Extracting Certain Teeth Can Boost Orthodontic Effectiveness

Malocclusion is a misalignment of the teeth that can lead to serious oral health complications. Most malocclusions are treated with braces or clear aligners. Some malocclusions may require extra procedures to achieve successful results. Incoming teeth may crowd the other teeth and cause them to erupt abnormally. The space needed to move the misaligned teeth into their correct position may be reduced by the crowding. In these instances removing certain teeth prior to orthodontic treatment can boost orthodontic effectiveness.

The Process

The teeth to be removed are those whose absence will have minimal effect on both appearance and dental function. Those teeth are commonly the bicuspids, located between the cuspid (eye) teeth and the back molars. Following the extraction, braces can be put on almost immediately and the remaining teeth will move into the opened space. This is a lengthy process and can take months or even years to close the gaps. Once the teeth are moved in the perfect alignment, the patient will not even notice they are missing.

This process takes time and commitment to complete from beginning to end. Going through the extraction process for most people is one of the biggest hurdles. Having teeth missing for a period of time during treatment is another factor. You must be fully informed of this type of dental treatment and prepared to put in the extra dental visits. The end result can be well worth the time and effort. The patient has better function and a beautiful, new smile!

Keep your smiles in top oral condition with regular dental exams and cleaning along with a vigorous home hygiene routine. Contact South Tampa Smiles for your next dental checkup and cleaning at (813) 289-0560. We look forward to being your South Tampa Dentist!


How Tea Benefits Your Teeth and Gums

January is National Tea Month! Can’t you just smell the aroma? We would like to shed a little light on the many ways tea benefits your teeth and gums. Tea often gets a bad wrap when it comes to teeth due to the staining factor, but tea can actually strengthen your teeth and gums and improve your overall health.

The beverages you choose to drink have a significant impact on oral health. Although water is essential and should be a main source of hydration throughout the day, we all have cravings for something with a little flavor to quench our thirst. Brewed tea is one of the best options available when it comes to flavored beverages and oral health. Tea has anti-bacterial properties that may help protect against cavities and gum disease. 

There have been many studies about the benefits of tea on oral health. Research has shown that tea has almost no erosive effect on tooth enamel. There have also been studies showing that black tea may be linked to the reduction in likelihood of developing cavities. If you are a fan of green tea, you can benefit from the antioxidant compounds in it. Antioxidants are effective in fighting and preventing gum disease and overall inflammation in your body.

Go ahead and treat yourself to that cup of tea, but there are a few things to keep in mind when you do:

    • Avoid Adding Sugar
    • Avoid Prepackaged Tea
    • Brush After Consumption
    • Follow with Water (If You Can’t Brush)

Along with your daily home care routine and regular dental checkups, your smile benefits from your healthy choices. South Tampa Smiles encourages healthy eating and drinking habits to all of our patients. Give us a call at (813) 289-0560. to schedule your next visit with us.

Sources on How Tea Benefits Your Teeth and Gums:

Science Daily – Green Tea

Science Daily – Brewed Tea


Preventing Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

There are moments when parents may compromise just about anything to get your baby to sleep. Nursing and bottle feeding are very often used as a comforting methods. Your little bundle of joy becomes instantly quieted and soon falls to sleep. What does feeding baby to sleep mean for teeth? Should you break those bedtime habits once your baby develops teeth? Furthermore, how can you prevent your baby from developing baby bottle tooth decay?

There is little evidence supporting that breast milk alone increases the risks of tooth decay in babies. Actually, some studies suggest the lactoferrin found in breast milk may aid in fighting the bacteria that causes tooth decay. Breast milk does not lower the pH of the mouth like many other liquids do. A lower oral pH environment can encourage bacteria growth.

With this knowledge, there is really no rush to wean your baby from bedtime feeding at the first sign of tooth eruption. It could be way too early considering tooth eruption can occur as early as 3 months of age.  Breast milk does contain sugars and so does baby formula which can cause a more acidic environment. When your baby’s teeth are coated with sugary liquids for long periods of time, there is an increased risk for tooth decay. This is more prevalent with sugary drinks once your baby begins to wean and change eating habits. Drinking sugary drinks from a bottle at bedtime significantly increases the risk of decay.

Baby bottle tooth decay can have some serious consequences, such as crowns and even tooth extractions in severe cases. Primary baby teeth are very important for the proper development of your child’s permanent teeth and jaw. Proper care for your baby’s teeth from birth can help prevent other dental problems including misalignment of a their bite, malformed permanent teeth and painful infections.

Tips to Avoid Baby Bottle Tooth Decay:


    • Try keeping your baby from falling asleep with milk that has not been swallowed.
    • Remove the bottle once your baby falls asleep.
    • Don’t put juice or other sugary drinks in their bottle. Stick to breast milk, formula and water until they are able to drink from a cup.
    • Once your baby’s teeth start coming in, limit the potential for bacteria transmission by not sharing cups, spoons, etc.

​Start your baby off with proper oral hygiene right from the beginning!

Contact South Tampa Smiles for more information or to schedule an appointment at (813) 289-0560.

Further Reading:

What is Baby Bottle Tooth Decay?


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