Dental

How Strong Are Your Teeth?

May 11th, 2021

strong tooth with arms

The right smile can leave you laughing, fill you with joy or make you melt with emotion. But, ultimately, the best smile is one that is healthy and strong. Here are some of the “tooth truths” about how tough your teeth really are – and how to keep them that way.

1. Tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the body.

The shiny, white enamel that covers your teeth is even stronger than bone. This resilient surface is 96 percent mineral, the highest percentage of any tissue in your body – making it durable and damage-resistant.

2. Your bite is powerful!

Did you know your teeth can exert an average of 200 pounds of pressure when you bite down? That’s probably what tempts us to use our teeth as tools from time to time – but as your dentist will remind you, that’s one of the worst habits when it comes to preserving healthy teeth.

3. Teeth can last for hundreds of years.

Thanks to the durability of tooth enamel, our teeth actually outlast us. In fact, some of the most fascinating things we know about human history come from the study of our forebears’ dental remains. For example, we know that the first travelers to leave Africa for China set out as many as 80,000 years ago – and that early humans used a simple form of aspirin for pain relief – thanks to teeth!

4. Strong as they are, teeth can’t heal on their own.

All other tissues in our bodies have the power to repair themselves, but our teeth can’t. When damaged, they must be repaired by a skilled dentist using caps, crowns, fillings or veneers. When our teeth fall out, the only options are partial or full dentures or dental implants. (Just one more reason to take great care of your teeth every day!)

5. Healthy teeth have the power to resist decay, but they need our help.

Did you know there are more than 300 kinds of bacteria that can attack your teeth? The good news is that with healthy dental hygiene habits and regular checkups, you can protect your teeth from bacteria and other substances that can weaken teeth and cause decay.

In addition to cleaning and checking your teeth for signs of trouble, your general dentist and their team can help you learn what food and drink choices are good for your teeth and which ones to avoid. The professionals in your dental office are also ready to help you create a personalized plan to care for your teeth so you can enjoy good dental health for life.

source:mouthhealthy.org

National Facial Protection Month

April 28th, 2021

April might almost be over, but Spring sports are just beginning!

Remember to wear a mouth guard when you're at practice or any games. If you don't have one, Dr. Johnson can get you suited up! Call our office at 630-887-1188 to help protect your smile.

 

Teeth Grinding

April 15th, 2021

Teeth, Mouth, Dental, Dentist, Tooth, Lips, Oral, Gum

Teeth grinding can be caused not just by stress and anxiety but by sleep disorders, an abnormal bite or teeth that are missing or crooked. A study in the November 2016 issue of the Journal of the American Dental Association suggests that teeth grinding is also associated with alcohol and tobacco use. People who drink alcohol and smokers are approximately twice as likely to grind their teeth.

In a September 2020 report, the ADA Health Policy Institute found that more than half of dentists surveyed saw an increase of patients with dental conditions often associated with stress: Teeth grinding and clenching, chipped and cracked teeth, and symptoms of a temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder such as jaw pain and headaches.

The symptoms of teeth grinding include:

  • dull headaches
  • jaw soreness
  • teeth that are painful or loose
  • fractured teeth

Dr. Johnson or your general dentist can fit you with a mouth guard to protect your teeth during sleep. In some cases, your dentist or physician may recommend taking a muscle relaxant before bedtime. If stress is the cause you need to find a way to relax. Meditation, counseling and exercise can all help reduce stress and anxiety.

Teeth grinding is also common in children. However, because their teeth and jaws change and grow so quickly it is not usually a damaging habit that requires treatment and most outgrow it by adolescence.

Although in adults teeth grinding is often the result of stress, the same is not always true with children. Other possible causes of teeth grinding in children include:

  • irritation in the mouth
  • allergies
  • misaligned teeth

If you’re concerned about your child’s teeth grinding, ask your child’s dentist or Dr. Johnson about the potential causes and, if necessary, the possible solutions.

source: mouthhealthy.org

Sparkling Water - Is It Good For My Teeth?

April 5th, 2021

glass of sparkling water

Is the satisfying fizz of your favorite sparkling water putting you at risk for tooth decay? Because any drink with carbonation—including sparkling water—has a higher acid level, some reports have questioned whether sipping sparkling water will weaken your tooth enamel (the hard outer shell of your teeth where cavities first form).

So, Is Sparkling Water Affecting My Teeth?

According to available research, sparkling water is generally fine for your teeth—and here's why. In a study using teeth that were removed as a part of treatment and donated for research, researchers tested to see whether sparkling water would attack tooth enamel more aggressively than regular lab water. The result? The two forms of water were about the same in their effects on tooth enamel. This finding suggests that, even though sparkling water is slightly more acidic than ordinary water, it's all just water to your teeth.

Tips for Enjoying Sparkling Water—and Protecting Your Teeth

  • Sparkling water is far better for your teeth than sugary drinks. In addition, be sure to drink plenty of regular, fluoridated water, too—it’s the best beverage for your teeth. Water with fluoride naturally helps fight cavities, washes away the leftover food cavity-causing bacteria feast on and keeps your mouth from becoming dry (which can put you at a higher risk of cavities).
  • Be mindful of what’s in your sparkling water. Citrus-flavored waters often have higher acid levels that does increase the risk of damage to your enamel. Plan to enjoy these in one sitting or with meals. This way, you aren’t sipping it throughout the day and exposing your teeth over and over again to the slightly higher level of acid it contains.
  • Sparkling water brands with added sugar can no longer be considered just sparkling water. They are a sugar-sweetened beverage, which can contribute to your risk of developing cavities. So remember—sparkling or not—plain water is always the best choice.

source: mouthhealhy.org

Water Flossing: What is it and should I do it?

March 18th, 2021

Woman using ADA-accepted Waterpik water flosser

Water flossing is a way to clean between and around your teeth. A water flosser is a handheld device that sprays streams of water in steady pulses. The water, like traditional floss, removes food from between teeth.

Water flossers that have earned the ADA Seal of Acceptance have been tested to be safe and effective at removing plaque, which puts you at a higher risk for cavities and gum disease. Water flossers with the ADA Seal can also help reduce gingivitis, the early form of gum disease, throughout your mouth and between your teeth.

Water flossers can be an option for people who have trouble flossing by hand. People who have had dental work that makes flossing difficult—like braces, or permanent or fixed bridges—also might try water flossers.

Cleaning between your teeth once a day is an important part of your dental hygiene routine. You should also brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes and see your dentist regularly.

source: mouthhealthy.org

Why are Mouth Guards Important?

March 11th, 2021

Mouthguard

Imagine what it would be like if you suddenly lost one or two of your front teeth. Smiling, talking, eating—everything would suddenly be affected. Knowing how to prevent injuries to your mouth and face is especially important if you participate in organized sports or other recreational activities.

Mouth guards, also called mouth protectors, help cushion a blow to the face, minimizing the risk of broken teeth and injuries to your lips, tongue, face or jaw. They typically cover the upper teeth and are a great way to protect the soft tissues of your tongue, lips and cheek lining.

When Should You Wear a Mouth guard?

When it comes to protecting your mouth, a mouth guard is an essential piece of athletic gear that should be part of your standard equipment from an early age.

While collision and contact sports, such as boxing, are higher-risk sports for the mouth, any athlete may experience a dental injury in non-contact activities too, such as gymnastics and skating.

source: mouthhealthy.org

National Children's Dental Health Month

February 4th, 2021

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

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

Benefits of Early Orthodontic Care

January 21st, 2021

You may have seen our previous posts about how it is highly recommended that children see an orthodontist by the time they are 7 years old. There are a couple reasons for this. An orthodontist, like Dr. Johnson, can periodically observe the growth and eruption of permanent teeth to make sure everything is coming in properly. And if teeth are erupting in positions that would cause issues in the future, early treatments can be done.

Here are a few options that orthodontists can do during the early years:

Palatal expander - In younger patients, palatal expansion may reduce the need for extractions or prevent impacted teeth. It helps make the upper jaw wider to help reduce crowding in abnormally narrow arches. Cases not corrected in growing patients could lead to surgery, bite problems, or more costly treatments down the road.

Early interceptive treatment - Sometimes a short time in braces can correct problems early and 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 grow in better and encourage them to come in closer to their ideal position without orthodontic appliances. Dr. Johnson will suggest the best time for extractions, if they are necessary, to take advantage of your child's growth and development.

Remember, early visits are highly recommended but not all early visits result in orthodontic treatment. One of three things could result from your child's first visit:

  1. There may be no need for treatment at the time.
  2. Treatment may be needed in the future, so periodic appointments for observation would be recommended.
  3. A problem already exists that would benefit early treatment and will be discussed during the consultation.

Source: aaoinfo.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

How Soon Should My Child See an Orthodontist?

October 20th, 2020

As a parent, you want the best for your child and that includes healthy teeth and a pleasing smile. The American Dental Association recommends that a child visits a general dentist by their first birthday. Your dentist can alert you to any concerns about how the teeth and jaws are developing.

But when should you have your child see an Orthodontist?

Most orthodontic treatment begins between the ages of 9 and 14, but a check-up no later than age 7 gives your orthodontist the opportunity to recommend the appropriate treatment at the appropriate time. By age 7, your child has enough permanent teeth for an orthodontist to determine whether an orthodontic problem is occurring. If early treatment is in order, the orthodontist may be able to achieve results that may not be possible once the face and jaws have finished growing.

Not everyone needs orthodontic treatment, but seeing an orthodontist at age 7 would be beneficial and help your child receive treatment faster if they do. Well-aligned teeth look and feel good, and they contribute to good dental health and the ability to speak, chew, and bite.

Myths about Orthodontic Treatment

October 15th, 2020

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

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

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

2. Orthodontists are expensive.

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

3. Orthodontic treatment takes several years.

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

4. Orthodontic treatment is purely cosmetic.

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

5. Orthodontists only offer metal braces.

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

6. Orthodontic treatment is just for kids.

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

Source: aaoinfo.org

National Stop Bullying Day and #BullyingBites

October 14th, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: aaoinfo.org

What Your Orthodontist Wants You to Know During This Time

October 13th, 2020

We know these are uncertain times, but we wanted to let you know our office is open and safe for you to come in. Our mission is to keep our patients and staff safe while providing excellent orthodontic care. We want to reassure you that we are taking all precautions to protect everyone. Here are a few things we want you to know:

1. We are taking many more precautions to protect our patients and staff.

  • Wearing the proper PPE
  • Practicing social distancing etiquette
  • Cleaning and disinfecting more than ever before
  • Asking screening questions and checking temperatures at the front door

2. We continue to stay on top of all safety protocols.

Here at Johnson Orthodontics we continue to educate ourselves on the safety protocols as well as update our infection control protocols to ensure we align with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and all other applicable guidelines.

3. Dentists and orthodontic specialists have always been leaders in infection control and preventing the spread of diseases.

As oral health professionals, we are leaders in safely practicing with blood borne pathogens and respiratory pathogens. We are taking all the CDC recommendations and implementing them in our offices.

4. Your oral health is representative of your overall health.

We use appliances such as springs, coils and memory wires that apply continuous pressure to your teeth and jaw in order to straighten your teeth. Because of this, it is important that adjustments are made to the appliances in a timely manner and that we monitor the movement of your teeth. Also, it's important to know that leaving misaligned teeth untreated could lead to other dental problems.

 

 

 

Why Filing Teeth Yourself is a Bad Idea

October 8th, 2020

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

Don't do this!

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

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

source: aaoinfo.org

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

Gingivitis vs. periodontitis: what’s the difference?

July 5th, 2016

Both conditions relate to your gums, but what is the difference? Actually, it turns out that gingivitis (gum inflammation) and periodontitis (gum disease) are closely related. Gingivitis usually comes before, but does not necessarily always lead to, periodontitis.

Gingivitis is caused by bacteria that build up in plaque. This causes the gums to become inflamed and to bleed during brushing.

When gingivitis is not treated, it may lead to gum disease. Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults. This is because the inner layer of gum and bone pull away from the teeth, forming pockets that can become infected. As plaque grows below the gum line, gum tissue and bone are destroyed, causing teeth to become loose.

Though plaque is the primary cause of gum disease, there are other factors that contribute:

Hormone changes
Illnesses (HIV, cancer, diabetes)
Medication
Smoking
Family history
Not brushing and flossing every day

for more information visit toothwisdom.org

Tooth Pain Included Among Seven “Seemingly Trivial Pains” That Should Not Be Ignored.

May 18th, 2016

Woman’s Day (5/12, Brody) included tooth pain that causes waking during the night among seven “seemingly trivial pains” a person “should never ignore.” The article stated that experiencing tooth pain may be a sign of bruxism, which is sometimes brought on by stress. “Call your dentist so he or she can figure out the problem,” the article stated, adding that a dentist may recommend a mouth guard.
for more information visit page www.womansday.com/health-fitness/womens-health
MouthHealthy.org provides additional information on bruxism.

Popular Health Foods May Contribute To Teeth Discoloration, Dental Erosion.

May 3rd, 2016

The Daily Mail reports that “some of the most popular health foods” may negatively affect dental health. The acid content in green smoothies, for example, may damage enamel, while nutrient-rich beetroot may contribute to teeth staining. The article provides several “tooth-friendly” alternatives, recommending whole fruits and vegetables, nuts in moderation, and cheese.

Meanwhile, a second article in the Daily Mail states, “People make a number of simple mistakes” that can harm teeth, such as chewing ice cubes, eating dried fruits, using a toothbrush with hard bristles, using teeth as tools, and having tongue and lip piercings.
MouthHealthy.org provides additional information on diet and dental health, foods that affect dental health, and habits that harm teeth.

Reader’s Digest Identifies Seven Health Issues Dentists May Detect

April 21st, 2016

Reader’s Digest (4/19, Bender) states that “dentists are trained to spot more than just cavities,” listing seven dental problems that “may signal a health issue happening elsewhere in the body.” The article states, for example, that a dentist may be able to detect that a patient has diabetes. “Red, swollen gums that may bleed are the hallmarks of periodontal disease,” and people with diabetes are more prone to gum disease. “If gums bleed a lot and are swollen or the patient is having frequent abscesses or infections, the dentist might start to question if you have a family history of diabetes,” says ADA spokesperson Dr. Sally Cram. Dentists may also be able to detect if a patient is stressed. “Grinding or clenching your teeth can be a sign that you’re under pressure,” the article states, adding that Dr. Cram also notes canker sores appear more often in people who are stressed. In addition, dentists may be able to identify patients with acid reflux, low bone mineral density, an autoimmune disease, an eating disorder, or celiac disease. By Rachel Grumman Bender
Reader's Digest provides additional information

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