The main appeal of braces is the allure of having straight teeth and a beautiful smile afterward. However, there are many advantages to using braces to gain straight teeth besides just having a more esthetically appealing smile. Braces can help you achieve better overall dental health and can make it easier for you to chew, eat, talk, sing, whistle, play instruments, and basically anything else that you may do with your mouth. Braces Benefits

Minimize Gum Disease and Decay Risks

When teeth are crooked or overlapped, it can be very difficult to properly brush and floss every single crevice. This makes it easier for food debris and sugar from beverages to become trapped in the places that are hardest to reach. When you straighten your teeth with the help of braces, it eliminates these hiding spots, so you can more easily get your teeth completely clean every time you brush. Since gum disease and tooth decay are caused by plaque that builds up, straight teeth can help you avoid these issues.

Decrease Bone Erosion Risks

When the gums do not have teeth to support, they are directly exposed to food and beverages, which can cause the underlying bone to erode over time. Poorly aligned teeth can leave large gaps or can put pressure on the gums that make the gums more susceptible to bone erosion. Braces can help to align the teeth so that the gums are supporting the teeth and are not exposed to the forces that cause bone and tissue erosion.

Improve Speech

When the teeth are out of line or lean too far forward or backward, speech can be affected or impaired. This can cause embarrassing and frustrating slurs and slips that make it difficult for others to understand you. Poorly aligned teeth and tooth gaps can also make it difficult for you to whistle, hum, or sing. Aligning your teeth can help you to speak more clearly and professionally and can help you reach your full potential when it comes to singing, whistling, and playing instruments.

Make Eating Easier

When your teeth are straight, it is easier to chew your food completely and food doesn’t get stuck in your teeth as often, making the whole experience of eating more enjoyable. Chewing food completely is also very important to digestion, so digestion may be improved substantially by straightening the teeth. This can help you to eliminate digestive issues, which may help to improve health and mood and essentially the quality of life.

One of the most important things to think about after getting braces put on is changing your eating habits so that the braces do not get broken and your teeth do not suffer. Braces are not able to withstand the pressure that is put on them when you bite into many types of foods, so continuing to eat as you normally would can cause your braces to break, possibly injuring you or impacting the effectiveness of your treatment. This doesn’t mean that you need to change everything, though; it just means that you need to make some changes to the way you eat to accommodate the braces.

Braces Diet

Eat Softer Foods

When you first get your braces on and for a few days after getting braces tightened, orthodontists recommend that you opt for soft foods. Foods like mashed potatoes, applesauce, yogurt, rice, and spinach are among the many things that can be eaten. Avoid going on an ice cream binge or leaning towards unhealthy foods that you wouldn’t normally eat just because they are soft. It is as important as ever to make sure that you still maintain a healthy diet.

Cut Foods into Pieces

After your teeth begin to adjust to braces and the tension abates, it can be tempting to dive into your favorite foods without reservation. Even after the tension has subsided, however, you still run the risk of breaking your braces or harming your teeth with certain foods. To avoid depriving yourself while keeping your teeth and braces safe, you can cut up some of your favorite foods so that you can still eat these foods without the risk. Pizza, sandwiches, fresh fruit, and meats should be cut small for best results.

Avoid Sticky and Sugary Foods

Foods and even beverages that are extremely sugary or sticky (think taffy and soda) can get stuck in braces brackets and on your teeth. The sticky residue from these foods can make it very difficult for you to clean your teeth and braces well, which may result in sugar and acid being left on your teeth.

You may wish to take the opportunity to improve your diet and begin staying away from sticky and sugary types of foods altogether. Since many types of foods that are healthy are okay to eat with braces, opting for a healthier diet may make it easier to stay away from foods that are not recommended while wearing braces.

If you’re ready to get started with braces, call us today at 407-447-9060.

Getting your first adjustment after braces have been placed can be scary. Most people have lots of questions about the process, so it helps to have some guidance before you go in. Having a little understanding of what will happen can help to ease the stress of the situation, which is generally the worst part of the experience.

Adjustment FAQ

1. Will My Teeth Hurt?

After adjustments, especially after the very first adjustment, most patients’ teeth are sore for about three to five days. The amount of soreness may vary depending upon how far the teeth have to move. Orthodontists often recommend that patients take a mild over-the-counter pain reliever before leaving the house for an adjustment appointment, as it will help to ease the soreness. After about six months, most patients say that adjustments are not as painful.

2. What Can I Eat Afterward?

Since the teeth are a little sore after braces adjustments, it is recommended that patients eat soft foods for the first several days. These foods include mashed potatoes, yogurt, ice cream, shakes, and any other foods that don’t require a lot of chewing. Chewy foods should definitely be avoided.

3. What Happens at Adjustment Appointments?

Orthodontists remove all of the elastic ligatures that attach the brackets of the braces to the arch wire during adjustment appointments. Orthodontists then remove the arch wire and examine the progress of the braces. Based on the progress, orthodontists may place a new arch wire that is thicker or may decide to use the same or a similarly sized arch wire. After the arch wire is placed, the orthodontist places new elastics.

4. How Long Does the Adjusting Take?

Braces adjustment appointments generally take between fifteen and thirty minutes. The amount of time may vary slightly based on what the orthodontist has to do. If new arch wires need to be placed and the pressure on the teeth has to be increased substantially, the appointment may take a little longer.

5. Is There Anything Else I Should Know About Adjustment Appointments?

  • Temperature sensitivity is something that commonly occurs after braces adjustment appointments. Pain sensations may be experienced when patients eat or drink very hot or very cold items.
  •  The arch wire should never poke any part of a patient’s mouth. The orthodontist should be informed immediately if this occurs.
  • The cell regeneration process occurs after each adjustment, as teeth shift and break down some cells of the gums and bones and cause new cells to be generated. This process usually takes about three weeks, which is why orthodontists usually schedule adjustment appointments approximately every four to five weeks.

If you’re in the market for a clean, sparkly smile, call an experienced Orlando orthodontist at Carlyle Orthodontics today.

Patients generally consider any unexpected event associated with braces to be an orthodontic emergency, especially if the event or occurrence causes discomfort. If any unexpected event occurs, patients are urged to call our office and make an appointment to be seen as soon as possible. However, many orthodontic emergencies are actually somewhat minor and can be attended to by patients while waiting to be seen. These actions by the patient can help to eliminate discomfort, but the orthodontist should still be seen later for a more permanent solution.

Orthodontic Emergencies

Protruding Arch Wire

A protruding arch wire can poke the cheeks and cause pain and irritation. An orthodontist should be contacted immediately if an arch wire is protruding, but if the patient cannot be seen, there are steps that can be taken to relieve discomfort and prevent further irritation. The arch wire should be pushed back with a pencil eraser until it is flush with the tooth to stop it from touching the cheeks. If the arch wire cannot be pushed back, relief wax should be applied to the wire to reduce irritation.

Loose Ligatures

The small wires that connect the arch wires to the brackets may come loose and cause irritation. If this occurs, the ligature should be put back in place or removed using sterile tweezers. Loose ligatures often cause a domino effect, so an orthodontist should be notified immediately to properly replace the ligatures as soon as possible.

Loose or Broken Brackets

Brackets may come loose or be broken during play or while eating foods that should be avoided while wearing braces. If a bracket is not centered on the tooth, it should be slid back into place using tweezers. If the bracket has rotated on the wire and the orthodontist cannot be seen immediately, it is possible to flip the bracket back to the proper side in between two teeth, and then carefully slide the bracket into place until help can be sought.

Mouth Sores

Mouth sores are very common when braces are new. An orthodontist should be notified of the sores, but actions can be taken to alleviate discomfort. Ora-Gel or another topical numbing agent can be applied to the areas of the mouth where the sores occur. Dental wax can be applied to the pieces of the braces that are causing irritation to prevent further damage. Most sores will go away as the body adjusts to the braces, but minor adjustments by the orthodontist may help to rectify some issues.

The day that you get your braces off is a very exciting day that you have no doubt looked forward to since you got your braces put on. With the removal of braces comes the introduction of a different type of orthodontic treatment that you are unfamiliar with, however. While retainers are easier to care for than braces, there are a few things that you should know before getting yours.

Retainer Orlando Orthodontist

1. Retainers Help Keep Your Teeth in Their New Positions

Your teeth do not stabilize in their new positions for several months to a year after braces have been removed. The bone and ligament that anchors teeth to the jaw must grow and mature, and retainers help your teeth remain in the desired position during this process. They also protect the teeth from trauma, so that they do not get forcefully moved while in this vulnerable state.

2. There Are a Few Types of Retainers

There are three main types: Hawley, Essix, and permanent. Hawley retainers are the removable retainers that are made of wire and plastic and are molded to fit inside of your mouth. Essix retainers are clear, removable, and fit completely over your teeth. Permanent retainers are glued to the back of your teeth, so they are hidden, but not removable. Your orthodontist may try more than one type to find the most effective style.

3. Your Teeth Will Always Move

While teeth shift less after they have been allowed to stabilize, they are still capable of shifting positions at any time. Most often, teeth begin to shift back to their original positions when retainer instructions are not followed properly. This can even happen years after braces have been removed. The lips, tongue, and cheeks also work to keep the teeth in place. However, as the positions of these features change, the teeth positions can change.

4. Your Retainer Might Take Some Getting Used To

Hawley retainers are very noticeable and may make you lisp at first. Essix retainers don’t allow your teeth to touch as they naturally would, so the retainer may feel very strange at first. Permanent retainers may be difficult to floss and may feel uncomfortable on your tongue, requiring dental wax to ease discomfort. The process of getting used to a retainer is worth it, though, as it helps to preserve the work that your braces have done to align your teeth and give you a beautiful smile.

Call the team at Carlyle Orthodontics for the smile you’ve been dreaming of.

Tongue thrusting, also known as orofacial muscular imbalance, is a condition in which the tongue protrudes from the mouth during swallowing and speaking. In some cases, the tongue will also protrude from the mouth when at rest. Tongue thrusting is common in children under age four, but can become a concern after that age. Tongue thrusting may affect speech and teeth alignment if not addressed.

Tongue Thrust Treatment

Causes of Tongue Thrusting

Children may be more prone to tongue thrusting due to hereditary factors. Certain types of artificial nipples and prolonged thumb sucking behaviors may also contribute to tongue thrusting. Allergies, nasal congestion, and other conditions affecting breathing may also increase the occurrence of tongue thrusting behaviors as individuals compensate for the obstruction by holding the tongue lower in the mouth.

Tongue Thrust Complications

Tongue thrust has been associated with movement of the teeth, and has been linked to the development of anterior open bites and other types of malocclusion. While tongue thrust during swallowing has shown to exert pressure on the teeth, tongue thrust while resting has been noted as an even larger contributor to orthodontic conditions. The misalignment caused by tongue thrusting can affect the way words are pronounced, causing a speech impediment. Malocclusions can also cause jaw pain, headaches, and ear pain. In addition to these complications, the misalignment and speech problems caused by tongue thrust can also affect an individual’s self esteem and relationships with others.

Tongue Thrust Treatment

Correcting bite patterns will sometimes correct the positioning of the tongue. This can be done using braces in some cases. Cases in which open bite patterns are more extreme may require the use of temporary anchorage devices, surgery, or tooth extractions. If jaw and tooth alignment is found to be correct, nighttime mouth guards and visits with an oral physiotherapist may be sufficient to correct tongue thrusting behaviors.

Follow-Up Treatment

If tongue thrusting behaviors are not addressed after bite patterns have been corrected, teeth will usually shift back to the original position. Follow up treatment for tongue thrusting may include visits with an oral physiotherapist and use of specific types of retainers. A wrap around retainer with a hole in the top often provides two types of support. The retainer serves to prevent teeth from shifting back to the original position, and the hole presents a diversion from the tongue which can prevent the tongue from falling between the teeth while at rest.

X-rays, also known as orthodontic radiographs, are an important tool for assessing a patient’s jaw, mouth, and bone health. There are several different types of X-rays used in dentistry and orthodontics. It may be necessary for orthodontists to use a few different types of X-rays in order to get a full picture of the patient’s mouth and facial structure before recommending treatment.

X-Rays for Orthodontists

How Do X-Rays Work?

When an X-Ray is being taken, a beam of radiation passes through the body and hits either a sensor or a piece of film. Dense tissue such as bone and teeth will not allow the radiation to pass through, so it shows as a white or light image on the film. Softer tissues and areas of lower density allow the radiation to pass through, so it shows as a darker image on the film. Analyzing the darker and lighter spots on an X-Ray gives orthodontists an idea of the tooth and bone health of a patient.

Types of X-Rays

There are two main types of X-rays used in general dentistry and orthodontics. Intraoral X-rays are taken of the inside of the mouth. Extraoral X-rays are taken outside of the mouth. There are several different types of X-rays that fall into these two categories that are used for different purposes in orthodontics and dentistry.

Intraoral X-Rays

Common types of intraoral X-rays which are used by orthodontists and dentists include:

  • Bite-wing X-rays show the upper and lower teeth from crown to bone in areas of the mouth
  • Occlusal X-rays show placement and development of full teeth and arch
  • Periapical X-rays show full teeth from crown to the end of the root inside of the jaw

Extraoral X-Rays

Common types of extraoral X-rays that orthodontists or dentists may order include:

  • Panoramic X-rays show the entire mouth in one X-ray
  • Cephalometric projections show one side of the head
  • Tomograms show one layer of the mouth while blocking other areas to provide a clear view
  • CT Scans show a three dimensional image of the head. These must be performed at a hospital
  • Sialography show the salivary glands through the use of a contrast medium

Use of X-Rays in Orthodontics

The primary use of X-rays in orthodontic applications is to help orthodontists diagnose problems like impactions, misalignments of the teeth, and asymmetries of the jaws. Comparing and analyzing different types of X-rays such as panoramic X-rays and periapical X-rays helps orthodontists get a well-rounded picture of the tooth and jaw structure so that proper treatment can be administered. X-rays can also be used throughout orthodontic treatment to evaluate progress and make corrections as needed. Although not a primary application, X-rays taken by orthodontists may also reveal health conditions such as abscesses and tumors in the head that can save patient’s lives.

Baby teeth, also called primary or milk teeth, serve an important function in the development of permanent tooth placement. If baby teeth are pulled too soon or stay in place for too long, it can adversely affect the eruption pattern and alignment of the permanent teeth. It is important to speak to an orthodontist before making any decisions about baby tooth extractions.

When to Pull Baby Teeth

Primary Tooth Loss Schedule

Baby teeth are typically lost at certain ages. These ages may vary slightly from child to child, but should follow a certain pattern that corresponds to the pattern of permanent tooth eruption. If a child begins to lose teeth in a pattern that is outside of the normal eruption schedule, it may cause crowding in the mouth or misalignments. If a child goes several years over the normal tooth loss schedule, it may delay permanent tooth eruption or cause existing permanent teeth to shift into unnatural placements.

Baby teeth are generally lost around the following ages:

  • Between ages six and eight the lower and upper central primary incisors are lost
  • After central primary incisors, the lower and upper lateral incisors are lost
  • Between ages eight and ten there is a one to two year pause
  • Between ages ten and thirteen the lower canines and first molars are lost
  • Following the first molar loss, the upper canines are lost, then upper and lower molars

Extraction Considerations

If a baby tooth is damaged or begins to decay, it may be necessary to extract the tooth in order to save gum health and eliminate pain. However, extracting a baby tooth before it is time for the permanent tooth to erupt can allow surrounding teeth to shift to fill the gap. If the tooth can be saved, orthodontists often recommend using other methods so that the gap is naturally filled until the permanent tooth comes in. If it becomes necessary to extract a primary tooth, the orthodontist may recommend filling the space with a prosthetic tooth until the permanent tooth comes in. It may also be necessary to fill a space with a prosthetic tooth if more than three months pass between the loss of a baby tooth and the eruption of a permanent tooth.

Primary Tooth Extraction Benefits

If primary teeth are pulled at an appropriate time, it can sometimes prevent later complications. Pulling primary teeth will not permanently solve crowding issues, but it can help orthodontists guide permanent tooth development patterns so that straightening procedures and surgeries that would have been necessary later can be avoided. However, every child develops differently. Parents and orthodontists should discuss all possible remedies for childhood tooth complications before making the decision to extract baby teeth.Braces can help to correct alignment and bite issues. This can effectively improve appearance and eliminate certain painful or inhibiting conditions, as well as improving dental and overall health. However, if braces are not properly cared for, it can result in tooth decay and staining. This can be frustrating for those that have spent time and money trying to attain a beautiful smile. How to Prevent Braces Problems

Braces Daily Care

Daily care such as brushing teeth and flossing become especially important when braces are involved. Braces can trap food and sugars against the teeth, which can speed the rate of plague build-up and foster decay. Those wearing braces should brush and floss after eating any food or drinking any beverage other than water in order to keep teeth clean and free of build up. This will help prevent braces problems and further complications with orthodontic treatment.

Special Equipment for Braces Care

A specialized toothbrush called an interdental toothbrush can be purchased to effectively clean behind braces. The head of the toothbrush contains a small, flexible metal rod surrounded by short bristles that is capable of moving between teeth and braces as well as the gaps between teeth. This brush can remove particles which are stuck on teeth better than flossing or brushing alone. A water pic may also help to remove plague and food particles from teeth, keeping teeth healthier while braces are worn.

Eating for Success

When braces are first installed, it is important to eat soft foods in order to reduce mouth soreness and adjust to the feel of the braces. After adjusting to the braces, it is possible to eat foods that are harder or crunchy, but it is recommended that these foods be broken up or cut into pieces. Eating corn on the cob, meat off the bone, or a whole apple may pull and damage braces, which may cause pain.

Avoid Sticky Foods and Sweets

Sticky or chewy foods such as taffy and hard candy may pull on braces and cause mouth pain. These foods may also become stuck to the teeth, and can be very difficult to remove. Both sticky foods and sweets should be avoided to prevent tooth decay and difficulties with braces care. Sucking on highly acidic foods such as lemons should also be avoided, as these may cause lasting damage to enamel.

Regularly Visit Professionals

Attending regular check-ups for dental care and orthodontic adjustments will help to ensure clean healthy teeth that are being corrected at a proper pace with braces. Dental cleanings will remove stains and plague before damage is permanently set, and dentists will often provide helpful tips to make braces care easier or more effective. Orthodontists will check braces for any loosening or damage, correct any issues, and tighten or adjust braces in order to progress correction of conditions.