Posts for: October, 2018
Your teen is about to embark on an orthodontic journey to a straighter, more attractive smile. But although you're excited about the outcome, you both may be steeling yourselves for a few years of "life with braces."
But maybe not—your teen may be able to take advantage of a different kind of corrective appliance: clear aligners. This 21st Century teeth movement method has a number of advantages over braces. For teens, though, there's one big one that could have a huge impact on their social life—clear aligners are nearly invisible to other people.
Clear aligners consist of a series of clear, removable, computer-generated trays based on photographs, models and x-rays of an individual patient's teeth and bite. Each of the trays is slightly different from the previous one in the series, and by wearing each one for about two weeks before moving on to the next, the aligners gradually move the teeth to the desired new positions.
Besides reducing embarrassment often associated with wearing metal braces, clear aligners have other benefits. Unlike braces, they can be removed for eating, easier oral hygiene or for rare special occasions (although for best effectiveness, they should be worn for 20 to 22 hours each day). Recent developments like added elements that help target certain teeth for movement or "power ridges" for more controlled and efficient force have increased the range of bite problems they can be used to correct.
While this means clear aligners can be used for many bite problems, in some severe cases braces and other orthodontic treatments might still be necessary. And because they're not fixed like braces (only the orthodontist can remove them) the patient must have the maturity and self-discipline to wear them consistently.
Your teen will need to undergo a thorough orthodontic examination to see if clear aligners are a viable option for them. If so, it could make the next few treatment years less stressful for both of you.
If you would like more information on clear aligners, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Clear Aligners for Teens: User-Friendly Orthodontics.”
If you have a dental implant or plan to get one in the future, it is vital to learn how to take proper care of them. Proper oral hygiene at home and professional dental care are essential to protect your smile and investment for your lifetime.
What Is A Dental Implant?
An implant is a popular tooth replacement option which looks and feels like having a natural tooth in your mouth. The dental implant is made of a metal post that is bio-compatible with your body. This post is secured into the jawbone to provide maximum strength when eating and chewing. Once the post is placed, a dental crown is attached to the top of the implant. Dental implants can be used to replace one tooth or multiple teeth. As well, dental bridges or complete dentures can be attached to dental implants.
Caring for Dental Implants
Removing dental plaque from under the gums and teeth is vital to maintaining proper oral hygiene. Failure to remove dental plaque effectively leads to gum disease and later, the breakdown of bone in the mouth. When bone in the mouth is damaged or destroyed, the dental implant will no longer maintain a secure fit. Dental implant loss will occur when too much bone is lost in the mouth. It is important to note that dental implants will not develop dental cavities since it is not made of enamel or dentin.
Inflammation Of Dental Implants
Peri-implant mucositis is inflammation that affects the gum tissues surrounding the dental implants. This condition does not involve breakdown or damage of the bone in the mouth. However, if this condition is not reversed, it will progress to peri-implantitis that may lead to implant loss. Peri-implantitis is inflammation that destroys gum and bone tissue in the mouth.
If you notice swelling, bleeding or discomfort around the dental implant, you should see your dentist soon to have the area assessed.
Caring For Dental implants
Ensure that you sure a soft-bristled toothbrush when brushing. Avoid toothpaste that includes harsh abrasives. Abrasives are commonly found in whitening toothpaste. Always use toothpaste that is recommended by your local dental association.
Be sure to floss once or twice daily to reach the areas that your toothbrush cannot to effectively remove plaque.
Remember to follow your dental professional's recommendation when it comes to your professional dental hygiene cleaning appointments. These visits help your dental professional to monitor and provide preventive treatment.
If you have any questions or would like to learn more about dental implants, call us today!
There’s a potential threat lurking in your young child’s mouth—tooth decay. This destructive disease can not only rob them of teeth now, it could also impact their dental health long into their adult years.
That’s why we focus heavily on decay prevention measures even in primary (“baby”) teeth, as well as early treatment should it still occur. It’s a straightforward treatment strategy: minimize the factors that contribute to disease and maximize those that protect against it.
We can represent the disease-causing factors with the acronym BAD. Bad bacteria top the list: they produce oral acid that erodes tooth enamel. Couple that with an Absence of healthy saliva function, necessary for acid neutralization, and you have the potential opening for tooth decay. Poor Dietary habits that include too much added sugar (a prime food source for bacteria) and acidic foods help fuel the decay process.
But there are also SAFE factors that can help counteract the BAD. Promoting better Saliva function helps control acid levels, while Sealants applied to chewing surfaces strengthen these vulnerable areas against decay. We can prescribe Antimicrobials in the form of mouth rinses that reduce abnormally high bacterial concentrations. Fluoride applied directly to the enamel bolsters its mineral content. And an Effective diet high in nutrition and low in sugar or acidic foods rounds out our protective measures.
Promoting SAFE factors greatly reduces the risk of childhood tooth decay. To keep on track it’s important to start regular, six-month dental visits beginning around your child’s first birthday. These visits are the most important way to take advantage of prevention measures like sealants or topical fluoride, as well as keeping an eye out for any signs of decay.
And what you do at home is just as important. Besides providing a teeth-friendly diet, you should also brush and floss your child’s teeth every day, teaching them to do it for themselves when they’re old enough. Playing it “SAFE” with your child’s dental health will help ensure your child’s teeth stay decay-free.
If you would like more information on dental care for your child, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Taking the Stress out of Dentistry for Kids.”