dental health

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

Early Orthodontic Care Can Help Avoid Costly Treatments In The Future

June 27th, 2022

Orthodontic Appliances N. Raleigh NC | Galligan Family Dentistry

 

Much like with laundry, orthodontic health can be more manageable if you get ahead of it.

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. And it may help you avoid more costly or more invasive treatments down the road. Visit Dr. Pamela Johnson at Johnson Orthodontics Willowbrook, IL. Dr. Johnson will provide an in depth consultation and is a member of the American Association of Orthodontics (AAO)

How so?

Palatal expander – Your child may be a good candidate for palatal expansion, which can make the upper jaw wider and help to reduce crowding in abnormally narrow arches. Ideally, a palatal expander is used when a patient is still growing. Expansion occurs when the growth plate or suture in the middle of the palate is stretched and the two halves are pushed apart. As the two halves are spread, new bone is added.

In younger patients, palatal expansion may reduce the need for extractions or prevent impacted teeth. Cases not corrected in growing patients may require surgery for correction in adulthood and may lead to abnormal wear or bite problems if not corrected at all.

Early interceptive treatment–Sometimes a short time in braces can correct problems early on to prevent larger problems later.  An example of interceptive treatment is correcting an anterior crossbite.

Tooth removal – Sometimes removing baby or impacted teeth can help permanent teeth emerge better and encourage them to come in closer to their ideal position even without an orthodontic appliance. Your orthodontist will suggest the best time for extractions  to take advantage of your child’s growth and development. Getting them into the orthodontist early allows you to receive the optimum  treatment for them.

Not all early visits result in orthodontic treatment

One of three things could result from your child’s first appointment with the orthodontist. 1) There may be no need for treatment recognized at that time. 2) Treatment may be necessary in the future, so the child will be followed periodically while the face and jaws continue to develop. Or, 3) A problem already exists that would benefit by early treatment, and you are in the right spot to get started!

Most orthodontists offer free consultations, so there’s no reason to wait.

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 – properly aligned teeth and jaws – and possess the skills and experience to give you your best smile. source/ aaoinfo.org

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

 

Can Pacifiers And Thumb Sucking Affect Your Child's Teeth?

June 15th, 2022

 How does thumb-sucking affect your teeth? - Quora

In short, yes. While thumb sucking or pacifier use is one of an infant’s natural reflexes, prolonged sucking can exert force on the teeth and jaws.  If your child sucks a thumb, finger, pacifier, or lips, their teeth or jaw growth may be affected (some bone changes can actually occur as early as 18 months).

Common orthodontic problems caused by prolonged thumb sucking or pacifier use can include:

  • Protruding front teeth: front teeth that stick out (“buck” teeth). Protrusive front teeth may make it hard to comfortably close the mouth and lips, cause speech problems, and make them more susceptible to trauma.
  • Open bite: when the upper and lower front teeth do not overlap, which can create swallowing or speech problems.
  • Crossbite: upper teeth that fit inside the lower teeth. If not corrected, the jaw can shift to one side causing lopsided jaw growth.

What to do if you notice prolonged thumb sucking or pacifier use

Consult Dr. Pamela Johnson Willowbrook, IL. Dr. Johnson will be able to identify any orthodontic related issues caused by the oral habit and can offer early treatment options to help your child break the habit and correct any problems that may have occurred. Orthodontists have been specifically trained in dentofacial orthopedics. In other words, they can help jaws grow and develop in better positions.

Seeing an AAO orthodontist at a young age will allow them to help your child:

  • Correct harmful oral habits
  • Guide jaw growth
  • Lower the risk of trauma to protruded front teeth
  • Guide permanent teeth into better positions

Trust an AAO orthodontist

You can work with an American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) Orthodontist to achieve a healthy, beautiful smile at any age. Dr. Pamela Johnson, who is a member of the AAO, is an Orthodontist who is an expert 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

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

Should My Child Wait Until They Have All Of Their Permanent Teeth To See An Orthodontist?

June 2nd, 2022

 When Do Kids Get Their Permanent Teeth? | Learn More
   If someone tells you that your child should have all of his/her permanent teeth before visiting the orthodontist for the first time, that “someone” is incorrect . In fact, putting off a first visit to the orthodontist until all of a child’s permanent teeth are in could do more harm than good. Here’s why:

There’s a lot more going on than meets the eye.

A child’s mouth is a busy place. Think about a 6-year-old. Everything is growing, including the bones in the jaw and face. At around age 6, the first permanent molars appear. An exchange of teeth begins as baby teeth fall out and are replaced by larger-sized permanent teeth. And it all happens in a predictable, particular order. Unless it doesn’t.

The gums hide about two-thirds of each tooth, as well as all the bone that hold teeth in place. The gums can mask conditions that interfere with the emergence of teeth.

Parents can watch for clues. Early or late loss of baby teeth can signal a problem. So can trouble with chewing or biting, speech difficulties and mouth-breathing. If these indicators are not addressed until a child has all of his/her permanent teeth and growth is essentially complete, correcting the problem may be more difficult than it might have been had treatment occurred earlier.

Orthodontic treatment is about creating a healthy bite – the beautiful smile is a bonus.

The goal of orthodontic treatment is to make sure the bite is right – that upper and lower teeth fit together like interlocking gears. The timing of your child’s treatment is critical and is based on his/her individual needs. Dr. Pamela Johnson can help determine if intervention is needed.

Some children can wait until they have all or most of their permanent teeth. Other children’s orthodontic problems may be better treated while some baby teeth are present. These children require growth guidance of bones in the upper and lower jaws, so there’s enough room for permanent teeth. Their treatment can be timed to predictable stages of dental development and physical growth. Once teeth and jaws are in alignment, a beautiful smile is the bonus result of treatment.

Dentists and orthodontists look at the mouth differently.

Both doctors work in the mouth. But perspectives differ based on the care they provide.

Dentists assess and promote overall oral health. They look for cavities and gum disease. They advise patients on diet and home hygiene care. And they monitor patients for diseases that appear in or affect the mouth. Dentists take “bite wing” x-rays to isolate a particular section of teeth as part of their diagnosis and treatment planning process. Orthodontic evaluations may be a lower priority for dentists.

Orthodontists are laser-focused on each patient’s bite. Orthodontists use “panoramic” x-rays to visualize all of the teeth above and below the gums, and the jaws, all at once. The bite is orthodontists’ area of specialization. 

If your dentist has not referred your child to an orthodontist, you need not wait for a referral. Orthodontists do not require a referral for your child to be seen.

Here’s what the experts say: remember age 7.

The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends that children have their first visit with an orthodontist no later than age 7. If a problem is detected and treatment is advised, you are giving the orthodontist the opportunity to provide your child with the most appropriate treatment at the most appropriate time.

To answer the question that headlines this blog, there’s no need to wait until your child has lost all his/her baby teeth before you consult an orthodontist. It’s fine to talk to an orthodontist as soon as you suspect a problem in your child, even if your child is younger than 7. Many orthodontists offer a free or low-cost initial consultation. And adults – there’s no time like the present to talk to an orthodontist about getting the smile you’ve always wanted. You can visit Dr. Pamela Johnson Willowbrook, IL at Johnson Orthodontics for your childs initial consultation today. source/aaoinfo.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

Why Does A Crossbite Need To Be Fixed?

June 1st, 2022

Crossbite - Vibrant Smiles Mableton GA Dentist Dr Chea Rainford

 

 

 

A crossbite is a type of malocclusion, or a misalignment of teeth, where upper teeth fit inside of lower teeth. This misalignment can affect a single tooth or groups of teeth, involving the front teeth, back teeth, or both:

  1. Posterior crossbite: If the back teeth are affected, upper teeth sit inside of bottom teeth.
  2. Anterior crossbite: If the front teeth are in crossbite, one or more top teeth sit behind the bottom teeth. Not to be confused with an underbite, when all the top teeth, or jaw, are behind the bottom teeth

When teeth are lined up correctly, the upper teeth are naturally wider because they lay on the outside of the bottom teeth.

What causes a crossbite?

A crossbite can occur from genetics, delayed loss of baby teeth or abnormal eruption of permanent teeth, even prolonged actions like thumb sucking or swallowing in an abnormal way can generate damaging pressure. Teeth can be pushed out of place; bone can be distorted.

Why does a crossbite need to be fixed?

A crossbite may reveal an underlying jaw problem that is best addressed at a young age, while the face and jaws are still developing. Possible consequences if not corrected include:

  • the jaw shifting to one side
  • lopsided jaw growth
  • wearing down of outer layer of the tooth called “enamel”

How does an AAO orthodontist correct a crossbite?

Depending on the scope of the crossbite, treatment may involve the use of a palatal expander, a fixed or removable orthodontic appliance used to make the upper jaw wider. This would be used alongside an appliance designed to move the teeth, such as braces or clear aligners.

Dr. Pamela Johnson Willowbrook, IL who is a trained orthodontic specialist knows when each method, or both, and can help you determine which is best for you.

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. 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. aaoinfo.org

Athletes Are More Likely To Have Poor Oral Health

May 31st, 2022

Sport. Young athlete drinking water of bottle after running Sport. Runner. Top view sport drink stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images

Despite an outward picture of wellness and a healthy oral hygiene routine, athletes still tend to have more teeth-related problems than their peers. A recent study, published in the British Dental Journal, found that despite regular brushing and flossing, untreated tooth decay and gum inflammation was still prevalent among elite athletes.

Why?

Because they often refuel with high-acid drinks, gels and energy bars – all of which can weaken tooth enamel and damage teeth due to high sugar content and acidity.

The study found nearly half (49 percent) of elite endurance athletes had untreated tooth decay, and the majority of them had early signs of gum inflammation.

Even despite these same athletes reporting better dental hygiene than the general population – with 94 percent brushing their teeth at least twice a day, and 44 percent flossing regularly.

Let’s break it down (so your teeth don’t).

The acid in sports drinks and gels dissolves tooth enamel, a process called decalcification, and can lead to cavities. Once enamel dissolves, it does not come back. The loss and decay are permanent.

Add the sugar from sports drinks and gels to the mix, and the risk to tooth enamel doubles.

Plaque uses sugar and starches as food and expels acid as a by-product. If plaque is not removed regularly by brushing and flossing, the build-up can lead to additional decalcification, cavities, gum disease and loss of the bone that holds teeth in place.

What does this mean for orthodontic patients?

Athletes undergoing orthodontic treatment should be on high alert. Sports drinks are even harder on teeth with orthodontic appliances, such as braces or aligners.

For those wearing braces, visible white marks (decalcification) around your brackets can appear within a couple of months if plaque is not removed. For those wearing aligners, the damage may be amplified and occur all over because the acidic liquid seeps into the aligners and sits against teeth. Consult with Dr. Pamela Johnson for recommended beverages when undergoing your orthodontic treatment.

 

Bottom line – skip the sports drinks and gels.

Opt for water or other less-acidic choices. If that’s not an option, consider swishing water after sips, drinking through a straw or brushing and flossing after workouts. A fluoride rinse may also be helpful. See your dentist every six months for a professional cleaning and check-up, or more often if recommended.

Be aware that soda, sweet tea, bubbly flavored water and other carbonated beverages can have the same negative effects and should be avoided as well.

Trust an AAO orthodontist.

You can contact  Dr. Pamela Johnson of Johnson Orthodontics Willowbrook, IL. She is a member of the  American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) and can help you 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. aaoinfo.org

Internet Trend To Avoid

May 26th, 2022

Can Mewing Reshape Your Face? How to Do It and What the Research Says

 

 

v

 

Despite popular opinion, the internet might not have all the answers…especially when it comes to your facial structure. The online do-it-yourself facial restructuring trend known as mewing (which, by the way, is not a medical term) suggests that tongue placement can define your jawline. While proper tongue alignment could alter your facial structure, there’s more to it.

There’s more to facial restructuring.

It’s a complex process that involves changes in jaw bones, facial bones and soft tissue.

The natural resting position of your tongue is an important clue to what’s going on in your mouth. It could lead to tongue thrusting, or the tongue can even push teeth out of alignment causing bite problems or speech and swallowing problems.

Before considering doing it yourself, individuals should always start by asking themselves if they are comfortable starting treatment without knowing what is happening below the surface. Any unsupervised attempts to move teeth/align jaws is not recommended by the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO).

What should you do if you’re concerned about your tongue’s resting position?

Consult an orthodontist, Dr. Pamela Johnson Willowbrook, IL who is a member of the AAO can evaluate your tongue position. Orthodontists are trained in understanding the structure of your teeth, jaw bones and facial bones. They can also properly evaluate how changing one part of the mouth may impact other parts—for example, how the natural resting position of your tongue may be affecting your speech or causing bite problems.

Before considering a DIY treatment, patients should consider the potential irreversible and expensive damage if not done correctly.

Trust an AAO orthodontist.

Orthodontists are the only dental specialists who have additional education and training focused exclusively on the movement of teeth, jawbones, facial bones, and soft tissue–3,700 hours of specialized training to be exact. They understand growth and development and are also called dentofacial orthopedists.  Find an orthodontist near you at aaoinfo.org/locator.

Thinking About Teeth Whitening?

May 23rd, 2022

Beautiful smile and white teeth of a young woman. Beautiful smile and white teeth of a young woman. Matching the shades of the implants or the process of teeth whitening. white teeth stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images

Brushing and flossing are everyday ways to keep your teeth bright, white and healthy. Still, if you might feel like your smile is lacking some sparkle or is more yellow than it used to be, you’re not alone. When the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry asked people what they’d most like to improve about their smile, the most common response was whiter teeth. The American Association of Orthodontists also found that nearly 90% of patients requested tooth whitening.

Thinking about teeth whitening? Talk to your dentist or your orthodontist,Dr. Pamela Johnson can help. Get the facts first. Here are five of the most commonly asked questions about the process.

Why Did My Teeth Change Color?

Over time, your teeth can go from white to not-so-bright for a number of reasons:

Food and Drink
Coffee, tea and red wine are some major staining culprits. What do they have in common? Intense color pigments called chromogens that attach to the white, outer part of your tooth (enamel).

Tobacco Use
Two chemicals found in tobacco create stubborn stains: Tar and nicotine. Tar is naturally dark. Nicotine is colorless until it’s mixed with oxygen. Then, it turns into a yellowish, surface-staining substance.

Age
Below the hard, white outer shell of your teeth (enamel) is a softer area called dentin. Over time, the outer enamel layer gets thinner with brushing and more of the yellowish dentin shows through.

Trauma
If you’ve been hit in the mouth, your tooth may change color because it reacts to an injury by laying down more dentin, which is a darker layer under the enamel.

Medications
Tooth darkening can be a side effect of certain antihistamines, antipsychotics and high blood pressure medications. Young children who are exposed to antibiotics like tetracycline and doxycycline when their teeth are forming (either in the womb or as a baby) may have discoloration of their adult teeth later in life. Chemotherapy and head and neck radiation can also darken teeth.

How Does Teeth Whitening Work?

Teeth whitening is a simple process. Whitening products contain one of two tooth bleaches (hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide). These bleaches break stains into smaller pieces, which makes the color less concentrated and your teeth brighter.

Does Whitening Work on All Teeth?

No, which is why it’s important to talk to your dentist or orthodontist  before deciding to whiten your teeth, as whiteners may not correct all types of discoloration. For example, yellow teeth will probably bleach well, brown teeth may not respond as well and teeth with gray tones may not bleach at all. Whitening will not work on caps, veneerscrowns or fillings. It also won’t be effective if your tooth discoloration is caused by medications or a tooth injury.

What Are My Whitening Options?

Talk to your dentist or orthodontist before starting. If you are a candidate, there are four ways to put the shine back in your smile:

Stain Removal Toothpastes
All toothpastes help remove surface stain through the action of mild abrasives that scrub the teeth. Look for whitening toothpastes that have earned the ADA Seal of Acceptance for stain removal (it will tell you on the package). These toothpastes have additional polishing agents that are safe for your teeth and provide stain removal effectiveness. Unlike bleaches, these types of ADA-Accepted products do not change the color of teeth because they can only remove stains on the surface.

In-Office Bleaching
This procedure is called chairside bleaching and usually requires only one office visit. The dentist will apply either a protective gel to your gums or a rubber shield to protect your gums. Bleach is then applied to the teeth.

At-Home Bleaching from Your Dentist
Your dentist can provide you with a custom-made tray for at-home whitening. In this case, the dentist or orthodontist will give you instructions on how to place the bleaching solution in the tray and for what length of time. This may be a preferred option if you feel more comfortable whitening in your own home at a slower pace, but still with the guidance of a dentist. Out-of-office bleaching can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks.

Over-the-Counter Bleaching Products
You may see different options online or in your local grocery store, such as toothpastes or strips that whiten by bleaching your teeth. The concentration of the bleaching agent in these products is lower than what your dentist would use in the office. If you are thinking about using an over-the-counter bleaching kit, discuss options with your dentist or orthodontist and look for one with the ADA Seal of Acceptance. That means it has been tested to be safe and effective for teeth whitening.

Are There Any Side Effects from Teeth Whitening?

Some people who use teeth whiteners may experience tooth sensitivity. That happens when the peroxide in the whitener gets through the enamel to the soft layer of dentin and irritates the nerve of your tooth. In most cases the sensitivity is temporary. You can delay treatment, then try again.

Overuse of whiteners can also damage the tooth enamel or gums, so be sure to follow directions and talk to your dentist. source/mouthhealthy.org.

With Age Comes Wisdom And Wisdom Teeth

May 16th, 2022

 

 

teeth x-ray and wisdom tooth tooth problems wisdom teeth stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images

With age comes wisdom. Specifically, wisdom teeth.

Your mouth goes through many changes in your lifetime. One major dental milestone that usually takes place between the ages of 17 and 21 is the appearance of your third molars. Historically, these teeth have been called wisdom teeth because they come through at a more mature age.

When they come through correctly, healthy wisdom teeth can help you chew. It’s normal to feel a little discomfort when your wisdom teeth appear, but if you have pain, see your dentist immediately.

Room to Grow?

Wisdom teeth can lead to problems if there isn’t enough space for them to surface or they come through in the wrong position. If your dentist says your wisdom teeth are impacted, he or she means they are trapped in your jaw or under your gums.

As your wisdom teeth make their way through your gums, your dentist will be monitoring your mouth for signs of the following:

  • Wisdom teeth that aren’t in the right position can allow food to become trapped. That gives cavity-causing bacteria a place to grow.
  • Wisdom teeth that haven’t come in properly, which can make it difficult to floss between the wisdom teeth and the molars next to them.
  • Wisdom teeth that have partially come through can give bacteria a place to enter the gums and create a place for infection to occur. This may also lead to pain, swelling and stiffness in your jaw.
  • Wisdom teeth that don’t have room to come through are thought by some to crowd or damage neighboring teeth.
  • A wisdom tooth that is impacted can form a cyst on or near the impacted tooth. This could damage the roots of nearby teeth or destroy the bone that supports your teeth.

Why You Might Need to Have Your Wisdom Teeth Removed

Every patient is unique, but in general, wisdom teeth may need to be removed when there is evidence of changes in the mouth such as:

  • Pain
  • Infection
  • Cysts
  • Tumors
  • Damage to neighboring teeth
  • Gum disease
  • Tooth decay (if it is not possible or desirable to restore the tooth)

Dr. Pamela Johnson may recommend removal of wisdom teeth as part of treatment for braces or other dental care.

Before making any decisions, your dentist or orthodontist will examine your mouth and take an x-ray. Together, you can discuss the best course of treatment.

Keeping Your Wisdom Teeth?

Wisdom teeth that are not removed should continue to be monitored because the potential for developing problems later on still exists. As people age, they are at greater risk for health problems—and that includes potential problems with their wisdom teeth. Be sure to, floss around your wisdom teeth and visit your dentist regularly. Regular dental visits allow your dentist to evaluate your wisdom teeth and your overall dental health. -

Foods To Keep Your Teeth And Body Healthy

May 11th, 2022

Nutrition

Photo of teen girl drinking a class of milk

Eating healthy foods helps keep your teeth and body healthy. Don’t eat or drink too many sweets. If you have something sweet, try to eat or drink it with a meal to limit the exposure time to your teeth. That's because certain foods can put you at risk for cavities and other oral health problems? Here are some tips.

What to Eat:

Fruits and vegetables. Combined these should be half of what you eat every day.

  • Grains. Make sure at least half of the grains you eat are whole grains, such as oatmeal, whole wheat bread and brown rice.
  • Dairy. Choose low-fat or fat-free dairy foods.
  • Lean proteins. Make lean protein choices, such as lean beef, skinless poultry and fish. Try and vary your protein choices to include eggs, beans, peas and legumes, too. Eat at least 8 oz. of seafood a week.

Snacking tips:

  • Snacking is hard to resist but you can do your mouth a favor by watching the amount of soda, juice or other sweetened beverages you drink.
  • If you want a snack, try and choose something like fruit, low-fat cheese, yogurt or raw vegetables.
  • If you chew gum, make sure it’s sugarless. Certain sugarless gums have earned the ADA Seal of Acceptance for helping prevent cavities by strengthening teeth. Look for the ADA Seal on the package.

If you have braces: Good oral hygiene is especially important for people wearing braces. Dr. Pamela Johnson Orthodontist in Willowbrook IL, may recommend avoiding certain foods that could interfere with braces or accidentally bend the wires. These foods may include nuts, popcorn, hard candy, ice and sticky foods like chewing gum, caramel or other chewy candy.   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

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/

12 Tips for a Healthy Halloween

October 7th, 2021

Halloween is around the corner, which for most children means bags of free candy and a chance to build a stockpile of sweets for the winter. No surprise, Halloween can also present parents with a variety of health and safety challenges.

Here's how you can help your family stay healthy and have fun on Halloween.

Time It Right

Eat Halloween candy (and other sugary foods) with meals or shortly after mealtime. Saliva production increases during meals. This helps cancel out acids produced by bacteria in your mouth and rinse away food particles.

Stay Away from Sweet Snacks

Snacking can increase your risk of cavities, and it’s double the trouble if you keep grabbing sugary treats from the candy bowl. Instead have them as a dessert after a meal or a quick study reward with some water after.

Choose Candy Carefully

Avoid hard candy and other sweets that stay in your mouth for a long time. Aside from how often you snack, the length of time sugary food is in your mouth plays a role in tooth decay. Unless it is a sugar-free product, candies that stay in the mouth for a long period of time subject teeth to an increased risk for tooth decay.

Avoid Sticky Situations

Sticky candies cling to your teeth. The stickier candies, like taffy and gummy bears, take longer to get washed away by saliva, increasing the risk for tooth decay.

Have a Plan

It’s tempting to keep that candy around, but your teeth will thank you if you limit your stash. Have your family pick their favorites and donate the rest.  Look for organizations that help you donate candy to troops overseas, like Operation Gratitude, or see if your dentist has a candy take-back program.

Drink More Water

Drinking fluoridated water can help prevent tooth decay. If you choose bottled water, look for kinds that are fluoridated.

Maintain a Healthy Diet

Your body is like a complex machine. The foods you choose as fuel and how often you "fill up" affect your general health and that of your teeth and gums.

Stay Away from Sugary Beverages

This includes soda, sports drinks and flavored waters. When teeth come in frequent contact with beverages that contain sugar, the risk of tooth decay is increased.

Chew Gum with the ADA Seal

Chewing sugarless gum for 20 minutes after meals helps reduce tooth decay, because increased saliva flow helps wash out food and neutralize the acid produced by bacteria. Find one with the ADA Seal for maximum effectiveness.

Brush Twice a Day

Brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes with an ADA-accepted fluoride toothpaste. Remember, 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.

Clean Between Your Teeth

Floss your teeth once a day. Decay-causing bacteria get between teeth where toothbrush bristles can't reach. Flossing helps remove plaque and food particles from between the teeth and under the gum line.  This also helps get rid of bacteria left behind after brushing that causes bad breath.

Find fun-filled Halloween activity sheets and pumpkin stencils in the link below!

https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/resources/activity-sheets/halloween

Have a wonderful Halloween season! - Dr. Johnson and staff

www.mouthhealthy.org

3 Things All Athletes Should Do for Their Teeth

September 2nd, 2021

A child plays hockey while wearing a mouthguard

Make a Mouthguard Part of Your Uniform

Helmet? Check. Knee pads? Check. Mouthguard? Check! Mouthguards usually cover your upper teeth and protect your teeth, lips, tongue, face and jaw against injuries, so they need to be part of your uniform in any sport you play.

Wearing a mouthguard regularly becomes second nature. It does not matter what type of mouthguard you choose, just make sure it fits properly.

In fact, many sports won’t let you play without one.  USA Hockey requires all youth players to wear a mouthguard. “The referees have to be able to see it, and it has to be colored,” says Dr. Long, a former college hockey player and team dentist for the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes.

 

Sideline Sugary Sports Drinks

If you need to quench your thirst, reach for water instead of a sports drink. The bacteria in your mouth will use the sugar from your sports drink to produce an acid that weakens the hard outer shell of your teeth, which may increase your risk for cavities over time.  This bacteria can sit in your mouth guard and attack your enamel the entire time it's in during play.

 

Brush, Floss, Rinse, Repeat

Practice makes perfect when you’re mastering the skills of any sport, so do the same with your daily dental habits.  An unhealthy tooth is more likely to be damaged if a sports injury happens.  A tooth that has had a lot of decay and a lot of fillings is nowhere near as strong as a tooth that has not had decay and has not had a lot of fillings.

Keep your smile strong by brushing twice a day for two minutes and flossing once a day. Then, in the home stretch of your daily dental routine, use an ADA-Accepted mouthwash.

https://www.mouthhealthy.org/

6 Travel Tips for Your Teeth

June 15th, 2021

Vacation marked on a calendar

The summer is almost here, and we know many of our patients and their families will be traveling this year. Here are some great dental travel tips to keep your summer both fun and healthy!

  1. Schedule a Dental Visit Beforehand

    No one wants to have a dental emergency during vacation. If you can, schedule a checkup with your general dentist and make sure you have seen Dr. Johnson if you are due for an appointment. That way both can check to make sure your teeth and the orthodontic appliances are in good shape.

  2. Have Emergency Contacts Ready

    Have your general dentist and Dr. Johnson's phone number in your phone or their businesses cards in your wallet before leaving for vacation. Many dental emergencies can be solved at home or over the phone.

  3. In Case of an Emergency...

    If you are out of the country and you need to see a dentist immediately, contact your local consulate or U.S. embassy. The concierge at the hotel may give recommendations, but the local consulate or U.S. embassy will provide independent recommendations.

  4. If You Forget Your Toothbrush

    No toothbrush? Rinse vigorously with water or put toothpaste on a clean washcloth or your finger. When you have a chance, go to the nearest drugstore to get a toothbrush with the ADA Seal of Acceptance. If you don't see the seal, get the softest brush you can find.

  5. How to Properly Pack Your Toothbrush

    Letting your toothbrush air dry is the best way to avoid bacteria and keeping it clean at home. However, when traveling, it's more important to keep your toothbrush clean and out of contact with other things than to air dry. Use resealable plastic bags to keep your toothbrush separate from everything else in your luggage. Once you arrive, then you can take it out to air dry.

  6. Pack ADA Approved Gum

    Chewing sugarless gum can help relieve ear pressure during a flight – and help keep cavities at bay on vacation. Research shows that chewing sugarless gum for 20 minutes after a meal can help prevent cavities. That’s because it gets saliva flowing, which helps wash away cavity-causing bacteria.

www.mouthhealthy.org/

7 Things Your Orthodontist Wants You to Know About the COVID-19 Vaccines

March 30th, 2021

A vial of COVID-19 vaccine

What do flossing, fluoride and the COVID-19 vaccine have in common? Preventing disease.

Dr. Johnson cares for your mouth because your oral health is essential to your overall health. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, she and many orthodontists and dentists have been working to put your health and safety first by taking extra steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the office.

Now, we have COVID-19 vaccines to add to the other tools we’ve all been using to fight the pandemic — like wearing masks, washing our hands and avoiding crowds. As vaccines become available to more people, you may have some questions about them. Here’s what the CDC (and Dr. Johnson!) want you to know about COVID-19 vaccines.

1. The Vaccines are Safe and Effective

As doctors of oral health, credible scientific information is important to us when recommending treatments for our patients. While these vaccines were developed in a shorter time frame than some other vaccines, it’s important to know that the science behind them was not rushed. These vaccines were tested by thousands of people to make sure they work and are safe for patients like you. The Food and Drug Administration reviewed the data from the tests and authorized them for emergency use after determining they are safe and effective for the public.

As an additional safety measure, the CDC has set up expanded safety monitoring systems like the V-Safe smartphone tool to monitor vaccinations in real time.

2. The Vaccine Won’t Make You Sick, But It Does Have Some Side Effects

There is no possible way COVID-19 vaccines can give you COVID-19. They might, however, come with some side effects that make you feel uncomfortable for a short time.

Because vaccines teach your body how to recognize and fight off a COVID-19 infection, you might feel some of the symptoms you’d get if your body were fighting off the real virus, such as a fever, according to the CDC. While unpleasant, this is actually a sign the vaccine is working in your body.

3. You Should Still Get the Vaccine Even If You’ve Had COVID-19

Those who have recovered from COVID-19 have some natural immunity that may protect them from getting sick again, but some people do get re-infected. It’s unclear how long natural immunity to COVID-19 lasts and it can vary from person to person. The CDC recommends that people who’ve had COVID-19 still get the vaccine.

4. Get All Recommended Doses

If you are receiving the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, you need two doses to get the same level of efficacy seen in the clinical trials. For the Pfizer vaccine, the second dose is recommended three weeks after the first. For the Moderna vaccine, the second dose is recommended four weeks after the first. And if you get the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, you only need a single dose.

5. Vaccine Supply Is Increasing

While the first available doses of the vaccine have been set aside for healthcare workers and other essential workers, more will be available soon. The CDC has given government agencies recommendations for the order in which different groups of people should be vaccinated, with the end goal of making the vaccines available to everyone. Your local government may also allow different groups, such as people over 65, to receive the vaccine sooner.

6. You’ll Still Need to Wear a Mask

Vaccines are just one layer of protection we can use in this pandemic, so it’s not time to get rid of your mask just yet. Here’s why: a vaccine will protect you from getting sick from the virus, but we don’t yet know if it will prevent you from spreading the virus to others. That’s why the CDC continues to recommend people to wear masks, wash their hands frequently and avoid crowds even after getting vaccinated. Your dentist and Dr. Johnson will also continue to require masks at your appointment.

7. You Can Get the Vaccine If You Are Planning to Get Pregnant

Whether you are planning to get pregnant soon or in the future, you should still get the vaccine when it is available to you. The CDC states there is no evidence that the antibodies created from COVID-19 vaccines will cause problems with a pregnancy. The CDC also says there is no evidence that fertility issues are a side effect of the COVID-19 vaccine, or any other vaccine.

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!

Seeing a Dentist During Orthodontic Treatment

January 19th, 2021

Many patients ask Dr. Pamela Johnson if they still need to see a general dentist when they are coming to her office every other month for orthodontic treatment. The answer is yes. It's very important to see your general dentist even when receiving orthodontic treatment. There are a number of reasons why, but here are three crucial examples:

  1. Regular cleanings are super important
    Having braces means there are extra nooks and crannies that food particles can get stuck in. Even with regular brushing and flossing, it can be hard to reach everything around the brackets, bands, and other appliances. Your dentist will be able to give a professional cleaning that will ensure most, if not all, plaque and tartar are removed. This still applies even if you're wearing clear aligners or Invisalign.
  2. Help protect against decalcification
    Decalcification is when white spots develop on the tooth surface, and this is irreversible. If left untreated, it can also lead to cavities. Practicing good oral hygiene helps prevent decalcification but seeing your general dentist is another strong way to help prevent this.
  3. Cavities prolong orthodontic treatment
    Seeing your dentist on a regular basis during treatment helps prevent cavities. Having cavities can delay the completion of your orthodontic treatment. Your dentist can provide fluoride treatments or other treatments to help strengthen your teeth and protect them from cavities.

Regular dentist visits are so important. If you do not have a general dentist, you can call or email our office and we can recommend one in your area.

Happy New Year!

December 31st, 2020

Johnson Orthodontics wants to wish you a Happy New Year!

We are open today but are closed tomorrow January 1, 2021. Have a fun but safe weekend and we'll see you in the new year!

Your Child's Teeth, Ages 6-12

December 17th, 2020

When a child's adult teeth are coming in, we know parents may be wondering when all of their teeth will be in and if they're on track with other children. However, it's good to know that not all children get the same teeth at the same time.

Around age 5 or 6 is when children start losing their bottom and top front teeth. From ages 6 to 12, they will continue to lose their baby teeth and gain their adult ones until they have usually lost the last of their 20 baby teeth by age 12. In general, once they are 12 to 14, they should have all of their adult teeth except their wisdom teeth.

Again, everyone doesn't follow this exactly, but we've included a handy chart of when permanent (adult) teeth start to come in for you to see and use for guidance.

Remember, it's highly recommended to see a general dentist starting with your child's first birthday and to see an orthodontist when they are 7 years old.

 

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

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

Fight the Fear of the Dental Office

November 4th, 2020

We know going into any dental office, whether it's the dentist or orthodontist, can cause some nervous butterflies. You could be scared that the treatment may hurt, you haven't been in for a while, or you're nervous to hear how your orthodontic treatment may go. Whatever your reason, Johnson Orthodontics will make sure your dental and emotional health are taken care of. Here are some strategies you can use at your next appointment to help ease any anxiety you may have:

1. Talk to Us

Sharing your thoughts and feelings makes a huge difference when you are anxious. If you have anxiety about your visit to Johnson Orthodontics, make sure to get your concerns off your chest by speaking with Dr. Johnson. Our team will be able to give you the best treatment if we know your needs.

  • Tell us about your anxiety. You can explain this to the receptionist when you make your appointment, and remind Dr. Johnson and the dental staff when you arrive.
  • Ask questions. We will answer all your questions and concerns, and sometimes knowing what's going to happen during your treatment could alleviate your fears.
  • Give us a signal. Talk to Dr. Johnson and the dental staff about creating a signal for when you are feeling overwhelmed and need a break during your appointment.
  • Feel any pain, tell us. Please don't feel embarrassed if you feel any pain or about your pain tolerance. Talk to our team so we make sure you feel comfortable.

2. Distract Yourself

Here are a few things you can do to try to take your mind off what's going on when the team is working on your teeth. You can do one or a combination of the strategies below.

  • Listen to music or an audiobook. Bring your headphones in and you can drown out the noise around you.
  • Keep your hands busy. Sometimes having something in your hands can help, so if you have a stress ball or even a fidget spinner, bring it in.
  • Daydream. Close your eyes and imagine being somewhere else that's relaxing to you.

3. Use Mindfulness Techniques

Another strategy is to try breathing techniques. This can also be combined with the suggestions for keeping your mind occupied.

  • Count your breaths. Inhale slowly and exhale for the same number of counts. Do this multiple times before you come in, in the lobby, or while you're in the dental chair.
  • Do a body scan. Relax your muscles by starting from your head and going through each body part until you get to your toes.

Dental visits of all kinds can seem scary, but we promise to be there for you every step of the way. We want to make your time getting your orthodontic treatments as easy and relaxing as possible. So try these strategies, and don't forget to let us know if you have any questions or concerns!

source: mouthhealthy.org

Can Pacifiers and Thumb Sucking Affect My Child's Teeth?

November 2nd, 2020

The short answer is yes. While thumb sucking and using a pacifier are natural reflexes, if these habits are prolonged it can exert force on the teeth and jaws.

Some common orthodontic problems due to prolonged thumb sucking and pacifier use include:
- Protruding front teeth, also known as "buck" teeth
- Open bite, which is when the upper and lower front teeth do not overlap and could cause swallowing or speech problems
- Crossbite, upper teeth that fit inside the lower teeth. If not corrected, the jaw can shift to one side causing lopsided jaw growth

If you notice prolonged thumb sucking or pacifier use, please contact Dr. Johnson. As an orthodontist, she can identify any orthodontic related issues caused by these habits and can offer early treatments to help your child break the habit and correct any current problems. Seeing an orthodontist at a young age will help your child:
- correct harmful oral habits
- guide jaw growth
- lower the risk of trauma to protruded front teeth
- guide permanent teeth into better positions

source: aaoinfo.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.

 

Invisalign®, Does It Work?

October 26th, 2020

invisalign for adults

Many still believe that braces and orthodontic treatment is for children and teenagers. But that is not true. Orthodontic treatment is for patients of all ages. One type of treatment that adults can do is Invisalign® clear aligners.

How do they work?
Invisalign® clear aligners use the most advanced technology to give you your best smile. Using a series of aligners made with SmartTrack® material, Invisalign treatment can straighten your teeth with 75% more predictability.

First, Dr. Pamela Johnson scans your teeth and with a complete team of specialists, they'll craft a complete digital treatment plan. The aligners are trimmed along your gum line for optimal comfort and aesthetics and are designed to gradually and predictably adjust your teeth as you continue to live your life the way you want. With the combined help of Invisalign and Dr. Johnson, you'll gradually reveal your brand new smile.

And, it's more affordable than you think. Many dental insurance plans cover Invisalign treatments just as they would other orthodontic treatments. Ask Dr. Johnson and her team how to use your orthodontic insurance coverage to help pay for Invisalign treatments.

Ready to start your Smile Transformation?

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