Questions about Orthodontics in Norwood, MA?
Below is a list of some of the questions we get asked most frequently from our patients. If you have a question that isn't answered below, feel free to give our office a call and we'll be happy to assist you. To make an appointment request, click here.
An orthodontist is a dental specialist who has successfully completed at least two academic years of continuous advanced studies in an orthodontic program of a dental school or institution approved by the American Dental Association. This advanced training includes such diverse studies as physics, embryology, genetics, human growth and development, cephalometrics, biophysics and mechanical engineering. Only dentists with this advanced education can announce that they are orthodontists.
There are two general causes of orthodontic problems, inherited and acquired.
- Inherited: Most malocclusions are inherited. Some of the results of heredity include crowding, spacing, extra or missing teeth, cleft palate and various irregularities of the jaws and face. Many of these problems affect facial appearance, as well as teeth. In fact, 29% of orthodontic problems are skeletal and must be treated during the growth spurt to be successfully treated. Those problems are classified as severe cases in which treatment is considered either highly desirable or mandatory.
- Acquired: Acquired causes may include thumb or finger sucking, tongue thrusting, breathing restrictions by tonsils and adenoids, accidents involving the teeth and face, dental disease and premature loss or primary or permanent teeth. These problems can also affect facial appearance and teeth.
Good dental care and fluoridation can help control some of orthodontic problems, as well as contribute to general dental health. Research has shown that orthodontic problems to some degree affected 89% of American children 12 or 17 years of age.
Untreated orthodontic problems may cause tooth decay, diseased gums, bone destruction, joint problems and loss of teeth. (More adults lose their teeth because of periodontal problems than because of decay.) Protruding teeth are more susceptible to accidental chipping and other forms of dental injury. Sometimes, the increased cost of dental care resulting from an untreated malocclusion far exceeds the cost of orthodontic care. Skeletal problems, if untreated during the growth spurt, can only be treated by surgery or by an orthodontic compromise.
The Benefit of Braces
Straight teeth are so much more than a beautiful smile. At Miner Orthodontics we focus on giving you a pleasing smile as well as a healthier bite which will improve your self confidence and ability to clean your teeth. With those benefits you should be able to maintain your healthy smile for a lifetime.
For most people, a beautiful smile is the most obvious benefit of orthodontics. If you are a child, an improved smile can mean freedom from self-consciousness. If you are an adult, it can lead to a better social and professional life. A beautiful healthy smile translates into happiness, invites communication and opens the doors to success and fulfillment.
Easier Ability to Clean Your Teeth
Since crooked teeth are harder to clean and maintain, people with crowding tend to have more tooth decay and gum problems than people who have had orthodontic treatment. Cavities and worsening gum disease can eventually lead to tooth loss. Orthodontic treatment can be less costly than the additional care required treating dental problems arising as a result of orthodontic problems. As a bonus, your visits for dental hygiene will be easier when you teeth are straight.
Improved Bite & Less Tooth Wear
With an improved contact of your teeth after orthodontics, you will be able to chew your food easier. Chewing is the important first step in digestion. But other orthodontic problems can contribute to abnormal wear of tooth surfaces resulting in inefficient chewing function. Abnormal forces can also result in excessive stress on the gums and the bone that supports the teeth and even lead to misalignment of the jaw joints.
Braces Myths Unraveled: from kissing to metal detectors
We would like to set the record straight on some of the biggest myths surrounding braces and orthodontic treatment. Currently, more than four million children and one million adults in North America wear braces. Below are the facts about some of the most popular, outrageous and strangest misconceptions and myths about braces.
MYTH: Braces will increase my chance of being struck by lightening.
FACT: With or without braces, the chance of getting struck by lightning is one in 700,000.
MYTH: Braces are only meant for kids.
FACT: One in five orthodontic patients is an adult. Braces can improve a person’s smile at any age. It is true that the ideal age to wear braces is around 10 to 12 years. But that does not mean that kids who have passed that age or adults are not good candidates for treatment with braces.
MYTH: If two people with braces kiss, their braces become locked together.
FACT: It is highly unlikely if not impossible to lock braces while kissing, thanks to today’s smaller, sleeker braces.
MYTH: Braces have to hurt and feel tight to work
FACT: This statement is false since the advancement in technology has helped patients have faster tooth movement with minimal or no discomfort. Many people still believe braces are painful, so they do not have treatment. Orthodontics no longer uses the same techniques and as a consequence braces no longer have to hurt to work. In fact, the new wires have a memory that exerts a steady, gentle pressure on the teeth. As a result, the tooth-moving process is faster yet more comfortable.
MYTH: Braces can rust.
FACT: Braces are made of water resistant materials like titanium alloys and they will not rust.
MYTH: My braces will set off the metal detectors in airports.
FACT: Braces are made from lightweight materials that will not affect airport metal detectors. You are cleared for takeoff!
MYTH: Once my teeth are straight, they will stay that way forever after my braces come off.
FACT: Teeth want to move throughout your life. Therefore, it is important to keep your retainers and wear them as we prescribe to maintain a healthy, beautiful smile.
MYTH: My braces interfere with radio signals or electronic devices.
FACT: Braces do not cause interference with any electronic devices. Unfortunately, you are not able to contact your favorite radio station or planet through your braces.
MYTH: I won't be able to play a musical instrument with braces.
FACT: Braces will not interfere with your ability to play a musical instrument. Nice try!
MYTH: With braces I will attract attention from fish when I open my mouth underwater.
FACT: The small, sleek brackets used today especially ceramic or tooth-colored brackets, will not attract attention from fish or sea life.
MYTH: Now that I have braces, I won't be able to play sports.
FACT: Patients with braces can participate in all sports, but be sure to wear a mouth guard. Mouth guards are one of the least expensive pieces of protective equipment available. Mouth guards are advisable for anyone, whether they wear braces or not.
MYTH: If there was a giant, overhead magnet, and someone flipped a switch, people wearing braces would fly out of their chairs and stick to the ceiling.
FACT: Unlikely, as braces are not made from magnetic materials
Emergencies: What to do
Actually, you will be pleased to know that there are very few true orthodontic emergencies. Most difficulties can be remedied at home. The information below can help you with any simple situations you may encounter.
However, if you have a problem that you cannot resolve on your own, please call us as soon as possible, so we can set aside time to repair any damage. Even if you have a regular appointment scheduled, you will need to call us immediately to notify us if you need an appliance repaired.
1. Wire Irritations
Sometimes discomfort caused by a wire on your braces can be resolved by moving the wire away from the irritated area with a cotton swab or the eraser end of a pencil. If the wire will not move, try covering the end of it with a small amount of wax. If the wire is painful, you can cut it with nail clippers or scissors that have been cleaned in alcohol. If you cannot solve the wire irritation, call our office for an appointment.
2. Something Loose or Broken
Please call our office immediately for advice if a bracket or wire is loose so that we can check and repair your appliance. Please save any piece of your appliance and bring it to the office with you.
A lost band or bracket will need to be reattached as soon as possible to minimize increasing the treatment time. If you need to cut a wire, you may use nail clippers that have cleaned in alcohol. Please call our office as soon as you can, so that we may schedule a repair appointment for you.
3. Lost Spacers
A spacer or separator may be lost during treatment. If you can replace it yourself, just put it back in place. But, do not worry about replacing the separator. Please call our office to see when it needs to be replaced.
4. Sports injuries
Even when you wear a mouthguard, accidents can happen.. In case you do have a sports emergency, be sure to check your mouth and your appliances for damage. Please contact our office immediately if you notice loose teeth or if your appliances have been damaged. You can temporarily relieve any discomfort by rinsing your mouth with warm saltwater and by using wax.
If any of the following below happen to you or your child please call us immediately
- Broken teeth and Trauma
- Knocked out tooth
- Bitten lip, tongue, or cheek
- Bleeding after tooth falls out
- Objects stuck between teeth
- Mouth or Cold Sores