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Orthodontics

Which is More Attractive? Braces or Crooked Teeth?

Whenever we have patients who are considering braces and are wondering how they will look like while wearing them, we like to ask them, “Which is more attractive? Braces or crooked teeth?” Indianapolis BracesPhoto credit: monica y garza / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

Braces Are More Attractive in the Long Run

It's your mouth. You'll have it for the rest of your life. Consider that:

  1. Braces are only worn for a specific period of time, depending on the length of treatment. Crooked teeth – you get to wear them forever.
  2. There are different kinds of braces these days. Invisalign is a popular option for teens and adults. It is made up of a set of clear aligners that are less visible than the traditional metal brackets you are used to seeing.
  3. Braces eventually straighten your teeth. This is the most important reason why you should consider getting braces.

However, we need to stress the benefits of straight teeth do not end with just your appearance. There are very dire effects of having crooked teeth:

  1. Crooked teeth can interfere with your speech. Speech sounds are produced when the teeth come into contact with the tongue and lips. There maybe speech deficiencies (lisps, for one).
  2. Oral hygiene is compromised because there will likely be more hard-to-reach areas in your mouth that makes brushing and flossing harder. As a result, unwanted plaque and tartar can build up unnoticed. Over time, this can lead to such serious consequences as tooth decay, gum disease, or even tooth loss.
  3. Loss of Facial Integrity. Your teeth and bite are major factors in how your facial structure is set up. The integrity of your facial bones rely on the proper arrangement of teeth and bite.
  4. TMJ Disorders. Prolonged issues with one’s bite (a occurrence alongside crooked teeth) can easily develop into painful TMJ disorder.

Get Straight Teeth – Have a Confident Smile

Some people are lucky enough to have a set of straight teeth. Fortunately, having crooked teeth is not a permanent misgiving – there are ways to have beautiful, straight teeth.

Don’t you want to have a confident smile?  Investing in your oral and dental health, whether you are a child or an adult, can help you with your speech, confidence, and all other areas of  life.

Today’s braces can be as discrete, or overt, as you desire! We offer both traditional, metal braces and non-metal, ceramic braces. Both accomplish the same goal of improving your smile through controlled alignment over time. Call or visit our website for fast and easy appointment scheduling and ask about our consultation and insurance options!

How Do Braces Move My Teeth?

Whenever we recommend orthodontic treatment to a patient, we often get asked, “How do braces move my teeth?” Indianapolis Clear Braces

For you to under how braces work to straighten teeth, you need to be familiar with its parts and how they function:

  • The brackets are the main metal portion of the braces that are attached to each tooth with bonding material, a type of glue.
  • The arch wire is a thin piece of metal placed over the brackets. It is what puts pressure on the teeth and gives them the direction they need to become aligned and straight.
  • The O-Rings are also known as ligature elastics. When the braces are tightened, these are changed. These come in different colors.
  • In the case of an overbite or an under bite the dentist may use elastics. The elastics create added pressure to straighten the teeth and can be used to build more tension to direct the teeth and jaw into the desired position.

How do braces move teeth?

Braces put continuous, but gentle pressure on the affected teeth. The pressure shifts the teeth into the correct position if they are worn correctly during the duration of treatment.

Over the course of the treatment, the teeth will loosen and move because of the pressure created by the wire and elastics. This causes the surrounding membrane of the teeth on one side to expand while the other side constricts.

As the teeth become straighter they move less. The bone around the membrane then grows to support the new position of the tooth. This is a slow process so braces need to be worn on average of one to three years, but it's different for each person undergoing treatment.

Orthodontic treatment is very customized. No treatment is the same. You can watch a full time lapse video of how braces straighten teeth in YouTube.

What happens after braces?

After the teeth are straightened and the braces are removed, the dentist usually has you wear a retainer 24 hours a day. Its job is to keep the teeth in their new position while the bone around the teeth becomes stronger and can support the teeth on their own. You need to wear the retainer as directed. If not, you can risk your teeth moving back to their old position, wasting all the time and money spent on treatment.

Get Orthodontic Treatment if It’s Advised by Your Dentist

Physically, crooked and crowded teeth are hard to take care of and clean, which may lead to tooth decay, gum disease, and possibly tooth loss. Bad bites can also cause difficulty in speaking and chewing, abnormal wear on tooth surfaces, and can lead to problems with bones, joints, and gum tissue.

Orthodontic treatment today is more affordable than ever and we can create payment plans that work within your family’s budget. Please contact our office today at 317-882-0228 to arrange an orthodontic evaluation for you or your child. It will be something you can smile about for time to come!

What You Can and Can’t Eat with Braces

Indianapolis Braces
Indianapolis Braces

Orthodontic treatment is an important investment in your future. Everyone helping with your orthodontic treatment wants you to have the best results possible. While cleaning your teeth with braces is important, knowing which foods are bad for your teeth makes a huge difference in being able to take care of your teeth more easily. Eating with braces can be painful, challenging and even frustrating. However, eating with or without braces is basically the same – you need to stick with a tooth-friendly diet.

Why do you need to be mindful of what you eat when you are wearing braces?

Since it is challenging to brush and floss teeth with braces, food can get trapped in the tiny spaces between braces and wires, causing decay and enamel stains. There are certain foods that can also react with the bacteria in your mouth and the metal in the braces to produce a bleaching effect, which can cause small, permanent light spots on the teeth.

What You Can Eat with Braces

What You Can and Can't Eat with Braces
What You Can and Can't Eat with Braces

We already know how acidic foods can damage teeth and develop into cavities when frequently consumed over extended periods of time. We have a list of tooth-friendly foods that would be great for your diet.

When you are wearing braces, it is best to choose low-acid foods when you eat.

Less Tooth-Friendly Food List (High Acid)

  • Apples, cherries, oranges, peaches, pears, plums, pineapples
  • Tomatoes, pickles
  • Soft drinks, sports drinks, fruit drinks
  • Salsas, BBQ sauces

More Tooth-Friendly Food List (Low Acid)

  • Bananas, mangoes, melons
  • Carrots, cucumbers, generally all vegetables
  • Milk, water, lemon water
  • Meat, chicken, eggs, soup, pasta

You need to give saliva plenty of time to wash away acids that form after eating and drinking. A good rule to follow is to limit eating times each day to 3 meals and 2 snack times. You can drink plenty of water as often as you like!

What You Can’t Eat with Braces

While wearing braces, most foods can still be eaten if you cut them into small pieces that can be easily chewed. There are certain foods, however, that can break or loosen braces and should be avoided:

  • Sweets, soda and other sugary and starchy foods can promote tooth decay and gum disease.
  • Sticky and chewy foods (caramel, taffy, chewing gum, dried fruits) can stick to braces and be difficult to remove.
  • Biting and chewing hard foods, such as some candies and nuts, ice, beef jerky and popcorn, can break wires and loosen brackets.
  • Avoid damaging wires on the front teeth by cutting carrots, apples and other crunchy, healthy foods into bite-sized chunks before eating them.
  • Do not chew ice or bubble gum

Braces are an Investment

While the cost of braces is relatively high compared to a normal cleaning, the braces are not what you are actually paying for - you're paying for a lifetime of beautiful smiles - and that result is more than worth the cost.

Dr. Reese offers orthodontics for children and adults and is happy to offer you an orthodontic evaluation to discuss your particular concerns and options. Drop us a call at 317-882-0228 or email today!

How to Clean Your Teeth with Braces

So you are finally wearing braces. Now what?

Whether you are a child or an adult, getting braces will not only fix the alignment of your teeth or bite, it will improve your profile appearance and even prevent TMJ disorders later in life. Orthodontic treatment relies on two things: consistent follow-ups with your dentist for realignment of bands and checking for improvement and proper cleaning of your teeth with braces. After Dr. Reese puts on braces on your teeth, he will tell and show you how to clean your teeth with braces. We will outline the usual steps in this post.

How to Clean Your Teeth with Braces

How to Clean Your Teeth with Braces

  1. Prepare to brush. Take off elastics, and any other removable parts of your braces.
  2. Clean your braces. Use your brush at a 45-degree angle to clean around the wires and pins of your braces. Brush from the top of each wire and then from the bottom. (Take time to ensure that all plaque and debris are removed, and that you work all the way around upper and lower teeth.) Dr. Reese recommends the GUM® End Tuft Toothbrush for those that wear braces. The small round brush head comprises seven tufts of tightly packed soft nylon bristles, trimmed so the bristles in the center can reach deeper into small spaces.
  3. Brush where the gums and teeth meet. Use circular, vibrating motion around the gum lines, spending 10 seconds on each tooth.
  4. Use the same brushing action on all outer and inner tooth surfaces, tilting the brush as needed to better reach the insides of smaller front teeth.
  5. Brush your tongue and the roof of your mouth too.
  6. Floss once a day with "super floss", a type of floss for cleaning around appliances such as braces. A floss threader may be helpful.
  7. Rinse and check your teeth. Rinse thoroughly with water or mouth rinse, and examine your teeth and braces in the mirror.

When You Should Clean Your Braces

Whenever possible, you should brush your teeth after every time you eat. If you can’t, rinsing your mouth out with water can help. Swoosh it around your mouth really well and spit it out. Your dentist might recommend you carry a travel toothbrush with you all the time since it is extremely important that you clean your braces (and teeth) after eating.

Brushing twice a day is important. Floss at least once a day, usually before going to bed at night.

Braces and Plaque are a Bad Combination

Braces can straighten your teeth and fix your smile but it is up to you to ensure that your straightened teeth will last a lifetime. Dental care with braces requires extra effort but once the braces come off, you will realize that it is all worth it!

Braces are an Investment

We all know getting braces isn’t that affordable but the end result is more than worth it. The extra effort to take care of this investment should be a priority.

Customized care is a hallmark of everyone’s treatment at Indianapolis Dentistry. Dr. Reese offers orthodontics for children and adults and is happy to offer you an orthodontic evaluation to discuss your particular concerns and options. Drop us a call at 317-882-0228 or email today!

What is a Bad Bite and How It Affects Your Health

Your bite is how your top and bottom teeth come together. When they do not fit together properly, you are said to have a "bad bite" or malocclusion. Misaligned teeth or a misaligned jaw can cause a bad bite.

Here are examples of a bad bite:

Malocclusions
Malocclusions
  • An overjet occurs when the upper front teeth protrude.
  • A deep bite occurs when the upper front teeth cover the lower front teeth too much.
  • An underbite occurs when the upper teeth fit inside the arch of the lower teeth.
  • An open bite occurs when the back teeth are together and there is an opening between the lower and upper front teeth.
  • Gaps between teeth
  • A crossbite occurs when one or more of your upper teeth don’t line up with the appropriate lower tooth or teeth.
  • Crowded or overlapped teeth

Teeth that are naturally perfectly aligned are rare. Malocclusions range from mild to severe and dentists classify these cases as Class I, II and III.

How a Bad Bite Can Affect Your Health

  • A bad bite can affect your overall oral health. Crooked or crowded teeth are difficult to clean and this can lead to potential problems like tooth decay and gum disease.
  • A bad bite interferes with chewing and speaking.
  • A bad bite can cause teeth to become loose, broken or worn down. This can be caused by the body's attempts to compensate for a misaligned bite by clenching (bruxing) and grinding.
  • A bad bite (misaligned jaw) can cause pain to your entire body.

When you have a bad bite or a misaligned jaw, it can sometimes affect a specific part of your body. And sometimes, it can affect your entire body. When your jaw joint is unbalanced, it manipulates and influences your spine, your bite, your airway, your nerves and your muscles.

How A Bad Bite Can Be Corrected or Treated

Fortunately, malocclusions can be corrected by orthodontics. Orthodontic braces treatment options for today’s patients are much easier, more comfortable, typically produces fuller smiles with longer lasting results and less incidence of relapse, and creates healthier TMJ function that lasts for a lifetime. Read more about the advantages of orthodontics. Whether you are child or an adult, it is never too late or early to correct a bad bite or even prevent potential bad bite problems.

Bad Bite
Bad Bite

Create Beautiful Smiles

Orthodontics does not only create beautiful smiles, but creates a healthier mouth and jaw function while contributing to the self-esteem of the patient. A pleasing smile with straight and aligned teeth leaves a lasting and favorable impression.

Traditional orthodontics involves metal, stainless steel braces that are still a widely used and effective method, but other options such as non-metal, ceramic braces and clear aligner technology from Invisalign or Clear Correct are great alternative options

Contact Us

Customized care is a hallmark of everyone’s treatment at Indianapolis Dentistry. Dr. Reese offers orthodontics for children and adults and is happy to discuss your particular concerns and options. Drop us a call at 317-882-0228 or email today!

Adult Orthodontics in Indianapolis

Today, because of newer options, advances in dental technology, and increasing awareness of the importance of oral health, more and more adults are open and less scared to get orthodontic help. Adult orthodontics in Indianapolis comprises 20% of the population of brace wearers.

Adult OrthodonticsAdult Orthodontics vs. Children/Teen Orthodontics

Jawbones in children and teens are still developing so orthodontic treatment is easily done. With adults, jawbones have stopped developing so they may need to undergo surgery to align their jaw before braces are worn. This is not a necessary step – there are cases where surgery is not needed and adults wear braces right after the treatment plan is approved and discussed by the dentist to the patient.

Adults are also more likely to have gum or bone loss because of gingivitis or periodontal disease.  There may also be cases of missing teeth that can cause other teeth to shift and tilt creating a bad bite or teeth to get worn down. All these make orthodontic treatment for adults require a different, more thoughtful approach.

Why You Should Consider Adult Orthodontics

  • Straight teeth are healthy teeth! Teeth that are properly aligned are easier to keep clean with flossing and brushing, and may help prevent other health problems.
  • Straight teeth gives you a beautiful smile and this in turn can help boost your self-confidence.
  • Braces can help manage some more serious issues, too, such as bite problems that cause jaw pain (TMJ disorder).

Adult Orthodontic Options

  • Metal braces are the traditionally known type of braces and the most common. They are made of high-grade stainless steel and attached to the front of teeth.
  • Clear ceramic braces are worn on the front of the teeth just like traditional steel braces. Unlike metal braces, they blend with the color of the teeth for a much less noticeable appearance.
  • Lingual (or concealed) braces have brackets that attach to the back of teeth, so they are hidden from view.
  • Invisalign is a popular option for adults. As the name suggests, this orthodontic treatment consists of nearly invisible devices that gradually straighten the teeth. One of our staff has used Invisalign to straighten her teeth. The aligners are easily removable for eating or brushing.

Contact Us

Customized care is a hallmark of everyone’s treatment at Indianapolis Dentistry. Dr. Reese offers orthodontics for children and adults and is happy to offer you an orthodontic evaluation to discuss your particular concerns and options. Drop us a call at 317-882-0228 or email today!

Braces for Adults

A lot of people ask, "Can I still get braces as an adult?" Dr. Reese would most likely answer, “Yes!" You're never too old to have braces. In fact, studies show that almost 20% of people who wear braces are adults. About 1 million Americans over the age of 18 wear braces. This is because of the newer option of wearing less visible braces like Invisalign.

Braces for Adults
Braces for Adults

Why would I still get braces as an adult?

Aside from aesthetic reasons, one would need braces to correct malocclusions or what is commonly known as a bad bite. Crooked or crowded teeth, overbites or underbites and incorrect jaw positions, when left untreated, may result in tooth decay problems, gum disease, TMJ disorders as well as speaking, chewing or digestive problems.

Would orthodontic treatment be different for me?

Your dentist should be able to tell you upfront that treatment might take longer because teeth are more anchored in the jaw. One the average, adults wear braces between 12 to 36 months. After treatment, adults may need to wear retainers to maintain the results too.

How do I find out if I need to wear braces?

Consults with your dentist. He will be able to advise you if braces are needed in your situation. Depending on the complexity of your situation, he may or may not refer you to an orthodontist, a dentist specializing in correcting the irregularities of teeth.

Why choose Dr. Reese at Indianapolis Dentistry?

When you decide to go to Indianapolis Dentistry for treatment there will be no need to make multiple, inefficient trips visiting your family dentist, getting a referral, AND finding an orthodontist. At our clinic, we do it ALL in office! Dr. Ted Reese utilizes holistic (whole-body) dentistry techniques in order to offer Indianapolis premier orthodontic treatment, in-office, at his dental surgery center just north of Greenwood, Indiana.

Here are some common questions you might want to ask at your initial consultation. Dr. Reese would probably tell you your options without you asking:

  • What are the costs involved?
  • How will the braces correct my problem?
  • How long will I need to wear braces?
  • What is the dentist's experience with my particular problem?
  • Will I be able to schedule appointments at convenient times?

How do I start treatment?

Once it has been determined that braces are needed for your situation, a treatment plan will be created based on reviews of your dental x-rays and dental impressions of your teeth. This is an imprint of your teeth in a mold. An impression is made by placing a viscous, thixotropic impression material into the mouth via a custom or stock dental impression tray. The material, then sets to become an elastic solid, and, when removed from the mouth, provides a detailed and stable negative of teeth.

Are there other options aside from wearing the traditional metal braces?

For adult options there are tooth colored or ceramic braces for complicated corrections or the recently popular ‘aligner’ therapies like Invisalign or Clearcorrect. These popular options for busy and professional adults help avoid the “braces appearance” but limitations do exist.

Would there be a big adjustment once I wear braces?

You probably will experience some discomfort or difficulty speaking or eating when you first receive your braces. Avoid hard foods such as candy, raw carrots, corn on the cob, pretzels, nuts, popcorn and crushed ice. Include sticky foods such as caramel, taffy and gum. These foods can get stuck between teeth and gums or bend wires and knock bands or brackets loose. If this results in damage to braces, treatment may be extended.

How can I prevent cavities with braces?

To reduce your risk of cavities, follow a regimen of brushing, flossing and rinsing. Reduce your consumption of sweets and carbohydrates. Good oral hygiene may also prevent decalcification (white spots) on teeth and tooth decay.

Our Invitation to You

Today’s braces can be as discrete, or overt, as you desire! We offer both traditional, metal braces and non-metal, ceramic braces. Both accomplish the same goal of improving your smile through controlled alignment over time. Call 317-882-0228 for fast and easy appointment scheduling and ask about our consultation and insurance options!

Kids and Orthodontics

Did you know that utilizing orthodontic treatment (braces and invisalign) while your child is still growing may produce the most efficient results? We've found that seven years old is optimal for an orthodontic evaluation. At seven, children have the prime mix of adult and baby teeth allowing Indianapolis Dentistry's Dr. Ted Reese to easily spot any potential problems with your child's emerging teeth and jaw growth.

Why should you consider braces or invisalign for you child? 

There are numerous physical and emotional benefits to correcting your child's teeth at a young age. Crooked and crowded teeth are difficult to maintain and clean, which may lead to tooth decay, gum disease, and even tooth loss. Emotionally, a child's teeth can greatly affect his or her self esteem. By correcting their smile, you will give them the boost of confidence they need during an already difficult adolescent period. Furthermore, when utilized at a younger age, the social impacts of braces and invisalign on your child will be minimized!

Today's braces can be as discrete, or overt, as your child desires! We offer both traditional, metal braces and non-metal, ceramic braces. Both accomplish the same goal of improving your smile through controlled alignment over time, but the ceramic braces are tooth colored and (other than the wire) contain no metal. We also offer a multitude of colored bands to choose from and for children (or kids at heart) we offer Wild Smiles Brackets to make the braces experience a little more fun!

Invisalign is also a great, cost effective option for children anxious about the aesthetic and social implications of traditional braces.

No need to make multiple, inefficient trips visiting your family dentist, getting a referral, AND finding an orthodontist. At Indianapolis Dentistry, we do it ALL in office! Dr. Ted Reese utilizes holistic (whole-body) dentistry techniques in order to offer Indianapolis premier orthodontic treatment, in-office, at his dental surgery center just north of Greenwood, Indiana.

Call or visit our website for fast and easy appointment scheduling and ask about our consultation and insurance options!

The Advantages of Orthodontics

Did you know that your smile is the first thing most people notice and remember about you? At Indianapolis Center of Implant and Cosmetic Dentistry, Dr. Reese successfully utilizes orthodontics – namely braces and INVISALIGN – to straighten and perfect your pearly whites. Below are dramatic before and after photographs of one of Dr. Reese’s customized orthodontic treatments resulting in this patient’s flawless, healthy smile.

 
Before Braces

Before Braces

After Braces

After Braces

 

However, orthodontic treatment means more than simply beautiful teeth. There are numerous added benefits to braces and Invisalign:

  • Teeth are easier to brush and floss resulting in less prone to decay and disease such as gingivitis, recession, and gum disease
  • Properly aligned teeth and jaws may alleviate or prevent physical health problems
  • Misaligned teeth may produce uncharacteristic wear on tooth surfaces and chronic headaches resulting in face, neck, or jaw pain
  • Improved TMJ health
  • Protrusion of the teeth will leave the front teeth unprotected and make them more susceptible to chipping, breaking and possibly avulsion (knocking your teeth out) with mouth trauma
  • Increased self-esteem - You’re never too young to improve your life, teeth, and smile!
  • Lowers overall dental care costs for a lifetime

Even though orthodontic treatment is considered to be an elective procedure, the up front cost is minimal in comparison to the future physical, mental, social and economic benefits of the procedure! Few expenditures (new clothes, vacations, vehicles, etc.) offer such a sizable and longstanding return on your initial investment.

Bottom-line: Consider orthodontics as an indispensable part of your dental health!

A Perfect Smile

A patient describes how it felt to get ceramic braces at Indianapolis Dentistry: When my dad told me that I was going to have to get braces, I whined and begged and pleaded with him not to put that mechanism of torture into my mouth! Expecting the worst, I imagined painful cuts from the wires, awful headaches, soreness, and food cravings for candy and other sweets that can't be satisfied! Considering I have what has to be the biggest sweet tooth in the world, it's fortunate for me that my dad is none other than Ted Reese! Anyways after months of my finding excuses to keep me from getting braces, my dad was finally able to drag me into the office. I expected the procedure to take hours and hours, but to my surprise it only took about 45 minutes! And a painless 45 minutes at that.

After the procedure I begin to dread looking into the mirror thinking that I will open my mouth and see that a robot has attacked my teeth. After a few long seconds, I slowly smile. My dad has been generous enough to install the new ceramic braces. So instead of having metal, clanky brackets, the ones I have are clear. The only part of the braces that are visible from a short distance is the wire! "Alright, this won't be so bad." I think to myself. One year later, I'm back in the office to get these braces off. However, I'm a little worried. There has to be a catch. If the first procedure went so well, the second one cannot be as perfect. It just doesn't work that way, right? Wrong! Dr. Reese had two of the brackets off before I even knew he had started! As I head off to college in the fall, I know I will have one of the best smiles on campus. Thanks, Dr. Reese!

Read more about orthodontic services at Indianapolis Dentistry.