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What are the main excuses people use for avoiding braces?

January 26th, 2023

Many adults assume that they missed their shot at straight teeth by not getting orthodontic treatment in their teens, but that’s a myth! ?‍♂️ We’re about to debunk all the excuses standing in between adults and the straight smiles they’ve always wanted.

#1 “But it’s too late to move my teeth.” While it is easier to shift an adolescent patient’s teeth, adult patients make up the difference by being more mature and better at following the orthodontist’s instructions.

#2 “But crooked teeth aren’t really a problem.” ?‍♀️ Straight teeth are better at everything we need our teeth for. They’re easier to keep clean and they make it easier to chew, breathe, and speak clearly.

#3 “But wearing braces will make me look unprofessional.” As a culture, we do tend to associate braces with teenagers and immaturity, but modern orthodontic treatment includes a variety of low-profile options for any patients who don’t want to broadcast their braces journey to the world, including clear aligners or ceramic braces.

#4 “But orthodontic treatment is expensive.” ? Braces do cost more than a typical dental appointment, but they are a major investment in a patient’s future. They can save them the cost of problems that may develop in the future due to crooked teeth or a bad bite, and it’s hard to put a price tag on a boost in self-confidence.

Talk To Us About orthodontic Treatment

Choosing orthodontic treatment is choosing to make a lasting, positive change in your life. We’re excited you’re thinking about transforming your smile and look forward to meeting you! Give us a call to schedule an appointment!

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 Is Toothpaste Made Of?

January 12th, 2023

PEOPLE HAVE USED some form of paste to help keep their teeth clean since at least 3000 BC in ancient Egypt. Modern toothpaste first appeared in the 1700s and was usually homemade. A dentist first added soap to dental paste in 1824, and John Harris added chalk in the 1850s. 20 years later, Colgate began mass-producing toothpaste in jars.

A Little More Toothpaste History

In 1920, Dr. Washington Sheffield realized it was pretty unsanitary for a whole family to dip their toothbrushes into the same jar over and over, so he developed the collapsible toothpaste tube, inspired by artists’ paint tubes. After WWII, further improvements included emulsifying agents to replace soap, introducing fluoride, adding stripes, and adding whitening agents. Let’s take a closer look at the common ingredients in modern toothpaste.

Active Ingredient: Fluoride

The toothpaste ingredient we spend most of our time talking about is fluoride since it’s the active ingredient. It helps remineralize tooth enamel and protects against tooth decay. Toothpaste must contain it to receive the American Dental Association’s Seal of Acceptance.

Fluoride in Children’s Toothpaste?

Toothpaste containing fluoride is safe for young children if used in the correct amounts (a smear the size of a grain of rice up to age 3, the size of a pea from ages 3-6) and with parental supervision to make sure they spit it out.

Flavoring and Sweeteners

Flavors are the ingredients that make toothpaste taste good. They include sugar-free sweeteners like saccharin or sorbitol. The ADA won’t give its Seal of Acceptance to any toothpaste containing sugar. Children’s toothpaste is often fruity or candy-flavored, unlike the strong mint flavors we tend to prefer as adults.

Abrasives for Scrubbing

Abrasive ingredients (like calcium carbonate, hydrated aluminum oxides, and dehydrated silica gels) help to scrub away surface stains and food debris. Abrasive ingredients are effective with soft-bristled brushes and gentle brushing, so make sure not to brush too hard because overbrushing can cause significant damage to teeth and gum tissue.

Detergents for Foaming

Detergents like sodium lauryl sulfate make the toothpaste foam while brushing so that the ingredients can effectively reach every tooth. (This one is why you rarely see actors brushing with real toothpaste on TV! It would foam and get too messy for their scenes.)

Humectants for Texture

Finally, humectants (including glycol, glycerol, and sorbitol) trap water inside toothpaste so that it doesn’t become crumbly and dry. It also helps it come out of the tube onto your toothbrush in a nice, smooth piece.

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 Causing Caries in Childhood?

December 26th, 2022

TWO OUT OF every five kids develop one or more cavity by the time they turn eleven. That makes dental caries the most common disease of childhood. The good news is that it’s very preventable when parents prioritize their kids’ dental health. We’re here to help you do that for your children by identifying the main culprits of childhood tooth decay.

Oral Bacteria Love Sugar

As much as kids love sugary treats, harmful bacteria living on the surfaces of their teeth love them even more. Oral bacteria eat any sugar that remains stuck to the teeth and excrete acid as a waste product. It takes about thirty minutes for saliva to neutralize these acids, so if a child is constantly snacking on something sweet, they’re giving their teeth a never-ending acid bath!

Parents can fight back by swapping some of those sugary snacks for options like sliced fruits and veggies or cheese. This isn’t just healthier for their teeth, but for their whole bodies!

Bottles and Sippy Cups Versus Oral Health

Sugary snacks aren’t the only problem; juice and soda are full of sugar and very acidic. Even milk isn’t sugar-free. Sugary drinks are particularly dangerous to a child’s oral health when they are able to sip on them over a long period of time, as that prevents their saliva from neutralizing the acid and washing away the sugar.

The risk of tooth decay from bottles and sippy cups is so high that it’s earned a few scary nicknames like “baby bottle tooth decay” and “bottle rot.” As with sugary snacks, we encourage parents to limit sugary drinks. We particularly recommend keeping them to mealtimes instead of letting your child carry them around in a bottle or sippy cup for hours. Water is a much better option for that.

Other Great Strategies for Parents

There are plenty of other ways to help your child keep their smile cavity-free aside from cutting back on sugar and limiting it to mealtimes. One is modeling good dental hygiene habits for them with your own brushing and flossing. Positive reinforcement and encouragement are also great, as is giving them an explanation about why brushing and flossing matter so much. You can also help make it fun for them by letting them choose a toothbrush they like.

One last tip is to avoid spreading oral bacteria by kissing on the mouth, sharing the same spoon, or cleaning off a dropped pacifier with your mouth. Any of these will introduce more types of bacteria into your child’s mouth.

The Dentist Is the Number 1 Fan of Your Child’s Smile!

Even when we do all the right things, kids are sometimes prone to dental health troubles for less controllable reasons like genetics or injuries. That’s why it’s so important to include the dentist when fighting for their cavity-free smile. Dentists have the training and experience to identify oral health problems early on and start fighting back.

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.

How Can We Guard Against Gum Recession?

December 12th, 2022

MANY PEOPLE HAVE the idea that gum recession is only a concern for older people (that’s where the saying “long in the tooth” came from), but it can start at any age. While we can’t do anything about a risk factor like genetics, there are many we can control.

1. Avoid Overbrushing

Overbrushing is a major risk factor for both enamel erosion and gum recession. Brushing too hard can damage the teeth and the gums. It’s time to ease up if it only takes a few months of using a toothbrush before all the bristles are bent outward. Overbrushing is why we recommend soft-bristled brushes. It’s also important to floss gently instead of snapping the floss directly onto the gums.

2. Fight Back Against Gum Disease

Gum disease can destroy supporting gum tissue and bone around teeth as it progresses, which is what makes it the main cause of gum recession. Dental hygiene habits and limited sugar intake are the best ways to maintain good gum health. That means (gentle) daily brushing and flossing, along with prioritizing regular dental appointments.

3. Break the Bruxism Habit (or Protect Against It)

People with a bruxism habit are more likely to have gum recession, as the constant harsh friction from their teeth puts too much pressure on the gum tissue and can damage it over time. Kids are also vulnerable to many of these gum recession causes, as well as oral injuries.

 

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.

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