Posts for tag: braces

By Today's Dental
June 08, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
LadyGagaWasntBornThisWay

Sometimes, looking at old pictures can really bring memories back to life. Just ask Stefani Germanotta—the pop diva better known as Lady Gaga. In one scene from the recent documentary Five Foot Two, as family members sort through headshots from her teen years, her father proclaims: "Here, this proves she had braces!"

"If I had kept that gap, then I would have even more problems with Madonna," Lady Gaga replies, referencing an ongoing feud between the two musical celebrities.

The photos of Gaga's teenage smile reveal that the singer of hits like "Born This Way" once had a noticeable gap (which dentists call a diastema) between her front teeth. This condition is common in children, but often becomes less conspicuous with age. It isn't necessarily a problem: Lots of well-known people have extra space in their smiles, including ex-football player and TV host Michael Strahan, actress Anna Paquin…and fellow pop superstar Madonna. It hasn't hurt any of their careers.

Yet others would prefer a smile without the gap. Fortunately, diastema in children is generally not difficult to fix. One of the easiest ways to do so is with traditional braces or clear aligners. These orthodontic appliances, usually worn for a period of months, can actually move the teeth into positions that look more pleasing in the smile and function better in the bite. For many people, orthodontic treatment is a part of their emergence from adolescence into adulthood.

Braces and aligners, along with other specialized orthodontic appliances, can also remedy many bite problems besides diastema. They can correct misaligned teeth and spacing irregularities, fix overbites and underbites, and take care of numerous other types of malocclusions (bite problems).

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that kids get screened for orthodontic problems at age 7. Even if an issue is found, most won't get treatment at this age—but in some instances, it's possible that early intervention can save a great deal of time, money and effort later. For example, while the jaw is still developing, its growth can be guided with special appliances that can make future orthodontic treatment go quicker and easier.

Yet orthodontics isn't just for children—adults can wear braces too! As long as teeth and gums are healthy, there's no upper age limit on orthodontic treatment. Instead of traditional silver braces, many adults choose tooth-colored braces or clear aligners to complement their more professional appearance.

So if your child is at the age where screening is recommended—or if you're unhappy with your own smile—ask us whether orthodontics could help. But if you get into a rivalry with Madonna…you're on your own.

If you have questions about orthodontic treatment, please contact our office or schedule a consultation. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “The Magic of Orthodontics” and “Orthodontics For The Older Adult.”

BeatDentalPlaqueWhileWearingBraceswithTheseToolsandTips

Wearing braces will probably never make your list of Most Pleasurable Life Experiences: you'll have to avoid certain foods and habits, endure some occasional discomfort, and perhaps feel some embarrassment about your appearance. The good news, though, is that at worst, these are mostly no more than inconveniences and additionally they're well worth the straighter, more attractive smile you'll achieve.

But there's one downside to braces that can lead to something more serious. The braces hardware makes brushing and flossing more difficult—and that could increase your risk of dental disease.

The principal goal of oral hygiene is to remove dental plaque, a thin film of accumulated bacteria and food particles that can cause tooth decay or periodontal (gum) disease. Without effective brushing and flossing, plaque can build up quickly and make the chances of having either of these two diseases more likely.

Not only does the braces hardware hinder your toothbrush's or floss's access to the parts of the teeth it covers, but it can also create "hiding places" for plaque build-up. Several studies have found that braces wearers on average have up to two to three times the plaque build-up of non-braces wearers.

There are ways, though, to make hygiene easier while wearing braces, particularly with flossing. Floss threaders or interproximal brushes can both be used to access between teeth while wearing braces. Another option is a water flosser or irrigator that sprays pressurized water between teeth (and beneath brackets and wires) to remove plaque. And braces wearers can get a prevention boost with topical fluoride applications or antibacterial mouth rinses to reduce disease-causing bacteria.

Besides taking a little extra time with brushing and flossing, you can also boost your mouth's health with good nutrition choices, less sugar consumption and keeping up regular dental visits. And, you should also see your dentist promptly if you notice any signs of tooth or gum problems—the sooner you have it checked and treated, the less damage any dental disease is likely to cause.

It's not easy keeping your teeth and gums plaque-free while wearing braces. But with a little extra time and effort, a few helpful tools and your dentist's support, you can maintain a healthy mouth during orthodontic treatment.

If you would like more information on best hygiene practices while wearing braces, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Caring for Teeth during Orthodontic Treatment.”

By Today's Dental
October 23, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: braces   Invisalign  

Invisalign Clear BracesLearn More About This Nearly Invisible Approach to Getting a Straighter Smile.

Who says that everyone has to be able to see your braces? That’s right, you can now get orthodontic treatment without others even knowing. Our Houston dentists, Dr. Tiberiu Oancea and Dr. Jeromy Thornton, are happy to offer Invisalign to help older teens and adults finally get beautiful, healthier smiles.

What is Invisalign?

Maybe you’ve already heard of Invisalign, but there are still a lot of people out there that don’t realize that there is such as a thing as clear braces. Instead of using brackets and wires to shift teeth, Invisalign uses custom trays called aligners. Each aligner is custom-made to apply pressure at just the right points to slowly and painlessly move teeth into the perfect spot.

Who Is a Good Candidate for Invisalign?

Invisalign offers some pretty amazing benefits, while so you may immediately jump at the idea of getting transparent braces, it’s also important to understand what makes someone a good candidate for Invisalign (after all, it won’t be right for everyone). First of all, Invisalign is perfect for older teens and adults but won’t be right for young children. This is because children’s teeth haven’t stopped growing yet, which means that the custom aligners won’t fit the way they need to in order to shift teeth around.

Invisalign might be ideal for you if you are dealing with these common malocclusions:

  • Overbite
  • Underbite
  • Open bite
  • Crossbite
  • Crooked teeth
  • Crowding
  • Gaps between teeth

Although this clear orthodontic system can fix a lot of issues, it does have its limitations. It won’t be able to handle more serious or complicated issues and it won’t be able to realign the jaws like traditional braces can.

As our Houston family dentists will tell you, what makes Invisalign so popular is that the aligners are removable. While this provides a lot of benefits to the wearer, it’s also important that you are dedicated to your treatment and wear your aligners about 20 to 22 hours each day. Patients who will be tempted to take their aligners off regularly may not be ideal candidates for Invisalign.

Intrigued? Call Us Today!

Are you interested in learning more about Invisalign and how it can help you? If so, the next step is to schedule a consultation with Today’s Dental in Houston, TX. Call our office today at (281) 580-0770 and let us know that you want an Invisalign-straightened smile!

By Today's Dental
June 23, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: braces   retainer  
WhyaBondedRetainerMightbeaBetterChoiceAfterBraces

A lot of time and effort goes into straightening your smile. But there’s a possibility it might not stay that way—and all that hard work could be lost. The same natural mechanism that enables your teeth to move with braces could cause them to revert to their old, undesirable positions.

So for a little while (or longer for some people) you’ll need to wear a retainer, an appliance designed to keep or “retain” your teeth where they are now. And while the removable type is perhaps the best known, there’s at least one other choice you might want to consider: a bonded retainer.

Just as its name implies, this retainer consists of a thin metal wire bonded to the back of the teeth with a composite material. Unlike the removable appliance, a bonded retainer is fixed and can only be removed by an orthodontist.

Bonded retainers have several advantages. Perhaps the most important one is cosmetic—unlike the removable version, others can’t see a bonded retainer since it’s hidden behind the teeth. There’s also no keeping up with it—or losing it—since it’s fixed in place, which might be helpful with some younger patients who need reminding about keeping their retainer in their mouth.

There are, however, a few disadvantages. It’s much harder to floss with a bonded retainer, which could increase the risks of dental disease. It’s also possible for it to break, in which case it will need to be repaired by an orthodontist and as soon as possible. Without it in place for any length of time the teeth could move out of alignment.

If you or a family member is about to have braces removed, you’ll soon need to make a decision on which retainer to use. We’ll discuss these options with you and help you choose the one—removable or bonded—that’s right for you.

If you would like more information on bonded retainers, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor article “Bonded Retainers: What are the Pros and Cons?

By Today's Dental
October 17, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: braces   orthodontics   Invisalign  

How Invisalign treatment from Houston can improve your smileinvisalign

When you look at your smile in the mirror, is it as straight as you’d like it to be? Are you envious of the straight, beautiful smiles of your friends? Are you ready to achieve your straight smile? If you answered yes to these questions, it’s time to consider Invisalign, the virtually invisible way to straighten your smile discreetly. Dr. Tiberiu Oancea and Dr. Jeromy Thornton at Today’s Dental in Houston, TX want to share how this revolutionary orthodontic treatment can improve your smile.

When you choose Invisalign, you are choosing the leader in innovative, discreet orthodontic treatment. That’s because Invisalign uses a system of clear plastic trays, called aligners, to straighten your smile easily, comfortably and quickly. There are many important benefits of Invisalign treatment. Invisalign is:

  • A cosmetically-beautiful choice, because the aligners are clear plastic and most people don’t even notice them
  • A comfortable choice, because the aligners have no sharp metal brackets or wires to irritate your cheeks and gums
  • A healthy choice, because you can remove the aligners to brush and floss your teeth normally
  • A satisfying choice, because you can still eat the foods you enjoy

Your Invisalign treatment begins with your first set of custom-made trays, which you wear for two weeks. You move on to a second set, which you also wear for two weeks. You will move to a new set of aligners every two weeks until your treatment is complete, which usually takes 9 to 15 months. You deserve a beautiful, straight smile in a short period of time, and Invisalign can make it happen!

Invisalign can correct many of the same issues as conventional braces including overbite and underbite, crossbite and open bite. Invisalign can also close gaps between teeth, and realign poorly-positioned, overlapped teeth.

If you’ve wanted a straight smile, but stayed away from orthodontics because of unsightly metal brackets and wires, or lengthy treatment, it’s time to think Invisalign! Invisalign can give you a straight smile discreetly and quickly.

To find out more about revolutionary Invisalign orthodontic treatment, talk with the experts! Call Dr. Oancea and Dr. Thornton at Today’s Dental in Houston, TX. Call today to start your journey to a straight smile with Invisalign!