All Posts tagged Orthodontics

What Happens When My Braces Wire Breaks?

What Happens When My Braces Wire Breaks?

Broken braces can hurt your mouth and extend the time you’ll need to achieve your perfect smile. Learn what common problems you might face while wearing braces, and how you can handle these problems at home before your next orthodontist appointment.

What Are the Most Common Problems Affecting Braces?

You’ll probably face one of these common problems if you wear braces:

  • Broken brackets
  • Broken or protruding wires
  • Loose bands
  • Broken rubber bands
  • Loose spacers

If you notice a problem with your braces, call your orthodontist immediately. Depending on what went wrong, you may need to see your orthodontist right away for repairs.

How Can I Take Care of My Broken Braces Until My Next Appointment?

Learn how you can temporarily fix certain problems with your braces, until your next appointment. Always remember, that even the smallest issues with your braces need to be seen by your orthodontist, so schedule an appointment as soon as possible.

Broken or Loose Brackets

Your orthodontist attached metal brackets to each tooth when you first got braces. The brackets are affixed to each tooth with a sticky material called resin. Over time, resin breaks down, causing a bracket to painfully rub against your mouth. If you notice a loose bracket, apply a coating of orthodontic wax over the sharp edges of the bracket.

Broken or Protruding Wires

Wires connect all of the brackets and are the driving force in straightening your teeth. Wires often break due to the pressure placed on them for teeth straightening and from eating. If a wire breaks or protrudes, use a clean pencil eraser to push it into a comfortable position where it can’t hurt your cheeks or gums. Don’t cut the wire since you may accidentally swallow it. If you already have irritation from a broken wire, make a salt-water rinse of a half teaspoon of table salt dissolved into eight ounces of water. Swish this solution around your mouth to soothe discomfort as needed. You can also apply an over-the-counter oral numbing agent like Anbesol. If you don’t get relief, make an appointment immediately.

Loose Bands

Bands are pieces of metal that encircle most of your back teeth and some of the front. They add strength to your braces to help keep them secure. Like brackets, they’re attached with resin, which can break down over time. If you have a loose band, try not to touch it. If it falls off, don’t try to put it back in place or throw it away. Make an appointment immediately and bring the band to have it reattached to your tooth.

Loose Spacers

A spacer is a rubber ring that’s inserted between teeth to open up room. Usually, spacers are only supposed to stay in place for a few days before your orthodontist removes them. If your spacers become loose or fall off, that’s a sign that you’re ready to proceed with band placement. Call your orthodontist for an appointment.

Broken Rubber Bands

Rubber bands that are placed over brackets occasionally break. If you notice a broken rubber band, call your orthodontist and tell them exactly which rubber band broke. You can usually wait until your next scheduled appointment to replace rubber bands, but your orthodontist may want to replace it sooner.

If you need help with your broken braces, book an appointment online today with Amazing Smiles Orthodontics of Forest Hills, Brooklyn and Long Island. Our team is dedicated to giving you the best and brightest smile possible.

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When Is the Best Time to Get Braces?

When Is the Best Time to Get Braces?

Very few of us are blessed with a perfect smile. When permanent teeth start to come in, many of us will notice problems like overcrowded teeth, overbites, gaps, and other dental problems. The big question is if the problem is only cosmetic, or if there are bigger issues that need to be corrected. Luckily, orthodontists provide several safe, effective, and affordable types of braces for you to achieve a dazzling smile.

What Are Braces?

Dental braces are orthodontic devices designed to straighten and align a patient’s teeth to correct their bite and promote overall dental health. The most common types of braces include:

Traditional Braces

These use metal or plastic brackets that are bonded to the front of the teeth and are connected by wires.

Lingual Braces

These utilize the back of the teeth for bracket and wire placement to keep them hidden.

Plastic Aligners

Also called Invisalign, these are a custom-made series of removable plastic retainers designed to straighten teeth for a short period of time before replacing with a new aligner.

With traditional and lingual braces, the wires that are attached to each bracket are tightened periodically to promote the straightening process.

How Do I Know if I Need Braces?

Your dentist evaluates your bite, jaw alignment, teeth spacing, and more during your annual dental checkup. If your dentist thinks you would benefit from braces, you’ll be referred to an orthodontist, who specializes in correcting dental misalignments, to start your treatment. You may consider getting braces if you have:

  • Crooked teeth
  • Overcrowded teeth
  • Overbite
  • Underbite
  • Misaligned jaw
  • Other jaw disorders

What Is the Right Age for Braces?

According to the American Association of Orthodontists, it is recommended that a child has their first consultation with an orthodontists at age 7. Although patients of any age can benefit from braces, starting treatment between the ages of 10 and 14 is ideal. During this age, your head and mouth are still growing and your teeth are more receptive to straightening. Parents should talk to their child about their fears or concerns about getting braces and discuss these with the orthodontist before making a decision.

Also, you do not necessarily need a referral from you dentist – patients can book an appointment with an orthodontist directly.

What Type of Braces Should I Get?

Your particular dental problems dictate the kind of braces you need. If you have a severe overbite or jaw misalignment, you’ll get the best treatment outcome with traditional braces. If you have mildly crooked teeth, you could be a good candidate for Invisalign.

How Long Will I Have to Wear My Braces?

The severity of your dental problem will ultimately determine how long you’ll need braces. Most patients can expect to wear their braces between 18 and 30 months. After your braces are removed or you’ve finished all of your plastic aligners, your orthodontist will suggest you wear a customized retainer for few months to keep your newly straightened teeth from reverting to their original position. You may need to wear the retainer at night for a couple of years or more for optimal results.

Hoxw Can I Take Care of My Teeth While Wearing Braces?

It’s important to continue practicing good oral hygiene while wearing braces or plastic aligners. Brush your teeth twice a day, and floss with the special tool your orthodontist provides you if you’re wearing traditional braces. You’ll need to avoid certain foods while wearing braces to avoid breaking the brackets or wires. If you wear aligners, brush them every day or soak them in a special solution designed to clean aligners and retainers.

Do you think you need braces or want to learn more about them? Make an appointment today with Amazing Smiles Orthodontics. Our experienced, caring team of orthodontists are committed to offering the best care available to give you a winning smile.

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Am I A Candidate for a Retainer?

Am I A Candidate for a Retainer?

Retainers are a popular orthodontic treatment that provides many benefits.

What Are Retainers?

A retainer is a custom-made orthodontic device that fits over the top of the teeth and mouth. It’s made of plastic or plastic and metal, and it’s very common for kids and adults to have to wear a retainer.

Why Would Someone Need One?

Retainers are often used for the following reasons:        

  • After you get your braces off – A retainer can help your teeth stay in their new positions. Especially for kids who are still growing, a retainer helps control teeth that could shift as you grow. Some people have to wear a retainer all day and then only at night, while others have to wear it only at night.
  • To close a space between your teeth or to move only one tooth – Since retainers can do a good job in these cases, they can help you avoid having to wear braces.
  • To help with a medical problem – Retainers can help correct conditions such as tongue thrust, which causes your tongue to come through your teeth when you talk. It can also help with temporomandibular disorder (TMD), a disorder that’s usually caused by teeth that don’t fit together as they should when your jaws are closed. Retainers can also help keep your mouth from closing completely at night so you don’t grind your teeth (bruxism).

What Are Signs That You May Need One?

You may need a retainer if you have braces and your teeth have slightly shifted. Your orthodontist may also recommend them to prevent the chance that shifting will occur.

You may also benefit from wearing a retainer if you have gaps in between your teeth, overlapping teeth or crooked teeth. And if you grind your teeth or have “bite” problems, meaning your teeth don’t fit together properly when your jaw is shut, you may also need a retainer.

What Are the Benefits of Wearing a Retainer?

Recommendations now suggested by the American Association of Orthodontists is to wear a retainer for the rest of your life once orthodontic treatment is completed and at night – after initial stabilization period of full time wear. The following are some benefits you’ll receive when wearing a retainer:

  • More comfortable and less bulky than many other orthodontic treatments
  • Maintains positive changes achieved by braces
  • Effective for treating a wide variety of issues
  • Easy to wear and clean
  • Less noticeable than other treatments
  • Custom-designed for your teeth and mouth

If you’d like to find out whether a retainer could improve your smile, make an appointment today with Amazing Smiles Orthodontics PC. We have convenient offices located in NYC boroughs and have provided high quality, affordable orthodontic care throughout the New York metro area for more than 30 years.

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What Is TMJ?

What Is TMJ?

Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) syndrome is characterized by pain in the jaw joint. A wide range of medical issues can cause TMJ syndrome.

The TMJ joins your lower jaw – called the mandible – to your skull’s temporal bone that’s located at the front of your ear. Your facial muscles that handle chewing are also connected to your lower jaw.

Problems in your lower jaw region may lead to:

  • Head & neck pain
  • Facial aches
  • Ear pain
  • Headaches
  • Difficulties opening the jaw
  • Jaw clicking
  • Biting problems
  • Popping sounds when you bite

Your TMJ is designed to move both up and down as well as from side to side, making it one of the most complex joints in the body. These complex movements allow you to coordinate these actions so you can talk, chew, and yawn. This complexity makes severe TMJ disorders difficult to treat effectively.

TMJ syndrome is also known as temporomandibular joint disorder.

TMJ Disorder Causes

TMJ syndrome can be caused by trauma, disease, wear & tear as you get older, or oral habits.

Trauma: Trauma can happen from the inside, such as teeth grinding (bruxism) and jaw clenching. The continuous pressure put on the temporomandibular joint can change your teeth alignment. The muscles involved in these movements can inflame the membranes surrounding the joint. Trauma can also happen externally when the jaw is injured by an impact, such as a fall or a punch. These types of injuries can cause TMJ dislocation, damage to the cartilage disc of the joint, or can break the jawbone. Also, TMJ pain can be the result of dental work where you have your mouth stretched open for long periods of time.

Disease: Osteoarthritis can affect your jaw bone just like any other joint in your body. Degenerative joint disease causes a slow and steady loss of cartilage and new bone can form at the surface of the joint. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) causes joint inflammation and can affect your TMJ. As RA progresses, it can cause cartilage destruction, bone loss, and eventually lead to joint deformity.

Wear & Tear: The usual wear and tear of normal aging can cause bone/cartilage loss, joint inflammation that can ultimately cause jaw deformity.

Oral Habits: Habits such as biting your nails and other items, like pencils and toothpicks, can cause TMJ syndrome. Gum chewing, ice crunching, and biting hard candy can also contribute to TMJ syndrome. When you do these activities over long periods of time, they can unevenly load one side of the jaw, leading to muscle overuse and pain.

Orthodontics: A TMJ Syndrome Treatment Option

Orthodontics is the type of dentistry specializing in the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of conditions affecting the alignment of the teeth and jaw. Orthodontists can correct TMJ syndrome through the use of braces, appliances or Invisalign.

TMJ orthodontics uses these methods to slowly change your bite and jaw alignment by pushing your teeth into the proper positions to fill any gaps. These types of orthodontics can help relieve wear and tear on your teeth, headaches, grinding, and clenching.

To create a custom dental appliance, your dentist takes impressions of your teeth which is used to mold an appliance that fits over your existing teeth. You can tighten or loosen the appliance easily and quickly, and you probably will experience little to no discomfort.

For More Information on TMJ Syndrome Treatment

To find out more about TMJ disorders and how a dental appliance can help, or you want to find out more about other treatment options, contact us for a personal consultation.

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Orthodontist vs. Dentist

Orthodontist vs. Dentist

Woman & Dentist 5.10.18Dentists and orthodontists are similar in various ways. Each has the necessary expertise to give you a dazzling smile. But while each can treat your pearly whites, dentists and orthodontists specialize in different areas of oral health. Choosing the right one depends on your unique circumstances.

What Do Dentists Focus On?

Dentists must earn a bachelor’s degree before they enter dental school. Dental school consists of a four-year doctoral degree program. The dental student graduates with a doctor of dental surgery (D.D.S.) or doctor of dental medicine (D.M.D.) distinction.

A dentist usually focuses on the following dental services:

  • Checkups
  • Cleanings (performed by dental hygienists who assist the dentist)
  • X-rays
  • Tooth extractions
  • Filling cavities
  • Making models for dentures or bridgework
  • Root canals
  • Tooth whitening
  • Veneers
  • Crowns
  • Gum care

Essentially, a dentist is your first choice to perform routine, overall dental care. When you have dental issues outside the scope of general dentistry, your dentist will refer you to an orthodontist.

What Do Orthodontists Focus On?

Like dentists, orthodontists must earn a bachelor’s degree and either a D.D.S. or D.M.D. degree. However, orthodontist students continue their education for another three years in a residency program at a university affiliated with the American Dental Association. After a successful residency, the student will be eligible to seek board certification from the American Board of Orthodontics.

Unlike dentists that specialize in complete oral care, orthodontists specialize in correcting tooth and jaw alignment problems using non-surgical techniques. Some orthodontic procedures include:

  • Diagnosing overbites and underbites
  • Attaching braces or retainers to straighten crooked, crowded, or overly gapped teeth
  • Overseeing the proper use of Invisalign
  • Attaching wires and other corrective appliances for jaw misalignments

Orthodontists give their patients confidence by restoring a winning smile, but by correcting jaw or tooth alignments a patient can avoid tooth decay, get relief for strained jaw muscles from chewing, and avoid gum disease.

Should I See a Dentist or Orthodontist or Both?

It’s important for everyone to see a dentist yearly for an overall checkup and a hygienist twice a year for cleanings. If your teeth are gums are in good shape, a yearly dentist visit will keep you on the road to good oral health. During your exam, your dentist will check your x-rays for signs that your teeth are moving out of alignment and to look for cavities. The dentist will visually inspect your teeth and check for loose fillings. Any minor problems can be fixed during the exam or at a follow-up appointment. Cleanings are important because the hygienist removes harmful plaque buildup from your teeth and inspects your gums for signs of periodontal disease.

If your dentist notices problems with your tooth alignment of discovers that your jaw is misaligned, they will refer you to a trusted orthodontist to correct the problems. Some dental practices employ both dentists and orthodontists, but many maintain separate practices. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that you first consult with an orthodontist at age 7. Also, you do not need a referral from you general dentist for an orthodontist.

Where Can I Find an Orthodontist in NYC?

At Amazing Smiles, we offer high quality, affordable orthodontic care to residents of Long Island, Forest Hills, Brooklyn, and the surrounding communities. Dentists throughout the greater NYC area have referred their patients to our practice for more than 30 years to correct dental problems requiring braces, retainers, Invisalign, and much more. Contact us today for an appointment.

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Have you considered ‘The Damon® Smile’? Gentler, state-of-the-art braces with less treatment time

Have you considered ‘The Damon® Smile’? Gentler, state-of-the-art braces with less treatment time

Introduced less than a year ago, the Damon® Smile offers a wonderful option in orthodontic treatment that is minimally invasive yet extremely effective.

In fact, I recommend it to all my patients, especially those with sensitivities. Since the braces are smaller and smoother than conventional braces, the Damon Smile is less likely to irritate lips and cheeks, making them generally more comfortable and gentler.

Also, if a patient requires a tooth extraction, the Damon Smile is my first go-to since it’s able to create space better than conventional braces.  They are in the category of “self-lighting” or “self-litigating” braces which use a sliding-door technology that allows the wire to easily slide back and forth within the bracket. There is no need for elastic or steel ties with these braces. This technology creates less friction and promotes greater comfort during treatment. And here’s the best part: this type of braces often reduces the amount of time in treatment and the total number of adjustments that will usually be needed. That means less trips to the orthodontist.

I have been trained in the Damon System of braces since my residency program in 2006 and I am proud to be among the few orthodontists in Queens, Long Island or Brooklyn who has expertise with the Damon Smile. It’s slightly more expensive than conventional braces, but if you are looking for a quicker treatment, more comfort and fewer appointments to the orthodontist, this may be your best option.

In addition to the Damon Smile, I also use the latest in orthodontic technology such as Invisalign (or “invisible braces”), lingual braces, orthodontic micro-implants, and laser treatments to create the most harmonious smile for you, based on your facial features and bone structure. My treatment plans are personalized and tailor-made for each individual, as every smile is a masterpiece and no two patients are exactly alike.

If you’re ready to straighten your teeth and improve your smile, schedule an initial consultation at the office most convenient for you. We have locations in Mill Basin, Brooklyn; Forest Hills and Rosedale, Queens; and Cedarhurst, Long Island. Our goal is to help create even more beautiful smiles all over New York.  Just call 718-275-3200.

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