4 Ways Your Smile Changes As You Age

It’s no secret, as you age, so does your smile. Teeth wear down as we chew our way through a lifetime of meals. Did you also know, teeth can move and shift well into adulthood? Here’s a roundup of 4 common changes orthodontists see in patients as they age:

1. Bottom teeth crowding

As you age, your jaw bone loses density and shrinks. The mismatched size of the jaw bone with teeth can lead to crowding of the bottom front teeth. Crowding can also occur because other issues such as breathing through your mouth, reverse swallowing, tongue thrusting or facial trauma.

2. Front teeth gap

Space between two front teeth is referred to as a diastema, and it can develop for a variety of reasons. Crowding of teeth or unproportioned jaws and teeth can cause spacing to gradually occur. Swallowing, with the pressure of your tongue pushing against your front teeth, rather than positioning itself at the roof of your mouth, can also cause teeth to separate over time. Gum disease is another trigger for spacing, because of the inflammation. (more…)

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Beware of Do-It-Yourself Orthodontics

Thousands of online videos offer purported “advice” and “instructions” on do-it-yourself (DIY) orthodontic care. The proliferation of misinformation led the American Association of Orthodontists to issue this consumer alert:

Beware of Internet videos and websites which encourage people to try and straighten their own teeth. Moving teeth is a medical procedure and needs personal supervision by an orthodontist. Please be wary of any suggestions to move teeth with rubber bands, dental floss, or other objects ordered on the Internet. Moving teeth without a thorough examination of the overall health of the teeth and gums could result in the permanent loss of teeth, which may result in expensive and lifelong dental problems. Orthodontists receive two to three years of specialized education beyond dental school and are specialists in straightening teeth and aligning the bite. Click below to download information about this consumer alert. [pdf-embedder url="http://www.drtoddsmiles.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/DIY_ortho_flier-17-hl_no_crops.pdf"]

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Will Treatment Cause White Marks On My Teeth?

The most important thing to know about white marks on teeth is that they are preventable. All you have to do to be white mark-free is to keep teeth clean and stay away from some foods and beverages. It’s that simple. When we say simple, we mean four easy steps simple:
  1. Brush as often as recommended by your orthodontist, including after each meal or snack whether at school, work or home
  2. Floss at least once a day            
  3. Avoid or limit acidic foods and drinks (soda, flavored waters with carbonation, sweet tea, sports drinks etc.) for the duration of your treatment
  4. See your family dentist at least every four to six months for a check-up or more often if it’s recommended
Handy tools like interproximal brushes, floss threaders, floss holders, water irrigators and power toothbrushes can make cleaning teeth convenient, quick and, most of all, thorough. Fluoride toothpaste and/or rinses are advisable, too. (more…)

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Taking care of your retainers

It’s really up to you, If your retainers are to do their important job, you must do three things: 1. Wear Them As Directed Retainers are effective only if you faithfully follow your orthodon-tist’s instructions for wearing them. And they’re doing their jobs only when they’re in your mouth, not in your pocket or purse. Remember: wearing that retainer after your braces are removed is the best way to preserve that healthy, beautiful smile you worked so hard to get. 2. Keep Them Clean If you’ve been fitted with a removable retainer, it’s easy to clean when you take it out. Your orthodontist will show you how.If your retainer is attached to your teeth, it’s important to brush thoroughly after meals and clean under the wire with dental floss at least once a day. Your orthodontist will teach you how to care for your fixed retainer. If you can’t brush after a meal, be sure to at least rinse your mouth out with water until you have a chance to brush thoroughly.Whether your retainer is removable or fixed, make sure you see your dentist for a thorough cleaning every six months (or more often, if recommended). 3. Handle Them With Care Remember: whenever your retainer is not in your mouth, it should be in its case for safety. Retainers are easier to lose than you think, and they’re expensive to replace. They fall out of pockets and purses. If you take your retainer out to eat and wrap it in a napkin, you may accidentally throw it away. When they’re just lying around, retainers have a way of falling on the floor and being stepped on, or even being picked up by pets.If you’re instructed to wear your retainer for only a part of the day, keep it in its case when it’s not being worn, so it won’t be damaged or lost.

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Orthodontic Treatment at Home?

Some online orthodontic companies make their treatment sound so easy. Perhaps you take a selfie and/or an impression of your teeth or get your teeth scanned. Next, you receive aligners in the mail and after so many months - straight teeth! Right? What else is there to think about? Before you decide to proceed with a direct-to-consumer orthodontic company, the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) believes there are a number of factors and questions you may want to consider. For example, in some instances direct-to-consumer orthodontic companies do not involve the in-person evaluation and/or in-person supervision of your orthodontic treatment by an orthodontist. An in-person evaluation and in-person supervision throughout treatment can be very important, because there is more to creating a healthy, beautiful smile than moving the visible portions of your teeth. Orthodontic treatment involves the movement of biological material, which if not done correctly could lead to potentially irreversible and expensive damage such as tooth and gum loss, changed bites, and other issues. Consider this question: What other transforming medical treatment would you undergo without an in-person, pre-treatment evaluation or ongoing in-person supervision from a medical professional? Click below to download information about this consumer alert. [pdf-embedder url="http://www.drtoddsmiles.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/AAO-Consumer-Alert-DIY-2018-flier-hl.pdf" title="AAO Consumer Alert DIY 2018 flier-hl"]  

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