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What causes crooked teeth?

May 5th, 2016

We know everyone wants a naturally-aligned and beautiful smile and it’s no secret that orthodontic treatment can help deliver the dazzling smile you’ve always wanted. But, what, exactly, is the cause of crooked teeth?

There are several reasons why some children’s teeth grow in crooked or overlapping. Some of the common reasons for crooked teeth include:

  • Thumb-sucking
  • Tongue thrusting or improper use of the tongue during speaking and swallowing
  • Early loss of baby teeth, which causes teeth to drift and shift
  • Prolonged use of a baby bottle or the use of a pacifier after the age of three
  • Poor breathing airway caused by enlarged adenoids or tonsils

There are also hereditary factors we get from our parents that determine how straight or crooked our teeth are. These include extra teeth, large teeth, missing teeth, wide spaces between teeth or even jaws that are too small to accommodate their erupting teeth.

It is important to recognize that having crooked teeth isn’t just a cosmetic issue; it can lead to serious health problems down the road as well. Crooked teeth can:

  • Interfere with proper chewing, a problem you face at every meal that impacts your nutrition
  • Make keeping your teeth clean more of a challenge, increasing the chance of developing cavities, tooth decay and gingivitis
  • Strain the teeth, jaws and muscles, increasing the risk of breaking a tooth

In certain instances crooked or uneven teeth can cause difficulties with speech patterns, bone erosion, as well as help in digestion.

The good news is that multiple treatment modalities are available to correct crooked teeth and gain the many benefits of a straight, healthy smile. If you have questions about your treatment at our office, please give us a call or ask us during your next adjustment visit!

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The Benefit of Braces

May 5th, 2016

Everyone wants a naturally aligned and beautiful smile, and it’s no secret that braces can help deliver one. Although a beautiful smile is the most obvious benefit of orthodontics, it isn’t the only one. You’ll gain many oral health benefits in addition to the cosmetic ones.

Tooth Decay and Gum Disease

Crooked or crowded teeth may overlap each other and create tight spaces in between. These can make it very difficult for you to brush and floss effectively; they allow bacteria and plaque to build up, and eventually lead to tooth decay and gum disease.

With orthodontic treatment, your teeth will become properly aligned and spaced, which allows for more effective brushing.

Difficulties with Speech

Your teeth play an essential role in speech. When they are out of line or lean too far forward or back, this can affect your speaking patterns, and possibly lead to embarrassment and frustration. Braces will readjust the position of those teeth to allow for clearer speech.

Bone Erosion

Bone and gum tissues begin to erode when they have no teeth to support. This is also true for poorly aligned teeth that leave gaps and spaces or place too much pressure on the jawbone due to a bad bite. With braces, your bones and tissues are less likely to erode and can continue to support your teeth in their new alignment.

Digestion

Your teeth play a central role in digestion. Before food ever enters your stomach, it has been partially digested by your teeth.

If teeth are severely out of line, however, they may not fulfill their duty in breaking down food as completely as they should. With braces, your teeth will be straightened into optimal alignment for eating and chewing.
Learn about all the benefits of braces by scheduling an appointment!

Copyright © Sesame Communications

Vending Machines: On-Campus Cavity Dispensers

December 11th, 2015

Vending machines put out strange stuff, from the traditional chocolate and candies to live frogs and French fries cooked on the spot.

But it's no joke that school vending machines dispense cavities right along with the candy and junk food that kids love. How so?

When your son chows down on chocolate, the bacteria in his mouth feast on the sugar and turn it into acid! Watch out! That acid dissolves tooth enamel quicker than your daughter can roll her eyes!

Presto! Cavities. And where's the nutrition? It's important to talk to your children about this temptation and its harmful effects.

Tell your kids:
"Can't brush? Hold the sugar!"

Tell the school:
"Can the junk! Provide healthy snacks!"

Copyright © Sesame Communications


This is a job for...HEADGEAR!

December 4th, 2015

Woman with great teeth

Hollywood may have given headgear a bad rap, but in certain cases, it’s the best tool for a tough job, and the result is a stunning smile that can’t be attained any other way.

Braces are capable appliances, and regularly achieve excellent results when it comes to straightening teeth. But our area of expertise includes your face and jaws as well as your teeth. The technical name for our practice isOrthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics. This specialty not only involves the straightening of teeth, but also entails guidance of the growth of the jaws and face.

When there is a discrepancy in the growth of the jaws – such as when the upper or lower jaw lags behind the other in development – we may prescribe headgear to help the jaws grow together properly. In order to guide the growth of a jaw, its teeth must be anchored to a fixed point outside the mouth. Headgear anchors the teeth to either the head or the back of the neck.

In some cases headgear is used to hold certain teeth in place, usually to keep them from crowding into a space from which a tooth has been extracted. Again, an extra-oral anchor point is needed, and headgear fits the bill.

If we have prescribed headgear as part of your treatment, you may feel some soreness during the first few days of wearing it. The trick is to persevere and keep wearing it until your teeth acclimate. If you take it off, you’ll have temporary relief, but the soreness will reappear when you wear it again. If you wear it consistently, your teeth will get used to it and any discomfort will recede.

While you’re acclimating, we recommend taking ibuprofen to ease any soreness, and sticking to soft foods for a few days. You can also try using a “bite wafer,” a mouth-sized gadget to chew on that can help with soreness by increasing blood circulation around your teeth. If your teeth stay sore for more than a few days, let us know.

Keep in mind the following when you’re wearing headgear:

  • Be careful when removing headgear to avoid injury to your face, mouth, or eyes.
  • Remove your headgear when engaging in activities that could jolt it loose, such as sports.
  • Avoid any situation in which your headgear could be grabbed or jostled.
  • Bring your headgear each time you visit our office.

Every patient is different, and everyone with headgear will have a different prescription for how often and how long it must be worn. The key is to follow our instructions precisely. If you wear your headgear as directed, your treatment will go more smoothly, take less time, and have better results.

Copyright © Sesame Communications

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