Our Blog

STRESS AWARENESS MONTH

April 9th, 2018

It is “Stress Awareness Month” and most of us in our day to day lives experience stress a couple times a day! Some causes of stress can be school, work, kids, traffic, etc. the list could go on.

But as we may already know stress is not healthy for your body or mind.

It can cause pain, sleep problems and even thinking or memory issues.

A common outcome of stress is bruxism, clenching or grinding your teeth.

Bruxism usually occurs while sleeping and once awake a person will feel pain or soreness in their jaw.  Continuation of grinding your teeth can actually wear them down leading up to other issues down the line.

To minimize stress in your daily life try these stress relievers:

  • Exercise, I know this doesn’t seem so exciting but it can also help with sleep!
  • Reduce your caffeine intake, no you don’t have to give up coffee however try reducing the amount of cups you actually drink a day.
  • Laugh, they say laughter is the best medicine! It actually relaxes your muscles and brings more oxygen to your organs, like your heart. Watch a funny show or movie. How about a trip to your local Improv?
  • Just say no more often. Sometimes we just want to be able to please everybody but how about ourselves? Taking on too much can really shoot up our stress levels.
  • Don’t procrastinate. We’ve all been there, pushing something off up until the very last minute, then we have more than one item to check off on our to-do list.                            We hope these tips have helped you in some way!

ELASTICS (A.K.A RUBBER BANDS)

April 5th, 2018

  

You may think that just braces or Invisalign alone can help with achieving your best smile, but that’s not the case. Yes, the brackets and wires or clear aligners and attachments do help with straightening your teeth but how about your bite? Elastics are just one of the most common ways to help achieve the proper bite, because let’s face it what’s the point of straight teeth if your bite feels off?

At your initial consult with Dr. Sharon Durrett she will let you know if elastics are necessary during your treatment with braces or Invisalign. Elastics are typically worn anywhere between 4-6 months. However, if a patient is not compliant with elastic wear it can double the time the elastics have to be worn for, which also means increasing treatment time.

There are benefits to having a proper bite, some of these benefits include:

  • Being able to chew foods with no discomfort
  • Preventing accelerated teeth wear due to improper contact
  • Decrease jaw/joints problems

Elastics apply force on the teeth and jaws to move the way Dr. Durrett would like them to move. There are many different elastic wear combinations like Crossbite Elastics, Vertical, Triangles, etc. As well as different elastic combinations there are also different sizes, (1/8”, ¼” and 3/16) and strengths (2oz, 4 oz, 6oz).  Elastics that are commonly used at Durrett Orthodontics are:

CL II Elastics: It helps with the protrusion of the upper teeth

CL III Elastics: Fixes the under bite

Midline Elastics: These are usually placed on the front teeth on the opposite ends to help with centering the midlines of the upper and lower front teeth.

If you want to make sure your braces come off in a timely matter, make sure you follow Dr. Durrett’s instructions and recommendations, because we are also rooting for you!

Things You Should Never Use Your Braces For

February 21st, 2018

When you get your braces, Dr. Sharon Durrett and our staff will also give you a list of foods you should not eat and things you should not do. Pay particular attention to these items to keep your teeth and braces safe.

Charms belong on bracelets. While you can decorate your braces with colored bands, hanging a charm off them is a bad idea. If you bite down on the charm, you could damage your braces or your teeth. You could also swallow your jewelry.

Never use your teeth as a bottle opener. This is just as important when you are wearing braces. While braces straighten your teeth, your teeth are moving in the process. That makes them weaker, and the metal in the braces does not make them invincible. Invest in a bottle opener; you can buy one for a few dollars, which is much less expensive than having to replace your braces.

Contrary to what you might think, your braces are not designed to work as a radio. There are tales of people who have picked up radio signals from dental fillings or braces. While this is remotely possible, attaching an antenna to your mouth is just not a good idea. You will get better quality music from a radio.

On the other hand, you can still kiss someone while wearing braces. In fact, even if both of you wear braces, the chances of your getting locked together are almost negligible. However, to avoid cutting your partner’s lips, kiss with caution.

If you have any questions about taking care of your braces, please ask Dr. Sharon Durrett and our staff. We want you to get the best results from your treatment without needless delays.

Wisdom Teeth and Retention

February 20th, 2018

Did you know that you have a total of 32 adult teeth? How about that four of those teeth usually don’t have enough room in the mouth to come in properly? These are called Wisdom Teeth. They are the last molars to erupt, if they have room.

When teenage patients first start treatment they don’t always have their wisdom teeth fully formed and can go on with treatment without any compromises in their treatment plan. If our adult patients have wisdom teeth and Dr. Durrett believes it will compromise treatment she will refer to an Oral Surgeon before placing braces or Invisalign. Dr. Durrett takes a panoramic x-ray, between 6-12 months after treatment has begun and when treatment is completed, to follow up with wisdom teeth growth, along with other things.

Once our patients complete Orthodontic treatment they go on to the retention stage. At this point we see patients three times over the course of one year after braces or Invisalign is completed. At these visits we are checking to make sure teeth are staying straight and also making sure the retainers are fitting well.

Depending on how the patient’s wisdom teeth were forming when the braces or Invisalign was completed, Dr. Durrett will take another panoramic x-ray between the patients 2nd to 3rd retainer visit. At this time she will determine whether or not it is necessary for the patient to see an Oral Surgeon to evaluate the need for wisdom teeth extraction, or if the patient’s dentist should continue to monitor the wisdom teeth.

Reasons why wisdom teeth should be extracted are as follows:

  1. After treatment is completed and patients are in a retainer they can actually cause shifting of the teeth. Possibly ending in re-treatment
  2. They are very hard to keep clean therefore causing decay and infections
  3. Can cause bite problems if they erupt into the mouth crooked after orthodontic treatment

You’ve worked hard to maintain a beautiful smile; do not let wisdom teeth affect that!