Brushing

Should I Floss Before I Brush?

June 22nd, 2022

8 Oral Hygiene Tips for Kids and Teens With Braces | Kids Mile High

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 and your dentist. Contact Dr. Pamela Johnson Willowbrook, IL for exceptional orthodontic treatment, working together with your dentist and you for optimal results.

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.

Trust an AAO orthodontist

You can work with Dr. Pamela Johnson to achieve a healthy, beautiful smile at any age. Orthodontists are experts in orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics.- source/aaoinfo.org

 

Are Tongue Scrapers And Cleaners Effective?

June 2nd, 2022

Tongue scraper Stock Photos, Royalty Free Tongue scraper Images | Depositphotos

A tongue scraper is a tool used to help clean your tongue. Tongue scrapers come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and work by starting at the back of the tongue and pulling the scraper forward. Some people choose to clean their tongue by using their toothbrush as well.

Some say that cleaning your tongue helps keep your breath fresh, but there is no evidence that brushing or scraping your tongue will prevent bad breath or improve halitosis (chronic bad breath). In fact, bad breath bacteria can grow back just as fast as you remove it.

If you like the way your mouth feels after you clean your tongue, keep it up as part of your daily dental routine. It can be a great way to go the extra mile for your mouth, but comes down to personal preference and is not a necessary step. However, there are four things you can do to make sure your mouth is healthy:

1. Brush your teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste.

2. Clean between your teeth daily.

3. Eat a healthy diet that limits sugary beverages and snacks.

4. See your dentist regularly for prevention and treatment of dental disease.

source/mouthhealthy.org

3 Tips For A Healthy Summer Smile

June 1st, 2022

smiling faces in sand

Summer sun brings summer fun. While warm months are perfect for spending time together, summer vacation can also throw off your usual dental routine. Here are three ways to prevent summertime tooth decay:

Stay on a routine

Whether your kids are staying up to catch fireflies or a fireworks show, resist the temptation to skip brushing before a late bedtime—or let it slide when they sleep in the next morning. Don’t forget about your smile over the summer, It’s important for families to consistently brush and floss, which keeps kids on track for healthy back-to-school dental visits.”

No matter how eventful the upcoming months become, supervise that they are brushing twice a day for 2 minutes with fluoride toothpaste. Simple things like brushing calendars can help everyone stay on track over the summer. Plus, it’s a chance to spend more time together. Brushing alongside your children for 2 minutes, twice a day for the three months of summer gives you 6 extra hours together, so make the most of them!

And don’t forget to clean between those teeth once a day. Your children should be flossing between any two teeth that touch, However many kids don’t have motor skills to floss until they are over 10 years old. If your child needs help, try different types of interdental cleaners or put your hands over theirs to guide them and get the job done at the same time.

Say no to sugary drinks and snacks

As the temperature rises, it’s common for families to sip and snack during sports tournaments, festivals or nearly any community event. Watch your family’s intake of lemonade, juice and soda, Consider sugary drinks treats to enjoy once in a while, and not often. Instead, offer water (even better if it has fluoride) to beat the heat, or milk to drink with meals. And, don’t let summertime grazing damage your child’s smile. Taking a break from snacking is healthy for your teeth, It allows time for saliva to bathe the teeth to wash away leftover food and get stronger.

If you find yourself spending more time at home, snack smarter, and let your children tell you when they’re hungry instead of offering snacks throughout the day.

Make your back-to-school dental visit early

Some schools require back-to-school dental visits for certain grades, and these checkups can be a good way to be sure your child’s teeth stayed healthy. It is a good idea to make your child’s back-to-school appointment early in the summer to avoid the August rush and help insure you get the appointment time that works best for you. Visiting the dentist regularly can help your child’s smile stay healthy all year long.  source/mouthhealthy.org

April: Oral Cancer Awareness Month

April 5th, 2022

 

Dental associations urge regular oral cancer examinations—early detection saves lives!

Newport Beach, CA  Oral and oropharyngeal cancer (cancer of the mouth and upper throat) collectively kill nearly one person every hour of every day of the year. Of the people newly diagnosed with these cancers, 40 percent will not survive longer than five years. Moreover, many who do survive suffer long-term problems, such as severe facial disfigurement or difficulties with eating and speaking.

The death rate associated with oral and oropharyngeal cancers remains particularly high because the cancers routinely are discovered late in their development. Fortunately, when oral and oropharyngeal cancers are detected and treated early, mortality and treatment-related health problems are reduced.

Be mindful of symptoms
Your mouth is one of your body's most important early warning systems. In between dental visits, it is important for patients to be aware of the following signs and symptoms, and to see a dental professional if they do not improve or disappear after two-three weeks:

  • a sore, or soreness or irritation that doesn’t go away
  • red or white patches, or pain, tenderness, or numbness in mouth or lips
  • lumps, thickening tissues, rough spots, crusty or eroded areas
  • difficulty chewing, swallowing, speaking, or moving your jaw or tongue
  • a change in the way your teeth fit together when you close your mouth

When it comes to symptoms, keep this two-three week time period in mind, but always call your dentist right away if you have any immediate concerns.

Factors that may increase risk
Research has identified a number of factors that may contribute to the development of oral cancer. Historically, those at an especially high risk of developing oral cancer have been heavy drinkers and smokers older than age 50, but today the cancer also is occurring more frequently in younger, nonsmoking people. The sexually transmitted human papillomavirus 16 (HPV) is related to the increasing incidence of oropharyngeal cancer (most commonly involving tonsillar tissue, including the base of tongue) in that younger population. HPV caused oropharyngeal cancer may present with one or more of the following persistent (longer than two-three weeks) signs and symptoms:

  • a painless lump or swelling felt in the neck
  • sore throat, difficulty swallowing, or pain when swallowing
  • swelling of the tonsillar areas at the back of the mouth

Be aware of the symptoms and risk factors of oral and oropharyngeal cancer. Early detection and treatment may well be the key to a complete recovery.

If you have never had an oral cancer examination, there is no better time to schedule one than during Oral Cancer Awareness Month in April. When you do, be sure to ask that this examination be made a routine part of all of your future dental check-ups.

Source: www.aaom.com

Best Toothpaste for Braces (What Type Can I Use?)

December 23rd, 2021

Can I Use My Regular Toothbrush and Toothpaste with Braces?

What is the best toothpaste to use whilst wearing braces? Brushing and flossing three times per day, and after every meal flushes out all cavity-causing invaders, but brushing isn’t enough. Your choice of toothpaste is equally as important when you have a mouthful of metal. In this post, we’ll take you through what toothpaste is best when wearing braces. Firstly let’s look at what types there are.

  • Flouride
  • Tartar control
  • Whitening (DO NOT USE)
  • ADA seal of approval
  • Taste test

Flouride

Let’s look at fluoride first. As it is common and highly recommended by experts in all dental fields. Fluoride protects and strengthens the enamel surface of the tooth. Youngsters should use recommended sizes. Check the ADA website for exact amounts. This goes for those wearing braces too.

Fluoride makes tooth decay less prominent and reduces acid damage from acid erosion. This all comes from sugary foods and drinks. Fluoridated water isn’t enough, your teeth depend on direct tooth contact.

Tartar Control Toothpaste

Tartar control is important and can be delivered by brushing. Tartar is hard to remove, it solidifies and is caused by plaque building up over time. This issue causes periodontal disease and decay. Tartar control toothpaste will help your teeth look the same shade after braces come off.

Ingredients like bicarbonate or potassium nitrate are added to the overprotection and removal power of toothpaste. Brushing with braces to control the above is a must as your bands and wires will not allow for full brushing movements.

Whitening Toothpaste

Whitening toothpaste is a NO-NO when wearing braces. You’ll find damage to the wires and brackets may occur. Also, when removing the braces you’ll have white spots and this will look unsightly.

American Dental Association 

The American Association is key to understanding the in and outs of toothpastes and oral health products. A brand with an (ADA) seal on its products has been tested and proven by experts. A reduction of cavities is proven when using the right type of toothpaste.

Mouthwash

Mouthwash is also an important part of oral health when wearing braces. Many dentists and orthodontists recommend using mouthwash as a supplemental fluoride treatment.

The swishing allows protective element to access hard-to-clean places. This parts of the mouth missed by toothbrush or floss when restricted by wires, brackets or bands.

For example – Colgate Super Speed Listerine Cool Mint removes surface stains to kill 99% germs.

Brushing 101

Teeth are a reflection of your overall dental hygiene and should be kept clean to maintain their appearance. Start by holding the toothbrush at an angle with bristles facing up towards your nose (or brace brackets) at about a 45 degree angle.

Gently tease them between each bracket using small circular motions until you reach the bottom wire. Apply pressure along both edges’ surfaces for best results. Use a section system if you have too to keep an eye on your progress.

Interdental Brush

An interdental brush is an great brush. Reducing the amount of plaque and reaching the in-between bits of the teeth structure. These brushes are small but effective. Make sure there are plenty in your bathroom cupboard and on your person when out.

The is also a new type of cleaner in town. Waterpik makes a small jet device for blasting away unwanted visitors and nasties.

Conclusion

The above was an intro to toothpaste choice for those wearing braces. At Pamela Johnson's Orthodontic Solutions in Willowbrook, Illinois our orthodontist can oversee your treatment from start to finish. We are open for new children, teenagers, and adults to have an examination.

We will explain all in easy-to-understand formats. So you can rest assured of your treatment quality. Dr. Pamela Johnson offers expertise in all procedures. This is to reduce the amount of time required for wearing orthodontic devices. Call us to schedule your first appointment for an orthodontic evaluation.

Be safe and have a merry Christmas/wonderful holiday season! - Dr. Johnson and staff

https://childersbraces.com/

8 Bad Brushing Habits to Break in 2022

December 9th, 2021

Toothbrush that needs replacing next to a new toothbrush

Keeping Your Toothbrush for Too Long

The ADA recommends changing your toothbrush every 3-4 months, so make a resolution to change your toothbrush with every season this year. Frayed and broken bristles won’t keep your teeth clean—these are signs it’s time to let go. When you’re shopping, look for one with the ADA Seal of Acceptance.  A good toothbrush can help easily remove plaque around braces and in hard to reach areas that a worn-down brush might not get!

Not Brushing Long Enough

Speed demons, listen up! Your teeth should be brushed for a full two minutes, twice per day. Most of us fall short —the average time most people spend brushing is 45 seconds. If you’re racing through cleaning, try setting a timer or distract yourself by humming your favorite tune.  It is important to make sure that you are brushing the entire surface area of your teeth and the brackets/appliances attached to them, so take your time!

Brushing Too Hard

Be gentle with your teeth. You may think brushing harder will remove more leftover food and the bacteria that loves to eat it, but a gentle brushing is all that’s needed. Too much pressure may damage your gums, or even pop-off a bracket/appliance.

Brushing Right After Eating

If you feel the need to clean your teeth after eating or drinking, wait at least 60 minutes before brushing—especially if you have had something acidic like lemons, grapefruit or soda. Drink water, especially if you are having a drink that can easily stain teeth/retainers.

Storing Your Brush Improperly

When you’re done brushing, keep your toothbrush upright and let it air dry in the open. Avoid keeping your toothbrush in a closed container, where germs have more opportunity to grow.  Keeping a vented, travel toothbrush protector is very useful as well for keeping bacteria off of your toothbrush head from bathroom germ particles.

Using a Brush with Hard Bristles

Soft bristles are a safe bet. And be mindful to be gentle, especially where your gums and teeth meet, as you brush.  The bacteria that develops plaque on your teeth is very soft and takes only slight pressure from another object to remove it. Talk to your dentist about what kind of toothbrush is best for you.

Improper Brushing Technique

Here's one technique to try for a thorough brush: First, place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gums. Then, gently move the brush back and forth in short (tooth-wide) strokes. Next, brush the outer surfaces, the inner surfaces, and the chewing surfaces of the teeth. Finally, To clean the inside surfaces of the front teeth, tilt the brush vertically and make several up-and-down strokes.  To make sure there are no white scars left over once your braces are taken off, be sure to brush around all sides of the bracket and regularly floss between the wires/teeth for the best results possible.  If you have an appliance that is cemented in your mouth by Dr. Johnson, make sure to brush all sides of the appliance and call the office if you have any questions about getting hard-to-reach places.

Using a Brush That's Not the Best Fit for You

There are many toothbrushes that can leave your teeth fresh and clean, including manual and power brushes that carry the ADA Seal of Acceptance. Both get the job done. Try different types until you find one you're comfortable with. For example, a power brush can be easier to hold and does some of the work for you if you have trouble brushing. No matter which you choose remember that it's not all about the brush—a clean mouth is really up to the brusher!

https://mouthhealthy.org/

The Caregiver’s Guide to Dental Health

November 10th, 2021

The Whole Tooth: Dental Health & Older Adults

Happy National Family Caregiver month!  If you’re one of the 44 million family caregivers in the United States, you’ve got a lot on your mind. However, keeping your loved one’s mouth healthy is important for their dental health, overall health and so much more.

“It’s also about comfort, safety and self-esteem,” says ADA dentist Dr. Judith Jones. “Keeping your mouth and teeth clean can prevent sensitivity or pain in your teeth. In terms of safety, there might be broken teeth, broken partials or unsafe partials they can swallow. And for their self-esteem, it’s important for individuals to have a sense of pride in their appearance and to have good hygiene.”

How much help you give will depend on the individual. If the person in your care can do the basics, let them. Some adults may have physical issues that make them unable to hold a toothbrush. Others may have memory issues, so they forget to brush and floss. People with dementia may need someone to clean their teeth each day and take them to a dentist.

No matter your situation, daily care plus professional care equal the best chances for a healthy mouth. Here are some important mouth care steps for older adults.

  • Brush teeth twice a day for two minutes using a fluoride toothpaste.
  • Clean between the teeth daily with floss or other between-the-teeth cleaner.
  • Rinse dentures after each meal, brush them daily with denture cleaner and take them out before bedtime and store in water.
  • If the person has dry mouth, an alcohol-free mouthrinse may help. Sipping water, sucking (not chewing) on ice chips and using a humidifier while sleeping can help keep him or her hydrated.
  • Limit snacking and sugary drinks. Healthy foods and drinks such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains and water are good for the mouth and the body.
  • Make and keep dental appointments. Even people with dentures need to visit the dentist.
  • Watch for symptoms that could signal larger issues, and make an appointment with the dentist to have them checked out.

You may have questions specific to your own situation, so here are some starting points for different types of care cases. And always feel free to speak with your dentist or your loved one’s dentist for more advice.

https://www.mouthhealthy.org/

Brushing Habits to Break in 2021

January 5th, 2021

Happy New Year everyone! With the new year, we tend to make resolutions and goals, including breaking bad habits. Here are some dental bad habits that are important to work on.

Keeping Your Toothbrush Too Long
The American Dental Association highly recommends changing your toothbrush every 3 months. Frayed and broken bristles won't keep your teeth clean. The best trick to remembering is to change your toothbrush at the start of the new season!

Not Brushing Long Enough
On average, a person brushes their teeth for 45 seconds. You should actually brush your teeth for 2 minutes, twice a day. Setting a timer or humming a song to yourself would be great for helping fight this bad habit.

Brushing Too Hard
You may think brushing harder will make your teeth cleaner, but it could actually damage your gums. So be gentle with you teeth.

Brushing Right After Eating
Try waiting at least 60 minutes before brushing your teeth after you eat, especially if you had anything acidic like lemons or soda. Drink water or chew sugarless gum with the ADA Seal of Acceptance while you wait to brush.

Storing Your Toothbrush Improperly
After brushing, keep your toothbrush upright and in the open. Putting your toothbrush in a closed container gives germs more of a chance to grow.

Using a Brush with Hard Bristles
Soft bristles are a safe bet. And remember to be gentle while you're brushing! If you have any questions about which toothbrush is best for you, talk to your general dentist.

Improper Brushing Technique
Here's one technique to try for a thorough brush: First, place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gums. Then, gently move the brush back and forth in short (tooth-wide) strokes. Next, brush the outer surfaces, the inner surfaces, and the chewing surfaces of the teeth. Finally, to clean the inside surfaces of the front teeth, tilt the brush vertically and make several up-and-down strokes.

Using a Brush That's Not Best for You
There are many different toothbrushes that you can use, including manual and power brushes. Try different types until you find the best one that works for you.

source: mouthhealthy.org

Brushing Your Teeth

December 15th, 2020

Toothbrushing Quick Facts Infographic

Dental care is very important not only for your teeth, but your overall health. The American Dental Association has a few recommendations to help you have and keep a healthy mouth:

  • Brush your teeth twice a day with a soft-bristled brush. The size and shape of your brush should fit your mouth allowing you to reach all areas easily.
  • Replace your toothbrush every three or four months, or sooner if the bristles are frayed. A worn toothbrush won’t do a good job of cleaning your teeth. A good way to remember is to change your toothbrush at the start of the new season.
  • Make sure to use an ADA-accepted fluoride toothpaste.

Proper Brushing Technique

  • Place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gums.
  • Gently move the brush back and forth in short (tooth-wide) strokes.
  • Brush the outer surfaces, the inner surfaces, and the chewing surfaces of the teeth.
  • To clean the inside surfaces of the front teeth, tilt the brush vertically and make several up-and-down strokes.

Of course, brushing your teeth is only a part of a complete dental care routine. You should also make sure to:

  • Clean between teeth daily once a day. Tooth decay-causing bacteria still linger between teeth where toothbrush bristles can’t reach. This helps remove plaque and food particles from between the teeth and under the gum line.
  • Eat a balanced diet that limits sugary beverages and snacks.
  • See your dentist regularly for prevention and treatment of oral disease.

source: mouthhealthy.org

Oral Health

November 18th, 2020

Your mouth is a window into the health of your entire body. Oral health is often taken for granted, however your mouth can show early signs of nutritional deficiencies, infections, and systemic diseases that affect your body. The health of your mouth and teeth are important, no matter the age.

While most Americans enjoy excellent oral health, cavities remain the most prevalent chronic disease for children. Around 100 million Americans do not see a dentist once a year. Many believe that you should only see a dentist when you are in pain, but in reality, seeing a general dentist on a yearly basis can help prevent oral health issues in the future. Still, it is important to see a dentist if you are in pain. Do not put off seeing anyone when you are feeling any form of discomfort.

Remember, you can practice good oral hygiene at home. Brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and floss at least once a day. Change your toothbrush every three or fourth months and have a balanced diet. And make sure to see your general dentist for check-ups to keep your smile bright and healthy.

source: mouthhealthy.org

6 Ways to Make Your Mouth Extra Kissable for Valentine’s Day

February 15th, 2017

From the “Kiss Me” messages on tiny candy hearts to romantic songs on the radio, a kiss is probably on your list this Valentine’s Day. Before cozying up to your loved one this year, make sure your mouth is in good health because, as it turns out, a kiss is more than just a kiss.

Kissing stimulates saliva, which can help fight cavities. However, if the person you’re kissing has poor dental and overall health, you run the risk of getting unwanted germs, illnesses or diseases instead of candy, flowers or cards this Valentine’s Day.

Here’s what you need to know about making your smile a vision of love for February 14.

Cavities Can Be Contagious
Whether through kissing or something as simple as sharing a fork, the bacteria that causes cavities can spread to another person. Brush twice a day for two minutes and clean between your teeth once a day for cleaner kisses and a cavity-free smile.

Beware Bad Breath
Bacteria is a big culprit of bad breath, so regular habits like brushing and flossing are especially important. Other ways to stay fresh are over-the-counter antimicrobial mouthwashes or chewing sugarless gum. Both can freshen your breath instantly and get saliva flowing—especially after you eat foods with a strong scent. (And look for the ADA Seal of Acceptance on both!)

Share a Life (But Not a Toothbrush)
For many couples, a big relationship step is keeping a toothbrush at each other’s place. Just make sure you each have your own because sharing toothbrushes also means sharing germs.

Brighten Your Smile
Nothing is more attractive than a confident smile. If whitening makes you feel better about yours, talk to your dentist about which option is best. There are a number of over-the-counter whitening products, or you could get an in-office treatment at your dentist.

Smoking Isn’t Attractive
Smoking is bad for your breath and stains your teeth – not to mention terrible for your overall health. Smoking affects how well you smell and taste. People who use tobacco twice as likely to get gum disease as someone who doesn’t smoke. Smokers are also more at risk for oral cancer. Give yourself a gift this Valentine’s Day and quit today.

Don’t Forget About the Dentist!
A good relationship with and regular visits to your dentist can help keep your mouth at its best all year long. Your dentist can help keep you healthy, discuss any concerns and give more advice on keeping your smile fresh.

For more information please visit MouthHealthy.org

Old Toothbrushes Among Items To “Toss Immediately.”

February 8th, 2017

In a consumer-focused article, Realtor includes old toothbrushes among several bathroom items to “toss immediately” for “the sake of space, your health, and your sanity.” The article states that for those who have been using the same toothbrush for more than three or four months “that’s too long,” according to the American Dental Association. In addition, toothbrushes should be replaced sooner if bristles are “bent or frayed,” since they do not clean teeth as well. The article also encourages people to dispose of old makeup; expired sunscreen; hotel toiletries; almost empty shampoo bottles; unused beauty products and gifts; old razors; and expired medications, encouraging people to follow the FDA’s guidelines for safely disposing unused medication.

MouthHealthy.org and the Oral Health Topics on ADA.org provide additional information on toothbrush care for patients and for dental professionals. In addition, the ADA provides a list of toothbrushes with the ADA Seal of Acceptance.

October is National Dental Hygiene Month

October 24th, 2016

October is National Dental Hygiene Month. It’s also a great time to remind enrollees about the importance of good oral hygiene and the role your dental program plays in helping you develop – and maintain – a healthy mouth and smile. Delta Dental’s Federal Employees Dental Program has plan options that are designed to provide great coverage for routine diagnostic and preventive services like exams, x-rays and cleanings along with nationwide access to our large dentist network so that it’s easy on your wallet and convenient for you to visit your dentist regularly.

The Four Components of Good Oral Health Maintenance:

Brush Teeth Twice Daily
Always brush two minutes, two times a day
Floss every day
Ensure flossing is a daily habit.
Try Text2Floss if you have trouble remembering
Rinse with Mouthwash
Use mouthwash to improve oral health
Chew Sugar-Free Gum
Chewing sugar-free gum after eating can help fight tooth decay
for more info, The American Dental Hygienist's Association has wonderful resources on their website

Consulting With A Dentist Advised To Treat Bruxism, Sleep Apnea

April 18th, 2016

The Huffington Post“The Blog” states that there are several “links between your teeth and sleep,” noting, for example, that bruxism “commonly occurs during sleep and can cause pain and damage to teeth.” According to the article, bruxism is “very common” and may be “exacerbated or precipitated by stress and/or anxiety” or sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea. Using oral appliances is one strategy for managing bruxism, and they also may be an option for treating sleep apnea, the article states, recommending people speak with their dentist if they think they may have sleep apnea or bruxism. MouthHealthy.org provides additional information on bruxism and sleep apnea.

TIME Considers Benefits Of Using Mouthwash.

March 29th, 2016

Citing ADA spokesperson Dr. Matt Messina extensively, TIME (3/23, Heid) considers whether using mouthwash is a safe and effective step in a person’s dental care routine. “I like to say mouthwash is an addition to proper oral hygiene, not a substitute,” said Dr. Messina. While mouthwash use does not replace daily brushing or a twice-yearly dentist visit, it may help freshen your breath, and in most cases is safe, he says. Dr. Messina said concerning antiseptic or antibacterial mouth rinses, for those with “periodontal disease or some harmful types of mouth bacteria, an antibacterial rinse could help kill the bacteria that cause the disease,” although he advises speaking with a dentist first. Dr. Messina adds, “You don’t need mouthwash, but if you enjoy it, or you have bad breath and feel it helps, then there’s no substantiated risks to rinsing once or twice a day.” MouthHealthy.org provides additional information on mouthwashes

Conventional Pacifiers Lead to Malocclusion

March 7th, 2016

New parents often are told to take away their baby’s pacifier once the first tooth erupts. Otherwise, those new teeth will come in crooked, according to the conventional wisdom. One recent study from Brazil suggests that this advice is correct, too. Subjects were divided into a control group without nonnutritive sucking habits, a group with orthodontic pacifiers, and a group with conventional pacifiers. Data was collected at birth, between the ages of 12 and 24 months, and between the ages of 24 and 36 months, followed by a clinical examination. The researchers compared the prevalence and severity of anterior open bite, accentuated overjet, anterior crossbite, and posterior crossbite. With the use of a questionnaire, they found that the frequency, intensity, and duration of pacifier use all were associated with the occurrence of malocclusion compared to the control group. Additionally, the researchers found a significant difference in the prevalence of malocclusion between the subjects using conventional pacifiers and orthodontic pacifiers for anterior overbite. Conventional pacifier use led to a greater risk of posterior crossbite, while orthodontic pacifier use did not.The study, “Effects of Conventional and Orthodontic Pacifiers on the Dental Occlusion of Children Aged 24-36 Months Old,” was published by the International Journal of Pediatric Dentisry
- See more at: Additionally, the researchers found a significant difference in the prevalence of malocclusion between the subjects using conventional pacifiers and orthodontic pacifiers for anterior overbite. Conventional pacifier use led to a greater risk of posterior crossbite, while orthodontic pacifier use did not. The study, “Effects of Conventional and Orthodontic Pacifiers on the Dental Occlusion of Children Aged 24-36 Months Old,” was published by the International Journal of Pediatric Dentistry. - See more at: http://www.dentistrytoday.com/news/industrynews/item/757-

Excessive Home Tooth Whitening Can Cause Permanent Damage

January 20th, 2016

The Vancouver reports that “the craze for whiter teeth is leading some people to overuse home bleaching kits and cause permanent tooth damage, says a University of British Columbia dentistry professor.” Adriana Manso, a clinical assistant professor in the faculty of dentistry, says that, under supervision, a dentist can control the bleaching process, but “if you do it yourself you can overdo it.” Manso “says there have been documented reports of serious and permanent damage to tooth enamel from over-the-counter home bleaching kits as hydrogen peroxide starts to break down proteins in the teeth after initial discoloration has been removed.” Other research has found “that enamel structure changes with exposure to bleach – whether it’s hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide.” Interestingly, the article adds that this craze “has literally pushed whiteness off the charts,” as “shade guides that dentists use to gauge the color of a patient’s teeth now have added entries brighter than the previous lightest shade.” These new additions, the article points out, are “all bleached colors.”

The ADA provides more information on teeth whitening at MouthHealthy.org and provides considerations for patients and dentists.

Got braces? Tips for successful holiday meals

November 25th, 2015

Eating can be quiet a challenge when you have braces on your teeth -- especially when you are faced with tempting holiday food for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or Hanukkah! Brackets often poke into your gums and cheeks, and you just can't seem to chew properly. It’s not just a problem for kids – a growing number of adults now wear orthodontic braces, too!

Lynn Schneider, owner of DentaKit.com and ArchWired.com, two websites that specialize in orthodontic products and information, offers her tips for successful holiday feasting, along with the help of Pamela Waterman, president of Metal Mouth Media and author of The Braces Cookbook and The Braces Cookbook 2. Schneider and Waterman both had braces on their teeth as adults, and had daughters in braces, as well.

“When you have braces, you may find that your teeth don't touch the way they did before, which changes the way you chew,” Schneider says. “As your treatment continues and your teeth shift, you may continually need to adapt to biting and chewing in a slightly different way. Patience is the key.”

But patience may be in short supply when you’re faced with delicious hard-to-resist holiday foods, which can be sticky, chewy, or contain nuts! Waterman adds, “Your holiday meals don’t have to be boring just because you are in braces. Our Braces Cookbooks offer a large variety of gourmet recipes, many which can be adapted for the holidays.”

Schneider and Waterman offer these tips to make it easier for you and your kids to cope this holiday season:

1. Slow down. Chew slowly and carefully, and cut your food into small pieces. Forget about taking big bites of anything, or wolfing down your food. The key word here is: SLOW!

2. Stick to soft food. But when faced with foods that might be a bit chewy, your knife and fork are your best friends. Cut that turkey and ham into small pieces, enjoy soups and soft foods like mashed potatoes, soften the stuffing with gravy, and stick to smooth jellied cranberry sauce.

3. Avoid stringy foods, especially if you have a palate expander. You may love to wind your pasta around your fork, but for now it would be better for you to cut it into small pieces, or it will get wound around your brackets. Also, be careful with foods that get stringy when cooked, like some soft cheeses and spaghetti squash.

4. You may love pecan pie, but for right now it won’t love you! Foods with nuts and seeds often get stuck in your brackets and will drive you crazy until you finally brush and get them out. Sticky foods will likely stick to your brackets and make a mess. Avoid biting into anything hard that may break or pop off a bracket, such as candy canes or hard cookies. For dessert, go for the pumpkin pie, mousse, pudding, soft truffles and cakes, or ice cream. Or chop the pecans extremely finely in a food processor and make a special small tart for yourself.

5. Bite with the side of your mouth. It may be virtually impossible to bite into anything with your front teeth, anyway! Get used to biting with your side teeth, instead.

6. Beware of anything containing large hidden chunks of meat or vegetables, such as burritos or sandwich wraps (including that leftover turkey sandwich!) Bite carefully into those types of foods so that you don't choke, or better yet, eat them with a fork and knife instead.

7. One-bite type appetizers and sushi can be very challenging and could gag you. You should probably cut these in half instead of trying to pop an entire piece of it into your mouth. Avoid appetizers that are hard; stick to the softer ones. Raw fruits and veggies are great, but take small bites or cut them into thin pieces.

8. Develop an arsenal of soft food recipes, and bring something to the holiday table that you know you can eat, and that others will enjoy. You don't need to sentence yourself to boring soups and shakes. There are several cookbooks that can help you prepare healthy, delicious meals, such as The Braces Cookbook, and The Braces Cookbook2.

9. If eating becomes too uncomfortable because of mouth sores or poking brackets, apply plenty of dental wax or dental silicone.

10. Holiday eating often involves parties or dinners away from home. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that orthodontic patients brush and floss shortly after eating, so a good dental kit is essential.

Celebrating the holidays with orthodontic braces may be challenging, but you can get through it successfully with a little forethought, adapted recipes, and the right dental products.

Perfect Bite, Pretty Face?

September 10th, 2015

The appearance of a person's bite affects how their attractiveness, personality and intelligence is rated by other adults, according to a study.

A study published in the November 2011 edition of the American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics asked 889 people to evaluate photos that had been manipulated to show either a normal bite or one of six imperfect bites, called occlusion or malocclusion in the dental world.

“The ratings of attractiveness, intelligence, conscientiousness, agreeableness and extraversion differed significantly depending on the occlusion status depicted,” the report said.

Those with an underbite were rated least attractive, intelligent and extraverted. Females with an imperfect bite were rated more favorably than males. Younger and more educated respondents were more critical in their evaluations than older, less educated respondents.

Drs. Jase A. Olsen, a private practitioner in Southern Pines, N.C., and Marita Rohr Inglehart, associate professor in the Department of Periodontics and Oral Medicine at the University of Michigan School of Dentistry conducted the study.

"Judgments that are negatively influenced by the effects of malocclusion might leave those without a normal occlusion at a social disadvantage and professionally handicapped," the study notes.

The study also quotes earlier research showing that "attractive" people were perceived to be more intelligent and socially competent, to have a more positive personality, to have better social interactions and to receive more favorable professional ratings.

In addition, the study quotes from the National Health and Nutrition Examination III from 1988-91, which showed that 57 percent to 59 percent of adults had some degree of an imperfect bite.

Although that study is two decades old, it still provides the most current prevalence data for malocclusion among U.S. adults.

The American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics is the official publication of the American Association of Orthodontists.

© 2015 American Dental Association. All rights reserved. Reproduction or republication is strictly prohibited without the prior written permission from the American Dental Association.

Study: Fluoridated Water Associated With Better Oral Health In Older People.

March 10th, 2015

The Irish Times reports that according to a study by researchers at Trinity College Dublin of nearly 5,000 adults and census data from 2006 "older people have better oral health if they live in areas where the drinking water is fluoridated." Additionally, the study "found that those living in areas where the water included low levels of fluoride were more likely to have all their own teeth." The researchers also measured the bone density of those included in the study and "found no association between the use of fluoridated water and bone density."

After braces always wear your retainers!

February 25th, 2015

Why retainers?
After your orthondontic treatment is finished, and your braces are removed, you will need retainers to hold your teeth in their new positions.

For how long do I need to wear retainers?
It takes time for the bone and all the tissues around your teeth to reorganise and therefore it is necessary to use retainers until your bite stabilises. In the first month after the braces are removed, the risk of relapse is very high.

Relapse means that the teeth can take up to one year or more to stabilize after treatment. If you had gaps between your teeth before treatment, the retention period will be longer.
Usually, retainers are worn for as long a time as you have had your braces. If your teeth move back to their original positions, you may need fixed braces again to correct them.

Nearly 25% of orthodontic patients have to wear braces again because they didn’t wear their retainers!

What Will My Retainers Look Like?
At one time, all retainers were made of pink plastic and silvery wire, and were removable. That kind is still available, but now you may have a choice of different colors or patterns — you might even be able to customize yours! Another alternative that may be appropriate is a clear retainer that fits over your teeth, making it nearly invisible. In some cases, you can have a thin wire bonded to the inside of the teeth instead of a removable retainer. It doesn't show, and you don't have to worry about taking it out.

Do I have to Wear Them All the Time?
Your orthodontist will prescribe the retention plan that is best for you. Some retainers are used full-time for the first 6 months; after that, the retainers are worn only at night, for a few years. Other retainers are worn full-time for about a week, and solely at night thereafter. Fixed retainers are normally kept in place for 5 years.

Is it Important to Use Your Retainers as Instructed?
Removable retainers should be taken out during eating, contact sports and  when you brush your teeth. To clean the retainers, remove them first and brush them in tap water using a toothbrush and some toothpaste. Brush your teeth after this.

The safest place for your retainers is in your mouth. If you are not using the retainers they should always be kept in a box. There is a great risk of losing retainers if they are wrapped in tissue paper after you remove them from your mouth.

How Will Retainers Affect My Daily Life?
A removable retainer has a wire holding the front teeth. It will be visible but much less than the fixed braces. If you have a removable retainer in your upper jaw, it will take you one to two days to get accustomed to them and speak properly. It is normal to experience a lot of saliva in your mouth with a new retainer.

Always bring the box to store your retainer should you need to remove them. If you have a fixed retainer, you should spend more time to brush the back of your teeth. You have to brush all around the wire so that calculus will not form. You will be instructed on how to use dental floss with a floss-threader. Remember not to use your front teeth for biting hard foods or objects. Fixed retainers do not affect speech.

Will my teeth never change when the period of retention is over?
Bone has the capacity to change and remodel for as long as we live; that is why a broken bone can heal.

From 20 to 50 years of age, faces mature and teeth continue to push forward, causing crowding of the lower front teeth. This happens regardless of whether you have had wisdom teeth removed, extractions of teeth or previous orthodontic treatment for crowded teeth.

To avoid the risk of late crowding, removable retainers can be worn at night for a longer period and fixed retainers kept in for more than 5 years.
Adult patients usually sleep with their retainers on for the rest of their lives, if they want their teeth in perfect alignment.

5 Remedies for Sensitive Teeth

January 20th, 2015

Tooth sensitivity is common in many of our patients, and can usually be identified by pain or discomfort when consuming foods or beverages that are hot, cold, sweet, or sour. Sensitivity can be felt when brushing or flossing, and can also be experienced after routine dental procedures such as the placement of a filling or crown, tooth restoration, or even teeth cleaning. Such sensitivity is usually temporary; if it does not cease after four to six weeks please consult us.
Tooth sensitivity is often due to the breakdown of tooth enamel or a receding gum line, which can occur from:

  • Teeth grinding
  • Tooth Decay
  • Gum disease
  • Vigorous brushing
  • Cracked or chipped teeth

In most instances, tooth sensitivity is treatable. Here are a few remedies you can take advantage of at home:

  1. Try a desensitizing toothpaste which contains chemicals that block sensations like hot and cold from reaching the nerves in your teeth.
  2. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush that will be gentler on both your teeth and gums.
  3. Maintain good oral hygiene by brushing twice every day and flossing once daily.
  4. Switch to a fluoride mouthwash.
  5. When possible, avoid acidic foods such as tea, tomatoes, and citrus fruits.

Depending on the cause and severity of your sensitivity, you may benefit from professional treatment. If you suffer from sensitive teeth, please be sure to contact us. We can set up an appointment to discuss your unique situation and determine the best way to address the problem.

Make your oral health a priority

September 3rd, 2014

At Dr. Pamela Johnson Orthodontic Solutions, we know good dental health requires only a few minutes a day. We thought we’d provide some practical advice on how to improve your or your child’s smile between your adjustment visits with Dr. Johnson. Start by brushing your teeth twice a day. Proper brushing techniques are an essential part of maintaining good oral health during your orthodontic treatment, as well as preventing gum disease. More care and time are needed to adequately brush your teeth when you are wearing braces. Brushing daily helps remove decay-causing plaque from tooth surfaces. Please consult Dr. Johnson if you would like us to review brushing techniques with you or your child. The use of a mechanical toothbrush such as a Sonicare or Oral B can aid in removing plaque around braces. Flossing daily will also prevent plaque to build up between the teeth and prevent stains between your teeth. Research has shown the bacteria of gum disease has been linked to coronary artery disease, stroke, diabetes and memory loss. Lastly, we encourage you to throw away old toothbrushes and replace them every 2 or 3 months, or after an illness.

We hope this helps! If you have any further questions about any of these tips, please contact our office or ask your general dentist during your next scheduled visit! Or, ask us on Facebook!

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