How Can an Orthodontist Fix Bite Issues?

11 Sep 2018 Braces

Most people need orthodontics to treat a misaligned bite (malocclusion). Any orthodontist will tell you that their more important job is actually aligning the bite rather than straightening the teeth. Bite problems can cause a person to clench or grind their teeth, leading to too much wear over time. A bad bite can also create chewing or even talking problems.

Malocclusions can be genetic, meaning you likely inherited your misalignment from a parent or grandparent. Corrective orthodontics is about much more than cosmetic appearance. Making sure you are not wearing away your tooth enamel, or fixing a speech or chewing problem are important functional issues that orthodontists address every day.

 

Overbite

When a person has an overbite, the upper teeth protrude out in front of the lower jaw. A normal gap is about two millimeters, but with a malocclusion, the gap can range from as little as three millimeters to as large as 10 millimeters (referred to as a deep overbite). When a person has an overbite, the chin appears pushed back and the upper jaw appears to jut forward. The overbite makes the face appear round and short, and most people with a deep overbite have jaw pain, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain and even headaches. These patients also tend to clench and grind their teeth.

 

Underbite

An underbite occurs when the lower jaw extends forward, appearing in front of the upper jaw, giving the appearance that the person is sticking out their chin and lower teeth. Orthodontists use the technical term “mandibular prognathism” to describe an underbite. If an underbite is really severe, it can greatly distort both the shape and the appearance of the face, and can even affect the person’s speech. People tend to have some degree of TMJ issue with an underbite.

 

Crossbite

A crossbite is another bite malocclusion that tends to be genetic and therefore inherited. Children are born with a narrow upper jaw that then causes teeth to be misaligned with the lower jaw. Upper teeth can also be very crowded as the permanent teeth come in.

Crossbites can cause pain that radiates in the teeth and jaw. Sometimes people with crossbites find that chewing is very painful. A crossbite is a huge grind—literally—on your teeth, which will wear down much more quickly, and your risk of losing teeth increases as well. In severe cases of crossbite, people can develop arthritis or otherwise severe damage in the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) due to the constant abnormal stresses placed on the joint.

 

Orthodontic Treatment

There are a number of ways an orthodontist can treat TMJ. Orthodontists will always use the least invasive method to correct these classes of malocclusions. If you suspect you have TMJ, your first step is to visit a dentist or orthodontist.

Braces are sometimes used to correct TMJ, but braces are usually recommended to correct the bite, and in doing so, the patient finds that TMJ goes away once the bite is corrected.

An orthodontist might use a splint, which is similar to a mouthguard to help with the TMJ. In more severe cases, surgery might be required, but is a last resort after all other treatments have been tried.

 

Contact Us

If you are experiencing TMJ pain, call us at (770) 467-3559 or contact us online to find out the options we can offer  you to relieve your TMJ pain today.

Do Porcelain Braces Stain?

10 Sep 2018 Braces

Ceramic braces have brackets made of ceramic or porcelain. Porcelain braces are clear or colored to match the shade of your teeth. Because of that, porcelain braces usually blend in very well with your teeth. Patients with lighter colored teeth can even use clear porcelain braces, but we usually recommend that people with darker teeth use light-colored braces. We often use clear wires with porcelain braces, so they are really not visible at all.

By comparison, traditional metal braces are very noticeable. Many people are self-conscious when they talk or smile or laugh. Ceramic braces are designed to be less noticeable, and definitely represent a good alternative.

 

Do Ceramic Braces Stain?

The original design of ceramic braces a few years ago did have staining issues. Modern porcelain braces do not have staining issues. There is a lot of information (and misinformation) on the internet, and we wanted to set the record straight. Today’s porcelain braces are actually designed to withstand staining.

Porcelain braces do use small rubber bands (called ligatures) to hold the wire onto the ceramic brackets. You’ve probably seen or heard of these little rubber bands; they’re used in both ceramic and metal braces. The rubber bands can stain, particularly if you drink dark stain-causing beverages like tea, coffee, dark colas or wine. If you are a smoker, the smoking can also stain the ligatures.

The rubber bands stain because they are made from a porous material. Having said that, we do change the rubber bands every time you visit our office for an adjustment, so you’ll always have new rubber bands.

 

Advantages of Porcelain Braces

There are several benefits and advantages to ceramic braces:

  • Less irritating to the gums than metal braces
  • Less noticeable because they use clear, semi-translucent or tooth-colored ceramic brackets to blend in well
  • Less likely to break because the ceramic material is very strong and durable

 

Caring For Ceramic Braces

As with any braces, caring for ceramic or porcelain braces is very important. Brushing after every meal is key. Rinse your mouth frequently after eating snacks or drinking beverages. Don’t forget to floss! We can help you with special flossing material that is made specifically for braces. This will cut down on tooth decay and could also help the rubber band staining issue. All of these measures will keep food from getting under your wires.

 

Contact Us

If porcelain braces sound really appealing, call us at (770) 467-3559 or contact us online to find out if this option is right for you. Our team will schedule a free consultation. At BB Braces, we offer porcelain braces for all ages–kids, teenagers, and adults, and we have several convenient locations in the greater Atlanta area, including  AcworthHiramCovington,  MariettaAlpharetta,  Suwanee, and McDonough.

 

Even if you do have ligature staining, don’t worry. When your orthodontic treatment is complete, we’ll provide you with a complimentary teeth whitening session, to make your new smile as bright as possible!