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Orthodontic Treatment

Do braces hurt?

April 13th, 2016

Feeling anxious about getting braces? You may have heard rumors and horror stories about pain experienced from braces. We’re here to set those straight! While we can’t promise that your treatment will be free from discomfort, what we can tell you is that it’s completely manageable. Here's what you can expect throughout the process:

Soreness caused from braces and appliances

When you first get your braces, you may notice that your teeth and mouth feel a little tender or sore. This is perfectly normal and we promise your mouth will not be sore forever! To relieve the pain, we recommend dissolving one teaspoon of salt in eight ounces of lukewarm water. Swish and gargle this solution in your mouth for just a couple of minutes (do not swallow the saltwater).

There should be minimal pain when braces are applied to the teeth. It may take you longer to eat meals the day you have them applied to your teeth, as you'll need to adjust to chewing. It's best to stick with softer foods for the first few days, such as yogurt, soup, and macaroni and cheese.

What if the pain doesn’t go away?

If the pain is more severe and does not go away after rinsing, you can also try taking a pain reliever. Over-the-counter medications, such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen are good options for relieving mouth soreness and headaches associated with getting used to braces.  It is also not uncommon for your lips, cheeks, and tongue to become irritated for one to two weeks as they toughen and become used to the braces. We will provide you with plenty of wax that you can put over the braces to lessen the tenderness. If you need some wax, please let us know.

Orthodontic Appointments

You may feel the same discomfort for a few days after orthodontist appointments. Braces work by slowly moving your teeth into proper alignment. Adjustments to the braces are needed so they continue to properly move the teeth. The orthodontist will periodically need to adjust the archwires and change the elastic ligatures.

It's normal to feel anxious about braces. Most people find the discomfort associated with braces to be inconvenient, but manageable. Everyone on Team Struble is happy to offer any tools and suggestions you need for easing any pain or discomfort in the days following having braces installed or adjusted.

The 7 most common orthodontic problems

March 16th, 2016

Maybe your dentist told you that you might need braces. Or maybe all your friends are getting them and you’re wondering if you’ll need them too. Orthodontic problems such as crowding of the teeth, too much space between the teeth, jaw growth problems, protruding teeth, and bad bites can be inherited or caused by injury to the mouth, early or late loss of baby teeth, or thumb-sucking habits. Below are 7 of the most commonly treated orthodontic cases.

1. Crowding

Teeth may be aligned poorly because the dental arch is small and/or the teeth are large. The bone and gums over the roots of extremely crowded teeth may become thin and recede as a result of severe crowding. Impacted teeth (teeth that should have come in, but have not), poor biting relationships, and undesirable appearance may all result from crowding.

2. Overjet or protruding upper teeth

Thumb suckers, beware! Thumb and finger sucking habits often cause a protrusion of the upper incisor teeth. Upper front teeth that protrude beyond normal contact with the lower front teeth are prone to injury, often indicate a poor bite of the back teeth (molars), and may indicate an unevenness in jaw growth. Commonly, protruded upper teeth are associated with a lower jaw that is short in proportion to the upper jaw.

3. Deep overbite

This occurs when the lower incisor (front) teeth bite too close or into the gum tissue behind the upper teeth. This can cause significant bone damage and discomfort. A deep bite can also contribute to excessive wear of the incisor teeth.

4. Open bite

This results when the upper and lower incisor teeth do not touch when biting down. This open space between the upper and lower front teeth causes all the chewing pressure to be placed on the back teeth. This excessive biting pressure and rubbing together of the back teeth makes chewing less efficient and may contribute to significant tooth wear.

5. Spacing

If teeth are missing or small, or the dental arch is very wide, space between the teeth can occur. The most common complaint from those with excessive space is poor appearance (unless you aspire to be a gap-toothed model!).

6. Crossbite

The most common type of a crossbite is when the upper teeth bite inside the lower teeth (toward the tongue). Crossbites of both back teeth and front teeth are commonly corrected early due to biting and chewing difficulties.

7. Underbite or lower jaw protrusion

About 3-5% of the population (that’s more than 10 million people in the United States alone!) has a lower jaw that is to some degree longer than the upper jaw. This can cause the lower front teeth to protrude ahead of the upper front teeth creating a crossbite. Careful monitoring of jaw growth and tooth development is indicated for these patients.

If your child is between the ages of 7 and 8 and shows signs of needing orthodontic care, or if you have been directed by your family dentist to visit the orthodontist, please contact our practice and schedule an appointment. Our team will provide your child with an initial exam, and discuss with you the best steps to take toward caring for your child's smile.

Why do I need to get braces, but other people don’t?

January 14th, 2016

One question we often get is, Why do I need to get braces, but other people don’t? You’re not alone. Over four million people in the U.S. wear braces, and 25 percent of these individuals are adults. Issues that require orthodontic attention can be attributed to a number of different factors. Some of these factors are in your control, while others are hereditary. Read on for information on why many people’s teeth grow in crooked and how orthodontics can help.

The growth process

Throughout your childhood, your "baby" teeth fell out one by one, to be replaced by permanent, adult teeth. Although some people's adult teeth grow in at the right angle and with the right spacing, many people's teeth don't.

Teeth may grow in crooked, overlapping, rotated, or twisted. Some people's mouths are too small, which crowds the teeth and causes them to shift into crooked positions. In other cases, a person's upper jaw and lower jaw aren't the same size, causing overbites and underbites.

The different types of disorders that result from teeth that don’t grow in straight are called malocclusions. This word comes from Latin and means "bad bite." In most cases, a "bad bite" isn't anyone's fault; crooked teeth, overbites, and underbites are often inherited traits, just like having brown eyes or big feet.

What causes malocclusions?

Many different factors can contribute to the way your teeth grow in. In some cases, things like dental disease, early loss of baby or adult teeth, some types of medical problems, an accident, or a habit like prolonged thumb sucking can cause the disorders.

Some of the common reasons for crooked teeth include:

  • Thumb sucking
  • Tongue thrusting or improper use of the tongue during speaking and swallowing
  • Premature loss of baby teeth, which causes teeth to drift and shift
  • Poor breathing airway caused by enlarged adenoids or tonsils

Common hereditary factors:

  • Extra teeth
  • Large teeth
  • Missing teeth
  • Wide spaces between teeth
  • Small jaws

Why are malocclusions a problem?

Having crooked teeth isn’t just a cosmetic issue; it can also lead to serious health problems.

Without orthodontic care, teeth can:

  • Interfere with proper chewing. Because chewing is the first part of eating and digestion, it's important that teeth can do the job.
  • Make keeping teeth clean more of a challenge, increasing the risk of tooth decay, cavities, and gum disease.
  • Strain the teeth, jaws, and muscles, increasing the risk of breaking a tooth.
  • Cause people to feel self-conscious about how they look.

Dr. Struble and the team offer several treatment options that can help correct malocclusions. Give us a call at (541) 848-6642 to schedule your complimentary consultation.

The Magic Age 7 for Early Prevention

June 7th, 2013

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Some things in life are out of your control, like discovering that Safeway ran out of your favorite chewy candies right after finally getting your braces off, or finding out that Dr. Struble can’t offer you hot pink braces with kitties on them.

Both are disappointing circumstances, but there was nothing you could’ve done to avoid them. On the other hand, there are things you can prevent from happening. Like breaking a tooth on hard candy you knew not to chew, or learning the importance of wearing your retainer, after your second set of braces!

Precautions are precautions for a reason.  At Struble Orthodontics, we know that early prevention is the key to avoiding undesirable and potentially costly situations later on down the road. That’s why we offer complimentary consultations to all of our patients, and early orthodontic treatment to our youngest patients.

The American Association of Orthodontics recommends that children see an orthodontist as early as age seven. We consider age 7 the magic number for early prevention! Most children lose all their teeth by age 13. After this point, the jawbones harden and stop growing, causing orthodontic procedures to take more time and often creating a need for tooth extraction or oral surgery. Receiving orthodontic treatment as a child can help prevent the need for orthodontics as an adult, leaving little to no need for extraction or surgery in the years to come.

How to tell if your child may need early orthodontic treatment:

  • Early to late loss of baby teeth (before or after ages 5-13)
  • Difficulty chewing and/or biting
  • Mouth breathing
  • Sucking their thumb after age 5
  • Speech impediments
  • Protruding teeth
  • Teeth that don’t come together in a normal manner or even at all
  • Shifting of the jaw when your child opens or closes their mouth (crossbites)
  • Crowded front teeth at age 7-8

Early prevention can correct the growth of the jaw and certain bite problems and make room for permanent teeth to come in properly.  This lessens the chance of extractions, thereby saving you time, money and grief in the future. If your child is between the ages of 7 and 8 and shows signs of needing early orthodontic care, please contact our practice so we can take the next steps in caring for your child’s smile. Then we’ll talk about the hot pink braces with kittens on them!

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