Our Blog

How does wisdom tooth removal affect orthodontic care?

January 16th, 2019

The purpose of braces and other forms of orthodontic treatment at Williams and Hamman Orthodontics is to correct malocclusion, also known as crooked or crowded teeth, or “bad bites.” Past orthodontic practice dictated that wisdom teeth be removed, especially in cases of crowding.

The wisdom teeth are the last teeth to come in, and are officially known as the third molars. The teeth typically erupt, or break the surface of the skin, in young people between the ages of 13 and 20.

Sometimes, wisdom teeth are impacted. That means they cannot break through the gum tissue. This typically happens when the mouth or jaw is too small to accommodate the teeth. Impacted wisdom teeth can become infected, and some dentists and orthodontists may want to remove them as prophylaxis to prevent possible future infection.

Justification for removing wisdom teeth

Drs. Richard Williams and Nathan Hamman will tell you that in some cases, wisdom teeth attempt to come in the wrong way, either tilting in the jaw, or sideways. If the mouth is too small to accommodate these additional teeth, they inevitably become impacted. Swelling or infection of the gum flap above an impacted wisdom tooth may cause pain. The greatest danger is pericoronitis, a potentially dangerous infection that can occur in the gum area around an impacted wisdom tooth, or around a wisdom tooth that has erupted.

Orthodontists base their decision to remove wisdom teeth on each patient's individual circumstances. To learn more about the impact wisdom teeth have on orthodontic treatment, or to schedule a visit with Drs. Richard Williams and Nathan Hamman, please give us a call at our convenient Southaven, Hernando, Olive Branch office!

New Year, Better Williams & Hamman Orthodontics

January 10th, 2019

Our goal every year is to continue to provide the highest quality of orthodontic care to our patients in a caring, compassionate environment. We always want to make sure that we’re the best we can possibly be. Dr. Williams and Dr. Hamman have a very similar life philosophy that is all based on service and serving others as we’ve been called to do. Ultimately, all of our goals stem from that.

This year we’re looking forward to growing our practice through word of mouth and by having our patients share their positive experiences. We’re so grateful for our patients and love helping them achieve the smile of their dreams. We also plan on continuing to learn more about our field. Since Dr. Williams and Dr. Hamman are both part of the faculty at the UT Orthodontics department, we’re able to stay current with the latest advances in business, technology, and research relating to orthodontics.

We think it’s important to set goals in order to develop a focused plan to accomplish whatever it is you want to achieve. In the words of Dave Ramsey, “A goal without a plan is just a dream” and we couldn’t agree more.  We’ve found that one of the best ways to stay on track is by making lists. A short-term list for top priority tasks and a long-term list for the tasks that will take more planning or time to achieve.

In the travel department, we’re planning on traveling to Orlando, FL this year for The Southern Association of Orthodontists meeting. We definitely want to pay Mickey a visit at Disney while we’re there!

There is a lot to look forward to this year. Meeting new people, seeing new places, but the at the top of the list is always seeing how we can have a positive impact on our family members, our patients, and our community. We hope you’re all having a great 2019 so far and hope to see you in the office soon!

 

My Mummy had Braces! Weird Facts about the History of Braces

January 9th, 2019

Sometimes real life is stranger and more interesting that any made-up story. These weird and interesting facts about braces will amuse you … and make you glad you didn’t have to get braces “way back when.”

Mummies with braces: Archaeologists have discovered mummies with crude bands of metal wrapped around their teeth. The metal was wrapped around each individual tooth, and it is believed that ancient dentists used catgut to guide the teeth and close the gaps.

First “official” braces: The first official braces were constructed in 1728 by Pierre Fauchard. They consisted of flat strips of metal. String was used to connect the metal to the teeth.

Early rubber bands: In 1850, Tucker began making rubber bands out of rubber tubing.

Brackets are better: Brackets were invented by Edward Angle in 1915. They were not bonded to the teeth directly, but instead were attached to bands that went around the teeth.

Wiring by NASA: As braces have become more modern, the technology has improved by leaps and bounds. You may know that some braces wire contains nickel titanium. What you may not know is that this metal was developed by NASA and has special shape memory that is activated by pressure or body heat.

Over 60 with braces: Actress Faye Dunaway got braces at the age of 61, which shows you are never too old to look more fabulous!

Oh, and one more thing that didn’t quite make our list, but is interesting all the same. Did you know that almost 25 percent of patients who get braces have to get them again because they wouldn’t wear their retainers? So suck it up, buttercup, and use that retainer!

Tooth Protection and Winter Sports

January 2nd, 2019

Just because it’s cold out there doesn’t mean you’ll give up keeping fit and active! Winter is the season for some of our favorite team sporting activities, and when you’re donning your protective gear, don’t forget to protect your teeth as well.

  • Basketball

This sport actually tallies one of the highest counts of dental injuries. Running, jumping, and diving for the ball on an unforgiving court can lead to tooth and jaw injuries.  And for every ten men on the floor, it seems like there at least 50 flailing elbows in the paint.

  • Hockey

Notorious for the toll it takes on teeth, hockey is a game of sticks, ice, and whizzing pucks. And when your sport’s penalties include the terms hooking, slashing, and tripping, the more protection, the better.

  • Skiing

When you are flying down the slopes, combining powdery snow and speed, mouth protection is a good idea. This also applies to snowboarding and other snow sports.

  • Wrestling

Grappling and pinning in close quarters can lead to unintended injuries after accidental contact with the mat or your opponent.

Different uniforms, different equipment, and different playing fields, but all these sports have one thing in common—the easiest way to protect your teeth while playing them is with a mouth guard.

Mouthguards generally come in three forms:

  • Over the counter, ready-made appliances. These are available in drugstores and sporting goods stores, but might not be a comfortable fit as they are pre-formed sizes.
  • The “boil-and-bite” option is a mouthguard form placed in hot water. You then bite down to shape it to your mouth and teeth.
  • Custom mouthguards can be fabricated just for you through our Southaven, Hernando, Olive Branch office. These appliances are designed to fit your individual mouth and teeth, so provide a better fit and better protection. They are also usually more durable and more comfortable. If you wear braces, you definitely need a custom mouthguard to prevent an injury to your mouth or braces caused by an ill-fitting appliance.

Whether you play on a team or pursue individual athletic activities, keeping safe as you keep fit is your first priority. We would be happy to discuss your mouthguard options for any sport, any time of year.