If you’re thinking about getting braces, you probably have a lot of questions like most people. The information below sheds light on many of the questions that arise about braces and orthodontics.
1. What’s the best time to consult with an orthodontist?
According to the American Association of Orthodontists, your child should see an orthodontist before the age of 8. In fact, age 7 is the best time because there are a lot of issues that can occur by that season in a child’s life. Keep in mind that visiting an orthodontist doesn’t mean braces are needed. Additionally, it’s prudent for adults to visit an orthodontist for an evaluation as soon as possible to make sure their oral health is optimal.
2. How do I know if I need braces?
Sometimes it’s evident when a person needs braces because the problems are visible. However, there is a big difference between needing and wanting braces. Many people want braces because they desire to feel more confident. There are some people that need braces because they have a serious overbite or underbite, which will also require a surgical procedure.
3. Is a referral from a dentist required to see an orthodontist?
Unless it’s required by your insurance provider, you don’t need to get a referral from a dentist to see an orthodontist. You can simply visit an Orthodontist of your choosing. Sometimes people get referrals from friends or family.
4. Will I need to get shots?
There are some instances when a shot is required because surgery is involved. However, that isn’t usually the case. Basic orthodontia treatments do not require shots.
5. Is there a lot of pain involved?
Wearing braces isn’t painful, but there is some pain involved. For starters, when you first get braces, your mouth will feel sore the following day and it could last for several days before dissipating. Pain medication is provided after the installation. Beyond the initial pain, there’s a chance that the friction caused by your braces rubbing against your lips, tongue and cheeks will cause a small amount of pain. This can be fixed by using orthodontic wax.
6. Will my teeth straighten naturally over time?
Without getting braces, your teeth won’t likely straighten on their own. Sometimes the spaces between teeth will get smaller, but that doesn’t mean braces are no longer needed.
7. How often will I need to see an orthodontist after getting braces?
After you receive your braces, you will have about 3 appointments back to back. Thereafter, you will have to visit your orthodontist approximately every 4-8 weeks. They will establish a schedule based on your situation.
8. What types of foods should I avoid when wearing braces?
When you wear braces, the goal is to make sure you don’t eat foods that will break your braces or damage your teeth, which includes anything hard. For instance, eating popcorn is a problem because the kernels are hard. The same applies to eating meat with bones. You just have to be careful.
9. Are elastics necessary?
Elastics are small rubber bands that help to fix your bite. Installing elastics isn’t difficult. You will likely receive a tutorial and instructions from your orthodontist.
10. Is it possible to just get braces on the top or bottom?
While you might think that braces are only needed for the top or bottom, that’s probably not the case. It’s not often recommended because doing so might result in a malocclusion. This can end up damaging your jaw joints, teeth and the tissues in your mouth.
Choosing braces can be quite overwhelming, as there are so many varieties to choose from. Metal braces are what most people opt for because of their affordability. But for a majority of folks who want straight teeth, metal braces can be an issue, especially if they are in a work environment. This is where clear braces come into play. These types of braces can straighten teeth discreetly without anyone else even knowing a person has them.
Invisible braces are more common than people think, especially in Austin, TX. They can’t be seen which is why people never notice when someone has them on. There are a lot of adults who hate their teeth but won’t fix them with metal braces because they are childish and not attractive. Invisible braces are one of the best options available; however, many people don’t even know they exist.
When a person is thinking about braces, there are a few things they should take into account, including whether they should opt for metal braces or invisible braces. There is a difference in cost between metal and clear braces as well as how long the braces would need to be worn, their appearance, and the overall effect of having the braces.
The cost of invisible braces is dependent upon what kind of invisible braces a person chooses. For most patients, they must be worn between one and two years. It’s also important that the braces are comfortable.
The three kinds of invisible braces that are available include lingual braces, Invisalign, and clear ceramic. Ceramic braces are the least expensive of the three and are a good option for patients who want invisible braces that other people won’t notice and will make them feel better about themselves.
The brackets are composed of a tooth-colored material that blends in with a person’s natural teeth. From a distance, no one will be able to tell. A person would have to get up pretty close to someone’s mouth to see them. The downside is that ceramic braces are not as strong as the metal braces. There is a greater chance of them coming loose even though the effects are the same. Make sure you avoid any chewy or hard foods whenever ceramic braces are worn.
Invisalign is slightly better in that they are unnoticeable and completely clear even up close. They are very comfortable and don’t easily break. Patients can eat whatever foods they want because these types of braces can be removed during meals. The negative thing about them is the cost – they are the most expensive braces on the market.
Invisalign is comprised of removable clear aligners made of plastic that are custom-made for the patient’s teeth. The company uses 3-D technology to produce them. The aligners move the teeth a little at a time until they eventually become a perfect smile. Patients must see an orthodontist every 4 to 8 weeks for regular treatment.
Every pair of the aligners is worn for two weeks, which allows the teeth to develop gradually into a straighter smile. The length of treatment is variable, depending on how severe (crooked) the teeth are, as well as the overall dental condition. The best part is that on average, a complete treatment takes only a year or slightly longer.
Finally, there are lingual braces which can be hidden from sight but aren’t really invisible. They aren’t as expensive as Invisalign braces but cost more than ceramic braces. Lingual braces are metal braces that are placed on the back of the teeth instead of on the front of them. At first, they may feel a little uncomfortable against the tongue, but the problem becomes less noticeable after about a week of wearing them.
RJ Orthodontics is an advanced practice that specializes in Orthodontics. Their primary commitment is to their patients. They offer natural, beautiful smiles in a comfortable and caring environment. The atmosphere is relaxed for trust and comfort, while the professional side of the practice is run by an experienced staff. Each patient deserves to receive quality care for their overall well-being and health.
It’s not always easy to tell if a child has a problem with their bite. As such, it’s important that parents take their children to an orthodontist at an early age to identify possible issues with their tooth alignment.
Baby teeth tend to fall out around the ages of six to eight. Once adult teeth come in, they should be positioned perfectly next to each other. However, this isn’t always the case with some children.
There are a few problems that can occur when a child’s teeth are outside of these norms:
In some cases, a child’s upper teeth can align a little further forward than usual. This is known as protrusion. Another misalignment that may occur is a retrusion, which is when the lower teeth are too much in the back of the mouth. Regardless of the misalignment, there’s another problem that needs to be addressed; eruptions. Eruptions occur when a primary tooth comes out in the wrong position.
Most misalignments are able to be treated with braces or Invisalign. However, braces and Invisalign aren’t intended for younger children and can only be trialed after permanent teeth have come in.
To soothe tooth eruptions, application of ice, rubbing the child’s gums and feeding the, soft food can help ease the pain.
Also known as a deep bite, crossbites occur when a few of the child’s teeth aren’t aligning with their counterparts. This type of bite can occur just about anywhere in a child’s mouth. For example, the lower teeth overlap the upper teeth or vice versa. Crossbites can be easily treated with braces, a palate expander, or in a worst case scenario, surgery.
Children can develop open bites if there is a gap in the upper and lower teeth while the jaw is closed. There are various causes of open bites such as excessive sucking on the thumb or pacifier, a temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD), tongue thrusting or a certain type of skeletal issue.
Each of these can put an abnormal amount of pressure and stress on the child’s front teeth. As a result, it can push the teeth too forward as the bottom teeth are pushed back.
Open bites are usually treated with traditional metal braces, Invisalign, surgery and a change in behavior.
Underbites, also known as deep bites, is when the normal tooth structure is reversed. The lower teeth are pushed in front of the upper teeth, akin to a bulldog. Underbites are also classified when the upper teeth are covering the lower ones too much. The causes of underbites are the same as the ones that cause open bites. Underbites are able to be treated with the same methods as open bites as well.
Your child’s teeth need to last a lifetime, so it’s important to correct any type of bite issues as early in childhood as possible. If you suspect your child may have a problem with their bite, schedule an appointment with RJ Orthodontics in Steiner Ranch.
Dr. RJ wants students to have a beautiful smile and a strong bite before they return to school. Here is a great smile checklist that parents can use for their children.
Smile Checklist Tip 1: Visit an Orthodontist for an Evaluation
The summer vacation is an excellent time to arrange an evaluation from our orthodontist, Dr. RJ, to determine if you need to wear braces or aligners. If you do need to straighten your teeth with orthodontic care, then you can become accustomed to the devices before you return to school. Dr. RJ will use X-rays to determine if you can wear aligners or if braces are required instead. Younger children always wear braces, but teenagers can often use aligners to repair mild to moderate malocclusion.
Smile Checklist Tip 2: Stop Bad Habits
When you have bad oral health care habits such as forgetting to brush your teeth before bed or chewing on gum all the time, you should begin to overcome these problems now. You can start the school year with teeth that are sparkling white instead of having discolored dental enamel. By avoiding bad habits, you won’t damage the enamel on your teeth with the constant grinding from chewing gum.
Smile Checklist Tip 3: Wear a Mouth Guard
Before you return to school, you should talk to Dr. RJ about an orthodontic mouth guard for your teeth so that you can play contact sports without worrying about damaging your gums or your teeth. Remember to wear your mouth guard at school sports and for other sport activities.
Smile Checklist Tip 4: Eat Nutritious Lunches
Your parents may serve you nutritious meals at home, but you may make bad choices for your lunch. If you pack your own lunch for school, then choose fresh or packaged containers of fruits or vegetables along with sandwiches that are on whole-grain bread. Buy fresh milk in the school cafeteria, or you can bring along a container of natural fruit juice or water instead.
Smile Checklist Tip 5: Drink a Lot of Water
Drinking a lot of water can keep your soft oral tissues hydrated to prevent a dry mouth. If your mouth is dry, then it becomes a breeding ground for bacteria that cause bad breath, gum disease and tooth decay. The average individual requires eight glasses of water a day, but if you are active or if the weather is hot, then you will need to drink much more than this.
Smile Checklist Tip 6: Brushing and Flossing
Brushing and flossing regularly are still the best ways to protect your teeth from dental health issues. Make sure to brush your teeth each morning and again at night, but you can also brush at other times when you have access to a toothbrush and toothpaste. You should also take advantage of the many types of dental flosses that are available to remove additional food debris and bacteria.
Smile Checklist Tip 7: Have a Care Packet for Your Braces or Aligners
When you wear braces or aligners, you must care for the items correctly to avoid disrupting your orthodontic treatments. Dr. RJ recommends having a care package or braces kit with you that contains the items required for your aligners or your braces. Some of these things will include having a plastic case for your aligners, carrying a toothbrush along with toothpaste, a small package of dental floss and having dental wax for your tender lips or gums.
For more questions or ideas to prepare to go back to school, give us a call at (512) 363-5792. To schedule a free orthodontic consultation with Dr. RJ, in Austin, Texas, fill out a consultation request form here.
Braces are delicate, and any immense external forces may cause damage and breakage to the brackets and bands. We have probably warned you against eating certain hard foods that may stand detrimental to the life of your braces. The following is a look into five soft and tender foods that you will enjoy as well as keep your braces in tact. Braces shouldn’t necessarily subject you to a boring menu.
Pasta plus tender meat should always pamper your teeth and braces while you enjoy the meal.
- 2 lbs lean minced meat
- 1 large peeled and chopped onion
- 3 cloves crushed garlic
- 14 oz can tomato sauce
- 14 oz blend tomatoes
- Pasta noodles of your choice
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Freshly grated parmesan
Pour the oil and onions in a large pan and fry over high heat for 3 minutes until the onions turn brown. Add the garlic and minced meat until they both turn brown. Stir in the ketchup and tomatoes. Bring the thick sauce to boil, then reduce the heat. Cover and let the sauce simmer with occasional stirring for about 30 minutes. Boil the pasta in a larger pan of boiling and salted water. Once cooked, drain excess water and rinse the pasta then put in back in the pan and pour your minced sauce. Serve with parmesan.
Baked Ravioli Pasta
It is another quick-to-fix meal that is braces friendly.
- 14 oz diced cherry tomatoes.
- 24 oz pasta sauce.
- 1-1 1/2 lbs fresh/frozen chicken ravioli.
- 1 cup grated parmesan.
- 2 cups grated mozzarella.
- ½ cup chopped parsley.
- 1 cup of water.
Heat the oven to 400°F. Brush some oil on a casserole dish. In the casserole dish, mix pasta sauce, water, and the chopped tomatoes. Add a layer of pasta on the mixture and sprinkle some mozzarella and parmesan on top. Bake for approximately 45 minutes until the top of the dish turns golden brown. Sprinkle parsley before serving.
The berry smoothie soothes the inner parts of your cheeks, especially when the braces are new and your mouth hasn’t got used to it. This recipe is quick, nutritious and doesn’t have limitations to what contents you may want to add to your smoothie.
- ½ cup of vanilla yogurt.
- 1 cup of frozen mixed berries.
- ½ cup milk, almond or coconut milk.
- 1 tsp protein powder.
- Ice cubes.
- Optional garnish: fresh berries or mint sprigs.
Blend everything, pour in a glass, and serve with some garnish.
Baked Potato Soup
This soup offers a soothing touch to your oral space, mainly when the braces are still new, and your mouth is sore.
- 4 large baked potatoes, peeled and cubed.
- 2 tbs margarine.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour.
- 2 green onions, chopped.
- 3 slices of bacon.
- 3 cups milk.
- Shredded cheese.
In a large pan, fry the bacon and onions until they both turn brown. Put them aside. Melt the butter in a different pan and add flour and milk, while stirring until the mixture thickens. Season with pepper and salt before adding the baked, diced potatoes, onion and bacon. Garnish with shredded cheese and serve.
The crunchiness of potato chips can be harsh on your braces, but potato pancakes are a nice alternative.
- 4 medium potatoes, peeled and grated.
- 1 egg.
- ½ cup chopped onions.
- A ¼ cup of milk.
- 2 tbs all-purpose flour.
- 1/8 tsp baking powder.
- Oil for frying.
Blend all components to form a smooth paste. Heat the frying pan over medium heat and brush lightly with oil. Smear some batter into the pan and pat for about two minutes until it turns golden brown. Turn to the other side and let it cook until golden brown. Repeat the process with the rest of the batter. Sprinkle salt and pepper and serve while hot.
These are just some of our favorite braces-friendly recipes. The general rule for choosing meals when on brace treatment is going for soothing, soft, and tender meals. Avoid spicy foods that might provoke any sore spots, especially when the braces are still new. Remember to stick to healthy and nutritious meals.
If you enjoy remaining active during the summer, then you may forget to care for your braces, and this can lead to oral health issues along with damaging your braces. Here are some tips from Dr. RJ at RJ Orthodontics in Austin, Texas to ensure that your teeth and gums are healthy throughout the summer.
Tip 1: Bring Along Your Dental Care Supplies While Traveling
While you are packing your suitcase for a family vacation or summer camp, make sure to prepare a dental care bag that includes the supplies for caring for your braces. Remember to have these items in your suitcase:
- Soft-bristled toothbrush
- Dental floss
- Fluoridated toothpaste
- Dental Wax
- Pain relievers
- Small mirror
If you are away from home for several weeks, then you may need to replenish these supplies occasionally.
Tip 2: Maintain an Oral Hygiene Routine
When you are having fun during the summer, you may change your daily routine by sleeping at odd hours. However, you should maintain your recommended oral hygiene routine by making sure to brush and floss when you wake up and before you go to bed. It is a good idea to carry a small toothbrush, dental floss and a tiny tube of toothpaste with you while you are visiting restaurants or county fairs so that you can keep your teeth and braces clean.
Tip 3: Protect Your Lips This Summer
If your facial lips hurt, then it will make it difficult to care for your braces and your teeth. Make sure to apply a soothing lip balm that contains ingredients that will block the sun’s ultraviolet rays. You will need to use this lip balm throughout the day. In addition, make sure to drink more water than you do in the winter to keep the sensitive skin on your lips hydrated properly.
Tip 4: Remember Your Recommended Dietary Plan
When you had braces placed on your teeth, you should be mindful of foods that you should eat along with a list of foods that you shouldn’t eat. Remember that if you chew fibrous or hard foods, then you are more likely to dislodge a bracket or break a wire. When you choose to have a snack at a carnival or local community pool, make sure to look for treats that aren’t sticky. Summer is the perfect time to learn how to cook soft but healthy foods such as stir-fry dishes. After eating a snack, rinse your mouth with water or use the toothbrush and toothpaste in your traveling kit to care for your teeth and braces.
Tip 5: Wear Your Customized Mouth Guard
If you are playing sports or riding a scooter, you should protect your teeth and braces with your customized mouth guard. RJ Orthodontics can create a mold of your mouth to made mouth guards that will fit over your top and bottom teeth. Bring these items with you to camp or a vacation, and if the items degrade, then contact your orthodontist to have new ones made as soon as possible.
Tip 6: Avoid Sugary Beverages
During the summer, you will see sugary beverages offered at every restaurant and summertime event. Drinks that contain high levels of sugar are bad for your teeth, gums and braces. Soft drinks or energy beverages often contain artificial dyes, preservatives or other additives that have no nutritional value and that can erode the metal or ceramic materials of your braces.
Contact Us Today
To learn more about caring for your teeth and braces throughout the summer, contact RJ Orthodontics at 512-363-5792. If you are interested in learning more about braces or Invisalign, we encourage you to schedule a free Orthodontic Consultation. We serve the Orthodontic needs of Steiner Ranch and Northwest Austin.
Getting That Perfect Smile in Austin, Texas
Perhaps you’ve always had crooked teeth but never really understood what was so important about having them fixed. Besides, other than aesthetics, are crooked teeth really that detrimental? You might be surprised to know that crooked teeth can impact more than just how you look when you smile. It can greatly disrupt your oral health. To determine if you should take the plunge and have braces put on, consider some of these signs.
- Crowded and Packed Teeth
If your teeth are crowded or packed, then it means you have a set of teeth that overlap one another. For example, you may have a few molars that sit in front of one another instead of beside one another. This is most common in your front teeth and incisors. They can prove a threat to your oral health. This is because teeth that are tightly packed together are more difficult to floss. As a result, plaque can easily build up and lead to gum disease and tooth loss.
You may also experience a hit to your self-esteem. Since first impressions are often made based on the appearance of your teeth, you may feel that you’re sending the wrong message to people. All because you have overcrowded teeth. Getting braces in Austin can be a great fix to put those teeth where they belong.
Another indicator that you may need braces is if you have gaps in your teeth. Gaps typically arise because the upper and lower jaws aren’t aligned properly. Misalignment can occur simply because of genetics. However, it can also be a result of thumb-sucking when you were a toddler or young child. It may also be because of the way the oral tissue formed in the first place. Gaps in your teeth aren’t good to have. For one, it disrupts the forces of the teeth around it. This can lead to further tooth loss. It also puts you at further risk of gum disease because the gums are vulnerable to infection and plaque.
- Uncomfortable Bite
Perhaps you’ve noticed that when you bite down, your teeth don’t come together correctly. It may even cause you some pain. Because of tooth misalignment, you may be more prone to headaches, neck pain, and even suffer from delayed or impaired speech development that can impact the rest of your development. Braces can correct your bite and reduce the chances of having further problems with your bite in the future.
- Jaw Pain
If you’re experiencing jaw pain or have experienced it in the past, then this is usually a sign that the forces within your mouth are misaligned. Your jaw structure relies heavily on a correct bite. When that formation isn’t present, your jaw has to work extra hard to chew your food. This trauma can then escalate into a pain that you feel in your jaw. It can even spread to your head and neck. Without having braces put into place, this problem can continue to the point where you have difficulty chewing and even speaking.
- Difficulty Chewing/Speaking
One last sign that you may need braces is if you already suffer from a difficulty in chewing and speaking. Because both can have a larger impact on your life and overall health, it’s important that you receive braces to amend these problems. Not only can braces reduce the chances of developing a speech impediment, but it can also keep you from biting into your cheeks and roof of your mouth. Find relief with braces.
If you are ready to take that first step toward greater health and confidence, contact RJ Orthodontics Austin Texas. With years of experience helping others find their smile, we are here to help you find YOUR smile. Conveniently located in the Four Points area of Austin, TX, RJ Orthodontics proudly serves the surrounding communities of Steiner Ranch, Lake Travis, River Place, Grandview Hills, Westminster Glen, Comanche Trail, Jester Village, Lakeway, Round Rock, Cedar Park, Pflugerville, Hutto, and Leander.
At RJ Orthodontics in Austin TX, there are many types of appliances used for orthodontic treatments. Dr. RJ uses these appliances to help straighten teeth, prepare the teeth and mouth for braces, and support the braces process.
Here are some common orthodontic appliances:
Spacers or Separators
Spacers are small rubber spheres that are typically placed between the teeth in order to move them apart. This is done to create a space that orthodontic bands may be placed in. Spacers are removed prior to placing the bands between the teeth. When spacers are used, patients must refrain from eating foods that are sticky, using toothpicks, or using floss. Use of floss, toothpicks, or eating sticky foods may inadvertently move or remove the spacers.
Elastics & Rubber Bands
Wearing rubber bands may help to improve the fit of a patient’s lower teeth and upper teeth. Elastics should be worn as instructed by Dr. RJ.
Often used as an alternative treatment to rubber bands or headgear, a bite corrector works to improve the fitness of teeth, eliminate and decrease overbite, and prevent the possible need of surgery on the jaw.
Retainers work to hold teeth in the correct position after they have been straightened. Retainers should be worn at night in order to keep teeth in the straight and correct position.
Palatal expanders widens the upper jaw through gentle pressure on the upper teeth after an adjustment is made. After the expansion is complete, the palatal expander is typically worn for several months in order to prevent movement of the teeth.
As you can see, these appliances help optimize the effectiveness of your Orthodontic treatment. If you are interested in a free consultation to help straighten your teeth, please contact Dr. RJ Jackson. He is a board certified Austin Orthodontist and has worked to create hundreds of new smiles in Austin with braces and Invisalign.
Do Braces Hurt?
Teens frequently wonder whether braces treatment leads to pain. They often fail to actually pose the concern to others, however. That’s because they dread hearing the answer. The truth can sometimes be extremely intimidating. Teenagers should understand, though, that braces aren’t at all a scary treatment. Orthodontists who put braces on don’t have to be frightening to anyone. Braces application tends to be swift and efficient. It’s generally 100 percent devoid of pain as well.
Putting brackets on top of the teeth is a thorough practice. Orthodontists such as Dr. RJ Jackson are seasoned professionals who have previously managed their treatment approaches with the assistance of models. They do this as a means of setting up specific spots for brackets. There are even orthodontists out there who put together prototypes that illustrate the specific spots of brackets for future gluing purposes. This degree of accuracy is the start of devising an orthodontic treatment course that’s effective.
Bracket application and orthodontic wire situating are two techniques that call for approximately two hours. These techniques do not bring discomfort. They entail putting cement on the top of the teeth followed by brackets. Last but not least comes cement curing. Putting wires on doesn’t lead to pain either. It doesn’t bring on tension that’s anything beyond mild. That’s exactly why it doesn’t trigger bone, gum and teeth discomfort.
Patients who get braces often say that teeth motion can bring on pressure that’s on the subtle side. Our patients typically don’t say a peep about discomfort or pain. Contemporary orthodontic technology advancements are all about lessening inflammation that’s triggered by the motion of the teeth. That’s why oral comfort troubles aren’t at all typical.
Some patients develop subtle comfort issues in the days that follow braces application. Tooth brackets can cause lip and cheek interior swelling. If you want to take care of this swelling, you simply have to put a bit of orthodontic wax onto problematic spots. Doing so can keep lip and cheek swelling at bay.
There are some patients who have penchants for chowing down on food items that are rather viscous in feel. If you think of yourself as being part of that camp, you may want to put the habit on hold for a little while. Braces call for the consumption of food items that are smooth. They call for the consumption of food items that aren’t gooey in any manner, too. If you make the mistake of feasting on foods that are gooey, you could unintentionally remove your brackets. It may be a hassle to have to refrain from reveling in certain kinds of foods. Your self-control, however, will end up being a big help to you further down the line. It can be incredibly annoying to have to deal with the tugging of wires. It can be annoying to have to deal with brackets that aren’t in their correct spots as well.
There you have it. Getting braces on is not painful at all, but rather a rewarding experience where you can uncover the smile that you have always dreamt of having. For a free consultation, visit your local Austin Orthodontics, Dr. RJ Jackson. We look forward to meeting you!