Will having teeth removed ruin my face?

beautiful smileWill having teeth removed ruin my face?

Nobody wants to have to undergo a tooth extraction. But in some cases, an injury, structural issue, or recurring infection may make taking out a tooth necessary. However, if you or your child is facing down the possibility of a tooth extraction, you may be concerned about long-term damage. After all, many people have heard that having one or more teeth extracted can cause changes in your facial bone structure. And while this is a distinct possibility, the issue is a bit more complex than that.

What Can Happen to Your Facial Structure After Having Teeth Removed?

While you notice your teeth on a daily basis, you may not always think about the roots of your teeth. Your tooth roots extend far into the maxilla, or your upper jaw. The maxilla also includes parts of your nose and eye sockets.

When you have a tooth extracted, all roots are removed. Because the roots of your teeth are an integral part of your facial structure, changes in your face shape are possible with tooth extraction. While it won’t necessarily ruin your face, a change in face shape or structure may occur. next, we’ll look at how this change may happen.

Of course, if you find yourself in need of a tooth extraction, you may be concerned about how to avoid changes in face shape. There are steps you can take to prevent facial changes–or at least reduce the risk of them. We will discuss these in greater detail below.

Why Do Facial Changes Occur?

As we noted earlier, your teeth are an integral part of your facial structure. When a tooth is removed, the part of the jaw it rests on remodels and adjusts to the change. This remodeling is known as residual ridge resorption, and it refers to the gradual recession of the bone and gumline where the removed tooth originally was.

This may not sound like a major issue, but for some orthodontic patients, it becomes one. It’s important to realize that not every patient will experience a change in face shape after a tooth extraction, but it’s virtually impossible to know if you or your child will suffer facial changes until those changes happen. Different people have different degrees of residual ridge resorption, but for those who have a significant degree, the resorption of the bone around where the tooth used to end up changing the shape of the bones of the face.


If the removed tooth is an upper tooth, parts of the face may appear sunken in, resulting in asymmetry. If a lower tooth is removed, it may similarly result in asymmetry, and it also has the potential to exaggerate an underbite.

Facial changes due to tooth extraction will generally progress over time. The fact that facial changes are not immediate means that some patients may be lulled into a false sense of security, and they may, therefore, be surprised when they start to notice facial asymmetry within a few months. Generally speaking, though, the most rapid changes occur within the first year after the extraction. If there is no further intervention, changes in your facial bones may continue to progress more slowly for the rest of your life.

While this may seem to paint a bleak picture, it’s important to remember that, while tooth extractions may cause facial changes, the changes they cause are typically subtle. Plus, there are several post-extraction options to reduce your risks of facial changes. Many orthodontists will try to preserve your damaged or infected tooth if at all possible, but if extraction becomes necessary, there are steps you can take to preserve both your smile and your facial structure.

What Can You Do to Reduce the Risk of Changes in Your Face?

When you or your child has a tooth extracted, it’s a good idea to first talk to your orthodontist about post-extraction options. Here are some common ones:

  • bone grafts
  • dental implants
  • dental bridges

In many cases, bone grafts are recommended after a tooth extraction. A bone graft involves placing bone material (often in the form of a translucent film) over the surgical site. This encourages your jaw to produce more bone material, and it, therefore, helps to reduce your risk of bone recession. Bone grafts are especially useful if your tooth has been removed due to chronic infections. Infections often result in a loss of bone in the jaw, and a graft helps to speed the replacement of that bone.

Dental implants are often the most recommended way to both replace a tooth and reduce your chances of developing facial asymmetry. For an implant, you receive not only a prosthetic tooth but also what is effectively a root replacement. This option may be somewhat expensive, but it typically lasts a lifetime.

Another option is the dental bridge. This is where a prosthetic tooth is attached to the adjoining teeth via dental crowns. This option tends to cost less than an implant, but the disadvantage is that it must be replaced approximately every 10 years.

Call Gorton and Schmohl Orthodontics Today

If you live in Larkspur, Calif., then you can schedule an appointment at Gorton & Schmohl Orthodontics where we have three orthodontists to help you, including:

• Dr. Jasmine Gorton
• Dr. Bill Schmohl
• Dr. Jeff Nichelini

An orthodontist will have a consultation with you to discuss your treatment that might include:

• Braces – WildSmile brackets and wires in fun colors
• Damon Clear – clear brackets
• Retainers – to keep teeth in place after treatment
• Invisalign – customized plastic aligners

Our patients are treated using the Wow Smiles system that creates a unique smile for your face. Call us today at 415-459-8006 to schedule your first appointment.

How often should I brush my teeth with braces?

Gorton & Schmohl Orthodontics

900 Larkspur Landing Circle, Suite 200 Larkspur, California 94939

Phone

415-459-8006

 

How often should I brush my teeth with braces?

toothbrush

LAST UPDATED: MARCH 27, 2018

How often should I brush my teeth with braces?

As orthodontists, we can use different types of braces and appliances to give you a straight, perfectly aligned smile. The work of keeping your teeth sparkling white, however, it up to up. Caring for your teeth while wearing orthodontic appliances may take a little extra effort, but the results will be worth it when your braces finally come off.

FAQ

Why Is Proper Oral Hygiene Important for Braces Wearers?

Braces represent a significant commitment of both time and money. The last thing you want is to have all of your hard work derailed by poor oral hygiene. While braces themselves do not damage your teeth, the brackets and wires can trap food particles and bacteria that can cause a variety of dental issues, including bad breath, cavities, and plaque buildup. Plaque is a sticky substance containing bacteria that can coat the teeth, gums, tongue, and dental appliances within hours of eating.

  • In the early stages, plaque buildup can cause the gums to become red and swollen. The gums may also bleed slightly during brushing. This is referred to as gingivitis.
  • Periodontitis occurs when the inflammation and infection become so severe that they affect the bones and ligaments responsible for supporting the teeth. This causes the gums to pull away from the teeth, which allows pockets to develop that accumulate even more plaque.
  • Improper oral hygiene can also lead to decalcifications, which are permanent stain marks that develop around the braces.

When You Should Brush

The only way to remove plaque is by brushing your teeth. Ideally, you should brush your teeth after each meal and before going to bed. We recommend that you carry a travel toothbrush to make cleaning your braces easy and convenient. If you find yourself in a situation where brushing is not an option, you should at least give your mouth a good rinse with water. At a minimum, you should brush your teeth at least twice a day.

What About Flossing?

Brushing alone will not prevent plaque buildup. You should also floss at least once a day to clean those areas where the bristles of a toothbrush cannot reach. It is true that the wires can make flossing challenging, but your orthodontist can recommend products to make the job easier, such as floss threaders and Proxabrush Cleaners.

Proper Brushing for Braces Wearers

To get your teeth as clean as possible, it is important to start out with the right equipment.

  • As a general rule, we do not recommend electric toothbrushes for braces wearers. They can be hard to maneuver, and the bristles can get caught in the wires and brackets.
  • If you use a standard toothbrush, you will need to make sure that you angle the bristles up as you use an up and down brushing motion to ensure that you are able to clean over the braces thoroughly.
  • An interdental toothbrush is the best option for individuals with braces. These brushes feature an angled, triangle-shaped brush that can effectively clean all sides of the teeth and braces.

You should brush your teeth for at least two minutes each time. It is still important to brush the fronts, backs, sides, and chewing surfaces of your teeth along with your tongue and the roof of your mouth. When you are finished, your teeth should feel smooth and clean, and you should be able to see the edges of your brackets clearly.

Other Tips for Caring for Your Teeth While Wearing Braces

  • Your braces will wear down the bristles of your toothbrush faster than normal, so you may have to replace your brush more often than every three months. You should change brushes anytime the bristles appear frayed or bent.
  • To prevent cavities, use a toothpaste that contains fluoride.
  • If recommended by your orthodontist, use an over-the-counter or prescription fluoride rinse in addition to brushing and flossing.
  • Have your teeth professionally cleaned every six months or as recommended by your orthodontist.
  • Avoid sugary foods and beverages. These foods and drinks coat the teeth with a sugary residue that can accelerate the bacteria growth that can lead to decay and gum disease. If you cannot resist the occasional soda, you should drink through a straw so that the majority of the drink bypasses the teeth.

We also recommend carrying a portable dental care kit so that you can keep your teeth clean no matter where you are. Items to include in your kit include:

  • a toothbrush or battery-powered oral irrigator,
  • interdental cleaners,
  • travel-sized toothpaste, and
  • travel-sized mouthwash.

Call Gorton and Schmohl Orthodontics Today

If you live in Larkspur, Calif., then you can schedule an appointment at Gorton & Schmohl Orthodontics where we have three orthodontists to help you, including:

• Dr. Jasmine Gorton
• Dr. Bill Schmohl
• Dr. Jeff Nichelini

An orthodontist will have a consultation with you to discuss your treatment that might include:

• Braces – WildSmile brackets and wires in fun colors
• Damon Clear – clear brackets
• Retainers – to keep teeth in place after treatment
• Invisalign – customized plastic aligners

Our patients are treated using the Wow Smiles system that creates a unique smile for your face. Call us today at 415-459-8006 to schedule your first appointment.

How often should I brush my teeth with braces?

Gorton & Schmohl Orthodontics

900 Larkspur Landing Circle, Suite 200 Larkspur, California 94939

Phone

415-459-8006

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What is the Best Age for Your Child to Get Orthodontic Braces?

childrenWhat Is The Best Age For Your Child To Get Orthodontic Braces?

Orthodontic braces aid in correction of crooked teeth. Usually, an Orthodontist recommends the procedure after critical evaluation on positioning of teeth and jaw that affect chewing, swallowing as well as appearance. According to professionals in the field, braces are worn between 12 to 30 months depending on complexity of the patient’s case. However, there is no time limit to the procedure considering individual cases may respond to the treatment in different ways.

There are three primary reasons that attribute to the treatment procedure extension to 30 months and beyond. These include;

  • Beginning the procedure before complete loss of baby teeth
  • Untimely surgical procedures and tooth extraction
  • Mid-course shift of treatment plan from the original

Evidently, timely placement of the orthodontic braces is critical for quick and effective treatment. Nevertheless, the decision to begin the procedure is beyond an Orthodontist and a patient. Parents have a major role in determining when their child should begin the treatment. Previously, teenagers and adults dominated the orthodontic clientele because of the need to improve appearance. Today, the orthodontic braces are increasingly becoming common among children. It is critical for parents, especially mothers, to keep a close eye on their children’s teeth alignment. Specialists recommend treatment in early years of tooth development because it is less costly. The procedure also takes a relatively shorter period on kids as compared to adults.

An Orthodontist’s appointment is critical if any abnormally is noticed. There is no room for ignorance considering it does not take any special skill for a mother to notice crooked teeth or misaligned chewing. Although consultants differ on appropriate time of Orthodontic braces placement to children, there are other Orthodontic appliances besides braces. Hence, it is never too early for a mother to book an Orthodontic appointment for a child.

Orthodontic braces are more effective after growth of permanent teeth. Usually, this is at the age of seven. Although placing the braces earlier than 7 years can still be effective depending on the kid’s complication; the procedure is likely to be more complicated and exceed the standard twelve to thirty months.

After seven years old, children lose all their teeth and grow new ones. It is only at this point that an Orthodontist can identify the specific cause of misalignment thus determining the correct type of brace. Besides, issues such as overcrowding and protruding only come after growth of permanent teeth.

Hence, placement of braces before may not be effective if overcrowding occurs after the brace set. Overbite and underbite are also treated by orthodontic braces. When the upper jaw is bigger than the lower jaw, it is referred to as an overbite. An underbite occurs when the lower jaw is bigger. This condition is known as Malocclusion.

Causes

There are numerous causes of malocclusion, uneven bite, overcrowding, and crooked teeth. Inheritance is one of the key factors that necessitate brace treatment for children. Specialists cite that kids of people that underwent an orthodontic brace procedure are more likely to experience the same. Accidents and thumb sucking are also leading causes of early loss of baby teeth thus tooth complications hence need for braces.

Exceptions

Standard orthodontic brace procedures take up to 30 months for patients with at least seven years. However, there are exceptions to the set guidelines. First, a patient might have malocclusion that entails severe crowding and excessive crowding. In some cases, the canines protrude dangerously out of the mouth hence the need for immediate and specialized braces that may take up to two years. Patients with such complications have to endure longer time with the braces because Orthodontists wait for complete tooth eruption before removing the braces.

Secondly, severe tooth complications impact an individual’s social life. In the case of a school going kid, a protruding or crooked tooth may attract attention that will wear down the kid’s self-esteem. In such a scenario, an Orthodontist may recommend brace treatment procedure even when the baby teeth of the patient are not out. Additionally, tooth protruding exposes an individual to danger. Especially for children, a protruded tooth can break or tear flesh on the mouth or hurt a second party considering kids are playful.

Types of Braces

There are three common types of braces, namely; stainless steel, ceramic, and plastic braces. Although orthodontists prescribe either of the brace material depending on complexity of a patient’s case, straightening and fixing misalignment are the main functions of orthodontic braces. Invisible trays are also commonly used appliances by orthodontists to fix small dental issues.

The clear material on the treatment appliances make it invisible. It is a unique treatment procedure because the trays are customized to match an individual’s tooth line.


Apart from the stainless steel, ceramic, and plastic braces that constitute of rubber bands, wires, and brackets, orthodontists also use headgears as a treatment appliance. An orthodontist can prescribe the appliance to a child depending on severity of the issue. Headgears apply more pressure on the teeth by using a horseshoe-shaped wire that ties from the back teeth. Usually, one tooth is removed to allow space in the mouth for adjustment of the targeted teeth.

After placement of braces, a parent should ensure the kid visits the Orthodontist periodically for adjustments and monitoring. Parents also have a responsibility to ensure braces of their children are kept clean. Considering braces are made of wires, food can easily get stuck hence causing more damage. Therefore, regular brushing of teeth and use of flossers is necessary.

Patients should also avoid sugary and hard foods because they can damage the braces. Properly aligned teeth help in chewing and overall oral health.

Visiting an Orthodontist

The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) suggests that a child see an orthodontist by the child’s seventh birthday. Contact Gorton and Schmohl Orthodontics today to schedule a complimentary consultation.

In Marin County, Calif., you can visit Gorton & Schmohl Orthodontics to have an examination and treatment from these professionals:

• Dr. Jasmine Gorton
• Dr. Bill Schmohl

An orthodontist will discuss orthodontic options with you to repair problems such as crowded teeth, crossbites or overbites. Depending on your malocclusions, you can wear one of these devices:

• Retainers
• Invisalign
• WildSmiles
• Braces with colors
• Traditional or Damon Clear

We also offer WowSmiles and Acceledent options to our orthodontic patients. Schedule an appointment by calling 415-459-8006 today.

Gorton & Schmohl Orthodontics
900 Larkspur Landing Circle, Suite 200 Larkspur CA 94939 Tel: (415)-459-8006

At What Age Do Baby Teeth Normally Fall Out?

baby teethAt What Age Do Baby Teeth Normally Fall Out?

There is excitement all around when a child loses their first baby tooth. The appearance of the first permanent tooth represents the next stage of a child’s life. But losing that first tooth is worrisome if it occurs too early or not soon enough. You might have concerns about when your child’s baby teeth should fall out. If so, here’s some info you can use.

Losing Baby Teeth

Children rarely do anything right on schedule. You can add losing baby teeth to that list. Most children typically lose their first tooth by the time they’re 6 or 7 years old. The baby teeth then continue to fall out following the order in which they grew. However, tooth loss can occur sooner or later than expected.

It’s not unheard of for a child to lose their first tooth before their fifth birthday. That first tooth might even stick around until the child is 8 years old. This isn’t how it typically occurs, but there’s usually no cause for alarm. In most cases, when a child loses the first tooth depends on when it grew.

The first tooth usually appears by the time a baby is 6 months old. But that cute little center tooth might show up at 3 months. It’s even possible the first tooth won’t appear until after you’ve celebrated baby’s first year. Keep track of when your child grows new baby teeth. This can give you an idea of when the child is likely to start losing teeth. The sooner the first tooth appears, the sooner it will fall out.

Possible Cause for Concern

As a general rule, tooth loss shouldn’t occur before the child’s fourth birthday. Losing a tooth that soon could indicate a problem. Losing the first tooth after the seventh birthday could also mean there’s a problem. In either case, you might want to consult an orthodontist for an examination and X-rays. There’s probably nothing wrong, but it doesn’t hurt to check.

A baby tooth should remain in place until a permanent tooth is ready to appear. The permanent tooth grows below the baby tooth. Eventually, the new tooth pushes the baby tooth out into the cold. It’s also possible that your child will experience premature tooth loss. This means a baby tooth has fallen out before the growth of a permanent tooth. Perhaps the child took a hard fall or got hit with a toy.

In addition to premature loss, delayed loss can indicate a problem as well. There is a rare occurrence in which a child develops a mesiodens. That’s a fancy way of saying the child has developed one or more extra teeth. The extra teeth can block permanent teeth, and prevent them from growing normally. This abnormality occurs in about 1% of the population, and it’s a main cause of delayed loss of baby teeth.


A child can also develop two rows of teeth. Some people refer to this as shark teeth, but that’s not very nice. The child isn’t turning into a shark. It just means the baby tooth didn’t fall out when the permanent tooth grew. The result is an extra set of teeth. If the baby tooth is loose, then your child can wiggle it out with their tongue. But if the extra tooth isn’t loose, then an extraction is possibly needed.

Other problems that can affect a child’s teeth include:

  • Cavities
  • Tooth Decay
  • Gum Disease
  • Thumb Sucking

The Tooth is Loose

What happens when a child is annoyed or curious about a loose tooth? More than likely, the child will shove their fingers into their mouth to yank at the tooth. They will continue to do this no matter how many times you tell them to stop. A wobbly tooth is annoying, but germ infested little hands should stay away. And yanking on a loose tooth can make the root prone to infection.

Reassure your child that the tooth will drop out when it’s ready. It will likely happen while the child is eating or sleeping. The child can also gently wiggle the tooth using their tongue.

Note that a loose tooth isn’t always an indicator of an incoming new tooth. It’s common for a tooth to get knocked loose during playtime or during a fall. Get the child’s tooth examined to make sure the permanent tooth isn’t damaged.

Visiting an Orthodontist

The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) suggests that a child see an orthodontist by the child’s seventh birthday. Contact Gorton and Schmohl Orthodontics today to schedule a complimentary consultation.

In Marin County, Calif., you can visit Gorton & Schmohl Orthodontics to have an examination and treatment from these professionals:

• Dr. Jasmine Gorton
• Dr. Bill Schmohl

An orthodontist will discuss orthodontic options with you to repair problems such as crowded teeth, crossbites or overbites. Depending on your malocclusions, you can wear one of these devices:

• Retainers
• Invisalign
• WildSmiles
• Braces with colors
• Traditional or Damon Clear

We also offer WowSmiles and Acceledent options to our orthodontic patients. Schedule an appointment by calling 415-459-8006 today.

Gorton & Schmohl Orthodontics
900 Larkspur Landing Circle, Suite 200 Larkspur CA 94939 Tel: (415)-459-8006

Can [Retainers] Fix a Slight Shift of Teeth After Braces?

braces

LAST UPDATED: FEBRUARY 27, 2018

Can Retainers Fix a Slight Shift of Teeth After Braces?

While braces are a fantastic solution for yourself or your children when suffering from misaligned teeth, it’s actually possible for your teeth to shift slightly even after wearing an orthodontic appliance, especially if you don’t start to use a retainer immediately. If you’ve neglected to wear a retainer right after the brackets are taken off, you’ll want to research your options before your teeth have moved too much. Below is some useful information about how a retainer can help with a slight shift of your teeth.

FAQ

What Are Retainers?

While teeth straightening applications like Invisalign and metal brackets will move your teeth into their correct position, whether you’re suffering from an overbite or crowding of the teeth, your teeth can still shift back towards their original position, which is an issue that retainers are designed to keep from happening. Directly after the appliance has been removed and your teeth have been straightened, they will be cleaned. At this time, a custom-made retainer will be crafted to fit around your teeth, some of which are permanent while others are temporary.

No matter what type of retainer you’re provided with, they are meant to keep your teeth from shifting back into their incorrect placement. It’s typically recommended that a retainer is worn on a continuous basis for at least six months, though you’ll likely be required to use one for a lengthier period of time at night, typically from 1-3 years. Even by only wearing a retainer at night, you can avoid slight shifts of your teeth, ensuring that your smile remains intact and beautiful.

Why Do My Teeth Shift After They’ve Been Straightened

Many people who get their teeth straightened with Invisalign or some other solution incorrectly believe that their teeth will remain in their corrected position for years to come. While they will never revert 100 percent back to their original positions, they will shift somewhat without the usage of a retainer. The best way to avoid this issue is by using a retainer the moment after your teeth straightening appliance has been removed. The reason that your teeth shift after having been straightened is that the bone hasn’t fully hardened into its new position. By wearing a retainer, you keep your teeth in place as the bone hardens, which saves you the trouble of having to get your teeth straightened again in the future.

Given the fact that the bone needs to harden over time, the few months immediately following the removal of your appliance are the most important. Foregoing the usage of a retainer during this period of time may cause your teeth to move to abnormal positions. If this has already happened to you, you may want to consider using a retainer for the correction of this problem, as it will allow you to save money that you otherwise might have needed for braces or Invisalign.

There are a few other issues that could cause your teeth to start shifting, even years after you’ve worn teeth straightening appliance. For instance, if you grind your teeth, there’s a chance that this grinding could cause subtle shifts of your teeth over a lengthy period of time. While these shifts won’t be noticeable immediately, they may become substantial after a couple of years. It’s also possible for your teeth to shift if you lose a tooth after orthodontic treatment, as your teeth can start moving towards the gap where the tooth is missing. If any of these issues occur, you should see an orthodontist about your options as soon as possible.

Can Retainers Fix Slight Shifts After Braces?

In many instances, it’s possible for retainers to fix slight shifts of your teeth once your orthodontic appliance has been removed. While this method of teeth straightening isn’t guaranteed to work, retainers are used at times for making very small corrections, which is why they can also be used if your teeth have moved to an abnormal position after the original appliance is taken out.

 

It’s important to understand that retainers must fit your teeth perfectly in order for them to work properly, which is why only very small shifts can be corrected with the use of a retainer. Retainers can’t be adjusted in the same way that metal brackets or aligners can. If the shift is too large, the best case scenario when you attempt to wear a retainer to correct the shift is that you feel discomfort on a consistent basis when wearing the retainer.

However, there’s also a slight possibility that wearing a retainer that’s not shaped 100 percent to your teeth will result in damage to those teeth, which will cost you a lot of money and frustration in the long run. If you want to be confident that wearing a retainer for a slight shift of your teeth won’t damage them, just contact your orthodontist and have them look at your teeth, as they will be able to determine whether or not wearing a retainer for these slight shifts is a smart course of action.

Schedule an Orthodontic Examination in Larkspur Today

In Marin County, Calif., you can visit Gorton & Schmohl Orthodontics to have an examination and treatment from these professionals:

• Dr. Jasmine Gorton
• Dr. Bill Schmohl

An orthodontist will discuss orthodontic options with you to repair problems such as crowded teeth, crossbites or overbites. Depending on your malocclusions, you can wear one of these devices:

• Retainers
• Invisalign
• WildSmiles
• Braces with colors
• Traditional or Damon Clear

We also offer WowSmiles and Acceledent options to our orthodontic patients. Schedule an appointment by calling 415-459-8006 today.

Gorton & Schmohl Orthodontics
900 Larkspur Landing Circle, Suite 200 Larkspur CA 94939 Tel: (415)-459-8006

Can Retainers Fix a Slight Shift of Teeth After Braces?

Is It Safe to Undergo Tooth X-rays During Pregnancy?

PREGNANT WOMAN WITH BRACES

Is It Safe to Undergo Tooth X-rays During Pregnancy?

If you are an expecting mom and need to get a dental x-ray done, you may be questioning whether the process can be harmful. This is especially true for women nearing the end of their pregnancy. Read on to discover the facts surrounding tooth x-rays during pregnancy so you can make the best choice for you and your baby’s health.

Why You Would Need an X-Ray

An orthodontist may need you to get a dental x-ray for a variety of reasons. One leading reason is to determine whether or not gum disease is present. X-rays are also useful for detecting underlying decay. In some cases, x-rays can also aid orthodontists in determining other issues such as how well the teeth are lining up, bone loss and serious infections. Regardless of the reason why your orthodontist has requested that you get one done, you can be sure there is a good reason behind it.

X-Rays and Pregnancy

Up until recently, many people believed that x-rays were harmful for pregnant women. The logic behind this was that the exposure to radiation could lead to complications with the embryo or fetus. People assumed that serious birth defects or deformities would occur as a result.

Fortunately, this is not the case nowadays. In fact, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) actually recommends that women who are pregnant maintain dental check-ups, cleanings and x-rays. Modern x-raying equipment uses an extremely low amount of radiation that poses a very low risk of causing health complications for both the mother and unborn baby.

If you are still feeling nervous about the radiation used during a dental x-ray, you can rest assured knowing that the risk factors are extremely low. This is because only a small amount of the body, the teeth primarily, are exposed to the radiation. In most cases, the developing embryo or fetus is not exposed to the process at all. Having one x-ray done poses an insignificant risk to your baby’s health. However, if you need several done intermittently within a short period of time, you may want to speak with your orthodontist about delaying the process until after you give birth.

Safety Precautions

Many healthcare professionals recommend wearing a lead apron or similar shielding device over your abdomen if you are pregnant during an x-ray. This tool can put your worries to rest by completely protecting the region from radiation during the process. You can speak with your orthodontist about this prior to the procedure to request one.

Postponing an X-Ray

If you are still uncomfortable with getting a dental x-ray done during pregnancy, you may want to speak with your orthodontist about the possibility of postponing the process until after you have given birth. The first trimester of development is considered to be the most vulnerable. If you are currently in it, you may be able to delay your procedure briefly until this stage of development is over.

However, you should also keep in mind that a serious infection or other issue could hinder your health and even your baby’s health if not properly dealt with. Sometimes an ultrasound can be used instead of an x-ray which would remove the risk of radiation exposure. However, only your orthodontist can determine whether this i a good option for your needs. This is a matter of determining whether the benefits outweigh the risks that you and your orthodontist must discuss prior to moving forward with a procedure.

Preventative Tips

In some cases, you may be able to avoid the need for an x-ray entirely. By taking preventative action and maintaining good oral care, you can significantly reduce your need for emergency dental procedures. Make sure you receive regular exams and cleanings to prevent decay and other issues. At-home you can do your best to avoid the need for x-rays by making sure you brush twice a day and floss thoroughly every day. Often times people do not brush for long enough, forget to get the roof of their mouth or ignore hard to reach areas. Unfortunately, these bad practices can still lead a fully committed brusher to gum disease, decay and ultimately x-rays over time. Take your time and invest in a quality electric toothbrush if needed to ensure high quality cleaning every day.

If you are worried about getting an x-ray during pregnancy, you can rest assured knowing that the risks are extremely low. The benefits associated with the procedure significantly outweigh any small chance of complications arising. By maintaining proper daily oral hygiene, you can reduce the need for emergency x-rays, dental work and the use of medications during your pregnancy.

Fix Your Smile Today

Contact Gorton & Schmohl Orthodontics today to set up your consultation. There’s no reason to put off a visit to our helpful team of professionals. It is our goal to help you make the most of your smile.

Dr. Jasmine Gorton

Dr. Bill Schmohl

When your teeth are aligned properly and your jaw is flowing smoothly, you will find more reasons to flash those pearly whites every day. Let Gorton & Schmohl Orthodontics be your partner in good oral hygiene.

Gorton & Schmohl Orthodontics

900 Larkspur Landing Circle, Suite 200,

Larkspur, California 94939

415-459-8006

How to Care for Braces During [Pregnancy]

pregnancy

How to Care for Braces During Pregnancy

Seeing the positive result on a pregnancy test is an exciting, emotional, and overwhelming time in any woman’s life. Whether you were hoping this would happen or you are shocked at the result, you can’t help but feel the excitement mixed with some nerves. If you’ve been pregnant before, you know about the many different ways pregnancy affects your body and changes your life. If this is your first pregnancy, you might have a lot to learn about what to expect.

Your doctor provides you with a list of foods you can no longer eat while expecting, he or she might recommend less strenuous exercise, certain medications become off-limits, and everything in your life changes just a bit. If you have braces, it changes even more. Your oral health is more important when you’re pregnant than ever. If you develop gum disease, your baby could be born with a low birth weight, you could go into premature labor, and you could face other issues with your pregnancy and the health of your child.

It’s important you see your dentist when you become pregnant to check your oral health, and it’s even more important you call your orthodontist right away if you have braces. It’s perfectly safe to wear braces and to carry a child at the same time, but some of the care and some of the routine procedures you go through when you wear braces might change a bit with a baby on board. Don’t confuse calling your dentist with calling your orthodontist. You should call both, but it’s your orthodontist who needs to see you to discuss the importance of caring for your braces while you’re also carrying a baby.

Call Your Orthodontist

As soon as you find out you’re pregnant and ready to tell, call your orthodontist and let the office know you’re pregnant. They need to note this in your chart so they know how to handle your appointment when you come in. You might not get x-rays while pregnant, and you definitely won’t end up with certain medications or even anesthesia if work is necessary. Your orthodontist needs to know you have a baby on board, and it doesn’t hurt to remind him or her of this fact when you are in the office, too.

Spend More Time Caring for Your Teeth and Braces

Now that you have a baby on the way, your oral health is that much more important. Now is a great time to focus on really cleaning your teeth well while pregnant. Spend the entire two minutes brushing each section of your mouth twice a day. Take extra time to clean your braces, and be sure you are following the list of foods you can and cannot eat both while expecting and while wearing braces. If you have some health concerns due to your pregnancy that might also affect your braces, ask your orthodontist how to handle the situation.

Understand How Pregnancy Can Affect Braces

Your pregnancy can’t directly affect your braces itself, but it can affect your hormones. Your hormones can affect your teeth and gums, and that can affect your braces. This is a time in your life when your hormones go up, down, and around regularly. There is no telling what you might experience and when you might experience it. All you know is that at some point you might suffer from sensitive teeth and/or gums, you might find it difficult to eat certain foods because they hurt or irritate your mouth, and you might notice your braces aren’t as comfortable as they were.

While these are all normal changes during pregnancy, you are always encouraged to contact your orthodontist if you feel something is wrong. He or she might check you out and tell you everything is just fine, but there’s always a chance something isn’t right with your braces and they can fix the problem and send you home feeling a lot better.

Maintain All Dental Appointments

If you did it prior to getting pregnant, keep doing it now that you are pregnant. This means brushing, flossing, and keeping appointments with all your oral healthcare providers. If you’re scheduled for a cleaning with the dentist, go to it and let them know you’re pregnant. Your cleaning isn’t going to affect your braces or your pregnancy, but do let your dental professional know you are expecting.

If you have an appointment to let your orthodontist tighten your braces, go to the appointment. Remind them you are pregnant even if you already called because you never know if a note was missed or lost before the orthodontist had a chance to read it. Your orthodontist is here to help you navigate both braces and your pregnancy, and all you need to do is ask how that’s possible.

If you’re expecting a baby, go ahead and take your time to enjoy the excitement and the moment. There aren’t many times in your life you’ll get to feel this way as pregnancy isn’t something you experience often. However, do call your orthodontist to schedule your next appointment and to share the good news.

Fix Your Smile Today

Contact Gorton & Schmohl Orthodontics today to set up your consultation. There’s no reason to put off a visit to our helpful team of professionals. It is our goal to help you make the most of your smile.

Dr. Jasmine Gorton

Dr. Bill Schmohl

When your teeth are aligned properly and your jaw is flowing smoothly, you will find more reasons to flash those pearly whites every day. Let Gorton & Schmohl Orthodontics be your partner in good oral hygiene.

Gorton & Schmohl Orthodontics

900 Larkspur Landing Circle, Suite 200,

Larkspur, California 94939

415-459-8006

Does Wearing Braces Affect Lactating Mothers?

new mothers and braces

LAST UPDATED: JANUARY 30, 2018

Does Wearing Braces Affect Lactating Mothers?

There is no more joyful time in a mothers life than their child’s first months of life. The stress of bearing a child is behind you and you are able to touch, smell, and kiss your perfect little package. Though, as every mother knows, the worries are just beginning. It is a mother’s duty to protect both the baby and herself. A breastfeeding mother must take care of herself because her baby’s health is dependent upon her health. Everything they ingest and everything that they do to their bodies has an effect on the child. Even medical procedures must be carefully considered by the parents. The question has been raised as to whether or not wearing braces will have an effect on a mother’s lactation. The best way to find your answer to this question is to consult with a licensed orthodontist. The following paragraphs will explore the answer to this specific question and aims to aid in your discussion with a professional.

FAQ

Why Is Breastfeeding Important?

Nourishment and Immune Protection

The milk that a mother can provide for their baby is designed to satisfy all of the child’s needs. Breastfeeding is natural and evolutionarily designed to promote health throughout the child’s life. It is naturally infused with every nutrient that the baby needs throughout the first six months of life.
It also contains disease-fighting substances that help the baby fight diseases, such as;

Breastfeeding can not guarantee protection from these illnesses. However, studies have shown that they happen less often and less severely in breastfed children.

Physical Health

Breastfeeding is the baby’s first lesson in nourishment. The baby learns to eat until he or she is full. This has proven to limit the development of an eating disorder in the child. Breast milk also contains less insulin than formula. Insulin promotes the retention of fat. In contrast; formula-fed babies tend to gain more weight in the first weeks of life. This is linked to obesity later in life.

Brain Development

A number of independent researchers have found a connection between breastfeeding and increased cognitive abilities. Breastfed babies typically have higher I.Q scores and more developed vocabularies. Additionally, research has shown that breastfeeding helps preterm children’s mental development.

Emotional Health

Breastfeeding sparks one of the deepest possible emotional attachments between two humans. The mother and baby bond in a unique way that promotes emotional health for both.

What Are the Benefits for the Mother?

Mothers also benefit from breastfeeding. Mothers who breastfeed are less likely to develop postpartum depression. Nursing also triggers the release of oxytocin, which promotes relaxation. This helps a mother deal with the stress of caring for a newborn.


Data has been collected that indicates that breastfeeding lowers the risk of cancer for a mother. The research indicates that the best way to avoid breast cancer is to nurse for at least a year. The mechanism of this process is unknown but researchers believe that it has to do with the suppression of estrogen.

These benefits illustrate how important breastfeeding is for the mother, the baby, and the entire family. If breastfeeding is an option then it should be attempted. Its benefits are extensive and give your baby a plethora of advantages.

Can I Breastfeed if I wear Braces?

A mother should avoid anything that affects their milk production. The idea that wearing braces effects lactation has been around for as long as orthodontics has. Braces do not affect a mother’s milk production and are completely safe for both pregnant and nursing mothers. There are no chemicals in standard orthodontic braces that have been observed to have an effect on milk production.

Breastfeeding is one of the most important elements in the life of a mother and child. Babies who are nursed, instead of fed formula, carry its benefits throughout their lives. They are less susceptible to infections, SIDS, meningitis, and viral illnesses. Breastfed children also have been observed to have intellectual advantages. Their I.Q scores tend to be higher and they have more extensive vocabularies.

They also to have healthier eating habits and fewer occurrences of eating disorders. A mother should try to breastfeed if possible. Mothers who have braces often worry that their braces will cause lactation problems. This has not been observed to be true and orthodontists advise that braces are safe for nursing mothers and will not affect milk production.

As always, the best way to answer your questions and assuage your worries is to consult a professional orthodontist. Their years of study and extensive training make them the most reliable resource for dental and orthodontic information.

Fix Your Smile Today

Contact Gorton & Schmohl Orthodontics today to set up your consultation. There’s no reason to put off a visit to our helpful team of professionals. It is our goal to help you make the most of your smile.

Dr. Jasmine Gorton

Dr. Bill Schmohl

When your teeth are aligned properly and your jaw is flowing smoothly, you will find more reasons to flash those pearly whites every day. Let Gorton & Schmohl Orthodontics be your partner in good oral hygiene.

Does Wearing Braces Affect Lactating Mothers?

Gorton & Schmohl Orthodontics

900 Larkspur Landing Circle, Suite 200,

Larkspur, California 94939

415-459-8006

Should I get braces before my wedding?

smiling brideShould I get braces before my wedding?

Weddings often bring to light things that a person has always wanted to change, and you may suddenly find yourself worrying about the appearance of your smile. While you have likely gotten used to your crooked or misaligned teeth over the years, the realization that your smile will be immortalized for posterity in your wedding album may leave you dealing with some serious fears.

Your wedding day is one of the biggest events of your life, and it is true that all eyes will be on you and your bride or groom. The good news is that you do not have to settle for giving a closed-mouth smile. Instead, you can use this guide to decide if how you will benefit from getting braces before your wedding.

Identify What You Want to Change

The first thing you need to do is assess your smile. Are your teeth healthy but they overlap? Alternatively, you may be concerned about an overbite or underbite that used to bother you a lot when you were younger. As you look in the mirror and check out your smile, keep in mind that it is common for several issues to occur with a person’s tooth arrangement. Fortunately, the majority of these types of problems can be corrected with the right type of orthodontic treatment.

Address Aesthetic Concerns

While you may want your smile to look better, you might also worry about having pictures with you flashing a mouth full of metal. If that is what is holding you back, then have no worries. Today’s orthodontic treatment options have come a long way, and new technology now allows your orthodontist to treat your smile’s problem areas with greater discretion. From lingual braces to Invisalign, there are multiple ways to begin improving your smile without calling attention to your orthodontic treatment.

Consider the Wedding Date

Planning a wedding takes time, and it is possible that your orthodontic treatment could be finished, or close to it, if you plan to get married in a year or more. Sit down and look at the projected schedule for planning your wedding. Most likely, you will find that you still have plenty of time to squeeze in visits to the orthodontist. For a wedding that is in the near future, consider using a treatment strategy such as Invisalign that allows you to remove the trays for just long enough to get some great photos and finalize your vows with a kiss.

Explore Different Treatment Options

Your recommended treatment plan is based upon the unique factors that influence how your teeth, gums and the associated ligaments work together. However, most people are able to choose from several different options so that they can pick the one that fits their lifestyle. When you go in for your initial exam, make sure to let the orthodontist know that you are planning a wedding and have aesthetic or time concerns. This way, they can highlight the options that fit into your plans the best.

For instance, Invisalign braces can sometimes be a faster option that can improve your smile during your engagement period. If you do require traditional braces, then you can also take advantage of new technology that sends micro-pulses to the teeth while you wear a special appliance over the braces for a few minutes each day. Special light treatments can also be used to increase your comfort during the time that you are wearing braces.

Know What to Expect

One of the benefits of braces is that working through orthodontic treatment motivates you to focus on improving your overall oral health. As you explore your options, make sure that you know what to expect throughout the treatment process so that you can plan your schedule accordingly. For instance, traditional braces require you to visit the orthodontist every few weeks to have them adjusted. Usually, these visits are fairly brief, and you should be able to fit them into your schedule easily.

With Invisalign, you will typically have fewer treatments. However, you will need to come in every month or so to have the orthodontist check on your progress. With both types, you may have an emergency visit if you experience a problem such as a broken wire or lost aligner tray.

You will also need to take care of your oral health by continuing with your normal toothbrushing and flossing routine. With traditional braces, your orthodontist will show you how to floss around the brackets and wires, and you can consider using a special water flosser to make it easier.

Invisalign care involves removing your braces so that you can brush and floss your teeth like normal. Then, you will need to clean your aligner trays using the instructions given to you by the orthodontist. Depending upon your care plan, you may need to use a special mouth rinse or soak the aligner trays for a specific amount of time each day.

Schedule Your Initial Consultation

The decision to get braces before your wedding is a very personal choice, and the best way to feel confident as you proceed is to seek the advice of an orthodontist. During your initial consultation, you will receive a full oral exam that may include x-rays to give a full picture of your oral health and tooth alignment. Then, this information will be used to help you find out what your options are for getting a picture perfect smile for your wedding.

At Gorton & Schmohl Orthodontics, we help patients throughout every stage in life. Contact us today for your free initial consultation so that we can help your smile look as radiant as you feel on your special day.

If You Don’t Want Traditional [Metal Braces], What Are The Other Options?

braces

LAST UPDATED: DECEMBER 26, 2017

If You Don’t Want Traditional Metal Braces, What Are The Other Options?

Today’s teeth straightening technology has come a long way from the early days when a swig of spirits and a pair of pliers pretty much summed up your options.

FAQ

What are my orthodontic options?

Orthodontic science increasingly recognizes the need for a variety of solutions to fit differing development needs and lifestyle choices for patients of all ages from all walks of life.

To that end, along with traditional metal braces (which in themselves have greatly transformed from what they were in the early days of orthodontia), the orthodontic menu includes aligners, Herbst appliances, treatment reduction auxiliary procedures and fun braces to appeal to the younger set in particular.

What Does Invisalign Offer?

Invisalign uses a set of clear aligners rather than semi-permanent hardware to straighten and properly align the teeth and jaw. There are two Invisalign programs available: Invisalign for adults and Invisalign for teens.

With the Invisalign system, the clear aligners are worn for 20 to 22 hours per day and can be removed entirely for rare special events and occasions, making them a perfect choice for career professionals and teens looking forward to special occasions like prom.

Invisalign adult and teen work the same way, using a set of aligners that are typically changed out every two weeks to continue moving the teeth into their ideal position.

Either program can also benefit from the addition of auxiliary orthodontic procedures, which can reduce treatment time and speed up the alignment process.

Teens tend to be more accepting of the Invisalign program versus traditional metal braces. There are a number of reasons for this, including that the aligners can be removed for very special events, they are clear and invisible when worn, they are easy to clean and present no special oral hygiene needs, they are gentle on the sensitive tissues of the inner mouth and they are generally painless.

For adults as well, choosing Invisalign can ease concerns about a professional image in the workplace, provide the occasional opportunity to remove the aligners for special events and minimize the extra time needed to take care of daily oral hygiene.

What does the Damon Clear Braces System Offer?

The Damon System offers two options: metal and clear braces. Both minimize treatment time and discomfort and maximize results and patient comfort. However, if you or your tween or teen wants to avoid metal hardware, the Damon Clear Braces System is definitely the preferred option.

What many patients don’t realize is that Drs. Gorton and Schmohl played an instrumental role in developing the unique Damon Clear Braces hardware. The Damon system itself is self-ligating, which means there is less and lighter hardware that places less pressure on the teeth to exert movement.

The Damon system is also minimally invasive to tooth enamel and very easy to clean and maintain, making it ideal for busy teens or adults who are always pressed for time. Save for the metal archwire, the braces themselves are clear and virtually invisible. The material used is also very gentle on the sensitive tissues of the inner mouth, and the rounded corners make them even more so.

What Auxiliary Procedures Can Offer?

Some of the most exciting advances in modern orthodontic technology include the invention of procedures that can speed up treatment results. These inventions, called “auxiliary procedures,” can be paired successfully with a variety of additional orthodontic treatments to enhance results and reduce treatment time.

Propel Orthodontic system can cut treatment time by as much as 50 percent. This system uses micro-perforations to help teeth move into proper position faster. The procedure is done in the orthodontist’s office.

OrthoPulse, which uses natural low intensity (nIR) light to speed up tooth movement and alignment. The silicone mouthpiece is worn daily for 10 minutes in the comfort of the patient’s home.

Finally, AcceleDent uses micro pulses transmitted through a sports-type mouthguard that can be worn over Invisalign aligners or braces. The mouthguard is worn for 20 minutes daily in the comfort of the patient’s home.

All three of these technologies are FDA-approved for use with teen and adult orthodontic patients.

What are Some Fun Options for Tween and Teen Patients?

We are also happy to offer fun alternatives to traditional metal braces for our tween and teen patients.

Braces with Colors offers colored brackets that hold the arch-wire in place.

Wild Smiles offers shaped brackets (hearts, stars, diamonds, flowers, footballs, sports balls) that can also be mixed and matched for a truly personal style.

While the look is different, the underlying technology remains the same and is just as effective as adult braces for achieving optimal teeth alignment and repositioning during the course of orthodontic treatment.

About Gorton & Schmohl Orthodontics

Here at Gorton & Schmohl Orthodontics, we are dedicating to earning our patients’ respect and trust – and keeping it! Founding partners Dr. Jasmine Gorton and Dr. Bill Schmohl are each board certified by the American Board of Orthodontics, a voluntary certification just 35 percent of orthodontists nationwide currently hold.

We proudly offer the latest technological advances in orthodontic care, including the Damon Clear Braces system, Invisalign and Braces with Colors for kids and teens. Our practice philosophy focuses on maintaining the health of permanent teeth from a very early age, minimizing the need for extractions and invasive surgery later in life.

To make an appointment, please contact us at 415-459-8006 or complete our online contact form.

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