Our Blog

Whether Extraction Or Non-Extraction, Your New Smile Will Blossom

April 18th, 2018

ORTHODONTIC TREATMENT CREATES beautiful smiles. Whether extraction or nonextraction therapy is recommended by your orthodontist, your smile and facial profile will blossom just the same.

The decision for extraction versus non-extraction orthodontic treatment is made for a variety of reasons. In Class I cases, dental arches with crowding of 4 mm or less need not have extractions in general. Crowding of 5-9 mm may need extraction depending on where the predicted final position of the incisors will be and the impact on facial profile.

Crowding more than 10 mm may require extraction. For these patients, the amount of crowding virtually equals the amount of tooth mass being removed so there is very little effect on lip position and facial appearance.

The presence of protrusion in addition to crowding makes the extraction decision even more necessary. Moving teeth into an ideal position with protrusion requires additional dental arch space. Most everyone wants to look good, and not have their teeth not appear “buck.” Lips will move approximately two-thirds the distance that protrusive incisors are moved back.

The idea that extraction leads to excessive incisor retraction, narrower arches, or airway problems is not well supported in the scientific literature. Nonextraction therapy also need not lead to incisor protrusion or arches that are too wide. Your orthodontist will diagnose and develop a treatment plan your case to get you the best orthodontic treatment outcome.

Bring Us Your Questions

Whether extraction or non-extraction, if you have questions about the benefits of orthodontic treatment, visit us at Gorczyca Orthodontics in Antioch, California. Call us at 925-757-9000 for a free consultation. Visit www.clubbraces.com to learn more about our office.

Whether extraction or non-extraction, your big, broad smile will improve from orthodontic treatment. Whether braces, Invisalign, or retainers are right for you, your new smile will blossom and you’ll be smiling ear to ear.

Your smile is our inspiration.

The Different Types Of Teeth

April 6th, 2018

YOU’VE PROBABLY NOTICED that your teeth aren’t all the same shape, but do you know the reason? Humans have four different types of teeth, and they each serve specific purposes, both in helping us chew and in giving us our beautiful smiles!

Types Of Teeth And What They Do

The reason we need so many different types of teeth is that we are omnivores, which means we eat both plants and meat. We need teeth that can handle all of our favorite foods!

Incisors

The top four and bottom four front teeth are the incisors. The middle ones are central incisors, while the ones on the sides are lateral incisors. Incisors are built for slicing. When we take a bite out of an apple, for instance, our incisors shear off a tasty chunk of fruit, but they aren’t the teeth we actually chew with.

Canines

Next to the lateral incisors are our canines or cuspids, which are the sharpest and longest teeth in our mouths. This enables them to grip and tear food, particularly meat. Unlike incisors, we only have four canines. Their long roots and their position at the “corners” of our dental arches also make them some of the most important teeth in our smiles, because they provide much of the shape. Another name for canine teeth is eyeteeth. That might seem weird, but it’s because these teeth are directly beneath our eyes!

Premolars

After the canines, we have our premolars, also called bicuspids because they each have two cusps. You can think of premolars as hybrids between canines and molars. They have sharp outer edges, but they also have flat chewing surfaces, which means they can help the canines with tearing food and the molars with grinding it up. We don’t have any premolars as children; our eight adult premolars are actually the teeth that replace our baby molars!

Molars

Finally, we have the molars. Molars are our biggest teeth, with multiple roots and large, flat chewing surfaces. We have eight baby molars and up to twelve adult molars, depending on whether or not we have and keep our wisdom teeth. Molars are the teeth that do most of the chewing, because those flat surfaces are perfect for grinding and crushing food until it’s ready to be swallowed.

What About Herbivores And Carnivores?

Our teeth are the way they are because we’re omnivores. Herbivores (plant-eaters) and carnivores (meat-eaters) have very different teeth. Herbivores typically have chisel-like incisors and large, flat premolars and molars for chewing plants, while their canines are small, if they have them at all. Carnivores tend to have much bigger canine teeth than we do, but their incisors are much smaller, and while they still have premolars and molars, they are often serrated like knives, built for shredding rather than grinding.

Let’s Straighten Up That Smile!

What do all four types of your teeth have in common? They do their jobs best when they’re properly aligned! If you haven’t come in for an initial consultation with us yet, set one up today! If you already have braces, keep following your instructions so that you can finish on time! And no matter what, help your teeth stay healthy by brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and scheduling your regular dental cleanings! Visit us at Gorczyca Orthodontics in Antioch, California for a free orthodontic exam. Call us at (925) 757-9000.

Your smile is our inspiration.

Top image by Flickr user _zhang used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

What Is An Impacted Tooth?

April 4th, 2018

FOR MOST PEOPLE, baby teeth become loose and adult teeth erupt in their place. For many, those adult teeth don’t come in entirely straight, so orthodontic treatment is necessary to shift them into the ideal position. For some, one or more of these teeth never emerge on their own, even though they developed in the jaw bone. These are impacted teeth.

Why Does Tooth Impaction Happen?

Tooth impaction is often the result of a crowding problem. If the new tooth doesn’t have room to come in, it may remain stuck beneath the gums. A full impaction is when the tooth fails to erupt at all, whereas a partial impaction is when the tooth breaches the gumline but doesn’t grow in completely.

Teeth Lost In The Gums

The most common teeth to become impacted are wisdom teeth. They might be impacted because there isn’t room for them in the jaw, they may be crooked, or they could even be completely sideways, threatening the roots of second molars. Another tooth commonly impacted is the upper maxillary canine, and lower mandibular canines and upper and lower premolars can be impacted as well.

Research shows that if there’s a history of impacted upper canines in your family, you are more likely to have them as well. Most often, only one canine will be impacted, but sometimes both are. Why the upper canines? Normally, they come in after the incisors and the premolars. When those don’t leave enough room between them, the canines have nowhere to go.

Symptoms And Complications Of Impacted Teeth

Some people with an impacted tooth show no symptoms except that the tooth doesn’t erupt. If it’s a canine, the baby tooth may not even loosen on its own! But even without symptoms, canine teeth are critical to a great smile because they provide essential structure and support. They also take on much of the chewing pressure thanks to their longer roots, which protects the surrounding teeth.

Impacted teeth often cause complications and symptoms besides a lopsided smile. Impacted teeth can push into neighboring teeth beneath the gums and cause cavities, infections, gum disease, or nerve damage. Symptoms might include bad breath, pain, tenderness around the jawline, a prolonged headache or jaw ache, swollen gums, swollen lymph nodes, bad taste in mouth, and visible gaps.

Treatment: A Place For Every Tooth

Impaction of a tooth usually can’t be prevented, but the tooth can be removed (in the case of wisdom teeth) or moved into its proper position (in the case of canines) with oral surgery and orthodontic treatment. An impacted tooth is usually discovered through dental x-rays, and then the orthodontist can determine the best course of action to take.

Help Us Help You

If you think you may have an impacted tooth, visit us at Gorczyca Orthodontics in Antioch, California for a free orthodontic exam. We’re always here to help and to treat your impacted tooth.

Your smile is our inspiration!

Top image used under CC0 Public Domain license. Image cropped and modified from original.
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Is It Possible To Over-Brush While You Have Braces?

March 23rd, 2018

HAVE YOU EVER had a sip of ice water and experienced a sudden, sharp pain in your teeth? You’re not alone. One in eight people experiences tooth sensitivity—the kind of sensitivity that isn’t due to a problem such as a cavity, and has nothing to do with braces. So what’s causing it? Surprisingly, one of the most common causes of tooth sensitivity is brushing with too much force.

While you’re undergoing orthodontic treatment, it’s more important than ever to brush! However, don’t interpret that as a recommendation to brush more aggressively. There’s a better way to be effective.

How Could Brushing Hurt?

Over-brushing is problematic because it wears down the protective layers of your tooth enamel. It can also push back your gums, exposing the dentin layer under the enamel even more. This dentin layer has microscopic tubes or canals that lead to your tooth’s nerves. If these tubes are exposed to hot, cold, or even acidic foods it can lead to discomfort and tooth sensitivity.

Brushing too hard, especially at the corners of your dental arch, with a back and forth “saw action” may lead to gingival recession (gum recession, or receding gum height) especially over the canine tooth roots. This is one dental health problem we would like to avoid.

Tips For Better Brushing:

  • Watch which direction bristles face when you brush. They should be perpendicular, not parallel.
  • Hold your toothbrush loosely, like a pencil.
  • Use soft, round motions to brush. Don’t saw back and forth.
  • Use soft or extra-soft bristled brushes. Brush softly! Apply just enough pressure to feel the bristles against your gums.
  • Braces may be hard on your toothbrush—replace it when you notice frayed and bent bristles.

Put In The Time

When it comes to cleaning teeth, elbow grease doesn’t do the trick. Consider this mantra: brush smarter, not harder. When regularly brushing, the plaque you’re trying to get rid of is fairly soft and can easily be brushed away with a soft brush.

During the two minutes you’re brushing it’s good to be thorough, but there’s no need to scrub the same areas over and over again.

Questions?

Are you experiencing tooth sensitivity? Over-brushing isn’t the only possible cause. Some orthodontic patients may have exposed roots due to shifting teeth, not over brushing. If you are experiencing discomfort, ask us about it at your next appointment.

You can also leave a question below, or you can ask a private question on our Facebook page.

If you have questions about healthy tooth brushing, crooked teeth, or gum health, please visit us at Gorczyca Orthodontics in Antioch, California for a free orthodontic exam. Call us at 925-757-9000. Find out more about Gorczyca Orthodontics at www.clubbraces.com.

We look forward to you. Your smile is our inspiration.

More Topics
diplomate american board of orthodontics Edward H. Angle Society of Orthodontists advanced education in orthdontics
member american association of orthodontists seattle study club american dental association california dental association