Posts for: September, 2016
In her decades-long career, renowned actress Kathy Bates has won Golden Globes, Emmys, and many other honors. Bates began acting in her twenties, but didn't achieve national recognition until she won the best actress Oscar for Misery — when she was 42 years old! “I was told early on that because of my physique and my look, I'd probably blossom more in my middle age,” she recently told Dear Doctor magazine. “[That] has certainly been true.” So if there's one lesson we can take from her success, it might be that persistence pays off.
When it comes to her smile, Kathy also recognizes the value of persistence. Now 67, the veteran actress had orthodontic treatment in her 50's to straighten her teeth. Yet she is still conscientious about wearing her retainer. “I wear a retainer every night,” she said. “I got lazy about it once, and then it was very difficult to put the retainer back in. So I was aware that the teeth really do move.”
Indeed they do. In fact, the ability to move teeth is what makes orthodontic treatment work. By applying consistent and gentle forces, the teeth can be shifted into better positions in the smile. That's called the active stage of orthodontic treatment. Once that stage is over, another begins: the retention stage. The purpose of retention is to keep that straightened smile looking as good as it did when the braces came off. And that's where the retainer comes in.
There are several different kinds of retainers, but all have the same purpose: To hold the teeth in their new positions and keep them from shifting back to where they were. We sometimes say teeth have a “memory” — not literally, but in the sense that if left alone, teeth tend to migrate back to their former locations. And if you've worn orthodontic appliances, like braces or aligners, that means right back where you started before treatment.
By holding the teeth in place, retainers help stabilize them in their new positions. They allow new bone and ligaments to re-form and mature around them, and give the gums time to remodel themselves. This process can take months to years to be complete. But you may not need to wear a retainer all the time: Often, removable retainers are worn 24 hours a day at first; later they are worn only at night. We will let you know what's best in your individual situation.
So take a tip from Kathy Bates, star of the hit TV series American Horror Story, and wear your retainer as instructed. That's the best way to keep your straight new smile from changing back to the way it was — and to keep a bad dream from coming true.
If you would like more information about orthodontic retainers, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more about this topic in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Why Orthodontic Retainers?” and “The Importance of Orthodontic Retainers.” The interview with Kathy Bates appears in the latest issue of Dear Doctor.
Do you have difficulty eating due to the gaps in your smile? Do your missing teeth cause stress and embarrassment? If so, you could benefit from dentures to fill in your gaps and give you a more functional smile. However, finding the best type of denture for you can be tricky. Arm yourself with knowledge on the types of dentures and what they do with Dr. Charles Crowl and Dr. Kathryn Bachinski of Hidden Lakes Dental Care in Bolingbrook, IL.
Types of Dentures Available
Dentures can help you get your smile back if you are missing most or all of your teeth. Dentures available include:
- Full: Full dentures use prosthetic teeth to replace all of the teeth on an arch. A full set of dentures replaces all of the teeth in the mouth and includes two arches of prosthetic teeth.
- Partial: Partial dentures utilize any healthy remaining teeth in the arch to hold the denture in place. In return, the stimulation and positioning of the denture keep the teeth in their correct positions. The denture fits over the healthy teeth and locks into place around them.
- Immediate: Patients who require an extraction procedure before they can wear dentures benefit from immediate dentures, which a dental laboratory creates based on impressions of the mouth prior to extraction. This allows the patient to wear their dentures following their procedure and walk out of their dentist’s office with a brand new smile.
- Implant-Supported: Dentures are often used in conjunction with other dental procedures like dental implants. Implant-supported dentures use several implants spaced throughout the mouth to anchor a full denture into the mouth.
Dentures in Bolingbrook, IL
Dentures allow you to eat the foods you love without worrying about how to chew them and smile without feeling embarrassed of your gaps. This added self-confidence gives you the tools you need to make face-to-face interactions less difficult and first impressions stronger. Additionally, dentures restore the biting surface of your teeth, giving you the ability to chew healthy, nutritious foods which you may not have been able to eat before. Missing teeth often cause the facial muscles to sag, a situation which dentures helps to correct.
For more information on dentures, please contact Dr. Crowl and Dr. Bachinski at Hidden Lakes Dental Care in Bolingbrook, IL. Call (630) 759-0077 to schedule your appointment with your dentist today!
Sometimes it's the little things that can be most annoying. Those occasional small sores that pop up on the inside of your mouth are a case in point. Although in most instances they won't last long and aren't anything to be alarmed about, they can still cause you some discomfort.
These small sores are called aphthous ulcers or more commonly “canker sores.” They are breaks in the skin or mucosa, the inner lining of the mouth, and occur most often on the inside cheeks, lips, tongue and occasionally on the soft palate at the back of the throat. They usually appear round with a yellow-gray center and an intensely red outer ring or "halo."
Canker sores often appear during periods of high stress or because of minor trauma, and usually last for a week or two. They often have a tingling pain that can be aggravated when you eat and drink acidic or spicy foods and beverages. About 20 to 25% of people have a form known as recurrent aphthous stomatitis (mouth inflammation) that occurs regularly with multiple sores and heightened pain.
It's possible to manage the discomfort of minor, occasional bouts with a number of over-the-counter products that cover the sore to protect it and boost healing, with some providing a numbing agent for temporary pain relief. For more serious outbreaks we can also prescribe topical steroids in gels or rinses, injections or other medications.
While canker sores don't represent a health danger, there are instances where you should take outbreaks more seriously: if a sore hasn't healed after two weeks; if you've noticed an increase in pain, frequency or duration of outbreaks; or if you're never without a sore. In these cases we may need to biopsy some of the tissue (and possibly run some blood tests) to ensure they're not pre-cancerous or cancerous.
In any event, we can work with you to reduce your symptoms and help the sores heal quickly. This particular “little thing” in life doesn't have to stress you out.
If you would like more information on mouth sores, 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 “Mouth Sores: Understanding and treating canker sores.”