Mouth Emergencies… and What Can Wait

There are few things that constitute true emergencies when it comes to oral and dental health. Most things, like broken or lost retainers, poking wires from braces, and sore gums, can be addressed within a few days and don’t require immediate attention. But there are some cases where immediate medical or dental attention is necessary. Here’s how to tell the difference.

Seek Treatment ASAP If: You Have Severe Pain with Symptoms of Infection

An infection in the mouth can sometimes spread to other areas of the body. In the worst-case scenario, this can lead to sepsis, which can be fatal. Signs of infection that have spread include fever, rapid breathing, abnormally high or low blood pressure, and/or confusion. Symptoms in the mouth include severe pain, swelling in the gums or the face, bad breath, and pus or fluids coming from the infected area.

If you see any combination of these symptoms, go to the emergency department for treatment immediately. Don’t “wait and see” if things improve. Infections can spread quickly and cause major long-term damage to the body. Better safe than sorry.

You Can Wait If: Toothache or Soreness from Braces 

Fortunately, most toothache is minor and can wait for treatment. If the pain in your tooth is an annoyance, and you don’t have other accompanying symptoms, it’s safe to wait a day or two to see your dentist.

A minor amount of pain after braces have been put on or tightened is completely normal and shouldn’t necessitate a visit to the dentist at all. The pain can be easily managed at home with ice, dental wax, or an over-the-counter painkiller. 

Seek Treatment ASAP If: Your Tooth Was Knocked Out

Falls and blows to the face can lead to a tooth being knocked out, which is a true emergency. The only way to save the tooth is to take immediate action. According to the American Association of Endodontists, the best thing to do is pick up the tooth without touching the exposed root, rinse with water ONLY (no detergents or cleansers) if it’s dirty, and place it back in the socket right away. Hold the tooth in place and keep it moist. If you can’t put it back in your mouth, keep it between your cheek and gums or place it in a cup of milk – never tap water. Ideally, you should see an endodontist or dentist within 30 minutes of losing your tooth for the best chance to save it. If that’s not possible, take a trip to the emergency department.

You Can Wait If: Your Tooth Was Chipped or Broken

You will want to see your dentist as soon as you’re able, but a broken or chipped tooth is not an emergency like a knocked-out tooth. Depending on how the tooth broke, your dentist may be able to repair or rebuild it.

Seek Treatment ASAP If: Cuts to the Mouth Causing Excessive Bleeding

Uncontrolled bleeding in the mouth from cuts should be addressed by a doctor and may require stitches.

You Can Wait If: Bleeding is Minor

Bleeding in the mouth isn’t uncommon, and can be caused by inflamed gums, irritated sores, or minor cuts. If the bleeding is minor and stops on its own, there’s no need to seek immediate treatment. Just make sure to discuss the bleeding you’ve seen when you next see your dentist.

When in Doubt, Seek Treatment

No one wants to go to urgent care or the emergency department, but sometimes that’s the best option. If you’re just not sure if it can wait, and you can’t get a hold of your dentist’s or orthodontist’s office because it’s after hours, seek medical care. It will give you peace of mind and may end up saving your tooth – or even your life.

Removing Baby Teeth vs. Permanent Teeth

Nobody likes having a tooth removed, but sometimes it’s necessary. This might happen when there’s not enough room in the mouth or when permanent teeth are growing in at an angle.

However, it matters whether it’s a baby tooth or a permanent tooth removed. There are differences between the two I think it’s important to know, before any teeth are removed.

There are differences between removing baby teeth versus removing permanent teeth that I think it’s important to understand before any teeth are removed.

Removing Baby Teeth

Baby teeth are aptly named, as they make their first appearance somewhere around 6 months old. The full set typically come in by the age of 3, and they begin to fall out one by one at 6 or 7 years old.

As permanent teeth grow in above (in the upper jaw) or below (in the lower jaw) the baby teeth, they put pressure on the roots of the baby teeth. The roots dissolve and the baby tooth falls out, allowing the permanent tooth to come in.

When the roots don’t dissolve properly, this can prevent the baby tooth from falling out the way it should, which can lead to the permanent tooth coming in at a strange angle or becoming impacted.

Angled teeth will need braces to straighten while impacted teeth may require surgery to allow them to grow in. Rather than get to this point, dentists and orthodontists may recommend removing the baby tooth that’s in the way in order to allow the permanent tooth to grow in correctly. While it’s not “fun,” it can save cost, pain, and trouble later on.

Removing Permanent Teeth

This is a different story. While baby teeth are meant to come out in due time, permanent teeth are supposed to be, as the name implies, permanent. Removing a permanent tooth is a big deal, as they do not grow back and it forever changes your mouth. Despite this, tooth extractions used to be exceedingly common in orthodontic treatment, with up to 75% of cases involving the removal of at least one permanent tooth.

These days, most orthodontists consider this a last resort rather than a first option. For example, in my practice, I’d say that less than 1% of patients need to have a permanent tooth removed. There are many treatment options and appliances these days that can fix the issue without resorting to tooth extraction.

If you’re told you need a permanent tooth removed, I recommend you get a second opinion. The other orthodontist may suggest a different course of treatment, or if they also agree that it’s necessary to remove a tooth, you can move forward with the extraction with more confidence.

The Importance of Early Intervention

To reduce the chances of permanent tooth removal, the best thing to do is to get treatment early. By going early – The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children see an orthodontist by 7 – the orthodontist can make a plan that fixes any issues before they become big problems that require more expensive intervention. Hopefully, with early enough treatment, there will never be a need to remove any permanent teeth.

What’s Right For Your Child? Understanding Headgear, Functional Appliances, Face Masks and Expanders

In addition to straightening crooked teeth, orthodontists frequently help correct bites that are “off.” Overbites, underbites, and overcrowding are all jaw issues at heart, and if they’re not treated promptly, they can lead to more health problems (and expensive procedures and treatment) down the road.

Fortunately, there are many options available to correct these problems, especially when intervention begins soon. That’s because the upper jaw stops growing around the age of 8, which is early compared to the lower jaw, which stops growing somewhere between 13-18.

If your child’s orthodontist has concerns about your child’s bite, an appliance may be recommended. Here’s a quick primer on some of the most common types of appliances, what they do, and what they’re best suited for, so you have some information going in to your next appointment.

Headgear: To Correct Overbites

Let’s start with one of the oldest – and least beloved – appliances in orthodontia, headgear. Unlike braces, rubber bands, and retainers that are worn inside the mouth, headgear is worn outside the mouth. This metal contraption can look like a medieval torture device and is embarrassing for most patients to wear, especially during teenage years.

Headgear addresses overbite and buck teeth by pulling the upper jaw and teeth back to correct the bite. However, as overbite is typically caused by the lower jaw not growing far enough out, rather than the upper jaw growing too far out, I don’t consider it the best choice for correcting overbite. I personally haven’t used headgear with a patient since 2002. If your child’s orthodontist suggests headgear, I recommend getting a second opinion, as there are better, newer ways to address the issue of overbite.

Functional Appliance: An Alternative to Headgear

One of the newer interventions available to address overbite is the functional appliance, which comes in many names, shapes, and sizes, but is generally a small metal device worn inside the mouth.

Rather than push the upper jaw and teeth back, it helps the lower jaw grow. This is effective because lack of growth in the lower jaw is the cause in most cases of overbite.

Some are removable while others ae fixed. I prefer fixed because it ensures that the appliance will be used as intended, which has a big impact on treatment success.

Face Mask: To Correct Underbites

As stated above, headgear works to correct the bite by pulling the upper teeth and jaw back. The face mask, also called “reverse headgear,” an external device that stretches from forehead to chin, does the opposite. It corrects underbite by encouraging the upper jaw to grow forward.

The face mask is very effective in the right cases, especially when used before the age of ten (before the upper jaw stops growing) and in combination with an upper expander. Though it’s not very slightly, it works, and can help patients avoid expensive and painful surgery in the future.

Expanders: When The Jaw Is Not Wide Enough

There are two kinds of expanders: upper expanders, to fix problems with the upper jaw, and lower expanders, for the lower jaw. These are metal devices that are fitted inside the mouth.

Problems with the upper jaw can be caused by many things, including thumb- or finger-sucking that persists into later childhood, enlarged tonsils, adenoids, allergies, genetics, and more. When the upper jaw is too narrow, it can be expanded with a rapid palatal expander (RPE). The upper jaw is composed of two halves, and the upper expander helps separate these two halves to provide more space.

Though it’s also an expander, a lower expander works differently. The lower jaw is made up of one bone, so it can’t be widened. Instead, a lower expander only angles the teeth to provide more space. Patients report that it can cause headaches and interferes with speaking and eating, too. For these reasons, I’m not a big proponent of them and find that braces can typically fix the problem just as well, and with less discomfort to the patient.

Getting More Information

I encourage you to bring all your questions and concerns to your orthodontist, and if you’re uncertain about any treatment plan, don’t hesitate to get a second opinion. There are more options now than ever, and the goal is to treat your child’s jaw issue effectively and with the least inconvenience possible.

Your Gums Are The Tires Of Your Mouth

My practice is outside Detroit, aka The Motor City or The Automotive Capital of the World. Because of that, I tend to use car analogies to explain orthodontic issues to my patients so they can more easily understand where I’m coming from.

That’s why I say the gums are the tires of your mouth. Stay with me here; I’ll explain why this analogy makes sense.

Tires Wear Away with Use

Just like tires that wear away as you put more and more miles on them, so too do the gums wear away over time. Older people tend to have receded gums; that’s where the phrase “long in the tooth” comes from, as the tooth appears to be longer as more of it’s exposed due to gum recession.

To keep your tires lasting longer, you need to take care of them. Similarly, to keep your gums lasting longer, brush them gently, floss daily, and get regular dental check-ups. It’s impossible to completely avoid gum recession with age, but it can be greatly reduced with some TLC.

It’s Unsafe to Drive with Bad Tires

Worn tires are dangerous as they have lost traction and are more likely to experience blowouts. The same with your gums; unhealthy gums are dangerous.

Though we don’t think of it much, gums are actually a very important part of the mouth for keeping you healthy. They form a barrier against bacteria, and when that barrier is broken, bad bacteria can enter the bloodstream. Unhealthy gums have been linked to body-wide infections, heart disease, and more.

Problems with Your Wheels Can Be Warning Signs of Something Bigger

When your tires wear away prematurely or shake and cause noise while driving, that can be a sign of a bigger problem, like misaligned wheels or a bad wheel bearing.

Gums are the same. Gums that are puffy, red, and inflamed can indicate an infection that should be treated. Gums that recede prematurely and “notching” of teeth near the gumline can be an indicator of a bad bite. Once the bite is corrected with braces or other treatment options, the gums will stop receding at such a fast pace.

Note that there are procedures to correct receding gums, including gum grafts and pedicle grafts, but these can be very painful and expensive, and worse, they don’t fix the underlying problem.

Tires Are Too Easy To Ignore

Even when your tires are a little worn down, shake a little, or cause some noise, you may still go ahead and drive with them anyway. It’s best to get the issue taken care of quickly, but you figure it can wait.

Unfortunately, I see many people with the same attitude towards their gums. Perhaps because gums rarely cause the pain that a toothache can cause, or perhaps because they’re not as unsightly as an overbite or crooked teeth, gums tend to be overlooked.

But I want to encourage you to think of them as important to your oral health as your teeth. Flossing daily and brushing your gums can go a long way towards keeping them healthy. If you have children, make sure they understand the importance of taking care of their gums, too. And if you see any signs of early recession, book an appointment with an orthodontist to look at your bite. Take care of your gums now and they’ll take care of you later.

Do You Make Good Mouth Investments?

An investment is something you put money into that you expect to get a return on over time. Stocks that pay dividends or real estate that grows in value are the classic examples. You spend money up front, but you know that money is well spent because you’ll be rewarded in the future.

Think about your oral health the same way and ask yourself, are you making good mouth investments?

Bad Mouth Investments

 First I want to talk about what I consider “bad mouth investments.” The problem with these options is not that they’re cheap, per se, but that they don’t deliver good results. More often than not, they fail to fix the original problem while adding more problems on top. This can lead to treatment later on that’s more expensive than it would have been to fix the original problem correctly.

DIY Orthodontics. These are the worst of the bad investments you can make in your mouth health. Do-it-yourself orthodontic treatment is such a pet peeve of mine that I wrote an entire post about it. People jump on DIY braces because they want straight teeth but they want to save money. I understand the urge; why pay for something you can do yourself? But would you consider setting your own broken leg, or taking out your own appendix? No, you’d leave that to the medical professionals who have expertise in that area. The same is true with orthodontics. Some areas are not appropriate for DIY.

(Need more convincing? Google “DIY braces fail.” Prepare to laugh and to be horrified.)

Mail-order orthodontics. Like DIY, these products and services cut out the trained medical professional and skip right to the treatment. Many things are available to purchase online, like retainers, anti-sleep apnea night guards, and aligners to straighten teeth.

Using these appliances without the oversight of an orthodontist or dentist is not advised for a number of reasons. First, moving teeth without cleaning them first can lead to harm if you have undiagnosed gum disease. Appliances can cause tooth damage depending on how they’re manufactured. Treating the symptom alone simply ignores the underlying problem. Finally, I rarely see people come out with the results they wanted.

Seeing a family dentist when an orthodontist should do the job. I mean no disrespect to family dentists; they are trained medical professionals and they are crucial to their patients’ oral health. But I’ve seen a growing trend of family dentists offering orthodontic treatments like Invisalign to patients when the treatment is not appropriate. This is a waste of money and time.

Orthodontists are dentists who have completed a 2- or 3-year residency after dental school to learn their trade in-depth. They how the teeth, bite and jaw connect to overall health. Misaligned teeth may indicate bigger problems like impacted teeth, crowding, bad bite, or jaw problems, which can be linked to temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD), unexplained headaches and muscle pain, obstructive sleep apnea, and more. When you get orthodontic care from someone who doesn’t have this training, they may miss the signs that indicate a more fundamental problem than crooked teeth that requires attention.

 Good Mouth Investments

A good investment is one where the value of the result exceeds the value of what you initially put into it. Here are two.

Regular dental care. Brush and floss daily. Don’t chew on ice, pencils, or other things that should be in your mouth. Get a professional cleaning once or twice a year. These are the definition of a good investment because they cost so little but deliver so much value.

Seeing an orthodontist when an orthodontist should do the job. If you’re seeking orthodontic treatment, or your dentist recommends it, go talk to an orthodontist about treatment options. By working with an expert, you can be confident that you’ll end up with the results you were promised. If finances are a concern, find an orthodontist who has both the experience you want and the financial flexibility, such as payment plans, you need. Also, be sure to follow their recommendations when it comes to how and when to use your appliances; this will make a big difference in the outcome of your treatment.

The bottom line is, by making smart mouth investments, you can save yourself money in more expensive treatment options later, and you’ll be rewarded with a beautiful, healthy smile.

September: National Gum Care Month (Why Bleeding From The Mouth is NEVER ok)

Has this ever happened to you? You’re flossing or brushing your teeth and you spit in the sink and see something bright red – it’s blood.

This is something most people have experienced at one time or another. And while it doesn’t require a trip to the emergency room, it is a sign that something’s not right. Here’s why you should never ignore bleeding from the gums, and what you can do about it.

The Cause of Bleeding from the Gums

Many things can cause bleeding from the mouth, including physical trauma and sores, but today we’re interested in the kind caused by gum inflammation and gum disease. These both occur when bacteria from the plaque on teeth attacks the gum tissue. Periodontists (dentists who specialize in the gums) make a distinction between gum inflammation, called gingivitis, and gum disease, called periodontitis.

Gingivitis is an inflammation of the gums, which leads to them being swollen and red. They are also likely to bleed during flossing or brushing. The good news is that gingivitis typically isn’t painful and can be fully reversed with good care.

Periodontitis is a disease of the gums, which can happen when gingivitis is not treated in time. It can lead to the destruction of the gum tissue and the bone that supports the teeth. Untreated periodontitis can result in receding gums, tooth loss, and even system-wide infection as the bacteria that’s normally confined to the mouth finds a channel to the body through the compromised gum line.

As you can see, gum disease is serious, and if left untreated, can cause some undesirable consequences. Fortunately, there are things you can do to improve the health of your gums.

What To Do When You Have Bleeding Gums

Pay attention to the signs. In addition to swollen, red, and bleeding gums, other signs of gum inflammation and gum disease are chronic bad breath, pus between teeth, mouth sores, sensitivity to extreme temperatures, and loose teeth.

Continue to brush and floss as before, even if your gums bleed again. When caught early enough, the bleeding will stop on its own within a few days as the inflammation dies down. Adding an alcohol-free mouthwash to your routine, if you don’t already use one, can also help reduce plaque.

See your dentist regularly for check-ups and cleanings. Your dentist can discuss gum health with you and your hygienist can show you how to floss correctly if you’re unsure.

See a periodontist if you’re at all concerned. Your dentist may refer you or you may make an appointment on your own, particularly if you see receding gums or have a family history of gum disease.

Risk Factors for Gum Disease

There are many risk factors for gum disease; knowing them is another way to take care of your gum health.

  • Poor oral care: lack of brushing, flossing, and dentist visits; untreated habits like jaw clenching and teeth grinding
  • Age: Gum disease increases with age. Over 70% of adults over 65 have some form of periodontal disease compared to 47% of adults 30 and over, according to the CDC.[1]
  • Smoking: Smokers have twice the risk of developing gum disease compared to a non-smoker, according to the CDC, and the risk increases with the number of cigarettes smoked[2].
  • Genetics: A family history of gum disease may mean you’re more likely to develop it yourself, even with good oral care.
  • Medications: Certain prescription meds, including oral contraceptives and anti-depressants, are linked to higher rates of gum disease.
  • Stress: Stress is also linked to gum disease, probably because the stress response makes it harder for the body to fight off infection of any kind.

Other factors: For various reasons, obesity, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, automimmune disorders, and pregnancy are all linked to gum disease.

September is National Gum Care Month

What better time to start paying more attention to your gums? As an orthodontist, my main focus is on the alignment of the teeth and the bite, but I know how important it is to take care of every aspect of oral health.

A little spot of blood can your first sign that it’s time to take more care of your gums – don’t ignore it!

Considering Orthodontic Treatment Part 3: Correcting Your Bite

Orthodontic treatment not only moves crooked teeth so they are beautiful and straight, it corrects major bite problems. Although “bad bites” can seem subtle, and may not present noticeable symptoms, a bite that doesn’t fit well together can result in long-term consequences. Correcting these bites are a must.

If your teeth are crooked, your bite is likely to be off and you will benefit greatly from orthodontic treatment. When it comes to bites that don’t fit together well, the best possible scenario is to correct your bite early and choose a provider who can identify and treat bite problems.

The question is, even when symptoms seem nonexistent, “Why is my bite so important?”

3 Consequences of a Bad Bite

You may not notice an issue now but, sooner or later, unnoticed bite problems will catch up with you. Here are 3 main consequences that can result from your bite being off:

  1. Pain

A bite that doesn’t fit well together can result in several types of pain: tooth pain, jaw pain, and muscular pain which can include migraine headaches. A “bad bite” can result in pain during jaw movement, difficulty opening your mouth, or inability to open it at all. Tooth pain can be caused by a bite that is off by just a fraction of a millimeter. Muscular pain and unexplained headaches can also a result of a “bad bite.”

  1. Wear

Teeth that do not fit together properly may grind and wear out significantly. Over time, the enamel can wear so that the inside of the tooth becomes exposed. Fillings can’t fix the problem and crowns may be necessary in this case.

  1. Gums

Unfavorable or excessive forces on teeth not only will the teeth prematurely wear, but also will harm the gums and supporting bone. This gum recession can be painful and difficult to fix.

Early Prevention by Correcting Your Bite

Preventing pain, significant tooth wear and gum recession by correcting your bite early is the best option. Dealing with bite issues proactively is less painful, less expensive, and less complex than encountering consequences as they happen. You bite is something that can be off for a while and not cause a lot of problems, until it does. Problems with your bite, left ignored or left uncovered, will result in long-term, often painful and expensive, consequences.

Making the effort to seek orthodontic treatment and find a high-quality provider warrants treatment that will proactively address any bite issues you may have. One potentially unfavorable solution to these problems is to remove permanent teeth, which we will address thoroughly in Part 4 of this series.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Braces

Despite all the advancements in orthodontic treatment, traditional metal braces still have their place. They are great at straightening teeth and correcting bites and can be effective in cases where other treatment solutions, like Invisalign, aren’t advised.

As you know, metal braces are comprised of brackets attached to individual teeth and a wire linking them together. They are on the teeth continuously from the start of treatment to the end. For that reason, they need some special TLC.

To keep your braces in the best shape, and keep your treatment time on track, follow these DOs and DON’Ts for as long as you’re wearing braces.

The Dos and Don’ts Of Braces

Do continue to brush your teeth regularly. Brush at least three times a day; it’s even better if you can brush after every meal and snack, so that food doesn’t get caught in your braces. It’s important to keep both the surface of your teeth and your braces clean.

Don’t forget to floss. While flossing is more involved with braces, it’s still incredibly important in keeping your teeth and gums healthy, and it shouldn’t be ignored. Use a floss threader (a small loop made of plastic) to guide the floss behind the wire so you can floss fully.

Do follow your orthodontist’s instructions, including wearing elastic bands (if you have them) for the hours prescribed.

Don’t skip orthodontic appointments. It’s important to see your orthodontist regularly during care. If you skip appointments, you could be adding time onto your treatment, and no one wants that.

Do tell your orthodontist if you’re involved in sports like football, rugby, and hockey, so you can get a protective mouthguard fitted to protect your braces and your teeth.

Don’t worry if you feel mild discomfort after an orthodontist visit. Tightening braces can lead to mild, temporary pain that will go away on its own or can be treated with an over-the-counter painkiller. If a wire is poking into your cheek and causing discomfort, use wax on the end to make it more comfortable.

Do call your orthodontist’s office immediately if a bracket comes loose. This is something that should be fixed sooner rather than later.

Don’t skip regular dentist visits while you’re undergoing orthodontic treatment. Keeping your teeth clean is important, so schedule visits every six months while your braces are on.

Do avoid foods that can harm your braces or can be very difficult to clean, including:

  • Sticky and chewy foods like caramels, candies, and gum
  • Crunchy foods like nuts, popcorn, and hard pretzels
  • Foods you bite into like corn on the cob, apples, carrots, and ice cubes
  • Drinks like soft drinks, energy drinks, and juices, which are full of sugar

Don’t chew on pens, pencils, fingernails, and other objects.

Do smile!

Following the Dos and Don’ts

I don’t expect my patients to be perfect 100% of the time, but I expect them to try and do their best, and you should, too. If you do, you’ll keep your treatment on track and end up with the results you’re after.

The Technologies That Are Reshaping Orthodontics

New orthodontic technologies. One of my passions is keeping up on the latest in orthodontics. I always want to know what technologies are right around the corner and which new techniques my colleagues are using to get better, faster results. At my practice in Michigan, we strive to offer the most cutting-edge treatment options available to our patients.


You’ve heard of traditional braces, retainers, headgear, and Invisalign, I’m guessing. Today I want to introduce you to some other orthodontic treatments and technologies you may not have heard of, some of which may be right for you or your family.


More Than Just Metal Braces

The world of orthodontics has changed a lot in the past few decades, and there are many more options now than there were back when I was a kid. In the evolution of orthodontics, the goal has always been to develop new options that work faster, are more comfortable or convenient, and deliver great results. Here are some of the most popular technologies and treatment options we use in my practice, and what makes them better than traditional options.


iTero: This is the world’s leading digital camera for use inside the mouth. The impressionless scanner creates a 3D model of a patient’s teeth and eliminates the need for physical impressions (which can be messy and time-consuming) and helps orthodontists come up with a custom treatment plan for each patient.  And, all of this is done without radiation of any kind. It’s a three-dimensional video camera.


Damon System: These braces may not look too different from traditional braces, since they are made up of (clear) brackets and a wire, but they work in a different way. They’re “self-ligating” braces, so instead of the bracket on each tooth being tightened to the wire to move teeth, Damon System uses a slide mechanism. Compared to traditional braces, these can be more comfortable and the treatment time is often faster, sometimes by a matter of several months.


Incognito: Incognito braces look very different from traditional braces because you can’t see them at all! These are lingual braces, meaning they are attached to the tongue side of the teeth. You can straighten your teeth without the dreaded metal mouth.


Insignia Custom Smile Design: This technology uses the impressionless scanners (mentioned above) plus sophisticated computer software to make a digital model of your teeth and develop a treatment plan, complete with wires and brackets custom made for you. The power of Insignia is in its ability to personalize treatment, and patients who use Insignia often see faster results with more comfort along the way.


Bite Turbos and Bite Props: Rather than a complete system of braces, Bite Turbos and Bite Props are small, temporary appliances that are attached to individual teeth when patients have top and bottom braces at the same time. They prevent upper teeth from “biting off” the lower braces, which can add more visits to the orthodontist and lengthen treatment time. Bite Turbos are attached to the back of front teeth while Bite Props are attached to the biting surface of back teeth. Bite Turbos and Bite Props can significantly reduce treatment time.


Brasik: Brasik combines several of these treatments above to give patients the best results in the shortest amount of time. Many patients who choose Brasik complete treatment in as little as 6 or 8 months. Brasik uses impressionless scanning, Damon System braces, Insignia customization, and other technologies. (Fun fact: I actually coined the term “Brasik”[1] – I joked with my patients that people wanted Lasik for braces, hence, Brasik.)  If you are looking for the race car of orthodontic treatment, this is it.  Super fast and super safe.


Know What Your Options Are

Orthodontics and orthodontic treatment is changing rapidly in some areas.  But, many of the basics are still the same.  A skilled doctor and dedicated team to make treatment and patient experience meet or exceed your expectations. I think it’s important for patients to be informed before they make decisions about their orthodontic care. If you see an orthodontist who suggests a treatment plan for you, do some research. See what the pros and cons are, and look at the alternatives, too. If someone suggests tooth extractions, headgear, or a treatment plan that lasts more than two years, get another opinion to see if you have other options available to you.


Know What Your Options Are

Orthodontics and orthodontic treatment is changing rapidly in some areas.  But, many of the basics are still the same.  A skilled doctor and dedicated team to make treatment and patient experience meet or exceed your expectations. I think it’s important for patients to be informed before they make decisions about their orthodontic care. If you see an orthodontist who suggests a treatment plan for you, do some research. See what the pros and cons are, and look at the alternatives, too. If someone suggests tooth extractions, headgear, or a treatment plan that lasts more than two years, get another opinion to see if you have other options available to you.