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Posts Tagged ‘crooked teeth’

October is National Orthodontic Health Month

In Give Back on October 13, 2011 at 4:30 AM

Maybe not all of us have braces, but we surely know someone who does. And perhaps not everyone is as celebratory about orthodontics as we are.

Keeping with our October  dental awareness series over the past week or so, we wanted to also promote a little ortho love.

How many degrees of separation are between you and your nearest orthodontic overachiever?

Give a hoot this October, and pass along some beneficial social local dentistry as it relates to orthodontics and braces.

School is back in full swing, and orthodontic options for everything from our favorite sports team colors to ultra-thin invisibility, are available right at our local dental or ortho office! october_national_orthodontic_health_month

Our orthodontists and dentists have many fashionable ways to straighten our crooked teeth, correct our bad bites, and realign any misalignment of our jaws.

Just don’t tell your teenage…of course, with advanced options comes increased cost.

In honor of National Orthodontic Health Month, here are some more orthodontic FAQs, courtesy of braces.org.

Kids

Can I play sports while wearing braces?

Yes, but make sure you wear a protective mouth guard.

Can I play musical instruments while wearing braces?

With practice and a period of adjustment, braces typically do not interfere with the playing of wind or brass instruments.

What are my options if I don’t want braces that show?

Should your case warrant it, you might want to consider lingual braces, which feature brackets that are bonded behind the teeth. Ceramic braces are another option to lessen the visibility of braces; they blend in with the teeth for a more natural effect. Additionally, the use of a series of invisible aligner trays (invisible braces) instead of traditional braces may be used to correct some problems.

Will a stud in my tongue interfere with orthodontic treatment? october_national_orthodontic_health_month

Exercise caution with tongue-piercing jewelry. It can contribute to breakage of braces appliances and to tooth and gum damage from contact with the stud.

Parents

If my teeth have been crooked for years, why do I need orthodontic treatment now?

It’s never too late! Healthy teeth can be moved at any age. Orthodontic treatment can restore good function, and teeth that work better usually look better, too. A healthy, beautiful smile can improve self-esteem, no matter your age.

Can I afford orthodontic treatment?

Most orthodontists have a variety of convenient payment plans. Many dental insurance plans now include orthodontic benefits.

I am pregnant and want to begin orthodontic treatment. Is this OK?

Discuss this question with your medical practitioner/physician and orthodontist before you start any orthodontic treatment, as pregnancy brings on bodily changes that may affect the mouth. Soft tissues such as gums become much more susceptible to infection.

Do teeth with braces need special care?

Yes, clean, healthy teeth move more quickly. Patients with braces must be careful to avoid hard, sticky, chewy and crunchy foods, or hard objects, such as pens, pencils and fingernails. Keeping your teeth and braces clean requires more time, precision and must be done every day if the teeth and gums are to be healthy during and after orthodontic treatment.

I see ads for perfect teeth in only one or two visits to the dentist. Will that give me straight teeth?

Quick-fix veneers temporarily cover crooked teeth. Teeth straightened by an orthodontist are good for life. That’s because only orthodontists receive an extra 2-3 years of education beyond dental school to learn the proper way to align and straighten teeth.

How may I distinguish an orthodontist from a general dentist?

Visit our Find an Orthodontist section to find AAO-member orthodontists near you. AAO membership is the best way to confirm a doctor’s status as an orthodontist because the AAO only accepts orthodontists for membership. Additionally, visit the Questions for Your Orthodontist section for questions that you can ask to help determine if you’re getting your tooth-alignment procedure from an expert.

For more national health awareness days, weeks, or months, click here.

Dental Connections to the Paleo Diet?

In Dental Care on August 16, 2011 at 4:30 AM

In recent years the Paleo Diet™ has been gaining more popularity amongst an enlarging segment of U.S. Citizens.  It’s no secret that, generally speaking, Americans have been increasing our waistlines like we’re preparing for a long hibernation.

Could a paleo-friendly lifestyle improve our health?

Whether or not the agricultural prehistoric method of consumption is the scientifically proven next step in personal nutrition refinement, we can learn how what we eat directly impacts the health of our teeth and gums.

According to their website thepaleodiet.com, the Paleo Diet™ is based on the simple understanding that the best human diet is the one to which we are best genetically adapted.1

Paleo has also been referred to this as the ‘Caveman Diet’; with the basic principle being we eat foods according to our genetic make-up, pre – Agricultural Revolution.

To poorly paraphrase the experts, this basically means a ‘Paleo’ form of diet consists of ingredients we as people subsisted on prior to the mass production of foodstuffs.

The Paleolithic diet consists mainly of grass-fed pasture raised meats, fish, vegetables, fruit, roots, and nuts. The regimen specifically excludes grains, legumes, dairy products, salt, refined sugar, and processed oils.2

Eat Like a Caveman…and Brush Your Teeth Like One Too!

So our collective waistlines have been expanding at an alarming rate, out of the Ancestral Health Symposium recently held at UCLA, comes the dental debate.

Your can read the complete blog post entitled, “Where is Darwin on Dentistry? You Are What You Chew” by clicking on the link.

To offer a weak synopsis, we’ll try to explain how Dr. Kevin Boyd, D.D.S., MS and Dr. Michael Mew D.D.S., two dentists present at the symposium, discussed the historical connection on how and why modern dietary factors are adversely affecting our oral health.

The discussion highlighted in the above-mentioned article, centered around their respective theories on how dietary factors are represented in the occurrence of malocclusion and craniofacial developmental disorders like crowded teeth, crooked teeth, or jaw misalignment.

Dr. Boyd stated how over the last 10,000 or so years, our faces have been shrinking. And how a narrow face can affect one’s teeth and the ability to breathe through the nose.

Is a nutritional deficiency causing rotting and crooked teeth in a growing number of the population, all due to our diets becoming increasingly high in sugars and refined grains?

The point Dr. Boyd opens leads us to think that over time, our diet alters our bone structure which inhibits proper breathing and leads to more oral health problems.

In the article, Dr. Mew, the distinguished dentist out of the U.K., goes further in explaining it’s the HOW as much as the WHAT we’re eating.

Dr. Mew says this increase in malocclusion occurrences may come from a lack of chewing and biting difficult foods. On a diet of soft, easy-to-eat processed foods and boneless meats, certain jaw muscles are never properly developed, and a poor “mandibular-lingual posture” leaves people unable to breath out of their nose (and mouth breathing further misaligns the jaw).3

What’s this all mean to us?

Eating like a caveman can be good for our teeth too; like a dog with a bone, or deer antler, or beef knuckle…

The common denominator we saw was how diet affects a lot more than our waistlines, and poor breathing habits further complicate oral health issues. Two major areas of concentration for anyone interested in maintaining optimal health and wellness longevity.

Anyone concerned about sleep apnea…or oral systemic dentistry?

Moral of the Story

What we put in our mouths not only affects our overall health, but it also affects the health of our teeth and gums. Whether or not the chicken or the egg came first, most likely all of us could use a little dietary adjustment.

Does this mean if we call go Fred Flintstone and feed on Brontosaurus Ribs to give our chompers a proper workout?

Maybe…if that’s what’s best for you. To be sure, a conversation with your physician and your dentist would go a long way in figuring out the proper dietary equation.

If you have questions about the diet and dentistry connection, or have concerns about maintaining optimal oral health with your current diet, just ask your dentist or hygienist next time your due for a cleaning and exam.

Sources:

Is Cosmetic Dentistry Expensive?

In Dental Care on January 27, 2011 at 4:00 AM

Cosmetic dentistry doesn’t have to be a time consuming and expensive process, nor is it reserved for the TV anchorpeople of the world. Some procedures simply involve subtle changes, often requiring no more than a single office visit. And a lot of us have had cosmetic dentistry before – sometimes without even knowing it.

From bleaching to bonding, to tooth reshaping and contouring, most of us have at one time or another undergone some type of cosmetic dentistry procedure. This is because after the dentist is finished drilling or scaling (or lasing) whatever oral malady befell us in the first place, there often needs to be some window dressing work to be done. Dental crowns, porcelain veneers, cosmetic bleaching, and tooth bonding are all procedures performed every day in your neighborhood dental office.

When it comes to treating and correcting chipped, stained, broken, or missing teeth, your cosmetically inclined dentist is there for you. To find out what option is best for you, ask your dentist. And to learn more about cosmetic dentistry from the AGD, click here.