Jan 27

Braces Can Seem Intimidating

Braces can seem intimidating whether you’re an adult or child, but orthodontic devices can be a permanent path to a healthy smile.

Studies have shown that more than 4 million Americans wear braces, and 25 percent of them are adults. While braces can improve your smile, a misaligned jaw or out-of-place teeth can lead to serious health complications.

The American Association of Orthodontists estimates that between 50 and 75 percent of the population, in general, could benefit from some form of orthodontic treatment. Very few of us are born with perfectly aligned teeth and jaws. Even those who were may suffer trauma that may require orthodontic care or may experience maturational changes, such as the crowding of lower bottom teeth. Orthodontic treatment is performed to help a patient develop a healthy bite.orthodontics

A healthy bite means that the top teeth and bottom teeth meet each other properly. Getting a healthy bite may require only moving teeth, but often it requires alignment of jaws. A healthy bite allows an individual to have a good function when biting, chewing, and speaking.

Orthodontic treatment also contributes to oral health and overall physical health. Left untreated, improperly aligned teeth (malocclusions) and jaws can wear down tooth enamel and lead to dental problems including cavities, gum disease, and tooth loss. Improperly aligned teeth are a breeding ground for plaque and bacteria, and crooked and crowded teeth make daily oral hygiene difficult. Properly aligned teeth are easier to clean and maintain.

Braces aren’t just for children. Adults are turning to orthodontists more than ever to correct their smiles, whether it’s a first time or for a tune-up.

Braces are simply one type of appliance — the formal name for a device used to move teeth, guide jaw growth or hold teeth in new positions — used in orthodontic treatment. The changes in orthodontic technology in the last several years are staggering. Orthodontic appliances today are generally less visible and work faster than appliances of a generation ago.

Braces are basically brackets and wires. Brackets are much smaller than they once were, and are glued to the fronts of teeth (called “direct bonding”) rather than the old way of encircling each tooth with a metal band, soldering the bracket to the band, and tying the archwire to the band with thin, fine wires. Besides being smaller, today’s brackets can be made of a variety of materials: stainless steel, tooth-colored ceramic or gold-plated metal.

The wires are the component of braces that do the work of moving teeth. They have improved, too. Wires keep their strength a longer time. They apply a continuous, gentle force on teeth to move them. Because wires last longer, fewer visits to the orthodontist are necessary. More on this website

Braces fall into the “fixed” appliance category and are the most common appliance used to move teeth. Generally, standard stainless steel braces give the orthodontist the greatest amount of control to move a patient’s teeth.

Brackets can be placed behind the teeth (called lingual treatment — an option for more than 25 years, but improvements in the brackets and wires used make this form of treatment more comfortable for patients than it used to be).

One way wearers can individualize their look is with the tiny rubber bands called ligatures. Many young patients enjoy choosing from a rainbow of colors to match clothing, school colors or favorite sports teams colors. Adults often select clear or lightly colored ligatures that draw less attention to braces.

Another option is self-ligating brackets made of stainless steel or ceramic to hold the wire in place. Patients who choose ceramic brackets may also be able to use tooth-colored wires that now have longer staying power and don’t stretch out and lose their strength.Orthodontist Braces

In addition to braces, a variety of other fixed appliances include palate expanders to widen the upper jaw, permanent retainers to hold teeth in place and appliances to control tongue thrusting (when the tongue repeatedly pushes against teeth, it can move the teeth out of place and cause the bone that holds teeth to be misshapen).

Clear aligners, which are made by at least seven companies, were introduced in 1999 by Align Technology/Invisalign.

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children have their first check-up with an orthodontist at the first recognition of an orthodontic problem, but no later than age 7.

We look forward to speaking with you about any or all of the treatment plans that we offer. They are sure to find the best fit for you and your family. Call for your Complimentary Consultation Today!

Dec 18

Establishing An Oral Hygiene – Orthodontic Treatment

Establishing Oral Hygiene – Orthodontic Treatment

Establishing an oral hygiene routine for your kids is important from an early age. Babies should have their first visit to the family dentist either around their first birthday or when their first tooth grows in.

Children should get into the habit of brushing once in the morning after breakfast and before they go to bed at night. Younger children can be assisted by a parent in the brushing process, and it is a good idea for parents to check on children’s brushing skills even as they grow older. If children are not brushing properly, they could be setting the foundation for future problems.

At our Dental Office, we’re dedicated to working with each patient to help him or her understand the importance of proper oral care. To find out more, call our office to speak with one of our orthodontists.orthodontic treatment

If you have recently had braces put on by your orthodontist, you may be wondering about foods that you can eat that won’t cause damage or pain. You will need to find great snacks that you can munch on between meals that won’t get stuck in your teeth. Here are five delicious snacks that are braces-friendly:

1. Smoothies – Whether you choose to blend one up for breakfast or as a mid-afternoon snack, a smoothie is a great option because of its soft texture. Your braces may cause you mild discomfort, so you’ll enjoy the relief that a cold smoothie can provide for your teeth and gums. Best of all, it’s a healthy treat.

2. Applesauce – The smooth texture of applesauce is just what you’ll be looking for after your orthodontic appointments. Biting into a whole apple would cause unnecessary pain and could leave unsightly chunks of fruit in your braces. However, with this pureed alternative, you can still enjoy the taste of apples.

3. Bananas – Bananas are soft fruit that does not require you to put much pressure onto your teeth to eat. This means that you will not have to worry about bananas irritating your tender teeth and gums or damaging your braces.

4. String cheese – While fruity snacks are great, you may be craving something with a bit more protein. If this is the case, string cheese is a perfect option. Eating large pieces of hard cheese can damage your braces, while soft cheeses can become stuck behind your brackets. String cheese is the perfect solution that will help satisfy your craving.

5. Pudding – If you are looking for a dessert to eat for a special occasion that will not damage your braces, pudding is a great option. Remember to brush after you are done with your snack to remove any sugars from your teeth and gums.

If you’re still curious about braces-friendly foods or have other questions related to braces, speak with a member of the orthodontic team at Our Dental Office. We provide patients with superior service and braces options. Call us today to learn more.

If you’re considering braces for yourself or a loved one, you may be wondering what the benefits are. Some of the benefits have less to do with cosmetics and more with the actual health of the teeth.

Teeth that have been straightened with braces are easier to brush and floss. Once braces have corrected a bite problem or realigned poorly spaced teeth, patients are generally less likely to grind their teeth involuntarily at night.

At our Dental Office, we love sharing with patients the many ways that braces can give them both a beautiful and healthy smile. To learn more about braces and our orthodontic services, visit us or call us today.

It’s summertime, which means vacations and a higher chance of forgetting to pack your orthodontic equipment. Even a few days without proper care for your braces can result in an unnecessary trip to your orthodontist. Here are the four most common mistakes made by patients with traditional braces:

1. Not Flossing: Although it becomes slightly more difficult to get in between your teeth with braces on, you should not stop flossing. Food particles can easily get stuck in your braces and between your shifting teeth. Take a packet of floss with you when you leave for the day so you can clean your braces after meals.

2. Forgetting Wax: Loose wires can create very sore tongues and gums. If you have a wire that is a bit too long, your wax can quickly become your best friend. Be sure to keep a box of wax with you so that you are prepared for this situation.

3. Failing to Wear Gear: Although it may be uncomfortable to wear at first, any orthodontic equipment that your orthodontist provides, such as headgear or retainers, is essential for your orthodontic treatment. Make a routine of putting your orthodontic gear on at around the same time each day as instructed so that you won’t forget to wear it.

4. Losing Rubber Bands: Rubber bands will occasionally break, especially if left outside in a hot car. To ensure that you keep your orthodontic treatment on track, be sure to keep some rubber bands handy and always use them as your orthodontist instructs.

At our Dental Office, we work closely with patients to help them learn the best ways to take care of their braces. We can also explain the importance of each step in a patient’s treatment plan. To get more information about traditional braces or other orthodontic treatment options, come visit us or call us today.

This Blog was posted by Cochran Orthodontics in San Antonio, Texas

Nov 13

What Are Your Options When You Have Crooked Teeth

What Are Your Options When You Have Crooked Teeth

It may seem difficult to know what your options are when you are uncomfortable with your smile. You may have heard about Invisalign and already know about braces but there have got to be some things about these methods that you should know in order to make a decision that is best for you, right? Well, talking to an orthodontist about the matter makes the most sense since they are the industry experts and after all, they are also doctors.orthodontics- invisalign  braces

Orthodontics is a dental specialty that requires an extra two to four years of training in order to become board-certified after completing four-year dental school and a science related four-year undergrad. So, when an orthodontist satisfies members of the American Board of Orthodontics with their mandatory presentation and they are able to pass the written examination, they have completed at least 10 years of education in preparation to become an orthodontist so it is safe to say that anyone who ends up in their care is in good hands. More here @ https://cochranorthodontics.com/braces-vs-invisalign-better/
There are at least several different approaches that an orthodontist can take with their patients in order to correct their misaligned bites and crooked or crowded teeth. They prefer to take a proactive approach whenever possible by applying the use of retainers and/or spacers during one’s childhood in order to help the developing bones in a child’s mouth develop in a way that is conducive to their permanent teeth coming in at the correct angle and in position. In most cases though, retainers and spacers are ineffective when it is obvious that braces are going to be needed in order to properly align one’s bite and teeth.

Retainers are very common after braces have been removed from children or adolescents for a time to keep the patient’s newly aligned teeth from moving out of position while the surrounds bones and tissue settle properly. Depending on the situation, it may be recommended that the patient wears a retainer during the day and at night for a year or more to make sure that their teeth stay where they are and the bones in their mouth are encouraged to fully form properly. Only an orthodontist can understand their patient’s individual situations enough to understand what exact approach needs to be taken in any given scenario.

Braces can be applied using materials other than traditional stainless steel and they can be administered at any time in your life. If you did not have the good fortune of getting the orthodontic care that you needed when you were a child or adolescent, that is not your fault and you have options at your disposal later in life. Teeth braces for adults have become much more common than used to be and they can applied using discrete materials that blend in nicely with the natural color of your teeth so you do not have to feel self-conscious about them causing a distraction in your life.Orthodontist Braces

Brackets for braces are made out of three main materials: The first and most common are the ones that you see most children wearing that are made out of stainless steel. Second, clear or invisible braces are made out of transparent plastic that are more difficult to detect. Third, you could choose to get ceramic braces where the brackets natural ceramic color blends in well with your teeth and provides a smooth, comfortable exterior surface. It should be noted that both of these materials are less durable than stainless steel and if not taken care of properly could turn into maintenance visits that could cost more money that could have otherwise been avoided if stainless steel brackets were chosen. Braces are not always required in order to get your smile to a point where you are going to feel more comfortable showing it off. In some cases, the Invisalign method may be the best option because it does not even require brackets or wiring at all.

Invisalign burst into the orthodontics scene in 2000 the help of a lot of silicone valley investment capital and the advancement of crucial technologies in digital computer imaging and 3-D printing. These three factors combined to create a teeth-straightening method that TV personalities and celebrities have used to correct their smiles. It is as popular as it is because you can straighten your teeth by using a series of undetectable, transparent ‘aligners’ that are custom-designed to bring your smile into alignment. This method is not available for everyone because it is not always capable of producing the best results because everyone has their own highly individualized needs and expectations.