructed. You will be asked to change your elastics a couple of times every day. Remember to change them even if they are not broken as elastics lose their strength after few hours.
  • Never overdo it. Never place double elastics with the hopes of finishing the treatment fast.
  • Never stop wearing due to soreness. You may experience soreness due to the rubber bands during the initial days. That should never deter you from wearing them. The ache is due to the force that is applied by the elastics on your teeth. Pain is a sign that your teeth are moving to their new positions correctly.

Wearing elastics may appear tedious and cumbersome initially. Think of them as a routine form of exercise that will help you build a beautiful smile when done with sheer determination!

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Do I Need Extractions with my Orthodontic Treatment?

Do I Need Extractions with my Orthodontic Treatment?

Orthodontic treatment or braces is the treatment of choice for misalignment and malocclusion. Ideally, treatments will involve the mere pushing, pulling, tipping, tilting and rotation of the teeth. Different forces are placed on them to bring them to the proper position. And sometimes, there is a need for teeth extractions.

Teeth Extractions and Braces

While not all orthodontic cases require teeth extractions, sometimes it will be part of the treatment plan. This concerns many patients, because apart from the pain and discomfort involved in the procedure, people are reluctant to let go of perfectly good teeth. "My teeth are not even decayed!" Yes, most teeth extractions required for braces, involve teeth that are healthy. But they are performed because of the following reasons:

  • To create space. The most common reason for teeth extractions for braces is to create space. When the teeth are crowded or crooked, you can relieve the space on the jaw, so that you can move the teeth around and bring it to its proper place. The common teeth removed are the premolars because of its size and position. Depending on the severity, two to four teeth may be removed on each quadrant. This extraction should be good enough to create space to be able to move teeth around.
  • To remove "extra tooth". Sometimes the teeth are removed because they erupted outside of the occlusion or it did not erupt at all. Although in some cases, impacted canines and premolars are taken out and bought into place within the jaw, some teeth may just be removed. When they appear to be extra teeth because the smile can do without them, they are just taken out.
  • To prevent relapse. In the case of impacted molars or wisdom teeth, their removal may be prescribed as a preventive measure. Wisdom teeth that are impacted will not come out into occlusion anymore, but their position within the bone can be destructive, because they can push the adjacent teeth. This is why relapse is common after braces. When the wisdom teeth are left after braces, they may render the treatment useless, because of the relapse. A valuable measure would be to take them out, whether or not they are present with any symptoms.
  • To reduce the total treatment time. If the teeth are to be moved to the desired new position without extraction of teeth, the whole treatment may consume a lot more time than usual and the treatment may extend from one year to two or two and a half in some cases. 
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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.


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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