Teeth Straightening, Crooked Speech: Lisp and Orthodontics

A person wears teeth straightening appliances like Invisalign or Incognito to correct their set of crooked teeth. However, while primarily a corrective action, braces sometimes impede speech fluency. Slightly slurred speech and other difficulties are to be expected as a normal response to the initial adjustment period.

weybridge orthodonticsAlthough it may sound very disheartening, know that it is not a hopeless situation. With enough practice and getting used to, you will be able to go back to being fluent once again. Unfortunately, some develop a lisping effect in their speech due to neglect.

While there are lingual braces available that help improve speech ability, our team at Weybridge Orthodontics believes all it really takes to conquer any type of speech impediment caused by braces is exploring the tongue, the mouth and the teeth’s ability to form sounds.

It’s Only Temporary

Any speech impediment or difficulty resulting from adjustment to wearing dental braces is temporary and not permanent. The tongue may be having difficulty reaching places and you may find yourself lisping at times.

Lisp occurs when a person cannot articulate fricative or affricate consonants, such as /s/, /z/, /sh/, /ch/ and other variations of the same sounds. The lisp is primarily a misarticulation that results in unclear speech and is mostly due to error in tongue placement within the mouth.

Corrective Action

When a person wears braces that are too thick or wrongly fitted, the tongue protrudes beyond the front teeth. This would obviously result in heavy speech impediment. However, even if the braces are a perfect fit, it could be the strange sensation the wires bring that cause difficulty in pronunciation.

The most efficient way of correcting a lisp or speech impediment due to the braces you are wearing is working on correcting your articulation. Isolate sounds and work on correcting each sound in isolation. The phoneme, or the basic sound, is selected as target for treatment.

You can consult with a speech-language pathologist (SLP) or tell us about your concern so we can look at the possibility of other orthodontic treatment that may be friendlier to your condition. We at Weybridge Orthodontics take great pride in the use of dental appliances that combine comfort, aesthetics and function.

Book an appointment today for beautiful teeth and a smile that will not compromise your speech.

Brackets and Bands for Years? Stop Delaying Orthodontic Treatment

The first thing many orthodontic patients ask is this: ‘How long will I have to wear these braces or aligners for?’

orthodontic treatmentChildren usually wear orthodontic appliances for almost two years, while adults wear them for about 12 to 20 months. Some patients, however, wear their braces or aligners for about four years and above—mainly because they fail to follow the rules that come with orthodontic treatment.

This does not need to be the case for everyone. Patients can stay on track and avoid delays in orthodontic treatment by following these guidelines.

Avoid Certain Types of Food

Gum, toffee, chips, and nuts are some of the foods to avoid when undergoing orthodontic treatment. It takes a lot of self-control, but these foods can do damage to orthodontic appliances. When they do, it will go a long way toward ensuring that the treatment timeline stays on schedule. For those wearing braces, each broken band or bracket adds about a month to the overall treatment.

Maintain Good Hygiene

Some orthodontic appliances are notorious for trapping food and allowing plaque and tartar to build up easily. Those undergoing treatment need to pay more attention to their hygiene more than ever to avoid complications.

We recommend brushing with a prescribed toothpaste after every meal, as well as using mouth rinses and flossing daily. For those wearing metal braces or other similar appliances, it is especially important to brush after eating sweets. Sugar can erode the cement keeping the braces in place.

Schedule Appointments Regularly

Those who have broken a bracket or stained clear aligners should schedule an appointment with us as soon as possible to prevent delays.

Patients should schedule appointments regularly as well, and avoid cancelling them. Each cancellation of an appointment extends the overall treatment by weeks—sometimes even months.

These are only a few of the major ways patients can avoid orthodontic delays. If you have some questions about treatment, please give us a call at 01932 831 825. Those who wish to undergo orthodontic treatment may contact us as well.

Orthodontics Change Facial Appearance, Too

Anyone who has ever watched after-school series on the telly look at braces as treatment that is exclusively for kids.

orthodontics in Weybridge2This, however, is no longer the case these days. Given the availability of more advanced treatments, changes in the appearance of orthodontic appliances, and speed of teeth movement with these appliances, orthodontics in Weybridge are now more accessible for 20-somethings (and over) who would like to correct misalignment.

Moreover, today’s braces do not simply change the appearance of the teeth; the treatments can also change the appearance of the whole face—in a good way, of course.

It is common for the human face to have a certain degree of asymmetry. For some people, however, this asymmetry is more obvious—particularly because of flaws in the mouth, such as crooked teeth, an underbite, and an overbite—and orthodontic treatments slowly and subtly fix the problem.

Underbite

Patients with an underbite normally have protruding chins that create a “moon” shape for the face. Once orthodontic treatment corrects this problem, the face will appear less concave. In addition, the overall features of the face soften and the teeth and lips fit together more attractively.

Open Bite

An open bite causes the mouth and the lips to appear somewhat unnaturally stretched. In severe cases, an open bite prevents the mouth from closing while at rest, and the lips may not cover the mouth altogether. This is an especially noticeable problem, and it is even visible in profile because it causes the upper lip to jut out.

An orthodontic treatment can correct the alignment problem, and at the same time softens the facial area between the nose and chin.

Overbite

A patient who has an overbite, one of the most common alignment issues, will usually have a protruding upper lip and sunken cheeks. Sometimes, much like an open bite, the patient’s lips do not cover the result.

Because orthodontic treatment changes the way the jaw and teeth fit together, patients suffering from an overbite can enjoy better harmony throughout the lower half of their face.

Having straight, well-aligned, clean, and healthy teeth will truly boost your confidence. If you are worried about orthodontic treatments changing your face shape, please note that the change is for the better, and the results are usually subtle.

Schedule a consultation with an orthodontist in Weybridge at our clinic—we can improve your teeth and the appearance of your face. Call us today!

What to expect through having Invisalign Orthodontics in Weybridge

If you are fed up with having crooked teeth then you may have resolved to have orthodontic treatment, and one of the most popular orthodontic systems is Invisalign. It’s a great orthodontic systm and is suitable for most people, and it can be used to treat adults and teenagers. One of the main reasons why it’s so popular due to the virtual invisibility of the clear plastic aligners that are worn during treatment, and which are super easy to keep clean and hygienic. But what can you expect when having Invisalign treatment?

orthodontics in WeybridgeYou’ll need to make an appointment to see Dr James Stubbs or one of our dentists in Weybridge to find out if this orthodontic system will give you the results you are looking for. We’ll only recommend it if we think it will work well for you. The next step is for our dentist to take photos of your teeth, as well as impressions and x-rays. These are used to create 3-D digital images of your teeth, and to predict the movements of your teeth during treatment. The great thing about this is that you will be able to see a virtual representation of how your teeth will look. Once the dentist is happy with the treatment plan, then your aligners will be constructed.

You’ll be given several sets to take home with you, and each set is worn for two weeks before it is changed for a fresh set. The aligners are very comfortable to wear as there are no sharp edges to dig into your gums or cheeks, but you are likely to feel a bit of discomfort when you first begin to wear them. This is perfectly normal, and is something that occurs with all orthodontic treatment as after all, your teeth are moving! Any discomfort should begin to pass as you become accustomed to each new set of aligners, and should be easily controlled with painkillers form your local chemists. If the discomfort feels as if it is too much, then contact us for help and advice.

You’ll need to pop into Weybridge Orthodontics every six weeks or so, as we will need to see how treatment is progressing and to make sure your teeth are moving as planned. We will also supply you with more aligners to keep you going. The progression of treatment does depend on you wearing the aligners just about all of the time. You can take them out for mealtimes, and for the very occasional special event, but other than that you should be wearing them for approximately twenty two hours each day to ensure treatment will finish when planned. It is important that you clean your teeth and the aligners before you re-insert them. Once treatment is finished, be prepared to wear a retainer to help prevent a relapse. A relapse is where the teeth begin to return to their original positions, but wearing a retainer will help prevent this.

Not everyone will need to have such extensive orthodontics in Weybridge. If you only have a few front teeth out of alignment, or have previously had orthodontic treatment but failed to wear a retainer, then you may be able to use a faster system. The Inman Aligner can correct minor orthodontic problems in just a few weeks or months, and is fully removable and unobtrusive. Contact Weybridge Orthodontics to find out more.

Crowded Teeth may Make You a Candidate for Pancreatic Cancer

Crowded teeth may be the reason for your headaches and jaw pains. The effects of malocclusiondo not limit themselves to the oral region, however. A recent study revealed that crooked teeth increase your chances of acquiring serious non-oral diseases like pancreatic cancer.

From malocclusion to pancreatic cancer

Weybridge OrthodonticsIt is easy to maintain proper oral hygiene when your teeth are straight and perfect. Disease-causing bacteria have a lower likelihood of lingering and infecting your teeth and gums.

On the other hand, crowded teeth cause difficulties in brushing or flossing your teeth, creating an opportunity for bacteria to thrive. Malocclusion, combined with poor oral hygiene, may lead to periodontitis or infection of the gums. Gum disease may lead not only to tooth loss but to pancreatic cancer, as well.

Researchers suggest that some bacteria from malocclusion-related gum disease contain carcinogenic compounds called nitrosamines, which may react to digestive chemicals in the gut. These might cause the body to become vulnerable to the development of pancreatic cancer. Other studies note that C reactive protein (CRP) found in the blood may be the cause for the likelihood of pancreatic cancer for people with periodontal disease.

A study published in the journal Gut revealed that certain types of gum disease-causing bacteria lead to twice the risk of developing pancreatic cancer. In addition, researchers found that men with a history of gum disease had a 64% increased risk of pancreatic cancer compared with those who never had gum disease. People with malocclusion have a higher risk of getting gum disease, thus increasing the chances of getting pancreatic cancer.

Treatment and Prevention

In acknowledgment of the link between crowded teeth and pancreatic cancer, dentists emphasise the importance of preventing malocclusion early. Observe proper oral hygiene by brushing twice and flossing once a day. Avoid grinding hard objects, thumb sucking, tongue thrusting and other habits that may affect teeth alignment.

Orthodontic treatments are necessary for those with signs of malocclusion, as well. Dentists encourage the use of teeth aligners, which come as conventional metal braces or discreet varieties.

Small discomfort and unsightly appearance are not the only things to worry about when you have crowded teeth. These may cause cancer and other serious diseases if left untreated. Surrey Orthodontics Limited providesclearRXaligners, allowing you to enjoy straight teeth and a nice smile even during treatments. Call us for more information on our orthodontic treatments.

Is Orthodontics in Weybridge Worth The Effort?

The answer to this question is almost certainly yes, especially if your teeth are substantially out of line or if you have significant problems with the way your teeth bite together. If this is the case then you’re likely to find it quite difficult to keep your teeth clean, and especially to floss in between them.

Oral Health Risks Associated with Wonky Teeth

orthodontics in WeybridgeBeing unable to floss and to brush properly increases the risk of gum disease and tooth decay. Tooth decay often occurs in the contact areas in between teeth and is one of the reasons why it’s so essential to clean these areas as it’s very easy for pieces of food to become trapped. In addition dental plaque is more likely to build up in between teeth, and the bacteria in the plaque will utilise any food fragments so they can thrive and multiply.

Gum disease poses a significant risk to oral health and general health, and can result in tooth loss. It’s important to floss right down to and just below the gum line, something that can be extremely tricky to do if your teeth are crooked and overlapping.

Once your teeth are straight you should find them much easier to clean, and as a result you’re less likely to have to spend money on treatments for gum disease or tooth decay, or even worse for replacing the teeth altogether. Orthodontics in Weybridge can also help protect your general health, as gum disease has been associated with a whole host of serious health conditions, most notably heart disease and diabetes.

Crooked Teeth Can Spoil a Nice Smile

Even though the health benefits of a straighter smile are pretty obvious, most people will choose to have their teeth straightened for cosmetic reasons. In fact certain braces systems are designed specifically to improve the cosmetic appearance of teeth as they will only adjust the teeth that are visible when smiling. This can be a huge boost to self-esteem and self-confidence, and these types of braces work within a very short space of time. These shorter treatment times also mean they are often far more affordable than traditional orthodontics in Weybridge.

Which Orthodontics System Will Work Well for You?

The best way to find out is to book an appointment with Dr James Stubbs or another of our Weybridge dentists for a full assessment. They will need to check the way your teeth meet together to see where you have any significant bite problems. They’ll also be looking at which teeth are crowded for crooked, and assessing the size of any spaces that need to be minimised or closed up completely in between teeth.

If you have significant spaces in between your teeth then it might not be possible to close them up completely with orthodontics in Weybridge. In this case you may need to be prepared to veneer one or two teeth after completing orthodontic treatment in order to get the very best aesthetic results. Weybridge Orthodontics offers patients a choice of several different systems so we’re bound to have something that is right for you.

Dealing with Orthodontic Emergencies

In common cases, orthodontic emergencies are rare and are typically not severe. Nonetheless, the discomfort and inconvenience caused by these problems can interfere with the patient’s daily activities. We list down some of the most common emergencies that patients with braces may encounter and some temporary solutions providing relief.

Pain and discomfort

Weybridge OrthodonticsDuring orthodontic treatment, feelings of pain and discomfort are hardly an emergency. But they may still cause our patients some degree of panic. In typical cases, the pain sets in about 6 hours after placement. It will significantly worsen over the next few days. For effective relief, we can recommend pain medication before and immediately after the placement.

Broken or loose braces

Generally, we do not consider orthodontic breakage as an urgent problem. However, a loose brace may cause some problems. When a bracket breaks loose off of a tooth, it can still be attached to the wire through its elastic tie. This is to eliminate the risk of the patient accidentally swallowing the bracket.

The discomfort may come from the bracket’s constant moving or spinning on the wire. We recommend you contact us immediately so our team can advise whether or not the problem must be addressed before your next appointment.

Protruding wires

Even at the early stage of treatment, the teeth will begin to move until they align with their prescribed position. When this happens, the wire used to straighten the teeth will move to the back of the band area. In cases where the bite is being corrected, the wire will be longer at the back of the braces. The wire can poke the gums and cause distracting pain.

We recommend Brace Eeze relief wax to smooth the area and make a buffer between the metal and the mouth. Apply it by taking a small amount and rolling it into a small ball. Flatten it and place it over the poking area of the brace.

Mouth ulcer and sores

At the first few phases of the treatment, the braces can be irritating and rough to the cheek, lips and tongue. In some bad cases, patients can experience ulcers and sores caused by the metal. To alleviate the pain from the ulcer, we recommend applying a small amount of topical cream directly to the ulcerated area. To stop the irritation, a buffer is also advised.

If the pain and discomfort are not resolved by any of these solutions, please contact Weybridge Orthodontics immediately.

The Pleasure of Nail Biting and its Consequences of Displeasure

Almost everyone has enjoyed the pleasure of biting their nails once in their lives. Nail biting occurs anywhere at any time. Maybe you have found yourself chewing on your nails while sitting through a maths lecture or waiting to be interviewed for a potential new job.

orthodontist in WeybridgeAbout half of the human population bite their nails. Some people unintentionally pick up the habit of nail biting as a way to shorten their nails. Others resort to nail biting for the pleasure of relieving themselves from stress.

While nail biting is pleasurable, it bears significant consequences that are detrimental to your oral health. Find out why your orthodontist in Weybridge strongly recommends restraining yourself from taking a bite at your nails.

Why people gnaw at their nails

The main culprits behind every case of nail biting are boredom and stress. Nail biting is a coping mechanism when an individual needs to ease anxiety or must be occupied for a moment. Other emotional triggers, such as loneliness and frustration, also trigger nail biting. Some researchers also suggest that nail biting is a heritable genetic condition.

The oral consequences of constant nail biting

Nail biting is a pleasurable habit that comes at a costly price. The constant chipping of nails can interfere with proper dental occlusion or how your lower and upper teeth come together when you close your mouth. Your teeth might also shift out of position, leading to a poorly-aligned and fragile set.

If you are currently wearing braces, nail biting causes additional pressure on your teeth. When you constantly chew on your nails during an orthodontic treatment, you are at risk for root resorption. Weybridge orthodontists define resorption as the roots of your teeth dissolved by surrounding bone. Root resorption causes the teeth to weaken, making it susceptible to further damage.

Dealing with the nail biting

Teens and adults unable to outgrow the habit of nail biting can resort to a few techniques to lessen its occurrence. One way to lessen the habit is to keep your nails trimmed and short to avoid the temptation of biting them.

If you are a nail biter, there are several options to fix your teeth. Orthodontic treatments such as Invisalign and Incognito can help correct misaligned teeth due to nail biting.

Weybridge Orthodontics can help find the solution that suits you best. Call us today to schedule a consultation.

Dental Anxiety vs. Dental Phobia: Defining the Difference

Contrary to what most people think, dental anxiety and dental phobia are not the same. While both are incredibly common, they are also extremely different. Weybridge Orthodontics, a dental practice of choice for many in South East England, breaks down the two terms and draws the line between common public error.

Dental Anxiety

Weybridge OrthodonticsDental anxiety refers to the feeling of uneasiness people sometimes feel when it is time for their appointment. Most people can live with the feeling of anxiety, but some people experience extreme unease coupled with exaggerated or unfounded worries and fears.

The anxiety felt during a visit could be attributed to the feeling of helplessness and control that is prevalent in most clinics. Because you do nothing but sit in the dental chair and the dentist has control over what goes on, it is completely understandable to feel this way, most especially if it’s your first time.

Embarrassment is also a key factor for those who feel anxious or uneasy during their visit. People may feel ashamed or self-conscious about how their teeth or mouth looks on the inside. It could also be due to negative past experiences during previous dental procedures.

Dental Phobia

Dental phobia, on the other hand, is more than a slight feeling of uneasiness or embarrassment. For people with such a phobia, visits to the dentist are so terrifying that they will go through extreme means just to get away from any appointment.

Phobia refers to an intense and irrational fear toward an activity, a person, an object or a situation. People with dental phobia put off the imperative dental appointments for years, and some even put up with gum infections, pain, or even unsightly teeth.

Avoiding the dentist not only exposes you to higher risks of dental problems, it can also take a toll on your self-esteem and self-perception. While there is no one-size-fits-all solution to this fear, Weybridge Orthodontics has a special scheme for nervous patients.

Our team of Orthodontists, therapists, treatment coordinators and support staff are all trained to understand the patient’s fears and to work with them. Every effort has been made to make the practice a stress free environment to put all patients at ease.

Book an appointment today for a sympathetic approach to treatment unlike any other.

Invisalign: How the Clear Aligners Actually Move Teeth

It used to be that those who wanted straighter teeth did not go through with treatment simply because they did not like the way braces look. Many thought traditional orthodontics were too bulky and painful. 1998 saw the introduction of Invisalign—an orthodontic treatment that uses custom-moulded clear, plastic trays—as an alternative to metal bands and brackets.

Weybridge orthodonticsInvisalign has grown in popularity as an alternative solution to misaligned teeth, but only a few know how the whole process actually works.

How Invisalign Moves Teeth

Let us start with the players involved. The tooth itself is made from different materials. The visible part of the teeth is covered by a material called enamel, while the root of the tooth is covered with a material called cementum.

The cementum is then connected to the surrounding tooth socket by what is called the PDL or the periodontal ligament, which is made up of many fibres of collagen. The main purpose of the PDL is to anchor the teeth to the bone socket so that they do not fall out. It also allows slight movement or ‘bounce’ to absorb the pressure from chewing.

Under normal conditions, the PDF does not allow the teeth to move. Additional pressure on the teeth (such as with aligners), however, causes cells on the side of PDL compression to start ‘eating away’ at the bone. This then causes the tooth to move into the new space. Simply put, Invisalign aligners carefully apply controlled forces to the teeth to move them into a better position.

The same process occurs with traditional metal braces. With Invisalign aligners, however, the treatment is painless, convenient, and far less embarrassing.

Light Force on the Tooth

Even placing a light force on the tooth using the tongue or a finger can cause it to move. This is why orthodontists in Weybridge like us are concerned with thumb sucking, nail biting, and tongue piercing, which can dramatically tip teeth outwards or upwards.

Invisalign has been proven to be effective in straightening teeth. If you wish to undergo Invisalign treatment, call us for a Weybridge orthodontics consultation.