Often, people today have white spots on their teeth that look chalky or opaque. Perhaps you have them, or perhaps you’ve seen them on a friend or family member’s teeth. Many things can cause white spots on teeth. They can be caused by nutrition, genetics, excessive fluoride intake at an early age, or poor oral hygiene.
In orthodontic treatment, white spots can develop if plaque remains around the brackets and along the gum line for a prolonged period without proper brushing and flossing. Maintaining good oral hygiene is imperative during orthodontic treatment. Since the bonding material binds the brackets to each tooth, you rarely see white marks under the braces. Once your braces are removed, you will notice these white marks around where the brackets once were and along the gum line.
When you consume food and beverages, the pH level in your mouth drops significantly. It is at this point that cavities begin to form. If the plaque remains around your braces for a long time, it can cause decalcification, or white marks, which lead to tooth decay.
How to Prevent White Spots
Our Palos Hills orthodontics team recommends to brush your teeth, especially before bedtime. You do not want the plaque to remain around your braces and gum line all night. Plaque usually collects under wires and around brackets. Make sure you brush well and pay close attention to areas around your brackets.
Consider using an electric toothbrush. Their effectiveness is far greater than that of a Waterpik, which does not remove plaque as efficiently as brushing.
Maintain regular dental flossing to remove plaque and debris from between your teeth. White spots are not as noticeable between the teeth, but they can still be a problem.
If indicated, use a prescription fluoride toothpaste or rinse based on your brushing habits.
Reduce the intake of acidic foods and drinks such as sour candies, lemons, vinegar based foods, and acidic drinks such as soda, sports drinks, and lemonade. Regular consumption increases the risk of developing decalcification or white marks.
The color of your teeth and susceptibility to decay are determined at birth, just like your hair and eye color. The cause of white spots on teeth varies from person to person. Our orthodontist in Palos Hills aims to educate all our patients and parents on how good oral hygiene and diet impact dental health during orthodontic treatment. Together, let’s create beautiful smiles that last a lifetime!
Orthodontics is a specialized branch of dentistry that treats, prevents, and diagnoses various dental problems. Orthodontics can help correct some of these issues by using either fixed or removable appliances.
Fixed orthodontic appliances must be bonded to the teeth. Removable appliances are different from fixed appliances because they can be taken out of your mouth. Removable appliances are often preferred because orthodontic care often involves multiple phases of treatment. There are several types of removable and fixed appliances available to those who are considering a specific treatment option.
One of the most popular options is Invisalign®. This is a great option for those who wish to straighten their teeth discreetly. Invisalign® allows you to straighten your teeth without the use of fixed braces.
Our orthodontic office uses several removable aligners, so you won’t be forced to wear brackets and metal wires. Treatment with Invisalign® can last up to 15 months, and you’ll need to use a series of aligners to achieve the desired results. New aligners are usually needed every two weeks. For example, Invisalign® aligners are easier to remove than fixed braces, so you can remove them while eating and drinking.
After you have completed your treatment program, our orthodontist in 60465 says you will still need to wear retainers. Retainers are crucial for maintaining your teeth’s alignment after treatment ends.
The benefits of wearing retainers are much greater than they are perceived to be, and without them, your teeth could shift back into their original position. The use of retainers should be continued into adulthood by adolescents. Adults should wear retainers indefinitely.
Patients with bruxism, or teeth grinding, can wear night guards to protect their teeth when they sleep. Grinding can result in jaw trauma and teeth can begin to wear away. Patients who grind their teeth excessively should wear a night guard to prevent future complications.
It is very important to protect your teeth with a mouthguard. Athletes commonly use them to protect their teeth from receiving damaging blows or being knocked out. Any forceful impact can cause serious damage to the teeth without a mouth guard.
Orthodontic appliances such as these are common for kids with premature tooth loss. By wearing space maintainers, your child can prevent their baby teeth from moving into an area where their permanent teeth will develop and grow.
When a child loses a tooth prematurely, the teeth that remain are likely to change position and block the area where permanent teeth should erupt. As a result, the upper and lower sets of teeth may become misaligned.
A palatal expander is an orthodontic appliance that widens the upper jaw. It increases the size of the bone to accommodate all permanent teeth, as well as to fix imbalances between the upper and lower jaws so that the teeth are properly aligned. In addition to addressing functional issues, a palate expander can also create a broader, more aesthetic smile.
Orthodontic appliances serve many purposes and are used to treat certain jaw and alignment issues. A patient’s unique orthodontic needs determine the type of appliance required. Please contact our orthodontics office in Palos Hills, IL to schedule a consultation appointment.
Everyone has a different smile, so it makes sense that misalignment would cause a variety of issues. Oftentimes, the shape of the mouth is influenced by a combination of factors, including the alignment of the jaws, how the teeth erupt, or childhood behaviors.
You can learn about the types of bite problems that affect patients of all ages by visiting an orthodontist. Minor gaps and tooth alignment are not usually a major concern. Rather, orthodontists are devoted to treating patients with the following types of bite problems with comprehensive orthodontic treatment:
An underbite is a common issue, especially in children. It occurs when a person’s lower jaw is pushed forward, leaving the lower rows of teeth protruding. This type of bite can cause serious problems, such as rapid tooth wear, damage to the enamel, and stress on the jaw joints.
If the overbite is severe, the affected individual may also have a “bulldog” appearance or teeth that protrude over their upper lip. Braces are often recommended to treat this condition.
Having an overbite is the opposite of having an underbite. An upper row of teeth covers the lower row of teeth when the upper jaw protrudes over the lower one. The most common cause of overbites is having a small or narrow upper palate.
With an overbite, an individual may experience problems like weak gums, increased damage to the enamel, rapid tooth wear, and difficulty eating. Braces in conjunction with palate expanders are recommended forms of treatment.
An alignment problem occurs when the jaws or teeth do not line up properly. Generally speaking, misalignment refers to a situation where the teeth or jaws are causing extreme wear on the enamel and joints of the jaws.
Crossbite comes in two forms: anterior and posterior. A posterior crossbite occurs when the upper teeth fit behind the lower teeth, whereas an anterior crossbite occurs when the lower teeth fit behind the upper teeth.
A crossbite can affect a single tooth or several teeth. Both baby teeth and permanent teeth may be affected.
One of the most serious bite problems an individual can have is crossbites. Misaligned teeth can cause a wide range of issues, including lopsided jaw growth, lopsided facial appearance, and excessive enamel wear. Additionally, the affected teeth could dig into the gum tissue, weakening it and making it more susceptible to infection.
The teeth become crowded when there is not enough space for them to grow properly. Because of this, the teeth may begin to overlap, rotate, or even become trapped behind the central row of teeth. There are several reasons for crowding, but the two most common are having large teeth or having a small mouth.
If crowding is severe, an orthodontist may recommend tooth extraction, braces, a palate expander, or even surgery. Young patients can prevent future crowding by having their teeth removed.
A gap in a smile occurs when two teeth are not properly aligned, resulting in a space between them. A small gap is normal, especially between the two front teeth. However, larger gaps should be taken seriously. This can result in weakened gum tissue, increased gum disease risk, and unnatural shifting of other teeth.
Braces and dental implants are both common methods of fixing gaps in the mouth.
A deep bite is when the front teeth almost completely cover the bottom ones. A deep bite could be considered an overbite, but not all overbites are deep bites. Since the teeth surround one another, the cusps constantly cut and scrape the gums on the other side. This is a serious misalignment that leads to issues, especially for the gums. This increases the risk of infection but can also loosen the hold the tissue has on the teeth.
In serious cases, individuals with deep bites can lose their permanent teeth.
There are two types of open bites: anterior and posterior. A posterior open bite occurs when the front teeth do not close while the back teeth do. When you have an anterior open bite, your front teeth close together, but your back teeth do not.
Sometimes, an open bite is caused by small or irregularly shaped teeth, but it can also be caused by childhood behaviors such as breathing through the mouth, thumb sucking, or pushing on the teeth constantly with the tongue. Untreated open bites can result in swallowing difficulties and speech impediments.
When the front teeth stick out at an odd angle, it is called a protrusion. Generally, protrusions are called “buck teeth,” and one may occur if the upper jaw is too forward, the lower jaw is too backward, or the teeth emerge at an odd angle. Additionally, some childhood behaviors, such as sucking one’s thumb as an older child, can result in a protrusion.
Protrusions have the longest list of effects and can be extremely uncomfortable. When left untreated, protrusions can lead to permanent tooth loss, an increased risk of breaking the front teeth, trouble closing the mouth, or excessive oral dryness that can lead to tooth decay.
Bite problems can affect both children and adults. If you or someone you know is experiencing one of these issues, you should consult an orthodontist. The simplest treatment available is braces, which correct both tooth alignment and the alignment of the jaws.
It is not too much to ask for a beautiful smile and an enjoyable chewing experience. However, for some people, it is not so easy. Some children are born with crossbites. This is a misalignment of the teeth. It may affect your front teeth or your back teeth. The symptoms of each patient vary.
A crossbite causes your upper teeth to be hidden behind your lower teeth and vice versa. Biting and smiling can be challenging when you have a crossbite. However, modern bite correction options are available to correct this problem, including braces.
What causes a crossbite?
A crossbite occurs when the upper jaw sits inside the lower jaw. Crossbites can be treated by an orthodontist in a variety of ways, all of which are feasible. You might be self-conscious about your smile as well as find eating difficult. Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD) is one of the potentially serious cases. A TMD disorder may cause earaches, jaw pain or discomfort, headaches, and problems with the muscles of the jaw. Our Orthodontist Palos Hills can find the root cause of the problem and can prevent TMD and other consequences that affect your dental health and overall well-being.
Types of crossbites
The two types of dental crossbites are anterior and posterior. An anterior crossbite occurs when the incisors are located within the lower jaw. In the posterior crossbite, the back of the jaw is affected and can cause pain and discomfort. A posterior crossbite affects 16% of children, while an anterior crossbite affects only 4–5% of them.
What are the issues caused by crossbites?
Genetics is the most common cause of crossbite in children. The cause is usually genetically determined by the parents or other close family members. In addition to several common causes of crossbite, such as nail-biting, poor chewing habits, or thumb sucking (a frequent childhood habit), it can also be caused by the delayed loss of primary teeth. Having large tonsils or adenoids may aggravate this condition. At your initial consultation, our Palos Hills Orthodontist will take x-rays to determine the cause of the crossbite as well as give you advice on how to treat it.
Effects of crossbites
A misaligned bite can lead to dental issues and bruxism. You may also experience mental or physical issues. This can also lead to jaw muscle tension, tooth decay, and gum disease, which can result in persistent jaw disorders and shoulder, back, and neck pain.
This type of condition must be diagnosed as soon as possible to correct it and prevent future dental and skeletal issues.
The best time to treat this form of malocclusion is when the patient is a child or in their teens. Adults, on the other hand, can still receive treatment, but it is treated at a much slower pace. According to the American Dental Association, or ADA, an orthodontist should ensure that there is enough room for the teeth to move and that the bite can be enlarged to facilitate the shift. Additionally, the patient will be required to wear an orthodontic appliance during treatment. The following are some common treatment options:
Maxillary Expander A device will be attached to the palate and placed on your upper teeth by your orthodontist. Using a special key on the device, the maxillary expander gradually widens the upper palate. The device is best suited for children who are still developing their taste buds.
Removable Expander An adult can gradually increase the size of their upper palate by using expanders. They are worn every night until the desired results are achieved.
Braces Both metal and ceramic braces are effective for treating crossbites or underbites. Using brackets on each tooth and a wire to connect them, your orthodontist will move each tooth into its correct alignment, moving the misaligned teeth until the bite is corrected.
Straight teeth can be achieved with braces, but how can they be maintained once they are removed?
If you want to maintain the position of your straightened teeth, you must wear your retainer for at least 12 hours per day for the first eight weeks following the completion of your orthodontic treatment. When your teeth have been moved to a new position, diligent wear is crucial as the teeth are the least stable during this time. Following the completion of eight weeks of wearing your retainers for half of each day, with the approval of your 60465 orthodontist, you can begin wearing them at night only.
There are several types of retainers that may be recommended for you:
Clear Retainers: This is a clear plastic removable retainer similar to teeth whitening trays. They are invisible and less likely to affect your speech than traditional retainers.
Traditional Retainers: These are acrylic or wire-based removable appliances that are fitted to the roof of your mouth; the wire runs along the outside of your teeth to keep them in their proper position. Although this is a more durable option, it is also more noticeable than other options.
Permanent Retainer: This type of retainer consists of a wire that is bonded to the inside of your front teeth (usually the lower ones) to hold them in place. Patients at high risk of relapse or those who are likely to ignore instructions for wearing removable retainers are often prescribed permanent retainers.
In addition to keeping your teeth straight, retainers provide many other benefits. Aligned teeth are easier to clean. They are less likely to develop tooth decay because plaque is less likely to accumulate. Certain types of retainers can help improve breathing and snoring. Children can wear retainers to help them adjust the placement of their tongues, which can reduce speech impediments. Orthodontists help treat many of these problems.
Maintain your retainers’ cleanliness by brushing them every day with toothpaste. Be sure to use a soft-bristled toothbrush to clean the entire area. Ensure that the wires aren’t bent out of place when handling them.
Take care of your retainer, and it will take care of you when you complete your orthodontic treatment. The retention phase begins when you remove your braces. Your retainer is considered the maintenance phase of your orthodontic treatment. Yes, you do need to wear your retainer forever. During the first few months, you will need to wear it 24/7. Your teeth will then be locked into place, but you’ll still need to wear your retainer at night. This will make sure that your teeth don’t shift back to their natural positions, which is known as “relapse.” Your retainer should be one of the most important components of your orthodontic treatment plan.
A tooth’s enamel is the hardest material in your body and your teeth are its guardians. A healthy mouth is the first line of defense against harmful bacteria that can cause tooth decay. You create bacteria when you eat certain foods, which attack the enamel of your teeth. For example, carbohydrates and sugary foods flood the enamel. Our orthodontist in 60465 shares that brushing your teeth immediately following a meal can damage your enamel.
Why is this harmful?
Your mouth’s pH level changes when you consume liquids and food. When you eat acidic foods, you raise the pH balance until it reaches a level where demineralization occurs. By causing the enamel to soften, the new acidity can allow bacteria to penetrate your teeth. After eating, brushing your teeth may harm your enamel. It would be best to protect your enamel because enamel protects your teeth.
Protect your enamel by following these steps:
After eating anything acidic, wait at least 30 minutes before brushing your teeth.
A good example is citrus fruits. It is a good idea to brush before consuming acidic foods or drinks.
You can remove acids by drinking water. You can follow this up by chewing sugarless gum. When these steps are followed, saliva can help restore the pH balance needed for a healthy smile.
Maintaining optimal oral health requires brushing twice a day.
Was it taught that you should brush your teeth directly after eating? This may seem like the right habit to adopt, but it could be detrimental to your dental health. It may be better to rinse your mouth with water after eating to maintain healthy enamel. We can provide you with tips for maintaining healthy, strong teeth if you come to our office for an examination. Get in touch with our orthodontics office in Palos Hills, IL today.
Keeping your teeth straight is crucial in the period following the removal of your braces. Maintaining the smile you have worked so hard for is best achieved with a retainer worn as directed by our orthodontist in 60465. Wearing your retainer may help keep your teeth from shifting back to their original positions. What can happen if you do not wear a retainer after braces treatment? Learn more in the following paragraphs.
Within one week.
Once your braces are removed, your teeth will move back into their original positions. There are different rates of tooth movement, and even slight shifts in your teeth can affect how your retainer functions. It is essential to wear your retainer at night during the first week to prevent any relapses.
A month later.
When you don’t wear your retainer for one month, you may find your bite has changed, and your teeth have begun to move back into their previous alignment. A second appointment will need to be scheduled to get you fitted for another retainer at this point. Additionally, you may be required to wear your retainer during the daytime and at night.
One year later.
If you skip a retainer, your teeth will have returned to their original position, and maybe even be crooked after one year. You might need to restart your orthodontic treatment. You can prevent this from happening if you wear your retainer as instructed.
Wearing a retainer after removing your braces can help keep your teeth straight. If you stop wearing your retainer, the smile you worked hard to achieve will disappear. In the long run, you will see that it is worth the effort to get into the habit of wearing a retainer.
No matter how old you are, braces are a safe and effective way to straighten your teeth. Although you cannot see your teeth moving, constant, steady pressure caused by braces causes changes in your gums and jaw bone as your teeth move. Occasionally, some patients may experience minor side effects, such as gum irritation. If your gums are red, sore, or swollen, determine the cause and seek treatment from our orthodontist in 60465 as soon as possible.
It may be difficult to maintain good oral hygiene when wearing braces. This results in plaque building up and causing gingivitis, damaging the gums and causing them to swell and bleed. While wearing braces, if you notice your gums are red, swollen, or bleeding when you brush, this is indicative of infection and an inflammatory reaction. Hormone changes make children and teenagers more likely to develop gum disease. Additionally, it makes it harder to clean teeth and gums.
Swollen gums are a common occurrence when you first get braces. You may feel that your gums are sensitive while wearing braces. In some circumstances, metal brackets and wires can increase gum size due to hypertrophy or hyperplasia. When your orthodontic treatment is complete and your braces are removed, your gums will likely return to normal.
Wearing braces requires you to take dietary precautions. Some dietary habits are known to cause orthodontic appliances to break and increase the risk of dental decay. You should avoid eating anything hard or crunchy, such as raw vegetables and popcorn, which can irritate your gums. While wearing braces, limit foods and drinks that may cause dental caries (cavities). Your orthodontist will inform you of dietary restrictions while you are under their care.
Here are a few steps you can take to alleviate swelling and inflammation in your gums:
Get an electric toothbrush with an orthodontic head to thoroughly clean your teeth.
Clean between your teeth with a water flosser.
Interproximal brushes and floss threaders clean around and under wires better than toothbrushes.
You might want to consider mouthwash containing fluoride or antimicrobials.
To relieve inflammation in the mouth, rinse with warm water containing a pinch of salt.
Smoking and alcohol aggravate inflammation further.
To achieve the best results from your orthodontic treatment, it is important to make a conscious effort to maintain healthy oral hygiene habits. If you have a high risk of periodontal disease, your orthodontist may wait to begin orthodontic treatment until your teeth and gums are healthy.
If you have uneven teeth, you may be considering orthodontic options to improve your smile. Straightening your teeth can do more than just boost your confidence. It is important to consult with your orthodontist in 60465 if your teeth are not aligned properly.
People often fail to realize how the health of their mouths affects the health of their bodies overall. Poor oral health puts you at greater risk for heart attacks, strokes, illnesses, miscarriages, and more. Having misaligned teeth makes it harder to take care of your mouth properly, increasing your risk of oral health problems. The following are some of the most common problems caused by misaligned teeth: Contact our office today if any of these symptoms affect you.
In comparison to straight teeth, it is harder to keep uneven teeth clean. If you don’t brush and floss regularly, you are more likely to get gum disease. In many adults, plaque buildup can cause gingivitis and periodontal disease, which can lead to tooth loss. When your gums are swollen or inflamed, bacteria may be released into your bloodstream, which can cause inflammation and increase your risk of strokes, heart attacks, etc.
Make sure you see your dentist twice a year for dental cleanings and examinations and maintain good oral hygiene.
Jaw discomfort/TMD TMJ
If you have misaligned teeth or an abnormal bite, your chances of developing temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) may be increased. Even though most TMD cases are caused by teeth grinding and clenching, a misaligned bite can also contribute to the condition. In addition to jaw pain and discomfort, TMD can also cause headaches and other symptoms such as clicking sounds while chewing.
You may need TMD treatment if you have been experiencing jaw pain. An orthodontist can help determine if this condition requires treatment. By correcting a misaligned bite, TMD patients can experience less pain.
Tooth enamel is a complex and thin coating covering the surface of the tooth that prevents it from being chipped or worn away. Grinding your teeth is a common cause of enamel loss, but various environmental factors contribute as well. Simple actions such as speaking and chewing can grind your teeth together if they are uneven and your bite isn’t aligned correctly. Eventually, this will wear away your teeth’s enamel, making them appear discolored, more sensitive, and more likely to crack and chip. The enamel of your teeth can be protected at home in many ways, including drinking plenty of water, avoiding excessively acidic and sugary foods, and brushing and flossing as directed by your dentist. The alignment of your teeth may limit your ability to prevent enamel erosion on your own.
Orthodontists can help you improve the alignment of your teeth and smile. Please contact our Palos Hills, IL orthodontics office to find out whether orthodontic treatment is right for you.
Are you going days, or even weeks, without cleaning your retainer? A retainer has the same bacteria as your mouth and, if not cleaned daily, is almost equivalent to not brushing your teeth for weeks. You accumulate bacteria throughout the day, which can lead to bad breath, gingivitis, and cavities. If you want to practice good oral hygiene, your orthodontist in 60465 recommends following these tips.
Clean your retainer with toothpaste.
You should brush your retainer at night when you brush your teeth. Once it becomes a habit, brushing it won’t seem like an extra step. To achieve the best results, use non-whitening toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush. Maintaining the integrity of your retainer acrylic is essential through the use of soft toothbrushes and the avoidance of abrasive toothpaste, as repeated scrubbing can cause it to scratch, allowing bacteria to grow.
It is not enough to just wash it with water.
A simple wash with water won’t get rid of bacteria. Bacteria can be reduced by using water throughout the day, but distilled white vinegar is the best solution. Combine one part vinegar with three parts water in a cup. Soak your retainer for approximately 15 minutes, then gently brush with a soft toothbrush.
Use baking soda.
Aside from teeth whitening retainers, baking soda restores the pH balance in retainers. A paste can be made by mixing half baking soda and half water. When applied to the toothbrush, it will be similar to a light toothpaste. Gently brush your retainer to ensure it is clean.
Quick mouthwash soaks
In most cases, orthodontists do not recommend mouthwash as a primary way to clean your retainer. However, you can give it a quick soak to kill bacteria and freshen its smell. Mix equal parts of mouthwash and lukewarm water. Alcohol can damage acrylic, so make sure the mouthwash is alcohol-free.
A retainer cleaner bought at the store is an option.
If you decide to use a cleaner, be sure to follow the instructions on the packaging. Stores sell cleaners specifically designed for cleaning retainers. Your orthodontics team in Palos Hills can recommend a cleaner, and you should follow the directions on the packaging.
By keeping your retainer clean, you are maintaining your oral health. Maintaining your retainer using the methods we have discussed above will help you avoid potential health problems caused by bacteria. Consult your orthodontist about which cleaning option would be best for you. We invite you to schedule an appointment to our orthodontics office in Palos Hills, IL.
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