All posts by AO Smiles

Teen girl cleaning her braces

What Happens If You Don’t Get Your Braces Adjusted?

Most of us wish we had a beautiful smile and wonderfully straight teeth. If you’ve had braces put on by an orthodontist, you’re already halfway there. But don’t think of braces as a quick or easy fix. In fact, they require regular adjustments and assessments by your orthodontist and for you to actively participate in your treatment to get your smile just right. 

Your braces will need constant adjustment because of the pressure they put on your teeth to reposition them. Each time your teeth move slightly, the braces lose grip, and your orthodontist must adjust them again. These regular adjustments and reviews are the best way to safely and effectively align your teeth.

For your treatment to stay on track, you must work with your orthodontist and dentist, attend appointments, and follow their advice. This will ensure your oral health and teeth alignment are on track. 

This article looks at the process and frequency of adjusting braces, what happens if you don’t get your braces tightened, how to manage the discomfort, and why it’s so essential. 

Why is the Braces Adjustment Process Necessary?

Your teeth may need pressure applied in different directions to get those ever-so-straight pearly whites. This is the main reason your orthodontist will insist on regular checkups and adjustments. Skipping adjustments prevents your teeth from being guided into their correct position. 

With your braces, your teeth may move in directions the orthodontist doesn’t anticipate, so skipping appointments is not advised. If your orthodontist doesn’t have the opportunity to check whether unexpected things are happening, they can’t correct any potential problems. Regular appointments are the best way for your doctor to know whether anything unusual is happening and correct your treatment plan if needed. It’s better in the long run for you to stick with your adjustment appointments.  

How Often Do Braces Need to be Adjusted?

In your first appointment, your orthodontist will assess your teeth and devise a treatment plan and schedule specifically for you. This treatment plan will be based on your teeth and jaw alignment, age, and oral health. Of course, everyone’s needs are unique, so there is no exact timing for everyone. However, braces generally need adjusting every 10-12 weeks. If you feel your braces are losing grip or you don’t feel any pressure from your braces while eating, make sure to schedule an appointment for a checkup. 

How do Braces Get Adjusted?

Here’s what happens during the adjustment process:

  • Firstly, your doors are opened and archwires are removed.
  • Next, a checkup takes place to examine your oral health and how your teeth have been repositioned, and a way forward is determined. 
  • If necessary, your archwires are changed or brackets are repositioned
  • Lastly, your metal archwires are put back onto the metal brackets.

Are There Side Effects of Adjusting Your Braces?

If you’re worried about adjusting your braces, Advanced Orthodontics can assure you that there is nothing to worry about. You will undoubtedly feel pressure with each and every appointment and some sensitivity in your teeth, gums, and jaw afterwards. However, the discomfort is relatively mild. The discomfort is more like a feeling of bruising in your teeth instead of aching pain. This discomfort may last a few days, but most people find that pain lessens as treatment progresses. 

There can be adverse side effects from not having your braces adjusted for an extended period of time. As mentioned before, without regular adjusting, braces will become ineffective as they need to put the correct amount of pressure on your teeth to reposition them as planned. Avoiding adjusting will only lead to a longer treatment time. Ensure you make all your appointments and follow your treatment plan set out by your orthodontist so your braces are effective.  

How Can We Help?

As your treatment progresses, not only will the discomfort and pain from regular braces adjusting decrease, but you will also start to see the results you want. 

Advanced Orthodontics uses the latest in orthodontic treatment to help minimize discomfort associated with braces. Self-ligating brackets allow the teeth to be moved with a constant, lighter force versus heavy on-and-off adjusting. Our team is known for creating beautiful, healthy smiles. We use the latest orthodontic technology to treat patients of all ages from Mesa, Gilbert, Chandler, Scottsdale, and the Globe. See the difference in our clients’ smiles by visiting our Smile Gallery.

Advanced Orthodontics offers high-tech self-ligating braces which are smaller and more discreet than traditional braces and don’t involve colored elastic ties. Contact the team at Advanced Orthodontics for a professional answer to any of your braces or oral health questions.

Teen girl with braces playing games with friends

Why You Don’t Need to Worry About Getting Braces?

Many children are anxious about getting braces. Often, children are scared it will hurt, that they may look silly and get teased and that eating will be difficult. After a chat with your orthodontist, they should feel confident that although it may be uncomfortable and odd at first, there’s no reason to feel scared.

If you can help them conquer their fear and realize braces aren’t forever, they will be on their way to confidently achieving the beautiful smile they are after. Advanced Orthodontics will put any fears at ease with a treatment plan tailored to your dental health needs. With various orthodontic options available, we will turn your fears into excited and healthy smiles. 

This article tackles a few questions that most people ask, like: should I be scared to get braces? Does getting braces hurt? 

Does Getting Braces Hurt?

Bonding braces isn’t an uncomfortable process. In fact, it’s a relatively gentle process to realign your teeth. Once they’re bonded, you may experience some discomfort at first. For a few days after having them placed, your teeth and mouth may feel slightly uncomfortable, but this is because your mouth is getting used to having them there.

Sometimes the metal brackets might poke the inside of your mouth at first, but your orthodontist will give you wax to put over the brackets to keep them from causing you further discomfort.

You can also expect discomfort after regular adjustments and tightening, which happen regularly – about every 10-12 weeks. Although this may sometimes be sore, it feels more like bruising, which makes them slightly tender, but it’s not painful. The truth is, getting metal braces is uncomfortable and feels a bit strange at first, but you won’t be in pain all the time. Your mouth will feel normal in no time. 

 While Invisalign is said to hurt less than metal braces, you will still experience mild discomfort when having them fitted. These plastic aligners are known to be more comfortable to wear, but the initial process of having them fitted and the first few days of each cycle of the new Invisalign may be uncomfortable. New aligners are usually fitted every 7 days with Invisalign. However, as with metal braces, you’ll get used to wearing your aligners and the mild discomfort that comes from them. 

Are Your Children Worried About How Braces May Change Their Appearance?

Looking different and being teased is a real fear for children. And most children will feel shy about showing their braces at first because of how it changes their appearance. It’s a good idea to remind them that although having braces may last a year or two, the result will be a straight smile for the rest of their lives.  Also, remind them that they will likely not be the only ones at school with braces. Plenty of kids go through orthodontic treatment during their tween and teen years. 

Some children might like knowing they can accessorize their braces with many fun color elastics and brackets. If this still doesn’t calm their fears, looking into Invisalign is a good idea. These are primarily invisible and will more likely help get skeptical children on board. 

Will All My Food Get Stuck in My Braces? 

Another issue children worry about when getting braces is whether their food will get stuck in them. Although this seems like a mundane factor to worry about – especially considering food gets stuck in people’s teeth even when they don’t have braces – it is something children will naturally fear. Their embarrassment, too, can last for days after the event. Drinking water after eating will help wash away any food clinging to their braces, and they can choose to have a pocket mirror to use after eating.

3 Things Aren’t True About Having Braces

  1. You can’t play sports with braces. Although this isn’t the case, orthodontists recommend wearing an orthodontic mouthguard when playing contact sports.
  2. Braces give you a lisp. This one is partly true, but it’s only slight and temporary. Also, not all people will develop a slight lisp; if they do, it often goes away once your mouth is used to having the braces. 
  3. Your braces will rust. Orthodontists do not use metal that can rust. 

A little research and a thorough talk with your orthodontist will quickly alleviate any fears you or your child may have about wearing braces. You’ll hopefully never hear the phrase “I’m scared to get braces” again. Remind your children that braces are proven to be a safe and effective way to straighten or align teeth, and it is worth the slight discomfort you go through to have a confident smile in the end. 

How Can We Help?

There is no reason to be scared to get braces. Advanced Orthodontics uses 3D Image scans to help determine what treatment type is best for you. We offer high-tech braces with self-ligation and custom-fit Invisalign to help correct bites, eliminate crowding and spacing, correct impacted teeth, and correct any potential growth complications. 

Our team is known for creating beautiful, healthy smiles throughout the Valley. We use the latest orthodontic technology to treat patients of all ages from Mesa, Gilbert, Chandler, Scottsdale, and the Globe. See the difference in our clients’ smiles by visiting our Smile Gallery.

Contact the team at Advanced Orthodontics for a professional answer to any of your braces or oral health questions.

Young boy with a large overbite

Does Everyone Have An Overbite?

If you want to look your best and achieve robust oral health, there is no doubt that strong, straight teeth are what you’re after. Usually, this means your upper and lower jaws need to meet perfectly. Not only will this have a more aesthetically appealing look, but it will also help you eat and swallow more efficiently and avoid any potential health risks to your teeth and mouth. 

When your upper and lower row of teeth don’t align as they should, you can either suffer from an overbite, underbite, or crossbite. The most common of these is an overbite. Sometimes, depending on the extent of your issue, you will need immediate or comprehensive orthodontic treatment. The best way to assess whether treatment is necessary is to schedule a visit with your orthodontist. They will then be able to develop a unique treatment plan for your specific bite and dental needs.

This article goes into more detail on overbites and answers the question: does everyone have an overbite? We also take a look at what causes overbites and the treatment options available. 

Is It Normal to Have a Slight Overbite?

The truth is everyone has a slight overbite, which brings us to the question: are you supposed to have an overbite? We must have a tiny overbite for us to chew accurately. What can be problematic is the degree of your overbite. The easiest way to see whether you have an overbite is to look at your smile. Do your top teeth have a vertical overlap over your bottom teeth of more than 50%? If so, you’re looking at an extreme overbite. 

Although it’s pretty normal to have a slight overbite, it’s only when your overbite becomes extreme that it poses a problem. You can determine the severity of your overbite by how much of your lower teeth you can see. If you can’t see them, it’s time to visit your orthodontist. The ideal overbite is when the overlap is only about 10-20%. Your orthodontist can easily fix your misalignment with a specialized treatment plan. 

What Is The Difference Between an Overbite and Bucked Teeth?

The truth is, these are the same thing. Most people think buck teeth are when your front two teeth are very big, but this isn’t the case. Instead, bucked teeth are when the upper front teeth overlap the lower front teeth, which is precisely what an overbite is. 

What Is an Underbite?

The opposite is true of an underbite. An underbite is when your lower front teeth are so far forward they are in front of your upper row of teeth when your jaw is closed. 

What Causes an Overbite?

Often people ask, are overbites hereditary? According to WebMD Connect to Care, it is often the abnormality in the jaw shape and size that can cause space issues in your mouth, resulting in an over or underbite. This can be genetic, but only in some cases. 

Let’s look at a couple of reasons you may be suffering from an overbite:

  • Missing, Extra, or Impacted Teeth

Teeth shift very easily, so if you suffer from overcrowding or even large spaces between your teeth, you can expect movement and misalignment of your teeth. In this case, you may experience an overlap of the upper front teeth or with your lower teeth. Sometimes these shifts and movements can cause an overbite.

  • Tongue-thrusting

If young children develop poor swallowing habits or perhaps have swollen tonsils, you’ll find their tongue presses up against their front teeth, which can cause the teeth to move. Eventually, if not stopped, this will cause an overbite or open bite to form. Tongue thrusting also happens during sleep without you even knowing about it.

  • Tumors and cysts of the jaw or mouth

If there is any swelling in your jaw, sometimes caused by tumors or cysts, you may see problems with the alignment of your teeth. This is because the bony tissue in your upper jaw causes your teeth to move forward, causing an overbite.

  • Thumb-sucking or pacifier use

If you have a child who sucks their thumb well into the time when their permanent teeth are developing, you may find them suffering from an overbite. This is because the pressure caused by the sucking can force their big teeth to form at strange angles. When it comes to sucking a pacifier, a similar thing happens, and you may find an open bite forming. 

What Are the Treatment Options For an Overbite?

It all comes down to the severity of your case and what is causing your jaw misalignment. Treatment options often include invisible aligners, braces, teeth straightening surgery, and orthodontic appliances.

  • Braces and clear aligners are the most common way to treat an overbite.
  • Invisalign will also help correct your overbite, and these clear plastic aligners are more popular with teenagers and adults.
  • Palate expanders work best for children whose upper jaws are too small to accommodate adult teeth. 
  • Jaw surgery is an option for those adults with severe overbite issues where correction of the upper and lower jaw is needed. 

Other Common Bite Problems

  • Deep bite: This is an extreme overbite when the bottom teeth are covered more than 50% by the top teeth. 
  • Underbite: This is when the lower teeth naturally sit just ahead of the upper teeth.
  • Crossbite: If the upper teeth fit inside of the lower teeth.
  • Open bite: This is when the back teeth are touching, and the upper and lower front teeth do not overlap. The other instance of an open bite is when the front teeth touch, but the back teeth don’t. 

How Can We Help?

Advanced Orthodontics uses 3D Image scans to help determine what treatment type is best for you. We offer high-tech braces with self-ligation to help correct bites, eliminate crowding and spacing, correct impacted teeth and correct any potential growth complications. 

Our team is known for creating beautiful, healthy smiles throughout the Valley. We use the latest orthodontic technology to treat patients of all ages from Mesa, Gilbert, Chandler, Scottsdale, and the Globe. See the difference in our clients’ smiles by visiting our Smile Gallery.

Contact the team at Advanced Orthodontics for a professional answer to any of your braces or oral health questions.

Advanced Orthodontics wisdom teeth removal

Does Everyone Have To Get Their Wisdom Teeth Removed?

Wisdom teeth have long been a topic of discussion. Interestingly, not everyone develops wisdom teeth, but for those who do, they can cause pain in some instances. Some do have wisdom teeth but have less than four. A common question asked by many: Does everyone have to get their wisdom teeth removed? The answer is no, but varies from person to person and will depend on a variety of factors. 

Why Do Dentists Remove Wisdom Teeth?

Considering wisdom teeth are often associated with prolonged and severe pain that can affect other parts of the body like the neck, back, arms, and head, it’s natural that people would rather opt to have them removed. But apart from that, you can also experience other oral problems when your third molars finally break through the gums:

  • Impacted teeth – As vestigial features of the human body, these teeth are prone to growing in irregular directions, sometimes even horizontally. As a result, wisdom teeth can get impacted. The term “impacted” means a tooth has not “erupted” or broken through the gums because it has no space to grow.
  • Infection – Impacted wisdom teeth can have a high risk of infection because their irregular growth creates pockets in the gums where bacteria can thrive.
  • Cavities – Given the irregular way third molars grow and the cramped space where they erupt, food particles can easily get trapped around the third molars. Unfortunately, these same reasons also make it hard to brush the area around the molars. As a result, wisdom teeth can often develop cavities.
  • Shifting teeth – Wisdom teeth typically emerge when people are about 17 to 25 years old. By the time they erupt, you have fully-developed teeth already occupying a lot of space in your jaw. Wisdom teeth can push and shift them out of alignment when they finally erupt.

After delving into the reasons why they should be removed, you might wonder when wisdom teeth can stay at all. Here are some thoughts:

When Do I Need To Get My Wisdom Teeth Removed?

In 2008, The American Public Health Association announced that the organization doesn’t agree with preventative extraction of wisdom teeth. Their statement followed arguments by oral surgeons that removing third molars when a patient doesn’t have any symptoms that would justify their removal is a health hazard. 

Why did they consider wisdom teeth removal dangerous? The primary reason is that there’s a risk of nerve injury. Impacted wisdom teeth are so painful because they erupt in an area abundant with nerves. Some may experience severe pain not because their third molars became impacted but because they touched a major nerve. Extracting these molars could bruise nearby nerves and, in worst-case scenarios, permanently damage them. 

As a result, even though wisdom tooth extraction is a standard procedure, some dentists recommend doing it only when necessary. Further, patients should seek out experienced dental surgeons they can trust to perform the procedure without any adverse outcome.

To answer the question, “Do I need to get my wisdom teeth removed?” you should first assess your situation. If you are experiencing the symptoms mentioned above, wisdom tooth extraction will be necessary to relieve your pain and discomfort. It will also prevent your teeth from getting crooked and your upper and lower teeth from becoming misaligned. 

What about preventative removal? An experienced dentist or oral surgeon should be able to advise you whether your wisdom tooth will cause trouble in the future if it isn’t giving you any issues right now. Preventative extraction depends on your dentist’s judgment and confidence in predicting how your teeth will grow. If you’re willing to take the preventative route, consult experienced dentists who have your best interests in mind.

How to Know When Wisdom Teeth Can Stay

Most people would rather go through a major dental procedure only when absolutely needed, but there should be no reason to wait to experience the dreaded symptoms of impacted wisdom teeth. A more reliable method of finding out if you don’t need extraction is to check for the following:

  • Have your third molars fully erupted?
  • Are they healthy and without cavities?
  • Are they in a good position, and aren’t crowding your first and second molars?
  • Are your upper and lower molars aligned? Can you bite comfortably?
  • Can you reach your wisdom teeth with your toothbrush and clean them properly?
  • Do you not experience piercing nerve pain at the back of your jaw?

If your answer to all of these questions is yes, then you probably won’t need to have your wisdom teeth removed. Of course, it’s always best to have your dentist verify all of these. Have open discussions with your dentist and make sure they know and understand your reasons for not wanting preventive extraction. 

Get Honest Assessments from Dependable Dental Experts

Whether or not you seek wisdom teeth removal, it helps to have dental care providers who are honest and sincere in providing quality treatments to their patients. 

Our dental professionals at Advanced Orthodontics can educate and help you make an informed decision about wisdom teeth removal that you won’t regret. Call or text us at (480) 357-4900 or schedule a free consultation on our website. 

wisdom teeth ex ray

Does Everyone Have Wisdom Teeth?

Having wisdom teeth is a known rite of passage people go through. Unlike other coming-of-age events, however, wisdom teeth don’t exactly inspire excitement because they are associated with excruciating pain. 

But does everyone have wisdom teeth? Some people don’t. Others are fortunate that they don’t experience impacted wisdom teeth and the pain and stress that often comes with it. 

So why don’t some people have wisdom teeth while others do? We’ll give you the answers you’re looking for in this blog. 

Wisdom Teeth: The Basics

Wisdom teeth are the third and final molars that emerge beneath the gums. They are called such because they appear when people are at the cusp of adulthood. Most get their wisdom teeth between 17 and 25 years old, just in time to go to college and start living independently. Ideally, a person gets four third molars, two on the upper jaw and two on the lower jaw. However, some will have only three or fewer wisdom teeth, and that’s perfectly normal. 

Most of the time, wisdom teeth must be removed soon after erupting because the jaws are already crowded with fully developed teeth by the time they emerge. As the latecomer, the wisdom teeth adjust to the cramped space, which sometimes means growing in a diagonal position and intersecting with the root of the adjacent tooth.

When a cramped wisdom tooth grows in an odd position and cracks, it becomes impacted. An impacted wisdom tooth is a big problem because bacteria can make its way through the crack and cause an infection. Since the jaw has so many nerve endings, the infection can aggravate them and cause intense, sharp pain at the back of the mouth. Worse, the pain can intensify and feel like it extends down to your neck and shoulders or up to your temples.  

Given these circumstances, it’s unsurprising that many consider people who appear not to have wisdom teeth lucky!

Why Don’t Some People Have Wisdom Teeth?

The straightforward answer to this question is evolution. The third molars are vestigial structures which means that they, like the tailbone, have phased out their use. During primitive times when humans were foragers whose diets included twigs, nuts, roots and raw meat, the third molars provided extra grinding power for easier digestion. However, as time passed and human intelligence paved the way for modern life – one where our food options are much more processed and easier to eat – our species grew out of the need for third molars.  

A literature review published in Dental Research Journal says that 5 to 37 percent of people today do not have one or more of their wisdom teeth. In addition, research suggests that not having wisdom teeth has now become genetic: people whose parents did not have them or had less than four are most likely to be the same. So now, if anyone asks “does everyone have wisdom teeth”, you can say it depends on their parents, and you wouldn’t be wrong!

However, just because you don’t have the known symptoms of wisdom teeth doesn’t mean you don’t have them. For example, it is possible that you have third molars, but they stay beneath the gum line instead of surfacing in your oral cavity.  

What To Do if Your Wisdom Teeth Don’t Erupt

There are three possibilities if your wisdom teeth don’t erupt:

  1. You don’t have third molars.
  2. You have third molars, but they won’t emerge.
  3. You have third molars that can’t erupt and might become impacted.

If you’ve passed your late teens and early 20s without incident, you can assume that your third molars are staying where they currently are. Just be observant of any changes in the future, like sudden pain in the back of your jaw or a toothache, even though you regularly visit the dentist and don’t have cavities. Those could signal a late eruption.

What happens if your molars become impacted? First, you’ll need to consult your dentist and have x-rays of your jaw taken. Next, they need to determine if your molars must be extracted. Wisdom teeth extraction is a delicate procedure that must be done with the utmost care, hence the need for x-ray visuals. If you’re lucky, your dentist might determine that your third molars are fine where they are and removing them won’t be necessary.  

When Is Extraction Necessary?

Besides getting rid of the pain, wisdom tooth extraction is necessary when it disrupts the rest of your teeth. They have trouble erupting in the first place because there’s not enough room for them in the oral cavity. If they force their way through the gums, they can also break apart or crack the adjacent molars. It would be bad if you end up with two impacted teeth, so while your dentist can still prevent it, expect them to recommend an extraction. 

Extracting third molars will also prevent your teeth from becoming misaligned. So if you want to maintain your teeth’s current alignment, you may have to have your third molars removed if they emerge.

Get Gentle Dental Care From Advanced Orthodontics

Each person has a different situation regarding their wisdom teeth, even with genetics as a factor. It is best, therefore, to consult your trusted dentist’s opinion on whether or not you’ll be better off without your third molars.

You can consult our experienced orthodontists at Advanced Orthodontics if you have concerns about your wisdom teeth affecting your alignment. Our dental practice has provided quality orthodontic care and services in the Arizona Valley since 2005. Equipped with the latest in orthodontic technology and treatment techniques, we can help you maintain your beautiful smile without the excruciating pain of impacted molars. 

Call or text 480.357.4900 or fill out our contact form to book an appointment.