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Posts for tag: braces

By J. Michael Plyler, DDS, PA
November 28, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: braces  

Are you wondering whether your smile could benefit from orthodontic treatment?

If you are dealing with orthodontic problems such as crookedness, gaps between teeth or crowding, did you know that you can benefit from getting braces no matter your age? That’s right, even older adults are turning to braces to finally get the smiles they want. While the ideal time to get braces is between 10 to 14 years old, remember that it’s never too late. Our Hot Springs, AR, dentist Dr. J. Michael Plyler is here to provide you with the orthodontic treatment you need to get the smile you know you deserve.

It isn’t always easy to tell whether or not braces are right for you. Here are some of the most common reasons for why patients get braces from our Hot Springs, AR, general dentist,

They are dealing with crowding or crooked teeth: If you are dealing with teeth that overlap one another, teeth that stick out more than others or teeth that are coming in crooked, then braces can certainly help straighten all of these problems out.

They want to improve the shape of their smile: We know that not having a perfectly aligned smile can also make you feel a bit self-conscious about your appearance. Luckily, braces offer more than just aesthetic benefits. In fact, having a straighter smile can even reduce your risk for cavities, gum disease and damage to teeth.

They have an overbite or underbite: If your jaws do not fit together properly this can develop into an overbite (when the upper teeth cover the lower teeth when you smile) or underbite (when the lower teeth cover the upper teeth). This can lead to jaw pain and other issues such as TMJ disorder. Orthodontic treatment can help prevent or even eliminate these problems.

They have gaps between their teeth: If you have large spaces between your teeth this can affect not just your bite but also how your teeth function. One common issue for gapping smiles is dental pain. As a result, this can greatly impact eating and lead to nutritional deficiencies and malnutrition. Luckily, braces can close these gaps to strengthen and improve your bite.

Are you interested in getting braces in Hot Springs, AR? Want to sit down and discuss the different orthodontic options with us? If so, then there has never been a better time to call our dental office to schedule a consultation for you or your child.

By J. Michael Plyler, DDS, PA
November 16, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures

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 J. Michael Plyler, DDS, PA
August 28, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: celebrity smiles   braces  

Have you started orthodontic treatment recently? Are you having a little trouble getting used to your braces? If so, you are not alone: Everybody goes through an adjustment period during which they momentarily wonder if they’ll really ever get used to this. Don’t worry — you will! And we’ve never heard anyone say, on the day their braces come off and their new smile is revealed, that they aren’t glad they went the distance. Just ask Houston Rockets all-star center Dwight Howard, who discussed his own orthodontic treatment in a recent interview.

“I’m sure I was no different than anyone else who has ever had braces,” he told Mediaplanet. “At first I hated them so much… That changed once I got used to them and I actually grew to love them.” What’s Howard’s advice? “Do exactly what your orthodontist says and know that the outcome is well worth it in the end.” We couldn’t agree more! Here are some tips for wearing braces comfortably:

  • Hard & Chewy Foods: If you love fresh fruits and vegetables, that’s great; there’s no reason to give them up, just the really hard ones. You don’t want to bite into an apple or carrot or any other hard foods like bagels and pizza that have any “size” to them. Small pieces may be ok as long as they can’t bend your wires. Chewy, sticky candy should really be avoided completely. Same with soda, sports drinks and so-called energy drinks because they contain acids that promote tooth decay and can cause a lot of damage around the braces.
  • Effective Oral Hygiene: Keeping your teeth clean is more important than ever, but also more challenging than ever. It’s easy for food to get stuck under wires and around brackets, but failing to remove it can cause tooth decay, gum irritation and soreness. Therefore, the cleaner your teeth and your braces are, the healthier you will be. Use interdental cleaning brushes and/or a floss-threader to get behind your wires. A mouthrinse can also help strengthen teeth and keep bacteria in check. If you have any questions about how to clean between your teeth, please ask for a demonstration at your next visit.
  • Pain Relief: Some soreness at the beginning of orthodontic treatment is normal. To relieve it, you can use an over-the-counter pain reliever and/or a warm washcloth or heating pad placed on the outside of the jaw. If brackets or wires are rubbing against the inside of your cheeks or lips, try applying wax to these areas of your braces. If this does not offer enough relief, we may be able to trim the end of a poking wire. Call us if you need help with this.

Our goal is to make your orthodontic treatment as comfortable as possible on the way to achieving your all-star smile. If you have questions about adjusting to braces, contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Caring for Teeth During Orthodontic Treatment.”

By J. Michael Plyler, DDS, PA
May 10, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures

We often associate orthodontics with moving several teeth on the upper or lower arches (or both) with braces or clear aligners. But not all patients require a major endeavor — sometimes only one or a few teeth need to be moved, and not very far.

A slight gap between the two upper front teeth is one type of situation that only requires minor tooth movement: just a few teeth need to be moved and usually just a millimeter or two. The appliances needed to achieve this are also relatively simple in design: removable retainers or small scale fixed braces with small springs or elastics that place pressure against the teeth. The process may also only take a few months rather than two years as with major tooth movement.

Preparing for the procedure, though, must be undertaken with great care. We need to first determine if moving the teeth even slightly could affect the bite with the opposite teeth. We must also ensure the roots of the teeth intended for movement are in good position for allowing the space to be closed.

We must then consider the other supporting structures for the teeth. It’s important for gums and bone to be healthy — if not, treating any found disease may be necessary first before beginning orthodontics. And, if the gap between the two upper teeth was created by an abnormally large frenum, the small strip of tissue connecting the lip to the upper gum, it may be necessary to remove it before tooth movement can begin to ensure the closed gap stays closed.

Like any other orthodontic treatment, minor tooth movement first requires a thorough examination with x-ray imaging to determine the exact tooth position, bite issues and the surrounding gum and bone health. We can then be reasonably certain if this straightforward procedure is right for you, and could help you obtain a more attractive smile.

If you would like more information on different orthodontic treatment choices, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Minor Tooth Movement.”

By J. Michael Plyler, DDS, PA
January 17, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: braces   orthodontics  

Orthodontic treatment can help you improve the appearance and positioning of your teeth. It can also help you with issues related to your orthodonticsjaw. Some treatments can be completed in as little as six months. Find out more about orthodontics and the treatment options that you can discuss with Dr. J. Michael Plyler in Hot Springs, AR.

Why Choose Orthodontic Treatment?
There are a few common reasons why a patient might decide to go to the dentist for orthodontic treatment. Here are some of the most common reasons:

  • You are having issues with wisdom teeth that are pushing the teeth out of alignment.
  • You have unattractive spaces and gaps in your teeth.
  • Some of the teeth are crowding or there is an abnormal eruption (extra tooth on the gumline).
  • You're having bite problems that make it difficult to chew and talk (open bite, overbite, crossbite, or underbite).

Orthodontics Is for Children and Adults
Dentists will usually recommend that patients have orthodontic treatment in their pre-teens—sometimes as early as age seven. This is because their teeth are still in the development phase, so their orthodontic issues can be fixed more easily. However, adults also often inquire about orthodontics because they want to perfect their smiles for professional and social reasons. Your Hot Springs dentist will carefully examine your smile and create a complete orthodontic treatment plan that's right for you.

What to Expect When Getting Braces
The traditional orthodontic method is metal braces, which are made of brackets and wires. A small metal bracket is attached to each tooth to provide individual support for a wire that will move your teeth into a better position. The entire process is completed in one appointment and you'll come in every few weeks for a checkup and adjustments. 

See if Orthodontic Treatment Is Right for You
Even if you are well past your pre-teen or teenage years, orthodontics can benefit your smile. Call (501) 623-7113 today to schedule a visit with Dr. Plyler at his office in Hot Springs, AR.