Fun Fact

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

National Children's Dental Health Month

February 4th, 2021

This year's theme for National Children's Dental Health Month is "Water, Nature's Drink." Developing good habits at an early age and scheduling regular dental visits help children get a good start on a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums.

And to celebrate at Johnson Orthodontics, we're hosting a coloring contest! Come grab a coloring sheet in our office, create your masterpiece, and return it by March 15, 2021. You can either return it in person or mail it to us. Three will be chosen randomly to receive a mystery gift card! Good luck and have fun!

Foods To Avoid With Braces

December 3rd, 2020

Man holding his mouth in pain

When you have braces there are certain foods that can cause them to break easily. It's best to try to eat softer foods that do not require biting into them to eat (like corn on the cob or ribs). Here is a list of foods that are sticky, chewy, or hard and dangerous for braces:

  • ice
  • nuts
  • popcorn
  • hard candy
  • gum
  • chewy candy like caramel or gummi bears
  • whole hard fruit like apples and pears and hard, raw veggies like carrots
  • corn on the cob
  • hard pretzels
  • peanut brittle
  • pizza crust
  • hard rolls or bagels
  • ribs

You can get around some of these foods by cutting them into bite-size pieces or pulling the corn off the cob or meat off the rib bone. Along with these suggestions, try softer foods. Here is a list of some examples:

  • scrambled eggs
  • oatmeal
  • soup with soft vegetables or pureed or cream soups
  • soft cheeses, including cottage cheese
  • smoothies and milkshakes
  • pudding and custard
  • meatloaf
  • mashed potatoes
  • sorbet and frozen yogurt
  • tortillas (soften by microwaving or steaming)
  • yogurt
  • soft-cooked, shredded chicken and meat
  • protein shakes
  • tofu
  • ripe fruits, such as peaches and nectarines, cut into bite-size pieces
  • couscous, quinoa, bulgur, soft-cooked rice
  • pasta and noodles
  • polenta
  • baked apples
  • peanut butter
  • chicken or tuna salad
  • refried beans
  • avocado
  • applesauce
  • macaroni and cheese
  • pancakes
  • soft bread
  • saltines and matzoh
  • mashed bananas
  • cooked veggies
  • hummus
  • canned or cooked fruit

source: mouthhealthy.org

Foods That Benefit Dental Health

December 1st, 2020

Family eating a healthy meal

What you put in your mouth impacts not only your general health but also the health of your teeth and gums. In fact, if your nutrition is poor, the first signs often appear in your mouth. So it's good to have a healthy diet. Here are some suggestions that are great for your teeth:

Water, particularly fluoridated water, is the most tooth-friendly beverage you can have.

Protein-rich foods like meat, poultry, fish, milk and eggs are great sources of phosphorus which plays a critical role in dental health. You should also try eating cheese, plain yogurt, calcium-fortified tofu, leafy greens, and almonds as they have high volumes of calcium and other nutrients that help protect and rebuild your enamel.

Fruits and vegetables are high in water and fiber which balance the sugars they contain and help clean your teeth. These foods also stimulate saliva production which washes harmful acids and food particles away from your teeth to prevent decay. Vegetables and fruits also have vitamin A for building tooth enamel and vitamin C for healthy gums and quick healing of wounds. But, be careful with nutritious, acidic foods like tomatoes and citrus fruits as they can have acidic effects on the enamel, so eat them as part of a meal and not by themselves.

source: mouthhealthy.org

Why Mouth Guards are Essential

October 28th, 2020

With schools returning to in-person learning and sports coming back, it's important to know that wearing a mouth guard while playing sports is essential to protecting your children's teeth.

Most parents support the idea that mouth guards should be worn, but studies show a significant percentage of them do not wear their mouth guards while playing sports. In early 2017, the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) collected data in an independent survey* that delivered a clear message: 99 percent of parents whose children play organized sports felt youth should be required to wear mouth guards in order to play. Yet 37 percent of parents said their child never wears a mouth guard while playing sports. This includes games, practices and recreational play.

There is also a misconception that repairing a knocked out or broken tooth is not very expensive. According to the study, parents estimate it would cost $1,142 to replace a damaged permanent tooth, but in reality, costs to treat one knocked-out tooth over a lifetime can range from $5,000 to $20,000**. Parents and patients may not realize that restorations may have to be repeated periodically, which amplifies repair or replacements costs.

Which Sports Should Require Mouth Guards?

In a nutshell, all of them. The AAO's study shows that while a majority of parents think mouth guards should be required for football and hockey, only half the parents said the same thing for basketball and even less than that agreed for baseball. A 2007 study published in the Journal of the American Dental Association ranked basketball as the sport at the top of the list for the highest rate of dental injuries for both men’s and women’s intercollegiate athletes. And according to mouth guard manufacturer Shock Doctor, one in four injures on the basketball court occurs above the neck.

Wearing mouth guards should also be extended to sport practices. Forty percent of parents reported that their child’s sports practices are less structured than games, and generally have few or no medical personnel nearby.

Overall, when playing sports, whether it's an official game, practice, or a quick scrimmage in the park with friends, a mouth guard should be worn to protect the teeth from injury.

source: aaoinfo.org

*The American Association of Orthodontists commissioned Wakefield Research to conduct the 2017 AAO Sports Survey among 1,000 U.S. parents whose children play organized sports. The survey was conducted in January 2017 using an email invitation and an online survey. The overall sampling error rate for this survey is +/- 3.1 percent at the 95 percent level of confidence.

**Sports Health, “Common Dental Injury Management in Athletes,” vol. 7, no. 3, May-June 2015, p. 250.

 

Candy You Can Eat With Braces

October 22nd, 2020

Halloween is almost here! We know things may be different this year, but we're all going to indulge in some candy-goodness at the end of this month. If you're worried you can't have candy with braces, we have great news for you! Enjoying good candy with braces is still an option. However, there are certain candies that you want to avoid because they have a higher chance of damaging your braces and setting back your orthodontic treatment process.

Candies to avoid:
- Caramels
- Taffy
- Hard candy
- Chewy candy
- Jellybeans
- Licorice
- Bubble gum
- Suckers
- Sour candy
- Popcorn
- Nuts

Now you're probably thinking well what can I eat? Softer, melt-in-your-mouth candies are better and less risky when you have braces. So here are the candies you can enjoy in moderation.

Candies you can eat:
- Chocolate (without caramel or nuts)
- KitKats
- Reese's Peanut Butter Cups
- 3 Musketeers
- Marshmallows
- Cookies

Remember, any candy in excessive amounts can be harmful to your teeth and braces. The candy can accumulate around your braces and lead to white marks (decalcification), cavities or gum disease. Make sure to brush your teeth well after having your sugary snacks! Happy Halloween!

source: aaoinfo.org

Myths about Orthodontic Treatment

October 15th, 2020

There are common myths about orthodontic treatment that are spread on a daily basis. We'd like to debunk these misconceptions.

1. Anyone who provides braces or aligners is an orthodontist.

False. Some general dentists or online companies can offer braces or aligners, but only after taking additional years of advanced schooling at an accredited residency can a dentist call themselves an orthodontic specialist. That's why it is important to see a specialist, like Johnson Orthodontics, to straighten your teeth as they will possess the skills, knowledge, and experience to give you the best smile.

2. Orthodontists are expensive.

False. Orthodontists customize their patients' treatment plans and as a result, the fees reflect the complexity of each case. For simple cases that take a short amount of time, to difficult ones that could take years, the benefits of having a professional provide orthodontic care will be well worth it. Johnson Orthodontics provides complimentary consultations and flexible payment plans, and we are willing to work with our patients in order to help them get their best smile.

3. Orthodontic treatment takes several years.

It depends. Orthodontic treatment requires time, pressure, and cooperation. Each case is different as simple cases may only take a few months to treat while difficult ones can take years. In order to straighten your teeth, Johnson Orthodontics will add an appliance to put constant pressure over time to move your teeth into position. Treatment also requires cooperation from the patient in continuing good dental hygiene and avoiding foods that could damage the appliance. Rest assured, Johnson Orthodontics has the training, experience, and skill to deliver an excellent result in the shortest time possible.

4. Orthodontic treatment is purely cosmetic.

False. While improved appearance is the most obvious result, there are many benefits to having orthodontic treatment done. When your teeth and jaws are aligned biting, chewing, and speaking could improve. There are also important health benefits. Crooked teeth allow plaque to build up which leads to cavities, gum disease, or bleeding gums. Teeth that stick out are also more likely to be injured or fractured and can lead to teeth grinding and chipping.

5. Orthodontists only offer metal braces.

False. Orthodontists have a full range of appliances besides metal braces to straighten your teeth. Here at Johnson Orthodontics we offer a variety including clear braces and Invisalign® for both teens and adults. Rather than pressuring a patient into using a particular product, orthodontists are craftsmen with a variety of tools at their disposal to help you get your new smile.

6. Orthodontic treatment is just for kids.

False. As mentioned earlier, we have Invisalign® for teens and adults, and we have other products that can be used to help adjust adult teeth. Age is not a concern when it comes to getting a healthy, beautiful smile. Patients of all ages can benefit from orthodontic treatment.

Source: aaoinfo.org

National Stop Bullying Day and #BullyingBites

October 14th, 2020

October is Orthodontic Health Month and today is National Stop Bullying Day, and the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) is calling all 19,000 member orthodontists to come together to fight against bullying.

Teeth have been reported as one of the common features targeted by bullies, and orthodontists like Dr. Johnson are standing up and encouraging their patients to do the same because #BullyingBites.

70% of Americans admit to feeling self-conscious about their teeth.

57% of Americans cover their mouths when they laugh due to insecurity over their teeth.

70% of young people say they have seen bullying in their schools.

We hope that you join us in spreading this anti-bullying message. Follow our Facebook and Instagram and view AAO's website to learn more about #BullyingBites.

Source: aaoinfo.org

Why Filing Teeth Yourself is a Bad Idea

October 8th, 2020

If you, your friends, or family use TikTok you may have seen a new trend where people use a nail file to grind their teeth down to make them more even.

Don't do this!

Unlike fingernails which grow back, teeth are permanent. When you attempt to file your teeth at home, you're chipping away at the protective layer of enamel and damaging your teeth. Losing the enamel could lead to tooth sensitivity or even loss.

If you have uneven teeth, come to Johnson Orthodontics. An orthodontist is trained to know the best teeth practices. As an expert, they can determine why your teeth are uneven and can inform you if you are a good candidate for a professional filing, called enameloplasty, or if another type of orthodontic treatment would be more beneficial.

source: aaoinfo.org

Three Facts About Taking Your Child To The Orthodontist

September 10th, 2020

 

Ever wonder when you should take your child to the orthodontist? Below are three reasons you should schedule an orthodontic consultation.

#1: You notice something doesn't look quite right.

Parents often recognize that something isn’t quite right about their child’s teeth or jaws. The teeth may not be fitting together properly.Your child may have difficulty chewing or biting. There may be mouth breathing or teeth grinding issues. When you notice something not quite right, it’s time to get it checked out.Impacted teeth or severely delay eruption of teeth can prevent the adult teeth from growing in correctly. The orthodontist may need an x-ray to see what's below the surface.

#2: Age 7 is the magic number!

Adult teeth start erupting between the age of 6 and 7. Extra teeth, missing teeth or impacted teeth need to be noticed early.

Early orthodontic treatment may prevent more serious problems from developing or getting worse. For example, a palatal expander can widen the upper jaw while your child is still young and the bones are more pliable. Orthodontic treatment can improve sleep disorders such as sleep apnea. Sometimes baby teeth need to be removed in order to guide the adult permanent teeth into a better position.

#3: You don't need a dentist to tell you it's time to see an orthodontist.

A referral might not be made if the dentist isn’t evaluating the bite correctly. Why wait? New patient exams are easy and fun for your child. No referral is needed!

Will My Teeth Stay Where My Orthodontist Moved Them?

August 13th, 2020

Change is a natural part of life. Just as our bodies change throughout our whole life, our teeth change too. We start out with no teeth, then get baby teeth, and shed those in favor of permanent teeth. Sometimes there are problems with tooth placement and jaw positions. That’s where Dr. Johnson is called in to bring about a change for the better, and transform misaligned teeth and jaws into a healthy and beautiful smile.

After orthodontic treatment is complete the most reliable way to keep your teeth where Dr. Johnson moved them is by wearing your retainers as prescribed. Your teeth will not stay where Dr.Johnson moved them unless you do. Changes in tooth position are a lifelong and naturally occurring phenomenon, and to maintain the result created by your orthodontic treatment, retainers must be worn. While small changes after treatment concludes are normal, retainers prevent teeth from going back to their original positions.

When treatment is complete, there is a “settling in” period; teeth adjust as you bite, chew, swallow and speak – actions that all place forces on your teeth. These small changes in tooth position are not a failure of orthodontic treatment, but are a natural process. If your retainer is not worn as prescribed, however, large changes occur instead. Large changes are disappointing to the patient, and to the orthodontist. If you are in retainers, and should you notice an unwanted change in your bite or your smile, or if you should lose a removable retainer or damage a fixed retainer (bonded in behind teeth), contact our office right away. Don’t give teeth an opportunity to shift. Commit to wearing retainers as prescribed by Dr. Johnson and limit undesirable changes!

Call Dr. Johnson office for more information 630-887-1188!

 

source:aaoinfo.org

Orthodontic Treatment with Clear Aligners

July 27th, 2020

 

Clear Aligners - Dr. Phil Shay, D.D.S. M.S. - Shay Dental ...

 

“Invisible braces” are here. Orthodontists call them “clear aligners.” Consumers may call them “Invisalign” (a brand name that’s become a generic term, like Kleenex, even though several companies make clear aligners). Aligners are one of many technological advancements that have made orthodontic treatment less conspicuous, and one of many “appliances” orthodontists use to move teeth and align jaws to create a healthy, beautiful smile.

How Aligners Work

Like traditional braces, aligners are designed to move teeth a little at a time. Before treatment begins, the orthodontist will examine the patient, and take diagnostic records including x-rays, photographs, and impressions or digital scans of the teeth. From that information, the orthodontist can arrive at a diagnosis, and then work within the aligner software to design your smile and plan the treatment process – which tooth moves where, and in what order – guiding teeth into healthy positions. Remember, this is all of the teeth – not just the few that are seen when someone smiles. The goal is a healthy “bite” – top and bottom teeth that fit together properly. Moving teeth is a complex biological process and needs start-to-finish supervision by an orthodontist who is a member of the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO). Most people see their orthodontist for a check-up about every six-to-ten weeks.

With the end goal in mind, a series of plastic aligners are created using the patient’s initial impressions or digital scans as the starting point. The aligners are plastic replicas of your teeth. Wearing them puts gentle pressure on the teeth, ever-so-slightly repositioning them. It is recommended aligners be worn 22 hours a day, or as prescribed by the orthodontist. Each set of aligners is worn for a week or two before going to the next set. Over time, teeth reach their ideal places, according to the orthodontist’s plan. The total number of aligners will vary by the needs of each patient.  As with traditional braces, patients will need to wear retainers after their teeth reach their new positions.

Pros and Cons of Aligners

Besides being next-to-invisible, many patients appreciate that aligners are removable. Take them out to eat, to brush and floss, or for short periods for work or social situations.

Aligners may not be the right “appliance” to correct every kind of orthodontic problem. Braces may be necessary for certain kinds of corrections.

With clear aligners, tooth-colored attachments will be placed on the teeth to help the aligners move the teeth. These attachments are removed once treatment is complete.

Care needs to be taken regarding drinks when aligners are in, and anything but tap water should be avoided. Liquid can seep into the aligners, and it stays there, in contact with the teeth, until aligners are removed. This can lead to staining of the aligner and the teeth, and if the liquid contains sugar and/or acid, as found in regular and diet soda pop, cavities can develop. So avoid soda pop, along with flavored water, fruit drinks, sports drinks and energy drinks. Even some bottled water can be acidic!

If you drink something sugary or acidic (a pH below 7.0), be sure to brush thoroughly before putting your aligners back in. And use fluoride toothpaste – it strengthens teeth.

Because aligners are removable, patients might be tempted to remove them if they experience some discomfort. Aligners can’t work unless they are in the mouth! They can be lost or misplaced when out of the mouth. Make it a habit to slip aligners into their case when they come out of the mouth. Do not place aligners in napkins, in a pocket or a purse. Also keep aligners out of the reach of pets.

If you should lose or damage an aligner, contact your orthodontist immediately for advice on next steps.

Are Clear Aligners Right for Me?

The best way to answer that question is to consult with Dr. Johnson, so call to schedule your appointment now! 630-887-1188

Because of orthodontists’ extensive education and familiarity with the many types of “appliances” (devices used to move teeth/align jaws) available, they can knowledgeably suggest what is right for you, based on your treatment goals and lifestyle needs.

 

source:aaoinfo.org

Is There a Benefit to Early Treatment?

July 23rd, 2020

Timing is everything – even when it comes to your child’s orthodontic treatment. “Early” treatment, also called “interceptive” treatment, means treatment that is performed while some baby teeth are still present.

The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends that your child’s first check-up with an orthodontist be performed when an orthodontic problem is first recognized, but no later than age 7. Why age 7? By then, your child has enough permanent teeth for an orthodontist to evaluate the developing teeth and the jaws, which in turn can provide a wealth of information. AAO orthodontists are trained to spot subtle problems even in young children.

There are generally three outcomes of an initial check-up:

  • No treatment is expected to be necessary.
  • Treatment may be needed in the future, so the child will be followed periodically while the face and jaws continue to grow.
  • There is a problem that lends itself to early treatment.

While there are many orthodontic problems that orthodontists agree are best treated after all permanent teeth have come in, early treatment can be in a patient’s best interests if their problem is one that could become more serious over time if left untreated. The goal of early treatment is to intercept the developing problem, eliminate the cause, guide the growth of facial and jaw bones, and provide adequate space for incoming permanent teeth. A patient may require a second course of treatment after all permanent teeth have come in to move those teeth into their best positions.

The kinds of problems orthodontists may recommend treating while a child still has some baby teeth include:

Early Treatment | Houston Orthodontics | Houston TX

  • Underbites – when the lower front teeth are ahead of the upper front teeth
  • Crossbites – when the jaw shifts to one side
  • Very crowded teeth
  • Excessively
  • spaced teeth
  • Extra or missing teeth
  • Teeth that meet abnormally, or don’t meet at all
  • Thumb-, finger-, or pacifier- sucking that is affecting the teeth or jaw growth

Some of these orthodontic problems are inherited, while others may result from accidents, dental disease, or abnormal swallowing.

Early orthodontic treatment can take many forms. The orthodontist could prescribe a fixed or removable “appliance” – a device used to move teeth, change the position of the jaw, or hold teeth in place in order to bring about desirable changes. Sometimes no appliances are necessary. Rather, removal of some baby teeth may help the permanent teeth erupt better. The extractions will be timed to take best advantage of a patient’s growth and development.

Regardless of how treatment goals are reached, the bottom line is that some orthodontic problems may be easier to correct if they are found and treated early. Waiting until all the permanent teeth have come in, or until facial growth is nearly complete, may make correction of some problems more difficult.

To give your child the best opportunity for a healthy, beautiful smile call to make a consultation appointment today 630-887-1188!. No referral needed! . Dr. Johnson can alert you to potential problems and recommend treatment when it is most appropriate for your child. Remember, timing is everything.

 

source:aaoinfo.org

Why the Number of Adults Seeing an Orthodontist Is at an All-Time High

June 22nd, 2020

Parents no longer take the back seat while their kids reap the benefits of orthodontic treatment. With one-in-three orthodontic patients over the age of 18, the number of adults seeing an orthodontist is at an all-time high.

Experts believe this upward trend is likely here to stay – why?  

It works.

Orthodontic treatment is just as effective for adults as children. Healthy teeth can be moved at any age because it’s the same physiological process.

Depending on the complexity of the case, as well as what the patient wants to achieve, a short-term touch up can take as little as several months while comprehensive treatment can take much longer. Orthodontic specialists will customize your smile according to your preferences, and they don’t require a referral from a dentist.

Treatment doesn’t have to be noticeable to others.

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

Options include clear aligners, tooth-colored braces, tiny but more traditional metal braces, and braces that go behind the teeth.

Because not every appliance is suitable for every kind of orthodontic problem, an orthodontic specialist will be able to determine which type is right for the best result.

It’s more than a beautiful smile.

Yes, straight teeth are attractive and create confidence, but there’s more to it.

Leaving misaligned teeth untreated may lead to other dental problems such as tooth decay, gum disease, abnormal wearing of tooth enamel and difficulty chewing. We are living longer than ever before, and healthy teeth are therefore more important than ever.

Adults are taking note and prioritizing their dental health.

Call Dr. Johnson office for a consultation 630-887-1188 or visit our website for a virtual consultation!

Source: aaoinfo.org

How Orthodontics Works: Braces

June 11th, 2020

 

   

Successful orthodontic treatment depends on three things – pressure, time and cooperation. Braces – a fixed orthodontic appliance typically comprised of brackets, bands and wires – put pressure on teeth to gradually move them into the correct position over time. Patient cooperation is needed by keeping teeth clean, avoiding food items that break the brackets, limiting sugary drinks, visiting the general dentist every 3-6 months and wearing elastics as prescribed by the orthodontist.

Patients with braces typically visit the orthodontist every six-to-ten-weeks, until teeth are aligned properly. These maintenance visits ensure teeth are moving correctly and allow your orthodontist to adjust treatment and tooth movement as needed.

Depending on the complexity of the case, a short-term touch up can take just a few months, while comprehensive treatment including bite correction, could last several years.

Other appliances and tools – such as a palatal expandertemporary anchorage devices (TADs), rubber bands – may also be incorporated in your treatment to help speed up the process or improve the result.

After teeth are in the correct position, the braces and other appliances will be removed. Patients are often fitted for a removable/and or permanent retainer to help teeth stay put for years to come.

But aren’t braces old school?

While braces are often considered the traditional approach, there’s a reason the appliance has been a trusted treatment option for decades – they work. Especially for complex cases. Why? Well, because braces are a fixed appliance, they allow for greater control and more detailed tooth movement.

Considering treatment?

Call Johnson Orthodontics office for a free consultation 630-887-1188 !

source: aaoinfo.org

7 Common Bite Problems in Children and Adults

April 16th, 2020

Your bark may be worse than your bite, but your bite is a very important part of your oral health. In orthodontics, “bite” refers to the way upper and lower teeth come together. A bad bite, called a “malocclusion,” happens when teeth meet improperly, or they don’t meet at all. While each individual bite problem is unique, there are seven broad types of bite problems that are common in children and adults.

1. Crossbite

When upper teeth fit inside of lower teeth. Can be caused by misalignment of teeth (including baby teeth) or a misalignment of the bone; can affect a single tooth or groups of teeth.

Possible consequences if not corrected: The jaw shifts to one side; lopsided jaw growth; wearing down of outer layer of the tooth called “enamel”.

Posterior crossbite: If the back teeth are affected, upper teeth are to the inside of bottom teeth.

common bite problems: posterior crossbite

Anterior crossbite: If the front teeth are in crossbite, the top teeth are behind the bottom teeth.

common bite problems: anterior crossbite

 

2. Underbite

The lower jaw sits in front of the upper jaw.

Possible consequences if not corrected: Face has “bull dog” appearance; tooth wear; stress on jaw joints.

common bite problems: underbite

 

 

 

 

3. Open bite

Anterior open bite: Occurs when the back teeth are together, and the upper and lower front teeth do not overlap. This can result from excessive sucking, tongue thrusting or mouth breathing.

Posterior open bite: Occurs when the front teeth meet, but the back teeth do not.

Possible consequences if not corrected: Swallowing problems; tongue pushes through teeth when swallowing. Possible speech problems.

common bite problems - open bite

 

 

 

 

 

4. Deep bite

When the bite is closed, the upper front teeth cover the bottom teeth too much.

Possible consequences if not corrected: Upper teeth can bite into lower gums; lower teeth can bite into the roof of the mouth. Possible gum disease, early enamel wear.

common bite problems: deep bite

 

 

 

 

5. Crowding

Insufficient space for the teeth. This can be a result of big teeth or inadequate space in the jaw or both. This may result in teeth that overlap, are rotated, or take on a crooked/staggered appearance.

Possible consequences if not corrected: Hard to clean; possible cavities, especially in between the teeth; gum disease.

common bite problems: crowding

 

6. Spacing

Too much space between teeth. It can result from missing teeth, undersized teeth, oversized jaws, or a combination of these conditions.

Possible consequences if not corrected: Food gets stuck in open areas. Possible cavities, gum disease.

common bite problems: spacing

 

 

 

 

 

7. Protrusion

Front teeth that stick out (“buck” teeth). Teeth may appear protrusive because the upper jaw is too far forward, the lower jaw is too far back, the teeth grew in at an angle, or a combination of these conditions. Sometimes people who have protrusive front teeth also have a deep bite.

Possible consequences if not corrected: Upper teeth are prone to accidental breaking; hard to comfortably close the mouth and lips, leading to dried out oral tissues followed by tooth decay. Speech problems. Long, narrow face.

common bite problems: protrusion

 

 

 

 

The fact is that if any of these common bite problems exist in a child’s mouth, they likely will not self-correct. Untreated problems tend to get worse with time. Many times, the bite problems are best treated while the child is still growing, so make an appointment with an orthodontist today.  You don’t need to wait until your dentist refers you.

The goal of orthodontic treatment is to create a healthy bite. When teeth and jaws line up in the right way, the force created to bite, or chew food is evenly distributed. A healthy bite is important for clear speech.

 

 

source:aaoinfo.org

4 Ways Your Smile Changes As You Age

April 8th, 2020

It’s no secret, as you age, so does your smile. Teeth wear down as we chew our way through a lifetime of meals. Did you also know, teeth can move and shift well into adulthood? Here’s a roundup of 4 common changes orthodontists see in patients as they age:

1. Bottom teeth crowding

As you age, your jaw bone loses density and shrinks. The mismatched size of the jaw bone with teeth can lead to crowding of the bottom front teeth. Crowding can also occur because other issues such as breathing through your mouth, reverse swallowing, tongue thrusting or facial trauma.

2. Front teeth gap

Space between two front teeth is referred to as a diastema, and it can develop for a variety of reasons. Crowding of teeth or unproportioned jaws and teeth can cause spacing to gradually occur. Swallowing, with the pressure of your tongue pushing against your front teeth, rather than positioning itself at the roof of your mouth, can also cause teeth to separate over time. Gum disease is another trigger for spacing, because of the inflammation.

3. Post-orthodontic teeth shifting

Our bodies change our whole life, and our teeth change, too. After orthodontic treatment a retainer is needed to maintain teeth in position. As we age, if teeth are restored or lost, new proper fitting retainers will be needed to prevent unwanted change.

4. Wrong bite

Do you get headaches, clicking and popping jaw joints, grind your teeth or even back pain? You may have a bite disorder, which occurs when the lower and upper jaw don’t align, called malocclusion.

These changes may be completely normal, but that doesn’t mean you just have to live with them. The number of adults undergoing orthodontic treatment is at an all-time high. An estimated 1.61 million adults underwent orthodontic treatment in the U.S. in 2018. That’s one in four adults!

source:aaoinfo.org

How Orthodontics Works: Braces

March 17th, 2020

Image result for dental model with braces

Successful orthodontic treatment depends on three things – pressure, time and cooperation. Braces – a fixed orthodontic appliance typically comprised of brackets, bands and wires – put pressure on teeth to gradually move them into the correct position over time. Patient cooperation is needed by keeping teeth clean, avoiding food items that break the brackets, limiting sugary drinks, visiting the general dentist every 3-6 months and wearing elastics as prescribed by the orthodontist.

Patients with braces typically visit the orthodontist every six-to-ten-weeks, until teeth are aligned properly. These maintenance visits ensure teeth are moving correctly and allow your orthodontist to adjust treatment and tooth movement as needed.

Depending on the complexity of the case, a short-term touch up can take just a few months, while comprehensive treatment including bite correction, could last several years.

Other appliances and tools – such as a palatal expandertemporary anchorage devices (TADs), rubber bands – may also be incorporated in your treatment to help speed up the process or improve the result.

After teeth are in the correct position, the braces and other appliances will be removed. Patients are often fitted for a removable/and or permanent retainer to help teeth stay put for years to come.

But aren’t braces old school?

While braces are often considered the traditional approach, there’s a reason the appliance has been a trusted treatment option for decades – they work. Especially for complex cases. Why? Well, because braces are a fixed appliance, they allow for greater control and more detailed tooth movement.

 

source:aaoinfo.org

Is There a Benefit to Early Treatment?

February 25th, 2020

Timing is everything – even when it comes to your child’s orthodontic treatment. “Early” treatment, also called “interceptive” treatment, means treatment that is performed while some baby teeth are still present.

The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends that your child’s first check-up with an orthodontist be performed when an orthodontic problem is first recognized, but no later than age 7. Why age 7? By then, your child has enough permanent teeth for an orthodontist to evaluate the developing teeth and the jaws, which in turn can provide a wealth of information. AAO orthodontists are trained to spot subtle problems even in young children.

There are generally three outcomes of an initial check-up:

  • No treatment is expected to be necessary.
  • Treatment may be needed in the future, so the child will be followed periodically while the face and jaws continue to grow.
  • There is a problem that lends itself to early treatment.

While there are many orthodontic problems that orthodontists agree are best treated after all permanent teeth have come in, early treatment can be in a patient’s best interests if their problem is one that could become more serious over time if left untreated. The goal of early treatment is to intercept the developing problem, eliminate the cause, guide the growth of facial and jaw bones, and provide adequate space for incoming permanent teeth. A patient may require a second course of treatment after all permanent teeth have come in to move those teeth into their best positions.

The kinds of problems orthodontists may recommend treating while a child still has some baby teeth include:

  • Underbites – when the lower front teeth are ahead of the upper front teeth
  • Crossbites – when the jaw shifts to one side
  • Very crowded teeth
  • Excessively spaced teeth
  • Extra or missing teeth
  • Teeth that meet abnormally, or don’t meet at all
  • Thumb-, finger-, or pacifier- sucking that is affecting the teeth or jaw growth

Some of these orthodontic problems are inherited, while others may result from accidents, dental disease, or abnormal swallowing.

Early orthodontic treatment can take many forms. The orthodontist could prescribe a fixed or removable “appliance” – a device used to move teeth, change the position of the jaw, or hold teeth in place in order to bring about desirable changes. Sometimes no appliances are necessary. Rather, removal of some baby teeth may help the permanent teeth erupt better. The extractions will be timed to take best advantage of a patient’s growth and development.

Regardless of how treatment goals are reached, the bottom line is that some orthodontic problems may be easier to correct if they are found and treated early. Waiting until all the permanent teeth have come in, or until facial growth is nearly complete, may make correction of some problems more difficult.

Dr. Pamela Johnson can alert you to potential problems and recommend treatment when it is most appropriate for your child. Remember, timing is everything.

Call our office for your consultation 630-887-1188!

 

Source: aaoinfo.org

Should I Floss or Brush First?

February 24th, 2020

Is there an ideal sequence for your oral hygiene routine? Well, according to recent studies, yes. Researchers have found that flossing before brushing may be the most efficient for a thorough removal of dental plaque. This sequence was also found to increase fluoride concentration delivered from the toothpaste, which makes your tooth enamel stronger, making it easier to resist decay.

That’s right, a simple two-step routine can not only effectively remove dental plaque and strengthen your teeth but can also help to minimize your time in orthodontic treatment. You can reap all these oral health benefits by playing your role. Your oral health care doesn’t end after you leave your dentist or orthodontist office, you are also a partner in the process.

Play your role

Keep your teeth clean. Orthodontic treatment is a team effort between your orthodontist, dentist and you, and your role includes:

  1. Brushing for two minutes after every meal or snack. If you can’t brush, make sure to at least rinse your mouth with water.
  2. Flossing at least once a day, ideally before you brush.
  3. Making sure your teeth are thoroughly clean before bed.
  4. Seeing your general dentist every 4-6 months for cleanings and check-ups.
  5. Avoiding sugary foods and drinks that can contribute to decalcification and tooth decay.

Why is all this brushing and flossing necessary?

Not maintaining a proper oral hygiene routine puts you at risk for poor oral health.

Orthodontic appliances themselves don’t cause oral health issues, but they may create spaces that can be difficult to clean, creating areas for potential decay. When plaque and food accumulate around your braces this can lead to permanent white marks (decalcification), cavities, swollen gums, bad breath and periodontal disease.

Tools + tips

  • Interproximal brushes – these are great at dislodging plaque and food particles trapped between teeth, and to clear out debris that catches on brackets and wires.
  • Water irrigators – these can flush out food particles quickly!
  • Fluoride mouth rinse – whether over the counter or prescription strength, a daily fluoride rinse can strengthen tooth enamel and help prevent white marks (decalcification).
  • Your orthodontist may suggest dipping an interproximal brush in a capful of fluoride rinse to deliver fluoride protection between the teeth or using a fluoride rinse instead of water in an irrigator.

Source: aaoinfo.org

Six Must-Haves for Cleaning Teeth with Braces or Aligners When You’re on the Go

February 12th, 2020

 

Image result for 6 must have things for cleaning braces

Patients with any type of orthodontic appliance should be cleaning their teeth multiple times a day. Situations inevitably come up when you’re on the go and need to freshen up. Do your teeth a favor and be prepared. Stash portable items in a backpack, purse, school locker or briefcase. You’ll be rewarded with a healthy and beautiful smile when treatment wraps up. Here are six must-haves for cleaning teeth on the go.

1. Water.

It’s your friend. And it’s readily available at bathroom sinks. After eating, or after drinking a sugary and/or acidic beverage, if you realize your toothbrush is nowhere to be found, give your mouth a thorough rinse with plain water. Swish it around to get rid of food particles or traces of beverages. Water even helps to decrease the decay-causing acidity of your mouth. A water rinse is not as good as brushing, but it’s much better than allowing materials to remain on, and in between, teeth.

2. A toothbrush.

Even without toothpaste, brushing removes food and plaque and will help you keep your teeth healthy. A travel toothbrush takes up about half the space of a regular toothbrush. But if you prefer a full-sized toothbrush, we won’t argue with you.

3. An interproximal brush.

This is a remarkable little tool. It’s small and very easy to carry along. Use it to get at food that’s stuck around brackets, between the archwire and teeth, and in between teeth. It’s effective at attacking plaque, too. You may develop such a great appreciation for your interproximal brush that you continue using it after you complete your orthodontic treatment!

4. Floss.

Also for cleaning between teeth, the space between the archwire and the teeth, and especially under the gumline. If you have braces, be sure a floss threader is stowed with your floss. That is, unless you are using “pre-threaded” floss, pre-cut to length and with an aglet tip (like a shoelace). Some brands come in single-use packets, which take up next-to-no space. Those with aligners may be able to use a flosser, if that’s the tool you prefer. A bonus: minty floss freshens breath, too.

5. A mirror.

A pocket mirror can be handy when you brush. A post-brush check will reveal whether anything unwanted is still there. An alternative: use the selfie camera in your smart phone.

6. Toothpaste.

Travel-sized tubes are convenient.

Consider these “nice-to-haves,” too:

  • Orthodontic wax – if a bracket or wire rubs a sore spot, wax quickly puts a stop to the irritation.
  • Over-the-counter pain relievers like acetaminophen or ibuprofen – great to have on hand. Students may be required to leave such medicines with the school nurse.

A little extra effort at home and away pays big dividends in shaping your new smile!

Please call  Dr. Johnson office for any questions 630-887-1188

 

source: www. aaoinfo.org

 

Little Helpers

July 2nd, 2019

Patients with any type of orthodontic appliance should be cleaning their teeth multiple times a day. Situations inevitably come up when you’re on the go and need to freshen up. Do your teeth a favor and be prepared! Stash portable items in a backpack, purse, school locker or briefcase. You’ll be rewarded with a healthy and beautiful smile when treatment wraps up. Here are six must-haves for cleaning teeth on the go.

1. Water.

It’s your friend. And it’s readily available at bathroom sinks. After eating, or after drinking a sugary and/or acidic beverage, if you realize your toothbrush is nowhere to be found, give your mouth a thorough rinse with plain water. Swish it around to get rid of food particles or traces of beverages. Water even helps to decrease the decay-causing acidity of your mouth. A water rinse is not as good as brushing, but it’s much better than allowing materials to remain on, and in between, teeth.

2. A toothbrush.

Even without toothpaste, brushing removes food and plaque and will help you keep your teeth healthy. A travel toothbrush takes up about half the space of a regular toothbrush. But if you prefer a full-sized toothbrush, we won’t argue with you.

3. An interproximal brush.

This is a remarkable little tool. It’s small and very easy to carry along. Use it to get at food that’s stuck around brackets, between the archwire and teeth, and in between teeth. It’s effective at attacking plaque, too. You may develop such a great appreciation for your interproximal brush that you continue using it after you complete your orthodontic treatment!

4. Floss.

Also for cleaning between teeth, the space between the archwire and the teeth, and especially under the gumline. If you have braces, be sure a floss threader is stowed with your floss. That is, unless you are using “pre-threaded” floss, pre-cut to length and with an aglet tip (like a shoelace). Some brands come in single-use packets, which take up next-to-no space. Those with aligners may be able to use a flosser, if that’s the tool you prefer. A bonus: minty floss freshens breath, too.

5. A mirror.

A pocket mirror can be handy when you brush. A post-brush check will reveal whether anything unwanted is still there. An alternative: use the selfie camera in your smart phone.

6. Toothpaste.

Travel-sized tubes are convenient. ALSO...

  • Orthodontic wax – if a bracket or wire rubs a sore spot, wax quickly puts a stop to the irritation.

A little extra effort at home and away pays big dividends in shaping your new smile!

 

Source: www.aaoinfo.org

7 Fun Facts...You Might Be Surprised!

May 9th, 2019

Whether you call the process “braces,” “orthodontics,” or simply straightening your teeth, these 7 facts about orthodontics – the very first recognized specialty within the dental profession – may surprise you.

1. The word “orthodontics” is of Greek origin.

“Ortho” means straight or correct. “Dont” (not to be confused with “don’t”) means tooth. Put it all together and “orthodontics” means straight teeth.

2. People have had crooked teeth for eons.

Crooked teeth have been around since the time of Neanderthal man. Archeologists have found Egyptian mummies with crude metal bands wrapped around teeth. Hippocrates wrote about “irregularities” of the teeth – he meant misaligned teeth and jaws.

About 2,100 years later, a French dentist named Pierre Fauchard wrote about an orthodontic appliance in his 1728 landmark book on dentistry, The Surgeon Dentist: A Treatise on the Teeth. He described the bandeau, a piece of horseshoe-shaped precious metal which was literally tied to teeth to align them.*

3. Orthodontics became the first dental specialty in 1900.

Edward H. Angle founded the specialty. He was the first orthodontist: the first member of the dental profession to limit his practice to orthodontics only – moving teeth and aligning jaws. Angle established what is now the American Association of Orthodontists, which admits only orthodontists as members.

4. Gold was the metal of choice for braces circa 1900.

Gold is malleable, so it was easy to shape it into an orthodontic appliance. Because gold is malleable, it stretches easily. Consequently, patients had to see their orthodontist frequently for adjustments that kept treatment on track.

5. Teeth move in response to pressure over time.

Some pressure is beneficial, however, some is harmful. Actions like thumb-sucking or swallowing in an abnormal way generate damaging pressure. Teeth can be pushed out of place; bone can be distorted.

Orthodontists use appliances like braces or aligners to apply a constant, gentle pressure on teeth to guide them into their ideal positions.

6. Teeth can move because bone breaks down and rebuilds.

Cells called “osteoclasts” break down bone. “Osteoblast” cells rebuild bone. The process is called “bone remodeling.” A balanced diet helps support bone remodeling. Feed your bones!

7. Orthodontic treatment is a professional service.

It’s not a commodity or a product. The type of “appliance” used to move teeth is nothing more than a tool in the hands of the expert. Each tool has its uses, but not every tool is right for every job. A saw and a paring knife both cut, but you wouldn’t use a saw to slice an apple. (We hope not, anyway!)

A Partnership for Success

Orthodontic treatment is a partnership between the patient and the orthodontist. While the orthodontist provides the expertise, treatment plan and appliances to straighten teeth and align jaws, it’s the patient who’s the key to success.

The patient commits to following the orthodontist’s instructions on brushing and flossing, watching what they eat and drink, and wearing rubber bands (if prescribed). Most importantly, the patient commits to keeping scheduled appointments with the orthodontist. Teeth and jaws can move in the right directions and on schedule when the patient takes an active part in their treatment.

 Source: www.aaoinfo.org

How much do you know about your toothbrush?

September 16th, 2014

Taking care of your smile is nothing new! People have been brushing their teeth for thousands of years. In fact, the first “toothbrush” was created around 3000BC! Ancient civilizations used a thin twig with a frayed edge to rub against their teeth for cleaning.

The first toothbrush with bristles – similar to today’s toothbrushes – was invented in 1498 in China. Brushes were made out of bone or bamboo with bristles made from the hairs on the back of a hog’s neck.

It wasn’t until 1938 that the first nylon bristle toothbrush was introduced and people quickly became aware of practicing good oral hygiene.

Here are some other interesting facts about your toothbrush (and toothpaste):

• Most people are said to use blue toothbrushes over any other color

• The first toothpaste was used in 500 BC in China and India

• On average, children smile about 400 times per day

• Your toothbrush should be replaced every two months

• The first known toothpaste was used in 1780, Crest was introduced in 1955 and Colgate in 1873

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