Posts for: June, 2020
Orthodontic braces are a familiar sight, especially among tweens and teens: metal brackets and wires attached to the front of the teeth for all to see. Now imagine the opposite: much the same hardware, but now positioned out of sight on the back of the teeth.
It's not your imagination: It's the latest development in orthodontic technology called lingual braces. Developed simultaneously by two orthodontists in Japan and Beverly Hills, these appliances are placed on the tongue or “lingual” side of the teeth rather than the traditional labial or “lip-side.”
Generally, lingual braces can correct any bite problem labial braces can. The difference lies in how each method does its job: Traditional braces exert pressure or “push” against the teeth, while lingual braces “pull” the teeth into better alignment.
So, why choose lingual over labial? For one, they're “invisible” to others: all the hardware is on the backside of the teeth, out of sight. They're also not as readily exposed to blunt force facial trauma, which can damage traditional braces (a driving impetus for the Japanese doctor to develop them for his martial arts patients, and his American counterpart for a law enforcement patient working in a rough area).
Patients may also prefer lingual braces over removable clear aligners, another popular tooth-movement option. Fixed lingual braces achieve the same quality of “invisibility” as removable aligners, but without the inconvenience of removing them as patients must with aligners for eating, snacking or cleaning.
They can, however, be costly, running 15-35% more than labial braces. Patients may also have difficulty adjusting to them because they can affect speech and tongue comfort. However, any discomfort and initial regret with choosing lingual braces tends to fade as most patients grow more accustomed to them after a week or so.
There's one other “perk” to lingual braces—unlike patients with traditional braces who have to wait for their removal to see the finished bite correction, patients with lingual braces get an unobstructed view of their progress all during wear. That can definitely boost morale during the long treatment period!
Lingual braces haven't been around long, so not every orthodontist offers them. But the list is growing, and there soon may be a provider near you for this new teeth-straightening alternative.
If you would like more information on lingual 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 “Lingual Braces: A Truly Invisible Way to Straighten Teeth.”
Let’s say you’ve always wanted to have straighter teeth, and you’re wondering if it’s time to seek help from a dentist or orthodontist. So you search online and find a YouTube video called “Cheap easy braces!! Without going to the dentist!!!!!” Your instincts are screaming “NO,” but you can’t help wondering… could it really be worth trying?
First of all, in case all of the exclamation points didn’t clue you in, the teenager who made this video doesn’t have any medical or dental training whatsoever. And just to make it clear right now, there’s no such thing as do-it-yourself braces — at least, none that are safe or effective. But the real problem with this video — along with many others in the same vein — is that if you try out what they suggest, you can seriously harm your teeth.
Recently, the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) issued a consumer alert about the use of so-called “gap bands” and other home remedies for straightening teeth. It was accompanied by a graphic picture of teeth that had been seriously damaged by placing a rubber band around them (one of the methods suggested in the video). The New York Times followed up with an item about a young man who lost both front teeth as a result of DIY orthodontics. And Seventeen magazine ran a story called “Why the DIY Braces Trend is Seriously SO Dangerous: DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME.”
So we’ll add our voices to the chorus: Braces aren’t something you can do yourself. Seriously. Trust us on this.
Why not? Because it really does take quite a bit of training and experience to gain the necessary skill, knowledge and competence to move teeth safely. That’s why all practicing dentists successfully complete a four-year dental school program; orthodontists and other specialists have an additional three years of training on top of that. (And do you really think it would take seven years of training if it was easy?)Â We are familiar with the science behind moving teeth, and up to date on the best clinical practices. As medical professionals, that’s our job.
There is one tiny grain of truth in those videos: we do sometimes use elastics to move teeth. The difference is, we’re using them in safe and effective ways. We know, for example, that if an elastic band is placed around teeth the wrong way, it can work its way into the gums and destroy the ligaments and bone that hold the teeth in place. This can cause teeth to loosen and fall out.
So don’t be misled. If a promised treatment seems too good to be true, it probably is… even if it’s being touted on YouTube.
If you have questions about orthodontic treatment, please call our office to schedule a consultation. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine article “The Magic of Orthodontics” and “Moving Teeth With Orthodontics.”
Having new braces could be very awkward at first, especially when it comes to cleaning your mouth. How should you do it exactly? Do you have to clean under the brackets? What shouldn’t you do? These are all valid questions since the primary oral health concerns that could when you have poor oral hygiene and braces include gingivitis, decalcifications, and periodontitis.
Besides visiting Dr. Josh Goldknopf, your orthodontist here at The Brace Place Orthodontics in Jacksonville Beach and Ponte Vedra, FL, for scheduled follow-up checkups and braces adjustments, here are guidelines that you can follow to ensure quality oral health during your treatment.
Remember The Basics
Brush your teeth following each meal, or at least twice daily during the morning and evening. Brush thoroughly but gently and spend ample time going over each quadrant of your mouth. Expect this to take longer than usual since you will need to get into the teeth behind the wires. For the best toothbrushing technique, consider these tips:
- Rinse away any leftover debris with water.
- Angle your toothbrush at 45 degrees, move your toothbrush back and forth, and use short, precise strokes.
- Opt for a toothbrush with soft bristles to avoid damage to your braces, teeth, and gums. This could be a standard toothbrush, an interdental toothbrush, or an electric toothbrush.
- Don’t forget to brush under and between the wires.
- Lastly, clean your tongue and other mouth surfaces.
The main thing to remember when flossing with your new braces is that you have to thread the floss under the wire and in between each teeth. This will take some practice or special flosses like a water flosser that can apply a pressurized stream of water to loosen debris and get rid of bacteria.
Get Scheduled Professional Cleanings
Professional cleanings at either one of our offices in Jacksonville or Ponte Vedra, FL, are vital to ensure the success of your treatment. Ask your orthodontist for specific cleaning schedule recommendations.
Consider a Fluoride Mouthwash
This will offer additional protection for your teeth and gums, help strengthen your enamel, and keep them from getting damaged or decaying.
Don’t Use Whitening Products
Keep in mind that any whitening product that you apply to your teeth can only bleach the teeth parts it touches, meaning that the parts under your brackets won’t be whitened. That said, postpone your teeth whitening plans until after your braces treatment.
For Concerns or Advice on Your Braces, Call Us
Dial (904) 249-0037 to arrange your consultation with Dr. Josh Goldknopf here at The Brace Place Orthodontics in both Jacksonville Beach and Ponte Vedra, FL.
Clear Aligners and You
Clear aligners or invisible braces make an appealing alternative to traditional braces and are becoming increasingly popular. It’s easy to see why, they comfortable, convenient, and discrete. Dr. Josh Goldknopf is an orthodontist at The Brace Place Orthodontics. He specializes in orthodontic treatment and can help you choose the right clear aligners.
What are Clear Aligners
Who doesn’t want a bright, even smile? Some people just need a little help getting there and clear orthodontic aligners are designed to help. Whereas traditional braces use brackets and wired to shift the teeth into the desired position, clear aligners are comprised of fitted, custom-made mouthpieces that slip snugly over the teeth. Ponte Vedra residents who are considering clear aligners can talk to our orthodontist to see what kind of braces are right for them.
Are Clear Aligners Right for Anyone?
Because of their tight fit, clear aligners are best suited to teens or adults. It is more complicated to straighten a child’s teeth as their mouths are still growing and this is an important consideration for braces of any kind. Clear aligners work best for people who have moderately overcrowded teeth or minor spacing issues. If you have a severe overbite or underbite, you may need more complex treatment.
How do Clear Aligners Work?
You will be fitted for several aligner trays to match your orthodontist’s plan for straightening your teeth. Each aligner will make slight adjustments to the positioning of your teeth. The aligners are made from a clear flexible material and can be removed for brushing and flossing and eating. You will change your aligner every few weeks.
The time it takes to complete your treatment will vary depending on your age and how much your teeth need to be realigned. The more uneven or spaced out your teeth are, the longer it will take. Typically, treatment with clear aligners takes between 10 and 24 months.
Benefits of Clear Aligners
Clear aligners have many benefits including:
- They are comfortable
- They can be removed for eating, brushing and flossing
- They are easy to keep clean
- They are practically invisible
If you would like to find out more about clear aligners, call Dr. Josh Goldknopf at The Brace Place Orthodontics in Jacksonville Beach and Ponte Vedra, FL: (904) 249-0037.
You’re ready to have that missing tooth replaced with a dental implant or other life-like restoration. But we may first have to address another problem — moving the teeth around the missing tooth space back to where they should be.
That empty space is the primary reason those teeth are no longer in the right position. Through their attachment to the periodontal ligament that lies between them and the bone, teeth are able to move slightly over time in response to mouth changes. This same mechanism, however, may also cause teeth to “drift” toward each other across the empty space left by a missing tooth; too much drift and there won’t be enough room for the replacement tooth.
A fairly straightforward orthodontic treatment can restore drifted teeth to their original position to make room for the replacement. There is one situation, however, that can complicate this treatment — if you also have periodontal (gum) disease, a plaque-induced bacterial infection. During normal tooth movement bone dissolves (resorbs) in front of the tooth in the direction of movement, while new bone forms behind it to help stabilize the tooth in its new position. Gum disease, however, can weaken the bone around these teeth, inhibiting the natural rebuilding process of bone and connective tissue that could jeopardize the success of the orthodontic treatment.
It’s important, then, to first treat and bring the gum disease under control to restore health to both the gums and bone. It’s also just as important during orthodontic treatment to prevent another infection flare-up through renewed brushing and flossing and regular office cleanings and checkups. Choosing clear aligners over traditional braces to move the teeth could also help — unlike fixed braces that often make oral hygiene difficult, clear aligners can be removed to allow easier cleaning of teeth and gums.
Depending on your situation, the process for preparing your mouth for a tooth replacement can involve several procedures and healing time. But the end result — a brand new tooth that looks amazing — will be something to smile about.