All too often we are not careful about how we take care of our teeth. There are many ways which we can cause broken teeth and fractured teeth. Being careful of some basic behaviors can save us lots of pain and suffering later on.
Many people have developed oral habits that can cause broken teeth. For example, chewing on hard items like pencils do great damage. Since these behaviors are unconscious much of the time, they go on for extended periods of time. Biting like this will cause micro fractures that can damage the enamel making it more susceptible to breaking. Some people eat things like sun flour seed and always break them with one of their front teeth. Over the years that can cause an unsightly groove in the tooth.
Another prime source of broken teeth is chewing on ice. While it might be fun, the hard ice itself can break a tooth. But less well known is the fact that the freezing ice causes an internal stress in the tooth itself which can weaken the tooth by creating microscopic internal fractures.
Sports And Tooth Danger
Of course contact Sports are a constant concern for teeth. We all know of the hockey players missing their front tooth, but damage can happen when you least expect it. So many times as the summer arrives, I have patients who dived off the diving board into the pool and did not realize that they were headed right for the floor of the pool. They hit their tooth on the floor and it breaks. Bike riding is another prime source for tooth damage. See this picture of a child who broke their front teeth. There is a characteristic breakage pattern of an angled break. One way to prevent these concerns is to have a child wear a sports guard when they are involved in an activity that can hurt their teeth.
Orthodontics is a great way to give people with crooked teeth a perfect smile.
We generally prefer to move teeth when the bone is not fully mature, as it is softer that that of an adult. Usually the ideal age is just when the baby teeth have fallen out. Somewhere between 11-14 years old.
There are certain cases where interceptive orthodontics can be done at an early age in order to prevent problems later. Oral habits like thumb sucking cause the teeth to protrude. Stopping the habit is a sort of interception that might use an orthodontic appliance. Another example is if a baby tooth is lost early and the space where it was is not held open. Then the drifting teeth might prevent the permanent tooth from coming down into place. In these cases, a space maintainer is the solution, as it holds the space open till the adult tooth comes in.
Sometimes, the upper teeth erupt into a position that is inside the lower teeth. A normal esthetic bite is such that the upper teeth are outside of the lower teeth. By placing a simple appliance in the child’s mouth, we can easily guide the permanent tooth into place.
The most common orthodontics is that done to an adolescent. The teeth have just come in, the body is still growing and we can easily move them to where we want them. While it may look simple there are many factors an orthodontist takes into account while he is planning the treatment. The Dr. must evaluate the skeletal pattern of the child and the estimated growth that will happen later on. Specialized x-rays called a cephalometric and a panoramic x-ray are needed for this. Digital x-rays greatly reduce exposure to radiation.
Computerized orthodontics or brackets?
Once the plan has been made there are two basic approaches to treatment. The standard was always using brackets to hold a wire which imparts the gentle forces on the teeth. Ultimately a rectangular wire fits in a slot in the bracket and the teeth move into a very precise location as well as being tilted in the ideal direction.
In recent years, a new approach is used where a computer calculates all of the steps needed to get from the beginning to the end. Clear plastic is molded into a form which fits on the teeth with slight pressure. That pressure causes slight movement. After two weeks or so another plastic form is placed on the teeth causing a bit more movement. After 12-24 months or so, the teeth have moved into the desired location due to orthodontics without wearing any unsightly brackets.
For information on orthodontics in Jerusalem, please be in touch.