Orthodontics 8/26/19 – gtg

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More and more people are becoming open to undergoing cosmetic dentistry to boost up their confidence and to attain that charming and unforgettable smile. There is indeed a huge impact made by first impressions, and amongst the most important elements of that impressive first impression is the smile. A person’s oral condition tells much about him or her. The condition of the teeth even in the aesthetic aspect could inarguably affect the day-to-day life. Therefore, in today’s setting, dentistry is no longer only about pulling out or filing a hole in a tooth. It has become an important resort to improve one’s appearance and boost self-esteem and, consequently, many other areas in one’s life.

There are now numerous procedures and treatments that one can choose from to achieve exactly what he or she wants with their pearly whites. However, selecting such procedure does not mean it can be done without the dentist’s advice. Most dentists are willing to discuss with their patients the best options in terms of expenses and favorable results. The following are simple descriptions of some of the most common procedures considered as cosmetic dentistry:

Teeth Whitening: Teeth often get stained from smoking, food, drink (coffee, tea, or red wine) or poor oral hygiene and some people born with darker shades of teeth can now lighten them without having to remove the teeth’s natural outer layers. The procedure is very quick, where tiny laser beams are shone on the teeth that have been applied with whitening chemicals. The laser speeds the whitening process and can lighten the teeth to up to six shades.

White Fillings: To save a cavity damaged tooth, dentists sometimes suggest filling it rather than extracting. These are for cases wherein the holes are not yet too big and deep. White composite fillings are preferred by more people over the silver amalgam because of its appearance and other benefits. We get to select the fillings made of porcelain or a composite material that closely matches with the color of the teeth, thus maintaining the natural appearance of the teeth and smile. Many people have got their older fillings replaced with newer, tooth-colored fillings to enhance their oral appearance.

Bridges: An alternative for removable dentures, especially for those who have only one or two missing teeth are bridges. This is done by crowning two teeth on either side of the gap where a false tooth or teeth are attached in between the two crowns.

Crowns: Crowns are tooth coverings that can be made of porcelain and special kinds of metal. Crowns are designed for different purposes and a thorough discussion with the dentist can help a lot.

There are so many more procedures under cosmetic dentistry and getting the best and most appropriate one can only be done by having a discussion with your dentist. Amongst the other procedures are Orthodontics, veneers, correcting the bite, and jewels. Yes, even small pieces of jewelry can now be implanted on the teeth.

Among many other advantages of cosmetic dentistry, a beautiful smile is the most significant. It makes us feel younger and full of youth.

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Pediatric Dentist 8/26/19 – gtg

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Scientific studies have shown that crooked teeth on children are often hereditary. If your child is suffering from crooked teeth, there is no need to worry since it can be easily corrected by a pediatric dentist.

Although some got it from poor care of baby teeth, crooked teeth are a problem that has to be remedied as soon as possible. Children as young as seven years old who have crooked teeth must consult a pediatric dentist to asses the situation. The dentist can then take appropriate measures that will solve the problem.

The reason for this is that the earlier the treatment for crooked teeth starts, the sooner it will give results. Since the bone structure of children is still soft and pliable, pediatric dentists may then use dental braces to correct the crooked teeth when permanent teeth erupt which usually happens when your child is 8-15 years old.

Dental braces are the most prevalent solution to crooked teeth. They are made from various materials such as metal, plastic, and ceramic. Dental braces function by applying pressure to the teeth to force them return to their proper position. This is done through the use of brackets and wires which evenly distribute the pressure on the teeth that need to be corrected.

This process is gradual but effective. Your child will wear the dental braces for the required period of time to ensure that the correction is done properly. The pediatric dentist will recommend the period of time as well as how to take care of their maintenance.

Recent technological breakthroughs have provided another kind of dental brace which is made from a different material but functions the same if not better than the conventional dental braces.

The dental brace known as Invisalign is made of clear molded plastic and is transparent, therefore invisible. With this technology, both children and adults alike can be treated for their crooked teeth without showing their dental braces.

The main difference of the conventional and Invisalign is that the former is fixed on the teeth for a period of time while Invisalign can be taken off when eating, which gives additional comfort to the patient. Another difference is that patients wearing Invisalign get new aligners every couple of weeks to progress the correction period of the teeth. Most importantly, Invisalign is clear, thereby eliminating the appearance of ugly metal braces.

If you feel that your child needs braces, consult the pediatric dentist in your area. It won’t take much of your time especially if you did it within the time frame mentioned above. After the visit to the pediatric dentist, they will advise as to whether your child should wear conventional braces or Invisalign.

No matter what corrective measure you choose, dental braces can get results in a period of time. Once the braces are removed, the crooked teeth are gone to reveal beautiful, straight teeth.

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It isn’t really uncanny for cute little infants and toddlers to suck their thumbs in the same way that they drink their baby bottles. It can be quite difficult for very young minds to move past the habit of sucking some sort of pacifier; hence children develop the thumb sucking habit. Aside from being just a simple habit, the act is also presumed to give children that comfort and security they need for their fragile and innocent thinking.

Just as it develops over a period to become a regular part of the routine, thumb sucking is expected to eventually fade away on its own. By the age of four or five, a child should have moved past the stage of habitually sucking his thumb or perhaps a pacifier for refuge. Upon attending school he/she must have realized that the action is a liability or burden when interacting with other people. His/her self-esteem drops whenever someone notices and laugh about it.

However, for some children, thumb sucking doesn’t go away that easily or quickly. Some of them continue the habit in their early teens and thus produce dental problems that require expensive and lengthy treatments. In such instances, parents need to step in and help their children as early as possible to stop the practice.

So, how should mature adults handle their child’s thumb sucking conundrum efficiently so that their youngster can benefit from a grown-up life free of the hassles that the condition results in? There are several methods available these days and here are some that parents can try:

Make use of authority as well as peer pressure to enforce the idea that the habit should be stopped.

This is the most typical approach of parents when they want to correct any unhealthy or debilitating habit of their offspring, which is also sometimes associated with the punishment system.

Commanding children to obey orders is usually effective although it can be risky at times because either of these may develop as well: fear or anger. Fear can foster timidity, whereas anger can instill rebelliousness. What’s important for adults to note is that they should be in control, especially in terms of guiding the young mind to healthy living.

If negative reinforcement fails to work, try the reward system.

For more liberated parents that prefer equality in relationship rather than hierarchy, positive reinforcement may be a more recommendable technique. Rather than noticing the wrongdoings of the child such as when he’s caught sucking his thumb, praise him for not doing it. In this way he can regain the confidence he might have lost from the humiliation of failing to control his thumb sucking habit and thus exert more effort in successfully stopping it.

Weaken the habit by distracting him with other non-expensive or cheap activities and hobbies.

More often than not, a trigger exists for nearly every habit developed by an individual. It may be a blanket, a toy, a playground, a food, a location, a sound, a beverage—anything could provoke a child to suck his thumb even unconsciously. Identifying that trigger would greatly help to easily manage and limit the occurrence of thumb sucking.

Another technique that people usually try is placing a reminder that can be immediately spotted, such as a tape wrapped around the thumb, so as to become more conscious of the habit and be able to control it.

It is also possible to set-up a diversion system such that when the habit is known to persist, an activity or hobby should be done in order to shift the attention to something else other than the thumb sucking practice.

Consult with a pediatric dentist in for the possible use of a mouth appliance or device.

If all else fails, a dentist or specialist in his office may be able to help in recommending or prescribing a more fail-proof solution. It may be more expensive than the above mentioned home remedies but it’s definitely worth a try—especially in showing love for a family member.

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Nearly every toothpaste contains fluoride as its main ingredient: sodium fluoride, calcium fluoride, etc. All top dentists and specialists in the country as well as in other continents agree that every effective toothpaste they will recommend to their patients should should contain fluoride.

But why fluoride—how did people come up with idea to mix it in a tasty, foamy mouth paste? How effective is the chemical in maintaining dental hygiene? And the most important question of any concerned patient who cares about his own life and health and that of his family, is no other than this: Is it safe?

Fluoride and Its Tremendous Benefits

The ninth element in the periodic table has the chemical symbol F and is named fluorine.When this basic atom becomes charged, meaning there’s an imbalance in the positive and negative charges within the atom, it is then called fluoride.

This fluoride ion can combine with other ionic or charged chemical compounds to create a new stable substance. When it mixes with calcium, it can become calcium fluoride; if mixed with sodium, it’s turned to sodium fluoride. These two substances formed are the common ingredients of either cheap or expensive toothpastes.

So, what does fluoride do for the teeth? This ingredient helps the tooth in its re-mineralization, which is the process of replenishing the mineral content it has lost. More often than not, minerals are dissolved from the enamel, which is the tooth’s outer layer, every now and then because of cavities or holes created. These pearly whites, much like the bones, are made up of minerals including calcium and fluoride, to name a few.

Causes and Effects of Fluorosis

Based from the explanation above about fluoride, it would appear that it is very good for the teeth. Unfortunately, this isn’t always exactly the case. Too much of anything is harmful for the body, and in this case, too much fluorine can result in dental fluorosis or worse possible fatal poisoning.

The reason why children’s toothpastes were recently introduced isn’t just because of marketing. The real motive behind them was that they’re manufactured with significantly lesser fluoride than the ones for adults. Unlike fully developed permanent teeth, children’s deciduous teeth are still fragile as they undergo development; too much fluorine in their surface creates spots on them that later on can become permanent discolorations.

That is only the first half of regular fluoride toothpaste’s harm for young, underdeveloped teeth. The other one is what should be watched out for carefully, especially for parents who worry too much for their family, in particular their offspring.

Fluoride intoxication presents itself as severe stomach cramping, nausea, and vomiting, just to name a few. It happens when children’s very young bodies happen to ingest more than enough fluorine that it can handle. For the general public knowledge, this roughly equates to half a tube of adult toothpaste.

How to Prevent Fluoride Poisoning

It isn’t unusual to hear news about children swallowing toothpaste and suffering the consequences just minutes later. After all, children do the darndest things. It is essential for parents to guide their children as they brush their teeth, and teach them the proper way to do it. Children’s toothpaste is also recommended by pediatric dentists to secure the safety of their oral cavity as well as whole body.

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It isn’t uncommon for very young children to have memorable blunders and funny moments when speaking, especially if it’s their first time and they still have a lot to learn. This is experienced by nearly every person, girl and boy alike, and becomes a family memory that isn’t easily forgotten.

However, if the individual’s problem with pronouncing words or certain syllables persist over time and has become embarrassingly noticeable, it may be worse than just a childhood glitch that’s supposed to go away. One factor that parents might account for is the occlusion of the upper and lower arches of teeth—more commonly known as the bite.

Occlusion: The Closing of the Mouth

In the English thesaurus, the word occlusion is synonymous to closure. Dictionaries identify the term as a noun that means closing off. In medical science though, specifically in the practice of dentistry, occlusion is more prominently defined as the bite. When the mouth occludes, it simply closes off to hide the oral cavity. But when the teeth occlude, the upper and lower arches meet for the sole purpose of biting; otherwise, a disorder may exist.

There are three (3) identified key purposes of occlusion: mastication, speech, and swallowing. Mastication refers to the breakdown of food both chemically and mechanically, which is the initial stage of digestion. Speech in this regard denotes verbal communication or utterance of ideas by sound production. On the other hand, swallowing is simply the movement of the soft palate and related parts to allow passage of digested materials in the digestive system while closing off the nasal cavity to prevent non-gaseous particles from entering the respiratory system.

According to top pediatric dentists, problems concerning the bite, which are all generally classified under malocclusion, should be diagnosed as early as possible and fortunately can be treated. Among the most obvious signs of malocclusion are teeth misalignment and the resulting deficiency in pronouncing some vowels.

Malocclusion and Its Various Forms Affected by the Teeth

There are basically three (3) classifications of occlusion and are named simply as Type I, Type II, and Type III. For mankind, normal bite is expected to fall under Type I occlusion, wherein the upper arch is slightly more forward to the lower when the teeth meet or occlude.

Malocclusion may be caused by either jaw alignment or teeth arrangement; the latter is more evident among adolescent and adults whose permanent teeth have all erupted, while the former usually persists from a younger age. Between the two, teeth misalignment can be corrected with braces and may postpone treatment for a longer period.

Several reasons may exist in the misalignment of the teeth and in effect result to malocclusion. One of them is overcrowding, which may be caused by wisdom tooth eruption even when the arch no longer has space for it to grow; or it may also be due to supernumerary or extra tooth that all of a sudden erupts out of nowhere—typically a congenital condition. Another is wide gap between teeth produced by either an extraction or a disease in which the tooth never developed to begin with and so it didn’t erupt.

As a precautionary measure, parents are recommended to immediately consult with the best orthodontist dental office at the first sign of malocclusion. This is essential to avoid lengthy and expensive procedures, as well as prevent the problem from worsening, so that the child can enjoy the benefits of a healthy mouth and a correctly aligned set of teeth.

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Every year, millions of Americans lose their teeth, usually due to tooth decay. The war with cavities has been going on since the dawn of mankind’s civilization and some people have won the struggle throughout the course of their lifetime. However, there are also cases when the outcome is rather bad and unfortunate, although not totally unexpected: painful extraction and sometimes distressing natural loss.

But adults aren’t just the only ones who are faced with tooth loss as a result of dental caries, which is the technical term used in dental offices to also refer to cavities. Even children and their deciduous or baby teeth can suffer from cavities and lead to immediate decay or loss. How is it possible? The explanation as follows might help one understand.

Dental Caries: How the Holes are Created on Teeth

The oral cavity, according to experts, always has microorganisms living in it—day in and day out. Bacteria and germs are able to reside within but with carefully maintained habits, oral and dental hygiene can be achieved and secured.

Some bacteria remain in the mouth even after all the effort put into cleaning it; they usually do little harm considering the body’s normal response to threat and danger, which is to regenerate cells and fight the harmful microorganisms. These germs and microbes aren’t exactly the ones that create the cavities on teeth, rather the acidic substance they secrete.

The metabolic process involved in the production of this acid that erodes the tooth’s enamel or surface requires the breakdown of complex carbohydrates—in a word, sugar. The more sugar is consumed, the more acid is produced and the faster the secretion becomes. This is the very reason why the top general dentists always recommend their patients to avoid sweets in their diets and point out that sugar causes the increase of cavities.

Tooth Decay: How Cavities Damage and Weaken Teeth

Acids are known to be potent chemical elements that burn or eliminate anything that gets in their way. In the case of bacteria and germs secreting acidic substance, the teeth’s outer layer suffers the initial damage. This part of the tooth is called enamel and is made up of hard minerals.

The enamel is able to re-mineralize or replenish its lost mineral content caused by the caries so as to protect the more sensitive part within called the dentin. However, if the rate of acid production is significantly faster than the re-mineralization process, the tooth is doomed for rapid and inevitable decay or deterioration.

From Baby Bottle Tooth Decay to Early Childhood Caries

The best pediatric dentists call the cavities on children’s deciduous teeth as early childhood caries. A dental filling may be able to resolve such problem in a child who is afraid and still hesitant of painful dental treatment but experts prefer exodontia or tooth extraction in order to give way to the permanent tooth later on and prevent unbearable toothache in the near future.

Even babies who still have to learn the basics of tooth brushing can also have cavities in their very small milk teeth. This is more commonly referred to as baby bottle tooth decay. The name derives itself from the idea that the baby’s bottle, which may contain milk or other drinks except water, can be left on the infant’s mouth as he relaxes to sleep. With the carbs remaining in the oral cavity, bacteria continuously secrete their harmful substance to damage the fragile little teeth.

Top specialists in therefore suggest parents to always be attentive of their son or daughter’s oral health, even before they can begin understanding the world.

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Many young patients often wonder what their pediatric or general dentists see when they open their mouths. The answer is pretty simple: the oral cavity. But what does this hole contain exactly? The key parts that are of high importance to any health professional are teeth, gums, and tongue.

The Pearly Whites: Stainless and Glossy Teeth

Teeth may be classified under either of these categories: heterodontia and diphyodontia. The former refers to the type of teeth according to their location in the oral cavity as well as function. The latter meanwhile simply denotes the difference between the deciduous and permanent teeth that develop in a person’s lifetime.

For children, the number of deciduous or baby teeth that erupt in their youth is no more than twenty, meaning molars have no baby teeth counterparts. On the other hand, at most thirty-two (32) permanent teeth are generally expected to erupt for a normal human being. This is even lesser if the wisdom teeth never grow.

Beginning in the middle, the eight teeth in front that are most prominent when smiling are called the incisors; they’re divided into central and lateral incisors, and are sharp by nature to cut and slice through foods. Beside them are the canines that have the unique single cuspid or cusp that’s meant to hold and tear down food. They are followed by two sets of premolars or bicuspids, which are characterized by their two cusps.

Finally, at the back of the mouth, one can find the two to three sets of molars—the thickest teeth hidden at the farther end of the oral cavity and are shaped with the most number of cuspids, which is four (4). For experts, they’re known to be designed to grind and crush foods, just like the premolars, so that the digestive system can easily digest the pulverized particles mixed with bodily fluids such as saliva.

The Gum Lines: Soft and Fleshy Gingival Tissues

The tender and fleshy tissues surrounding two-thirds of the part of the tooth, also known as the root, are called the gums—more technically referred to as the gingiva. These gums cover the maxilla and mandible, which are the upper and lower jaw bones respectively, and they protect the roots from damage and injury. They secure the teeth’s attachment to the bones so that they can’t be extracted or uprooted easily.

The Movable Muscle of the Mouth: Flexible and Mobile Tongue

The only muscle in the oral cavity that rests in the floor of the mouth is called the tongue. Its movement can be controlled to serve several functions, one of which is to speak properly. Apart from the benefit of improving speech patterns with the tongue, the flexible muscle also moves the food inside the mouth in order to help the teeth digest it properly.

The taste buds on top of it respond to the chemicals ingested, inevitably triggering the production of saliva and other gastric juices to chemically breakdown food particles. specialists strongly recommend brushing this surface as well with either the toothbrush or a tongue scraper so as to remove bacteria that could build up over time and cause severe, costly problems in the long run.

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Pediatric dentists aim to provide quality dental care to your children.

Here are several things that we need to know more about pediatric dentists:

Child Friendly- pediatric dentists specialize in children’s oral care. For that matter alone, we are certain that they are adept in methods that will ensure that our children will have a pleasant and memorable experience with them. The environment of the clinic of pediatric dentists are designed especially for children.

Parent Friendly- the interaction of the pediatric dentist is not limited to children only. In fact, the main line of communication is between the parent and the pediatric dentist. Since children are not old enough to understand dental advice, it is the parent who will teach and guide the children to practice good oral hygiene.

Specialist- pediatric dentists underwent two to three years of specialty training after dental school focusing on dental care for children. Since pediatric dentists deals primarily with children, they are trained to effectively communicate with children.

Up-to-Date- since they specialized in children, a pediatric dentist is well-versed with the latest dental advancement.
Now that we have a fairly good idea of what to know about pediatric dentist, it is now only a matter of choosing who to trust with the dental health of our children. This is important since we want not only our children to be comfortable with the dentist, but ourselves as well.

This is because we as parents are the ones who will see to it that the instructions of the dentist will be followed by our children. A healthy relationship is needed.

It is important to be aware that children, just like adults, need regular dental check ups. Good oral hygiene must start at an early age. Scientific evidence shows that early childhood dental problems will affect the growth of permanent teeth. As we all know, a lot of problems may arise then.

Pediatric dentists are the same everywhere. You can be assured that they will take proper care of the dental health of your children.

A quick search online will let you find the best children’s dentist in your area. You can easily make an appointment for your child. Pediatric dentists will ensure that your child will experience a memorable visit to the dentist and will in fact anticipate the next visit. You would not be surprised anymore if they want to visit the dentist sooner than they should.

We all love to see our children have that wonderful smile and be confident that they are practicing good oral hygiene.

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You might often wonder when is the right time to take your children to a pediatric dentist. There are several ways to prevent and avoid early childhood dental problems.

Since your child usually has a large intake of sugar from milk, fruit juices and other sweetened drinks, it is best to visit a pediatric dentist the earliest time possible.

First, we have to understand that early childhood dental problems will affect the development of the primary teeth which will also affect the proper growth of the permanent teeth. It is always better to prevent than to cure. This also helps to prevent fear of the dentist, which usually occurs when you wait to go to the dentist until a problem occurs and you are already in pain.

Second, by visiting the pediatric dentist the earliest time possible, we will know all the facts we need to learn to make sure we teach our children good oral hygiene. Additional knowledge won’t hurt on our part.

Since studies have shown that poor oral hygiene will lead to problems in speech, self confidence and eating habits, the ideal visit to the pediatric dentist, as suggested by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, is six months after first tooth appears.

If your child is already a year-old, a dental check-up is needed. From here, your child will have a regular dentist visit which may be twice a year or as recommended by the pediatric dentist.

It is heavily suggested not to wait for your child to experience toothache or grow cavities before even thinking about the pediatric dentist. This is usually the case where parents ignore the dental health of their children thinking that since they only have temporary teeth, a dentist is not needed. Nothing could be more further from the truth as explained above.

You also have to consider that a regular dental check-up will teach your children to practice good oral hygiene. The end result of this is you avoid expensive treatments and possibly procedures on your child’s teeth since they have been taking care of them from an early age. We all know what one has to go through in a root canal procedure.

In our modern world, it is very easy to look for the best pediatric dentist in town. A quick search online will give you an idea of the available dentists in your area. Say, you are from San Antonio, Google “best pediatric dentist in San Antonio” and you will get results immediately. It is the same wherever you live.

The important thing to consider is that we take care of our children. Whether if it is for their books, toys, clothes, or a visit to a pediatric dentist, let us see to it that it will be provided.

We all do love children smiling at us especially if they flash that perfect smile, courtesy of your teaching them good oral hygiene and of course with the help of their pediatric dentist.

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ortho 7/16/19 – gtg

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Temporomandibular Disorder

Millions of Americans suffer from chronic facial and neck pain as well as recurrent headaches. In some cases this pain is due to Temporomandibular Disorder, or TMD.

Your temporomandibular joints, or jaw joints, connect your lower jawbone to your skull. As you may imagine, these joints get quite a lot of use throughout the day as you speak, chew, swallow, and yawn. Pain in and around these joints can be unpleasant and may even restrict movement.

Symptoms of TMD include:
Pain in the jaw area
Pain, ringing, or stuffiness in the ears
Frequent headaches or neck aches
Clicking or popping sound when the jaw moves
Swelling on the sides of the face
Muscle spasms in the jaw area
A change in the alignment of top and bottom teeth
Locked jaw or limited opening of the mouth

Should you notice any of these symptoms, let us know! We can help advise you as to whether they indicate the presence of TMD, and what sort of treatment is appropriate for you.

If you don’t have any of these symptoms, let’s keep it that way! There are some simple things you can do at home or work to prevent TMD from occurring in your jaw joints:

Relax your face – remember the rule: “Lips together, teeth apart”
Avoid grinding your teeth
Avoid constant gum chewing
Don’t cradle the phone receiver between your head and shoulder – either use a headset or hold the receiver to your ear
Chew food evenly on both sides of your mouth
Do not sit with your chin rested on your hand
Practice good posture – keep your head up, back straight, and shoulders squared
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