• Besides Straight Teeth, What are the Benefits of Braces?

    October 26th, 2012

    Everyone wants a naturally aligned and beautiful smile, and it is no secret that orthodontic braces can help deliver one. However, there are greater benefits to wearing braces than just having straight teeth. 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 to brush and floss effectively, allowing bacteria and plaque to build up, and eventually leading 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 backward, this can affect your speaking patterns, and possibly cause embarrassment and frustration. Braces can readjust the positioning of the teeth to allow for clearer, more professional speech.

    Bone Erosion

    Bone and gum tissues begin to erode when there are 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, the bones and tissues are less likely to erode and can continue to support the teeth in their new alignment.

    Digestion

    Your teeth play an important role in digestion. Before food ever enters your stomach, it has been partially digested by the teeth. If teeth are severely out of line, however, they may not play their role in breaking down food as effectively as they should. With braces, your teeth will be straightened into optimal alignment for eating and chewing.

  • Permanent or Removable Retainers: Which is Right for You?

    October 11th, 2012

    When the time to remove your braces finally arrives, it is very exciting.Unfortunately, it can be somewhat confusing, too, because you are facedwith choosing between two kinds of retainers. Should you go with permanent,removable, or a combination of the two? It is always wise to follow yourdentist’s recommendations, but knowing more about the two types of retainerbeforehand can be helpful.

    Removable Retainers

    Removable retainers offer the advantage of easy use: you will generallyput a removable retainer in at night and take it out in the morning.Regardless of your retainer schedule, you’ll be able to enjoy some timewith no retainer. However, a removable retainer can easily be forgottenat times, and this means you won’t be taking full advantage of teethretention.

    Another potential advantage of a removable retainer is that you can takeit out and brush and floss your teeth with ease, which is more of a challengewith a permanent retainer. Although removable retainers can be very effective,they don’t tend to be as effective as permanent retainers, especiallyif they are not used as directed.

    Permanent Retainers

    Permanent retainers are the clear choice for patients who want to “getit and forget it.” Once your permanent retainer is placed in your mouth,you won’t need to worry about daily retainer schedules, since it is permanentlyaffixed to your teeth.

    Because teeth begin to shift naturally as we age, a permanent retainertypically offers better long-term results for teeth straightening thana removable one. You can’t forget to put it in — it’s already there!Temporary retainers get lost or are forgotten on trips, and often failto get used as often as they should be.

    One drawback to permanent retainers is flossing. Some patients find itmore difficult to floss with a permanent retainer, but we can show youeffective ways to floss fairly quickly with your permanent retainer.

    Some orthodontists may recommend a combination of the two; for example,a removable retainer for the top teeth and a permanent one for the lowerones because the lower teeth are smaller and tend to shift more.

    Ultimately, the most important thing to remember is that wearing yourretainer as directed is extremely important. As long as you follow ourorthodontist’s advice, you will get the best results from your retainer,regardless of its type.

  • October is National Orthodontic Health Month!

    October 05th, 2012

    Can you believe it’s already October? For those who don’t know, it’sNational Orthodontic Health Month. This month-long event is organizedby our pals at the American Association of Orthodontists, or AAO.

    Our team realizes that this is a great opportunity for us to raise awarenessabout the importance of oral hygiene. National Orthodontic Health Monthalso aims to recognize the dedicated work of orthodontists and otherdental professionals.

    The AAO recommends patients avoid the following Halloween treats, orrecipes with these ingredients:
    • Caramel
    • Nuts
    • Popcorn (including un-popped kernels)
    • Taffy
    • Jelly beans
    • Hard pretzels
    • Licorice
    • Bubblegum
    • Ice

    Trick-or-treating safety guidelines:

    • Young children should always be accompanied by an adult
    • Carry a flashlight
    • Wear a light-colored or reflective costume
    • Choose face paint over masks for young ghosts and goblins
    • Have an adult inspect all treats before the children dig in

    If you have any questions, please feel free to give us a call or askus on Facebook. Have a fun and safe Halloween!

  • Cold and flu season is upon us, are you prepared?

    September 28th, 2012

    It’s that time of year to start thinking about protecting yourself and your family from the flu. Here are some simple steps you can take to help yourself avoid colds and the flu this season.

    • Wash your hands before and after brushing
    • Allow the brush to air dry after each use, harmful bacteria dies after being exposed to oxygen
    • Store the toothbrush in an upright position to allow water to drain and dry faster
    • Replace toothbrush after every cold or flu or every 3-4 months when bristles appear worn

    To promote a healthy and clean environment, our team gives a great deal of attention to sanitation and sterilization in our office at all times, as well as following all requirements for sterilizing instruments and work surfaces.

    For the protection of other patients and our staff, we always ask that patients reschedule their appointments if they have any type of cold or illness that can infect others. We hope this helps and give us a call if you have any questions!

    Stay healthy this beautiful autumn!