Why Mouthguards Are So Important

Many of our patients are student athletes or have a sport they love. After getting braces, many of these sports-enthusiasts wonder if they’ll have to take a break from their games and practices. We’ve all heard horror stories of sports injuries, even worse witnessed one ourselves. Playing sports during orthodontic treatment is 100% possible! The best way to protect your mouth from a painful fate is to invest in a mouthguard. Mouthguards protect not only your teeth, but the soft tissue of your mouth from injury as you play. Luckily, braces will not keep you from any sport or physical activity. However, the price you pay for a beautiful smile is taking a little extra care of your mouth while in treatment. Keep reading to uncover the significant role that mouthguards play in protecting your oral health and overall well-being from Dr. Kevin Race at Race Orthodontics.

In This Post, We’ll Cover:

  • Why mouthguards are essential
  • Do Braces put you at higher risk for a sports injury?
  • What type of mouthguard should I buy?

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Early Evaluation and Missing Teeth

Often when parents bring young children into our office for initial evaluation, they are missing several primary teeth. Parents are worried that starting treatment won’t be an option until all the permanent teeth have grown in, or until all baby teeth have fallen out. It’s common to wonder if your child is losing teeth at the right time, or too slowly, or even too quickly. These concerns are normal, and a reason why it’s good to get your child into the orthodontist starting at age seven. Dr. Kevin Race at Race Orthodontics can answer all these questions and more and can start any treatment needed early enough to prevent major issues. 


When Should Your Child Start to Lose Teeth?

Most children lose their first baby tooth, or primary tooth, around age 6. This is typically the bottom front tooth. The rest of the primary teeth usually follow suit, with the last one falling out around age 12. By age 21, all 32 of the primary teeth should have been replaced by permanent teeth.

The first permanent molars, or adult teeth, arrive around age 6 as well. The rest of the permanent teeth come in gradually over the next several years. The last of the permanent teeth, the third molars, or wisdom teeth, usually arrive around age 18.

While the process of losing primary teeth and getting permanent teeth is relatively straightforward, there can be some variation in when exactly each tooth is lost or erupted. Every child is different, so if you have any concerns about your child’s teeth, be sure to talk to your dentist.

Early Treatment Orthodontics

Early treatment orthodontics refers to the practice of correcting dental and skeletal irregularities at an early age. It is well-documented that bones and teeth are more malleable during childhood, making this an ideal time to correct any problems. Early treatment can also help to improve the aesthetics of the smile and ensure that the teeth are properly aligned. In some cases, early treatment can also help to prevent future dental problems, such as gum disease and tooth decay. While early treatment is not right for every patient, it can offer significant benefits for those who are candidates.As we’ve mentioned above, it’s best to get your child in to see the orthodontist around age seven.


The Science of Tooth Movement

When you begin orthodontic treatment, your teeth will start to slowly move into the desired position. This process can sometimes take months or even years, depending on the severity of your dental problem. Teeth move very slowly. While this isn’t exactly what you want to hear when you’re self-conscious about your smile, slow movement is the best and healthiest way to perfect your bite. Tooth movement is a combination between bone cells called osteoclasts breaking down bone matter in the direction the tooth is set to move in and osteoblasts filling in bone matter behind the tooth as it moves. It is important to be patient during this treatment process, as rushing it can result in uneven or even damaged teeth. Trust your orthodontist to know when your teeth are ready to be moved, and be patient as your smile slowly becomes perfect.The teeth ideally should move about a millimeter a month during treatment. This seems like a small distance, but it is the best place to maintain health. 

So, combining the information about the benefits of early orthodontic treatment and the anatomy and physiology of tooth movement is how your orthodontist is best able to adjust your bite. If you are missing teeth when treatment begins, or loose teeth during treatment, your orthodontist is an expert on timing the movement of your mouth to adjust for the new spaces tooth loss creates.

Is Invisalign the Key to Your Smile?

It’s a big choice to set a treatment plan for bettering your smile! The decision involves research, planning, and an expert evaluation. The field of orthodontics is constantly innovating and growing, so there are numerous treatment styles that may be the best path for you. One of the biggest choices you’ll have to make is which type of braces you’ll use. You could be the ideal candidate for traditional braces, or Invisalign may be the best option. Whether you choose traditional braces or Invisalign, our team of orthodontic specialists is here to help you!


In This Post, We’ll Cover

  • Choosing Invisalign
  • Invisalign Candidacy
  • What issues can Invisalign help with
  • Invisalign Pain

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What to do if Your Braces Break

It’s scary to be at home, school, or sports practice and feel a part of your braces loosen or even fall completely off your tooth, but it’s a more common occurrence than you may think.. The good news is that most of these incidents are actually minor and easily fixed by your orthodontist. Here are a few general rules and tips for how to handle these situations in the moment and until you can get into the office for a visit. 


Orthodontic Emergencies

Typically, braces emergencies arise when a wire or rubber band falls out of place. These issues are minor and can be easily fixed by your orthodontist. A less common emergency is when a bracket comes loose and falls out. If you can feel a loose bracket that hasn’t fallen out, it’s best to leave it held in by the surrounding wires and call your orthodontist. But, if the bracket has fallen out already, keep it in a safe space and take it with you to the orthodontist. Schedule an appointment as soon as you can to fix this! 

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