Overbite – refers to the amount of overlap between your upper and lower teeth. A deep overbite is not desirable, as it can lead to such problems as excessive wear of the front teeth, impingement of the lower teeth into the palate, or even TMJ dysfunction
Overjet – ofter confused with overbite, overjet refers to the distance that the upper incisors stick out in front of the lower incisors. An excessive overjet is not desirable, as it makes the upper front teeth more prone to trauma, and is generally not considered aesthetic
Orthodontist – A dentist that has taken an additional 3 years of specialized training in the field of orthodontics. In order to be recognized as a certified specialist, every orthodontist must pass a rigorous fellowship exam to ensure that his/her knowledge and skills are worthy of the "certified specialist" moniker.
Malocclusion – refers to teeth that do not fit together correctly
Crowding – refers to the lack of space that exists in your mouth to accommodate the teeth. Generally, the more crowding there is, the more crooked the teeth appear.
Crossbite – In a proper occlusion, the upper teeth should slightly overlap the lower teeth at every position in the dental arch. A crossbite can be anterior (front teeth) or posterior (back teeth), and refers to a situation where the lower teeth actually overlap the upper teeth
Archform - also known as a dental arch, refers to the parabolic shape that the teeth form as you move from the back teeth to the front teeth. A narrow upper archform can often be attributed to habits such as thumb sucking, or mouth breathing.
Banding – the process of putting an orthodontic band around your tooth. It is sometimes necessary with braces to place bands on teeth that have crowns or big fillings on them
Bonding – the process of gluing the braces to the teeth. It is a painless process that can be accomplished a lot faster than you may think
Palatal Expander/RPE – A rapid palatal expander is an orthopedic appliance that can be placed on the upper jaw of a young patient to correct a narrow palate. Narrow palates can be due to habits (such as thumb sucking), mouth breathing, or even for genetic reasons. Expanding a palate is painless and can prevent the need for future orthognathic surgery
Retainer – is an appliance that keeps or "retains" the teeth in a certain position. Retainers are generally placed after braces are removed to keep the teeth straight and looking as perfect as they did the day your braces were removed
Appliance – an orthodontic appliance is a broad term that appliances to anything placed in your mouth as a part of orthodontic treatment. It can be removable (it comes out) or fixed (it is glued in place)
Archwires – these are the wires that the orthdontist places to help move and straighten your teeth. Generally, orthodontic adjustments consist of placing new archwires, or adjusting the archwire that you have at present
Life with Braces
Sore lips and cheeks – When you first get your braces, your lips and cheeks are not used to the braces being there. This means that you may get a sore spot called an ulcer on the inside of your cheeks where the braces are rubbing. This is perfectly normal and should go away once the tissue have "toughened up". It if kind of like wearing a new pair of shoes…sometimes you get a blister that will go away once you have gotten used to the shoes. If you place a ball of orthodontic wax over the offending brace, it will help the ulcer heal faster. In addition, use of lots of lipbalm will help keep the lips lubricated and help keep them from rubbing on the braces.
General Tooth Soreness – it is not unusual for your teeth to be tender or sore following initial placement of the braces or following an orthodontic adjustment. The best way to deal with soreness is to stick to a soft diet, and if needed, take a mild analgesic such as TylenolTM (always check with a physician before taking a new medication)
Eating with braces - As a general rule, most of the foods you enjoyed before you had braces, can be eaten while you have braces. There are a few things you should avoid however:
Most other good healthy foods are acceptable while wearing braces. The most important thing to remember is to cut your food up into small pieces!. Let your knife and fork do most of the work for you. If you try and bite down on large pieces of food, you will break off brackets which will slow down your treatment. EVERY BROKEN BRACKET MAY SLOW DOWN YOUR TREATMENT BY 4-6 WEEKS
It is very important that you keep your braces/appliances clean. This means brushing 2-3 times a day (preferably after every meal) and flossing at least once a day. In addition, an antibacterial mouthwash is a good idea to help with some of the areas you may miss.
At Budd Orthodontics we provide every full braces patient with an extensive oral hygiene kit. We will review care and maintenance of the braces with the patient (and their parent if necessary) to ensure a complete understanding of the importance involved with keeping your teeth clean. If at any time you require additional instruction, just give us a call and we will be happy to schedule an appointment to review oral hygiene.