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    • 24 AUG 16
    • 0

    The Evolution of Dental Braces

    Happy black girl with braces

    Before George Washington’s Wooden Teeth, Dentists Thought About Correcting Bad Bites

    Even ancient people wanted straight teeth! According to the AAO (American Association of Orthodontists), archaeologists have discovered mummified ancients with crude metal bands wrapped around individual teeth. Later, in 400-500 BC, Hippocrates and Aristotle both ruminated about ways to straighten teeth and fix various dental conditions. Straight teeth have been on our minds a very long time!

    Important Breakthroughs

    In 1728, French Dentist Pierre Fauchard published a book called the “The Surgeon Dentist” with an entire chapter on ways to straighten teeth. Fauchard used a device called a “Bandeau,” a horseshoe-shaped piece of precious metal which helped expand the arch.

    In 1819 Delabarre introduced the wire crib, which marked the birth of contemporary orthodontics. The term orthodontia was coined by Joachim Lafoulon in 1841.

    The First Metal Mouths

    What did braces look like a century ago? In the early 1900s, orthodontists used gold, platinum, silver, steel, gum rubber, vulcanite (and occasionally, wood, ivory, zinc, copper, and brass) to form loops, hooks, spurs, and ligatures. Fourteen- to 18-karat gold was routinely used for wires, bands, clasps, ligatures, and spurs, as were iridium-platinum bands and arch wires, and platinized gold for brackets. Why gold? It is malleable and easy to shape — the original “metal mouth” was real gold or silver! How’s that for bling?

    Advancements in the 1970s

    Braces continued to wrap around the teeth until the mid-1970s, when direct bonding became a reality. Why did it take so long for dentists to invent the modern bonded bracket? The adhesive! The bonded bracket was actually invented earlier, but the formulation for the adhesive wasn’t perfected until almost a decade later.

    Around this time, the self-ligating bracket also appeared on the scene. Self-ligating brackets don’t need tie wires or elastic ligatures to hold the arch wire onto the bracket — they are held on by a “trap door” built into each bracket. As early as 1935, the idea of a self-ligating brackets began to take shape.

    In the 1970s, Earl Bergersen, DDS created the passive Ortho-Tain appliances, which guide jaw growth and help correct orthodontic problems and malocclusions in both children and adults. The Ortho-Tain appliances look like custom plastic mouth-guards, and are worn mainly at night, or for only a few hours each day. In many cases, people have been able to correct (or greatly diminish) many types of orthodontic problems with these removable custom-made appliances.

    Around 1975, two orthodontists working independently in Japan and the United States started developing their own systems to place braces on the inside surfaces of the teeth — lingual braces. These “invisible braces” offered people the results of bonded brackets with one big advantage — they were on the inside of the teeth, so nobody else could see them!

    Lingual braces were the “invisible” braces of choice until the early 1980s, when “tooth colored” esthetic brackets made from single-crystal sapphire and ceramics came into vogue.

    Invisible Braces

    As far back as 1945, orthodontists realized that a sequence of removable plastic appliances could move teeth toward a predetermined result. Some orthodontists even made simple plastic “aligner trays” in their offices for minor adjustments. But it took an adult who’d just had braces to take the concept a step further.

    Invisalign was the brainchild of Zia Chishti and Kelsey Wirth, graduate students in Stanford University’s MBA program. Wirth had traditional braces in high school (she reportedly hated them). Chishti had finished adult treatment with traditional braces and now wore a clear plastic retainer. He noticed that if he didn’t wear his retainer for a few days, his teeth shifted slightly — but the plastic retainer soon moved his teeth back the desired position. In 1997, he and Wirth applied 3-D computer imaging graphics to the field of orthodontics and created Align Technologies and the Invisalign method. With a boost from ample Silicon Valley venture funding, Align soon took the orthodontic industry by storm. Dentists and other dental companies were skeptical at first, because neither Chishti nor Wirth had any professional dental training. Invisalign braces were first made available to the public in May, 2000 and proved extremely popular with patients.

    The Future: Technology Continues to Advance

    As technology enhances our daily lives, it also continues to advance the science of orthodontics. More and more companies are utilizing digital computer imaging to make orthodontic treatment more precise. The SureSmile system by OraMetrix, for example, takes a detailed 3-D model of a patient’s teeth and helps the orthodontist develop a precise treatment plan for tooth movement. The orthodontist’s treatment plan then drives a highly accurate robotic process to customize the arch wires needed for treatment. This often shortens treatment time and gives highly accurate results.

    NASA developed one of the late 20th century’s most dramatic orthodontic breakthroughs: heat-activated nickel-titanium alloy wires. At room temperature, heat-activated nickel-titanium arch wires are very flexible. As they warm to body temperature they become active and gradually move the teeth in the anticipated direction. Because of their high-tech properties, these wires retain their tooth-moving abilities longer than ordinary metal wires and need less frequent attention from the orthodontist.

    What does all this mean for the orthodontic patient of the future? As companies develop more precise, high-tech materials and methods, your braces will be on for a shorter period of time, be smaller and less visible, result in less discomfort, and give great results. We’ve sure come a long way from the wrap-around “metal mouth” — and that’s something we can all smile about!

    Source: ArchWired.com

    • 17 AUG 16
    • 0

    Beyond Aesthetics: The Benefits of Dental Implants

    Dental Implants Can Enhance the Quality of Your Life

    Closeup of a woman smiling at the camera

    It is proven that people who have nice teeth smile more, while individuals with missing teeth or a lot of decay do not smile very often. Just the mere act of smiling, even if others are not present to witness it improves attitude. The loss of one’s teeth impacts more than just mood or attitude. Missing teeth can make it difficult to eat a balanced diet, because some foods are hard to chew. Bone loss from missing teeth causes facial features to change, and people tend to get that hallow look in their cheeks.

    You might think that there is not such a big difference between dental crowns and dental implants…but the benefits of implants go well beyond aesthetics only.

    Dental Implants Help Prevent Bone Loss

    When you lose a tooth within your mouth, the bone starts a reabsorption process. If you don’t replace the tooth from its root (which is possible only with implants), you might have to put up later on with plenty of oral health complications.

    Also, the time between the loss of your tooth and the dental implant procedure should not be too long, so that you will not need bone grafting which is both painful and expensive too.

    If you need to replace a few teeth, you should research well your financing options, and opt for the most efficient treatment represented by the dental implants. The dental crown needs replacement in about 5 or 10 years, while implants come with a lifetime “warranty”.

    Dental Implants Will Enhance the Quality of Your Life

    Not only will your teeth look much better, but nobody will be able to tell you are having implants. On the other hand, dental crowns can sometimes have an unnatural feel and look.

    Dental implants look, feel and behave just like a set of natural teeth, so yes, the quality of your life will be enhanced dramatically.

    Benefits of Dental Implants: Eat better – Be Healthier

    With dental implants there is no restriction regarding what types of foods you can actually eat. Whether these are healthy crunchy vegetables or even chewy or sticky food – you will be able to eat everything. With dental implants you can chew properly food, so the food is going to be digested well.

    Dental crowns might not allow you to chew well, and then you may have to put up with digestion complications. Also, with dental crowns it isn’t recommended that you consume foods that are hard or chewy/sticky, because the crowns might come off/slip within the mouth.

    Benefits of Dental Implants: No More Worries

    Dental implants are “implanted” well into the root of the tooth, so there will be no worries about slippage or a crown. You can eat, laugh, chew food, sneeze or cough naturally without making any problems that the dental implants might slip.

    Dental Implants Help Restore Your Mouth Naturally

    With a dental implant, the natural state of your biological tooth is replicated in the best way. The dental implant is the best replacement for permanently lost teeth.

    Benefits of Dental Implants: Enjoy the Flavor of the Food

    If you have ever worn an upper denture, you know that your plate is “sealed”. You cannot taste the full flavor of the food, and eating is one of the most loved enjoyments of life. With dental implants, your palate is never covered, and you can enjoy all the flavors of foods at their maximum.

    When considering oral restoration, consider dental implants. The best way to find out if they are within your financial reach is to meet with a dentist from Personal Care Dentistry and get a treatment plan and learn about financing options.

    Source: Worldental.org, American Dental Plan

     

    • 10 AUG 16
    • 0

    The History of Gum Gives You a Lot to Chew On

    Chewing gum and fresh mint leaves, isolated on white

    Need help whitening your teeth? Want to quit smoking? Trying to lose weight? There’s a chewing gum for all of that and more. New types of chewing gum are introduced all the time, but did you ever wonder how it managed to gain such a grip on consumers? Believe it or not, people have had a love affair with gum for thousands of years. From humble beginnings to hundreds of varieties, here’s a look at how chewing gum rose to become the powerhouse product it is today.

    How It Originated

    Long before William Wrigley Jr. made a name for chewing gum, ancient civilizations were tapping into trees and other sources of resin and chewing on soft, rubbery substances both for enjoyment and medicinal purposes. Evidence indicates prehistoric Europeans would chew on birch bark tar quite possibly to help relieve toothaches, while Aztecs and Mayans would turn to gum from the chicle tree to appease their thirst or hunger. In North America, Native Americans favored spruce tree resin, and it became commercialized and sold in sticks by a colonist named John Bacon Curtis in 1848.

    Eventually, scientist Thomas Adams succeeded in enhancing chicle with flavor, and his work would set off various trials to improve the ability to retain flavor – with peppermint found to be particularly effective. Adams helped bring attention to chewing gum by introducing it to vending machines and selling it in the subways of New York in 1888, but chewing gum really took off when a soap industrialist named William Wrigley Jr. promoted it as an add-on to his products. From “Juicy Fruit” to “Doublemint” gum, Wrigley created one of the most successful chewing gum companies that ever existed, and many of his products remain popular today.

    Gum Gets a Modern Makeover

    After the turn of the century, chewing gum innovations accelerated due to deeper research and newfound discoveries. Bubble gum and other sweet flavors became a mainstay, and production further proliferated in the 1930’s and 1940’s, when synthetic rubbers made mass production easier than ever. Perhaps one of the biggest advancements came in the 1950’s, when sugarless chewing gum was first created by a dentist, Dr. Petrulis, and sold to William Wrigley Jr. The nation was becoming more health-conscious, and chewing gum products followed suit.

    Today, chewing gum comes in countless varieties, and has grown even more popular due to its ability to:

    Freshen breath: almost all types of gum come flavored to help mask odors

    Keep teeth white: both chewing and active ingredients can fight tooth staining

    Fight plaque: sugar free, xylitol-based gum inhibits the growth of oral bacteria

    Aid in weight loss: many turn to gum as a low calorie treat instead of snacking

    Help quit smoking: nicotine gum is an effective substitute for cigarettes

    Supplement your diet: certain gums are fortified with vitamins and minerals

    Several sugarless brands also come with a seal of approval from the American Dental Association, and are recommended by dentists to help fight tooth decay.

    Choosing the Right Gum

    Chewing gum is often purchased on impulse, but putting a little thought into the type of gum you choose can make a big difference to your oral health. Read the labels closely to ensure you have selected a sugarless variety that won’t harm your teeth, and then narrow down the field based on additional preferences – from flavor to active ingredients and beyond. If you need help in choosing the right gum, or are unsure about the effectiveness of a particular brand you have chosen, simply call your dentist for guidance. Just like most things, chewing gum should be done in moderation – chewing gum too frequently may lead to jaw muscle fatigue or more serious issues such as Temporomandibular Joint Disorders (TMD, TMJ).

    Source: Chew On This – The History of Gum

     

    • 03 AUG 16
    • 0

    Dental Discoloration: Causes and Best Solutions

    Making a Few Lifestyle Changes May Prevent Tooth Discoloration

    A young happy couple hugging and laughing.

    There are plenty of factors that can cause temporary or permanent tooth discolorations. First, there is the extrinsic discoloration, which means that your teeth get discolored because of external factors.

    For example, if you consume caffeinated beverages, red wine, cola or you are smoking – these can all cause temporary discoloration and staining of your teeth. Dentists highly advise patients who consume such beverages to rinse their mouth with water every time after the consumption of a glass of wine or a cola. This way, you will not allow the harmful particles to stick to your teeth and cause staining.

    Teeth can also get discolored because of intrinsic causes. This means that the staining is caused by an internal factor. The internal structure of your tooth called the dentin will get discolored (yellowish), and this type of staining is much more difficult to deal with. Some of the main causes on intrinsic staining include:

    Taking prescription pills, especially minocycline antibiotics.

    If the patient has been exposed to large amounts of fluoride during childhood, the dentin can also get discolored years later because of this exposure.

    A health condition known as dentinogenesis imperfect. This health condition causes your teeth to get that gray and purple discoloration.

    As a result of the natural aging process, our teeth cannot maintain that beautiful and shiny ivory/white color for all our life. As we age, our entire body suffers transformations.

     

    How to Avoid/Prevent Staining

    In order to avoid the staining of the dentin and of course the thinning of it, you should keep in mind the following:

    Rinse your mouth with pure water every time you get the occasion.

    Use toothpaste which has in its composition whitening agents, and also use an antibacterial/whitening mouthwash regularly.

    Using proper tooth brushing and flossing techniques.

    Avoid the foods and beverages that cause stains.

    Consider bondings or veneers.

    Use in-home whitening agents purchased from your dentist.

    In Office Dental Whitening/Bleaching

    The two main methods of professional whitening are tray whitening and in-office whitening. In tray whitening, an impression is taken by your dentist and a custom tray is made for the patient. Then, a supply of whitening gel is given to the patient and he/she wears the tray for a few hours each day (techniques differ) for a period of time until an acceptable result is achieved. Sensitivity of the teeth is a normal side-effect of this whitening method and is almost always transitional.

    On the other hand, in-office whitening is the most efficient means of whitening. There are a number of different types used, but the process is very similar for these methods; you can have your teeth whitened in one session and achieve significant results. Your dentist can give you more detailed information and help you decide which method is more suitable for you and your teeth.

    Professional dental whitening has the power to remove even intrinsic stains, thanks to the maximum strength of the peroxide gel to penetrate the tooth. Just talk to your dentist about the suitable whitening options if you struggle with stained teeth.

    Source:  Worldental.org, WebMD.com

    • 27 JUL 16
    • 0

    How to Help Your Children Enjoy Dental Care

    5 Tips to Help Kids Get Excited About Oral Hygiene

    Portrait of a happy mother and her children lying on a bed

    Dental care for kids does not have to feel overwhelming. Try to involve your children as much as possible so that they feel excited and empowered about keeping their teeth and gums healthy.

    Preventative dentistry is fighting against oral problems and doesn’t have to be boring; actually, it can be fun. This is an important lesson that all children should learn at an early age to help them get the most out of their oral health routine. Here’s some tips to keep oral health fun and your children excited about taking care of their teeth and gums.

    Books and Videos

    Check out a children’s book from the library that encourages healthy oral care habits. You can also show your child a fun video about dental hygiene for kids. Stories and videos that are designed for children are great for teaching kids how to take care of their teeth and for making oral health something that they can relate to.

    Make Brushing and Flossing Fun

    Think of creative ways to make brushing your teeth fun. For example, listening to fun sounds or songs while brushing can help make the entire experience a pleasant, and even fun one. Try listening to a song that is two minutes long to help keep your kids brushing for the full duration of time recommended.

    You can also let your children choose different kinds of fluoride toothpaste, toothbrushes and floss to keep in the bathroom so that they can have options each time they brush. Having a cool toothbrush designed for kids that features their favorite characters helps brings out the fun in brushing and allows children to bring their favorite cartoon and television friends into the bathroom with them. Your child’s toothpaste can even be amusing. Your 5-year-old may not run to the bathroom to use your minty toothpaste, but he can look forward to a good time cleaning his teeth with a strawberry or watermelon flavored fluoride toothpaste.

    Make the Bed Time Routine Family Time

    At night, get together in the bathroom to brush teeth for the recommended two minutes. One way to make your child interested in oral care is to brush and floss together. Kids mimic what their parents do. After brushing, floss your child’s teeth or help them to floss if they are old enough to do it on their own. To give routine brushing an air of excitement, make up a rhyme about keeping teeth clean or sing a fun song.

    Gold Stars

    To make brushing twice a day and flossing more enjoyable, create your own gold star reward system. You and your child can decorate a poster with teeth, toothbrushes, healthy snacks, and other oral health themes to represent the days of the month. Give your child a sticker to put on the poster every time they brush their teeth.

    Get Kids Excited for Dentist Visits

    Dentists recommend checkups every six months, which can be scary for many children. So prepare them beforehand by getting them excited about the visit. The dental office can also be a really fun place full of cool “spaceship” equipment, shiny lights and dental goodie bags. To give them an idea of what to expect; try using picture books or do some role-playing exercises to explain to kids what to expect during a dental visit and get them looking forward to the visit.

    Plan a special surprise after the visit that reinforces a positive dental experience. Regular check-ups are another important part of good dental hygiene for kids. Surprise your child after the appointment with some fun family time. Head to the park or plan a picnic with a healthy treat for healthy teeth.

    Why Keep Kids Excited About Oral Health?

    Why is your child’s enthusiasm about maintaining a healthy mouth important? Because the added bonus of good oral health is a beautiful smile. The real benefit of good oral care is preventing cavities that can be both painful and cause early tooth loss. Proper care also prevents gum disease that can cause eventual tooth loss, bad breath, and can even be the beginning of other serious health problems.

    Sources: Parent.com, Colgate.com, OralB.com

    • 20 JUL 16
    • 0

    Five Signs of a Healthy Mouth

    Happy woman smiling

    A Quick Home Oral Health Check and What to Be On the Lookout For

    With just a few minutes of exploring your teeth, gums, tongue, and lips — as well as the lining of your cheeks – you could learn something important about your health. Here’s five signs of good oral health and what you should look for:

     

    Healthy Gums

    Scan your gums. They should be pink and firm to the touch, not red or white, and not swollen or tender.  Teeth should be seated firmly and should not feel wiggly or loose.  Gums should sit flush with the teeth, with no flaps, pockets, or places where they appear to be receding from the tooth.  Flossing daily helps to keep gums healthy, and prevent pockets and places for bacteria to collect and cause damage, decay, and bad breath.

    Puffy, red, inflamed gums can signal any number of things. You may simply be brushing too hard or using a toothbrush with too-stiff bristles. Or you may be flossing improperly and irritating your gums. But, typically, red and inflamed gums are a classic sign of gingivitis, the first step toward periodontal disease. Healthy gums are a leading indicator of a healthy body.

     

    Strong Teeth & Dental Restorations

    Check out your chops. Check your teeth for strength and condition, including teeth that have restorations such as fillings or teeth with crowns including dental implants. Grinding or clenching (bruxism) is a common issue that can increase the wear on teeth and restorations, including teeth with fillings.

    Have you noticed any tooth discoloration or pitting? These can be early signs of decay. Gaps and growing spaces between teeth can cause trouble with your bite, too.

     

    Pleasant or Neutral Breath

    Take a breath test. A healthy mouth means naturally pleasant or neutral breath.  You can test this easily at home.  Floss between a couple of your teeth, or scrape your tongue with a fingernail and take a sniff.  This is a more realistic sense of what your breath may smell like once toothpaste and mouthwash have faded for the day.  The presence of bacteria and food particles is directly related to persistent bad breath.  Bad breath can also be an indicator of other health issues such as diabetes, and even sinus issues.  The best possible way to keep your breath pleasant is with good brushing and flossing habits.

     

    Proper Jaw Alignment & Tooth Spacing

    Bare your bite. Do your teeth meet like they used to, or are they getting more crowded? Crooked, crowded teeth may be harder to clean properly. Teeth that are straight and aligned properly are much easier to brush and floss, meaning better breath and fewer places for cavities or gum disease to develop with proper home care.  Crowding, also known as a “malocclusion,” can impact chewing and normal digestion, and may be related to bruxism (clenching or grinding), gum disease, jaw disorders such as Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ), migraines or other neurological symptoms, and even the overall shape of your face.

     

    Healthy Oral Tissues

    Stick out your tongue. Healthy oral tissues are often pink, firm and moist. If you have low iron, your tongue might look a little inflamed. A sluggish thyroid may cause your tongue to thicken. And a fungal infection can show up as white patches on your tongue. Look for lumps, ulcers, bleeding, and sores, too. They could indicate something mild — like a viral infection — or something much rarer but serious, like tongue cancer.

    Check your cheeks. Look at the mucous membrane lining your mouth and the inside of your lips for signs of irritation, which can appear as white or gray patches (called leukoplakia) or red patches (called erythroplakia). Irritation in and of itself may not be harmful. But it could indicate anything from a rough tooth or filling that’s rubbing against your cheek to something more serious, such as a precancerous lesion. Also, don’t ignore canker sores. These small, shallow ulcers are usually harmless but can be painful. And if one persists for more than 10 days or returns frequently, it may signal a vitamin deficiency, a bacterial infection, or even an inflammatory bowel disease.

     

    Let a Pro Take a Peek
    Of course, you shouldn’t count on your own eyes to determine whether your mouth is showing signs of disease. And you don’t want to wait for an obvious problem before you see a medical professional. So see your dentist at Personal Care Dentistry twice a year. Decay, as well as tiny cracks or other issues with teeth and restorations may not always be visible to the naked eye.  Dental x-rays and a thorough exam may help detect issues before they become painful and often more difficult to treat. If you’ve noticed anything odd in there, bring it up. But trouble may be brewing long before you notice it – and can occur in places where you can’t see – so you need to call in the experts from Personal Care Dentistry for a look, too.

    Sources: WebMD, ShareCare.com

    • 13 JUL 16
    • 0

    Dental X-rays – What They Reveal

    Finding Problems Early Saves Time, Money and Prevents Serious Health Problems

    x-ray image of a jaw with teeth.

    Dental radiographs (X-rays) are essential, preventative, diagnostic tools that provide valuable information not visible during a regular dental exam. Dentists and dental hygienists use this information to safely and accurately detect hidden dental abnormalities and complete an accurate treatment plan.  Without X-rays, problem areas may go undetected.

    Many diseases of the oral cavity (which includes the teeth and surrounding tissues and bone) cannot be seen when the dentist examines your mouth.

    Dental X-rays may reveal:

    • Abscesses or cysts
    • Bone loss
    • Cancerous and non-cancerous tumors
    • Decay between the teeth
    • Developmental abnormalities
    • Poor tooth and root positions
    • Problems inside a tooth or below the gum line

    Detecting and treating dental problems at an early stage can save you time, money, unnecessary discomfort, and your teeth! Dental X-rays are typically performed annually, or more often if your dentist is tracking the progress of a dental problem or treatment.

    Factors affecting how often you get dental X-rays may include:

    • Your age
    • Your current oral health
    • Any symptoms of oral disease
    • A history of gum disease (gingivitis) or tooth decay

    If you’re a new patient, you will probably undergo dental X-rays so that your new dentist can get a clear picture of your dental health. This is especially important if you don’t have any X-rays from your previous dentist.

    Children may need to have dental X-rays more often than adults because their dentists might need to monitor the growth of their adult teeth. This is important because it can help the dentist determine if baby teeth need to be pulled to prevent complications, such as adult teeth growing in behind baby teeth.

     

    Two Main Types of Dental X-rays

    There are two main types of dental X-rays: intraoral (meaning the X-ray film is inside the mouth) and extraoral (meaning the X-ray film is outside the mouth).

    1. Intraoral X-rays are the most common type of dental X-ray taken. These X-rays provide a lot of detail and allow your dentist to find cavities, check the health of the tooth root and bone surrounding the tooth, check the status of developing teeth, and monitor the general health of your teeth and jawbone.
    2. Extraoral X-rays show teeth, but their main focus is the jaw and skull. These X-rays do not provide the detail found with intraoral X-rays and therefore are not used for detecting cavities or for identifying problems with individual teeth. Instead, extraoral X-rays are used to look for impacted teeth, monitor growth and development of the jaws in relation to the teeth, and to identify potential problems between teeth and jaws and the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) or other bones of the face.

     

    Types of Intraoral X-rays and What They Reveal

    • Bite-wing X-rays show details of the upper and lower teeth in one area of the mouth. Each bite-wing shows a tooth from its crown to about the level of the supporting bone. Bite-wing X-rays are used to detect decay between teeth and changes in bone density caused by gum disease. They are also useful in determining the proper fit of a crown (or cast restoration) and the marginal integrity of fillings.
    • Periapical X-rays show the whole tooth – from the crown to beyond the end of the root to where the tooth is anchored in the jaw. Each periapical X-ray shows this full tooth dimension and includes all the teeth in one portion of either the upper or lower jaw. Periapical X-rays are used to detect any abnormalities of the root structure and surrounding bone structure.
    • Occlusal X-rays are larger and show full tooth development and placement. Each X-ray reveals the entire arch of teeth in either the upper or lower jaw.

     

    Types of Extraoral X-rays and What They Reveal

    • Panoramic X-rays show the entire mouth area — all the teeth in both the upper and lower jaws — on a single X-ray. This type of X-ray is useful for detecting the position of fully emerged as well as emerging teeth, can identify impacted teeth, and aid in the diagnosis of tumors.
    • Tomograms show a particular layer or “slice” of the mouth while blurring out all other layers. This type of X-ray is useful for examining structures that are difficult to clearly see — for instance, because other structures are in very close proximity to the structure to be viewed.
    • Cephalometric projections show the entire side of the head. This type of X-ray is useful for examining the teeth in relation to the jaw and profile of the individual. Orthodontists use this type of X-ray to develop their treatment plans.
    • Sialography involves visualization of the salivary glands following the injection of a dye. The dye, called a radiopaque contrast agent, is injected into the salivary glands so that the organ can be seen on the X-ray film (the organ is a soft tissue that would not otherwise be seen with an X-ray). Dentists might order this type of test to look for salivary gland problems, such as blockages or Sjogren’s syndrome.
    • Computed tomography, otherwise known as CT scanning, shows the body’s interior structures as a three-dimensional image. This type of X-ray, which may be performed in a hospital or radiology center or a dental office, is used to identify problems in the bones of the face, such as tumors or fractures. CT scans are also used to evaluate bone for the placement of dental implants and difficult extractions. This helps the surgeon avoid possible complications during and after a surgical procedure.

     

    Sources: American Dental Association, DeltaDentalIns.com, WebMD.com, Healthline.com

    • 06 JUL 16
    • 0

    7 Benefits of Smiling and Laughing that You Didn’t Know About

    Wonderful Ways Smiling Makes Life Better

    Close-up portrait of beautiful caucasian woman with charming smile walking outdoors

    Smiling and laughing can have a positive effect on your well-being, but as you make the transition from child to adult, you often tend to lose the habit of indulging in these behaviors. A good example of this is a children’s playground: You often see the kids running around, constantly laughing and smiling as they enjoy living in the moment, while the parents sit around the edge, full of the stresses that modern life can bring, with the occasional grin breaking their otherwise serious facial expressions. Adults can benefit from taking a lead from children and making more room in life for smiling and laughter.

    In addition to improved health, these simple facial expressions and common human behaviors can have a distinctive positive impact on all areas of your life. When you smile and laugh, a number of physiological changes occur in your body, mostly without you being consciously aware of it happening.

    1. Neurotransmitters called endorphins are released when you smile.

    These are triggered by the movements of the muscles in your face, which is interpreted by your brain, which in turn releases these chemicals. Endorphins are responsible for making us feel happy, and they also help lower stress levels. Faking a smile or laugh works as well as the real thing—the brain doesn’t differentiate between real or fake as it interprets the positioning of the facial muscles in the same way. This is known as the facial feedback hypothesis. The more we stimulate our brain to release this chemical the more often we feel happier and relaxed.

    1. Endorphins make us feel happier and less stressed.

    They also act as the body’s natural pain killers. For sufferers of chronic pain, laughing and smiling can be very effective in pain management, as can laughing off the pain when you bump an elbow or fall over.

    1. While the release of endorphins is increased, the stress hormone cortisol is reduced.

    Cortisol is more active when we feel stressed or anxious and contributes to the unpleasant feelings we experience, and by lowering it we can reduce these negative feelings.

    1. Laughing expands the lungs, stretches the muscles in the body and stimulates homeostasis.

    This exercises the body, replenishing the cells from a lungful of oxygen and gaining all the benefits of exercising the body.

    1. A good laugh can be an effective way to release emotions.

    A good laugh can help you release emotions, especially those emotions that you might bottle up inside. Everything looks that little bit better after a good laugh and life can be seen from a more positive perspective. Smiling and laughing have positive social implications as well.

    1. Smiling is an attractive expression, which is more likely to draw people to you rather than push them away.

    Smiling makes you appear more approachable. Interaction with others is easier and more enjoyable when smiles and laughs are shared, and these behaviors are contagious, making others feel better too, and make you a more appealing and attractive person to be around. This in turn will have a positive effect on your well-being.

    1. A happy, positive expression will serve you well in life.

    This is particularly true for challenging situations such as job interviews: a smiling, relaxed persona indicates confidence and an ability to cope well in stressful situations. This will also be of benefit in your career, building healthy relationships with colleagues and being seen in a favorable light by your employers.

    Source: LifeHack.org

    • 29 JUN 16
    • 0

    5 Ways Oral Hygiene May Save Your Life

    The Mouth is the Mirror of Your Body’s Wellness

    Funny couple laughing with a white perfect smile and looking each other outdoors with unfocused backgroundDid you know that some symptoms and signs of certain diseases will show in the mouth first? That means regular dental checkups can also serve as an early warning system to detect potential health issues!

    Research is unearthing evidence that says that skipping mouth care is a dangerous strategy because what begins quietly at the gum line can later set off a chain of events that can lead to heart attack, memory loss, stroke and miscarriage. And of all the measures we know of that can avert a potentially life-threatening disease, oral care is probably one the most effortless activities one can do. Here are five ways good oral health helps keep you well.

    Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

    Chronic inflammation from gum disease has been associated with the development of cardiovascular problems such as heart disease, blockages of blood vessels, and strokes.

    Experts stop short of saying there is a cause-and-effect between gum disease and these other serious health problems, but the link has shown up in numerous studies. The findings of these studies may suggest that maintaining oral health can help protect overall health.

    Preserves Your Memory

    Adults with gingivitis (swollen, bleeding gums) performed worse on tests of memory and other cognitive skills than did those with healthier gums and mouths, according to a report in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry.

    Those with gingivitis were more likely to perform poorly on two tests: delayed verbal recall and subtraction – both skills used in everyday life.

    Using an antibacterial mouthwash or toothpaste can help reduce bacteria in the mouth that can cause gingivitis.

    Reduces Risks of Infection and Inflammation in Your Body

    Poor oral health has been linked with the development of infection in other parts of the body.

    Research has found an association between gum disease and rheumatoid arthritis (RA), an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation of the joints. Experts say the mechanism of the destruction of connective tissues in both gum disease and RA is similar. Eating a balanced diet, seeing your dentist regularly, and good oral hygiene helps reduce your risks of tooth decay and gum disease. Make sure you brush twice a day and floss and use an antiseptic mouthwash once a day.

    Helps Keep Blood Sugar Stable

    People with uncontrolled diabetes often have gum disease. Having diabetes can make you less able to fight off infection, including gum infections that can lead to serious gum disease.

    And some experts have found that if you have diabetes, you are more likely to develop more severe gum problems than someone without diabetes. That, in turn, may make it more difficult to control blood sugar levels.

    Reducing your risk of gingivitis by protecting your oral health may help with blood sugar control if you have been diagnosed with diabetes.

    Helps Pregnant Women Carry a Baby to Term

    Women may experience increased gingivitis during pregnancy. Some research suggests a relationship between gum disease and preterm, low-birthweight infants.

    Not all studies have found a solid link, but maintaining good oral health is still the best goal. If you’re pregnant, visit your dentist or periodontist as part of your prenatal care. Consider it good practice for the role modeling that lies ahead for all new parents.

    Simple Ways to Protect Oral and Overall Health

    Always brush your teeth twice a day

    Floss daily

    Eat a healthy, balanced diet

    Avoid sugary soda or any candy that stays in the mouth for an extended period of time

    Visit the dentist at least twice a year, maybe more if needed.

     

    Sources: WebMD.com, DoctorOz.com

    • 22 JUN 16
    • 0

    Favorite Treats that are Good for Your Teeth

    Pinch Yourself, You’re Not Dreaming

    Studies have revealed that a few of our most favorite dietary vices may actually have cavity-fighting properties and be good for your teeth. Here’s a quick breakdown:

    Dark chocolate

    Dark Chocolate

    All hail the cocoa bean!  This news may have been around awhile, but it’s still good news. Cocoa beans, which are used to make chocolate, contain antioxidants including flavonoids, polyphenols and tannins. Tannins are what cause dark chocolate to have that delightful yet bitter taste, and they also have properties which help to prevent bacteria from sticking to your teeth. Polyphenols have antimicrobial properties, which means they help to reduce the amount of bacteria in your mouth.

    Bacteria in the mouth are what cause bad breath and gum disease. Research has been conducted by the University of Osaka in Japan, as well as other studies in the US and UK. If you’re planning to run out to get some dark chocolate, aim for 70% cacao or higher.

    Cheese

    If you’re one of the many people who profess a love of cheese, you now have another reason to enjoy this tasty food. A recent study found that eating cheese raised the pH in the subjects’ mouths and lowered their risk of tooth decay. It’s thought that the chewing required to eat cheese increases saliva in the mouth. Cheese also contains calcium and protein, nutrients that strengthen tooth enamel.

    Yogurt

    Like cheese, yogurt is high in calcium and protein, which makes it a good pick for the strength and health of your teeth. The probiotics, or beneficial bacteria, found in yogurt also benefit your gums because the good bacteria crowd out bacteria that cause cavities. If you decide to add more yogurt to your diet, choose a plain variety with no added sugar.

    Almonds

    Almonds are great for your teeth because they are a good source of calcium and protein while being low in sugar. Enjoy a quarter cup of almonds with your lunch. You can also add a handful to a salad or to a stir-fry dinner.

    Red Wine

    Yes, you heard right. Red wine, like dark chocolate, also contains tannins and other antioxidants. A study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry recently concluded that red wine, whether or not it contained alcohol, inhibited the growth of bacteria and oral biofilms, which become plaque. The same study also found properties in grape seed extract to have similar antimicrobial properties.

    Black Coffee

    Results of a recent study released by Rio de Janeiro’s Federal University in Brazil have revealed that black coffee may also have properties that inhibit the growth of bacteria. The study found that an extract called Coffee Canephora, which is present in about 30% of the world’s coffee, helped to break down the biofilms. Coffee also contains tannins, the same antioxidants found in red wine and dark chocolate. The coffee bean cited in this study is called Robusta. Robusta is often found in darker, stronger roasts. The key is to drink coffee without cream or sugar, as both will counteract the potential benefits from the coffee beans.

    Along with adding leafy greens, dairy products and fibrous vegetables to your diet, pay attention to what you’re drinking. Since it has no calories or sugar, water is always the best pick, especially compared to juice or soda. Your diet makes a big difference when it comes to a healthy smile.

    Enjoy, In Moderation

    Is this all too good to be true?  Well, a little bit. Coffee, chocolate and red wine all have dark pigments that can stain teeth, which is why many dentists may encourage people to avoid them. Dental restorations such as crowns and veneers, as well as recently whitened teeth, may be more susceptible to staining, so it is important to follow the recommendations of your dentist.

    If you plan to enjoy any of these treats, remember to do so in moderation. We also recommend you follow up with a good swish of water reduce the staining potential until you can find time to brush. Brushing for 2 minutes twice a day, and flossing, are a critical part of your oral health routine. It is also important to see your dentist for regular checkups and cleanings. The good news is that you can reward yourself after your dental visit with some delightful treats!

    Source: Colgate.com, MouthHealthy.org (American Dental Association)

     

    • 15 JUN 16
    • 0

    Father’s Day Gift Ideas That Will Have Dad Smiling

    Suffolk, Virginia, USA - May 10, 2011: A horizontal studio shot of Hasbro Scrabble tiles lined up in a wooden Scrabble tile rack to spell the message I Love You. Behind the rack of letters is a gift with a bow and gift tag marked Dad.

    This Father’s Day Give Dad a Dental Gift to Keep Him Healthy for Years to Come

    Father’s Day is just around the corner, on Sunday, June 19. June is also Men’s Health Month, where we devote extra time to help the Dads we know and love to remember to care for themselves as much as they care for their families.

    Don’t take the easy road with another tie or set of tongs – give him something for his teeth! Why?

    Men are:

    Less likely to brush their teeth twice a day

    Less likely to brush their teeth after every meal

    More likely to develop gum disease

    More likely to develop oral cancer

    Check out these cool gift ideas:

    Bluetooth Toothbrush: For the gadget/techie guy, check out the Oral B SmartSeries line. This new electric toothbrush features Bluetooth technology for 2-way communication with Dad’s smartphone. Apps are already available for iPhone and Android. If the Dad you’re shopping for is an early adopter of new technology, get the jump on this brush!

    During the wait for that Bluetooth toothbrush, Dad can also download a free app called Brush DJ. This fun and creative app helps keep track of dental health including when it’s time to replace a brush or brush head, and also happens to play awesome music to make sure everyone is brushing for the recommended two minutes!

    Creative Toothbrush Holders:  Oral hygiene should be routine, but it doesn’t have to be boring with a fun and interesting toothbrush holder. Brushing and flossing can be a fun family affair with a little creativity!

    Dental Emergency Kit: Do you know a Dad who loves to camp and travel?  Nothing can bring even the toughest hiker and traveler to his knees like dental problems when he is hours from a dentist. An emergency kit contains some basic first aid to help deal with most common dental emergencies until Dad can get to a dentist.

    Noise Canceling Headphones: You may not be able to send Dad on a vacation for Father’s Day, but you can give him the gift of a little peace and quiet with some noise canceling headphones. These headphones are also a great accessory to bring to dental appointments for those who are less than excited to hear some of the noises that are usually found in a dental office.

    A Scheduled Appointment or Dental Procedure: An appointment with one of our highly trained specialists at Personal Care Dentistry will detail exactly what he needs. Whether it’s just a routine cleaning and examination, a straighter smile or whiter teeth, he will leave our office feeling — and looking — like a new man! A routine cleaning, which is recommended for everyone annually, x-rays and a thorough examination, keeps teeth and gums healthy, which is important to overall health. If Dad is interested in any cosmetic services, we have just the thing to enhance his look, not just for Father’s Day, but for the long term.

    Any concerns he may have about crooked teeth can be fixed with the Invisalign treatment we offer—invisible braces which will go unnoticed the whole time he has them and give him all the more reason to smile. Signs of discoloration, minor gaps or chipped teeth can be corrected with custom made porcelain veneers. The experienced professionals in our office know how important oral hygiene is for overall health so give Dad a gift this Father’s Day that will keep him healthy for many years to come.

    Sources: DeltaDentalar.com

    • 14 JUN 16
    • 0

    How Many of These Dental Fun Facts Can You Get Correct?

    Take this month’s quiz on dental-related fun facts and see how many you can get correct.

     

    Question #1

    How much does an elephant’s tooth weigh? a) One Pound b.) Four Pounds c.) Six Pounds d.) Ten Pounds

    Question #2

    Over a lifetime you create enough saliva to fill: a) A Kiddie Pool b.) A Hot Tub c.) Two Swimming Pools d.) Lake Superior

    Question #3

    A drop of saliva has more than: a) 100 Bacteria b.) 100,000 Bacteria c.) 1 Million Bacteria d.) 100 Million Bacteria

    Question #4

    What is the most common toothbrush color? a) Red b.) Blue c.) Green d.) Pink

    Question #5

    How long have people been using the toothbrush? a) 200 Years b.) 1,000 Years c.) 3,000 Years d.) 10,000 Years

    Question #6

    What percent of adults do not brush twice a day? a) 25% b.) 35% c.) 55% d.) 65%

    Question #7

    How many days does a person spend brushing their teeth over a lifetime? a) 17 Days b.) 26 Days c.) 38 Days d.) 47 Days

    Question #8

    If you don’t floss how much of the tooth surface are you missing? a) 25% b.) 35% c.) 45% d.) 50%

    Question #9

    Flossing daily can extend your life: a) Two Years b.) Three Years c.) Four Years d.) Six Years

    Question #10

    How many fillings does the average person have? a) Two b.) Four c.) Seven d.) Ten

    Question #11

    What percent of adults have had a tooth extracted? a) 22% b.) 43% c.) 65% d.) 74%

    Question #12

    What percent of adults have no natural teeth? a) 6% b.) 10% c.) 12% d.) 20%

    If you want to know the answers, check the bottom of this page. But don’t peek until you answer all the questions!

     

     

     

     

    Dental Quiz Answer Key

    1. C
    2. C
    3. D
    4. B
    5. C
    6. A
    7. C
    8. B
    9. D
    10. C
    11. D
    12. A