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.
October 28th, 2019
Orthodontic health can be defined as a healthy, active smile that is aesthetically pleasing, with teeth and jaws in good alignment. October is orthodontic health month and a chance to focus on why orthodontic treatment can be a life-enhancing – even life-changing experience. Have you ever known someone who covers their mouth when they start to laugh? Whenever I see this happen, I feel bad for the person who is obviously embarrassed by their smile. Of all the things about our health and appearance, crooked teeth are one of the easiest things to change and the one of the most powerful changes to observe. And with good retainer wear, it is permanent! Teeth don’t get wrinkled or saggy and with proper care and maintenance they will be beautiful for a lifetime.
You also don’t have to feel like you are being vain by seeking out orthodontic treatment. Unlike some other cosmetically oriented procedures – orthodontic treatment actually improves the health of your teeth. Well-aligned teeth and jaws have a lower risk of fracture, tooth decay, and periodontal disease. Straight teeth are literally healthier than crooked teeth. A beautiful smile does require braces or Invisalign in most cases – there are very few of us who are born with perfectly aligned teeth. While the process of getting to that final amazing smile can take a bit of time and effort, it is well worth it. Give Budd Orthodontics in Phoenix a call and let us get you on the path to a better you. You will be so glad you did. Happy Orthodontic Health Month!
May 15th, 2019
The process by which teeth move is complicated, and many books have been written on the subject. However, there are a few general principles that will help you understand what is happening or will happen in your mouth. Both braces and Invisalign apply a very small, gentle push against crooked teeth which “wakes up” the cells in your jaw bones to make the roots around your crooked teeth start to straighten out.
There are two very important cells in your body that are mostly responsible for remodeling bone – an osteoclast and an osteoblast. The osteoclast is like a pac-man cell that eats bone. The osteoblast does the opposite – it builds bone. Together they work as a team to remodel the bone around the roots of your teeth. This is how an orthodontist changes your teeth from being crooked teeth to straight teeth.
By the way, teeth don’t know what is pushing against them. The “pushing” can be done by braces, Invisalign®, chewing on a pen, sucking on your thumb, or biting your nails. Things like braces and Invisalign® tend to push the teeth in the direction we want them to go (straight) while things like thumb sucking or constantly chewing on a pen tend to make teeth more crooked.
Now that you know more about how teeth move, you can focus on doing those things that will make your teeth straight and beautiful and avoid doing the things that will make them crooked.