Orthodontic Braces

Do Orthodontic Braces Cause White Spots on Patients’ Teeth?

Orthodontic Braces


Orthodontists are the dental specialist that specializes in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of facial and dental irregularities. They help in straightening the jaws and aligning teeth, jaws, and bites. Many people tend to confuse orthodontist and dentists, but in a real sense, they are two different professions. For patients with acute dental problems, it is important to seek help from orthodontists. They complete another training in the university after completing the standard general degree. 

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Is Tooth-Whitening Recommended for Children and Teens?


Building a child’s self-confidence is the key to developing a healthy individual with little to no personality issues. More often than not, a parent might be willing to go the extra mile to help their child achieve this. The child may not have the best-colored teeth and the parent may be tempted to attempt a tooth whitening procedure. But is tooth whitening recommended for children and teenagers? 
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why a Dentist is not an Orthodontist

Why is a Dentist not an [Orthodontist]?

orthodontistLAST UPDATED: SEPTEMBER 28, 2017

Many people do not fully understand the difference between a dentist and an orthodontist. This is the first step to receiving the treatment that will actually correspond to the service that you are looking for. In case you have had questions in the past, then here are your answers.


Why is a dentist not an orthodontist?

If you look at the definition of an orthodontist literally, an orthodontist actually is a dentist with a specialty. A dentist, however, is not necessarily an orthodontist.

Both a dentist and an orthodontist will have similar educational backgrounds. Both the dentist and orthodontist must apply to dental school having already achieved a bachelor’s degree at an accredited four-year institution. Assuming that this individual is accepted into dental school, a four-year program will commence that will end with that individual being confirmed as a DDS. Some schools will refer to DDS as a DMD degree, but both of the distinctions have the same educational criteria attached to them.

Someone who is looking to practice dentistry in general can open an office at this point. If that individual is looking to move into orthodontics, however, an additional program must be completed for this distinction. The new dentist must serve a residency of either two or three years at a facility that has been approved by the American Dental Association. The residency must also be approved by the American Board of Orthodontics. At the point of completion of this residency, a dentist will have the distinction of attaching an MS to his or her name. MS stands for “master of science” and is meant to distinguish dentists with a specialty in orthodontics from those who do not have that specialty.

Overall, being either a dentist or orthodontist requires an extensive amount of schooling. However, an orthodontist will usually have to go through over 10 years of school while a dentist may be able to practice with only eight years of schooling.

Should you go to a dentist or an orthodontist for your next treatment?

You may be confused as to whether you should visit the office of a dentist or an orthodontist. You will need to determine your doctor by the type of service that you need. It is usually best to understand exactly what a dentist does as opposed to an orthodontist.

Orthodontists can handle procedures such as x-rays,checkups, cleanings, gum care, filling cavities, teeth whitening, crowns, veneers and bridges. There may also be some additional coursework that an orthodontist will complete for you. Any kind of realignment should also be done by a certified orthodontist, and not a dentist.

What exactly does an orthodontist do?

An orthodontist is a dentist that specializes in the alignment of your teeth.

Your teeth are connected to many different areas in your body including your spinal cord, your brain stem and other parts of your central nervous system. A misaligned jaw or even just one tooth out of place can cause chronic migraines, imbalance and inability to stand, brain fog and even hearing loss. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned here, then you may want to go see an orthodontist as soon as possible. Even if you do not have to receive realignment treatment, the preliminary research may be able to pinpoint a problem in your dental work.

Your orthodontist may also be able to diagnose and prevent alignment problems. Many young people get braces or retainers not because their teeth are incredibly misplaced, but rather because they are trying to avoid this complication later in life. If you have overcrowded teeth, an overbite, an underbite or large gaps in your mouth, you can definitely receive treatment that will likely help you a great deal at the office of a good orthodontist.

It is recommended for kids as early as age 7, to start seeing an orthodontist in order to prevent future misalignment. Doing so will also lesson the treatment cost, given that orthodontic procedures done on kids is faster compared to those done in adults as their bones have already hardened. Complications can be avoided with early orthodontic visits.

Additionally, having a mouth that is properly aligned can help you avoid many other dental problems as well. If you have overcrowded teeth, then you may not be able to clean them in a way that will keep you from getting cavities. Not properly cleaning your teeth will result in bacteria buildup which later on causes tooth decay. Properly aligned teeth reduces the risks of getting tooth decay in early years as they can be properly brushed and flossed.

why a Dentist is not an Orthodontist

dentist vs orthodontist

If you have large gaps in your mouth, then you may be blocking the natural movement of other teeth in your mouth. As they move, they will cause a great deal of discomfort and possibly tooth loss if the misalignment is not handled. This is especially important for young people who are just receiving their second set of teeth.

It is much smarter to deal with one tooth that is out of place rather than waiting and possibly dealing with an entire jaw that may be misaligned. This is why orthodontic services are important in preventing tooth decay and tooth loss, not just making a smile look better. Today’s orthodontists will also be able to recommend treatments that are cosmetically pleasing.

Various types of braces such as Invisalign allows patients to undergo treatment without it making too obvious. Invisalign are clear aligners in which the patients can remove while eating and brushing. It is also very comfortable to wear.

McDermott Orthodontics – Office Tour

If you are looking for an experienced Brainerd orthodontics office, then you need look no further than the office of Dr. Mike McDermott. Whether you are looking for an Invisalign administrator or a specialized program, you can get exactly what you want. Give us a call or an email so that we can create your program immediately!

McDermott Orthodontics

304 East River Rd
Brainerd, MN 56401

Phone: 218-829-1630

Mouth Ulcer

Things to Do When Experiencing Mouth Ulcer While Wearing Braces


A nice smile with straight, even teeth is something many people desire. This is often the reason people turn to metal brackets or Invisalign to improve their smile. Ultimately, if everything works properly, people generally have a more aesthetically pleasing smile after having their smile corrected by metal brackets or Invisalign. However, at times a metal brace can cause discomfort and minor health problems. Read on for tips and advice to alleviate mouth ulcers.
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Alleviate Discomfort

Ways Your Child Can Alleviate Discomfort with Braces


Braces provide a wonderful way for children and adults alike to achieve straight smiles. These devices have been modified through the years and decades to work in an optimal fashion. However, they can still cause some level of discomfort. You do want your children to realize the value of such dental tools, and part of that is helping them to alleviate the discomfort.
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Are there foods I can’t eat with braces?


Are you preparing to have braces for the next few months or years? You’re probably wondering how they’re going to affect your day-to-day life, especially when it comes to eating. One main question a lot of people have for their orthodontist is, “What kinds of foods will I be able to eat?” More importantly, though, are the types of foods you should steer clear of. Keep these tips in mind to keep your mouth healthy and happy!


Which foods should I avoid?

When you have braces or Invisalign, it’s best to stay away from the following types of foods:

  • Chewy foods like licorice or bagels.
  • Foods that you bite into with your front teeth, such as corn on the cob or apples.
  • Sticky foods, especially gum and caramel.
  • Crunchy foods like ice, potato chips, and popcorn.
  • Hard foods like pizza crusts, pretzels, and cookies.
  • Extra hard foods like hard candies and nuts.

Eating these foods can cause damage, which can make the treatment last longer! Also avoid chewing on anything hard, like your nails or pens. It may be time to replace those nervous habits if you’re used to biting on things when you’re anxious! In addition to being careful of certain foods and not eating them too often, the following foods are completely off-limits, no matter what:

  • Hard candy
  • Corn chips
  • Popcorn
  • Jerky
  • Ice
  • Nuts
  • Pizza crust
  • Corn on the cob
  • Bubble gum
  • Sticky candy, like Starburst and Gummy Bears

Which foods can I enjoy?

Now that you know which foods you should stay away from, it’s time to enjoy the foods that you can eat! The following foods are completely fine to indulge in:

  • Dairy, including soft cheeses, yogurt, and pudding.
  • Bread that isn’t hard, including sandwich bread, tortillas, muffins, biscuits, and pancakes.
  • Grains, like soft rice, noodles, and pasta.
  • Soft-cooked meats and poultry, including lunch meat and meatballs.
  • Seafood, so long as it doesn’t have any bones. Enjoy tuna, crab, crab cakes and salmon.
  • Veggies, like peas, yams, beans, steamed spinach and mashed potatoes.
  • Soft fruits, like banana and applesauce, as well as fruit juice.
  • Desserts and treats including ice cream, smoothies, cake, milkshakes and Jell-O.
  • You can also eat eggs, hot dogs, chili and hamburgers!

What are some tips for eating with braces?

You should never bite into food with your front teeth, which is why you should steer clear of whole apples, pears, and other similar foods. However, even if the food isn’t hard, you should still avoid biting into it with your front teeth. For example, barbecue ribs may be soft, but biting into them with your front teeth can damage your hardware.

Just because you can’t bite into things like apples or corn on the cob, that doesn’t mean that you can’t eat them at all. Get in the habit of cutting your food into bite-sized pieces. It’s a good idea to chew with your back teeth instead of your front teeth, too. It’s especially important to chew with your back teeth if the food is extra hard.

Help for Sensitive Teeth

It’s common to have some tooth sensitivity for the few days after getting the hardware put on. Three to five days is a normal amount of time to feel some soreness and to have tender areas. Aside from avoiding certain foods, you can get some relief by rinsing your mouth with a mixture of one teaspoon of salt that’s been dissolved in eight ounces of warm water. You can also take a pain killer if the tenderness is difficult to deal. After a week or two, your teeth, tongue and cheeks will become accustomed to the new addition and they won’t be nearly as sore.

More Tips and Advice

Your orthodontist will give you advice about how to care for your new hardware. Here are a few additional tips to keep in mind as well:

  • For the first day, your teeth will be extra sensitive. Plus, you’ll be adjusting to the Invisalign or other hardware. Stick to soft foods for the first few days or until you get more comfortable.
  • You may think that some chewy candies are okay to eat because they’re not going to break the hardware in your mouth. However, even if these foods are gentle on your teeth for now, they can slowly cause damage over time. Over time, soft, sticky foods can dislodge the hardware or even cause tooth decay.

Don’t Forget to Brush!

One of the most important steps in caring for your hardware is to brush your teeth! Brushing and flossing are especially important after an orthodontic treatment. The cleaner you’re able to keep everything, the more effective the hardware will be.

Contact an Orthodontist Today

For moderate to severe malocclusions, you will need wire or ceramic braces that are attached to your teeth and remain in place for an average of two to four years. The brackets and wires of traditional braces are designed to apply pressure against the teeth to shift teeth into the correct positions. If you require traditional braces, then you will visit an orthodontist on a regular basis to have the wires adjusted. You might need to schedule an emergency visit with an orthodontist when a wire or bracket breaks. Teenagers and adults with mild malocclusions are candidates for clear plastic aligners that fit over the teeth and are easy to remove. To learn more about orthodontic braces, schedule an appointment today.

Are there foods I can’t eat with braces?

McDermott Orthodontist
708 Elm Ave. E.
Delano, MN
TEL: 763-972-4444

Braces Help

My Bottom and Top Teeth Are Not Aligned. Can Braces Help Align My Jaws?


Looking in the mirror and seeing not aligned teeth in your mouth or in the mouth of your kids can prove unsettling. Fortunately, Orthodontists are available to help your family deal with these struggles and to learn how braces align jaws.

What an Orthodontist Does

When you see alignment issues with your bottom and top teeth, you may think of going to a regular dentist. However, a dentist is different from an orthodontist. Orthodontists are dental professionals focus specifically on braces. They can work with you to select the right type of braces. For example, some people will need traditional braces; others will be candidates for Invisalign or braces behind the teeth. Working with an orthodontist helps to determine the best plan.
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Should I Consider More Treatment If I’m Not Happy After My Braces Are Removed?


Most people expect to have a flawlessly straight smile as soon as their orthodontic equipment comes off, but sadly, this does not always happen. Despite the best work of any orthodontist, it is not always possible to predict the precise outcome of teeth straightening procedures. This can lead to your smile still being slightly crooked after orthodontic devices are removed. There are a few different options available for you if you realize that you still are not happy with your teeth after your orthodontic devices are removed.


What You Should Do If Your Teeth Aren’t Straight Enough

The first thing you should do if your teeth seem a little crooked still is talk to your orthodontist. Orthodontists want their patients to be happy with their results, so they will be willing to work with you and find a solution for your issues. Though it is quite rare, it is possible that your braces were removed too soon. So if the results are not quite what they should be, you may need to spend a little while longer with orthodontic appliances in your mouth. In some cases, traditional metal orthodontics can be reinstalled, but this is not always recommended if you just need a few minor changes.

How to Fix the Issue Without Getting Braces Put on Again

After spending so long waiting for your orthodonture to be removed, it is understandably upsetting to not be happy with the results. Many people realize that they do not want to have to go around with metal on their teeth anymore. Fortunately, there are a lot of other available methods for straightening teeth. Invisalign is a popular option because it consists of clear, plastic trays that realign teeth without being very visible. Some people are put off by the cost of Invisalign because you have to get multiple, custom-molded trays, but if you just need to straighten your smile a tiny bit more, it is very affordable. There are also headgear options that you can wear each night while you sleep to gradually shift your teeth a little farther. These devices can help to make a slow change if you just want your teeth to be slightly moved.

Cosmetic Dentistry Options

Sometimes, a person may think that they are unsatisfied because their smile is not straight enough, but this is not always the actual reason. A lot of discontent can actually be due to subtle color differences and abnormal tooth shapes in your mouth. If your smile still seems less than perfect even when your teeth are completely aligned, you may want to consider one of these cosmetic dentistry options:

Tooth Whitening

After wearing orthodontics for so long, some patients suffer from uneven staining on their teeth. You can schedule a tooth whitening appointment with a cosmetic dentistry office to lighten your teeth and remove stains. When your smile is sparkling and white, you might realize that your teeth do not actually need to be straighter.


Sometimes, the cosmetic issue is not actually due to crooked teeth. It may be caused by teeth that are an unusual shape or size. This can be solved by affixing a thin yet durable veneer over the surface of the tooth. Veneers can be custom made to blend in with the rest of your teeth while making your smile look more regular.


A single chipped or worn tooth might be making your smile look off even though your orthodontic procedures were successful. You can get a tooth colored material bonded to a slightly chipped tooth so that your overall smile looks more even and aesthetic.

How to Deal With Teeth That Seem to Be Getting Crooked Again

Another common issue happens when a patient is initially pleased with the result and then starts to think that their teeth are still too crooked. Most people assume that the orthodontics did not actually work, but what is truly happening is that their teeth are shifting. After orthodontics are removed, it takes a little time for the teeth to become firmly situated in the correct position. Therefore, it is very important to wear retainers or other types of orthodontic appliances that may be prescribed by your orthodontist for the correct amount of time. Not only will this prevent your teeth from getting crooked, but it can also help to correct minor shifts and movements among your teeth.

Contact McDermott Orthodontics to Learn More About Treatment for Adults

In Minnesota, you can visit McDermott Orthodontics to learn more about the orthodontic treatments that are designed for adults. Dr. Michael McDermott offers services to patients living in these areas:

• Delano – 763-972-4444
• Pequot Lake – 218-568-5600
• Brainerd – 218-829-1630
• Baxter – 218-829-1630

At McDermott Orthodontics, our patients can receive treatment with these orthodontic devices:

• Damon system – self-ligating devices
• Clear devices – made with clear brackets
• Invisalign aligners – suitable for adults
• Ceramic devices – made with color-matching brackets

With our top-of-the-line diagnostic equipment, we can determine how to improve the positions of your teeth with a few months or several years of orthodontic treatment. To learn more about orthodontic braces, schedule an appointment today.

Should I Consider More Treatment If I’m Not Happy After My Braces Are Removed?

McDermott Orthodontist
708 Elm Ave. E.
Delano, MN
TEL: 763-972-4444


What Happens to Your Lips When You Get Braces to Fix Your Overbite?


Everyone will eventually have to visit the dentist at some point in their lives. It is a good idea to get any potential problems looked at and corrected as early as possible. Getting braces used to be a big ordeal, but in recent years there have been incredible advances in orthodontic procedures and equipment. This article will go over common problems that can be correct by braces, as well as traditional braces and alternative options.

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How to Fix Minor Overcrowding of Teeth Without Braces or Invisalign?


Everyone, no matter their age, wants to have teeth that are straight and beautiful. An even smile can boost your confidence and make you feel as though anything is possible. Unfortunately, many people suffer from some kind of issue within their teeth that causes overcrowding, an overbite, an underbite, or any number of other problems. While some of these issues can be directly tackled with the usage of braces and Invisalign, these orthodontic solutions are typically reserved for people who suffer from substantial overcrowding or a large overbite. The key to fixing overcrowding teeth depends on the extent of the crowding. If the crowding you’re experiencing is minimal, it’s possible that you’ll be able to fix this overcrowding without Invisalign or braces.

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