Dentist Blog

Posts for tag: braces

By Northside Family Dentistry
December 05, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures
MasterIllusionistBenefitsfromtheMagicofOrthodontics

Magician Michael Grandinetti mystifies and astonishes audiences with his sleight of hand and mastery of illusion. But when he initially steps onto the stage, it’s his smile that grabs the attention. “The first thing… that an audience notices is your smile; it’s what really connects you as a person to them,” Michael told an interviewer.

He attributes his audience-pleasing smile to several years of orthodontic treatment as a teenager to straighten misaligned teeth, plus a lifetime of good oral care. “I’m so thankful that I did it,” he said about wearing orthodontic braces. “It was so beneficial. And… looking at the path I’ve chosen, it was life-changing.”

Orthodontics — the dental subspecialty focused on treating malocclusions (literally “bad bites”) — can indeed make life-changing improvements. Properly positioned teeth are integral to the aesthetics of any smile, and a smile that’s pleasing to look at boosts confidence and self-esteem and makes a terrific first impression. Studies have even linked having an attractive smile with greater professional success.

There can also be functional benefits such as improved biting/chewing and speech, and reduced strain on jaw muscles and joints. Additionally, well-aligned teeth are easier to clean and less likely to trap food particles that can lead to decay.

The Science Behind the Magic

There are more options than ever for correcting bites, but all capitalize on the fact that teeth are suspended in individual jawbone sockets by elastic periodontal ligaments that enable them to move. Orthodontic appliances (commonly called braces or clear aligners) place light, controlled forces on teeth in a calculated fashion to move them into their new desired alignment.

The “gold standard” in orthodontic treatment remains the orthodontic band for posterior (back) teeth and the bonded bracket for front teeth. Thin, flexible wires threaded through the brackets create the light forces needed for repositioning. Traditionally the brackets have been made of metal, but for those concerned about the aesthetics, they can also be made out of a clear material. Lingual braces, which are bonded to the back of teeth instead of the front, are another less visible option. The most discrete appliance is the removable clear aligner, which consists of a progression of custom-made clear trays that reposition teeth incrementally.

How’s that for a disappearing act?!

If you would like more information about orthodontic treatment please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about the subject by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “The Magic of Orthodontics.”

By Northside Family Dentistry
September 17, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: braces  

BracesDo your child's crooked, gapped or crowded teeth lead you to believe that he or she will likely need braces in the near future? If so, the right time to visit your dentist at Northside Family Dentistry in Macon, GA may be sooner than you think. Dentists such as Clinton M. Watson, D.D.S, M.B.A and Nicole L. Jackson, D.D.S are seeing children for braces consultations earlier and earlier these days, and you won't want to make your child wait for treatment longer than you should.

Initial Consultation

Many parents are surprised to learn that the American Association for Orthodontics recommends that all children visit their dentist for a braces consultation by the age of seven, even if the child is not showing signs that braces are necessary.

While some cases are obvious, others are more subtle, and only your child's dentist can let you know for sure if braces will be needed. The sooner your child is assessed, the sooner both you and your child's dentist can begin discussing the treatment plan that will be right for your family.

Getting Braces for the First Time

Just because your child visits a Macon, GA dentist by age seven doesn't mean that he or she will start treatment that young, though it is a possibility. Instead, you will need to discuss your child's unique case with either Dr. Watson or Dr. Jackson at Northside Family Dentistry to find out when the best time to begin treatment will be.

Depending on the severity of the case, your doctor's preferences and your family's preferences, treatment may begin anytime between age seven and the teen years. Generally, most children begin treatment around the time most of their baby teeth have fallen out and their permanent teeth have come in.

Whether your child's teeth are obviously in need to treatment or you'd just like to learn more so you can prepare in advance, bringing your child in to see a dentist at Northside Family Dentistry in Macon, GA is the best way to find out more about what to expect. If your child is seven or will be soon, call and schedule an appointment today.

By The Place Where Smiles Are Made
July 08, 2015
Category: Dental Appliances
Tags: braces  

Caring For Your Braces Proper oral hygiene is always essential for good oral health, but never is it as important--or as difficult--as when you have braces. Orthodontics may make your smile healthier in the long run, but they sure can make maintaining a healthy smile more difficult for Macon residents in the short term! Thankfully, good oral health is still possible. Here are three tips the dentists at Northside Family Dentistry Drs. Clinton M. Watson and Nicole Jackson, frequently recommend.

1. Brush Your Teeth After Every Meal and Snack

Braces provide plenty of places for food particles and bacteria to hide. If you aren't careful, this bacteria can quickly multiply, leaving permanent white spots on your teeth. Keep your teeth fresh and clean by brushing after every time you eat or snack.

2. Avoid Hard, Crunchy and Sticky Foods

Unfortunately, wearing orthodontics from Northside Family Dentistry in Macon often means giving up some of your favorite foods. Avoid hard or crunchy foods like peanuts, popcorn, chips and ice, as they can break your wires. Avoid sticky and chewy foods like gum, bagels and candy, as these can get stuck in between and on your teeth, where they can cause cavities and discoloration.

3. Use Special Floss

It's no secret that flossing with braces can be a bit of challenge. Thankfully, there are several products on the market designed to make this process easier. Instead of flossing with regular dental floss, pick up a floss threader, super floss or water floss. Each of these is specifically designed to help you clean out the small spaces in between your teeth.

Don't spend a year or two in braces, hoping to improve your smile, only to end up ruining your oral hygiene in the process. Use these three tips from Northside Family Dentistry in Macon to make your orthodontics experience as simple and beneficial as possible.

By Northside Family Dentistry
April 23, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures
BillRancicsSmileHelpsClosetheDeal

Can having a great smile help land you a high-level business position, a TV show, and a bride? Maybe — at least if you go by the example of Bill Rancic.

The 42-year-old Chicago native is well known as the first winner of NBC-TV's The Apprentice, a reality show where contestants vied for a job with Donald Trump's organization. Shortly after his selection as Trump's newest hire, Rancic met his future wife, Giuliana, when she interviewed him for E! News. Flash forward a few years, and the couple is now hosting their own reality TV show on Style network.

So how much has Bill's winning smile helped?

“I think a great smile says a lot about a person — especially in our professions,” Bill recently said in an interview with Dear Doctor magazine. He also mentioned that having a few cosmetic dental treatments helped him close the deal.

As a child, Bill wore braces to correct an overbite. For both kids and adults, orthodontic treatment is often the first step toward getting the smile of your dreams. The practice of orthodontics has changed dramatically in the past 20 years and there are now a number of choices available in lieu of traditional metal braces.

Not Your Father's Braces
For those who need to maintain a “professional” image, tooth-colored braces offer a less noticeable way to straighten your teeth. Lingual braces are another option that's suitable in some situations. These are truly invisible: bonded on the tongue side of the teeth, they can't be seen from the front.

Or, you may be able to forego braces altogether and use a series of clear plastic aligners to gradually bring your teeth into alignment. Not only are these difficult to notice, but they can be completely removed for short periods of time — at important board meetings, for example.

Red-Carpet Tooth Whitening
More recently, Rancic had tooth whitening treatments. Depending on the degree of lightening needed, these can range from custom-fitted bleaching trays that you wear at home under the supervision of a dentist, to in-office whitening treatments that work in far less time. Both can be effective in lightening your teeth by six shades or more.

But if you need the ultimate in whitening, veneers may be the best option. These are fingernail-thin coatings, made of pearly-white porcelain or composite material, that are placed directly on the tooth surfaces. Realistic and durable, they can provide a “Hollywood white” smile that's ready for the red carpet.

Did Bill's cosmetic dental work really improve his life? We can't say for sure — but as his wife Giuliana recently told Dear Doctor, “First impressions are very important, and having a beautiful smile will help anyone make a great impact on others.” So perhaps it worked on her!

If you would like more information on how cosmetic dental treatments can improve your smile, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more about this topic in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “The Magic of Orthodontics” and “Important Teeth Whitening Questions Answered.”

By Northside Family Dentistry
May 02, 2014
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: celebrity smiles   braces  
BracesARiteofPassageEvenforHollywoodKids

Her parents Will and Jada are Hollywood royalty, who helped her land her first acting role when she was 7. She released a hit single, “Whip My Hair,” before she had quite reached the age of 10; shortly afterward, she was signed to a record label. Yet the young singer and actress Willow Smith has at least one thing in common with plenty of ‘tweens and teens across America: She needed to wear braces to correct problems with the alignment of her teeth.

Why do braces seem to be a part of growing up for so many kids? One answer is because they work so well. Braces apply gentle pressure to the teeth through a thin, flexible wire called an archwire. Attached to the teeth with a metal or ceramic bracket, the archwire exerts a light force which causes teeth to gradually move into better positions. Sometimes, when additional force is needed, elastic bands or other appliances may be used in conjunction with braces.

Most everyone is familiar with the silvery metal “tracks” of traditional braces. But did you know that there are a number of other options too? For a more inconspicuous look, you may be able to have braces with tooth-colored ceramic brackets; then, only the thin archwire will be visible in your mouth. It’s even possible in some cases to place the metal wires and brackets on the tongue side of the teeth. With this system, called lingual braces, the orthodontic hardware is truly invisible.

What if you didn’t need metal braces at all? Some people can get good results using a system of clear plastic aligners instead of braces. The aligners are worn 23 hours a day, but can be taken off for cleaning and for important events. They work best for correcting mild or moderate alignment problems.

Still, plenty of people feel that if they’re going to wear braces, they might as well flaunt them. That’s why some types of braces are available with bands that come in different colors. When Willow’s brother Jayden wore braces, he was reported to favor red and black ones. Jayden, who is about two years older than his sister, had his braces removed just before Willow got hers put on.

So if it turns out that you need braces, remember that lots of your favorite celebrities wore them too. And keep in mind that, depending on your own situation, you may have several options to choose from.

If you would like more information about braces or orthodontic treatment, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “The Magic of Orthodontics” and “Orthodontics for the Older Adult.”