Do You Have a Normal Bite?

Have you ever wondered if your bite is normal? What even is a normal bite?

The History of the Normal Bite

As early as the 1800s, dentists saw a need to classify what a normal bite might look like.  The need for this classification arose as dentists made false or prosthetic type teeth to replace missing ones.   

If you are missing one or two teeth, it is likely obvious where the teeth go. However, imagine replacing an entire upper arch of teeth—dentists need to know where to put them!  Edward Angle, a young prosthodontist (basically, a dentist the specializes in prosthetics), was one of the first to recognize this and work to put together a classification system or guide for replacing teeth.

graphic showing the three classes as developed by angle
Source: Quizlet

Angle’s Classification System

Edward Angle was a prosthodontist as well as the father of modern orthodontics. He gave us the first useful classification of bites in 1890, Angle’s Classification System. With this system, he provided a relatively simple definition of normal as well as abnormal bites.  

Angle’s classification was based on the relationship or articulation of the upper first molar to the lower first molar. Generally, he classified molars as being Class I, Class II and Class III depending on their sagittal position. Class I is a normal molar relationship, Class II is similar to buck teeth or “overbite,” and Class III is similar to an underbite.  

Larrys Andrews’ Six Keys

Larry Andrews expanded on Angle’s work. Andrews recognized that even when Angle’s classification was achieved, some bites still did not look or fit well. During the 1960s, he found 120 people with what was deemed a normal bite, according to Angle and according to professional judgment.   

These models met Angle’s criteria but further than that he could find no flaws in the way the teeth were arranged nor how they appeared to function.  He was the next big player in developing a system that went further to describe a normal bite. From these 120 models, he developed six keys to normal bite.  

child smilingThose 6 keys are: 

  1.  The posterior teeth should be positioned normally according to Angle’s classification.  
  2. The angulation (or tip) of each tooth. He stated that the gingival portion of the long axis of each tooth should be more distal to the incisal portion the same tooth. 
  3. Inclination or torque.  The front teeth should be angled so that they do not over-erupt into a severe overbite. 
  4. No rotated teeth 
  5. No spaces between the teeth.  
  6. The plane of the bite in the lateral view should be flat and not excessively curved.

Angle and Andrews are a great place to start when looking at a normal bite.  Once we have established a baseline of where teeth should be, we can then diagnose how much they deviate from that baseline.  

We consider these factors when looking at bites and building treatment plans for our patients:

  1. The Face. Esthetics place a huge role in orthodontic diagnosing and treatment plans.
  2. The upper and lower jaws and how they relate to each other.
  3. Andrews’ 6 keys to occlusion (or 6 keys to a good bite)
  4. Angle’s classification system

If you would like to schedule a complimentary bite or smile analysis to see if your bite is normal, don’t hesitate to give us a call today at 843-871-4411!

Goop Be Gone!

Impressions are so last century!

When you ask someone what they liked least about their orthodontic experience, almost everyone can agree: the goop from impressions!  Well, goop be gone! Summerville’s Reagin Orthodontics is nearly impression free. We have the latest technology on standby to help us provide our patients with the most enjoyable orthodontic experience.

The 3D scanning technology enhances the experience that patients have at Reagin Orthodontics by eliminating one of the aspects of treatment that people dislike most!

At Reagin Orthodontics, we have integrated intraoral scanners into models, banded expanders, space maintainers, Invisalign, and retainers.  With this awesome tool, there is rarely a need for our patients to experience those goopy impressions! This is just one more way we are helping our patients smile with confidence!

ICE, ICE BABY

To Chew or Not to Chew

Have you ever finished your sweet tea or soda just to chew on a few remaining ice cubes on a hot summer day? For some, it’s the chew, for others it’s the temperature, whatever the reason should be – STOP! 

Chewing on ice can be a really addictive habit that is hard to break and is detrimental to your teeth. Now that we are in the middle of our hottest season, ice chewing can be at an all time high! Reagin Orthodontics and dentist offices in the greater Summerville area can be crowded by broken or cracked teeth, gum injuries, and damaged appliances from chewing on ice. Not to mention, your jaw muscles can become sore and sensitive, causing crowns to become damaged, and enamel be worn away.

According to the Mayo Clinic, Craving and chewing ice (pagophagia) is often associated with iron deficiency anemia, although the reason is unclear. At least one study indicates that ice chewing might increase alertness in people with iron deficiency anemia. Less commonly, other nutritional problems may cause you to crave and chew ice.

It’s hot. We get it! We also get that you deserve a smile as bright as you and want you to be able to smile with confidence for years to come. Just a helpful hint from your friends at Reagin Orthodontics!

Have You Heard???

Straight from Jessica Chander of Kickin’ 92.5…

“I am officially finished with Invisalign and I am so glad I chose Reagin Orthodontist to fix my smile! The amazing staff and facility made getting my smile so much more special! Every step of the process was easy and I would do it all over again!” – Jessica Chandler, Kickin’ 92.5

Listen to our new radio spot featuring Jessica Chandler from Kickin’ 92.5 and Campbell!

Audio Player

Win A Pair Of Snap Spectacles!

| Win a pair of SNAP SPECTACLES! |

Spectacles record 10-second increments of what you see and uploads them!

Who: YOU!

What: Post a photo of you wearing our sunglasses & use #ILUVRO on Instagram or Facebook.

Where: Everywhere

When: One winner will be announced each month: June, July and August.

It’s simple: Just wear our #ReaginSmiles Sunglasses, post your image or share ours of you wearing them and include #ILUVRO.

#ReaginSmiles Sunglasses

What is a Water Flosser?

water flosser

At Reagin Orthodontics we are all about good oral health! Daily brushing and flossing of your teeth as well as maintaining your 6 month visits to your dentist is the cornerstone of good oral health.

One of the most important areas of your mouth to clean is in-between your teeth and around the tooth/gum junction. These are the first places bacterial plaque will form, and it is also the hardest to keep clean.  Water flossers, like Waterpik™, are a good tool to clean between the teeth and around orthodontic appliances.

At Reagin Orthodontics we really like the use of water flossers. Here is what we have found:

Waterpik™ makes several types of water flossers including some just for kids. Personally, we like the countertop Waterpik™ Ultra Water Flosser, since it holds a good amount of liquid and patients find they have more control over the water pressure than the cordless Waterpik™. The Ultra Water Flosser runs about $60, but if you live by a Costco you can get both the Ultra Water Flosser and the Cordless Plus Water Flosser for only $79.

Water flossers typically come with several attachments and you can try them all out if you like, but the Classic Jet Tip works best. If you have braces the Plaque Seeker and Orthodontic Tips can help you clean around the brackets.

 

What to expect at your Initial Orthodontic Consultation

Consult

When you meet an orthodontist for an initial consultation, we strongly recommend consideration of the following:

– What is the practices philosophy? Make sure it lines up with what you are looking for.

– What is the orthodontist’s level of experience and how long have they been practicing?

– Does the practice have multiple offices forcing you to go to different office locations for your appointments?

– Is the orthodontic practice conveniently located close to your home, office or child’s school?

– Ask to see before-and-after photos of previous patients. Are the results to your liking?

– How varied and advanced are the treatments offered? Revolutionary new technologies such as temporary mini-screws, translucent aligner scanning (such as Invisalign and Invisalign Teen) and self-ligating brackets.

– Is the orthodontist familiar with the different cutting edge accelerated treatment options such as AcceleDent, Propel, and Wilckodontics?

– What is the orthodontist’s diagnosis and plan of action for your teeth and how clearly has it been explained to you? Did the orthodontist provide information about alternatives? How practical is the treatment plan in light of your personal, business and social needs?

– What is the office ambiance like? Specifically, are you (or your child) comfortable with the orthodontist’s chair-side manner? Is the staff friendly, welcoming and quick to address your concerns? Since orthodontic treatment takes an average of two years, with appointments typically every six to eight weeks, it is important to establish a rapport with all of those who will be providing services.

– Emergencies are unlikely, but just in case, what is the office protocol?

– What are the financing options? Are their multifamily discounts? Paid in full discounts?

– Does the fee for treatment include retainers and is there a “Lifetime Guarantee” offered? Make sure to ask.

– Does the practice focus on educating you (and/or your child) on the care of their braces and/or appliances?

At Reagin Orthodontics we believe that finding an orthodontist you trust is like forming any important relationship in your life. Do some research, get to know them, ask your friends and trust your instincts!

Do I need to floss my teeth with braces?

flossing_w_braces-federal

Absolutely! At Reagin Orthodontics we are committed to good oral hygiene and flossing is essential to the health of your teeth and gums when you’re wearing braces. Because braces may hold food, sugars and liquids upon eating, it is very important to keep on top of your brushing and flossing, as well as visiting our office for regular adjustments.

While we know it’s tough enough to get kids to floss daily but remember that by not flossing, you will become more prone to cavities and gum disease. When flossing, remember to gently massage your gums in between the teeth. You will find that flossing with braces takes extra time, as you will have to weave the floss through each bracket. When flossing, there should be no signs of blood. If you see blood, you are not flossing enough or properly.

Using an electric toothbrush is also a good idea to massage your gums before or after flossing as electric toothbrushes can help remove any harmful bacteria that are lingering in your mouth. And don’t forget to add a mouthwash to your routine to break up any bacteria that has formed. A good mouthwash will help keep your teeth and gums in good shape during your treatment.

Dr. Reagin and our team at Reagin Orthodontics will tell you it is just as important to develop a regular hygiene routine while you’re wearing braces. If you have any questions about flossing or your orthodontic treatment at Reagin Orthodontics please don’t hesitate to give us a call or during your next adjustment appointment!

Caring for your Invisalign Trays

Cleaning Trays

How do I clean my Invisalign aligners?

Proper upkeep and good oral hygiene are essential in keeping your Invisalign aligners clean, invisible, and odor free. Although the Invisalign allows for aligners to be easily removed for eating and drinking, failing to properly clean your trays afterwards can result in discoloration and a buildup of bacteria.

Here’s a list of do’s and don’ts that will help you keep your aligners clean and crystal clear:

DO:

— Rinse your aligners when you remove them: Dry saliva and plaque create a perfect breeding ground for foul smelling bacteria.

— Brush and floss your teeth before reinserting your aligners: Proper oral hygiene is key in maintaining healthy teeth and avoiding cavities and decay. Since Invisalign is form fitted, failing to brush and floss properly can trap harmful particles between your teeth and aligner, increasing your risk for dental issues in the future.

— Clean your aligners with a clear anti-bacterial soft soap: A clear anti-bacterial soap is an excellent and inexpensive way to keep your aligners clear, fresh, and free from harmful bacteria.

— Soak your aligners once a week: Denture cleaner, Retainer Brite, and the official Invisalign cleaning crystals are all excellent options in keeping your trays clear and sanitized.

TIP: Brush your aligners gently: Vigorous brushing can scratch your aligners and leave visible etchings. Brush carefully!

DON’T:

— Eat or drink (anything but water) while wearing Invisalign: Many foods and drinks can stain or discolor your aligners and cause them to stink.

— Use toothpaste to clean your aligners: Many types of toothpaste (especially those with whitening agents) are abrasive and can dull your aligners or create small traps for bacteria to dwell.

— Use colored soaps: Although anti-bacterial soap is a great way to clean your Invisalign braces, using anything but clear soap can cause your aligners to take on alternative hues and shades.

— Leave your aligners exposed or unprotected while eating: Aside from an increased risk of misplacing them, leaving your aligners in the open exposes them to harmful germs and bacteria. Rinse them, soak them, and then rinse them again before returning them to your mouth.

Take Good Care of Your Teeth

Tooth with heartAlison Ashton, Cooking Light, September 2015

“Every time you smile, you reveal much more than your pearly whites and a friendly mood. When periodontist Sally Cram, DDS, PC, examines a patient’s mouth, she discovers all kinds of clues to his or her well-being. “We say your mouth is the window to your overall health,” says Cram, a spokeswoman for the American Dental Association. “It can show signs of a lot of different things, from nutritional deficiencies to systemic disease.” Pale gums might signal an iron deficiency. Chronic bleeding gums can be a sign of unhealthy blood sugar— and undiagnosed diabetes.

More than half of all adults over the age of 30 have some form of gum disease, and that puts their overall health at risk. “When a periodontal infection gets into the bone around your teeth, it can enter your bloodstream,” says Cram. “From there, it travels to other parts of your body and an contribute to medical problems.” “There’s a very clear association between poor oral health and heart disease,” says Keith Roach, MD, chief medical officer of the health website Sharecare and associate professor of clinical medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College. A new study in Trends in Endocrinology & Metabolism suggests the culprit is body-wide inflammation caused by oral bacteria. Other studies reveal an association between oral inflammation and Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and rheumatoid arthritis. An expectant mom’s own poor oral health may lead to low birth weight and premature birth. There’s even evidence linking periodontal disease to human papillomavirus (HPV) and rising rates of head and neck cancers. “That’s why you need to be routinely checked for oral cancer, even if you don’t have a traditional risk factor, like drinking or smoking,” says Roach.

Other medical conditions boost your risk for oral health problems. Obesity may raise your risk for periodontal disease. Fluctuating blood sugar from diabetes encourages gum disease. But these three simple steps can help keep your smile—and the rest of your body—in good shape.

Step 1) Brush Twice Daily for two minutes each time. Ask your dentist which toothbrush is best for you. Some people, such as kids and elderly folks, may need the boost of an electric model. And change your toothbrush every two to three months. “When the bristles aren’t straight anymore, the brush isn’t doing the jobs as well,” Cram says. Also use a fluoride toothpaste with the American Dental Association seal of acceptance to ensure it’s safe and effective.

Step 2) Floss once daily. It helps to remove plaque from areas between teeth that your toothbrush can’t reach. Any type of floss you prefer-waxed, unwaxed, or extra-thick-will do the job.

Step 3) See the dentist twice a year. Anyone who is prone to cavities, has a history of periodontal disease, has a family history of heart disease or stroke, or has diabetes may need to see the dentist more often, says Cram.”