Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Braces

Braces


Braces and orthodontic treatment are used to correct “bad bites,” or malocclusion (teeth that are crowded or crooked). In some cases your teeth may be straight, but your upper and lower jaws may not meet properly. These jaw or tooth alignment problems may be inherited or could result from injury, early or late tooth loss, or thumb sucking.

If you have an abnormal bite your dentist may recommend braces or another orthodontic treatment to straighten out your smile. Correcting the problem can create a nice-looking smile, but more importantly, orthodontic treatment results in a healthier mouth. Not correcting an abnormal bite could result in further oral health problems, including:
  • tooth decay
  • gum disease
  • tooth loss
  • affected speech and/or chewing
  • abnormal wear to tooth enamel
  • jaw problems
Straightening your teeth can be accomplished in different ways. The kind of orthodontic treatment you have will depend on your preference and the options provided by your dentist or orthodontist. Traditional braces realign teeth by applying pressure. They usually consist of small brackets cemented to your teeth, connected by a wire, which is periodically tightened by your dentist or orthodontist to gradually shift your teeth and jaw. The brackets may be metal or tooth colored. Sometimes they are placed behind your teeth. Removable aligners are another option for treating orthodontic problems.

Orthodontic treatment may be provided by your dentist or an orthodontist, a dentist who specializes in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of dental and facial irregularities. It will depend on the orthodontic experience of your dentist and the severity of your case.

Since abnormal bites usually become noticeable between the ages of 6 and 12, orthodontic treatment often begins between ages 8 and 14. Treatment that begins while a child is growing helps produce optimal results. That doesn’t mean that adults can’t have braces; healthy teeth can be orthodontically treated at any age.

 Treatment plans will vary based on your situation, but most people are in treatment from one to three years. This is followed by a period of wearing a retainer that holds teeth in their new positions. Today’s braces are more comfortable than ever before. Newer materials apply a constant, gentle force to move teeth and usually require fewer adjustments.

While you have braces it’s important to maintain a balanced diet for the health of your teeth. Of course, a healthy diet is always important, but eating too many sugary foods with braces can lead to plaque build-up around your brackets that could permanently stain or damage your teeth. Avoiding foods like popcorn, corn on the cob, chewing gum, whole apples, and other sticky foods is also a good idea. Ask your dentist about foods to avoid while you are in treatment. Not all of us are born with beautiful smiles, but with a good oral hygiene routine, and a little help from orthodontics, you can have a beautiful and healthy smile.


Our team looks forward to meeting with you and developing a plan tailored to meet your individual needs. You can make an appointment by calling our friendly staff at (305) 670-5100 or by visiting http://www.miamismile.net. Please call Miami Smile Dental if you have any questions about cosmetic dentistry, dental implants, teeth whitening, veneers, wisdom teeth, braces, or general dentistry. We would love to hear from you.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Teeth Grinding and Kids: How Your Dentist Can Help

Teeth Grinding and Kids: How Your Dentist Can Help


If your child has been complaining of a sore jaw in the morning or you have heard a soft grinding noise when you walked by their room at night, your child may be suffering from bruxism.                   
Bruxism -- or teeth grinding -- generally develops in children around four or five years of age and usually goes away on its own by age 10. It has been estimated that up to 30 percent of children develop bruxism at some point.

In addition to teeth grinding, other symptoms of bruxism include increased tooth sensitivity, tightness of jaw muscles, earaches, dull morning headaches, facial pain and signs of chewed tissue on the inside of your child's cheek. Unfortunately, the causes of bruxism are not completely understood. Some experts think that teeth grinding is caused by stress, but others believe it is linked to tooth pain or misalignment, such as an overbite.

Since most cases of childhood bruxism resolve on their own before kids lose their baby teeth, there is little risk of permanent damage. Very often, mild headaches and jaw pain will be the only negative effects your child experiences and you may never realize what caused them before bruxism ceases.


What Your Dentist Can Do

In more serious cases, the grinding and clenching could result in enamel damage and chipped teeth, which could cause increased temperature sensitivity, severe facial pain and jaw problems such as temporomandibular joint disease (TMJ or TMD). Although these complications are rare in childhood bruxism, if your child is complaining of ongoing tooth and jaw pain it is a good idea to speak with your dentist or pediatric dentist to try and determine the cause of your child's bruxism and to discuss any necessary dental treatment.

In cases where stress is the likely cause of your child's bruxism, helping them relax right before bed could help. Ask your child if there is anything they are worried or upset about and try to calm and reassure them. Also make sure that they do not eat or engage in physical activity within an hour of bedtime. In general, the fewer stimuli your child encounters before bed the more relaxed they will be  and the less likely they are to grind or clench their teeth to relieve stress.


Our team looks forward to meeting with you and developing a plan tailored to meet your individual needs. You can make an appointment by calling our friendly staff at (305) 670-5100 or by visiting www.miamismile.net. Please call Miami Smile Dental if you have any questions about cosmetic dentistry, dental implants, teeth whitening, veneers, wisdom teeth, braces, or general dentistry. We would love to hear from you.