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.

Does It Pay to Undergo Orthodontic Treatments Early?

If people with crooked teeth would cite their least favourite in the world, they would probably say dentists. The costly and sometimes painful dental treatments do not exactly endear ‘tooth doctors’ to the public. Dentists, however, argue that these issues would not happen if people were to undergo early orthodontic treatments.

Why are they important?

orthodontics in WeybridgeCrooked teeth happen for a number of reasons, including genetics, childhood habits, trauma and disease. Whatever the reason, the effects of malocclusion stay the same – more tooth decay, gum disease, loosening of teeth and eventually, tooth loss. Early orthodontic treatments will reduce, if not eliminate the effects of teeth crowding.

Just how early?

Oral health experts suggest that children receive an orthodontic screening by age 6 or 7 because that is the time when permanent teeth start to show and orthodontic problems become apparent. Teeth aligners correct teeth and jaw growth to prevent bad bites. In addition, early treatments help make room for permanent teeth to come in properly, lessening the chance of malocclusions and extractions in the future.

How effective are early orthodontic treatments?

Early orthodontic treatments showed positive results in oral health. In a study of the effectiveness of such treatments, North Carolina researchers found that about 75% of patients treated early with headgears, braces and other dental appliances showed improvement in their teeth alignment.

The earlier people wear braces, the earlier they can remove them. Dental costs will be lower and focused on minimal maintenance work with proper care.

Why do some people take long to wear them?

The use of orthodontic devices depends on the patient’s condition. People with bad habits or situations that complicate treatment may have to wear them longer. Regular smokers and alcohol drinkers may alter their teeth’s condition drastically, which may alter the results of treatments.

How do I take care of orthodontic devices?

Proper oral hygiene and care of dental appliances are the best ways to make orthodontic treatments more effective. Less consumption of tobacco and spirits helps speed up their effects, as well.

Early orthodontic treatments may shorten treatment and costly procedures. With these procedures, people will prevent serious oral health issues, allowing them to enjoy a better smile sooner. Orthodontists in Weybridge provide a wide range of treatments to help fix your dental problems. Learn more about orthodontics in Weybridge.

Behind the Teeth Grind: Why Bruxism is No Laughing Matter

Some people clench or grind their teeth from time to time. Triggers for teeth grinding vary from one person to another: bursts of anger, anxiety or disturbed sleep. When you clench or grind your teeth as a response to these triggers, it is normal. When you grind your teeth on regular basis, however, this may already be bruxism.

Weybridge OrthodonticsUnfortunately, most people do not take teeth grinding seriously and consider it a condition one can easily brush off. Here at Weybridge Orthodontics, we consider teeth grinding as a serious condition that requires attention—and so should you.

Understanding bruxism

Orthodontists in Weybridge describe bruxism as a medical condition describing the unnatural clenching or grinding of teeth. If you are suffering from this condition, you unconsciously grind your teeth together every morning or clench them while you sleep (sleep bruxism).

While teeth grinding occurs due to anger or anxiety, most bruxism cases occur during the night while you are asleep. These cases stem from abnormal bites and crooked or missing teeth. Sleep apnoea also plays its part in encouraging bruxism.

How serious is teeth grinding?

A number of bruxism cases occur earlier in life while the teeth undergo the development process. Fifteen percent of children reportedly clenched or grinded their teeth during their sleep. Some conditions wane as an individual enters adulthood, while others continue to experience teeth grinding.

Normal teeth grinding wears enamel at the rate of 0.3 millimetres every 10 years. In the case of bruxism patients, they experience 2 millimetres of enamel erosion during their early to mid-twenties. Sleep bruxism occurs for as long as 40 minutes which equates to 250 pounds of force. Such pressure is enough to crack a walnut.

Chronic teeth grinding results in severe cases of teeth loss, fracturing and wear. It also causes jaw problems, worsens Temporomandibular Joint Disorders and changes your facial appearance.

Bruxism – no laughing matter

Bruxism can remain undetected for years until complications develop. Some patients refuse treatment and consider teeth grinding as a habit rather than a condition. It is important to know the symptoms of bruxism and seek regular dental care from your Weybridge orthodontist.

Treat bruxism as early as now and enjoy a life free from grinding and clenching. Weybridge Orthodontics offers cost-effective bruxism remedies to all patients. Get in touch with us now for more information.

Life After Getting Braces: Managing to Eat with Braces

Newly-installed braces may feel odd and a bit painful inside your mouth. After installation, it obviously feels different and heavier, due to the metal brackets and other materials inside your mouth. Your first braces will plant the idea that you have limited choices in terms of what you can eat.

Weybridge OrthodonticsDentists remind patients of the importance of avoiding certain foods that can damage your braces. In addition to being difficult to chew, these foods can ruin your braces’ capability of shifting your teeth. When you bite into food while wearing braces, brackets can easily pull away and break.

Regularly eating crunchy, sticky and tough food may require you to wear your braces for a longer period, not to mention visit your dentist more often.

You might be wondering: ‘Does this mean I cannot eat my favourite meals?’

Fortunately, you can still eat certain food types without worrying about your new braces. Life after braces need not be difficult and ‘tasteless’—all it takes is some precaution, restraint and the help of your knife and fork.

Soft foods are always an option

The first day with braces is probably the most difficult in your journey to a better smile. Since your teeth are adjusting to the foreign object inside your mouth, you will quite certainly feel some pain. Soup and pudding are your best mates on the dining table during this time. Choose food that you can easily swallow, as chewing will be difficult during the first few days.

Softer foods are always an option while you have braces on. Rather than force yourself to eat steak, choose chicken or fish instead.

Brace yourself for easy-to-chew options

Braces, despite their durable nature, are susceptible to damage, especially when forced to break down tough food types. A steak dinner is not the best way to celebrate your new braces. Before you take a bite, consider if the food is easily chewable. If not, make sure to cut your food into smaller pieces to avoid damaging your braces.

A list of foods you can enjoy

Life with braces can still be full of delicious flavors. Here are some foods you can have:

  • Soft fruits (e.g. oranges, kiwis and grapefruit)
  • Dairy products
  • Eggs
  • Sweet treats such as pudding and ice cream
  • Soups
  • Seafood
  • Non-tough meats

Take care of your braces by being mindful of what you eat. At Weybridge Orthodontics, we also help you prolong the life of your braces for a better, brighter smile. Call us now for more information.

Stop Chewing on Tobacco to Save Your Teeth

Whether you are a recent smoker or far gone in the habit, you now have more reasons to quit smoking. Studies show significant impacts of habitual tobacco use on oral health and dental treatments. Here is how smoking affects your teeth and how quitting the habit early may yet save them:

Teeth discolouration

Dentists in WeybridgeYour teeth have little time to fight and recover from the bacteria in tobacco when you smoke regularly. Nicotine sticks to your teeth and gums, leaving dark spots. Combine your habit with poor oral hygiene and you may end up with permanent teeth stains.

Tooth decay

Smoking reduces the immune system’s ability to fight infection. The more you smoke, the higher the chances of bacteria ruining your teeth, causing decay.

Gum disease

The Journal of Clinical Periodontology revealed that smokers are about six times more likely to develop gum disease than non-smokers. The gradual plaque build-up causes gums to become inflamed and to recede. The same study showed that gum problems worsened for those who continued the habit.

Tooth Loss

Tissues and bones that put teeth and gums together recede as disease ravages your mouth. Your teeth will become loose, fall out or require extraction.

Failure of dental work

Researchers from Valencia University found out that about one in every three implant failures occurred in smokers; one in five patients with early failures smoked over 10 cigarettes per day. Tobacco can stop dental implants, fillings and other treatments from settling and doing what they are supposed to. Even if you wear aligners, tobacco may further weaken gums and bones, altering the outcome of your orthodontic treatment.

Quitting the habit saves your teeth

Researchers noted improvements in gum health for those who quit in a year. Participants experienced enhanced well-being and heightened senses of taste and smell, as well. A report by the European Working group revealed that stopping smoking eight weeks before receiving an implant significantly boosts the dental work’s effectiveness.

Smoking has detrimental effects to oral health and dental treatments. Oral health experts suggest proper oral care and regular visits to the dentist for counselling and treatment to save the smoker’s teeth. Dentists in Weybridge provide a wide range of dental treatments for healthy teeth and overall well-being. Contact us for more information about our services.

Improvements That Straight Teeth Can Give You

Nearly no one is naturally gifted with straight teeth without the help of a dental intervention. This drives people to seek for orthodontic treatments that would transform the way they look and feel about their speech and smile.

orthodontic treatmentsVery few people are aware that straight teeth are more than just an aesthetic advantage. As much as they improve many physical aspects, they also help you attain better overall oral health. Here are some of the best dental rewards you will get after an orthodontic treatment.

A cleaner mouth

Straight teeth are easier to brush and floss, driving people towards an improved oral hygiene. Most oral problems are consequences of bacteria accumulation that damages the tooth’s enamel and the neighbouring gums.

Healthier gums

Straight teeth help gums fit securely and correctly around the teeth, providing the best defence against the development of periodontal disease.

In contrast, overcrowded teeth or those that are spaced too far apart are susceptible to irritation and inflammation due to the abnormal orientation.

Minimised risk of pain and wear

Malocclusions, such as overbites and under-bites, can cause the teeth to wear unevenly. Consequently, a few teeth will suffer from excessive force involved in chewing and biting, which should have been distributed evenly among all the teeth.

The undue pressure and uneven wear can result in pain and alter the position of the mouth when chewing, leading to other problems, such as temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder. In other cases, the misalignment can also cause the (bone supporting the teeth) and the jaw to suffer from unnecessary stress.

With straight teeth, you can minimise and altogether avoid all these complications.

Improved self-esteem and cognition

In addition to a number of physical and physiological improvements, having straighter teeth also improves your mental health. Studies have shown people with appealing teeth tend to smile more. And the more you smile, the better you cope with anxiety, stress and other mental challenges.

Weybridge Orthodontics can fix crooked teeth with a range of treatments. As one of the biggest dental offices in South England, we will find the best solution to give you straighter, healthier-looking teeth. Contact us today for more information about the services we offer.

Better Smile = Better Quality of Life

Your smile is the first thing people see. Possessing an ideal set of pearly whites can affect an individual’s confidence and self-esteem, especially when dealing with others. An attractive set of teeth translates to a great smile while less than perfect teeth reveal otherwise.

orthodontic treatmentA number of patients with crooked, stained or crowned teeth visit the nearest dental clinic to seek help. Apart from health issues, they simply do not like what they see. While these are cosmetic issues, the underlying effects reach a deeper scale.

Lower self-esteem results in a poor image of oneself. This often results in cases of depression, which leads to a decline in your physical health and mental well-being.

Long-term effects of crooked teeth and poor oral health

Children with poor oral health experience teasing at school. The continuous teasing encourages children to avoid socialising with others due to their imperfect teeth. Some pupils refuse to attend school so as not to experience embarrassment, which affects their educational performance. The negative association with poor oral health follows them into adulthood.

Even adults experience embarrassment, refusing to smile with their crooked teeth. Low self-esteem triggers signs of depression because of isolation and self-hate due to an individual’s fear of ridicule.

The role of a good smile for better life quality

A great smile is essential for success through higher self-esteem. People with straighter and whiter teeth do not fear smiling more often due to their confidence. The boost in confidence that comes with a great smile increases your attractiveness to other people. With a great smile, you will not fear meeting other people or seek new business opportunities.

Increased confidence also opens numerous doors for you. Great teeth improve your chance of achieving financial and socialisation success.

Seeking help for your teeth

Fortunately, hope is not lost for those who wish for a straighter set of pearly whites. Seeking orthodontic treatment improves your physical and mental health. Dental clinics offer affordable and quality procedures to help you achieve the smile you have always wanted. In some circumstances, consider cosmetic dental treatments for whiter and brighter smiles.

Weybridge Orthodontics considers it a pleasure to help you achieve the perfect smile. Browse through our services and get in touch with us now.