Dr. Tooth Fairy Talks About Your Teeth

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Greetings to all of my little visitors!

Hello my little friends!  February was Children’s Dental Health Month and I stopped by at the Connecticut HUSKY Health Program to check in on all of you.  Oh my!  I was just so impressed and excited to hear about how many of you went to my web page or called into my phone line!    I hope you enjoyed listening to my topics as much as I did, letting you know about the importance of your oral health.  It always makes my fairy dust twinkle!

Baby Teeth and New Teeth

Well, we have talked about the really important topics of brushing, flossing, using toothpaste with fluoride and making healthy choices when choosing snacks and eating.    One thing I have mentioned in the past, is that you have two types of teeth that you are born with.  You all have at least 20 baby teeth.  Sometimes people have a few more or less – it all depends on your genetics.

You know that I am really interested in your baby teeth (sometimes called primary teeth) because I collect them and bring them back to my special place in Ireland where I live.  I do love your little darlings or pearly whites.  They are just so cute!  Unfortunately, like everything in life, they move onto a different place which is home with me.  You may not know this, but you are so lucky because you get 32 new pearly whites!  And, like baby teeth, sometimes people can have a few more or a few less.

These 32 new teeth are known as your adult teeth (also known as permanent dentition.)  You have to take very good care of them because they are all you will have them for a long long time.  You already know that your teeth help you to speak properly, chew your food and give you a great beautiful and flashy smile!  Sometimes there are problems with your adult teeth.

Crooked Teeth

When your teeth are “teenagers” and growing in, they get a little unruly and don’t grow in like they are supposed to.  What does this mean you ask?  Well, your top and bottom teeth are supposed to grow in making a “U” shape.  The top “U” and the bottom “U” are supposed to line up with each other.  Sometimes the “teenagers” don’t pay attention to where they are supposed to go and get out of line.  When that happens, your teeth may be out of place, or crooked.  Oh gosh you say!  Have no fear, this can be fixed!

Orthodontists and Braces

There are different amounts of crookedness.  That is if they are just a little crooked and fit together pretty close to what they are supposed to, then nothing needs to be done.  If your teeth are really crooked, it is sometimes called a “handicapping bite.”  When your teeth are so crooked and stop you from being able to eat easily, then there is a dentist who can help.  This type of dentist is called an orthodontist.  I have many orthodontist friends and colleagues from when I went to dental school.  My favorite orthodontist is in  Farmington, Connecticut!  Right here in Connecticut!

Orthodontists are very smart.  They will look in your mouth, take X-rays and models of your teeth.  They will then decide what is the best way to get your adult teeth to line up.  Braces are often the answer.  Most people have this type of treatment when their adult teeth all come in around the age of 12.  When there are really bad problems, then treatment to straighten the crooked teeth may begin earlier.

Some of the ways the orthodontist will fix problems is with straightening devices called “appliances.”  Appliances come in many shapes and sizes because each “appliance” is designed to do different things.  Usually, “appliances” are worn for a shorter period of time and often are removable.  These can help with shape the bone growth of your jaws or the roof of your mouth which is part of your upper jaw.

If your teeth have a really bad bite (meaning the upper and lower “U” are not lining up well with each other) then braces may be needed.  Braces are made of several materials, metal, ceramic and even a composite materials.  The part that goes on each tooth is called a “bracket” and these brackets are held on to each tooth with glue known as a “composite cement.”  Then a wire is attached to each bracket with elastic bands (they come in many colors!) and slowly move the unruly teeth into the correct position.   This process can be as little as one year or up to three or more years depending on the crookedness of the teeth.  Braces are then replaced with a “retainer” for several years, even a lifetime to hold the teeth in position.  “Retainers: are usually removable appliances and are often worn at night.  Sometimes they can be cemented in much like the brackets were.

In the past few years, there is also a new type of braces that uses plastic aligners or trays to straighten out the crooked teeth.  These aligners are worn all of the time except to eat and when the teeth are brushed.  Every couple of weeks, the person changes these trays in a sequence that will result in straight teeth.  The most popular brand is known as Invisalign® where you may have seen them on a television commercial.  Even after using the Invisalign, you would have to use retainers for sometime to keep the teeth in place and prevent them from going back to being unruly.  But the great news ….. the little darlings will be all lined up and give the person that bright, big and beautiful smile!  It is now up to you to take care of them for the rest of their life.

If you have appliances or braces, it is more than very important to brush your teeth and since you might not be able to floss with the arch wires in place.  If that is the case, you will need to use a special dental toothpick to keep all of the pearly whites clean.  Your little darlings are more likely to have decay and cavities when you have braces and don’t brush them like you did before.  It is not good to have braces and at the same time, let all of the little darlings develop cavities by not taking care of them.

Okay my little buddies, this is the dental information that I wanted to share with you.    If you have any questions, don’t forget that you can call my friends at the Connecticut Dental Health Partnership:


Dr. Tooth Fairy
855-CT-DENTAL Monday-Friday 8AM – 5PM
Email   drtoothfairy@ctdhp.com

Ta ta until next month!