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Adult Orthodontics

June 8th, 2021

Today, one in four orthodontic patients is an adult. Leaving misaligned teeth untreated may lead to other dental problems such as tooth decay, gum disease and difficulty chewing. Orthodontic treatment creates a better bite, making teeth fit better and decreasing the risk of future dental problems regardless of age.

Advances in orthodontics have also made treatment more comfortable and less noticeable than ever for individuals of all ages. Many of today’s treatment options are designed to minimize the appearance of the appliance to better fit any lifestyle.

Our office offers clear braces, traditional metal braces, and Invisalign. Give our office a call to set up a consultation with Dr. Johnson.

aaoinfo.org

My Retainer Feels Tight. Can I Wear It?

May 25th, 2021

As long as your retainer doesn’t hurt and still fits over your teeth, you can wear it – even if it feels tight. Your teeth may have slightly shifted, and you may need to wear your retainer longer each day to prevent your teeth from moving.

Try wearing your retainer full-time for a few days to encourage your teeth to move back into their correct positions. If the retainer continues to feel uncomfortable, call Dr. Johnson's office to determine the next steps.

What if the retainer doesn’t fit at all or feels painful?

Don’t force it. Contact Dr. Johnson, who will evaluate your situation and determine what actions, if any, are needed. It could be as simple as making a new retainer or, if necessary, making some clear aligners to tweak a tooth or teeth back into proper position.

aaoinfo.org

Natural Teeth Whitening: Fact vs. Fiction

May 20th, 2021

Patient getting her teeth whitened at the dentist

When it comes to teeth whitening, you may see many different methods featured online and in magazines—from oil pulling to charcoal, and even turmeric. It's no surprise that DIY whitening is top of mind, either. When the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry asked people what they’d most like to improve their smile, the most common response was whiter teeth.

Healthy smiles come in many shades, though it's tempting to think ingredients in our own kitchens could hold the key to a brighter smile. Still, just because a method is natural doesn’t mean it’s healthy. In fact, DIY whitening can do more harm than good to your teeth. Here’s how:

Fruits

 

Fiction:
The approach maintains you can make your teeth whiter and brighter using household staples that are naturally acidic (like lemons, oranges, apple cider vinegar), contain digestive enzymes (such as pineapple or mango) and something that is abrasive (like baking soda).

Fact: 
When eaten as usual, fruit is a great choice. However, fruit and vinegar contain acid, and you put your pearly whites at risk when you prolong their contact with your teeth or use them to scrub your teeth because acid can wear away your enamel. Enamel is the thin outer coating of your teeth that protects you from tooth sensitivity and cavities.

 

Scrubs

 

Fiction:
These methods claim that scrubbing your teeth with ingredients like activated charcoal or a baking soda-hydrogen peroxide paste will bring a shine back to your smile.

Fact:

There is no evidence that shows dental products with charcoal are safe or effective for your teeth, according to the September 2017 issue of the Journal of the American Dental Association.

Also, using materials that are too abrasive on your teeth can actually make them look more yellow. Enamel is what you’re looking to whiten, but if you’re using a scrub that is too rough, you can actually wear it away. When that happens, the next layer of your tooth can become exposed – a softer, yellow tissue called dentin.

 

Spices and Oils

 

Fiction:
Swishing oils like coconut oil in your mouth (oil pulling) or using spices like turmeric can help whiten your teeth.

Fact:
There is no reliable scientific evidence to show oil pulling or turmeric whitens teeth. Save the oil and spices for healthy meals instead.

 

Still Interested in Whitening?

 

The best natural ways to keep your teeth white are everyday healthy habits, including:

  • Brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes
  • Use a whitening toothpaste with the ADA Seal of Acceptance
  • Cleaning between your teeth once a day
  • Limiting foods that stain your teeth, like coffee, tea and red wine
  • Not smoking or using tobacco
  • Regular visits to your dentist for checkups and cleanings

If you want to try a specific whitening product or service, just talk to Dr. Johnson or your general dentist before you begin. There are at-home bleaching options that have earned the ADA Seal of Acceptance, which means they’ve been tested to be safe and effective for your teeth.

Whitening may not work on all teeth, and if you are a candidate, some methods—whether at-home or in the dental office—may be better for your teeth than others.

source: mouthhealhty.org

How Strong Are Your Teeth?

May 11th, 2021

strong tooth with arms

The right smile can leave you laughing, fill you with joy or make you melt with emotion. But, ultimately, the best smile is one that is healthy and strong. Here are some of the “tooth truths” about how tough your teeth really are – and how to keep them that way.

1. Tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the body.

The shiny, white enamel that covers your teeth is even stronger than bone. This resilient surface is 96 percent mineral, the highest percentage of any tissue in your body – making it durable and damage-resistant.

2. Your bite is powerful!

Did you know your teeth can exert an average of 200 pounds of pressure when you bite down? That’s probably what tempts us to use our teeth as tools from time to time – but as your dentist will remind you, that’s one of the worst habits when it comes to preserving healthy teeth.

3. Teeth can last for hundreds of years.

Thanks to the durability of tooth enamel, our teeth actually outlast us. In fact, some of the most fascinating things we know about human history come from the study of our forebears’ dental remains. For example, we know that the first travelers to leave Africa for China set out as many as 80,000 years ago – and that early humans used a simple form of aspirin for pain relief – thanks to teeth!

4. Strong as they are, teeth can’t heal on their own.

All other tissues in our bodies have the power to repair themselves, but our teeth can’t. When damaged, they must be repaired by a skilled dentist using caps, crowns, fillings or veneers. When our teeth fall out, the only options are partial or full dentures or dental implants. (Just one more reason to take great care of your teeth every day!)

5. Healthy teeth have the power to resist decay, but they need our help.

Did you know there are more than 300 kinds of bacteria that can attack your teeth? The good news is that with healthy dental hygiene habits and regular checkups, you can protect your teeth from bacteria and other substances that can weaken teeth and cause decay.

In addition to cleaning and checking your teeth for signs of trouble, your general dentist and their team can help you learn what food and drink choices are good for your teeth and which ones to avoid. The professionals in your dental office are also ready to help you create a personalized plan to care for your teeth so you can enjoy good dental health for life.

source:mouthhealthy.org

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