Posts for tag: braces
Sometimes, looking at old pictures can really bring memories back to life. Just ask Stefani Germanotta—the pop diva better known as Lady Gaga. In one scene from the recent documentary Five Foot Two, as family members sort through headshots from her teen years, her father proclaims: "Here, this proves she had braces!"
"If I had kept that gap, then I would have even more problems with Madonna," Lady Gaga replies, referencing an ongoing feud between the two musical celebrities.
The photos of Gaga's teenage smile reveal that the singer of hits like "Born This Way" once had a noticeable gap (which dentists call a diastema) between her front teeth. This condition is common in children, but often becomes less conspicuous with age. It isn't necessarily a problem: Lots of well-known people have extra space in their smiles, including ex-football player and TV host Michael Strahan, actress Anna Paquin…and fellow pop superstar Madonna. It hasn't hurt any of their careers.
Yet others would prefer a smile without the gap. Fortunately, diastema in children is generally not difficult to fix. One of the easiest ways to do so is with traditional braces or clear aligners. These orthodontic appliances, usually worn for a period of months, can actually move the teeth into positions that look more pleasing in the smile and function better in the bite. For many people, orthodontic treatment is a part of their emergence from adolescence into adulthood.
Braces and aligners, along with other specialized orthodontic appliances, can also remedy many bite problems besides diastema. They can correct misaligned teeth and spacing irregularities, fix overbites and underbites, and take care of numerous other types of malocclusions (bite problems).
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that kids get screened for orthodontic problems at age 7. Even if an issue is found, most won't get treatment at this age—but in some instances, it's possible that early intervention can save a great deal of time, money and effort later. For example, while the jaw is still developing, its growth can be guided with special appliances that can make future orthodontic treatment go quicker and easier.
Yet orthodontics isn't just for children—adults can wear braces too! As long as teeth and gums are healthy, there's no upper age limit on orthodontic treatment. Instead of traditional silver braces, many adults choose tooth-colored braces or clear aligners to complement their more professional appearance.
So if your child is at the age where screening is recommended—or if you're unhappy with your own smile—ask us whether orthodontics could help. But if you get into a rivalry with Madonna…you're on your own.
If you have questions about orthodontic treatment, please contact our office or schedule a consultation. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “The Magic of Orthodontics” and “Orthodontics For The Older Adult.”
Invisalign clear aligner trays are a discreet alternative to traditional metal braces. For many adults and older teens in need of orthodontic treatment, braces can be inconvenient and even a deterrent to getting treatment. Invisalign corrects common bite and alignment issues like crowding or overbite without disrupting your quality of life. Dr. James Bourne, a dentist in Homer, AK, offers cosmetic and general dentistry services at Eagle Dental.
Get Straighter Teeth with Invisalign
Invisalign trays are custom designed to gradually shift your teeth into the correct alignment over time just like braces. However, instead of metallic wires and brackets that require adjustments and are worn for an average period of 18 months, Invisalign trays are removable for up to two hours a day and are changed for a new tray every two weeks. In some cases, the total treatment period may be shorter than with braces.
The Benefits of Choosing Invisalign for Your Orthodontic Treatment
Many people are drawn to Invisalign because of the cosmetic benefits, but there are a few additional advantages for your oral health and quality of life. Clear trays allow you to brush and floss as normal, protecting your teeth and gums from tooth decay and the risk of gingivitis and gum disease. You may also continue to eat your favorite foods. Invisalign takes care of any concerns over how adult orthodontic treatment might affect your professional and social life, and gives you the option to get straighter teeth without the aesthetic issues presented by braces.
In order for Invisalign treatment to be effective, you must be able to commit to wearing the trays as instructed, and keep up with follow up appointments and care with the dentist.
Find a Dentist in Homer, AK
For more information about Invisalign clear aligner trays and to find out if they are the right option for you, contact Eagle Dental by calling (907) 235-8574 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Bourne today.
Wearing metal braces isn't the only way to get straighter teeth. Our Homer, AK, dentist, Dr. James Bourne, explains a few advantages of Invisalign, a popular orthodontic option.
Aligners instead of wires
Do you dislike the idea of wearing metal wires and brackets in your mouth? When you choose the Invisalign system, you can straighten your teeth without the metal. Aligner trays are worn over your upper and lower teeth and are made of soft, clear plastic. Each set of aligners is designed to be worn for two weeks at a time. After the two weeks is up, you'll put the trays away and begin wearing a new set. The aligner trays re-position your teeth by exerting constant, gentle pressure on them.
No need to hide your braces
Some people don't mind wearing metal braces, but others keep their teeth hidden as much as possible when they have them. Because Invisalign aligner trays are clear, they offer a much more attractive alternative to traditional braces. Aligners are designed to fit your teeth snugly, which makes them almost invisible.
Invisalign corrects a range of orthodontic problems
Have you been told you have an overbite, underbite, crossbite or open bite? Invisalign can correct all of these bite problems, in addition to crowding and spacing issues. The system is just as effective as traditional braces in correcting mild to moderate orthodontic issues. If your issues are severe, you may still need to wear metal or ceramic braces.
Invisalign offers a special benefit for adults
You many only need to wear your aligner trays for approximately one year if you're an adult. If you're a teenager, you'll probably wear braces for about two years or longer, regardless of the type.
Invisalign fits your lifestyle
One of the most popular Invisalign benefits is the ability to remove the trays for a few hours from time to time. If you play soccer, basketball or another sport in Homer, you can take your aligner trays out during your games or practices. Some people also prefer to go without their aligners if they'll be attending special events.
Are you ready to find out if Invisalign is the perfect orthodontic option for you? Call Homer, AK, dentist, Dr. Bourne, at (907) 235-8574 to schedule an appointment.
Have you started orthodontic treatment recently? Are you having a little trouble getting used to your braces? If so, you are not alone: Everybody goes through an adjustment period during which they momentarily wonder if they’ll really ever get used to this. Don’t worry — you will! And we’ve never heard anyone say, on the day their braces come off and their new smile is revealed, that they aren’t glad they went the distance. Just ask Houston Rockets all-star center Dwight Howard, who discussed his own orthodontic treatment in a recent interview.
“I’m sure I was no different than anyone else who has ever had braces,” he told Mediaplanet. “At first I hated them so much… That changed once I got used to them and I actually grew to love them.” What’s Howard’s advice? “Do exactly what your orthodontist says and know that the outcome is well worth it in the end.” We couldn’t agree more! Here are some tips for wearing braces comfortably:
- Hard & Chewy Foods: If you love fresh fruits and vegetables, that’s great; there’s no reason to give them up, just the really hard ones. You don’t want to bite into an apple or carrot or any other hard foods like bagels and pizza that have any “size” to them. Small pieces may be ok as long as they can’t bend your wires. Chewy, sticky candy should really be avoided completely. Same with soda, sports drinks and so-called energy drinks because they contain acids that promote tooth decay and can cause a lot of damage around the braces.
- Effective Oral Hygiene: Keeping your teeth clean is more important than ever, but also more challenging than ever. It’s easy for food to get stuck under wires and around brackets, but failing to remove it can cause tooth decay, gum irritation and soreness. Therefore, the cleaner your teeth and your braces are, the healthier you will be. Use interdental cleaning brushes and/or a floss-threader to get behind your wires. A mouthrinse can also help strengthen teeth and keep bacteria in check. If you have any questions about how to clean between your teeth, please ask for a demonstration at your next visit.
- Pain Relief: Some soreness at the beginning of orthodontic treatment is normal. To relieve it, you can use an over-the-counter pain reliever and/or a warm washcloth or heating pad placed on the outside of the jaw. If brackets or wires are rubbing against the inside of your cheeks or lips, try applying wax to these areas of your braces. If this does not offer enough relief, we may be able to trim the end of a poking wire. Call us if you need help with this.
Our goal is to make your orthodontic treatment as comfortable as possible on the way to achieving your all-star smile. If you have questions about adjusting to braces, contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Caring for Teeth During Orthodontic Treatment.”
Finally — your braces are off! A look in the mirror reveals a straighter, more attractive smile. Unfortunately, it may also show something not so attractive — tiny, chalky spots on your teeth.
These “white spot lesions” are created by acid remaining too long in contact with the enamel, causing it to lose minerals at those places. The acid comes from plaque (a thin film of bacteria and food particles) that brushing and flossing fail to remove. Snacking on foods and beverages with added sugar or high acid content may also make it worse.
Besides their unattractiveness, these spots can lead to tooth decay — so it’s important to try to prevent it. Limiting sugar-added snacks and acidic beverages to mealtimes will help, but the main key to preventing lesions is more thorough brushing and flossing.
Because of the braces, this can take longer to do than if you weren’t wearing them. It’s also more difficult maneuvering your toothbrush or floss around the orthodontic hardware. You can improve thoroughness and access by using a powered brush or one specially designed for use with braces. And, a water flosser that removes plaque between teeth with a pulsating spray of water is an effective alternative to string floss.
Even if (despite your best efforts) some lesions form, we can still treat them. Resuming normal hygiene practices after braces may take care of it — if not, we can strengthen the affected areas of the enamel with pastes, gels, or other topical fluoride applications. We can also use a technique called caries infiltration that injects tooth-colored resin (often used for cosmetic dentistry) beneath the white spot to harden it, and leave it more translucent in resemblance of normal enamel. If these fail to produce satisfactory results, we can use cosmetic bonding that permanently covers the tooth with resin or veneers.
It’s best, though, if you can prevent the lesions while you’re wearing braces. Besides daily hygiene, be sure to keep up regular dental visits for teeth cleaning. Your efforts will go a long way toward keeping your newly aligned teeth bright and blemish-free.
If you would like more information on dental care and hygiene while wearing braces, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “White Spots on Teeth during Orthodontic Treatment.”