Handling Common Orthodontic Emergencies at Home

If you or one of your children have recently had braces or are using another orthodontic appliance, you may be concerned about dealing with orthodontic emergencies. You can feel confident knowing that true emergencies associated with braces are rare. Also, we are here to help and address any concerns you may have.

When to Schedule an Appointment for an Orthodontic Emergency

It is true that loose and poking wires can be frustrating and painful. However, if you schedule an appointment and have them looked at within a few days, you do not need to worry about any adverse impact on your overall treatment. Look at the common orthodontic emergencies below and some tips on managing some emergencies at home.  Feel free to call us anytime if you or your child need to come in for a special appointment.

Tenderness and Soreness

After having braces put on or having an adjustment done, dealing with soreness is common. You may notice that your mouth just feels generally sore. Or you may notice a tender feeling when biting down on food. Or there may be pinpointed areas in your mouth that feel irritated, like your cheeks, lips, or tongue.

There are simple at-home treatments you can use to deal with the first few days of general soreness. Make a warm salt water mouthwash and rinse your mouth vigorously with it to relieve discomfort. If the soreness is severe, take a pain medication, like something you would use for a headache.

In areas that feel uncomfortable because they are coming in contact with the surface of the braces, use wax. We provide wax to all of our clients in the kits given to them after having braces applied. If these symptoms persist, contact us to schedule an appointment.

Loose Wires, Brackets, and Appliances

Loose wires can poke the inside of your cheeks and cause discomfort. A good solution may be covering the wire with wax. Or you may be able to put the wire where it is supposed to be using tweezers. If none of these solutions help, clip the wire and cover it with wax. Contact us to set up an appointment and have the wire repaired.

A loose bracket that has completely detached should be wrapped in a clean tissue. Call us right away to schedule an appointment and have the issue addressed. If it is attached to the wire, do not move it. Pull wax over it, and give us a call.

Any loose appliance that is poking or bothering you can be temporarily addressed using wax. Call us to find out what to do next. We will likely schedule an appointment where you can be examined and have a problem addressed.

A Poking Wire

A poking wire is a common complaint among those who have recently had braces applied or adjusted. You may be able to use a pencil eraser to adjust the wire into a position that is more comfortable. Cover it with wax and see if the pain goes away after a couple of days.

If you cannot adjust it, cover it with wax. Contact us to schedule an examination if you do not think it is just a matter of the area toughening up and getting accustomed to the wire.

Answers to your pre-visit questions

When you’re going in for an orthodontic consultation for your braces, you might have a lot of questions. That’s actually a good thing. The more you know, the more likely it is that you’ll feel confident about your braces and what you should do when you’re at home and the orthodontist isn’t there. Getting to know your orthodontist and the tricks of maintaining your mouth when you have braces are some of the goals of an orthodontic consultation, so here are a few things that you should consider asking during your orthodontic consultation appointment.

How Long Will I Be in the Office?
Everyone’s mouths are different, and different sets of teeth require different treatments. Correcting one very crooked tooth might be different than a whole set of teeth that are just slightly out of alignment. As a result, the length of each appointment can vary, and the length of time that you’ll need braces can vary between patients. Plan for approximately one hour for your first visit with Dr. Creed.

Is Brushing and Flossing With Braces Difficult?
It’s common for people to get food in their braces, but it’s also essential to the overall health of your mouth that you remove the food. While brushing and flossing with braces is more challenging, it’s still entirely possible to have a clean mouth throughout the time that you have braces. There are many techniques that you might have to adjust to maintain optimal cleanliness. For instance, you might find that adding a water pick into your regime is beneficial. Ask Dr. Creed to show you some effective techniques.

Is There Anything That I Shouldn’t Eat?
There are some foods that you might enjoy that are more difficult to eat when you have braces. A certain type of food might get stuck in your braces, and some things might be more difficult to bite. Your teeth might also hurt while right after an adjustment, so you might simply enjoy certain foods less at certain times during your treatment. The staff at Creed Orthodontics can go over a list of foods that you’re better off avoiding until your braces are ready to come off.

Do Braces Ever Break?
It’s possible for some parts of your braces to break, especially if you’re regularly eating foods that are harder on them. But, also, accidents just sometimes happen. A snapped wire or broken bracket won’t derail the entire treatment, but both of these pieces will need to be fixed if they break. It’s always nice knowing ahead of time what you need to do if you have a problem, so ask Dr. Creed what you should do in the case of an emergency. You can also ask them what activities you should avoid so that you can minimize the risk of having a problem with your braces.

We’re Here to Help
If you ever have a question, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We can offer your questions, or you can schedule a complimentary orthodontic consultation to find out what’s best for your teeth.

Things to Consider Before Choosing a Dental Professional to Straighten Your Teeth

If you, like many others, are on a quest for getting straight teeth, you know how important it can be to find the right orthodontist in Cypress, Texas. Some of the biggest decisions you will make when it comes to getting straight teeth is who should straighten them, how you will pay for it, and what sort of braces you should choose from, though these are just scratching the surface. While orthodontists used to be the only option for getting straighter teeth, dentists are now starting to offer these services in addition to their other specialties, which can make that ultimate decision even more difficult. There are a few things you should consider before you make your final decision. Here is what you need to know.

The Training

Orthodontists, though many people do not know it, are also dentists in training. Before they can complete their orthodontic training, they must go through dental school. The orthodontist residency that they are required to complete usually takes about two or three years along with a full-time work schedule of 40 hours each week. While dentists are trained in family dentistry, they are often not fully qualified for straightening teeth since they never went through the orthodontic residency program. You wouldn’t want an untrained lawyer pleading your case in court right? You shouldn’t want an untrained dental professional to straightening your teeth either.

Specialized Skills

When you start considering getting your teeth straightened, it is nothing to take lightly. You are going to be paying quite a bit of money to get a straighter smile, and you should be willing to look into the skills of the one doing the straightening before getting started. Just, for example, you wouldn’t trust your family doctor to perform brain surgery on you because they are not qualified nor do they have the special skills needed to do it correctly. The same can be said about the decision between dentists and orthodontists.

Find an Expert

Orthodontists have just the expertise that they need to straighten your teeth properly. They know of both the most recent technologies and techniques to create a customized treatment plan for your unique set of teeth. Some orthodontists will offer you Invisalign, which is a clean tooth straightening option, but others will require those traditional metal braces. A dental office might be able to give you straight teeth, but they do not have the expertise needed to get the job done in a more customized way. For example, they might give a patient Invisalign, but that might not be the best option for their teeth.

Orthodontists are also highly skilled in jaw alignment. Many people have issues with their jaws being out of line, which causes underbites, overbites, and crooked teeth. Orthodontists can evaluate your teeth and your jaws, ensuring that there are no other issues to deal with before moving forward with braces. This is just another part of the customized care that all orthodontists are qualified for. Since you are investing a good bit of time and money into this treatment, you want to be certain that it is getting done properly.

When searching for a great place to get your teeth straightened, you should consider visiting the Cypress Orthodontics office of Dr. Benjamin Creed.  We are here to give you the smile you’ve always wanted.

Orthodontics: Common Bite Problems

At Creed Orthodontics in Cypress Texas, we come across many patients who have bite problems. This post will address some of the common problems and suggested treatments.  A malocclusion is an abnormal bite and is one of the most common oral health problems people face. A malocclusion is the misalignment of the teeth on the upper and lower jaw when the jaw is closed. An occlusion is a normal bite where the molars of the upper jaw fit into the ridges and crevasses of the molars in the lower jaw. When this doesn’t happen, it could lead to a number conditions like speech problems and premature wear of the teeth and tooth enamel. It can also lead to an increased chance of an injury to the teeth and the joints of the jaw.

In most cases, bite problems are hereditary and have nothing to do with failures in oral hygiene. Some hereditary causes of bite problems include birth defects like cleft palates or lips, the size difference between the upper and lower jaw, the size difference between the teeth, and irregularly shaped teeth. Some non-hereditary causes of bite problems include an injury to the jaw, improper dental treatments, and childhood habits like thumb sucking, tongue thrusting. To correct an abnormal bite, orthodontic treatments may be necessary.

There are several types of abnormal bite issues. An orthodontist will provide a thorough examination to determine the best type of treatment for an abnormal bite. The different types of abnormal bites include overbite, underbite, crossbite, upper front teeth protrusion, crowding, spacing, open bite, and non-matching teeth midlines. These abnormal bites can cause facial asymmetry, excessive wear on the teeth, dental decay, and improper jaw functioning.

Braces are a common treatment for different types of abnormal bites, but they are not the type of treatment. Removing teeth, reshaping or capping the teeth, and surgery is other ways abnormal bites can be fixed. Most people have some form of an abnormal bite that is minor and does not need treatment. When these issues are present and treated in the early stages, treatment can be quicker and less expensive.

If you suffer from any of the following bite problems, please make an appointment to come see us. Our orthodontic consultations are always complimentary.

Early Warning Signs of Orthodontic Problems

Children and orthodontics

It’s not always easy to spot a potential need for your child to see an orthodontist. Not every warning sign is immediately apparent. There are some indications, however, that may alert you to the necessity for early intervention. Some of the warning signs could be a visible misalignment, or malocclusion, such as the following scenarios:

Deep Bite: This is noticeable by the upper teeth hiding the lower teeth when biting down.

Open Bite: Often the result of thumb sucking, this type of bite is evident by a wide gap between the upper and lower teeth when biting down.

Over Bite: This type of misalignment is seen when the upper teeth over-reach the lower teeth when biting down.

Cross Bite: The lower teeth sit farther out than the upper teeth in this type of malocclusion.

Crowding: This is visible when there isn’t enough room for the teeth to come in at the gum’s arch.

Other signs may occur as symptoms, such as in the following conditions:

  • Difficulty with biting or chewing food
  • Headaches
  • Digestive problems
  • Breathing, snoring, or sleep problems
  • Speech impediment

Although some corrective measures may require waiting for permanent teeth or a more mature jaw structure, other signs and symptoms can be treated early. In fact, catching problems early allows for greater treatment options that would otherwise become extensive if left too long. Timing is a crucial aspect of orthodontics. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children should be evaluated by age seven. Cypress Orthodontist, Dr. Benjamin Creed advocates scheduling your child’s visit as early as 5 years old if any of the early warning signs are visible. When identified early, breathing problems, for instance, can be addressed and corrected. While treating possible orthodontic problems early does contribute to a healthy and beautiful smile, it also improves your child’s quality of life.

As a skilled and experienced orthodontic specialist, Dr. Creed will only recommend braces or any other corrective measures if they are of benefit to your child. All aspects of your child’s health, including age, will be considered prior to advisement.

Feel free to schedule a complimentary evaluation with Creed Orthodontics without waiting for a referral from your dentist. If Dr. Creed identifies a potential problem, he will inform you of the condition, treatment, and outcome. In the event that your child does not need early intervention, Creed Orthodontics will simply serve in a complimentary supervisory capacity and continue to monitor his dental health and development.

Is it Normal for Teeth to Move After Braces or Invisalign Treatment?

Cypress Orthodontist teeth moving after treatment

After years of wearing braces, you finally have the smile you dreamed of.  You are following your Dr. Creed’s advice by keeping up with appointments and making sure you care for your teeth as instructed, but now something alarming happens. Your smile looks great, but you start noticing that your teeth are moving.

What is Up With Post-Braces Teeth Movement?

Your braces or Invisalign aligners were holding your teeth in place. Dr. Creed gave you new aligners or made necessary adjustments to your braces to add pressure to your teeth to move them in a desired direction. This was the kind of pressure and change your teeth went through the entire process. Removing this orthodontic device means pressure will no longer be applied to your teeth, which allows them to move; this is natural and usually expected. Your teeth are going to make small adjustments to adjust to your bite, which should make everything feel better for you.

You should also remember that the body changes as you age. The skin loses collagen, leading to the loss of elasticity and the creation of wrinkles. The same thing may start happening to your oral cavity. The gums and your jawbone may experience some changes, which could lead to some dental movement. In essence, the likelihood that there will be absolutely no teeth movement is pretty slim. This is one reason why your orthodontic specialist will likely recommend that you use your retainer as much as you can during the recommended period. The retainer is meant to keep this natural settling at a minimum.

Should I Ever Worry?

Okay, so you know there is a chance of some natural settling after your braces come off, but there is also a chance something else might happen. Significant changes or front teeth movement is not normal, which means it is time to contact your orthodontic specialist. One of the most common solutions to this problem is having your retainer adjusted to prevent undesired movement.

Now, some cases may require your orthodontic specialist to bond a retainer to your teeth using dental glue. This is an easy procedure and usually fixes the issue. The retainer is removed once the shifting has stabilized. Some people’s teeth are too small for this option, which means a third alternative must be considered. Your dental care specialist will likely suggest that you let the teeth move to their final settling place. Then, your specialist may fix the issue with something like veneers.

Do not worry about this too much. From our experience, it seems that those who call us when suspicious movement occurs will likely fix the issue with a simple retainer adjustment. Those who ignore the changes might have to wear a clear aligner for a few more months while others might be forced to use braces or Invisalign again.

What is the Deal With Retainers?

Settling will happen, which is why we recommend retainers. The movement happens when the treatment is over, which is one reason we recommended that you wear your retainers as much as possible for the first few months after the braces or Invisalign treatment. The retainers are meant to decrease settling while improving bite. After your orthodontic specialist tells you it’s okay, you can wear the retainers only at night after those first few months. Keep in mind that most people wear retainers the rest of their lives because teeth may attempt to shift back to their original state without the added pressure. The good thing is you will likely only have to wear them at night and only a few times in a week.

Hopefully, these points answered your questions, but we can answer any other questions that you have. Do not hesitate to call Creed Orthodontics in Cypress Texas as soon as you can.

6 Common Questions New Patients Have About Braces

Questions to ask your Cypress texas orthodontist

If you are considering getting braces, it is common to have numerous questions and concerns. You may wonder if you can still enjoy your favorite food, speak the same, and continue to go about your daily life. You may also wonder how braces will feel.

Read on to learn the answers to the six most common questions that new patients have regarding braces. If there is a question that is not addressed below, feel free to contact Cypress, Texas Orthodontist, Dr. Benjamin Creed.

1. What Foods Can I Eat?

During the few first days after you get braces, it is recommended to stick to soft foods such as soup, smoothies, mashed potatoes, pudding, and purees until your mouth adjusts. Once your mouth adapts to the braces, you can still enjoy almost all your favorite foods, although there are a few exceptions such as taffy, nuts, bubble gum, and popcorn.

It is also suggested to try to be more careful with certain foods. For example, you may want to cut corn from the cob prior to eating it and slicing crunchy foods like apples or carrots into smaller pieces to make them easier to eat.

2. Will My Speech Be Affected by Braces?

Wearing braces does not have an impact on your speech. In fact, it may even help improve your speech since your teeth will be more properly aligned. Although regular braces should not affect your teeth, if you have a palatal expander appliance on the roof of your mouth it may take some time to adjust to it. Within a few days or about a week, you should be back to speaking like you normally did.

3. Can I Still Play Sports if I Have Braces?

If you participate in contact sports such as football or martial arts, you may worry about what will happen to your braces. Fortunately, you do not need to be concerned. For most sports, having braces will not make a difference. In sports that may involve hits to the face, you can get a specially fitted mouth guard to protect your braces.

4. Will I Have Difficulty Playing Musical Instruments?

If you play a musical instrument that has a mouthpiece such as horns, saxophones, or flutes, it may take a couple of weeks to adjust to your braces. However, you will be able to play as well as you did before braces in no time.

5. Will I Need to Brush My Teeth in a New Way?

Once you get your braces, you will need to set aside an additional few minutes each night to properly brush them. When brushing, make sure to pay extra attention to the spaces between your braces, wires, and brackets and your teeth. It is also crucial to floss them at least once a day.

6. Will the Braces Be Painful?

At Creed Orthodontics in Cypress, Texas, we do our best to provide patients with treatment that is comfortable and effective. While the majority of patients do no experience any discomfort, the feeling of braces can still take some adjusting to. It usually takes several days to a week to get used to the feeling of braces.