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Will Orthodontics Change my Lifestyle?

If your teeth are crooked, or if your bite is not properly aligned, you could experience long term problems with your teeth and jaw. Orthodontics can correct these problems, preventing abnormal wear and tear and other side effects of misalignment. In addition, if you are self conscious about your smile because of crooked teeth or gaps between your teeth, orthodontic treatment can greatly improve your quality of life.

Orthodontics and Short Term Lifestyle Changes

Orthodontic treatment typically involves braces. While you are wearing braces, you must make some lifestyle changes to ensure your teeth remain healthy and your braces are able to work effectively. These changes are relatively minor, and mostly involve foods you must avoid and an increased diligence in cleaning and caring for your teeth. [pullquote]In the long term, orthodontic treatment will greatly improve your lifestyle.[/pullquote]

While you are wearing braces, you should avoid some foods, including:

  • Sticky foods
  • Hard or chewy foods
  • Sugary foods

While these foods should normally be avoided because they can promote tooth decay, it is even more important to avoid them while you are wearing braces because these types of foods can break the delicate wires that make up your braces. In addition, some healthy foods should be avoided because they can break your braces or can become wedged in them, under them, or between the teeth, making cleaning more difficult.

Your teeth and braces must also be kept clean during your orthodontic treatment. Areas between your teeth are more difficult to reach, and so are more susceptible to decay than normal. Your orthodontist will provide guidelines for how to keep your teeth and braces clean and healthy throughout your treatment.

Orthodontics and Long Term Lifestyle Changes

In the long term, orthodontic treatment will greatly improve your lifestyle. You won’t have to worry about the imperfections in your smile, and will have much more confidence in your appearance. After your braces are removed, you will be able to return to your normal dietary habits without having to worry about the long term wear and tear your teeth would have experienced without treatment.

To find out more about how orthodontics can help you in the Ridgefield CT area, please contact the office of Dr. Steve Giannoutsos today.

 

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Orthodontics for Treating TMJ Disorders

The temporomandibular joint, also referred to as the TMJ, is the joint where the lower jaw or mandible joins the upper jaw near the temporal bone. This joint can become misaligned, leading to a variety of uncomfortable symptoms that can be difficult to diagnose. In some cases, orthodontic treatment is used to help adjust the alignment of the TMJ and reduce or eliminate the symptoms.

Causes and Symptoms of TMJ Disorders

TMJ disorders occur when the temporomandibular joint becomes misaligned. Causes of the misalignment vary, but can include:

  • Bite problems
  • Stress
  • Habitual teeth grinding and clenching

Bite problems cause misalignment because the teeth do not move in the proper relationship to each other. This can cause the TMJ to move out of alignment. Bite problems can also cause teeth grinding and clenching, which can be either a cause or a symptom of TMJ disorders.

Other symptoms of TMJ disorder include:

  • Chronic headaches
  • Jaw discomfort
  • Ear discomfort
  • Discomfort in the neck, shoulders, and upper back

These symptoms can occur due to other issues, so it is important to get an accurate diagnosis. Once you have been diagnosed with TMJ disorder, your dentist can provide treatment and recommendations for management. [pullquote]In some cases, orthodontic treatment is used to help adjust the alignment of the TMJ and reduce or eliminate the symptoms.[/pullquote]

How Orthodontics Can Help TMJ Disorders

Orthodontics is one effective approach often used with TMJ disorder. If your TMJ is caused by misalignment or bite problems, braces can be used to move your teeth back into the proper position. Once your teeth are positioned correctly, the TMJ will also shift back into its optimal alignment. This will reduce or even eliminate your ongoing symptoms as well as prevent abnormal wear and tear to your teeth, which can occur when teeth are misaligned.

Other treatment for TMJ disorder can include stress reduction, muscle stimulation to reduce tension in the jaw, heat applied to the joint, or, in serious cases, surgery to repair the joint.

If you have experienced TMJ symptoms, please call our office to find out how treatment with orthodontics in Georgetown CT 06896 can help.

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Will I need to have teeth extracted for braces?

There are many conditions that wearing braces will rectify from overcrowding to gaps between teeth. Orthodontics in Wilton CT can resolve your dental problems, and a consultation can provide answers to all your questions.

Overcrowding can create an overbite, under bite, or cross bite. What does overcrowding mean? Our jaw space must accommodate 32 teeth. As we mature and grow and our permanent teeth come in, they will erupt through gum tissue whether or not there is enough jaw space. If the jaw does not have room for teeth to grow naturally and straight, teeth can become impacted, grow in crooked, or misaligned. An impacted tooth grows into the gum tissue, not up through the gum tissue. It is not dangerous, and unless it presents a problem, there is no need to do anything about it. [pullquote]There are many conditions that wearing braces will rectify from overcrowding to gaps between teeth.[/pullquote]

If teeth come in without sufficient jaw space to grow, this might impact your bite and can result in protruding teeth or teeth growing inward. This is where a consultation with an orthodontist can help you understand how braces can improve your bite and straighten your teeth.

Quite often when overcrowding is the basis of the problem, it might become necessary for one or several teeth to be extracted before moving forward with braces. Once permanent teeth have been removed, braces will slowly allow the remaining teeth to shift back into place relieving the problem of overcrowding and correcting the bite.

Extracting an impacted tooth will sometimes require a referral to an oral surgeon. The extent of the impaction and how many teeth are involved will dictate to your orthodontist whether or not you should see an oral surgeon. Quite often impacted teeth are third molars, more commonly referred to as wisdom teeth. If it is determined that impacted third molars should be extracted, your orthodontist will want to make sure your mouth has healed completely before moving forward with braces.

Removing teeth to relieve overcrowding is a very common first step in many orthodontic procedures. For children or young adults, there is an option to removing teeth. In the case of overcrowding due to a lack of jaw space, it is possible to expand the jaw with the use of a palatal expander. Although more difficult, expanding the jaw of an adult is possible, but requires surgery and more aggressive treatment.

Since each case is different, only a consultation with our Wilton CT orthodontist can determine whether or not you will need to have an extraction before moving forward with braces.

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