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3ThingsYouMayNotKnowAboutOrthodontics

It’s a common sight to see someone wearing braces—and not just teens or pre-teens. In the last few decades, people in their adult years (even late in life) are transforming their smiles through orthodontics.

If you’re an adult considering treatment to straighten your teeth, this particular dental specialty might be an unfamiliar world to you. Here are 3 things you may not know about orthodontics.

Orthodontic treatment cooperates with nature. There would be no orthodontics if teeth couldn’t move naturally. Teeth are actually held in place by an elastic tissue called the periodontal ligament that lies between the teeth and bone. Small fibers from the ligament tightly attach to the teeth on one side and to the bone on the other. Although it feels like the teeth are rigidly in place, the ligament allows for micro-movements in response to changes in the mouth. One such change is the force applied by orthodontic appliances like braces, which causes the bone to remodel in the direction of the desired position.

Treatment achieves more than an attractive smile. While turning your misaligned teeth into a beautiful, confident smile is an obvious benefit, it isn’t the only one. Teeth in proper positions function better during chewing and eating, which can impact digestion and other aspects of health. Misaligned teeth are also more difficult to keep clean of bacterial plaque, so straightening them could help reduce your risk of tooth decay or periodontal (gum) disease.

Possible complications can be overcome. Some problems can develop while wearing braces. Too much applied force could lead to the roots dissolving (root resorption), which could make a tooth shorter and endanger its viability. Braces can also contribute to a loss of calcium in small areas of tooth enamel, which can make the teeth more vulnerable to oral acid attack. However, both these scenarios can be anticipated: the orthodontist will watch for and monitor signs of root resorption and adjust the tension on the braces accordingly; and diligent oral hygiene plus regular dental cleanings will help prevent damage to the tooth enamel.

If you’re dreaming of a straighter and healthier smile, see us for a full examination. We’ll then be able to discuss with you your options for transforming your smile and your life.

If you would like more information on orthodontic treatment, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor article “Moving Teeth with Orthodontics.”

By Stiles Family Dentistry
June 02, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: invisalign   braces   orthodontics  

How Invisalign from Salem, New Hampshire, can enhance your smileinvisalign

If you are thinking about straightening your smile, you may envision a mouth full of metal brackets and wires. It’s time to think differently about orthodontic treatment. You need to discover Invisalign, the discreet way to straighten your smile. Your dentists at Stiles Family Dentistry in Salem, New Hampshire, want to introduce you to the revolutionary orthodontic treatment known as Invisalign.

Invisalign doesn’t use conventional brackets and wires; instead, the Invisalign system consists of clear, smooth plastic appliances called aligners.

Your treatment begins with the first set of aligners, which you wear for about one to two weeks. You then switch to a new set of aligners which you wear for another one to two weeks. This process is repeated over a course of approximately nine to fifteen months.

Invisalign treatment is virtually invisible to those around you because the appliances are completely clear, allowing you to discreetly straighten your smile. The discreet nature of Invisalign isn’t the only benefit. When you choose Invisalign you can count on:

  • A comfortable experience because the appliance has no sharp metal parts to irritate your soft tissue
  • A convenient experience because you can remove the aligners to eat the foods you love
  • A healthy experience because you can remove the appliance to brush and floss normally

Invisalign is delicate and beautiful, but it is also strong and can correct the same issues as conventional brackets and wires. You can count on Invisalign to fix:

  • Overlapping and unevenly spaced teeth
  • Overbite and underbite
  • Crossbite and open bite

Why settle for conventional brackets and wires which require uncomfortable, lengthy treatment? Now there is a new way to straighten your smile discreetly and comfortably, thanks to Invisalign. To find out more information about Invisalign and what treatment can do for you, call your dentists at Stiles Family Dentistry in Salem, New Hampshire. Don’t wait to improve your smile, call today!

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.”

EdenSherandtheLostRetainer

Fans of the primetime TV show The Middle were delighted to see that high school senior Sue, played by Eden Sher, finally got her braces off at the start of Season 6. But since this popular sitcom wouldn’t be complete without some slapstick comedy, this happy event is not without its trials and tribulations: The episode ends with Sue’s whole family diving into a dumpster in search of the teen’s lost retainer. Sue finds it in the garbage and immediately pops it in her mouth. But wait — it doesn’t fit, it’s not even hers!

If you think this scenario is far-fetched, guess again. OK, maybe the part about Sue not washing the retainer upon reclaiming it was just a gag (literally and figuratively), but lost retainers are all too common. Unfortunately, they’re also expensive to replace — so they need to be handled with care. What’s the best way to do that? Retainers should be brushed daily with a soft toothbrush and liquid soap (dish soap works well), and then placed immediately back in your mouth or into the case that came with the retainer. When you are eating a meal at a restaurant, do not wrap your retainer in a napkin and leave it on the table — this is a great way to lose it! Instead, take the case with you, and keep the retainer in it while you’re eating. When you get home, brush your teeth and then put the retainer back in your mouth.

If you do lose your retainer though, let us know right away. Retention is the last step of your orthodontic treatment, and it’s extremely important. You’ve worked hard to get a beautiful smile, and no one wants to see that effort wasted. Yet if you neglect to wear your retainer as instructed, your teeth are likely to shift out of position. Why does this happen?

As you’ve seen firsthand, teeth aren’t rigidly fixed in the jaw — they can be moved in response to light and continuous force. That’s what orthodontic appliances do: apply the right amount of force in a carefully controlled manner. But there are other forces at work on your teeth that can move them in less predictable ways. For example, normal biting and chewing can, over time, cause your teeth to shift position. To get teeth to stay where they’ve been moved orthodontically, new bone needs to form around them and anchor them where they are. That will happen over time, but only if they are held in place with a retainer. That’s why it is so important to wear yours as directed — and notify us immediately if it gets lost.

And if ever you do have to dig your retainer out of a dumpster… be sure to wash it before putting in in your mouth!

If you would like more information on retainers, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “The Importance of Orthodontic Retainers” and “Why Orthodontic Retainers?

By Stiles Family Dentistry
February 11, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: invisalign   braces  

Wish your teeth were straighter, but not keen on the idea of showing a mouthful of metal every time you smile? Invisalign may be the invisalignideal solution for you. Versatile and discreet, Invisalign treatment from the Salem, NH dentists at Stiles Family Dentistry allows teens and adults to straighten their teeth without the embarrassment or discomfort of metal brackets.

Your treatment involves wearing a series of clear, removable trays called aligners. You’ll wear them for at least 20-22 hours per day and remove them only to eat and clean your teeth. The aligners aren’t visible on your teeth, allowing you to undergo complete orthodontic treatment while maintaining your confidence, image, and bright smile.

Your Invisalign Treatment

  • At your initial appointment, X-rays and impressions are used to create a digital model of your teeth.
  • Your treatment plan is mapped out on the computer, allowing you to see your expected results before you even begin.
  • A series of aligners is custom-made for your teeth. You’ll receive a new set about every 2 weeks, and each set will move your teeth a tiny bit closer to perfection.
  • When your treatment is complete, you’ll receive clear retainers to help you maintain your newly straightened teeth for life.

The length of time required varies by case. Adults may complete their treatment in as little as one year, and teens can expect a comparable treatment length with Invisalign as with traditional braces.

Invisalign in Salem, NH

If you're unhappy with the look of your smile, it's time to find out what you can do about it. Although some orthodontic needs are better treated with other options, Invisalign effectively treats many of the same conditions as traditional braces.

At Stiles Family Dentistry, our experienced dentists can help you decide whether Invisalign is right for you. For Invisalign treatment in Salem, NH, request your appointment now or call (603) 893-4538 today.