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The blog of Taft Hill Orthodontics gives Dr. T.C. Hardy an opportunity to keep current and prospective patients updated on the latest in orthodontic treatment. A graduate of Tufts University School of Dental Medicine, Dr. Hardy has published and presented his research both nationally and internationally. Here, Dr. Hardy speaks about common questions and concerns regarding issues such as ceramic braces, treatments for teenagers and adults, Invisalign®, and other orthodontic treatments – as well as issues about general oral health. If you would like more information about any of the topics covered below, please do not hesitate to contact our office.

Anchorage Definition

Posted on: July 16, 2022

Anchorage is a strategy for resisting and overcoming a force’s response. In orthodontics, anchorage refers to a strategy or approach that is used to prevent tooth movement. Anchorage is a crucial topic in orthodontics since malocclusions are usually corrected with it.

What is the Importance of Anchorage in Orthodontics?

In orthodontic therapy, like braces, anchorage helps to maximize undesirable movement, decrease unwanted movement, and manage space. A poor treatment outcome is caused by a lack of anchoring.

What is an Anchorage Retainer?

When teeth need to move into a straighter position, orthodontists will employ a temporary anchoring device (TAD) or anchorage retainer to push, pull, and raise the challenging teeth into the proper position.

Related Terms:

What is meant by Oral Cavity?

Posted on: July 14, 2022

A person’s cheeks, lips, gums, tongue, and the space behind it are all considered to be part of their oral cavity. Additionally, any gap that exists between a person’s wisdom teeth and the roof of their mouth is also considered to be part of the oral cavity. Teeth and the tongue get saliva from the salivary glands in the mouth.

Where is the Oral Cavity Located?

When seen from the front of the face, the mouth cavity may be found slightly below the nasal cavities. It is constructed with a top, a bottom, and two sides in total.

What Makes up the Oral Cavity?

The oral cavity is divided into two portions, which are as follows:

  1. Oral vestibule refers to the space inside the mouth that is between the cheeks or lips and the teeth.
  2. both the oral cavity as well as the interdental spaces

What Is The Purpose of the Oral Cavity?

A significant portion of the digestive process originates in the mouth. Just before to the act of swallowing, the meal is mixed with saliva in order to facilitate absorption and the breakdown of the food.

How Big is the Oral Cavity?

A man’s oral cavity has the capacity to contain an average of 71.2 milliliters, whereas a woman’s oral cavity only has the capacity to store 55.4 milliliters.

Why is the Oral Cavity Important?

The mouth is essential for the efficient ingestion of food and water, the production of speech, and the maintenance of normal respiratory patterns. For instance, teeth are responsible for fracturing and pulverizing food into smaller pieces, which makes it much simpler for the body to digest.

What is the Oral Cavity proper?

The lining mucosa, which comprises the cheeks, lips, floor of the mouth, alveolar mucosal surface, inferior surface, masticatory mucosa (hard palate and gingiva), and specialized mucosa (back of the tongue), covers the mouth proper. This mucosa also covers the cheeks, lips, and floor of the mouth.

What is meant by areas of the Oral Cavity?

Codes used to describe dental services are matched up with sections of the mouth.


Related Terms:

There are a variety of dental adjunctive procedures that may be used to ensure that a dental operation goes as planned. Another term for it is an auxiliary, extra, additional, or subsidiary dental operation.

Who needs an Adjunctive dental procedure?

In rare circumstances, additional surgery may be necessary to ensure that the implant is surrounded by adequate healthy bone. Additional orthodontic services might potentially fall under this category.

What are the different types of Adjunctive procedures for dental implants?

Dental implant adjunctive techniques might be classified as one of the following:

  • Gum Grafting
  • Crown Lengthening
  • Bone Grafting

What is Adjunctive orthodontic services?

Adjunctive orthodontic services” are dental operations that are usually coupled with other dental procedures, such as fillings and crowns. It is the main purpose of supplementary orthodontics to enhance a patient’s oral health.

What are the different types of Adjunctive orthodontic services?

Palatal expanders, elastics, and retainers are some of the most common auxiliary orthodontic therapies.

What are the perks of Adjunctive dental procedures?

Ancillary dental procedures help to improve oral health by minimizing the growth of periodontal cavities and pockets. Improved spacing between teeth and a brighter smile are just some of the cosmetic benefits of veneers. Some of the benefits of adjunctive dental treatments include:

  • Better oral health
  • Improved tooth alignment
  • Teeth spacing improved once the operation was performed
  • Enhancements to the appearance


Related Terms:

What is the Definition of Amalgam?

Posted on: July 7, 2022

Tooth deterioration sometimes necessitates the use of amalgam and silver fillings to repair gaps and holes in teeth. The amalgam may include liquid mercury, powdered alloy, and even silver, tin, and copper.. Dental amalgam is often used to repair decaying teeth due to its versatility in shaping.

Is Amalgam Safe in Dentistry?

Dental amalgam is completely safe. Despite the controversy surrounding dental amalgam, the FDA has determined that Amalgam fillings are safe for use in both adults and children older than six years of age.

Why is Mercury Used in Amalgam?

Amalgam is a strong, solid filler made from metal bits held together by mercury. Mercury is an essential component of amalgam fillings, and its special qualities make dental restorations survive longer. Amalgam fillings include a powdered combination of tin, copper, and silver that makes up around half of the mercury.

Are There Alternatives To Amalgam?

In addition, dentists may also use porcelain, composite resin, glass ionomer, and resin ionomer to repair teeth.

What is more to Know About Cavities other than Amalgam?

Filling cavities using materials like porcelain, composite, and others is an option besides Amalgam.


Related Terms:

Bicuspid Tooth Definition

Posted on: July 1, 2022

Permanent bicuspid teeth occupy the space between the cuspids (canine teeth) and molars in the mouth. Due to their location in the mouth before to the eruption of the molars, the phrase “premolar teeth” is often used to refer to bicuspid teeth. A bicuspid tooth is one that has two cusps, or projecting points, from its crown. The prefix, “bi” signifies the presence of two points. The fact that bicuspid teeth have two root ends identifies them as such.

Are Bicuspids Permanent Teeth?

Yes. Permanent teeth with bicuspids in the region between the front canines and the back molars. In the majority of cases, the teeth that must be pulled to make room for the bicuspids are the first to be taken between the ages of 12 and 13. When a child reaches this age, their upper and lower jaws often begin to develop bicuspid teeth.

Why Do We Have Bicuspid Teeth?

Those with bicuspid teeth may bite and chew on a bigger surface area, allowing them to ingest a greater range of foods than those without these teeth. The contribution of the bicuspids enables the canines and molars to digest food effectively. This is mostly made feasible by the canines and molars.

Does Everyone Have Bicuspid Teeth?

Yes. Every individual has a set of teeth known as the bicuspids. During adolescence, sealants are often put to teeth to reduce the incidence of dental decay by as much as 80 percent. Sealants are available at dental supply shops. This preventive strategy is often recommended by dentists to their patients since it has been shown to be extremely beneficial.


Related Terms:

Anterior Teeth

Posted on: June 30, 2022

The twelve incisors, commonly known as front teeth, are called “anterior teeth” and are positioned in the front of the mouth. In addition to the lateral incisors, these teeth also consist of the cuspid, mandibular, and maxillary incisors. The anterior teeth are primarily responsible for chopping and tearing food into digestible pieces.

What is the Anterior Side of Teeth?

The upper and lower teeth closest to the front of the mouth are referred to as the anterior teeth. Your front teeth are the ones that are visible whenever you talk or smile because of their position at the front of your mouth.

How many Anterior Teeth are in a Permanent Dentition?

The front permanent dentition of the mouth is comprised of a total of twelve anterior teeth. The anterior teeth consist of the canines, also known as cuspids, lateral incisors, maxillary and mandibular central incisors, and maxillary and mandibular central incisors.


Related Terms:

Dental Notation Meaning

Posted on: June 23, 2022

Dentists use the universal numbering system to identify individual teeth and correlate the information with those teeth as dental notation. It is a method for visually capturing the existence of teeth as well as their placement within a dentition and linking the information with the teeth themselves.

How Many Dental Notations Are There?

There are three dental notations that are used frequently: the FDI global dental federation notation, the universal numbering system, and the Palmer notation technique. The FDI world dental federation notation is also known as the ANSI/ADA/ISO Tooth Numbering System.


Related Terms:

Average Age for Primary Tooth to Fall Out

The “normal” age at which children begin to lose their teeth varies greatly. Around the age of six, a child’s primary teeth (baby teeth) begin to weaken and fall out to make room for permanent teeth. However, every kid is different, and some children may lose their first tooth as young as four, while others may lose it as late as seven. Children often continue to lose their baby teeth until they are 12 years old. Baby teeth ultimately fall out in order to create room for permanent teeth. In most cases, there are 32 permanent teeth.

The lateral incisors, first molars, canines, and second molars usually fall out first, followed by the two bottom front teeth (lower central incisors) and two top front teeth (upper central incisors). Simply said, teeth frequently fall out in the order in which they came. This is the typical sequence in which teeth are lost, however, it can vary. Each child’s teeth fall out in a distinct pattern and at a different stage of development.

Baby teeth usually stay in their sockets until they are pushed out by permanent teeth. Typically, this is a simple, natural operation. If a kid loses a baby tooth too soon as a result of dental decay or an accident, the empty space may be replaced by a permanent tooth. Crowding of permanent teeth might ensue, leading them to come in crookedly. If you have any concerns, please contact your pediatric dentist.

Guideline for Losing Primary Teeth

Primary teeth emerge when the infant is still in the womb. The baby’s jaws produce the first main tooth buds about 5 weeks of gestation. The crowns of an infant’s twenty “baby” or primary teeth are virtually complete at birth and are concealed within the newborn’s jawbones. The first teeth begin to appear about 6 months of age. The bottom central incisors (the two bottom front teeth) are usually the first to appear (erupt). The upper four front teeth will thereafter emerge. Then, over time, more teeth appear, generally in pairs – one on each side of the upper or lower jaw – until all twenty teeth (10 in the upper jaw and 10 in the lower jaw) have erupted by the time the child is two to three years old. The child’s jaws continue to grow as they prepare for the emergence of permanent (adult) teeth around the age of six. Primary teeth begin to fall out between the ages of 6 and 7. This procedure continues until the child reaches the age of 12. While each child’s tooth eruption timing differs, the order in which teeth grow is more consistent. All 32 permanent teeth should have emerged by the age of 21.

Your child’s tooth is loose – what’s next?

Allowing a loose tooth to come off spontaneously is the best course of action. It can be wiggled but should not be pulled on too soon as this maychil cause the root to break, increasing the risk of infection, bleeding, and bacteria pooling. If your child’s baby tooth is loose, they can gently wiggle it. Even if the movement is small, wiggling the teeth on a daily basis allows your child to evaluate the amount of looseness and helps avoid surprises.

When it comes to wiggling, it’s not only the back and forth action that’ll get the teeth out of the gums. Twisting the teeth clockwise and then counter-clockwise is another great movement that encourages a quicker tooth fall out. When the baby tooth is totally loose and ready to fall out, the following tips will help you prepare for the big event:

  • Place an ice cube along the gums for a few minutes before wriggling it out. This will help to numb the gums and make your child more comfortable throughout the operation.
  • Using a clean tissue or napkin, pat dry the teeth. Wet teeth are incredibly slick, but dry teeth are easier to grab.
  • Twist the teeth for 5-10 seconds in one direction and hold. Then, in the other direction, twist and hold. Keeping the tooth in the twisting position stretches the gum fibers, making it easier to pull the tooth from the gums.

Explain to your kid that when the tooth is extracted, there may be some tingling and bleeding (this may vary depending on the child), but that everything will be OK and the pain and blood will go away quickly. Remind your kid to rinse his or her mouth with warm saltwater. This will relieve any discomfort and help to stop the bleeding. Place a moist cloth on the new gap between their teeth until the bleeding stops. If the discomfort persists, an oral analgesic, an over-the-counter anesthetic, may be administered. Consult your pediatric dentist if the pain and bleeding last longer than an hour. There is no need to be alarmed if your kid accidentally eats a baby tooth. Baby teeth are relatively little and will readily reappear.

Take note: While your child’s tooth is loose, encourage him or her to brush, floss, and eat on a regular basis. If kids complain of pain, Ibuprofen before bedtime is an excellent medicine. While it is always important to seek the advice of a dental expert when it comes to your kid’s dental care, the fact is that you do not need to call a dentist unless your child is experiencing a serious tooth condition. Simply keep seeing your child’s pediatric dentist for periodic exams and oral hygiene sessions to monitor their growth and dental health. You should, however, take your child to the dentist if he or she displays any of the following symptoms:

  • The baby tooth was previously loose but has subsequently regained its firmness.
  • You can already see the permanent tooth erupting, but the baby tooth has not yet become loose.
  • Pain that is worse than typical during the eruption process
  • Before the age of five, teeth grow loose.
  • Brushing and eating become more challenging.
  • Excess plaque accumulates around the tooth, resulting in red, inflamed gums

When your child is slow to lose their first tooth

There is frequently a large age range at which youngsters naturally and properly lose their baby teeth. The majority of parents are concerned about their children’s delayed tooth loss between the ages of 8 and 10. While there may be nothing wrong in these cases, an orthodontist should be visited and an X-ray should be done to evaluate the situation. Parents should not be concerned about delayed tooth loss unless the following conditions are met:

  • Crowding occurs because there is inadequate room for permanent teeth. They may be unable to retrieve the baby teeth that are below.
  • Permanent teeth are not present at birth. A baby tooth does not usually break loose until the permanent tooth underneath it pushes it upward to take its place. As a result, if a child is missing certain permanent teeth, the process will be slowed in some parts of the mouth.
  • When additional teeth form, they might hinder the normal eruption of adult teeth. Your orthodontist can assess if your child has a real issue or is just developing slowly.

Early tooth loss – should you be concerned?

One of the most common questions parents have for their pediatric dentist is if their child’s baby teeth are coming out too rapidly or too slowly. Children lose their baby teeth at different ages, and there is a wide range of what is considered healthy. Baby teeth seldom come out too soon. A child’s first baby tooth is usually lost at the age of six, and the process is completed around the age of twelve. While this timeline is susceptible to change, if your kid loses their first tooth before the age of three or four, you should be concerned. They usually fall out owing to tooth decay or being knocked out. If your kid loses a tooth before the age of six, you should consult a pediatric dentist to rule out any underlying problems or concealed trauma.

When baby teeth are lost too soon, the neighboring teeth might move out of place. This is because the baby teeth act as guides, aiding the permanent teeth in properly emerging. This can influence not just the eruption of the permanent tooth, but also the emergence of neighboring teeth, resulting in significant alignment difficulties. Interceptive orthodontic therapy may be required depending on your child’s age and the location of the prematurely lost tooth or teeth.

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It’s normal to get anxious at the thought of acquiring braces. However, if you have an idea of what to expect, then you wouldn’t feel that scared. Here are some of the things that you can expect when getting clear braces:

  • Expect slight pain a few hours after installation. After the clear braces are placed on the patient’s teeth, it is expected that mild pain can be felt. This pain will last for at least a couple of days. The pain can also occur after the re-adjustment procedure. Nothing to worry about because you can always take over-the-counter pain relievers to ease the pain.
  • There is a possibility of having sores on the lips and gums for the first few days. The reason why the mouth may develop sores is because the mouth is still adjusting from the wires and brackets that are installed on it. To help ease the pain, you can rinse your mouth with warm salt water. Patients can also apply dental wax to their mouth to prevent it from getting irritated.
  • The teeth might feel a little loose. It’s normal to feel like your teeth are a little bit loose because they are being shifted into position. In order for the teeth to move, they need to be loosened up. Don’t worry because once they’re in the right position, and the braces have been removed, your teeth will be back to normal – sturdy as ever.
  • There will be restrictions on your diet. During the first few days, the patient is required to eat only soft foods. An example of these are mashed potatoes, cheese, lunchmeat, and yogurt. In addition, sandwiches are not recommended because although they are soft, they are quite sticky and can be difficult to chew at times.
  • Avoid eating foods that could get stuck in your braces. An example of these are popcorn, caramel, and soft candies. Furthermore, hard-to-chew foods like carrots and nuts should also be avoided because they could damage the braces.
  • Patients are expected to see their dentist regularly for checkups. Once the braces have been installed, your dentist will tell you to visit him or her every 8 to 10 weeks. Doing this will ensure that the patient’s teeth are properly adjusted. Plus, regular checkups will prevent dental issues from turning into a bigger problem. During your visits, you can ask your dentist about any concerns that you may have. If you’re feeling any pain, you can also report it to your doctor. Moreover, make sure to stock up on dental wax, rubber bands, and cleaning tools while you are there. It’s good to buy a couple of the essentials so you won’t run out of them.
  • No restrictions on regular activities. A common misconception most people have is that when you’re wearing braces, you are restricted in doing certain activities and that includes sports. The truth is, you can still play sports as you normally do. Just remember to use a mouth guard to protect it from getting damaged. Additionally, if you’re playing a musical instrument, more specifically, those wind-type instruments like a saxophone, clarinet or a tuba, then you might need some time to get used to the feeling of having braces in your mouth.
  • You need to wear your braces for at least one to two years. The standard treatment duration for both traditional and clear braces is at least one to two years. If the treatment is minimal, patients can expect to have it removed much faster. However, if the patient’s condition is complicated, then it’ll take some time before the dentist can take it off. The treatment can last up to two years.
  • The procedure is completely painless. The entire procedure of getting clear braces is practically painless. In fact, you can expect to go out of the clinic with no pain or discomfort. That is all thanks to the anesthesia used during the treatment.
  • Expect a Great Smile. Once the treatment is over, you can expect excellent results. You’ll be confident and happy. Plus, you’ll definitely love your new look without the braces. It’s not surprising if you’ll look much younger than you did before you had your braces.

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Invisalign is a great way of straightening the teeth of the patient invisibly and subtly. This is the primary reason why it is chosen above the other orthodontic treatments. However, the invisible nature of Invisalign is not only the factor that makes it most popular among the other treatments.

When patients who have undergone this treatment were asked about it, they mentioned these five given reasons:


Nobody can deny the fact that Invisalign is much more comfortable to wear than the traditional metal braces.  Metal braces get rubbed with the cheeks and the lips that often causes sores and can even scrape of the mouth’s surface.

Several remedies are good to solve this issue. Dental wax can be used to cushion it from the mouth’s tissues or you can have a painkiller if there is a lot of discomforts. Although, it is much better if it doesn’t happen in the first place. Invisalign does not have the metallic wires that can scrape off the mouth. Discover more about what is involved with the Invisalign Aligners.


As mentioned above, most of the patients prefer this treatment because it is not visible to the eyes. Patients are often made fun of for wearing the metal braces on the teeth. Using the Invisalign makes it harder for people to tell if something is worn on the teeth. Hence, you can get rid of the unappealing traditional metallic braces.

No Eating Issues

You have to be more conscious of eating while wearing the metallic braces as there is always a chance of them breaking or causing pain. You get limited to eat soft-textured foods. These restrictions annoy people like they are being punished.

With the use of Invisalign, there is no such issue and you can eat whatever you want. These aligners can be removed instantly and you can eat anything and wear them back after cleaning the teeth.

Stay in Sports

Most of the people who are active in sports avoid the much needed orthodontic treatment. There is always some acquaintance we know that got their mouth ripped while playing a sport because of them wearing the metallic braces.

Wearing Invisalign is a great option as you can keep them aside in their case while playing on the field. Because of this comfortability, you can participate in more games without any issues.

Have a Better Oral Hygiene

People who use traditional braces do not like them as they need to be cleaned, which  is a great task in itself. Due to the braces, more food particles get stuck in the teeth which with time turns into the cavities. When the braces are removed, there are chances of teeth accumulating plaque, stains, and even the possibility of gingivitis arises.

With the use of Invisalign, no such problem is there as they can be removed whenever required. Also, no special brushes are required to clean them. You can just brush naturally with them.

There are several other reasons why they are preferred over traditional braces. Invisalign is a great option to save yourself from the embarrassment of wearing metallic braces. Also, if you hate spending time on maintenance, Invisalign is a good choice because it does not require much maintenance.