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Archive for December, 2014

Why Early Detection of Tooth Decay Is so Important

Friday, December 26th, 2014

dentist 60603Childhood development is critical in many areas. Just as learning to crawl and walk; eating without being fed; and speaking those first words create excitement … taking care of baby teeth is an important part of infant care and should not be ignored or taken for granted. Your baby’s first trip to the dentist should be completed around twelve months of age.

Research indicates these early dental visits accomplish many things:

Exam – This first visit allows the dentist to perform a quick exam to make sure the child’s dentition is on track, and there are no oral conditions present that jeopardize their health.

This exam also serves as an introduction for your child to start getting acclimated to the dental office experience. Subsequent visits will reaffirm the normalcy of visiting the dentist as they age.

Educational – This initial visit is a perfect opportunity to learn how to care for your child’s teeth. You can ask questions about brushing, flossing, and overall oral care for your child.

New parents may not be aware of the things they may be doing that could be detrimental to their child’s teeth. Putting baby to bed for a nap or the night with a bottle containing anything but water can lead to premature dental decay. Sugars from milk or juice can linger in their mouth throughout the night leading to plaque build-up. Just like with adults, this plaque build-up can promote dental decay.

Prevention – Can you just imagine the fear and discomfort your toddler would experience if a dental filling was needed due to a cavity?

Many parents believe that since baby teeth are going to fall out eventually, this is not a big concern. However, the primary teeth are paving the way for the permanent teeth. Decayed or prematurely lost teeth can impact the condition of permanent teeth.

As your infants first teeth emerge, you can wipe them with a soft cloth following a bottle or feeding. Massaging gum tissue is helpful, and normally feels very good when your child is teething.  As your baby ages, brush their teeth with an age appropriate tooth paste and soft bristle brush. Allow your child to watch you brush and floss as experience is the best teacher.

Preventive action will be rewarding for you and your child by limiting the need for decay correction.

Will I Still Have to Wear a Retainer After Invisalign?

Monday, December 15th, 2014

Invisalign clear braces ChicagoThe purpose of investing time and money to wear Invisalign clear braces is to obtain straight healthy teeth and a smile makeover.

Once you have achieved these goals, the best way to maintain your new oral condition is through wearing a retainer. The purpose of a retainer is to hold teeth in their new, corrected position while they develop a memory of where they belong.

Failure to follow the direction of your dentist and ignoring wearing a retainer can result in teeth shifting back to their original position.

Invisalign clear braces are designed to slowly shift teeth to their correct occlusion. This means the upper teeth will correctly align with the bottom teeth.

The beauty of Invisalign is they are clear; removable; comfortable; and affordable.

Clear – The retainers are made from a transparent material making wearing “braces” virtually undetectable.

Removable – The aligners are removed for eating meals and snacking. All your favorite foods and snacks remain on the menu. Brushing and flossing are made much simpler with the aligners removed for these daily tasks. Dental visits for cleaning and exams are more thorough than with traditional braces.

Comfortable – No wires or metal means no abrasions or cuts in the soft oral tissue.

Affordable – Your smile makeover investment is comparable to other teeth straightening programs.

At the conclusion of treatment, your straightened teeth will provide more than a new smile. When teeth are crooked or misaligned, there are areas for bacteria to grow. This leads to plaque build-up. When this condition persists, dental decay and/or gum disease are more likely to occur.

Straight teeth allow you to brush and floss reaching areas previously difficult to access. Performing these tasks daily will help prevent the occurrence of decay.

The retainer provided by your dentist is to be considered as the final leg of treatment, and is as critical to your orthodontic outcome as each aligner was throughout the straightening process.

You may be instructed to wear the aligner for up to a year, and perhaps even to continue to wear at night for longer.

But consider wearing your retainer as your insurance policy to prevent returning to the days of crooked teeth. You can smile with a renewed self-confidence as your new appearance is yours to keep for a lifetime.

To find out if you are a candidate for Invisalign, call any of our convenient locations and schedule your professional consultation today.

Common Misconceptions About Dental Health

Friday, December 5th, 2014

dentist South LoopThe connections between dental health and overall health have been well documented. Patients dealing with ailments affecting the body’s immune system may be more likely to experience dental issues. Diabetes, arthritis, heart attack … these ailments have all been connected to the incidence of developing gum disease. Your dentist will inquire about your health and medications you’re taking to provide the upmost in dental care.

Your dentist is not prying when inquiring about your physical condition and the medicines you take. Honestly providing information about your physical condition may ultimately be the key to keeping your teeth and gums healthy.

Inflammation is the common thread between illness and dental disease. Controlling medical conditions may be the biggest factor in maintaining great dental health.

Diet – Blood sugar fluctuations can play havoc on a diabetic’s health. An oral infection can have a major impact on those ups and downs.

Medications – It is important to take the medications our providers prescribe. But many medicines taken to help with overall health can contribute to dry mouth. Dry mouth can lead to plaque build-up, dental decay, or gum disease. Your dentist can prescribe a rinse that will help; and there are many over the counter products that are designed to increase saliva flow.

Lifestyle – Smoking and tobacco use were determined to have a negative impact on your health in the 1960’s. Lung cancer, heart attack, and stroke were directly linked to tobacco. But using tobacco in any form increases the likelihood of developing oral cancer and gum disease leading to tooth loss or worse.

Aging – As the body ages, breakdowns occur. Strength is diminished; eye sight, hearing, thinning hair … all of these things are anticipated. But oral health does not need to be impacted by aging. A daily regimen of brushing and flossing coupled with a visit to the dentist every six months for a thorough cleaning and dental exam are things we can do to maintain great oral health and keep all our teeth as we age.

Tooth loss – Sometimes the loss of a tooth is unavoidable. But acceptance of tooth loss is not appropriate at any age. We need all our teeth to chew properly, speak clearly, and smile with self-confidence.

The links between oral health and overall physical condition are often blurred leading to a general misunderstanding on the importance of one to the other. To learn more, contact our skilled team at Ora Dental Studio.