Archive for Blog

Types of Bad Bites and Their Treatments

WHAT IS A BAD BITE? A bad bite, also called a malocclusion, is when the upper and lower teeth don’t fit together the way they should. Depending on the type of malocclusion, this can cause a variety of problems, from impacting speech to making digestion less efficient to worsening TMD troubles, and they can even increase the risk of breaking a tooth!

What Makes a Bite Go Bad?

Malocclusions happen for different reasons. Some are caused by genetics. If a child inherits large teeth from Dad and a small jaw from Mom, there’s a good chance their teeth won’t be able to fit together well. Other causes include injuries and bad oral habits in the developmental years, including thumbsucking, lip sucking, tongue thrusting, nail biting, mouth breathing, and teeth clenching.

By discouraging these kinds of bad habits, parents can help their children grow up with healthier bites. If one of these habits does cause a malocclusion, it’s still important to break the habit so that bite problems don’t come back after orthodontic treatment. Luckily, we can help with that.

Different Types of Malocclusions

When the teeth and jaws are aligned correctly, the upper teeth rest slightly over the lower teeth while the jaw is closed, and the points of the upper molars fit nicely into the grooves of the lower molars. Here are the five most common ways a bite can differ from this healthy ideal:

  • Open Bite. The front upper teeth flare out, creating a gap between them and the lower front teeth even when biting down. (Can be caused by thumbsucking beyond toddler years or a tongue thrust.)
  • Underbite. When biting down, the lower teeth overlap or partially cover the upper teeth.
  • Crossbite. Some upper teeth bite down on the inside of the lower teeth while others bite down on the outside.
  • Excessive Overbite. The upper teeth overjet or overlap the lower teeth beyond what we want to see in a healthy bite.
  • Deep Bite. An overbite so severe that, when biting down, the upper front teeth completely overlap the lower front teeth, which sometimes drive into the gums behind the upper teeth, risking gum injury and other problems.

Fixing Malocclusions with Orthodontic Treatment

Each of these types of malocclusions and others can be corrected through orthodontic treatment. Now, before you start picturing bulky headgear, remember that the field of orthodontics has come a long way. Surgery and headgear are still sometimes necessary for extreme cases, but we can typically correct a bad bite in very low profile and hassle-free ways.

Have You Scheduled an Initial Consultation Yet?

If you have concerns about the way your teeth bite down, schedule an initial consultation so we can see if a bad bite or some other alignment problem is the source of your troubles. Don’t wait to start working towards a healthier, more functional, and more confident smile!

We appreciate every member of our practice family!

Top image by Flickr user Fake Plastic Alice 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.

Posted in: Blog, Informative

Leave a Comment (0) →

Making Room For Your Gorgeous New Smile

THINK OF THE LAST TIME you gave up something good to get something even better in the future. During the course of your orthodontic treatment, it’s possible you may need to give up good teeth for a better smile!

Understandably, the thought is a little unsettling. But when you understand the reasons and see the results, you’ll look back and see it was the right decision all along.

Some Teeth Just Don’t Fit

One of the most common issues orthodontic treatment addresses is crowding—when there is not enough space for all the teeth to fit normally, causing them to twist and turn.

Often, braces are enough to rearrange teeth into a healthy dental arch, but in some cases extractions are the best option for beginning to align your teeth. Removing teeth can also be key in solving underbite, overbite, and problems with protrusive teeth.

Pain-Free Extraction, Rapid Recovery

When performed by an experienced specialist, removing a tooth is simple and pain free. If you have any questions about the process, please talk to us!

Making Room For Your Perfect Smile

We understand that the decision to extract a tooth is not one to be taken lightly. We carefully examine dental models, x-rays, photos, and jaw structure to determine the best way to create your beautiful new smile. By considering all treatment options, we find the one that will most efficiently give you the best results in optimal treatment time.

We treasure the trust you have placed in us as your orthodontic specialists. Thank you for being our valued patient and friend!

(Image by Flickr user Ben Tesch used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.)

Posted in: Blog, Informative, Uncategorized

Leave a Comment (0) →

Protect Your Retainer, Protect Your Smile

PERHAPS IT’S BEEN YEARS SINCE YOU had braces, but suddenly you find yourself concerned about your teeth again. Why? You’ve lost (or don’t wear) your retainer!

Some people lose their retainer and never bother getting a new one. Others know where their retainer is but haven’t worn it for so long, it no longer properly fits. Whether it’s been weeks or years since you finished orthodontic treatment, if you’ve lost your retainer or it doesn’t fit, you need a new one.

Common Questions About Retainers

“Does my retainer really matter?”

Absolutely! Without a retainer, your bite is unprotected and teeth are prone to shifting. Even years after treatment, a properly fitting retainer helps keep your smile beautiful and healthy. Remember, the cost of a replacement retainer is much less than undergoing orthodontic treatment again!

“Will I need to have a new mold made?”

Probably. Even if your teeth have moved just a little bit, we’ll need to factor that in for your replacement retainer.

“What if I received my original orthodontic treatment elsewhere?”

That’s completely fine. We can evaluate where your teeth are now, regardless of your treatment history. We may need to take some new images and impressions of your teeth. We’re happy to accommodate you!

Wear Your Retainer!

Your retainer is your best friend after orthodontic treatment. Follow our instructions for effective use. And, if you lose your retainer, let us know right away before your teeth start shifting!

If you’ve skipped wearing your retainer for a long time, please come and talk to us. We can evaluate your bite and visit about your options.

Do you know someone else who needs to hear this information? Feel free to share this post!

Thanks for being our valued patients and friends!

Posted in: Blog, Informative

Leave a Comment (0) →

How Much Sugar Are You Really Eating?

IT’S ESPECIALLY IMPORTANT to watch out for sugar in our foods while we’re undergoing orthodontic treatment. As our patient, you’ve already been advised about problematic foods for braces. However, learning more about hidden sugars in your diet can help you better protect your teeth against decay.

Sugary Foods Cling To Our Teeth And Braces And Cause Cavities

When sugar clings to teeth, bacteria feeds off of those sugars, producing an acid byproduct that wears away tooth enamel.

Studies repeatedly find that as sugar consumption increases, so do cavities (even when you’re not wearing braces). The World Health Organization’s 2014 study found that in one population, when daily caloric intake of sugar increased from 0% to 5%, the amount of tooth decay doubled.

Cut Sugar Intake In Half

After the study, The World Health Organization cut their recommendations for sugar consumption in half, from 10% of our daily caloric intake, to 5% (and ideally, less). Currently, the average American gets 12-15% of his or her daily calories from sugar—and America isn’t even the highest consumer of sugar worldwide!

How do you cut back on sugar? In addition to cutting back on sweets, it’s important to be aware of hidden sugars in our diets. Even a “nutritional” food can be packed with sugar! On our food labels, sugar goes by numerous aliases, including:

  • Molasses & Maltose
  • Corn syrup, Malt & Dextrose
  • Sorghum syrup
This list is only a sampling. Keep an eye out for anything ending in “-ose,” “sugar,” or “syrup,” and educate yourself on more alternate names here.

3 More Tips For Cutting Back On Sugar

  1. Read labels, and check for hidden sugars.
  2. Cook more at home so you know exactly what’s going into your food.
  3. Cut back on soft drinks, fruit juices, granola bars, yogurt, and sugary cereal in addition to regular sweets.

A Healthier Diet = A Healthier Mouth

You don’t need to cut out sugar entirely to have healthy teeth. That’s why brushing, flossing, and regular dental visits are so important! If you’re ever feeling unsure about which foods are appropriate while wearing braces, just ask us! We’re passionate about helping you have a healthier, happier lifestyle!

Thanks for being our valued patients and friends!

TOP IMAGE BY FLICKR USER TOM PAGE USED UNDER CREATIVE COMMONS ATTRIBUTION-SHAREALIKE 4.0 LICENSE. IMAGE CROPPED AND MODIFIED FROM ORIGINAL.

Posted in: Archived Posts, Blog, Informative

Leave a Comment (0) →

Feel Inspired By Mouth Painter, Mariam Paré

HOW OFTEN DO WE PAUSE to appreciate our own amazing gifts and abilities? It’s easy to take things that come easiest for granted. Mariam Paré’s inspiring story not only gives us courage and motivation to be our best, but it helps put life into perspective.

Paralyzed By A Bullet Wound, Mariam’s Life Changed In An Instant

Mariam, a promising 20 year old painter, dreamed about all the things her artistic future held. Today, 18 years after a tragic event that changed her life, she’s painting just as she dreamed—but she’s doing it a little differently than she imagined.

Mariam paints with her teeth, patiently and precisely clenching brushes between them as she continues to express her remarkable artistic gift. Click here to learn more.

We Can All Take Lessons In Showing Gratitude

First, let’s all be grateful for our healthy mouths and teeth. For all the things they do for us… Speaking, chewing, nourishing, smiling, and in Mariam’s case, even painting—let’s be grateful for our healthy smiles and show our appreciation by taking great care of them.

Second, we are grateful for you—our valued patients. Without your support and friendship we couldn’t do the things we love to do each day. We treasure the trust you place in us. We’re honored when you recommend us, or refer one of your friends or coworkers. Always let us know how we can best serve you.

See Mariam’s story

 

Posted in: Archived Posts, Blog, Informative

Leave a Comment (0) →

Trust Your Smile To An Orthodontist

WHEN THE TIME FOR ORTHODONTIC TREATMENT comes, you have a big decision to make. You’ll find a variety of treatment plans, cost estimates, and projected treatment timelines. How do you decide what’s right for you?

Do It Right The First Time

Ideal orthodontic treatment has three elements. First of all, it’s a long-term solution which, if you do your part to maintain, will last a lifetime. Secondly, ideal treatment makes your mouth and jaw healthier by bringing the whole bite into balance. Thirdly, you get beautiful results that you’re proud to show off.

Discount options might seem appealing at first, but if treatment doesn’t answer the true needs of YOUR particular bite, then you may find yourself spending more time and money to get it fixed in the future. It’s not uncommon to see someone coming in for re-treatment, after having incomplete orthodontic treatment done. Make a goal for yourself to get it done right the first time around.

Orthodontists Are Specialists In Tooth Movement

Orthodontists have two to three years of additional training after dental school, in order to best understand the complicated mechanics of the bite and the alignment of teeth. We’re trained in the full range and knowledge of tools that will help your smile reach its true potential. Click Here to learn more.

Care You Can Trust

Our practice is passionate about providing the best treatment for all of our patients. From customer service, to keeping ourselves up-to-date on the most recent developments in orthodontic care, we work hard to provide the best treatment plan for your unique smile.

Your smile is too precious to discount! Invest in beautiful, healthy, professional results. Give us a call if you have any questions.

Thanks for being our valued patients and friends!

(Image by Flickr user Dedra Wolff used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.)

Posted in: Archived Posts, Blog, Informative

Leave a Comment (0) →

3 Common Speech Problems Orthodontics Can Help

THE WAY WE COMMUNICATE THROUGH SPEECH is one of the first things people notice about us! Did you know that the alignment of your teeth can affect your speech? If you struggle with certain elements of pronunciation, it could be attributed to your teeth.

Here are 3 common problems orthodontics can help. 

1. Lisp or Whistling

A primary cause of the development of a lisp or whistle is overbite—when upper teeth overlap the bottom teeth too much. Another cause could be gaps in teeth, which impede correct placement of the tongue and allow air to escape while talking, creating a whistling sound. Braces can correct overbite, and close the gaps between teeth.

2. Word Slurring

To correctly form words and regulate talking speed, our tongues need freedom to move. If the structure of the jaw or placement of teeth restricts that movement, stuttering or slurred speech is more likely. In most cases, braces can align the teeth and open up room for the tongue.

3. Mispronunciation

Certain sounds are very difficult (if not impossible) to pronounce when teeth aren’t where they’re supposed to be. For example, fricative consonant sounds like “t” “s” or “ch” which require tongue-to-tooth contact. Orthodontic treatment places teeth where they need to be for better pronunciation.

Orthodontic Treatment Is An Investment In Confidence And Health

Orthodontic treatment isn’t a magical cure for all speech challenges. However, for people working to correct speech disorders, orthodontics can offer life-changing solutions. And the advantages of orthodontic treatment are not limited to speech therapy alone. The confidence that comes from having a straight, beautiful smile and the oral health benefits will last a lifetime.

 

Don’t let orthodontic-related speech difficulties limit your personal and business relationships or keep you from being your most confident, eloquent self. If you have a friend, family member, neighbor or coworker who would like to learn more about how an orthodontic treatment plan can lead to a happier, healthier life, please pass along this blog post. Thank you. We appreciate your kind referrals.

Thanks for being our valued patients and friends.

(Image by Flickr user tiarescott used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.)

Posted in: Archived Posts, Blog, Informative

Leave a Comment (0) →

Some Helpful Ideas For Flossing While Wearing Braces

WE KNOW SOME OF YOU DON’T LIKE TO FLOSS, especially with braces on. You may be surprised to hear us say, “we understand!” Flossing each day can be difficult. In addition to the impeding brackets and wires, perhaps you have sensitive gums, your mouth is small, or you feel like floss wrapped around your fingers cuts off your circulation. There are lots of seemingly good reasons not to floss—and as you can imagine, we’ve heard them all.

However, today there are options that can help make flossing easier, even when you have braces.

Many, Many Varieties Of Floss

Try ribbon-style floss instead of thread-style. Try waxed versus unwaxed. Try one that’s specially designed to glide easily. Try a different thickness, or a different flavor. The type of floss you use doesn’t matter nearly as much as the fact you’re doing it!

Consider Tools Like Flossers And Flossing Sticks

Look into some tools that are designed to help. Finding something that works for you will prove to be a worthwhile investment.

  • Flossers and floss sticks eliminate the need to wrap floss around your fingers. These tools can also make it easier to reach back teeth without having to stick your hands in your mouth. There are even ones designed to work with braces.
  • Hydro Flossers (AKA Water flossers, Water-pik) current research shows that used often and correctly, water flossers are as effective as regular string floss and much easier to use.
  • Interproximal brushes (the ones that usually look like little Christmas trees) can help thoroughly clean the space between your teeth and your brackets and wires.
  • Floss threaders help you string normal floss between teeth and through wires.

The are many different tools and many different brands available to try. And again, which tool you use isn’t nearly as important as the fact you’re doing it! Click Here to learn more.

Never Underestimate The Value Of Flossing!

Flossing is an essential part of effective, daily oral hygiene care. Flossing helps guard against gum disease, the most common cause of tooth loss in adults. While you’re undergoing orthodontic treatment, it’s important to maintain healthy gums to ensure that your treatment goes according to schedule.

Make Flossing A Daily Priority

If you have questions about how to make flossing easier, please visit with us. We want to help you be successful. For more tips and “How To” videos on flossing and taking care of your braces, visit our website.

Thanks for being our valued patients and friends!

(Image by Flickr user Hey Paul Studios used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.)

Posted in: Archived Posts, Blog, How To's

Leave a Comment (0) →

Conquering Dental Anxiety

EVEN THOUGH WE know, logically, that going to the dentist is a safe, normal, and important part of staying healthy, many of us don’t find it particularly fun to lie flat on our backs while someone pokes around our teeth and gums. For some people, the very thought of visiting the dentist fills them with anxiety, and it could even be a full-blown phobia. That’s why we’d like to put our focus on helping our patients overcome their dental anxieties and fears.

Dental Anxiety Statistics: You Are Not Alone

Fear of going to the dentist is fairly common, with an estimated nine to 15 percent of Americans completely avoiding visiting the dentist because of anxiety and fear. That means up to 40 million Americans are taking a serious gamble with their dental health. Putting off a basic twice-a-year cleaning out of fear leaves patients much more susceptible to tooth decay and painful infection. It’s always better (for your wallet as well as your health) to view dental care as preventative, not just reactive.

Why Does Dental Anxiety Happen?

A lot of people who avoid the dentist due to dental anxiety or fear do so because of a previous negative experience they had that soured them on the concept of dentistry altogether. The feeling of not being in control is another reason people might be nervous. We understand this, and we’re dedicated to helping our patients feel comfortable so that they can move forward with the right professional oral health care to keep their teeth strong and healthy for life.

History and Pop Culture Skew Versus Modern Dentistry

If you’re worried about going to the dentist, that might be because history and pop culture have given you the wrong idea. Before World War II made anesthetics the norm, dental procedures were uncomfortable, to say the least. The field has come a long way since then, even though movies and TV haven’t done much to update cultural expectations. Modern dental offices maintain a high standard of comfort and care for patients.

Tips for Overcoming Dental Anxiety

There are a few things you can do to reduce your dental anxiety.

  • Come visit our practice before your appointment, especially if this is your first time coming in. Familiarize yourself with our space and members of our staff so that it doesn’t seem so foreign on appointment day. You might even want to bring someone you trust along with you.
  • Learn as much as you can about what happens in a typical dental appointment. If you take away the mystery, it will help you regain a sense of control.
  • Talk to us about your anxiety. When we know this is something you struggle with, there’s more we can do to help you.
  • Bring a distraction like headphones and a playlist of relaxing music to your appointment. Click Here to learn more

Your Friendly Neighborhood Dental Professionals

Your care and comfort are our top priorities. If you or someone in your family struggles with dental anxiety and it’s interfering with getting needed dental care, we’d love to schedule a time for you to come to our practice so that you can get used to the facility and get to know our team. We can answer any questions you may have.

We hope to see you soon!

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.

Posted in: Archived Posts, Blog, Informative

Leave a Comment (0) →

How Smoking Affects Oral Health

WE’VE ALL HEARD over and over how smoking can adversely impact health, with the most infamous example being lung cancer. But smoking doesn’t only harm the lungs; it damages every single system in the body, and it also damages oral health.

Smoking Increases the Risk of Oral Cancer

Like we said before, lung cancer tends to get all the attention when it comes to consequences of smoking, but four out of every five people diagnosed with oral cancer smoke or chew tobacco. Early symptoms of oral cancer include persistent mouth sores or pain, unusual white patches, swelling, numbness, difficulty chewing or swallowing, and a sensation of having something stuck in the throat.

What Is Smoker’s Keratosis?

The weirdest effect smoking can have on oral health is that it can cause white patches to develop on the roof of the mouth. These patches are smoker’s keratosis (or stomatitis nicotina). This condition is still something of a medical mystery, but the current theory is that the white patches are caused by inflamed mucous glands. While they typically aren’t painful, they can be pre-cancerous.

Smoking Makes Gum Disease More Likely

As many as half of adults older than 30 have some form of gum disease, and smoking doubles the risk of developing it and makes it harder to treat. Gum disease, if left untreated, can lead to serious damage to the gingiva (gum tissue), bone loss in the jaw, and tooth loss. In severe cases, it can even be life-threatening if the bacteria in the mouth gets into the bloodstream through inflamed gums.

What About Vaping?

Vaping or smoking e-cigarettes is often portrayed as a much healthier option to traditional smoking, but the vapor still contains nicotine and ultra-fine toxic chemicals and heavy metals. The nicotine itself reduces blood flow, affecting teeth and gums, potentially causing gum recession and death of gum tissue. It can also reduce saliva, leading to dry mouth (which causes all kinds of problems from bad breath to tooth decay), and it can trigger teeth grinding, which damages teeth. Click here to learn more.

Secondhand Smoke Isn’t Safe Either

Sometimes smokers will claim that they’re not hurting anyone else with their habit, and they’re willing to accept the risks to their own health. Unfortunately, this is not accurate. Studies have suggested a link between cavities (in baby teeth and adult teeth) and regular exposure to secondhand smoke. The broader health risks are especially serious for small children and infants, including infections, asthma attacks, and even SIDS.

The Benefits of Quitting

Someone who has smoked for decades might think that quitting can’t do anything to improve their health, so why bother? It turns out that even people with a long history of smoking can significantly improve their health outlook by quitting. Obviously it’s better not to start smoking in the first place, but it’s never too late to quit!

Take Advantage of the Resources Around You

Quitting an addictive habit isn’t easy, but smokers who need help quitting are not alone. Some of the best resources are the support of family, friends, and counselors. There’s also a lot of great information available online, and the dentist is another great resource. If you are a smoker, make sure to schedule regular dental exams (sometimes more than two a year) to keep your mouth healthy!

We’re always happy to see our patients!

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.

Posted in: Archived Posts, Blog, Informative

Leave a Comment (0) →
Page 3 of 5 12345