What makes an attractive smile? Of course, shiny, straight and defect-free teeth are a big factor. But there’s another equally important element: all your teeth have come in.
Sometimes, though, they don’t: one or more teeth may remain up in the gums, a condition known as impaction. And if they’re in the front like the upper canines (the pointed teeth on either side of the front four incisors) your smile’s natural balance and symmetry can suffer.
Impaction usually happens due to lack of space on a small jaw. Previously erupted teeth crowd into the space of teeth yet to come in, preventing them from doing so. As a result the latter remain hidden within the gums.
While impaction can interfere with the smile appearance, it can cause health problems too. Impacted teeth are at higher risk for abscesses (localized areas of infection) and can damage the roots of other teeth they may be pressing against. That’s why it’s desirable for both form and function to treat them.
We begin first with an orthodontic examination to fully assess the situation. At some point we’ll want to pinpoint the impacted teeth’s precise location and position. While x-rays are useful for locating impacted teeth, many specialists use cone beam CT (CBCT) technology that produces highly detailed three-dimensional images viewable from different vantage points.
If the tooth is in too extreme a position, it might be best to remove it and later replace it with a dental impact or similar restoration once we’ve completed other necessary orthodontic treatment. But if the tooth is in a reasonable position, we might be able to “move” the tooth into its proper place in the jaw in coordination with these other tooth-movement efforts to make room for it.
To begin this process, an oral surgeon or periodontist surgically exposes the tooth crown (the normally visible portion) through the gums. They then bond a small bracket to the crown and attach a small gold chain. An orthodontist will attach the other end to orthodontic hardware that will exert downward pressure on the tooth to gradually bring it into normal position.
Dealing with impacted teeth of this nature is often part of a comprehensive effort to correct the bite. If we’re successful, it could permanently transform both the smile and overall dental health.
If you would like more information on treating impacted teeth, 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 “Exposing Impacted Canines.”
Your child's small mouth may not be quite ready to receive bigger permanent teeth after they've lost their baby teeth. Hence, crooked dentition is common among kids getting their permanent teeth. Your orthodontist, Dr. Josh Goldknopf of The Brace Place Orthodontics, can help create more room and straighten your child's smile with braces in Ponte Vedra, and Jacksonville Beach, FL.
Spotting the Problem
Often, the parent or guardian is the first to notice that something is wrong with their child's smile. These signs indicate your child's permanent teeth don't have enough room to grow:
- Crooked Teeth - Crooked teeth are one of the obvious signs of insufficient jaw space. If the new teeth don't have enough room to grow into, they may erupt at an angle to try to fit in.
- Jaw Pain - Your child may complain of jaw pain around the spot where the new teeth are supposed to erupt.
- Impacted Teeth - The new teeth may only come up partially. If there isn't enough room, the new teeth may not come out completely.
Making Space for New or Incoming Teeth
When you spot these signs, a visit to your orthodontist will put things back in order. Orthodontic devices that your orthodontist can use to create space for the new teeth include:
- Braces - Traditional braces are the go-to for solving crooked teeth problems. They don't create space by themselves but help push the crooked teeth into proper alignment. Your orthodontist may also use braces in Ponte Vedra, and Jacksonville Beach, FL, with other devices such as a palate expander and headgear.
- Palate Expander - A Palate expander is a device resembling a retainer that helps create more teeth room by widening the roof of your child's mouth.
- Headgear - Headgear uses gentle pressure to shift your child's entire jaw and create more room for new teeth.
- Invisalign - Invisalign can help correct your teen's crooked smile if they would prefer to avoid having braces.
- Extraction - As a last resort, your orthodontist may need to remove the misaligned teeth to create room for others.
Want to know if braces in Ponte Vedra, and Jacksonville Beach, FL, will create more room for new teeth? Call (904) 249-0037 to discuss your options with your orthodontist, Dr. Goldknopf of The Brace Place Orthodontics.
A few months into wearing braces you may notice your gums are swollen. It's likely you've developed periodontal (gum) disease.
Gum disease is a bacterial infection that usually begins with dental plaque. This thin, accumulated biofilm on teeth is filled with bacteria that cause dental disease. The more of it that remains on your teeth, the higher your risk for a gum infection.
In addition to regular dental cleanings, the best way for a person to reduce their gum disease risk is to remove plaque on a daily basis through brushing and flossing. Unfortunately, wearing braces complicates this: The brackets and wires affixed to your teeth can get in the way of your toothbrush and regular dental floss. As a result, you can easily miss plaque hidden around these bits of hardware.
Aside from gum disease, the braces themselves can irritate your gums. This irritation inflames the gums and may even cause more tissue to grow. Compound this overgrowth with a possible gum infection and it's no wonder your gums are severely swollen.
To lessen the chances of swollen gums with braces, you'll need to beef up your daily hygiene efforts. Simply put, it will typically take more time than normal to thoroughly clean around your braces. A few specialized tools, though, might make it easier.
An interproximal brush with a narrower head than a regular toothbrush is useful for accessing tight places around brackets. And a floss threader or a water flosser (which uses pressurized water to loosen and remove plaque) may help you better maneuver around wires to remove plaque between teeth.
Keeping your teeth clean as possible will certainly help you avoid gum swelling due to disease. But swelling from tissue overgrowth may not be resolved until your braces come off. In severe cases, it may even be necessary to remove the braces to treat the gums before resuming orthodontic treatment.
In any case, be as thorough as possible with your oral hygiene efforts during orthodontics and see your regular dentist for cleanings every six months. When you have completed orthodontic treatment, cleanings every six months are usually recommended. It's the best way to keep your gums healthy while you're wearing braces.
If you would like more information on dental care 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 “Gum Swelling During Orthodontics.”
Wearing braces can pose challenges for your daily life and habits. One in particular is trying to keep your teeth and gums clean.
Braces or not, your oral hygiene needs to be thorough. Every day, your teeth accumulate a thin film of bacteria and food particles called dental plaque that can cause tooth decay or gum disease. It's essential to remove as much as possible each day by brushing and flossing.
That's a more difficult task with braces. The brackets and wires interfere with accessing many of your teeth's surfaces with a toothbrush or floss. As a result, braces wearers on average have a higher incidence of dental disease than non-wearers.
But while it's difficult to keep your mouth clean wearing braces, it's not impossible. Here are some tips and tools for making oral hygiene easier during orthodontic treatment.
A low-sugar diet. Besides items like chips that could damage your braces, you should also limit your consumption of foods and snacks with added sugar. This carbohydrate is a primary food source for disease-causing bacteria. Limiting sugar in your diet can help reduce plaque buildup.
The right toothbrush. Brushing with braces is easier if you use a soft multi-tufted brush with microfine bristles. The smaller bristles maneuver better around the braces than larger bristled brushes. You'll still need to make multiple passes above and below the wires to be sure you're brushing all tooth surfaces.
Flossing tools. Traditional flossing using just your fingers can be next to impossible to perform with braces. But a tool like a floss holder or threader can make it easier to get between teeth. You might also try a water flosser that removes plaque from between teeth with a pressurized spray of water.
Dental treatments. Your dentist can give your teeth extra protection while you're wearing braces with topically applied fluoride to strengthen enamel. Using mouthrinses with an antibacterial ingredient like chlorhexidine may also reduce harmful bacteria.
Be sure you also keep up regular visits with your family dentist while wearing braces, and especially if you begin to notice puffy and reddened gums or unusual spots on your teeth. The sooner any case of dental disease is detected, the less impact it will have on your dental health.
If you would like more information on dental care while undergoing orthodontic treatment, 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 “Caring for Teeth During Orthodontic Treatment.”
Discover how orthodontic treatment could help you get a smile you love.
Everyone from children to adults is turning to our Jacksonville Beach, FL, orthodontist Dr. Josh Goldknopf for braces, and it’s not surprising. After all, a straight smile can offer a wide range of benefits, from a healthier smile to one that’s more attractive. Are you wondering if braces are right for you?
What problems can braces fix?
A better question is probably, “what can’t braces fix?” Braces can be used to correct everything from gaps between teeth, crowding, protruding teeth, and misaligned jaws. They can also be used to correct a variety of malocclusions such as:
- Open bites
Of course, different types of braces work in different ways and some may be more effective for treating complex or complicated cases including correcting and realigning the jaws. Our Jacksonville Beach, FL, orthodontist will determine the type of braces that are right for you based on the type and severity of the dental issues you are dealing with.
How do braces fix teeth?
The goal of braces is to shift teeth into their ideal position through proper force and pressure. Traditional braces apply pressure through the regular tightening of wires, which gradually shifts teeth into the proper alignment. Clear aligner systems also apply pressure to specific teeth, helping them to move gradually throughout your treatment. Aligners do not need to be tightened; instead, you will replace your aligners every two weeks with a set that’s a little tighter, which will provide the right amount of pressure to continue moving teeth.
What are the benefits of braces?
There are many benefits to getting braces from our orthodontic team. Some of these benefits are more obvious than others:
- You will have a more attractive and confident smile
- You will have a smile that’s easier to keep clean
- You are less likely to deal with cavities and gum disease
- Your teeth are less likely to wear down and become injured due to misalignments and crookedness
- You’re able to better chew and digest food
- You’re able to speak confidently and comfortably without changes to your speech or speech impediments due to crooked, misaligned teeth
\Who is a good candidate for braces?
Anyone can be a great candidate for braces. We recommend that children undergo an orthodontic consultation with our team around the age of 7; however, if you are a teen or adult who wants to fix their crooked smile, we also offer a wide range of orthodontic options that are discreet and make it easier to get the smile you deserve. It’s never too late!
Are you interested in getting braces? Want to find out which orthodontic treatment is right for you? If so, our orthodontist Dr. Goldknopf would be happy to sit down with you at his Jacksonville Beach, FL, or Ponte Vedra, FL, office. To schedule a consultation, call The Brace Place at (904) 222-8588.
This website includes materials that are protected by copyright, or other proprietary rights. Transmission or reproduction of protected items beyond that allowed by fair use, as defined in the copyright laws, requires the written permission of the copyright owners.