Orthodontics is a field of study that you must enter with a passion for oral health, so it is little surprise that we often get asked what makes it so fascinating for us. For many people, teeth are just teeth. For those of us who deal with oral health every day, taking care of teeth and fixing a smile is about more than just teeth. It is about the happiness we can bring to people, the smiles we see when patients leave our Long Branch orthodontic office and the changes we make to lives. It is also about the small things, often unknown to our patients that make life in our orthodontics office interesting.
Here are a few orthodontic facts that few people know, but we love to share.
Orthodontics is more than braces.
Many people think that an orthodontics office can only provide people with braces. While we do this on a regular basis, sometimes people do not need a full set of braces but need help expanding their palate instead. This is common with children that are getting their adult teeth in. We can use spacers and expanders to make enough room for the adult teeth to come in so that they do not have to grow in sideways.
Acid is worse than sugar.
Did you know that sugar is not the most corrosive substance you can put into your mouth? Research and a better understanding of the enamel by dentists has shown that sour candies can be much more damaging to one’s teeth. Since citrus acid is a natural corrosive material, it acts to soften the teeth and can ultimately lead to more cavities. Sour candy, for example, can be tied to smaller teeth and an ongoing erosion of the enamel. In fact, sour candy is perhaps the dentist’s worst nightmare. The sticky factor of sour candy causes the corrosive material to stick to the teeth for longer than it should. Then the sugar and the extremely corrosive sour substance wears out the enamel. This is the worst thing one can do to his or her enamel. As a dentist, we want you to keep your enamel in good shape so you can avoid future tooth sensitivity. When getting an orthodontics treatment it is important to keep your teeth healthy and avoiding acidic foods and sour candy is part of that.
Enamel is strong yet brittle.
Did you know that your enamel is the hardest substance in your body, but it is also the most brittle? Unfortunately, most people only realize that teeth are hard, and use them for purposes they were never designed for that can lead to an emergency dentist appointment. Examples of this are opening bags with your teeth or chewing on extremely hard substances like ice. The brittleness of enamel, when abused, leads to cracked, chipped, and broken teeth. Out of all the snacks dentist hate, outside of sour candy, popcorn is one of the most disliked ones. The problem with popcorn is the kernels which are extremely hard and tend to take a terrible toll on teeth if you chew on them while eating.
Wisdom teeth may go away.
Did you know that evolution is steadily at work on humanity? As we continue to evolve, scientists believe that in a few generations we will no longer have wisdom teeth. As a matter of fact around 35% of people born, are born without wisdom teeth. Since we no longer have need of a bigger jaw and the ability to chew roots, there really isn’t a need for the wisdom teeth and so Mother Nature has stepped in to remove them permanently. As a dentist, we know that this will be a benefit to many patients and children that have their teeth straightened before their wisdom teeth come in, typically must have them removed to prevent teeth from shifting.