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Dental Health and Food: Learning to Eat Better

My intense love for candy, cakes, and everything in between started as a child. I simply couldn't go one day without something sweet to eat. But my love for all things sweet took a toll on my teeth. My dentist diagnosed me with seven cavities, each one a different size and depth. After sitting through four long dental appointments, I decided to make a change. I now monitor my diet and only eat things that benefit my oral health. I'm here to help you take better care of your teeth. My blog offers tips on how to improve your diet, maintain good oral hygiene, and many other topics. Hopefully, you can learn to overcome your bad habits just as I did. Good luck with your future dental health.


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Dental Health and Food: Learning to Eat Better

Temporary Anchorage Device: When Your Braces Need Some Extra Help

by Eric Bailey

If you've ever been considering a mouth piercing, you probably shouldn't since they're not great for your teeth. Still, you wouldn't exactly think about getting a piercing to complement your new dental braces. And yet, with braces, it can sometimes be necessary to have something that resembles a piercing in order to make your braces efficient. If your orthodontist tells you that you will need a temporary anchorage device (TAD), what can you expect?

Related to a Dental Implant

Although a TAD can resemble a (very small) piercing, it's more closely related to a dental implant, although it's nowhere near as intrusive. A dental implant is inserted into your jaw and needs to be load-bearing, and the load in question is the prosthetic tooth attached to the implant, which needs to withstand the ongoing pressure of chewing. A TAD is likewise inserted into your jaw bone, but the tip of the TAD faces outwards, instead of being inserted vertically.

An Anchor Point

A TAD is designed to assist the graduate realignment of your teeth. Although your braces (and their periodic adjustment) will take care of this, some people need some extra help, and this is where a TAD comes into it. The TAD acts as an anchor point, creating a stable spot for the braces to push against while they're slowly repositioning your teeth. This prevents your gums and periodontal ligaments from becoming damaged when it's thought that your gums need a little extra support for your braces to effectively function.

What It Feels Like

The TAD is generally titanium and is inserted into your gums. Although it has some similarities to a dental implant, it's a fraction of the width, so it doesn't result in any significant discomfort, nor does it need a great deal of healing time. The site of your TAD might be mildly uncomfortable, but this feeling will quickly fade and can easily be controlled with an over-the-counter painkiller.

What it Looks Like

You don't need to be concerned about the look of the TAD either. The visible portion of the device is barely larger than the head of a pin, and won't be noticeable. In isolation, it can look much like a piercing, but, obviously, it has been inserted to serve a practical purpose. It will be removed once your orthodontic treatment has concluded or even before if it's no longer necessary in the final weeks or months. 

When a TAD is necessary, it's not going to add any extra complications to your orthodontic treatment, and will ensure that your treatment is as efficient as possible.

For additional information, reach out to a company like Poulson Orthodontics.