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Are White Marks On Teeth Preventable?

July 7th, 2022

 Brushing with Braces

 

The most important thing to know about white marks on teeth is that they are preventable. All you have to do to be white mark-free is to keep teeth clean and stay away from some foods and beverages. It’s that simple.

When we say simple, we mean four easy steps simple:

  1. Brush as often as recommended by your orthodontist, including after each meal or snack whether at school, work or home
  2. Floss at least once a day            
  3. Avoid or limit acidic foods and drinks (soda, flavored waters with carbonation, sweet tea, sports drinks etc.) for the duration of your treatment
  4. See your family dentist at least every four to six months for a check-up or more often if it’s recommended

Handy tools like interproximal brushes, floss threaders, floss holders, water irrigators and power toothbrushes can make cleaning teeth convenient, quick and, most of all, thorough. Fluoride toothpaste and/or rinses are advisable, too.

A White Mark Is Permanent

A white mark on a tooth – known as decalcification – is the very beginning of a cavity. Prompted by a build-up of plaque, calcium and other minerals leach out tooth enamel and leave a permanent white mark behind. It can progress to a full-blown cavity if plaque keeps collecting.

Plaque is made of bacteria, food particles and saliva. It feeds on sugars to form an acid that damages teeth. Poor brushing, frequent snacking and intake of sugary and/or acidic beverages contribute to white marks and decay.

Decalcification Can Happen to Patients Using Aligners

It happens to those who drink flavored waters, sparkling water, sports drinks or soda pop with their aligners in. What’s more, it can happen in a matter of weeks. Always take aligners out to eat or drink (except for tap water), and clean teeth thoroughly to remove all traces of food or beverages.

One more thing – decalcification can also happen if patients do not brush their aligners.  Food and bacteria left in the aligners can sit on the teeth and cause decalcification.

Decalcification Can Happen Independent of Orthodontic Treatment

Some people get white marks on their teeth without ever having orthodontic treatment. The marks are caused by too much soda pop or other acidic drinks, along with poor brushing habits.

For A Happy Ending

Patients who are conscientious about caring for their teeth and who limit sugary, acidic foods and drinks should not develop white marks.

Cleaning teeth is not hard. It just takes a commitment to putting in a little extra time, a little extra elbow grease, and using the right tools for the job. Questions? Your orthodontist and his/her staff would be delighted for you to ask! Like you, they want your treatment result to be a healthy, beautiful smile you will both be proud of.

See an AAO Orthodontist

When you choose an AAO orthodontist for orthodontic treatment, you can be assured that you have selected a highly skilled specialist. Visit Dr. Pamela Johnson Willowbrook, IL  for exceptional quality treatment. Dr. Johnson is an expert in orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics – properly aligned teeth and jaws – and possesses the skill and experience to give you your best smile. - source/aaoinfo.org

As You Age So Does Your Smile

July 6th, 2022

7 Things You Need to Know When Getting Braces As an Adult

 

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.

You can work with  Dr. Pamela Johnson of Johnson Orthodontics Willowbrook, IL. Dr. Johnson is a member of the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) She can help you to achieve a healthy, beautiful smile at any age. - source/aaoinfo.org

Orthodontists Use X-Rays To Check Below The Surface

July 5th, 2022

 5 Types of Dental X-rays | Delta Dental Of Washington

 

Just like what’s under the bread in a sandwich. Orthodontists use x-rays to check below the surface to look for extra teeth, missing teeth, impacted teeth or teeth coming into the wrong positions.

Speaking of extra teeth, did you know snails have over 14,000? A full set of adult human teeth has only 32.

Why is looking below the surface so important?

Well, some things may be hiding that can only be seen through x-rays. Impacted teeth may prevent adult teeth from erupting properly. Sometimes, an impacted tooth can even harm the roots of neighboring teeth, cause crowding and may cause already erupted teeth to move into unhealthy positions.

If you do have an “invisible” orthodontic problem, an early check-up and x-ray may help you avoid more costly, invasive treatments down the road.

It may be easier for an orthodontist to identify and correct a problem when it is forming rather than waiting for it to fully develop.

You wouldn’t skip a well-check at the pediatrician, and you shouldn’t skip an early trip to the orthodontist either. A visit to your orthodontist by age 7 will help keep your child’s oral health in check.  Just because your general dentist has not referred you does not mean you cannot visit the orthodontist for an exam. Dr. Pamela Johnson at Johnson Orthodontics Willowbrook, IL can help. Dr. Johnson offers a thorough exam with x-rays to make sure your teeth are coming in properly or let you know of any missing teeth.

Trust an AAO orthodontist

You can work with  Dr. Johnson, an American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) Orthodontist to achieve a healthy, beautiful smile at any age. Orthodontists are experts in orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics – properly aligned teeth and jaws – and possess the skills and experience to give you your best smile.source/aaoinfo.org

Why Filing Teeth Yourself Is Not A Good Idea

June 29th, 2022

vDentists warn against TikTok trend where people 'straighten' their teeth  with nail files - Mirror Online

You’ve seen the TikTok trend of people using a nail file to grind their teeth down for a more even appearance, and thought, “Seems harmless, right?”

WRONG!

Unlike fingernails, teeth are permanent. What you remove won’t grow back.

The protective layer of enamel you’re chipping away at is limited. Once you break through it, the damage is done. It’s such an important part of your tooth’s health, and without it, you’re basically just shortening the lifespan of your teeth. Soon, you could experience tooth sensitivity and even loss.

So what should you do about your uneven teeth?

Work with an AAO orthodontic professional. Dr. Pamela Johnson an Orthodontist located in Willowbrook, IL is trained in understanding the structure of your teeth. As an expert, she can determine why your teeth are uneven in the first place. she will work with you to decide if you’re a good candidate for professional filing, called enameloplasty, or if another type of orthodontic treatment would be more beneficial.

Remember, teeth shift throughout your lifetime. In a few years, your teeth may shift again and now you’d just be working with shorter teeth. Not a good place to be.

Trust an AAO Orthodontist

You can work with Dr. Pamela Johnson, an American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) Orthodontist to achieve a healthy, beautiful smile at any age. Orthodontists are experts in orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics – properly aligned teeth and jaws – and possess the skills and experience to give you your best smile.  - source/aaoinfo.org

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