My Blog

Posts for tag: braces

By Upper East Smiles
July 02, 2021
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral hygiene   braces  

A few months into wearing braces you may notice your gums are swollen. It's likely you've developed periodontal (gum) disease.

Gum disease is a bacterial infection that usually begins with dental plaque. This thin, accumulated biofilm on teeth is filled with bacteria that cause dental disease. The more of it that remains on your teeth, the higher your risk for a gum infection.

In addition to regular dental cleanings, the best way for a person to reduce their gum disease risk is to remove plaque on a daily basis through brushing and flossing. Unfortunately, wearing braces complicates this: The brackets and wires affixed to your teeth can get in the way of your toothbrush and regular dental floss. As a result, you can easily miss plaque hidden around these bits of hardware.

Aside from gum disease, the braces themselves can irritate your gums. This irritation inflames the gums and may even cause more tissue to grow. Compound this overgrowth with a possible gum infection and it's no wonder your gums are severely swollen.

To lessen the chances of swollen gums with braces, you'll need to beef up your daily hygiene efforts. Simply put, it will typically take more time than normal to thoroughly clean around your braces. A few specialized tools, though, might make it easier.

An interproximal brush with a narrower head than a regular toothbrush is useful for accessing tight places around brackets. And a floss threader or a water flosser (which uses pressurized water to loosen and remove plaque) may help you better maneuver around wires to remove plaque between teeth.

Keeping your teeth clean as possible will certainly help you avoid gum swelling due to disease. But swelling from tissue overgrowth may not be resolved until your braces come off. In severe cases, it may even be necessary to remove the braces to treat the gums before resuming orthodontic treatment.

In any case, be as thorough as possible with your oral hygiene efforts during orthodontics and see your regular dentist for cleanings every six months. When you have completed orthodontic treatment, cleanings every six months are usually recommended. It's the best way to keep your gums healthy while you're wearing braces.

If you would like more information on dental care 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 “Gum Swelling During Orthodontics.”

By Upper East Smiles
June 02, 2021
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: braces  

First, there were braces; then came removable clear aligners—both great ways to straighten teeth. But braces with their metal brackets and wires aren't the most attractive look. And, although nearly invisible aligners improve appearance, they don't work in every bite situation (although their range has improved of late).

But now a third choice has emerged: lingual braces. Like their traditional counterparts, lingual braces are fixed in place—but on the back side of the teeth rather than the front. Instead of "pushing" teeth toward new positions, they "pull" them, arriving at the same "destination" by another path.

This new method came about simultaneously by two different orthodontists a world apart and for different reasons. A Beverly Hills dentist was looking for an invisible form of treatment similar to clear aligners for his appearance-conscious patients. A Japanese dentist wanted an alternative that would reduce the risk of damage or injury posed by traditional braces to his martial arts patients.

Lingual braces (referring to their proximity to the tongue) address both of these concerns. All of the brackets and wiring are positioned out of sight. And because they're shielded by the teeth, they're not as likely to be damaged or cause injury following hard contact to the face—a great benefit for athletes, law enforcement officers and, yes, martial artists.

Even so, lingual braces won't replace the other two methods any time soon. You'll need to consider other factors, such as that lingual braces can cost up to a third more than traditional braces. And although their availability is steadily growing, not all orthodontists have been trained to offer lingual braces, so you may have to widen your search radius for a provider near you.

You may also find it takes a bit of time to get used to the feel of lingual braces. Upper braces can affect speech ability, at least initially, and the lower ones can interfere with tongue comfort. Most people, though, do adjust to them within a week or so.

But by and large, lingual braces do offer a fixed option that's out of sight, out of mind. With this newer orthodontic choice, you now have three good options for achieving a healthier mouth and a more attractive smile.

If you would like more information on methods for straightening teeth, 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 “Lingual Braces.”

By Upper East Smiles
March 04, 2021
Category: Oral Health
Tags: braces  

Braces can help you conquer a number of dental conditions, with often dramatic results. But making the most out of this investment of time, money, and in your smile, requires a bit of help from you. You can expect a few necessary dietary changes and your overall dental hygiene, but you'll be happy with the outcome. To learn more contact your local Upper East Side orthodontists of Upper East Smiles in New York, NY.

Benefits of Braces

Braces can correct crooked and crowded teeth, as well as all the common bite problems many of us experience, such as overbite, underbite, open bite, among others. These are more than just aesthetic concerns, though they might seem so at first glance. When teeth are too close together, cleaning them can be a real challenge, which can lead to plaque buildup and eventually, decay, and all the problems associated with it.

An incorrect bite can completely alter your smile, often causing issues like wear as the teeth make contact, which slowly erodes the enamel and invites bacteria, and increases the possibility of injury. This is all to not understate the importance of braces and to make sure you are doing everything you can to make them worth your while.

Your Diet on Braces

Some like to exaggerate how much braces will impact your diet, and while certain changes are necessary, they are nothing extreme, and as you will see, they are common sense. It's on the first few days that you can expect a stricter diet. During this time you will be adjusting to the new pressure on your teeth, which can take a few weeks, but keep your dentist informed in case it lasts longer.

Stick to easy to chew foods, nothing that crunches when you bite. Foods like eggs, soups, pasta, and similar alternatives. As you feel more comfortable, you can begin to expand your diet, but you will still want to avoid anything very difficult to chew, like hard candy, bagels and similar breads, and popcorn, among others. The key here is to avoid food that can possibly damage the wires and bands. Also, avoid food that can get easily stuck in between your teeth and can be difficult to remove. On this note, sugary foods and drinks are what the bacteria on our teeth love to consume. Bacteria that produce acids that can damage our gums and teeth.

Braces in New York, NY

The most important thing to remember with the food you choose to eat while wearing braces is that it should not invite decay and work against all the benefits your braces are providing you. If you believe you may need braces, or a similar alternative, like Invisalign, make an appointment today with the professionals of Upper East Smiles in New York, NY, by dialing (646) 864-1808.

By Upper East Smiles
April 24, 2020
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: braces  

If you think that your child needs braces to correct his bite problem or crowded teeth, you can obtain an orthodontic assessment by the time he’s seven years old. You can have this evaluation done by an orthodontist, which is a dentist that has undergone extra training to specialize in straightening and aligning the teeth.

Here at Upper East Smiles in Upper East Side, NY, our orthodontist can evaluate your child’s bite to determine whether he needs dental braces. In most cases, however, the most appropriate time for orthodontic treatment would depend significantly on the cause and severity of the child’s misalignment.

What to Know About Phases of Orthodontic Treatment

Traditionally, orthodontic treatment using dental braces starts when the child has shed most of his primary or baby teeth, and most of his permanent or adult teeth have come in. Generally speaking, this occurs between eight and 14 years old. In case orthodontic treatment is required at this time, your orthodontist in Upper East Side, NY, may recommend preventive or interceptive care to leverage the growth of the child and guide the desired outcomes alongside the child’s development.

Another option is to take the interceptive approach, which entails the use of other dental appliances, other than braces, at a younger age even if the child still has baby teeth. Once the child is older and has most of his adult teeth, the second treatment phase may be started using braces.

In most cases, the second treatment phase may be shorter than if the child didn’t undergo the interceptive treatment phase. It’s crucial to point out, however, that choosing which approach to take will be mainly dependent on your orthodontist and based on factors specific to your child’s case.

If Not Dental Braces, Then What?

Your orthodontist will take detailed impressions of your child’s jaw and teeth, diagnose what needs correcting, create a treatment plan, and perform the plan as required. While traditional dental braces are among the most common orthodontic treatments, your orthodontist may also recommend other options including invisible braces or clear aligners, a plate, elastics, or retainers. Essentially, the most suitable solution for your child would depend primarily on the severity and exact nature of your child’s orthodontic issues.

For More Detailed Information on Orthodontics, Give Us a Call

Schedule your consultation with one of our orthodontists here at Upper East Smiles in Upper East Side, NY, by dialing (646) 864-1808.

By Upper East Smiles
March 09, 2020
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral hygiene   braces  

Braces can be a long, involved process, but gaining a more attractive smile and better oral health is worth it. Sometimes, though, braces can produce unintended short-term consequences.

Brace brackets and wires do the work of moving teeth to better positions. They can, however, hinder the wearer's hygiene efforts to remove plaque, a thin film of bacteria and food particles, from tooth surfaces. Plaque buildup increases the risk of dental disease and other ill effects.

One such effect while you're wearing braces is the formation of tiny spots that look pale and chalky on otherwise smooth and polished enamel. These are white spot lesions (WSLs), where acid has remained for too long on the tooth enamel. They occur because acid-producing bacteria escape removal during brushing and flossing due to the braces hardware.

We want to try to prevent WSLs while wearing braces, and not just because they're unattractive. You're actually looking at enamel erosion, which could lead to cavity development at those weakened spots.

Although difficult for you as a braces wearer, daily brushing and flossing is crucial to WSL prevention. You'll need to take more time to be sure you're reaching all around the wires and brackets. You can improve your effectiveness with special brushes for braces and floss threaders or water irrigators. You can also help keep acid levels low by cutting back on acidic foods and beverages, especially sodas, coffee or spicy foods.

Even if you develop WSLs we can treat them effectively, especially if caught early. One way is by aiding enamel re-mineralization through saliva stimulation (the mouth's acid neutralizer) or applying fluoride to the teeth to strengthen enamel. We can also use caries infiltration, a technique that injects tooth-colored resin below the surface of the lesion. This strengthens the weakened enamel and gives the area the appearance of translucence like normal enamel.

While you're wearing braces, focus diligently on keeping your teeth clean of plaque and keep up your regular cleaning visits with us. If you notice any unusual discolorations or abnormalities, see us as soon as possible. Stopping WSLs from developing will help ensure your teeth are healthy and attractive after the braces come off.

If you would like more information on dental care with 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 “White Spots on Teeth during Orthodontic Treatment.”