April 24th, 2018
When you finish your orthodontic treatment, you are excited to be free of the appliances you’ve had to put up with—brackets, wires, aligners, and so on. However, while it is certainly important to revel in the freedom of your new smile, equally important is taking the necessary action to retain it. And that comes down to one word — retainers.
After completing orthodontic treatment under the care of Dr. Pamela Johnson at Johnson Orthodontics, you will be prescribed a retainer that will be custom-made to fit your smile. Dr. Johnson will give you instructions for how and when to wear this retainer, characterizing it as your retention phase. It can last from a few months to a year. But, while that is the prescribed time for the phase, it is truly recommended that you continue wearing your retainer long term. At Johnson Orthodontics we recommend you wear your retainers as long as you want your teeth to stay straight!
April 17th, 2018
In continuing coverage, Romper (3/18, Hall) reports that a study published in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health found “having a third child was associated with significantly more missing teeth for women.” The researchers “concluded that education about the importance of dental hygiene during and after pregnancy may be the key to preventing tooth loss.”
Meanwhile, a release on EurekAlert (3/19) states “a new study from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill suggests that primary care physicians may feel underequipped to provide adequate oral health counseling to pregnant women.” After surveying “more than 350 primary care physicians across the country who treat pregnant women,” the authors found that although “many primary care physicians addressed prenatal oral health in the form of counseling, and agreed that preventive dental care is very important, just 45 percent of respondents felt prepared to identify oral health issues and counsel pregnant patients on the importance of oral health.”
The Oral Health Topics on ADA.org and MouthHealthy.org provide additional information on pregnancy and oral health for dental professionals and for patients.
April 10th, 2018
Medical Daily (3/14, Bharanidharan) states that when “e-cigarettes first emerged in 2004,” they “quickly became a popular, ‘healthier’ alternative for those who wanted the feeling of smoking tobacco.” However, a growing number of studies are suggesting e-cigarettes are associated with negative health consequences. The article highlights some of these studies, noting, for example, that Dr. Irfan Rahman, professor of Environmental Medicine at the University of Rochester, studied how e-cigarettes may affect oral health. “We showed that when the vapors from an e-cigarette are burned, it causes cells to release inflammatory proteins, which in turn aggravate stress within cells, resulting in damage that could lead to various oral diseases,” he said. In addition, Dr. Rahman co-authored “a study that examined artificial flavors for inducing tissue damage and having a toxic effect on white blood cells, with the worst impact coming from cinnamon, vanilla, and buttery flavored e-juices.” The article noted that “the Food and Drug Administration has not approved e-cigarettes as a smoking cessation aid.”
The ADA Foundation offers a resource on e-cigarettes. Ongoing investigations at the ADA Foundation Volpe Research Center document the toxic substances and irritants found in e-cigarette aerosol.
April 4th, 2018
This month we're spreading the word to remind both children and adults: as you suit up for outdoor activities this spring, don't forget to protect your face and head. Spring often brings a flood of patients suffering with head, mouth and facial injuries resulting from sports-related accidents to doctors' offices and emergency rooms. Many oral and facial injuries can be easily prevented with the use of sports safety equipment like helmets and mouth guards.
National Facial Protection Month is sponsored by the Academy for Sports Dentistry, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the American Dental Association, the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, and the American Association of Orthodontists. Together we encourage children and adults to enjoy the pleasures of the season by using common sense and taking the necessary precautions to prevent sports injuries.