Having your teeth shift out of alignment can occur for a number of reasons. A simple reason may be that you sleep consistently on one side – or perhaps your grind your teeth at night while you are asleep. It’s also possible that bad dental habits can cause teeth to fall out of alignment. No matter what the cause of the shifting is, misaligned teeth can bring on more dental problems if left untreated since teeth that have shifted can be difficult to properly clean.
In order to find the right treatment for your shifting teeth, you first need to determine the cause of the shifting. You dentist can guide you through this. In order for you to get an idea while you wait to see your dental provider, here are some of the common reasons of teeth shifting.
Jaw Clenching and Teeth Grinding. These are very bad habits for your teeth, as they can force either your top or bottom teeth to misalign from added pressure. Some people do this in their sleep and may have no idea they are doing it.
Tooth Loss. If you lose a tooth, you should have the spot filled. Otherwise, the additional space in your mouth leaves room for the surrounding teeth to shift toward that spot to fill the gap.
Tooth Decay or Cavities. Not treating a cavity can cause the teeth to shift as the decay spreads. Also, the composite that is used to fill cavities may cause shifting – it is best to avoid cavities at all if possible.
Genetics and Age. Even if you are born with perfectly straight teeth, you may have genes that dictate the shifting of your teeth at a later age in life. Additionally, when a person grows older the natural wearing away of the areas between each tooth can cause shifting.
No matter what the cause is of the shifting of your teeth, contact your dental team for an assessment to get it taken care of. There are many solutions to shifting, and the answer for your mouth will depend on what is causing the shifting.
When finally comes the day that your braces are set to come off, you may be excited to be freed of bands and brackets – and to be able to run your tongue over your teeth and feel a smooth surface. But, don’t forget that you are not completely done with orthodontics. Most braces-wearers will require a dental retainer for use after their braces are removed. Some of those who have never had braces may also require a retainer at some point, to help keep things straight or fix minor issues.
Retention is a critical follow-through stage of orthodontics that typically involves wearing a retainer. Several different kinds of retainers exist, all of which are custom made for your mouth. Your orthodontist will recommend which type of retainer will work best for your mouth and for how long you will need to wear the retainer.
Types of Retainers
Three types of retainers are commonly prescribed for orthodontic patients:
• Hawley Retainer – a thin, tongue shapes piece of acrylic moulded to fit your mouth, with a wire that holds the teeth into position. This retainer is simple, durable, and easily removed. It is possible to personalize these retainers with different colours and designs for the plastic arch – it can also be adjusted to correct minor tooth movements as they happen.
• Clear Plastic Retainer – the clear aligner type of retainer looks very similar to an Invisalign tray. These retainers are custom made of thin, transparent plastic which is designed to sit perfectly over the teeth. The main advantage to this retainer type is that it is virtually invisible, with no wire to show. These retainers are also easy to remove, but are less durable than a Hawleys retainer.
• Fixed Bonded Retainer – a fixed retainer ma be an option for some mouths, especially on the lower front teeth. These retainers are not removable by the wearer, and they are not completely invisible. The system uses a wire which is bonded to the inside of the teeth. This retainer may remain in place for months or even years.
When your braces come off, your teeth will require some sort of further orthodontic treatment through a retainer to avoid the teeth moving. Unfortunately, if nothing is used after braces the teeth will very likely start moving back into their original position prior to orthodontic care.
For the majority of people wondering if Invisalign can help with their orthodontic problems, the answer is almost always yes! Invisalign treatment is clinically proven to be effective for a broad range of teeth straightening cases, from mild to complex – and the treatment is continuously innovating to expand that range, and get better results.
Some common concerns that can be treated with Invisalign include:
Gaps between the teeth can occur with abnormal growth of the jawbone – or by missing teeth causing surrounding teeth to shift due to extra space. Spacing issues and gaps between teeth can lead to gum problems due to lack of protection of the teeth, periodontal pockets, and increased risk of periodontal disease.
Overbite is when the upper teeth bite over top of the lower teeth – typically caused by genertics, bad oral habits, or overdevelopment of the bone that supports the teeth. Overbites can lead to issues in the gums, irritation, wear on the lower teeth, and can cause problems in the jaw.
Underbite occurs when the lower teeth protrude out past the front upper teeth. This is usually caused by lack of growth in the upper jack and/or overgrowth of the lower jaw. Underbite can also be caused by missing upper teeth, and can prevent normal function of front teeth or molars which can lead to uneven wear. Underbite can also lead to problems in the jaw.
This occurs when some teeth are unable to make contact with the opposing teeth for a proper bite. Usually cause by genetic abnormal jaw structure or excessive thumb-sucking.
This occurs when there is not enough room in the jaw for the teeth. Crowding can result in severely crooked teeth, leading to tooth decay and gum disease.
This happens when the top and bottom jaws are misaligned, and causes one or more of the upper teeth to bite on the inside of the lower teeth. This can cause wear of the teeth, gum disease, and bone loss.
If you are affected by any of these conditions, you are likely a great candidate for Invisalign treatment. Call your dentist today to discuss treatment options.
When deciding when to see an orthodontist, the answer is generally that it is best to see one as soon as is possible. Earlier treatments generally mean that a patient will have easier treatments, and less likely need for a surgery or more serious corrections later in life.
For children, it is recommended that they see an orthodontic specialist no later than age 7. Most orthodontic problems are easier to correct if detected early rather than waiting until the jaw growth has slowed. For children under 7, there is a wide disparity of tooth development – it takes an expert to tell if a child may actually have an orthodontic problem or simply normal developmental variation. An early exam is also a good idea because most conditions are far easier to treat when caught at an earlier stage, when the child’s natural growth processes are in progress – an orthodontist can make good use of what the body is already doing to treat potential issues.
When should adults be seen by an orthodontist? Again, the best answer is usually as soon as possible! If you tend to be embarrassed by your smile, or cover your mouth when you laugh – perhaps you have started to think about getting braces to straighten your smile? The good news is that teeth can be straightened at any age. In current surveys, 1 in 5 orthodontic patients is an adult.
Orthodontic treatment can be successful at any age, and compliance is usually less of an issue with adult patients versus children. Don’t forget that orthodontics isn’t only about looks – straight teeth are easier to clean and maintain, and are less subject to abnormal wear and tear. A better bite can lead to better health – so the best answer of when to get orthodontic treatment may just be – “right away!”
Clear braces are quickly becoming one of the most popular choices for people who need orthodontic treatment, as they are almost completely invisible. The material of the clear braces makes them very hard to see to onlookers, especially when comparing to traditional metal braces. However, because of the colour of the clear braces, they can be more difficult to care for and it is imperative to maintain them to avoid staining – which would ruin the whole purpose of the braces being clear.
Below are some tips we have put together to help you keep your invisible braces clean and free of stains.
Avoid Foods That Stain
Some foods are far more prone to stain your teeth as well as your clear braces. Some of the worst foods for staining clear braces include sodas, tomatoes, mustard, and coffee. The dark colours in these foods can cause stains on both your teeth and on your clear braces if you are not careful. It is best to avoid these foods, but in cases where you cannot avoid them, it’s important to brush your teeth immediately after consuming them.
Brush After Eating
Even if the foods you are eating are not high-risk for staining your braces, you should always brush immediately after a meal to lessen the chance of stains to both your braces and your teeth. In addition to keeping your braces clean, frequent brushing will also help to avoid tooth decay behind the brackets of the braces.
Avoid Whitening Toothpastes
The allure of a whitening toothpaste can be strong, but in some cases these toothpastes may be doing more harm than good. The toothpaste will not stain your braces, but it an potentially leave spots on your teeth once the braces are removed – since you can’t brush behind the braces themselves, it is best to avoid whitening treatments.
Always Floss & Rinse
No matter how thoroughly you brush your teeth, you could miss spots. Flossing your teeth and rinsing with mouthwash will help to ensure all food particles are removed from your teeth and braces – if not dealt with, these particles can cause staining to your teeth and braces.
Make Frequent Follow Up Appointments
Regularly visiting your orthodontist is one of the best ways to ensure you are taking proper care of your braces. Your dental team can give you additional tips, and can detect potential stains before they become obvious.
Clear braces can be beneficial as they are nearly invisible – but extra efforts are necessary to ensure that the braces do not stain. Following these steps, and checking in frequently with your orthodontist will keep your smile white and clean on your journey to straight teeth.
Accurate impressions are required for many aspects of dental work, and are essential to making sure that the (often pricey) work is done as efficiently as possible. There are many important factors that a dentist looks at when choosing how to take a dental impression, including material selection, tray design, and tissue management. The dentist follows basic principles for dental impression techniques.
Materials. The most commonly used impression material for crown and bridge is an addition-type silicone or polyvinyl solixane (PVS). PVS materials do not product a volatile by-product during polymerization and therefore they do not change much during setting. PVS materials have excellent flow, flexibility, and elastic recovery properties when used correctly. They also have a relatively short setting time, good tear resistance, and have no objectionable tastes and smells. It’s worth mentioning that a dentist should always use vinyl gloves when mixing PVS putty material, as some latex gloves contain sulphur compounds which may inhibit the polymerization of PVS.
Tray Design. Selection of trays is important for accuracy of the impression, and also for patient comfort. Trays should be rigid so as to not deform when taking the impression. Custom trays are ideal as they will require less impression material, hence increasing the accuracy of the impression by reducing material shrinkage. Customs trays are usually recommended for routine use when taking impressions, but if a custom tray is not available, stocks trays can be used using a two-stage impression technique.
Tissue management. This means to avoid injury to the tissues of the mouth during preparation and impression-taking. A dentist will do this by placing supragingival margins wherever possible. In some cases, retraction of the gingiva is done so that an impression can be taken of the root surface and margin details. This is commonly done without risk of permanent tissue damage.
The procedure of taking impressions is done by first preparing the trays, cleaning the site, removing moisture, then syringing the impression material around the tooth, and seating the tray properly. An impression usually takes around 5 minutes to fully set.
Accurate dental impressions are required for much of what your dentist does, and are a fairly common procedure. These are a few of the main decisions your dentist will need to make when taking impressions of your teeth.