May 28th, 2020
Have you ever wondered why some people are just born with great smiles and others seem to have received the short end of the stick when it comes to teeth? Is it all just related to genetics?
There is absolutely a genetic component to how teeth develop, and genetics play into the likelihood that you will develop orthodontic problems as your adult teeth erupt. However, this is only part of the story. The environment in which your teeth erupt also has a significant influence on how they develop. In fact, I have treated identical twins, who are by definition genetically identical, but when you look in their mouth, their teeth are very different.
There are a number of factors that can affect the development of your teeth and bite. One common example is thumb sucking. Thumb sucking will change the pressure that your lips, tongue, and cheeks apply to your developing teeth and jaws. It tends to have a narrowing effect on the upper jaw and creates protrusion of the front teeth. Patients who have sucked their thumb for a prolonged period of time often require an "expander" to undo the damage as well as braces. We often joke with patients that the only things that should go into their mouth are food and a toothbrush. Everything else you want to keep out.
Another example of how environment influences dental development are children who eat a lot of sugary drinks and food. It's OK to have a sweet treat from time to time, but patients who constantly "nibble" or "sip" on sugary snacks or drinks and don't brush their teeth in between tend to get decay. If a patient loses a baby tooth early due to decay, it can disrupt the correct order in which the permanent teeth grow in and cause significant bite problems. If you have a child who has lost a tooth early due to decay, you should consult with an orthodontist to prevent the development of bite problems in the future.
May 5th, 2020
What are my braces going to feel like? Are my braces going to hurt? What foods can I eat? These are some of the typical questions patients ask on the day of their appointment to get braces placed on their teeth. They are all very good questions and important to answer to help patients feel at ease about the changes they will experience while receiving orthodontic treatment.
Wearing braces has become a relatively straight forward process with minimal discomfort compared to twenty years ago. While this is true, you are still going to experience some changes that will take a little getting used to. Your mouth is an incredibly sensitive place – you can feel the thickness of a hair in your mouth immediately and braces are much thicker than a human hair. Just like a new pair of shoes, your new braces may initially rub and cause an irritation to your lips and cheeks until your mouth gets used to having braces. The first few days are an adjustment period, but after the first week your braces start to become a new part of your mouth and are pretty easy to manage.
Wearing braces does require some minor modifications to the foods you eat and the liquids you drink. The adhesive used to place braces is designed to be strong enough to withstand chewing, but not so strong that it damages your teeth when the braces are removed. This is the reason for the need to be a little bit careful about eating really hard or really sticky foods. For example, ice chewing should be avoided whether you have braces on or not. If you would like to eat an apple, it is better to cut it into slices instead of biting into the core. Similar modifications can be made for most foods. Excessive drinking of soda – diet or not- should be avoided.
Braces will cause some slight discomfort the first few days as your teeth begin to move into alignment. There is a cartilage ligament around the root of each tooth that allows the orthodontist to mold the teeth into a better position. This process of molding the bone around the roots of teeth causes a slight amount of inflammation and is the source of sore teeth when braces are placed or tightened. Over the counter medications such as ibuprofen (Motrin or Advil), acetaminophen (Tylenol) or naproxen (Alleve) are generally sufficient to make you comfortable while you go through the adjustment period with braces. Anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen or naproxen will generally be more effective than acetaminophen for tooth pain.
If you have any additional questions about what to expect with braces, please feel free to call one of our offices at Budd Orthodontics to schedule a free consultation. The adjustment period that braces require is totally worth it for the beautiful new smile you will enjoy!
April 17th, 2020
Patients frequently arrive at my Phoenix orthodontic office wanting to know what options are available nowadays for treatment with braces. While there are many different manufacturers of orthodontic products in the U.S., most of them offer the same categories of braces with very minor variations.
Standard Metal Braces- This is the most common type of braces with our younger patients and by far the most common in general. They offer excellent strength and durability while sacrificing a little bit on esthetics. This type of braces is also usually the most cost-effective.
Clear braces or “Invisible” braces – This type of braces is often confused with Invisalign, which is a very different treatment from clear braces. Clear braces are made of porcelain (similar to the material used to make tooth crowns or caps) and are the most popular option with adult patients who are not candidates for Invisalign treatment. Many orthodontic offices charge slightly more for this type of braces due to the higher cost of the material. It is an excellent option for patients looking for excellent treatment results while maintaining the highest possible esthetics.
Lingual braces- This type of braces is placed on the inside of your teeth (near your tongue) instead of the outside of the your teeth. The draw of this type of braces is that they are literally invisible to the casual observer. However, you may sacrifice some comfort for this method of treatment compared to other available options and this type of braces also tends to be one of the most expensive due to the additional instruments, wires, and materials that must be used with this type of braces.
Self-ligating braces- There are both clear and metal versions of this type of braces. The difference between self-ligating braces and standard metal and clear braces is that self-ligating braces do not require ties (the colors that kids choose to hold the wire against the brace). These braces are sometimes thought to be a little easier to keep clean and you don’t have to worry about discolored ties. It was once believed that this type of braces reduced the amount of time you would need to spend in treatment by reducing friction. However, there have been several studies published that have shown that assumption to be false.
Invisalign- Invisalign is actually a series of clear plastic aligners – not braces – that are formed to the teeth. Each successive set of aligners is worn for approximately one to two weeks and will gradually align the teeth. While there are limitations to what aligners can do compared to braces, for the right candidate Invisalign can be an excellent treatment option.
April 1st, 2020
Your smile plays a large role in how others perceive you. Straight teeth and a smile you are proud of helps you to feel your best and promotes self-confidence. If you did not get braces to straighten your teeth in your early childhood or teenage years, it is not too late. Age is never a contraindication to orthodontic treatment.
Adult orthodontic treatment is one of the fastest growing segments of orthodontics. There are very few clinical reasons why someone might want to postpone orthodontic treatment. Active periodontal disease is the primary reason and this can be resolved to allow someone to receive the treatment they desire. At Budd Orthodontics, we have several patients in their 50's, 60's and 70's receiving orthodontic treatment. They are thrilled to finally have a smile they enjoy looking at in the mirror.
Options for adult treatment include Invisalign, clear braces, or even traditional braces. Budd Orthodontics offers free consultations to determine the need for treatment, what treatment options would be best for your specific case, and determine what your out-of-pocket cost for treatment would be. Please give us a call. We look forward to meeting you!