Posts for: February, 2016
We often associate orthodontics with moving several teeth on the upper or lower arches (or both) with braces or clear aligners. But not all patients require a major endeavor — sometimes only one or a few teeth need to be moved, and not very far.
A slight gap between the two upper front teeth is one type of situation that only requires minor tooth movement: just a few teeth need to be moved and usually just a millimeter or two. The appliances needed to achieve this are also relatively simple in design: removable retainers or small scale fixed braces with small springs or elastics that place pressure against the teeth. The process may also only take a few months rather than two years as with major tooth movement.
Preparing for the procedure, though, must be undertaken with great care. We need to first determine if moving the teeth even slightly could affect the bite with the opposite teeth. We must also ensure the roots of the teeth intended for movement are in good position for allowing the space to be closed.
We must then consider the other supporting structures for the teeth. It’s important for gums and bone to be healthy — if not, treating any found disease may be necessary first before beginning orthodontics. And, if the gap between the two upper teeth was created by an abnormally large frenum, the small strip of tissue connecting the lip to the upper gum, it may be necessary to remove it before tooth movement can begin to ensure the closed gap stays closed.
Like any other orthodontic treatment, minor tooth movement first requires a thorough examination with x-ray imaging to determine the exact tooth position, bite issues and the surrounding gum and bone health. We can then be reasonably certain if this straightforward procedure is right for you, and could help you obtain a more attractive smile.
If you would like more information on different orthodontic treatment choices, 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 “Minor Tooth Movement.”
Exchanging passionate kisses with big-screen star Jennifer Lawrence might sound like a dream come true. But according to Liam Hemsworth, her Hunger Games co-star, it could also be a nightmare… because J.Law’s breath wasn’t always fresh. “Anytime I had to kiss Jennifer was pretty uncomfortable,” Hemsworth said on The Tonight Show.
Lawrence said the problem resulted from her inadvertently consuming tuna or garlic before the lip-locking scenes; fortunately, the two stars were able to share a laugh about it later. But for many people, bad breath is no joke. It can lead to embarrassment and social difficulties — and it occasionally signifies a more serious problem. So what causes bad breath, and what can you do about it?
In 9 out of 10 cases, bad breath originates in the mouth. (In rare situations, it results from a medical issue in another part of the body, such as liver disease or a lung infection.) The foul odors associated with bad breath can be temporarily masked with mouthwash or breath mints — but in order to really control it, we need to find out exactly what’s causing the problem, and address its source.
As Lawrence and Hemsworth found out, some foods and beverages can indeed cause a malodorous mouth. Onions, garlic, alcohol and coffee are deservedly blamed for this. Tobacco products are also big contributors to bad breath — which is one more reason to quit. But fasting isn’t the answer either: stop eating for long enough and another set of foul-smelling substances will be released. Your best bet is to stay well hydrated and snack on crisp, fresh foods like celery, apples or parsley.
And speaking of hydration (or the lack of it): Mouth dryness and reduced salivary flow during the nighttime hours is what causes “morning breath.” Certain health issues and some medications can also cause “dry mouth,” or xerostomia. Drinking plenty of water can encourage the production of healthy saliva — but if that’s not enough, tell us about it: We may recommend switching medications (if possible), chewing xylitol gum or using a saliva substitute.
Finally, maintaining excellent oral hygiene is a great way to avoid bad breath. The goal of oral hygiene is to control the harmful bacteria that live in your mouth. These microorganisms can cause gum disease, tooth decay, and bad breath — so keeping them in check is good for your overall oral health. Remember to brush twice and floss once daily, stay away from sugary foods and beverages, and visit the dental office regularly for checkups and professional cleanings.
So did J.Law apologize for the malodorous makeout session? Not exactly. “[For] Bradley Cooper, Christian Bale, yeah, I’ll brush my teeth,” she laughed.
Hemsworth jokingly agreed: “If I was kissing Christian Bale I probably would have brushed my teeth too. With you, it’s like, ‘Eh. Whatever.’”
If you would like more information about bad breath and oral hygiene, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Bad Breath: More than Just Embarrassing.”
YOUR CHILD’S BABY TEETH are just as important as their permanent teeth. Kids may not keep their first teeth forever, but they require just as much diligent care as future permanent teeth.
In fact, maintaining your child’s dental health when they are young will provide health benefits well into adulthood as well as set them on the right track of good oral health habits!
Some Children Don’t Get The Preventive Dental Care They Need
Early childhood caries—more commonly known as a dental cavity—is the number one chronic disease affecting young children. In light of this statistic, you may be surprised to learn that one quarter of children between ages three and 18 don’t visit the dentist at all!
Although common, dental diseases like tooth decay and gum disease are quite preventable, especially when healthy habits are taught during early childhood.
Start Oral Health Regimens Early
Even before your child’s teeth have erupted, an infant’s gums should be wiped down with a wet cloth or gauze after eating to protect from bacteria.
The American Dental Association recommends that children visit the dentist by their first birthday or as soon as their first tooth appears. At this visit, your dentist can teach you more about proper pediatric oral hygiene and check for cavities. As soon as your child turns two, establish a daily brushing routine.
As your child gets older, there are two specific treatments we recommend to prevent tooth decay. These treatments are:
- Topical Fluoride: By applying fluoride directly to your child’s teeth in higher concentrations than found in toothpaste or water, they will be more protected and resistant to decay.
- Dental Sealants: These are thin, plastic coatings painted onto the chewing surfaces of the teeth to prevent tooth decay. Even thorough brushing and flossing can’t always get into the depressions and grooves of the molars. Sealants form a protective shield over these vulnerable areas, keeping out plaque and food. Generally, children should get sealants on their permanent molars and premolars as soon as they come in.
We Care About Your Children’s Oral Health
Baby teeth set the stage for the permanent teeth to develop and come in correctly. By taking care of them and teaching their children correct habits, parents ensure lifelong dental health for their children. At our practice, we are committed to promoting preventive dental care to ensure lasting health and happiness for you and your children!
Thank you for continuing to be a part of our practice family!
Image Credit: Image by Flickr user Frédéric de Villamil used under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.
Disclaimer: 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.
What’s So Special about Clear Braces? The advantages of clear braces
A friend of yours is getting her teeth straightened. But the thing is, you don’t see any metal brackets or wires, and she looks so comfortable and happy. That’s because she is being treated using new, modern clear braces, like the treatment you can receive at Hidden Lakes Dental Care in Bolingbrook, IL, your experts in clear braces.
What's the Difference?
Clear braces have many advantages over conventional metal braces. Besides the obvious fact that they are much more cosmetically pleasing, clear braces are:
- Far easier to clean than metal braces because you can take them out to clean them
- Much more comfortable because there are no poking metal wires or brackets
- More convenient because you can take them out when you eat
- Virtually invisible to you and people around you
The skilled Bolingbrook dentists at Hidden Lakes Dental Care are here to answer any questions you have about what clear braces can do for you. Clear braces are used to correct teeth that are:
- Widely spaced apart
- Crowded and overlapped
- Badly aligned and affecting your bite
Hidden Lakes Dental Care professionals will create an individual treatment plan unique to your needs. Using 3-D imaging, they will create a set of comfortable clear plastic aligners which you will wear for the next two weeks. Then you switch to a new set of aligners every two weeks until your teeth are straight. You come in and visit every six weeks to monitor your progress. The whole process takes about nine to 15 months, and that's it!
You can now choose an option other than uncomfortable metal braces to straighten your teeth--and you won’t be sorry. Clear braces are comfortable, invisible and the perfect choice for a busy lifestyle. So, if you want to find out more about the advantages of clear braces and what they can do for you, give the friendly dentists at Hidden Lakes Dental Care in Bolingbrook, IL a call. Get started on a new smile with clear braces and call today!