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Doctor insights on: Orthodontic Teeth Filing

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Orthodontist put glue between my teeth. What is that for?

Orthodontist put glue between my teeth. What is that for?

Spacer?: Is it really glue? Could it be something that was placed in between the back teeth? I have seen orthodontists placing a donut-like spacer to create space for the next step. It is best to ask your doctor directly. I'm sure your doctor will explain it to you. ...Read more

Mouth (Definition)

Mouth (mouth) " n. Pl. Mouths 1. A. The body opening through which an animal takes in food. B. The cavity lying at the upper end of the alimentary canal, bounded on the outside by the lips and inside by the oropharynx and containing in higher vertebrates the tongue, gums, and teeth. C. This cavity regarded as the source of sounds and speech. D. The opening to any cavity or canal ...Read more


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Do orthodontists make impressions of your teeth during the first visit?

Do orthodontists make impressions of your teeth during the first visit?

Possibly: Some do, some wait until after the first consult (we do it at your second apt, for example). It depends on the practice. ...Read more

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Dose the orthodontist sometimes have to remove some of your teeth to straighten them out?

Dose the orthodontist sometimes have to remove some of your teeth to straighten them out?

Yes: While we create space for crowded teeth in many ways such as 'slenderizing' teeth and widening pallets, sometimes teeth do need to be removed if crowding is too severe. Typically this is done to both sides to retain symmetry ...Read more

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My orthodontist says I've kept up with my teeth should I worry about white marks on teeth?

My orthodontist says I've kept up with my teeth should I worry about white marks on teeth?

Probably OK: If following Orthodontist's instructions as to oral hygiene compliance and avoidance of braces-damaging foods, the results should be spectacular. ...Read more

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Will an orthodontist make your retainer straighten shifted teeth?

Will an orthodontist make your retainer straighten shifted teeth?

Retainers can: Modified retainers can be used to move your teeth. There are limitations with how much movement can be accomplished with retainers. Invisalign is a form of retainers that can make much larger changes. ...Read more

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Two front teeth have space. Will the orthodontists pull my gap together?

Two front teeth have space. Will the orthodontists pull my gap together?

Gap in front teeth: Ah, the age old question! All this depends on the size and shape of the teeth compared with the space available in the jaws. Particularly when a gap is present, the dental arch needs to be carefully evaluated before "closing" anything. If there is a tooth size/space discrepancy, then closing the gap may be fine, but "making up for it" elsewhere (ie moving all the other teeth) may not be easy. ...Read more

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Do you have to see an orthodontist to get retainers / teeth straighteners?

Do you have to see an orthodontist to get retainers / teeth straighteners?

No, but...: Retainers hold teeth where they are. Aligners move teeth, but not as well as braces. Any dentist can do this, but not as well as a specialist who does nothing else. The orthodontist does only orthodontics. In a generalist's office you may be the only orthodontic patient he's seeing this week. And generalists usually charge fees very similar to those being charged by specialists, so no savings. ...Read more

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I wanted to know if I can tell my orthodontist that I don't want to have teeth extracted?

YES: Absolutely. You should discuss the options and how this may or may not affect the final outcome. ...Read more

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I want to know what do orthodontist do as an alternative to not pulling teeth for tooth crowding?

I want to know what do orthodontist do as an alternative to not pulling teeth for tooth crowding?

All Depends: If the dental crowding is not too severe, minor dental arch expansion may create enough space to alleviate the crowding. The upper jaw can be expanded (as an adult, surgical assistance is normally needed), however, the lower jaw cannot be expanded with or w/o surgery. A complete diagnosis and treatment plan is required to make that determination. ...Read more

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My teeth are straight but they are edge-to-edge yet my orthodontist says they don't need to be moved. Is he right?

My teeth are straight but they are edge-to-edge yet my orthodontist says they don't need to be moved. Is he right?

Perfection: No one over the internet can really answer that question without personally seeing you & your bite. It sounds like you have a relatively good occlusion. While an edge to edge bite is not the ideal situation, we cannot always achieve the ideal & sometimes there is more danger than good in trying to achieve that goal. You can certainly see 1 or 2 board certified Orthodontists to confirm that. ...Read more

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Orthofill elastic bands to close minor gaps in teeth. Says they are orthodontist approved? What is your opinion of those?

Orthofill elastic bands to close minor gaps in teeth. Says they are orthodontist approved? What is your opinion of those?

DIY Orthodontics: Certainly not approved by any orthodontist. Severe damage to bone and support structures can occur with their use. There's more to orthodontics than rubber bands. ...Read more

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I went to orthodontist and they said that I have a type 2 bite. My teeth are worn from grinding and they believe I have tmj?

I went to orthodontist and they said that I have a type 2 bite. My teeth are worn from grinding and they believe I have tmj?

Careful: Your Class 2 bite may or may not have anything to do with your TMJ problem. MAKE SURE your orthodotist is also a TMJ expert. Get another opinion before treatment. You may end up after ortho treatment with the same symptoms. Or worse. ...Read more

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Should orthodontist pull child's teeth for braces if crowded?

Should orthodontist pull child's teeth for braces if crowded?

Sometimes: Every patient is different with skeletal and dental presentations that may warrant removal of teeth. I am of the philosophical school of orthodontics that believes that expansion of the lower teeth, if more than just mild, will end in relapse or periodontal breakdown. By careful case selection and understanding growth and harmony of the face, extractions can be very successful. ...Read more

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How can I keep my teeth straight after orthodontist without a retainer?

How can I keep my teeth straight after orthodontist without a retainer?

Be very lucky: Historical evidence suggests that retention is a required stage of orthodontic treatment for most if not all patients. In our world, perfection does not maintain itself, it requires effort, especially with something you use every day. Consider your retainers as maintenance devices for your smile and bite. ...Read more

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Will the orthodontist stop you from having braces by the colour of your teeth?

Will the orthodontist stop you from having braces by the colour of your teeth?

Not usually: Overall discoloration is not an impediment to orthodontic treatment. Teeth can always be whitenened, brightened, veneered, after braces. Some developmental defects and decalcification issues require special care, but if controlled will not prevent orthodontic treatment. ...Read more

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My bottom teeth started moving and it hurts. Should I see an orthodontist at 50?

Absolutely: Seek an initial examination (usually free) with a qualified Orthodontic Specialist. The Orthodontist can then team with your General Dentist and, if advisable, a Periodontist to create a multidisciplinary treatment plan to resolve your problems. A full one third of all Orthodontic patients are adults. Take advantage of an Orthodontist's expertise. ...Read more

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Will the orthodontist resurface the edges of your teeth when you get your braces off?

Will the orthodontist resurface the edges of your teeth when you get your braces off?

Edges: If you mean the biting edges of front teeth that may, over years of malocclusion, have worn unevenly, the orthodontist will probably do enamelplasty to improve esthetics. If teeth severely worn, general dentist may be called upon to restore the tooth. ...Read more

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My son has pretty crooked teeth. Any suggestions of what to look for for a good orthodontist?

Homework: Do your homework. Start with every dentist you know and ask who treated their family. Make sure yo use a qualified university trained orthodontic specialist, not a gp who dabbles in occasional tooth straightening--there's a big difference. These are the best professional competence sources. Then there's the beauty contest sources, such as internet rating sites and the layman recommendation. ...Read more

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Can you explain how do orthodontist treat teeth crowding with braces; besides extracting teeth?

Finite: It's a finite decision. If teeth are malposed but there is adequate bone support they can be realigned. If there isn't enough bone support, expansion can cause permanent bone/gum damage. There are limits to how much expansion is therapeutic, beyond which it's pathologic. Please see a qualified Orthodontic Specialist to evaluate your malocclusion. ...Read more

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Do the orthodontists adjust the retainer to fix ur teeth if they move after your braces are off?

Depends: It depends on the orthodontist and how much the teeth have shifted but usually the retainer will not correct or move the teeth back into place. Sometimes for minor movements the retainer may work but usually a retainer is used to retain the teeth position. There are some retainers that are called active retainer with springs on it that may actually move the teeth into an aligned position. ...Read more

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How can an orthodontist determine how long you will need braces? Isn't everybody's teeth different?

How can an orthodontist determine how long you will need braces? Isn't everybody's teeth different?

Training/experience: You are absolutely correct, malocclusions are like snowflakes, no 2 are absolutely identical. Orthodontists train for 10+ rears after high school graduation in disciplines such as anatomy, growth and development, physiology, endocrinology, biology, metallurgy, physics, dental materials, occlusion, neurology, etc, to answer how their treatment can help you. See a qualified Orthodontic Specialist. ...Read more

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Is it possible for orthodontists to tell, by your teeth structure and size, when you will start your puberty growth spurt?

Is it possible for orthodontists to tell, by your teeth structure and size, when you will start your puberty growth spurt?

Other signs: Not structure and size, but timing of eruption. Actually, it's the other way around. Skeletal changes usually proceed dental changes. We expect to see specific changes in the dentition based on what we see as far as crank-facial maturation is concerned. Remember that the incisors and 6 year molars actually start to develop before birth, and the size of all teeth as determined before they erupt. ...Read more

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Have you ever had to place two bonded retainers on the inside top teeth. I'm thinking I need to request this of my orthodontist.

Have you ever had to place two bonded retainers on the inside top teeth. I'm thinking I need to request this of my orthodontist.

Good Idea: This type of retainer takes a little more work to keep clean, it has the best outcome because the bonded retainers will hold the straightened teeth in perfect formation 24/7/365. Ask your orthodontist if you are a good candidate. ...Read more

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One orthodontist recommends polishing my front teeth. Why is it called polishing teeth when it really is grinding/cutting them down?

One orthodontist recommends polishing my front teeth. Why is it called polishing teeth when it really is grinding/cutting them down?

Please elaborate: What exactly does your orthodontist propose? Reshaping your teeth? Removing bracket adhesive? Smoothing down rough edges? You'll need to verbalize your concerns with your orthodontist and have them explain what they propose to do any why. ...Read more

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How can I avoid teeth grinding during the day? My orthodontist says that I may be grinding teeth during the night too. What can I do about it?

How can I avoid teeth grinding during the day? My orthodontist says that I may be grinding teeth during the night too. What can I do about it?

Teeth grinding: Teeth grinding and/or clenching (bruxism) is commonly a stress-related habit. At night you can wear a bite guard to protect your teeth and relieve the pressure on your jaw (TMJ). During the day you need to become aware of this habit and relax your jaw. Your teeth should only touch when you are chewing. Otherwise, "lips together and teeth apart".
See a dentist who is experienced in treating bruxism ...Read more

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How are space between teeth fixed before braces on? I read a small procedure my orthodontist said years ago he will fix space before putting braces on

How are space between teeth fixed before braces on? I read a small procedure my orthodontist said years ago he will fix space before putting braces on

Why?: There are ways to close spaces with buttons and rubber bands or custom aligners, but if you are going to have braces anyway, they are the easiest and fastest way to close the spaces, so I'm not sure why you would close spaces and then put on braces. ...Read more

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I've consulted my orthodontist regarding that space on my teeth after I got my braces off but she put a cement on it and now it looks even worse. What do I do?

I've consulted my orthodontist regarding that space on my teeth after I got my braces off but she put a cement on it and now it looks even worse. What do I do?

Options.: Sometimes the size of the teeth is incompatible with the size of the jaw bone. Orthodontics are always my 1st choice, but sometimes veneers are the better choice to solve tooth size discrepancy. A dentist who has someexperience in cosmetic work would be able to show you the options available. ...Read more

Dr. Arnold Malerman
585 Doctors shared insights

Orthodontics (Definition)

An orthodontist is a dentist who has had additional years of schooling in the discipline of facial and oral structures. They use braces and appliances to align the jaws and teeth for proper form and function. Straighter teeth not only look good, but also allow better oral hygiene, less periodontal ...Read more