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.
One concern patients have after orthodontic treatment is how long must they wear a retainer. There isn’t a clear answer, as several things influence how long a retainer is needed. The best option is to wear your retainer for as long as recommended by your orthodontist.
Retainers Make Orthodontic Treatments Worthwhile
Retainers maintain the results achieved from orthodontic treatment. Failing to consistently wear your retainer can cause the teeth to return to their original position. This is true for all orthodontic treatments that reposition the teeth.
Teeth will remain in a new position after about a year. But before that, they want to shift back into their old positions. This is usually because of a lack of bone to keep them stable. Wearing a retainer trains your teeth to remain in place while the bone forms in the new position.
You must start wearing a retainer as soon as your braces are gone. For the first three to six months, you should expect to wear your retainer at least 22-hours a day. Your orthodontist will let you know when to start wearing your retainer only at night. But even then, you will have to wear the retainer every night for at least 12-months straight. After that period, you may reduce wear to every other night. This is a routine you’ll have to follow probably indefinitely.
Return to nightly wear if the retainer starts to feel too tight. This gives the retainer a chance to loosen and become more comfortable. Most teeth naturally shift forward with age. Wearing your retainer regularly can help avoid shifting.
Kinds of Retainers
Three common types of retainer are:
1. Hawley retainers consist of a metal wire wrapped around a certain number of teeth, usually 6 at a time. The wire secures the teeth in the correct position. It’s possible to simultaneously wear this type of retainer on your upper teeth and lower set of teeth. With the proper care, a Hawley retainer can last up to 8-years.
2. Bonded retainers are also known as permanent retainers. A bonded retainer consists of a wire secured to the back of your teeth. The wire holds your teeth in the correct position. This type of retainer can fit the upper or lower teeth, but generally isn’t recommended for both. You must carefully brush and floss around the wire daily. When well maintained, a bonded retainer can last up to 5-years.
3. Essix retainers are possibly the most well-known. These clear snap on retainers fit over the teeth. They are made of clear plastic and require daily thorough cleaning. The Essix retainer lasts for about 3-years or less before it needs replacing.
No matter the type of retainer, you’ll eventually need to replace it. Watch for signs that your retainer is no longer effective. For instance, it might lose its shape. Inspect your retainer for bending, loosening, and cracking.
Maintaining Your Retainer
Your orthodontist will teach you how to care for your retainer. Properly caring for your retainer will help it last longer. It’s also a good idea to occasionally have your retainer inspected and cleaned by your orthodontist. You can do this during follow-up visits to have your teeth checked and cleaned.
Your Retainer is Important
You might dislike the idea of needing to rely on a retainer. But it’s better than having your teeth return to their previous state. If that happens, you may have to undergo orthodontic treatment again.
Are you ready to give start treatment? Make an appointment with Dr. RJ Jackson for a consultation about straightening your teeth with Invisalign in Austin, TX. Dr. RJ will answer all of your questions and concerns about Invisalign and any other dental care questions that you may also have, too. Dr. RJ is a Platinum Invisalign provider and the highest ranked Invisalign provider in Steiner ranch, Grandview Hills, and Riverplace.
Do you ever wake up in the morning and realize that you forgot to wear your retainer at night? If this has only happen once, then don’t worry. Going one night without your retainer is not likely to cause your teeth to move drastically. But if this happens pretty often, you should give our office a call so we can make sure your teeth have not moved out of place.