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How Clean Is Your Tongue?

“BRUSH YOUR TEETH for two full minutes twice a day and floss your teeth once a day.” You’ve probably lost count of how many times you’ve heard that, but how often have you heard that you should be cleaning your tongue every day too?

The Difference A Clean Tongue Makes

More bacteria likes to live on our tongues than just about anywhere else on our bodies. That’s because all those tiny crevices in the tongue’s surface are prime real estate for all kinds of pathogens. If we don’t actively keep our tongues clean, the harmful bacteria will stay put and multiply, causing bad breath and contributing to tooth decay on the inner surfaces of our teeth.

Another reason to regularly get rid of all that tongue bacteria is that it can dramatically improve your sense of taste. When the tongue is covered in bacteria, the tastebuds have a hard time doing their job, but with the bacteria gone, they’re free to absorb all those delicious flavors at their full capacity. Yum!

Chemical digestion begins in our mouths, and a clean tongue makes this process more effective too. So, if you want to enjoy your favorite foods as much as possible, keep your breath clean and fresh, and improve your digestive health, clean your tongue!

Finding The Best Tools For Cleaning Your Tongue

Keeping your tongue clean takes more than swishing mouthwash or rinsing with water. The bacteria hiding in all those tiny grooves is very stubborn, and washing with liquid won’t be enough do dislodge them. To really clear off the biofilm of bacteria, you need to scrape it with a tongue-scraper.

If you don’t find these in the grocery store near the toothbrushes, you can order one online, and some toothbrushes have tongue scrapers built in on the reverse side. Between brushing and rinsing your teeth is the best time to scrape your tongue. Start at the back and work forward, and try to get as much of the surface area as you can.

For the first few days, you might be surprised by how much biofilm comes away with the tongue scraper, but the longer you stick with it, the cleaner your tongue will become, until it seems like you’re scraping away nothing but clean spit. See if you notice the difference in your breath and your sense of taste when you get to this point! Learn More!

Tongue-Scraping Is Older Than You Think

If you’ve never heard of tongue-scraping before, you might think it’s a new idea, but it’s actually been around since ancient times in some cultures. It’s part of the daily hygiene routine in Ayurveda, the traditional medicine of India. Tongue-scraping tools have been made of many different materials across the centuries, including copper, silver, gold, ivory, whalebone, and tortoiseshell. Today, they’re typically plastic or stainless steel.

Have Any Questions About Tongue Cleaning?

If you have questions about tongue cleaning or would like our recommendations on the best tools for the job, just give us a call! We’re always happy to help our patients improve their daily dental hygiene regimens, and we look forward to seeing you at your next appointment!

Thank you for being such wonderful patients!

Top image by Flickr user Jon Russell used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

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Don’t Take A Vacation From Oral Hygiene!

WITH THE ARRIVAL OF SUMMER comes the season of family vacations and exciting trips to new places. We’re as excited for it as our patients, but before everyone leaves to explore parts unknown, we want to give you a few tips and reminders about taking care of your teeth while you’re away from home.

Before You Go, See The Dentist

The last thing anyone wants while relaxing on a beach or enjoying the rides at a theme park is for their fun to be interrupted by a toothache or dental emergency. Depending where you go on your vacation, it might be hard to get proper dental treatment. You’ll save yourself a major potential hassle by simply scheduling a dental appointment before you leave!

A simple dental checkup will ensure that your teeth are clean and cavity-free when you start your trip. It’s especially important to get any restorations (e.g. crowns and fillings) checked in case they’re becoming loose, and untreated cavities and weakened dental work can become painful due to the pressure changes on flights.

Don’t Get Too Carried Away With Vacation Food

We can probably all agree that the food is often one of the best parts of any vacation, but that can make it easy to overdo it. Try to avoid eating too many sweet treats and snacks, and maybe keep a pack of sugar free gum handy to help prevent cavities.

Don’t Slack On Brushing And Flossing

When we’re at home, it’s easy to go through daily routines like brushing in the morning and brushing and flossing in the evening. Make sure to pack your toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss when you go, and quickly establish these routines in your new location.

One important thing to remember is that bacteria grows fast on a toothbrush that is damp and in an enclosed space, such as in luggage. Give your brush time to dry before you pack it, and store it somewhere it can get plenty of ventilation between uses.

Instead of leaving your toothbrush out on a hotel counter, try a simple solution like this: Watch Video

Have A Great Vacation!

Following these tips will help you keep your teeth strong and healthy while you’re away from home. That should make it easier to flash a big, bright smile for the camera during your adventures! Have a wonderful time, and we look forward to seeing you again soon!

Thank you for trusting us with your dental health!

Top image used under CC0 Public Domain license. Image cropped and modified from original.

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

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How To Finish Your Orthodontic Treatment Early

Successful orthodontic treatment is dependent on a number of factors, like your orthodontist or how your teeth respond to braces.

However a lot of it actually depends on you! Patients who follow instructions often finish 6 months or more early.  While those who do not, commonly add an extra 6 to 12 months to their treatment time. Wow, that’s a big difference!

So, what can you do to make sure you finish your treatment on time (or maybe even early!) and get a fantastic smile? Here are 4 simple steps to keep your treatment on track for a great result. Make sure to watch the videos on this page of our website for clear and easy to follow instructions: Orthodontic Care Guide.

Keep Your Smile Amazing At Kineret Orthodontics! - With 4 Easy Steps:

1. Keep Your Appointments

The better you are at keeping your appointments, the faster your treatment time will be!  Also very important for an early finish is that you come on time to your appointments.  Having enough time to perform planned procedures is essential to your smile’s progress.

2. Avoid Damage to Your Braces

Damage to your braces can really put the brakes on your progress. To prevent breaking off a bracket or bending your wires, be sure to wear a mouth guard when playing sports or a night guard if you grind your teeth. Also follow closely the advice on the Foods and Habits Checklist in your new patient folder.

Specifically, avoid these foods while wearing braces: Popcorn, Nuts, Sticky candy like taffy & caramel, and Ice. Some other examples of foods to avoid are jerky, hard candies, cookies, crunchy cereals, hard (like pita) chips and snacks.

Remember to cut up other foods that can damage braces such as raw fruits and vegetables, remove the crust from pizza and hard or chewy crusted breads. Also, it is best to slice corn off the cob and meat off the bones prior to consumption.

Avoid habits like chewing on pens, fingernails, clothing, etc.

3. Follow Your Orthodontist’s Instructions--Wear Your Rubber Bands Consistently

If your unique case calls for orthodontic appliances other than braces, it’s crucial to wear them as prescribed. We most often see patients neglecting to wear their elastics, or rubber bands. In general, you’ll only need to take them off when eating a meal, brushing your teeth or wearing a mouth guard and then replace them ASAP.  Failure to wear your elastics consistently can extend your treatment time by a lot, harm your roots, and limit the degree of improvement! So be sure to follow your instructions.

4. Be Diligent About Your Oral Hygiene

Maintaining healthy teeth and gums during treatment is very important! Braces can make it harder to keep your teeth clean, so you need to be extra diligent about your oral hygiene when you’re undergoing treatment.

Cavities and gum disease can complicate and prolong your treatment and no one wants spotty teeth from not brushing. So if you want to get those braces off as quickly as possible and have a stellar smile, brush, floss, proxy-brush, and hydro-floss (water-pik) and don’t forget to visit your dentist regularly!

Keep Your Orthodontic Treatment on Track in 4 Simple Steps and Get Done Early

If you follow these guideline, I promise you… It Will All Be Worth It!
Going through orthodontic treatment takes a little extra effort and focus, but it can be life changing. By following these simple steps, you can stay on track and get the smile you’ve always wanted and deserve!

If you have any more questions, call us today. We’re always here for our amazing patients.  Thank you for letting us be a part of your journey to a fantastic smile! 

The content on this website reflect the experience, training, and opinion of this provider and is not intended to be a substitute for individual professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

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Does It Hurt When You Get Your Braces Put On?

The Big Questions People Have

Does getting braces hurt? Absolutely not!  So you can take your worry wart hat off right now because the process is super easy, completely painless, and only takes about an hour!  

In our practice, patients actually watch their favorite movie on Netflix while we “glue” them on with a special adhesive (no shots or drills).  So the time passes very quickly and our patients tell us the process is so much easier than they ever expected! Aw, the joys of modern orthodontics!

The Next Few Steps

Once the braces are in place, they are connected to the wires with tiny colored o-rings of your choice.  These initial wires and o-rings are super elastic. In fact the wires are so small and flexible that you can literally tie them in a knot so you will not feel them at first.  

Also good to know is that we use tiny micro brackets these days to make sure your braces are gentle and cleanable.

At Kineret Orthodontics you will enjoy the fact that we only use brackets and do not use bands (the silver rings that go on molars)— so there are no painful separators as in days past-yey for that!

Your teeth will be sore for about 3 to 4 days afterwards but the application of braces itself will not hurt.  And the really good news is that like a small bruise, the soreness usually fades away quickly!

Here is our Braces Quick Start Checklist that has some great tips to help you adjust to your new braces smoothly and quickly.

Braces Quick
Start Guide

If you would like to watch a short video clip giving a quick tour of our office and a peak at how we will put your braces on, watch the video. The video shows one of our young rock star patients getting her braces placed—as you can see the process is really quite painless, quick, and easy.

And don’t worry, on the day we put your braces on, we will share with you tips to make your treatment go faster and better. However if you want to get a jump on it and sneak preview the next steps go here to our Orthodontic Care Guide.

We are excited to have you join the Kineret Orthodontics family and are very much looking forward to helping you realize the best smile possible-See you soon!

The Kineret Orthodontics Team

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Considering a D2C orthodontic company?

Many online orthodontic companies make their treatment sound so easy and convenient-you take some selfies, an impression or maybe a scan—and voila, in no time you have a great new smile.

Based on my decades of professional training and experience, straightening your teeth and improving your bite is rarely that simple.  If it were, licensed orthodontic specialists would not be required by the state to go to school for the mandated 11 to 12 years and another 2-4 years beyond dental school in order to render expert specialist care.

Easier Isn't Always Better

The main risk you should consider is that with direct to consumer orthodontic companies, the critical in person initial pretreatment evaluation, the diagnostic process, and ongoing supervision is usually removed from the process.   So a lot of important biological factors are skipped and that could potentially lead to irreversible and costly damage like gum loss, changed bites, and root and bone deterioration.

Really, the main question to ask yourself is what other medical procedure would you pursue without an in person evaluation and the continued direct supervision of a professional?

What You Need to Ask Yourself

The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) lists 14 important questions you should ask when researching direct to consumer ortho aligner companies.  You can go to the AAO consumer alert to read them all. However, for the sake of brevity, I have condensed the AAO list into 6 key questions that should be answered before starting any treatment.

Remember that orthodontic treatment is not a product or device-it is a professional medical service-you want your treatment to be directly supervised by a highly trained specialist. Before making any decision about orthodontic treatment, consider doing some research and having an in person consultation with a post-doctorate residency trained orthodontist.

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Recent Advances in Orthodontic Care

orthodontic care guide

 

All of our efforts as parents and grandparents are undertaken in order to raise healthy, happy and confident children who will excel and contribute to our community and nation in very positive ways.  Orthodontics has always been a key piece to this puzzle. A bright and attractive smile always facilitates a significant social edge and translates to more joy and success in life.

For children and adults who need braces or aligners, orthodontic treatment can make a huge difference in their outlook on life. When a person who does not feel good about his or her smile can become comfortable and confident, it is a life-changing experience!

Being able to give a person confidence and self-esteem is the most fulfilling part of our job. We love what we do! We want everyone to experience the satisfaction and fulfillment that comes from having a great smile and the confidence to show the world. Nothing warms a room, a relationship or changes attitudes like a great smile!

The days of having to see the orthodontist every month, painful bands and separators, headgear and high down payments are in the past! Modern technology, modern convenience and modern financing make braces more attractive and affordable now than ever before.

Orthodontics and the process of getting braces has changed tremendously over the last few years. Forget all the things you had to endure as a child, the lack of affordability and the painful process. Things are different now! Change is good.

Call and make an appointment to see an orthodontist today. It will change you or your child’s life!

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The Difference Between An Orthodontist and a Dentist

Have you ever found yourself wondering what the difference between a dentist and an orthodontist is? Though the lines may seem blurred at times, there are some important distinctions to consider when thinking of the two!

How Much Schooling Did They Do?

The first thing to consider is education. All orthodontists are dentists, but not all dentists are orthodontists! The journey to becoming an orthodontist begins with completing dental school and becoming a licensed dentist. Once completed, orthodontists continue in their education with three more years of residency in order to become a specialist.  

The next thing to consider is specialization. The hours of specialized training that orthodontists receive is invaluable and makes them the clear choice when deciding who to trust with your orthodontic issues. Orthodontists solely focus on enhancing facial beauty by aligning teeth and jaws, that’s it! 

If you had to have your knee replaced, you most likely wouldn’t go to your family doctor to have the procedure done. You would likely find a doctor who specializes in this type of procedure. You should do the same for your smile. When it comes to the alignment of your smile, it is best to trust an orthodontist.

Finally, one must consider experience. During an orthodontist’s education and training, they are exposed to many different orthodontic issues that they must learn how to address. When visiting an orthodontist, you can be sure that they have the necessary experience to understand and address your needs. 

You don’t want to trust just anyone with your smile.  At Kineret Orthodontics we are passionate about creating exceptional smiles and memorable experiences. We remain committed to caring for you with expertise, professionalism, all in the most heart centered-way. We would love to help you feel confident in your smile! To schedule your consult, please give our office a call at (916) 772-5832. 

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How Important are Straight Teeth?

Picture yourself flipping through a magazine. Page after page you see advertisements featuring people who most likely have something in common. That commonality is straight teeth with a beautiful smile. Let’s face it, smiles are one of the first things that people will notice when they meet you. Don’t you want to have a smile that will leave a lasting impression?

Study after study has shown that people with straight teeth are more likely to be successful, more likely to get a job and more likely to have higher self-esteem. The aesthetic benefits of straight teeth have been shown to improve your overall confidence.

Higher self-esteem and confidence are important for adults but even more so, they are important for children. Everyone wants their children to be happy and healthy. We want them to be confident and successful, too. And a beautiful smile can contribute to this.

While the aesthetic benefits of straight teeth are great, the health benefits are something that should also be considered when looking into orthodontic options.

First of all, crooked/crowded teeth are more difficult to clean. It is harder to reach all of the areas between your teeth to remove plaque and bacteria when your teeth are crooked. This problem could lead to an increase in the risk of cavities and gum disease.

A crooked smile can also lead to issues with your bite. This misalignment can lead to uncomfortable tooth grinding, pain, TMJ and sinus issues. These problems can be avoided or corrected with the proper care from your orthodontist.

People who have crooked teeth are more likely to suffer from tooth breakages, chips and fractures. If teeth are protruding, they are less protected than straight teeth and more susceptible to these types of issues.

Overall, straight teeth can increase your confidence, contribute to your overall health and well-being and save you money in the long run. Modern technology, modern convenience and patient-friendly financing make braces and aligners more attractive and affordable now than ever before.

Now there is nothing to hold you back, whether young or old (25% of our patients are adults!). Call and make your consultation appointment today. We look forward to meeting you!

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Are braces really worth it?

The Worth of a Smile

The thing that goes the farthest
Towards making life worth while,
Which costs the least and counts the most,
Is just a pleasant smile.
The smile that bubbles from a heart
That loves its fellow men,
Will drive away the clouds of gloom
And coax the sun again,
It is full of worth, and goodness too,
With many kindness blent;
It is worth a million dollars
And it doesn’t cost a cent.

There is no room for sadness
When we see a cheery smile,
It always has the same good looks,
It’s never out of style.
It nerves us on to try again
When failure makes us blue,
The dimples of encouragement
Are good for me and you.
It pays a higher interest
For it is sincerely lent;
It is worth a million dollars
And doesn’t cost a cent.

A smile comes very easy,
You can wrinkle up with cheer
A hundred times before you
Can squeeze out a soggy tear.
It ripples out moreover
To the heart-strings that will tug,
And always leaves an echo
That is very like a hug;
So smile away, folks understand
What by a smile is meant;
It is worth a million dollars
And doesn’t cost a cent.

Anon

 

Are Braces Worth It?

Here are some blog comments to consider…

“Good luck, and I recommend braces!!” (Samantha)

“Yes it’s worth it!!! Because the older you get the more your teeth start to shift. and it makes your teeth completely straight. I’ve had my braces for about 9 months and I still have 9 more to go, but my teeth are already pretty straight and they were really bad before. And about the retainer for the rest of your life… you really only wear it at night, as my friend does, so don’t worry about that and wouldn’t you want perfect straight teeth? So go for it!” (Anonymous)

“It’s deffs worth it! Your smile is the first thing people notice about you lol! There’s a lot of people that have done it and they don’t mind the retainer or anything. So if you can afford it do it. 😉 Take my word for it! You will be way more attractive so hurry and do them while you are still young!” (Meh:)

“I had braces for 2 years and was told I had to wear the retainer forever. It was worth it and I only wore the retainer for 1 year and then on occasion after that. I think you should because you’re still in high school and it’s still socially acceptable to have braces.” (Dave)

“Yeah they are worth it! 🙂 I have crooked teeth and regret not getting them.” (asban)

“Absolutely since your teeth might look fine but the overbite is a problem that should be fixed. You will love the band behind your teeth once you get your braces off compared to a plastic retainer since you do absolutely nothing with it. You don’t feel it, don’t notice, and most of all will not care about it. The band is simply a tiny metal retainer that goes behind your bottom 4 teeth to prevent it from moving.” (Anonymous)

“A smile costs nothing but gives much. It enriches those who receive without making poorer those who give. It takes but a moment, but the memory of it sometimes lasts forever. None is so rich or mighty that he cannot get along without it and none is so poor that he cannot be made rich by it. Yet a smile cannot be bought, begged, borrowed, or stolen, for it is something that is of no value to anyone until it is given away. Some people are too tired to give you a smile. Give them one of yours, as no one needs a smile so much as he who has no more to give.” (Anonymous)

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Single Phase vs Two-Phased Orthodontic Treatment?

Single phase orthodontics means we wait until nearly all of the permanent teeth are in place prior to starting treatment.  Phased orthodontic treatment means a first phase of treatment is started earlier — commonly at age 7 to 9, when all permanent incisors (front teeth) and permanent first molars are in place but permanent canines and premolars have not yet erupted.  There are indications for both approaches and the option selected should be individually based.

If you select the phased treatment option, it is important to realize that there is a greater than 50-50 chance that you will need to do both phases – i.e. even if you start early you will not finish early, and there may be additional cost and time involved.

In our practice,  we have a comprehensive approach to the first phase, a rigid retention program, and, in fact, 1 out of 3 patients will not need to go on to a second phase.   Furthermore, for the 2 out of 3 patients that still require phase II treatment, the second phase of treatment is often simpler and faster than if we had done single phase treatment.  That being said, we do not do phased treatment on everyone, preferring to wait when problems are mild to moderate.

On the other hand, the benefit of a phased approach to young patients may be worth much more than the extra time or cost.  For example, many female patients finish most or all of their jaw growth prior to the time their full permanent dentition is in place.  Teeth that erupt into the wrong place or are impacted (‘stuck’ or blocked out of place) often require extractions or surgical intervention and this is often circumvented with earlier treatment.

 

The literature lists the following as benefits of phased treatment:

1.       Takes advantage of growth

2.       Requires fewer extractions of permanent teeth

3.       Involves less orthognathic (jaw) surgery

4.       Addresses harmful habits

5.       Causes less tooth trauma and enamel wear

6.       Improves self-esteem and social comfort

7.       Assures greater compliance with the course of treatment than in the challenging teenage years

Most important is the improvement in self-esteem and confidence that occurs when a child is given a beautiful smile during the socially challenging middle school years.  With a list of clear long-term medical benefits, the ultimate decision is still based most often on the consideration of that more intangible factor:

How much is your child’s self-esteem worth?

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