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Smiles Change As You Age

October 23rd, 2019

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!

Whether you’re eight or 80, the biological process of orthodontic treatment is the same. Adults have denser bone tissue than children, so treatment may take a little longer, but age does not keep teeth from moving. Check out our Adult Guide to Orthodontics for more information.

Give Dr. Johnson a call and set up your complimentary consultation today. (630)887-1188

 Source: aaoinfo.org

National Orthodontic Month and National Prevention Bullying Month

October 9th, 2019

Teeth are the number one feature bullies focus in on – with space between teeth, missing teeth and shape or color of teeth coming in as some of the top features targeted.

“It’s time … it’s time to make it stop,” said Kirk Smalley, founder of Stand for the Silent, referring to bullying in general.

Stand for the Silent has fast become one of the leading and most effective anti-bullying organizations by reaching more than 1,505,000 kids in nearly 1,500 schools. The mission is simple – bring awareness to bullying and the real devastation it causes.

Students, start making a difference today with these four steps:

1. Educate yourself and your peers.

Stand for the Silent found when students tell a trusted adult about bullying, they believe things only get better 18% of the time.

Thousands of incidents and tragedies reveal school administrators cannot intervene and prevent incidents from happening if they do not know about them. It takes a team effort. Students, teachers, parents, community members and social media community members need to be equipped with awareness and tools to get the right information to the right people at the right place at the right time, so they can make it stop.

You are somebody. You can be a hero.

2. Practice empathetic awareness.

Become part of a culture of caring. Step back and strive to understand other people’s emotions and perspectives, as well as how they may respond to certain situations. Don’t just sit back when you notice something. You have the power to intervene. Stand for the Silent teaches us that the fear of getting involved is temporary, but the regret you have for not is permanent.

3. Pledge to be the change.

Take the Stand for the Silent pledge, “From this day forward, I promise to respect those around me as well as respect myself. I am somebody, and I can make a difference. I can make another feel loved. I can be the helping hands that leads another back to the path of hope and aspiration. I will not stand silent as others try to spread hatred through my community. Instead, I pledge to lift up those victims and show them that their life matters. I will be the change, because I am somebody!”

4. Start your own chapter.

Choose to stand for the silent by starting a chapter at your own school. Have all members signs a pledge card, find an adult sponsor, vote to appoint officers, create a name and mission, determine a meeting location and meeting times. Follow this more detailed step-by-step guide to get started.

The bottom line – you are somebody, and you can make a difference.

Stand for the Silent runs solely off donations from those who support its mission. Help them reach 100,000 more kids by making a donation at gofundme.com/help-sfts-reach-100000-more-kids. Interested in sponsoring a Stand fort the Silent presentation at a school near you? Learn more at standforthesilent.org/schools/host-a-presentation.

For National Bullying Prevention Month and National Orthodontic Health Month, AAO challenged it’s 19,000 member orthodontists to come together in the fight against bullying. Orthodontists worldwide are pledging to stand for the silent and encouraging their patients to do the same.

Together, we can set it ALL straight.

Source: aaoinfo.org

The Leaves are Starting to Change...is Your Bite Changing too?

September 18th, 2019


Everything changes with time. At this time of year, bursts of vibrant fall colors are a visual reminder that change happens. Change can be predictable, like the annual transformation of leaves from green to glorious golds, reds and oranges. In some instances, change can be so gradual that it’s nearly imperceptible.

We can expect changes in our bodies, too. Let’s talk about the changes that happen with our teeth.

Teeth are set in bone, not stone.

There’s no question that bone is a hard substance. But unlike stone, bone is living tissue. It is in a constant state of change. Bone cells are broken down and rebuilt; this process is called “bone remodeling”. It takes stimulation to keep the process moving. For bone in the jaws, it comes from biting, chewing, swallowing and speaking. Just as these actions place force on the teeth, the force, in turn, stimulates bone remodeling, which is why teeth can move.

It is this remodeling process that makes orthodontic treatment possible. Appliances like braces and aligners are tools that Dr. Johnson uses to place controlled forces on teeth in order to move them into ideal positions.

Without an orthodontist like Dr. Johnson guiding the direction and amount of pressure applied to teeth, they are free to move where the forces take them. As a result, your bite – the way your upper and lower teeth come together – may be off.

Have you noticed a change in your bite?

Maybe your bottom front teeth are just beginning to crowd? Perhaps a permanent tooth was lost and its former neighbors are on the move? Maybe you previously had some orthodontic treatment but you’ve noticed some shifting in your teeth? Whatever the cause, a visit with Dr. Johnson is recommended.  Dr. Johnson has received highly specialized training and education in orthodontics, including correcting changing bites. Of course, the sooner, the better. If you notice shifts in tooth positions, timely intervention may minimize movement.

So this year, when it comes to your teeth, let the fall colors be your reminder that change doesn’t have to be inevitable. A healthy and beautiful smile really can last a lifetime. Just ask Dr. Johnson and call the office to set up your consultation. (630)887-1188

Source: aaoinfo.org

What's the Deal With Wearing Retainers?

September 5th, 2019

Whether you’re thinking about treatment with Dr. Johnson, or you are currently undergoing treatment, you may be wondering, “Will I need to wear retainers after treatment?” The answer is yes, and here’s why. Getting straight teeth is only half the battle; the other half is keeping them straight, and that is where retainers come in.

Changes in tooth position are a lifelong and naturally occurring phenomenon! In order to maintain the finished result created by Dr. Johnson retainers must be worn! While small changes after treatment concludes are normal, retainers prevent teeth from going back to their original positions.

Why are retainers needed?

Retainers are prescribed for two reasons: first, to allow the bone that holds teeth to rebuild after teeth have moved, and second, to maintain the healthy new positions of teeth after active orthodontic treatment ends. Your body changes your whole life, and your teeth change too.

Are there different retainer options?

Yes, there are two general kinds of retainers: removable (put in and removed by the patient) and fixed (placed and removed by Dr. Johnson)Both types of retainers hold teeth in their new positions after “active” orthodontic treatment is completed. This allows newly formed bone to mature around the teeth.

Two common removable retainers:

  1.   Wire retainers are made of wire and a plastic-like material. The part of the retainer that covers the roof of the mouth or goes behind the lower front teeth is plastic and wires help told the teeth in place.
  2.   Clear retainers are transparent trays made of a plastic-like material that are exact replicas of the teeth.

Dr. Johnson will teach you how to insert, remove and take care of a removable retainer.

fixed retainer consists of a thin, custom-fitted wire that is bonded to the tongue-side of upper or lower teeth.

How long will I have to wear them?

As long as you want to keep your teeth straight, many patients wear retainers nightly for life.  Wearing retainers becomes part of your oral hygiene routine: brush and floss before bed, and wear retainers at night for a lifetime.

Source: aaoinfo.org

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