After a few visits to your Orthodontics specialist, you have finally gotten accustomed to the little discomfort after adjustments, and suddenly they make an appearance. Yes, we are talking about the elastics (rubber bands).
Then your orthodontic visit finishes, and you feel like it is your first-time wearing braces again. It is not only about the extra pressure but the feeling of having your mouth a bit restricted.
However, elastics (rubber bands) are a major player in your treatment success. It turns out elastics exert steady pressure helping move certain teeth to correct your bite.
If you want to see it differently, they might be called “small heroes” in the battle to conquer a final objective, a healthy and beautiful smile. So, we encourage you to think about the outcome.
Yes, there are several steps, requirements, and efforts patients must undergo to see results, but you will find a pleasant reward during the journey, seeing progress and, in the end, the result.
So, you might be asking yourself, what does orthodontic treatment success require? Well, the most important part is compliance with your orthodontist’s recommendations, and one of these recommendations is wearing your elastics all the time.
This short but insightful article addresses two major concerns of orthodontic treatment related to the “small heroes” elastics. First, we will shortly tell you what role they play in Orthodontic Treatment? In different words, we will define How do elastics help your orthodontic treatment? And what are the types of elastics used in Orthodontics?
How Do Elastics Help Your Orthodontic Treatment?
It is all about physics, but we don’t want to go that far explaining it. In a few words, a misaligned tooth reacts (moves) due to the pressure that the “U” shaped wire exerts.
The wires shape is a staged desired alignment of teeth that slowly molds with each adjustment to the final result. Brackets hold the wires. In some cases, elastics serve to fixate the brackets.
Stress creates an action and reaction force in which the wire tries to get back to its former position, slowly pulling teeth and repositioning them. The action and reaction also stress a specific tooth that pushes one another in a sort of a chain reaction.
However, there are malocclusion cases that require an extra effort, like the case of a jaw repositioning. In such cases, elastics attach to brackets with hooks. Not all brackets have these hooks.
An Orthodontist plans the complete treatment, knowing beforehand which teeth will have these hooks. Elastics hold on to two separated hooks exerting additional stress. The brackets apply force to the band that stretches. At the same time, the band applies force in both directions.
Finally, the band exerts a constant forth and back force, altering the positioning of the jaws and teeth.
What Are the Elastic Bands Used in Orthodontics?
We have discussed the elastic (rubber bands) function. However, to grasp a better idea of its hero powers, it is crucial to know a little bit about the types of elastics used depending on the type of malocclusion. So here, we try to depict the best description possible for each elastic type and orthodontic case.
Types of Elastics Used in Orthodontics According to Malocclusion Cases.
Sometimes there is an abnormal lack of space between teeth. For example, class 1 elastics attach to a hook located in the bracket on the first or second molar, in the same lateral quadrant of the opposite hook of the bracket adhered to the cuspid tooth. This generates pulling stress to get the cuspid to move to its proper position.
This elastic type goes from a hook in an upper tooth to a hook in a lower tooth, pulling back the upper teeth and pushing the lower teeth forward. This serves to reposition the maxillary, moving it back to its proper position.
The mechanics applied to correct an underbite with elastics are similar to the mechanical movement of overjet, but, in this case, the maxillary moves forward while the jaw moves backward.
Getting a chipped tooth is something very common that can happen to anyone regardless of age, given the right circumstances. Some people will be more prone to suffering from a broken tooth due to the shape of their jaws, their teeth, etc. Luckily for everyone, fixing these injuries is relatively easy, even in more extreme cases where big portions of the tooth are lost. There are many ways to fix or even replace missing teeth, all of which allow the user to live a normal life and even start or continue their specialized orthodontic care with almost no problem.
How Orthodontic Problems Can Cause Broken or Chipped Teeth
Many factors can lead to broken teeth. It can be something as simple as a fall or taking a hit while you are playing a sport; either way, the possibility of chipping a tooth is much greater when an orthodontic problem is present.
Malocclusion, or bad bite as it’s commonly known, is the term used to refer to baldly aligned or angled teeth. This non-optimal positioning pits the teeth against each other, creating more pressure between them and thus making them weaker over time and more susceptible to break on impact.
Throughout the types of bad bites, we’ll see, that the extra wear and pressure on the teeth are consistent. Thus, having any of these will greatly increase the probability of breaking or chipping a tooth by either a powerful impact, as stated previously, or just weakening the teeth to the point where they cannot withhold day-to-day activities. Here are some of the most common bad bites in people.
This type of malocclusion happens when the upper teeth are protruding forward in relation to the lower teeth. There are a lot of reasons this can happen, the regression of the lower jaw, the constant sucking of a finger, nail-biting, etc.
It occurs when either the lower or upper jaw protrudes from the other, generally, we use this term to refer to the protrusion of the lower jaw. The placement of the jaw misaligns the teeth, making them prone to more wear than needed.
“Retrusive incisors” refers to a condition where the teeth are angled toward the inside of the mouth instead of being straight down as usual. As stated in OralHealth, having retrusive incisors can restrict movement and extra wear.
As the name implies, this happens when the bottom and upper front teeth align and collide when closing your mouth. It can interfere with one’s chewing and creates more pressure in the affected area.
How to Fix a Broken or Chipped Tooth?
Fortunately, there are tons of ways of fixing a broken or chipped tooth. Depending on how much of the tooth has been chipped or broken, the dentist will decide what approach is best, usually between bonding, dental cap or crown, dental veneers, and root canal therapy.
The fastest and least intrusive treatment is dental bonding. A dental health specialist will commonly use dental bonding when a small portion of the enamel, the outer covering of the teeth, has been chipped. Your general dentist will use a sticking agent on the tooth before they place the resin; once they have applied the resin, they will shape the resin and harden it by using a blue light. Once the process is over, the bonding material tends to be unnoticeable.
For more serious injuries, a dental cap or crown may be a better choice. This additional piece helps cover a larger portion of the tooth, and we could use various types to fit your needs and goals better. To accommodate the crown, your dentist may need to grind away a part of what’s left of the tooth. This treatment can take a few visits, as they will need x-rays to check the tooth’s surroundings and make a model for the crown.
Regardless of the approach taken, the patient can still have orthodontics applied. Given braces and dental crowns as an example, the orthodontist will apply braces to the dental cap wearer, although, the type of braces they end up using will most likely be different from someone who doesn’t have a crown. Orthodontists take this decision to prevent any damage to the dental cap itself; of course, there are some risks that damage might happen, but the possibilities of that are low.
On the flip side, if someone has a chipped tooth without treatment and wants to get braces, they can get them, but a dentist will have to fix their tooth first with one of the previously mentioned treatments. If you or anyone you know has a chipped tooth problem and wants to get it fixed don’t hesitate to contact us or request an appointment.
Proper brushing techniques are the key to maintaining a healthy smile with braces. Read this blog to learn how interdental brushing can improve your oral health.
Orthodontic treatment can make it difficult for a patient to clean their teeth. This can lead to plaque build-up around the teeth, brackets, and wires. To counteract this, the orthodontist will give specific instructions on how to brush properly to prevent cavities, gum disease, and dental stains. In addition to using a traditional toothbrush, he may also recommend interdental brushing—another highly effective method for maintaining a healthy smile.
An interdental brush (IDB) is a small, specially designed brush used to clean between the teeth or brackets where a traditional toothbrush can’t reach. Those without braces use an interdental brush to clean between the teeth, but orthodontic patients also use them to clean around and between the brackets and wires on their teeth.
Read this blog to learn how to use an interdental brush properly and how interdental brushing is beneficial for people with braces.
How To Use an Interdental Brush
Before purchasing an IDB, be sure to ask your orthodontist which size will work best for your smile. Interdental brushes come in various sizes—correlated by the color— to benefit all types of smiles.
Orthodontic patients should use the interdental brush one time per day after brushing with a traditional toothbrush.
To properly utilize an interdental brush, follow these instructions:
Move the appliance up and down on either side of the brackets
Pass the brush along the orthodontic wire when moving from one tooth to another, continuing to move it up and down
Rinse after each use
Replace the brush when it begins to look worn
The Benefits of Interdental Brushing
Aside from helping patients maintain good oral health, an interdental brush provides several benefits, especially when compared to dental floss.
The advantages of interdental brushing include:
Safe to use
Often, orthodontists instruct patients on using dental floss to clean between their teeth and brackets. It can be a complicated process that many patients won’t give a second thought about when they leave the orthodontist’s office.
IDBs offer all of the same advantages along with the simplicity of use. Patients with dexterity issues have a greater appreciation for this appliance because there are variations of the brush with a long, bent handle.
More Ways to Keep Your Mouth Healthy
Braces offer so many benefits and provide patients with beautiful smiles! However, braces also require proper care and responsibility. To ensure you have the best orthodontic experience, follow these guidelines:
Avoid chewy, crunchy, sticky, and hard food
Avoid foods that require biting into
Do eat soft foods like dairy, bread, grains, seafood, cooked vegetables, and fruits
Rinse with salt water when you’re mouth feels tender or sore
Learn how to fix a loose wire
Utilize wax to relieve irritation
Wear a mouthguard
If you follow these tips and other specific instructions from your orthodontist, you’re sure to have a great orthodontic experience. Along with having a beautiful smile at the end of treatment, you’ll also have a healthy one!
The Importance Of Oral Hygiene
It doesn’t matter if you are currently undergoing orthodontic treatment with braces or not. Oral hygiene is essential, more so than patients tend to believe. Dental hygiene is vital to an individual’s overall health and well-being.
Untreated oral diseases may increase the risk of adverse health conditions. Thus, maintaining good oral hygiene is important in improving your oral health and overall well-being. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Poor oral health is associated with other chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. Oral disease is also associated with risk behaviors such as using tobacco and consuming sugary foods and beverages”.
It’s important to think of your mouth as the door that leads to the internal parts of your body. Your mouth also serves as a starting point for detecting early symptoms of systemic diseases. Diabetes, for example, often starts to become noticeable with a mouth lesion or gum infection. Furthermore, patients who have periodontal disease have a greater risk of suffering from heart disease.
Lastly, poor oral hygiene can also be a determining factor in the cause of:
As you can see, keeping your teeth and mouth clean can help to have a beautiful smile and prevent many severe health conditions. However, don’t be alarmed; all you need to do is keep a good oral hygiene routine.
How To Keep A Good Oral Hygiene Routine
At Markham Orthodontics, we understand that keeping a good oral hygiene routine can be difficult and maybe even confusing, even more so while you have braces. So, let’s take a look at some things you can do and how to do them correctly.
Remember to Brush Your Teeth
Brush your teeth at least twice a day, taking at least about two minutes to do a great job.
Don’t forget to clean your tongue, which harbors bacteria, with a toothbrush or tongue scraper.
Use the proper equipment. Always try to use fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush. You can also use an electric or battery-operated toothbrush if preferred—polish your technique. Gently brush with circular short back-and-forth motions. Brushing too hard or with hard bristles can hurt your gums.
Replace your toothbrush every 3 to 4 months
Don’t Forget About Dental Flossing
It doesn’t matter if you brush or floss first. What matters is you use flossing to reach the bacteria in the tight spaces between your teeth and under the gum line. However, when you floss, keep in mind:
Use about 18 inches of dental floss. Guide the floss between your teeth using a rubbing motion.
Take it one tooth at a time. Slide the floss into the space between your gum and tooth. Use the floss to gently rub the side of the tooth in an up-and-down motion.
Don’t Skip Routine Appointments
Keeping routine appointments is very important. Make sure always to keep the scheduled appointments. During these appointments, your dentists will solve not only current problems but also prevent new ones.
Usually, we would recommend you have a cleaning and checkup twice a year or every six months, to be exact.
How Your Choice of Food and Drinks Affects You
Using an interdental brush or choosing the right brushes for braces will improve your oral care routine. However, when it comes to dental care, we are strong believers in the power that prevention has over correction.
You should always pay close attention to your dental hygiene routine and what you can do to improve it, but another area where you should spend some time is on planning your meals.
We’re not saying you should meal prep for the entire week, but you should gradually move away from some snacks and beverages that could damage your braces or hurt your dental health.
As the best orthodontist Natomas, Sacramento residents can find, we will share with you a comprehensive approach to your specialized orthodontic care. One major part is your diet during braces. What we choose to eat or the foods to avoid during braces is as important, if not more, than what we do to clean our mouths after a meal.
What Foods to Avoid With Braces?
These are some of the foods you should avoid at all times during your treatment with braces:
Hard taco shells,
Sticky and hard candy,
Hard cookies or crackers,
Sticky or hard chocolate,
Fibrous, hard, or raw vegetables:
Corn on the cob,
Pure black coffee,
The reason behind this recommendation is that such foods may break into smaller pieces or fibers that will get caught between your brackets and archwire or behind the brackets and peel them away causing some orthodontic emergencies. Some of the beverages on the list will cause staining, so users of clear braces or clear aligners will want to avoid them.
There are other foods and drinks you should avoid for the first few days of your treatment with traditional braces and the days following an adjustment:
Chicken noodle soup,
As you can see, most of the items on this second list are not necessarily beverages or foods that will damage your orthodontic appliances, but they will undoubtedly cause discomfort as your teeth might feel sore or be sensitive to heat and cold following an adjustment.
Which Is Better Floss or Interdental Brushes?
There is no straight answer about which is better; it mostly comes down to a personal choice. One thing that’s important is both dental floss and your choice of interdental brush.
One thing is certain: interdental brushes and dental floss help reduce the plaque-forming around your teeth and any chances of developing gum disease. Their purpose is the same and as they remove food debris from in between your teeth, they will help discourage harmful bacteria growth.
Some patients find interdental brushes to be better for their braces as they may have difficulties maneuvering around their mouth with dental floss wrapped around their fingers. Some senior patients might prefer an interdental brush over dental floss.
There is also fatigue associated with the adoption of additional oral care techniques. Many patients are tired of hearing about dental floss and don’t pay much attention to it. However, the novelty of interdental brushes seems to boost the attention that these little brushes for braces deserve.
One point in favor of interdental brushes is they reduce bleeding gums. Even if you have no gum disease or gingivitis problems, some patients might still see their gums bleed when they use dental floss. The small interdental brushes for braces help clean your gums without causing additional bleeding.
Contact Our Sacramento Orthodontists Today
At Markham Orthodontics, Dr. David Markham and Dr. Steven Scott provide excellent, gentle care to patients of all ages. Our goal is to help patients achieve a beautiful, healthy smile that they can’t wait to show off.
If you’re in need of care for your bite, jaw, wisdom teeth, or crowded teeth, you may be unsure about which dental professional you should visit—an orthodontist or an oral surgeon. This overview will clear common confusion regarding these two dental professions.
Aside from attending dental school and holding memberships in dental organizations, oral surgeons and orthodontists have different roles. How do oral surgeons and orthodontists differ? In a nutshell, an orthodontist specializes in straightening teeth, while an oral surgeon is the surgical specialist of the dental profession.
Continue reading to learn more about the differences between these two professions.
What Does Their Education Look Like?
Both oral surgeons and orthodontists are required to complete a bachelor’s degree and four years of dental school. Afterward, they complete a residency in their specialties.
An oral surgeon’s four-year residency focuses on an in-depth study of the anatomy of the skin, bones, and muscles of the face, mouth, and jaws.
During this program, the residents learn plastic surgery, emergency medicine, and ears, nose, and throat medicine (collectively called otolaryngology). This four-year residency is specifically chosen and accredited by the American Dental Association.
Oral Surgeons are technically titled oral and maxillofacial surgeons. These doctors are specialists focusing on reconstructive surgery of the face, facial trauma surgery, the oral cavity, head and neck, mouth, jaws, and facial cosmetic surgery.
After completing dental school, an orthodontist’s residency focuses on properly aligning teeth. The aim goes beyond delivering beautiful smiles. Orthodontists help patients overcome problems with their speech, biting, and chewing.
Orthodontists focus on non-surgical treatments that realign a patient’s dental structures. We rely on orthodontic appliances such as braces and clear aligners to apply gradual force on patients’ teeth. This process ensures we will safely move your teeth and jaws until they reach the desired position.
The Conditions Treated
Oral surgeons and orthodontists treat a variety of dental issues, and they often work together to fix a common problem. For example, patients who have jaw or facial deformities or need corrective jaw surgery may require both specialists.
Both orthodontists and oral surgeons commonly refer patients to each other for specialized treatments.
Common Oral Surgical Issues Include:
Impacted wisdom teeth,
Broken facial bones,
What the Best Orthodontist in Natomas, Sacramento Treats:
Oral Surgeon Vs Orthodontist
Most of the time, patients with jaw and facial deformities will need both oral surgery and orthodontic treatment.
When corrective jaw surgery is necessary, oral surgeons work together with orthodontists to develop comprehensive treatment plans. It’s essential to keep in mind that every individual is different, and so are their treatment needs for the perfect smile.
So, always follow your orthodontist’s treatment recommendations if you want the best results.
What Is Orthognathic Surgery?
Orthognathic surgery is what some people know as corrective jaw surgery or simply jaw surgery. This procedure serves to correct jaw and lower face conditions related to structure, growth, and airway issues.
Some of those problems include sleep apnea, TMJ disorders, and malocclusion problems arising from skeletal disharmonies. Other patients may also require jaw surgery when they suffer from orthodontic bite problems that cannot be easily treated with braces.
If a patient has other facial imbalances, disharmonies, and asymmetries, they may also require orthognathic surgery. These corrections can help improve the patient’s facial aesthetics and self-esteem.
Will You Need Oral Surgery?
No matter what your dental problem, often, the best place to start is with your orthodontist.
Oral surgery is invasive by nature. Orthodontists are more likely to offer conservative treatments to address common dental issues, meaning you will reap the same benefits without sowing as much of your time, money, and energy.
Your orthodontist will have your best interests in mind. They will refer you to an oral surgical specialist if oral surgery is necessary.
You may also want to ask your general dentist for advice on where to start. Your general dentist knows your oral health history, and they will understand your specific needs and goals.
If your teeth have been bothering you for some time now, make sure to get in touch with a general dentist first. You may want to visit someone like our friends from Maidu Dental before you commit to an interdisciplinary team and be subject to invasive surgery.
The journey toward oral surgery is not a fast one. The team will have to prepare and get additional information. We can’t get enough data just with a quick glance in your mouth. Be ready for some advanced imaging like x-rays. Let’s take a look at some scenarios that definitely require oral surgery.
Teeth that cannot fully erupt for several reasons and remain trapped under the gumline are a significant danger to any patient. The most common cause of impacted teeth is Wisdom Teeth. If there isn’t enough space for your third molars to erupt, they will stay under the gumline and create additional complications.
As your gums grow sorer and sorer, you might also develop some infections. These pockets of infected material affect your surrounding teeth, cause significant pain, and even help erode the bone tissue anchoring other dental pieces. These cysts can destroy your oral health.
To avoid all this situation, or also as a way to correct it, you can trust a team of orthodontists and oral surgeons to remove your impacted teeth through oral surgery.
Another reason why you might require oral surgery is problems with your joints. The little joint that connects your lower and upper jaws can suffer from something we call Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD). People use those two acronyms interchangeably, but they’re not really the same.
The joint that connects your bones is the TMJ, whereas the disorder gets the name TMD.
As a community, dental health specialists have not determined what causes this problem. However, we have identified several risk factors, and we try to help all patients avoid them.
Treatments are usually limited to dealing with the most discomforting symptoms, but you might require oral surgery to correct your oral structures and alleviate the pain in extreme cases.
Patients who require dental implants for cosmetic or restorative dentistry will require help from a maxillofacial surgeon.
Certainly, the treatment plan will come from another specialist, but when the dental crown or another implant requires installation, a surgeon will imbed a small anchor piece onto your jaw bone or palate. This is the standard procedure for dental crowns, bridges, and dentures.
Your dental health specialists will ensure you have healthy bones and periodontal tissues to anchor the necessary pieces and avoid additional complications.
What Are the Risks of Oral Surgery?
As with any surgery, oral surgeries involve some risks. Even the most common surgery for tooth extractions carries the risk of damaging nerves.
An extreme case involves the damage of facial nerves, leading to loss of feeling or sensibility around the area. However, this is extremely rare.
Common side effects you can expect after undergoing oral surgery are pain, bleeding, swelling, and occasional infections. These side effects are easy to treat and are often quick to disappear. Dental surgeons will usually prescribe antibiotics to prevent and fight off any type of infection.
Schedule an Appointment Today
If you need orthodontic treatment, your Sacramento orthodontists at Markham Orthodontics are prepared and excited to help you achieve a beautiful, fully functioning smile.
Read our testimonials page to hear from our satisfied patients, and browse our website to learn more about our dental practice and the services we offer.
Well, this is not what we were expecting for today. Headgear braces are such a controversial topic; there’s no easy way to go about it. When we recommend a patient uses braces, we do so because we want to provide you with a non-surgical solution to your dental and jaw alignment problems. But some cases are just too severe and might require more powerful appliances, such as dental braces and headgear.
As with many other orthodontic appliances, your dental headgear works to improve your dental alignment or correct existing jaw malocclusions. These devices, however, are useful mostly in cases of young children or teenagers whose bones are still growing.
What Are Headgear Braces?
Unlike most orthodontic appliances, some parts of the headgear will go outside of your mouth. The many parts of headgear include:
A head cap: this piece sits on the patient’s head and anchors all the remaining pieces.
Straps: these are used to provide force at a specific angle and, depending on the model used by the patient, will wrap around the back of the neck or over the head.
Facebow: this part, usually metal-made and u-shaped, attaches to your molars, head cap, and straps.
Elastic bands, tubes, and hooks: As with any other appliance, these parts anchor various parts of the headgear to the molars.
Forehead pad, chin cup, and mouth yoke: you may not necessarily require all of them at once but these parts provide additional tension and direction to the force applied over the teeth by the headgear.
How to Use Headgear Braces?
The goal of wearing headgear braces, as with every other tool in orthodontics, is to safely and gradually move teeth until they reach the proper position and desired alignment.
New patients will only have to wear their appliances for a few hours every day. Make sure you ask your orthodontist about what to expect. As with any other appliance, you will go through an adjustment period where your teeth will feel sore.
To successfully move your teeth, you will have to wear your headgear appliance for 12 to 14 hours per day. The good news, however, is that you won’t have to do so for 12 hours straight. A patient can wear their headgear for 8 hours while being asleep and finish the remaining 4 to 6 hours throughout the day. Please keep in mind that the longer and more often the headgear is worn, the quicker the jaws and teeth will move.
You could wear your headgear while doing errands in the house, reading, watching television, or any activities that do not require moving your face too much. However, sudden movements may affect the headgear, so it is important not to run or participate in strenuous sports while wearing such an appliance.
How Long Will I Need to Wear Headgear? Months? Years?
Depending on the patient’s treatment plan, they may need to wear headgear for as little as one year or for a few years. The length of time you spend with a headgear also depends on your overall compliance with our recommendations. Please do your best to wear the headgear for the full 12 to 14 hours every day or as long as your orthodontist indicates.
In general, the longer a patient wears headgear throughout the day, the fewer months you’ll have to wear it.
What Are the Types of Headgear?
We mostly classify these appliances based on the type of force they apply over your teeth and desired motions. Primarily, there are three types of headgear.
This variation is particularly useful in cases of overjets and overbites. The straps go attached from the patient’s upper jaw to the top and back of the head.
Keep in mind that these are efficient in patients whose bones are still growing, so children with a diagnosed open bite or other jaw malocclusions are likely candidates for this appliance.
This type can also help with extreme cases of upper jaw alignment problems. Young children with an overjet or overbite could receive a headgear for their orthodontic care. Here, the straps won’t go around the top of the head but will wrap around the back of the neck where you have the cervical vertebrae.
This case works better for problems with the development of the upper jaw and underbites. Rubber bands will help attach the braces from the headgear to the top teeth and gradually move them where necessary.
What Your Natomas, Sacramento Orthodontist Says
Call our office today for your complimentary evaluation at (916) 924-8970. We want to make sure you get all the help you need. Headgear braces are useful and necessary in extreme cases.
Here at Markham Orthodontics, we work hard to offer our patients the most convenient solutions. Some appliances fit specific lifestyles and routines better than others. Make sure you ask us about headgears and whether you need them or not.