Willowbrook Orthodontist

Sealants

September 16th, 2021

Brushing and flossing are the best ways to help prevent cavities, but it’s not always easy to clean every nook and cranny of your teeth – especially those back teeth you use to chew (called molars). Molars are rough, uneven and a favorite place for leftover food and cavity-causing bacteria to hide.

Still, there’s another safety net to help keep those teeth clean. It’s called a sealant, and it is a thin, protective coating (made from plastic or other dental materials) that adheres to the chewing surface of your back teeth. They’re no substitute for brushing and flossing, but they can keep cavities from forming and may even stop early stages of decay from becoming a full-blown cavity.

In fact, sealants have been shown to reduce the risk of decay by nearly 80% in molars. This is especially important when it comes to your child's dental health. In October 2016, the Centers for Disease Control released a report on the importance of sealants for school-aged children, of which only 43% of children ages 6-11 have. According to the CDC, "school-age children without sealants have almost three times more cavities than children with sealants."

You may have many questions about sealants, and we have answers for you below. Read on to learn more about sealing out tooth decay.

How Do Sealants Work?

Think of them as raincoats for your teeth. When the cavity-causing bacteria that live in everyone’s mouth meet leftover food particles, they produce acids that can create holes in teeth. These holes are cavities. After sealant has been applied it keeps those bits of food out and stops bacteria and acid from settling on your teeth—just like a raincoat keeps you clean and dry during a storm.

Who Can Get Sealants?

Children and adults can benefit from sealants, but the earlier you get them, the better. Your first molars appear around age 6, and second molars break through around age 12. Sealing these teeth as soon as they come through can keep them cavity-free from the start, which helps save time and money in the long run. Ask your dentist if sealants are a good option for you and your family.

How Are Sealants Applied?

It’s a quick and painless process. Your dentist will clean and dry your tooth before placing an acidic gel on your teeth. This gel roughs up your tooth surface so a strong bond will form between your tooth and the sealant. After a few seconds, your dentist will rinse off the gel and dry your tooth once again before applying the sealant onto the grooves of your tooth. Your dentist will then use a special blue light to harden the sealant.

Can Sealants Be Placed Over Cavities?

Sealants can be used over areas of early decay to prevent further damage to your tooth. Because some sealants are clear, your dentist can keep an eye on the tooth to make sure the sealant is doing its job.

Are There Any Side Effects?

With the exception of an allergy that may exist, there are no known side effects from sealants.

Is There BPA In Sealants?

Yes, there is a tiny amount of BPA in sealants but not enough to cause you or a loved one any harm. In fact, you get more exposure to BPA by simply touching a receipt, using cosmetics or coming in contact with dust.

BPA in sealants

How Long Do Sealants Last?

Sealants will often last for several years before they need to be reapplied. During your regular dental visit, your dentist will check the condition of the sealant and can reapply them as needed.

Are Sealants Covered By Dental Plans?

Some plans do cover sealants, so call your dental benefit company to find out what kind of coverage you have.

www.mouthhealthy.org

Two Thirds of What Goes on in your Mouth is Below the Surface

September 9th, 2021

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

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

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

If you do have an “invisible” orthodontic problem, an early check-up and x-ray may help you avoid more costly, invasive treatments down the road.
It may be easier for Dr. Johnson to identify and correct a problem when it is forming rather than waiting for it to fully develop.

You wouldn’t skip a well-check at the pediatrician, and you shouldn’t skip an early trip to the orthodontist either. A visit to Dr. Johnson by age 7 will help keep your child’s oral health in check. Just because your general dentist has not referred you does not mean you cannot visit Dr. Johnson for an exam. 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.Our Low-Dose Kid Friendly X-Ray Machine | Fresh Orthodontics

https://www.aoinfo.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/

Why an Orthodontist is the Right Person for Orthodontic Treatment

August 19th, 2021

When your dog is overdue for a groom, you wouldn’t bring them to your appointment at the salon. To maintain a poodle's luscious locks or a husky's thick winter coat, you visit a groomer, the definite choice in caring for your dog’s specific needs. Well, the same is true for orthodontic treatment!

The uniqueness of each individual's tooth structure means that every case is going to be treated a little differently, whether it's an overbite, protrusion, cross-bite, etc. Orthodontists are specialized in properly aligning teeth and jaws and possess the dental training to give you your best smile, making them an easy choice for orthodontic treatment. To put it simply, it’s best to see an orthodontist for orthodontics!

Here’s why:

1. Orthodontists are specialists.

Orthodontists are specialists who focus on the bite and alignment of your teeth. Dr. Johnson prides herself in being a perfectionist when it comes to delivering the best, most comfortable smile to each and every patient.  Her job as an orthodontist is to not only make sure that your smile looks great, but your bite feels good and functions properly, too.

2. Orthodontists have 3,700 hours of orthodontic training.  YES! 3,700.

In addition to dental school, 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.  Dr. Johnson also takes time outside of the office to continue her dental training by regularly attending seminars, group-study programs, and working together on complex cases to achieve the best treatment possible for her patients.

3. Because of their extensive training, they can provide you with a truly customized treatment plan.

Straightening teeth and aligning the bite are both complex biological processes, not quick fixes. With expertise in those complexities (like changes in jaw bones, facial bone and soft tissue as teeth are moved), Dr. Johnson and her staff are well-equipped to provide a truly custom treatment plan that is best for you. When it comes to your health you don’t want to miss any critical factors. When it’s time to make an appointment for yourself or your family, take comfort in knowing that, by selecting Dr. Pamela Johnson and her staff, you will be seeing the right person for the job.

https://aaoinfo.org

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

Happy Holidays!

December 23rd, 2020

Our office will be closed Thursday, December 24th and Friday, December 25th for the holiday. We hope you all have a wonderful and safe time with family and friends! We'll see you Monday!

 

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.

 

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.

Donate to the Local Food Drive

October 19th, 2020

The Village Of Willowbrook and the Willowbrook Police Department have partnered with HCS Family Services to run a food drive this week!

We will be contributing to the food drive to help local families and wanted to see if you’ll join us. You can drop off your donations at the 3 locations mentioned on the flyer below, or you can bring them to Johnson Orthodontics by Thursday, October 22nd, as we will be dropping our donations off on Friday.

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

Three Facts About Taking Your Child To The Orthodontist

September 10th, 2020

 

Ever wonder when you should take your child to the orthodontist? Below are three reasons you should schedule an orthodontic consultation.

#1: You notice something doesn't look quite right.

Parents often recognize that something isn’t quite right about their child’s teeth or jaws. The teeth may not be fitting together properly.Your child may have difficulty chewing or biting. There may be mouth breathing or teeth grinding issues. When you notice something not quite right, it’s time to get it checked out.Impacted teeth or severely delay eruption of teeth can prevent the adult teeth from growing in correctly. The orthodontist may need an x-ray to see what's below the surface.

#2: Age 7 is the magic number!

Adult teeth start erupting between the age of 6 and 7. Extra teeth, missing teeth or impacted teeth need to be noticed early.

Early orthodontic treatment may prevent more serious problems from developing or getting worse. For example, a palatal expander can widen the upper jaw while your child is still young and the bones are more pliable. Orthodontic treatment can improve sleep disorders such as sleep apnea. Sometimes baby teeth need to be removed in order to guide the adult permanent teeth into a better position.

#3: You don't need a dentist to tell you it's time to see an orthodontist.

A referral might not be made if the dentist isn’t evaluating the bite correctly. Why wait? New patient exams are easy and fun for your child. No referral is needed!

Tips To Avoid Tooth Discoloration.

October 16th, 2017

 QK lists several tips to whiten teeth and avoid tooth discoloration. For example, GQ suggests people brush, floss, and visit the dentist regularly; consider using an electric toothbrush; avoid major staining culprits, such as coffee, red wine, and tea; consume calcium-rich foods to help strengthen enamel and slightly abrasive foods, such carrots and nuts, to rub off stains; avoid tobacco products; use a whitening toothpaste; apply whitening strips; and consider whitening at the dentist office. GQ also emphasizes the importance of consulting with a dentist prior to whitening teeth.

Dental professionals can direct their patients to MouthHealthy.org, ADA’s consumer website, for evidence-based information about teeth whitening. The ADA provides a complete list of toothpastes with the ADA Seal of Acceptance, including some with stain removal attributes. In addition, Crest 3D White Whitestrips Glamorous White and the Oral-B Oscillating-Rotating-Pulsating (O/R/P) Electric Rechargeable Toothbrush have earned the ADA Seal of Acceptance.

For more additional information please visit bulletin healthcare.com

Bruxism Among Signs Of Stress Not To Ignore.

October 11th, 2017

PopSugar states that “it’s important to deal with and resolve the causes of stress, because when left unchecked,” it may affect physical, mental, and emotional health. The article states that “stress can manifest itself in telltale ways,” identifying several “physical signs” not to ignore since they may suggest “mental and emotional health” is “buckling under the strain.” One sign of stress is bruxism, which may cause jaw pain, tooth damage, and headaches. According to the article, additional signs of stress may include lack of energy, getting sick easily, and changed eating habits.

MouthHealthy.org provides additional information on bruxism.

“Worst Halloween Candy” For Dental Health.

September 27th, 2017

Reader’s Digest states that chewy, sour, and hard candies are among the “worst Halloween candy” for teeth. In general, candy is harmful to teeth because as oral bacteria eat sugar, acid is created as a byproduct, says Dr. Matthew Messina, a spokesperson for the American Dental Association. The acid can then dissolve tooth enamel. Chewy candies are “among the worst offenders” since they stick to teeth, and Dr. Messina notes that sour candies contain both sugar and acid. Reader’s Digest also includes hard candies on the list since they generally linger in the mouth longer. On the other hand, the article states that “chocolate tops the list of best bets,” noting Dr. Messina explains chocolate washes off teeth more easily than other candy options.

Visit MouthHealthy’s Kids’ Halloween Headquarters for additional information, including tips for a healthy Halloween and a Halloween Candy Survival Guide.

Green Tea Extract Fights Tooth Sensitivity and Cavities

September 18th, 2017

Current approaches to treating tooth sensitivity don’t last very long. Now, a team of Chinese researchers has developed a material based on an extract from green tea that provides longer relief and may help prevent cavities as well.

Sensitivity occurs when teeth are worn down to the dentin and to the hollow microscopic tubes found there. When hot and cold liquids and food contact the underlying nerve endings in the teeth via these exposed tubes, pain follows. Unprotected dentin also is vulnerable to cavity formation.

Typically, these tubes are plugged with nanohydroxyapatite, which doesn’t stand up well to regular brushing, grinding, erosion, or acid produced by bacteria. The researchers, though, encapsuled nanohydroxyapatite and a green tea polyphenol known as epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) in silica nanoparticles, which can stand up to acid and wear and tear.

Testing on extracted wisdom teeth showed that the material plugged the dentin tubules, released EGCG for at least 96 hours, stood up to tooth erosion and brushing, and prevented the growth of Streptococcus mutans and biofilm formation. It also showed low toxicity.

Based on these findings, the researchers say the material could be a good candidate for combating tooth sensitivity and cavities. The study, “Development of Epigallocatechin-3-gallate-Encapsulated Nanohydroxyapatite/Mesoporous Silica for Therapeutic Management of Dentin Surface,” was published by Applied Materials & Interfaces.
For more information please visit
www.dentistrytoday.com

Drinking Fluoridated Tap Water Encouraged.

September 7th, 2017

The Daily Mail reported that it tested the pH levels of “popular brands of bottled waters,” finding some had a pH level of four. The article stated that beverages with “pH levels closer to zero are more acidic” and may erode dental enamel. The article reported that bottled water may also contain “insufficient amounts of fluoride.” Given this, a dentist quoted in the article discussed the benefits of drinking fluoridated tap water. The article also noted that the American Dental Association encourages drinking fluoridated water to help prevent dental caries.

Business Insider (8/11, Schmalbruch) reported that adding flavor to water, especially citric flavors, can lower the pH level, making it “more acidic.”

Additional information about fluoride and community water fluoridation is available at ADA.org/fluoride. The ADA Catalog also features the Fluoride Nature’s Cavity Fighter brochure. The Oral Health Topics on ADA.org provides additional information on dental erosion for dental professionals.

Limit Sugar Consumption To Help Reduce Cavity Risk.

August 24th, 2017

Stating “it should go without saying that tooth brushing is a prerequisite for a healthy set of chompers,” Reader’s Digest adds that another way to help prevent cavities is to “avoid eating sugar and other simple carbohydrates.” The article explains that bacteria in the mouth “thrive off of the sugars” left on teeth, releasing acids that can harm dental enamel and lead to cavities. The article also points to information on brushing and flossing at MouthHealthy.org.

MouthHealthy.org provides additional information for patients on nutrition and dental health and tips to reduce sugary snacking.

Mayo Clinic Discusses Teething, Caring For Baby Teeth.

July 5th, 2017

In an article on infant development from seven to nine months, Mayo Clinic discusses teething, stating symptoms may include “drooling more than usual and chewing on just about anything.” To help ease teething pain, the article states caregivers can rub the baby’s gums with a finger or offer a teething ring. The article recommends brushing teeth as soon as they erupt, and using “a smear of fluoride toothpaste no bigger than the size of a grain of rice” for children younger than three years old.

MouthHealthy.org provides additional information for patients on teething and baby teeth.

ADA Spokesperson Discusses Teeth Whitening.

June 29th, 2017

Allure provides an overview of how teeth whitening works and some of the differences between over-the-counter products and in-office whitening. The article features information from American Dental Association spokesperson Dr. Matthew Messina, who advises speaking with a dentist before whitening teeth. “It’s always good to have a thorough examination done by your dentist before starting on a whitening program,” Dr. Messina said. Allure includes Crest 3D White Whitestrips Glamorous White in its list of “the best at-home teeth whitening kits at the drugstore.”

Bro Bible encourages readers to use Crest 3D White Whitestrips Glamorous White, noting they’re the only whitening strips that have earned the ADA Seal of Acceptance.

To see the complete list of ADA Seal-accepted over-the-counter products, visit ADA.org/Seal. Dental professionals can also direct their patients to MouthHealthy.org, ADA’s consumer website, for evidence-based information about teeth whitening.

SELF Magazine Shares ADA’s Teething Tips.

June 22nd, 2017

SELF Magazine states that “dealing with a teething baby can be a serious challenge,” noting some symptoms of teething include trouble sleeping, irritability, and loss of appetite, according to the American Dental Association. To help ease teething pain, the article states that caregivers can “rub a teething baby’s gums with a clean finger, a small cool spoon, or a moist gauze pad, according to the ADA,” or offer the baby “a clean teething ring to chew on.”

MouthHealthy.org provides additional information for patients on teething.

ADA Spokesperson Identifies Strategies To Avoid Bad Breath.

June 19th, 2017

In a consumer-directed video on the Business Insiderwebsite, American Dental Association spokesperson Dr. Ada Cooper provides tips to avoid bad breath, which can be caused by several factors, including poor oral hygiene and dry mouth. Dr. Cooper reminds people to brush their teeth at night to remove food from the mouth. In addition, brushing the tongue and drinking plenty of water can help remove odor-causing bacteria, says Dr. Cooper. If these methods do not help, Dr. Cooper encourages people to visit their dentist to determine if something else may be causing bad breath.

MouthHealthy.org provides additional information for patients on the causes of bad breath and solutions for it.

Brushing, Flossing Essential For Oral Health.

June 15th, 2017

discusses the importance of caring for gums as part of a good oral hygiene routine. The article shares advice from a dentist, who recommends using the proper flossing and brushing technique, avoiding tobacco products, managing stress, consuming a healthy diet, and visiting the dentist regularly.

MouthHealthy.org also provides resources for patients on flossing, including the correct flossing technique, and on brushing teeth, including the proper brushing technique.

Oral Cancer Screenings Can Save Lives.

May 22nd, 2017

The University of Southern California states that according to the Oral Cancer Foundation, “nearly 50,000 Americans will be diagnosed with oral cancer this year,” and “only about half will be alive five years after diagnosis.” Oral cancer patients have an 80 to 90 percent survival rate when the cancer is found in the early stages. However, most patients are diagnosed in the later stages, according to the foundation. With this in mind, the article stresses the importance of oral cancer screenings for early detection.

The ADA News reported previously that April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month, “an apt time for dental professionals to review information about oral cavity and oropharynx cancers.”

Oral Health Topics on ADA.org offers information on oral and oropharyngeal cancers for dental professionals, including statistics and a protocol for oral cancer examinations. The ADA’s consumer website, MouthHealthy.org, also provides information for patients about oral cancer.

Tooth Banking Trend “Gaining Acceptance.”

May 17th, 2017

CNN discusses the trend of cryopreserving children’s baby or wisdom teeth for stem cells, stating the practice is “gaining acceptance” as research suggests the dental stem cells could be used in “potentially life-saving” treatments. However, scientists are divided on the benefits of the practice at this time. Dr. Pamela Robey, chief of the craniofacial and skeletal diseases branch of the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, calls the studies “promising,” but adds that they “have really not been that rigorous.” Dr. Jade Miller, president of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, said that much of the research is “really at its infancy,” but “there’s a very strong chance there’s going to be utilization for these stem cells, and they could be life-saving.”

The ADA lists an emergency tooth preservation product with the ADA Seal of Acceptance.
for more information please visit www.mouthhealthy.org

4.0% of American Adults Carry High-Risk Oral HPV

May 8th, 2017

While tobacco and alcohol consumption remain the chief causes of oral cancer, the number of cases caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV) have been increasing. In fact, the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that 4.0% of all adults in the United States age 18 to 69 years have one or more of the 14 high-risk types of HPV known to cause oral cancer.

“This research is fueled by the rising incidence of HPV-positive oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (OPSCC), soon to be the most common HPV-related cancer in the United States, surpassing cervical cancer,” said Jo-Anne Jones, RDH, an educator and specialist in oral cancer. “We understand that a persistent infection with a high-risk strain is the pathway to oral and oropharyngeal cancer. This data substantiates the fear that HPV-related OPSCC is escalating quickly and reaching epidemic proportions.”

The CDC drew its conclusions from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2011-2014, which included oral rinse samples. According to the data, 7.3% of all adults in this age range have one or more of the 37 types of oral HPV, which are sexually transmitted. Most sexually active adults acquire the virus at some point in their lives, and they typically pass it within 2 years without symptoms or complications.

The high-risk types of virus are cause for concern, though. By gender, 6.8% of men and 1.2% of women age 18 to 69 years carry high-risk HPV. Its prevalence was lower among non-Hispanic Asian adults overall (1.7%) and among men (2.3%) than non-Hispanic white (4.2%, 7.3% men), non-Hispanic black (4.3% all, 7.5% men), and Hispanic (3.4% all, 5.4% men) adults.

“Globally, we have seen a rise in oral and oropharyngeal cancer rates in recent years, much of which is due to an increase in HPV-related cancers. This trend is particularly alarming as many of these diagnoses are among younger, otherwise healthy nonsmokers who do not fall into the traditional risk group for oral cancers. Additionally, because the symptoms are often hard to identify, the cancers are not detected until they are late stage,” said Matthew H. J. Kim, founder, chairman, and CEO of Vigilant Biosciences.

“A recent survey we conducted found that there is still much work to be done around increasing awareness of oral cancer and the various risk factors for oral cancer. While the majority of US adults recognized tobacco use as a leading risk factor for oral cancer, many were not aware that HPV was also a risk factor. Clearly, more education and prevention is needed around this important topic to help reverse this trend and detect these cancers before it is too late,” Kim said.
- See more at: http://www.dentistrytoday.com

New York Times: Many Prescription Medications Cause Xerostomia.

May 1st, 2017

The New York Times states that “a frequent side effect of many commonly prescribed drugs” is xerostomia, according to a 2015 review of research on treating xerostomia published in the journal Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management. The New York Times states many “common culprits in xerostomia,” include benzodiazepine, antidepressants, some oral drugs used to reduce blood sugar, respiratory agents, quinine, some drugs used to treat high blood pressure, drugs used to treat excess urination, some nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, opioids, glucosamine supplements, and magnesium hydroxide. “Not all the drying mechanisms of the various drugs involved are fully understood,” the article states. “Some of them are known to suppress the action of receptors on nerve cells in various glands, including the salivary glands, that produce fluids.”

The Oral Health Topics on ADA.org provides additional information on xerostomia for dental professionals.

Proper Toothbrush Storage “Really Matters.”

April 24th, 2017

USA Today notes that toothbrushes can harbor bacteria, including fecal coliform bacteria. Although it is unlikely these bacteria will cause adverse health effects, USA Today states that “how you store your toothbrush is often what really matters.” The article notes that the American Dental Association recommends people rinse their toothbrushes with tap water after brushing and allow toothbrushes to air dry, since covering toothbrushes can create an environment more conducive to bacteria growth. In addition, the article recommends people replace their toothbrushes every three to four months and never share a toothbrush.

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

Poor Oral Hygiene, Infection Among Reasons Tongue May Turn White

April 19th, 2017

Refinery discusses reasons why a tongue may turn white, stating that one cause is a film building up on tongues from poor oral hygiene. Other conditions may affect the color and appearance of tongues, such as fungal infections, yeast infections, inflammatory conditions, and cancer. The article advises brushing tongues regularly and seeing a dentist for any concerns.

MouthHealthy.org and the Oral Health Topics on ADA.org provide information on oral cancer for patients and for dental professionals. MouthHealthy.org also provides information on thrush and tongue scrapers.

Natural Teeth Whitening: Fact vs. Fiction

April 12th, 2017

When it comes to teeth whitening, you may see many different methods featured online and in magazines—from oil pulling to charcoal, and even turmeric. It's no surprise that DIY whitening is top of mind, either. When the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry asked people what they’d most like to improve their smile, the most common response was whiter teeth.

Healthy smiles come in many shades, though it's tempting to think ingredients in our own kitchens could hold the key to a brighter smile. Still, just because a method is natural doesn’t mean it’s healthy. In fact, DIY whitening can do more harm than good to your teeth. Here’s how:

Fruits

Fiction:
The approach maintains you can make your teeth whiter and brighter household staples that are naturally acidic (like lemons, oranges, apple cider vinegar), contain digestive enzymes (such as pineapple or mango) and something that is abrasive (like baking soda).

Fact:
When eaten as usual, fruit is a great choice. However, fruit and vinegar contain acid, and you put your pearly whites at risk when you prolong their contact with your teeth or use them to scrub your teeth because acid can wear away your enamel. Enamel is the thin outer coating of your teeth that protects you from tooth sensitivity and cavities.

Scrubs

Activated charcoal

Fiction:
These methods claim that scrubbing your teeth with ingredients like activated charcoal or a baking soda-hydrogen peroxide paste will bring a shine back to your smile.

Fact:
Using materials that are too abrasive on your teeth can actually make them look more yellow. Enamel is what you’re looking to whiten, but if you’re using a scrub that is too rough, you can actually wear it away. When that happens, the next layer of your tooth can become exposed – a softer, yellow tissue called dentin.

Instead, choose a whitening toothpaste with the ADA Seal of Acceptance. The Seal lets you know the toothpaste you choose is safe, effective and won’t damage your teeth.

Spices and Oils

Turmeric powder

Fiction:
Swishing oils like coconut oil in your mouth (oil pulling) or using spices like turmeric can help whiten your teeth.

Fact:
There is no reliable scientific evidence to show oil pulling or turmeric whitens teeth. Save the oil and spices for healthy meals instead.

Still Interested in Whitening?

Patient getting her teeth whitened at the dentist

The best natural ways to keep your teeth white are everyday healthy habits, including:

If you want to try a specific whitening product or service, just talk to your dentist before you begin. Whitening may not work on all teeth, and if you are a candidate, some methods—whether at-home or in the dental office—may be better for your teeth than others.

for more information please visit www.mouthhealthy.org

Pictures Show How Sugary Drinks Can Damage Teeth.

March 27th, 2017

The Daily Mail shares several images showing how sugary drinks may damage teeth. A dentist at the San Diego Dental Studio set up the experiment, which involved placing one tooth in “a bottle of a popular energy drink, another into cola, a third in diet cola and the fourth into water as the control.” The images show the teeth placed in the colas experienced staining after two weeks, while the enamel on the one placed in the energy drink was “literally crumbling.”

Meanwhile, the Sacramento carries an “Ask Mr. Dad” column, which responds to a reader’s question about whether caffeine is unhealthy for children. The response states that caffeine is “a problem for kids” for several reasons, including that caffeinated items, such as soda, are often acidic, which “can increase the risk of developing cavities.” In addition, “coffee drinks may also stain teeth.”

For additional information about the impact of sugary drinks on dental health, read the ADA Health Literacy in Dentistry Essay Contest winner’s article, “The Truth About Sugary Drinks and Your Smile.”

MouthHealthy.org provides additional information for patients on nutrition and dental health.

Receiving Preventive Care Among Tips To Stay Healthy And Live Longer.

March 20th, 2017

In an article and broadcast on its website, TODAY shares tips on how to stay healthy and live longer, while avoiding hip fractures. The tips include standing on one leg at a time while brushing teeth for two minutes to help with balance, along with incorporating jumping into exercise routines, receiving enough calcium and vitamin D3 each day, and managing stress. TODAY also emphasizes the importance of preventive care, including dental visits, to maintain health and avoid higher health costs in the future.

MouthHealthy.org provides oral health information by life stages, including for adults between 40 and 60 and adults over 60.

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

February 15th, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For more information please visit MouthHealthy.org

Old Toothbrushes Among Items To “Toss Immediately.”

February 8th, 2017

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

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

The Itero Element Intraoral Scanner is here!!

February 6th, 2017

We'll make a great first impression!

The Itero Element Scanner is a state-of-the-art digital impression system that eliminates the need for messy putty in your mouth. With our Itero Element Scanner, we can digitally capture a detailed 3D model of your teeth and gums. Not only is this process far more comfortable than the old putty based impressions, but it's faster and can offer a superior clinical endpoint.

During the impression process, you can breath or swallow as you normally would. You can even pause during the process if you need to sneeze or just want to ask a question. The scanner gives us a 3D model of your mouth that can be used for dental services including the Invisalign outcome simulator to show you what your new smile might look like. We can also use the scanner to make retainers and appliances! be sure to ask us about our new digital scanner at your next appointment!

Gum Disease

February 1st, 2017

Gum disease is an infection of the tissues that surround and support your teeth. It is a major cause of tooth loss in adults. Because gum disease is usually painless, you may not know you have it. Also referred to as periodontal disease, gum disease is caused by plaque, the sticky film of bacteria that is constantly forming on our teeth.

Here are some warning signs that can signal a problem:
•gums that bleed easily
•red, swollen, tender gums
•gums that have pulled away from the teeth
•persistent bad breath or bad taste
•permanent teeth that are loose or separating
•any change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
•any change in the fit of partial dentures

Some factors increase the risk of developing gum disease. They are:
•poor oral hygiene
•smoking or chewing tobacco
•genetics
•crooked teeth that are hard to keep clean
•pregnancy
•diabetes
•medications, including steroids, certain types of anti-epilepsy drugs, cancer therapy drugs, some calcium channel blockers and oral contraceptives

See your dentist if you suspect you have gum disease because the sooner you treat it the better. The early stage of gum disease is called gingivitis. If you have gingivitis, your gums may become red, swollen and bleed easily. At this stage, the disease is still reversible and can usually be eliminated by a professional cleaning at your dental office, followed by daily brushing and flossing.

Advanced gum disease is called periodontitis. Chronic periodontitis affects 47.2% of adults over 30 in the United States. It can lead to the loss of tissue and bone that support the teeth and it may become more severe over time. If it does, your teeth will feel loose and start moving around in your mouth. This is the most common form of periodontitis in adults but can occur at any age. It usually gets worse slowly, but there can be periods of rapid progression.

Aggressive periodontitis is a highly destructive form of periodontal disease that occurs in patients who are otherwise healthy. Common features include rapid loss of tissue and bone and may occur in some areas of the mouth, or in the entire mouth.

Research between systemic diseases and periodontal diseases is ongoing. While a link is not conclusive, some studies indicate that severe gum disease may be associated with several other health conditions such as diabetes or stroke.

It is possible to have gum disease and have no warning signs. That is one reason why regular dental checkups and periodontal examinations are very important. Treatment methods depend upon the type of disease and how far the condition has progressed. Good dental care at home is essential to help keep periodontal disease from becoming more serious or recurring. Remember: You don’t have to lose teeth to gum disease. Brush your teeth twice a day, clean between your teeth daily, eat a balanced diet, and schedule regular dental visits for a lifetime of healthy smiles.

for more information please visit: http://www.mouthhealthy.org

Study Shows that E-cigarettes Damage Gums, Teeth

January 25th, 2017

E-cigarettes are becoming increasingly popular among young people. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), vaping—a term for the practice of smoking an e-cigarette—tripled among middle and high schoolers from 2013 to 2014. The CDC says 13.4% of high school students used e-cigarettes in 2014. The figure stood at 4.5% the year prior. Among middle schoolers, 1.1% used the devices in 2013, increasing to 3.96% in 2014.

According to a news release from the university, scientists had previously thought that it was the smoke itself from cigarettes that caused health complications, however, this study, among others, suggests otherwise.

Lead researcher Irfan Rahman, PhD, said in the University’s news release, “We showed that when the vapors from an e-cigarette are burned, it causes cells to release inflammatory proteins, which in turn aggravate stress within cells, resulting in damage that could lead to various oral diseases. … How much and how often someone is smoking e-cigarettes will determine the extent of damage to the gums and oral cavity.”

Related: Long-Term Effects of E-Cigarettes Unclear

According to the news release, the study used human gum tissue and exposed it to e-cigarette vapor. Among the results was the finding that the flavoring chemical of the components “play a role” in causing harm to mouth tissues.

Fawad Javed, a post-doctoral student at Eastman Institute for Oral Health, said in the release that some flavorings “made the damage to the cells even worse.”

A useful reminder for your patients: “It’s important to remember that e-cigarettes contain nicotine, which is known to contribute to gum disease,” Javed said. - See more at: http://www.dmdtoday.com/news/groundbreaking-study-shows-that-e-cigarettes-damage-gums-teeth?

Archaeologists Discover Earliest Dental Prosthesis In Italy.

January 19th, 2017

International Business Times reported that “archaeologists have found the earliest dental prosthesis in Tuscany, in the collective tomb of an aristocratic family from the late Middle Ages.” The dental prosthesis, which may date back to the 14th century, is made of “five human teeth linked together by a golden band” to “replace the anterior arch of the jaw.”

The Daily Mail reported that the archaeologists said in their paper published in Clinical Implant Dentistry and Related Research, “This dental prosthesis provides a unique finding of technologically advanced dentistry in this period.”

for more information please visit www.ibtimes.co.uk.com

Halitosis

January 9th, 2017

Bad breath happens. If you’ve ever gotten that not-so-fresh feeling on a date, at a job interview or just talking with friends, you’re not alone. Studies show that 50 percent of adults have had bad breath, or halitosis, at some point in their lives.

What Causes Bad Breath?
There are a number of reasons you might have dragon breath. While many causes are harmless, bad breath can sometimes be a sign of something more serious.

Bacteria
Bad breath can happen anytime thanks to the hundreds of types of bad breath-causing bacteria that naturally lives in your mouth. Your mouth also acts like a natural hothouse that allows these bacteria to grow. When you eat, bacteria feed on the food left in your mouth and leaves a foul-smelling waste product behind.

Dry Mouth
Feeling parched? Your mouth might not be making enough saliva. Saliva is important because it works around the clock to wash out your mouth. If you don’t have enough, your mouth isn’t being cleaned as much as it should be. Dry mouth can be caused by certain medications, salivary gland problems or by simply breathing through your mouth.

Gum Disease
Bad breath that just won’t go away or a constant bad taste in your mouth can be a warning sign of advanced gum disease, which is caused by a sticky, cavity-causing bacteria called plaque.

Food
Garlic, onions, coffee… The list of breath-offending foods is long, and what you eat affects the air you exhale.

Smoking and Tobacco
Smoking stains your teeth, gives you bad breath and puts you at risk for a host of health problems. Tobacco reduces your ability to taste foods and irritates gum tissues. Tobacco users are more likely to suffer from gum disease. Since smoking also affects your sense of smell, smokers may not be aware of how their breath smells.

Medical Conditions
Mouth infections can cause bad breath. However, if your dentist has ruled out other causes and you brush and floss every day, your bad breath could be the result of another problem, such as a sinus condition, gastric reflux, diabetes, liver or kidney disease. In this case, see your healthcare provider.

How Can I Keep Bad Breath Away?
Brush and Floss
Brush twice a day and clean between your teeth daily with floss to get rid of all that bacteria that’s causing your bad breath.

Take Care of Your Tongue
Don’t forget about your tongue when you’re taking care of your teeth. If you stick out your tongue and look way back, you’ll see a white or brown coating. That’s where most of bad breath bacteria can be found. Use a toothbrush or a tongue scraper to clear them out.

Mouthwash
Over-the-counter mouthwashes can help kill bacteria or neutralize and temporarily mask bad breath. It’s only a temporary solution, however. The longer you wait to brush and floss away food in your mouth, the more likely your breath will offend.

Clean Your Dentures
If you wear removable dentures, take them out at night, and clean them thoroughly before using them again the next morning.

Keep That Saliva Flowing
To get more saliva moving in your mouth, try eating healthy foods that require a lot of chewing, like carrots or apples. You can also try chewing sugar-free gum or sucking on sugar-free candies. Your dentist may also recommend artificial saliva.

Quit Smoking
Giving up this dangerous habit is good for your body in many ways. Not only will you have better breath, you’ll have a better quality of life.

Visit Your Dentist Regularly
If you’re concerned about what’s causing your bad breath, make an appointment to see your dentist. Regular checkups allow your dentist to detect any problems such as gum disease or dry mouth and stop them before they become more serious. If your dentist determines your mouth is healthy, you may be referred to your primary care doctor.

Source; https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en

NIH: Differences Between Those Who Floss And Those Who Don’t Can Be “Striking.”

November 30th, 2016

In its November newsletter, the National Institutes Of Health states that although news stories have questioned the benefits of dental flossing due to lacking research, dentists have “seen the teeth and gums of people who floss regularly and those who haven’t,” and “the differences can be striking.” The article notes that “red or swollen gums that bleed easily” can indicate “flossing and better dental habits are needed.” A dental health expert at NIH says, “Cleaning all sides of your teeth, including between your teeth where the toothbrush can’t reach, is a good thing.” While strong evidence showing the benefits of flossing “may be somewhat lacking,” the article observes that “there’s little evidence for any harm or side effects from flossing, and it’s low cost.” The article encourages people to talk to their dentist to address any questions or concerns about their teeth or gums and to learn the proper flossing technique.

The ADA has released a statement on the benefits of using interdental cleaners, and a Science in the News article titled “The Medical Benefit of Daily Flossing Called Into Question” discussed evidence about the impact of flossing on oral health.

MouthHealthy.org also provides resources for patients on flossing, including the correct flossing technique.

Taking Care Of Children’s Oral Health Is Necessary.

November 30th, 2016

In an article in U.S. News & World Report , Jonathan Fielding, MD, professor of public health and pediatrics at UCLA, states that “we are not taking care of our children’s teeth,” noting that “tooth decay is among the most common chronic conditions of childhood,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Poor oral health in children can cause pain and infections and adversely affect school attendance and learning. Dr. Fielding notes that according to the American Dental Association, there are “more than 125 health conditions that may affect or be affected by oral health, including cardiovascular disease, human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, HIV/AIDS, osteoporosis, obesity, and autoimmune disorders like rheumatoid arthritis.” In addition, the ADA states that children with tooth decay are more likely to have tooth decay as adults. Given this, Dr. Fielding recommends children practice good dental hygiene and make dietary changes, while also stressing the need for additional public health steps, such as expanding access to fluoridated water, applying fluoride varnish and sealants to teeth, increasing Medicaid reimbursement rates, and expanding the availability of dental coverage.

The ADA’s Action for Dental Health aims to prevent dental disease before it starts and reduce the proportion of adults and children with untreated dental disease. Learn more.

for more information please visit bulletinhealthcare.com

Candy Canes, Alcohol, Citrus Fruits Among Worst Holiday Foods For Teeth.

November 15th, 2016

 With the holiday season underway, many people may “put inhibitions aside,” and eat and drink “whatever looks good.” However, “the reckless consumption of cakes, candies, pies, beverages (alcoholic and otherwise), meats, and sides” come with “a number of potential health risks,” the article states, including some that are dental. The article provides a list of holiday foods and drinks that can damage teeth, including items such as bourbon and coffee, which can dry out the mouth; citrus fruits, which are acidic and can erode enamel; candy canes, which have a high sugar content and can also trigger a dental emergency, such as a broken or chipped tooth; and sticky candy and dried fruit, which can stay on the teeth longer than other types of candy and food.

MouthHealthy.org provides additional tips for cavity-free holidays and information on foods that can damage teeth.

Study Shows Taking Video Selfies May Help Improve Brushing Technique

November 10th, 2016

Lance Vernon, senior instructor at Case Western Reserve University, writes in the Conversation, that in the wake of studies questioning the value of flossing and regular dental x-rays, it may be time to “talk about something we can all agree on – toothbrushing.” A recent “very small study” in India looked at whether a video selfie may improve people’s brushing. The idea is that people may be “more self-conscious” about their toothbrushing while recording themselves, and so they may improve their technique. While the results are “complicated,” Vernon says it did show that people can take selfies of toothbrushing and others can use them to “analyze how well they brushed.”
for more information please visit www.mailview.bulletinhealthcare.com

Dental Sealents are safe and affective in preventing tooth decay

November 2nd, 2016

The Sarasota (FL) Herald-Tribune  has picked up the article in the New York Times “The Upshot” blog reporting that a 2013 Cochrane review and a systematic review published in the August edition of The Journal of the American Dental Association both concluded that sealants are a valuable procedure that can protect children’s teeth because they are “effective in reducing cavities.” The article points out that the American Dental Association “encourages sealant application” and notes current evidence indicates BPA exposure from sealants is not harmful.

The systematic review of the use of sealants and the updated clinical practice guidelines are both available in the August issue of The Journal of the American Dental Association. The ADA News also reported previously on research published in the ADA Professional Product Review that shows BPA in dental sealants is safe.

MouthHealthy.org provides additional information on sealants.

October is National Dental Hygiene Month

October 24th, 2016

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

The Four Components of Good Oral Health Maintenance:

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

12 tips for a healthy halloween!

October 19th, 2016

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. “It’s OK to eat that candy on Halloween but it’s important to have a plan,” says ADA dentist Dr. Ana Paula Ferraz-Dougherty.

Here's how you can help your family stay MouthHealthy on Halloween and year-round.

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. ”Snacking on candy throughout the day is not ideal for your dental health or diet,” Dr. Ferraz-Dougherty says.

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,” Dr. Ferraz-Dougherty says. “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. “You might even want to think about giving sugarless gum out as a treat instead of candy,” says Dr. Ferraz-Dougherty. Find one with the ADA Seal.

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.

Visit an ADA Dentist

Regular visits to your ADA-member dentist can help prevent problems from occurring and catch those that do occur early, when they are easy to "treat."

More from MouthHealthy
•Your Halloween candy survival guide
•Get pumpkin carving stencils, coloring sheets and more MouthHealthy Halloween activities for kids!
for more info visit www.mouthhealthy.org

Menopause

October 11th, 2016

Menopause is a huge change in a woman’s life and a woman’s mouth, including altered taste, burning sensations in your mouth and increased sensitivity. “They’re all related to hormones,” Dr. Boghosian says.

Still, there are two critical changes to be aware of: dry mouth and bone loss. “Saliva cleanses the teeth and rinses cavity-causing bacteria off your teeth,” Dr. Boghosian says. “When you have dry mouth, your saliva flow decreases and you’re more at risk for cavities.”

Talk to your dentist if your mouth is feeling dry. “If dry mouth is a problem, suck on ice chips or sugar-free candy, drink water or other caffeine-free drinks and use an over-the-counter dry mouth spray or rinse to help reduce the dryness,” Dr. Cram says. “Your dentist may also recommend prescription strength fluoride toothpaste that helps reduce the risk of tooth decay.”

What you eat can also make a difference when it comes to dry mouth. Avoid salty, spicy, sticky and sugary foods, as well as and dry foods that are hard to chew. Alcohol, tobacco and caffeine can also make dry mouth worse. At night, sleeping with a humidifier on in your room can also make a difference.

Losing bone in your jaw can lead to tooth loss. “The decreased estrogen that occurs with menopause also puts you at risk for a loss of bone density,” Dr. Boghosian says. “Signs of bone loss in your jaw can be something as simple as receding gums. When your gums recede, more of your tooth is exposed and that puts more of your tooth at risk for decay. And if your mouth is dry, that’s a double whammy.”

To help reduce your risk of bone loss, work with your dentist or physician to make sure you’re getting the right amount of calcium and vitamin D, don’t smoke and avoid excessive alcohol consumption.

for more information please visit www.mouthhealthy.org

Reader’s Digest Provides Tips To Help Protect Teeth From Staining.

October 5th, 2016

Reader’s Digest provides several tips to help prevent teeth from staining without giving up coffee, stating that “brushing your teeth with whitening toothpaste and seeing your dentist for regular cleanings are the best ways to prevent ugly coffee stains.” In addition, Reader’s Digest recommends flossing regularly, drinking through a straw to minimize how much coffee comes in contact with teeth, drinking water to “wash away staining liquids,” and drinking coffee quickly to reduce how long teeth are being exposed to the staining culprit. In addition, the article suggests chewing sugar-free gum, noting that “according to the American Dental Association, chewing sugarless gum for 20 minutes after eating can help prevent tooth decay.”

MouthHealthy.org provides additional information on teeth whitening and chewing gum to prevent dental caries. In addition, several whitening toothpastes and a whitening product have the ADA Seal of Acceptance. The ADA also provides a list of sugar-free gum brands with the ADA Seal of Acceptance.

for more information visit bulletinhealthcare.com

YouTube Culture Spreading DIY Dentistry

September 26th, 2016

A piece in the American Student Dental Association’s September issue of ASDA News discusses do-it-yourself dentistry, a trend that is spreading through a number of YouTube videos highlighting the practice. For example, a video seen nearly 2.2 million times that is titled “Dentists Hate This Video!” shows a young woman using a do-it-yourself method for a cavity. Her video is “one of hundreds touting all kinds of homegrown cures for dental problems.” The article states lack of dental coverage and dental fear seem to motivate most of the “do-it-yourselfers.” Those two factors, “combined with internet access,” have resulted in “a do-it-yourself mentality of dental diagnosis and treatment that isn’t likely to end well.” In addition, “a growing number of people who take dental care into their own hands” are motivated by trust, the article states. “Building trust with patients is the most important thing you can do as a dentist,” says Dr. Kim Harms, ADA spokeswoman. “It’s your No. 1 clinical commodity. Unless patients can feel like they’re in control over their treatment plan, they won’t come to you.”

for more information please visit editiondigital.net

Sleeping Face Up May Help With TMJ.

September 20th, 2016

Reader’s Digest (9/13, Laliberte) provides the “best sleep position for 11 health problems,” including temporomandibular joint dysfunction. The article recommends people with TMJ or another type of jaw pain sleep face up. “Don’t keep your face on its side, because that can put pressure on the joints or the jaw itself and make the pain worse,” says Ana Paula Ferraz-Dougherty, DDS, spokesperson for the American Dental Association.

MouthHealthy.org provides additional information on TMJ disorders for patients

What You Need to Know About the Safety of Dental Sealants

September 13th, 2016

The American Dental Association guidelines recommend dental sealants for all children and teens due to the tremendous effectiveness of sealants to prevent and arrest the progression of caries. The oral health community and the public have been concerned about the potential adverse effects associated with the release of BPA from resin-based dental sealants. Testing by the ADA Science Institute found:
1.BPA detected at trace levels on dental sealants
2.BPA exposure from dental sealants is 100 times lower than BPA present in the air
3.BPA levels in dental sealants tested were well below the daily exposure level set by the EPA

Read the full report in the new online edition of the ADA Professional Product Review and share this helpful infographic on the safety of dental sealants with your patients.

Patients With Gum Disease May Be More Likely To Suffer Heart Attack, Stroke, Severe Chest Pain, Study Indicates.

September 6th, 2016

Reuters (8/23, Crist) reports that “a study of more than 60,000 dental patients” indicated that “those with gum disease were twice as likely to have had a heart attack, stroke or severe chest pain.” Researchers found that “even after taking other risk factors for cardiovascular disease into account, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and smoking,” individuals “with periodontal disease were still 59 percent more likely to have a history of heart problems.” The findings were published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

AHA Sets New Standard For Added Sugars In Children’s Diet.

September 1st, 2016

The Hill (8/22, Wheeler) reports that the American Heart Association has announced a new standard for how much sugar children should consume a day. The group is “recommending only 6 teaspoons – the equivalent of about 100 calories or 25 grams – for children ages 2 to 18.” It also recommended children under 2 not consume any added sugars. The recommendations were published in the AHA journal Circulation.

AFP (8/22) notes that the AHA’s report found that American children on average eat three times more sugar than its daily recommended intake. The report said, “Eating foods high in added sugars throughout childhood is linked to the development of risk factors for heart disease, such as an increased risk of obesity and elevated blood pressure in children and young adults.”
For more information visit: MorningHuddle.com

Brushing Teeth, Flossing Among Recommended Daily Habits.

August 29th, 2016

Business Insider (8/21, Gillett) includes brushing teeth and flossing among “17 quick and easy daily habits” that readers recommend to become a healthier person. The article notes that the ADA recommends brushing twice a day and flossing daily. Not following this guidance could increase the risk for developing other health issues, the article adds.

In an article in the Free Press (ME) (8/18), the Maine Dental Association noted that “the American Dental Association recommends brushing for two minutes twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, cleaning between teeth once a day with floss or another interdental cleaner, and visiting a dentist regularly.”

In the Harvard University (MA) (8/17) “Harvard Health Blog,” Robert Shmerling, MD, an associate professor in medicine at Harvard Medical School, discusses recent news questioning the benefits of dental flossing, citing a lack of research. Dr. Shmerling states, “These headlines...miss the mark on this flossing kerfuffle,” and he adds that “unproven is unproven, not disproven.” The “obvious next step,” says Dr. Shmerling, is for researchers to have “a well-funded, well-designed study” to examine the health impact of flossing. In the meantime, “I’m not going to wait for the research; I’m going to keep flossing,” he states.

The ADA has released a statement on the benefits of using interdental cleaners, and a Science in the News article titled “The Medical Benefit of Daily Flossing Called Into Question” discusses evidence about the impact of flossing on oral health.

MouthHealthy.org also provides resources for patients on flossing, including the correct flossing technique.

Mouthguards Help Protect Children From Dental Emergencies.

August 22nd, 2016

The Danville (CA) Patch (8/14) stated that “a mouthguard is an essential piece of athletic gear,” recommending children wear mouthguards while “participating in sports and recreational activities” to help minimize the risk of dental damage and facial injuries. The article noted that three types of mouthguards exist: custom-made, ready-made, and boil and bite.

MouthHealthy.org and the Oral Health Topics on ADA.org provide additional information on mouthguards for patients and for dental professionals.

Fox News: Charcoal Teeth Whitening Products Do Not Have ADA Seal Of Acceptance.

August 16th, 2016

Fox News (8/15) reports that dentists and other medical professionals are warning against using a DIY teeth whitening method that “involves smearing a charcoal-derived black mixture on teeth.” The method has become more popular since the posting of a YouTube video, that has been watched more than 1.5 million times. The article reports that dentists say using this DIY method “may lead to enamel deterioration and tooth erosion,” noting “the American Dental Association has currently not evaluated or approved any charcoal teeth whitening products.”

MouthHealthy.org provides additional information on teeth whitening. In addition, several whitening toothpastes and a whitening product have the ADA Seal of Acceptance.

Dental Sealants Safe And Effective In Preventing Tooth Decay.

August 8th, 2016

The ADA News (8/1, Manchir) reports that “a 6-year-old child is exposed to more BPA” from food, drinks, and cosmetic products “than from the amount that is in dental sealants,” according to research published in the August issue of the ADA Professional Product Review. The article reports that “the ADA Science Institute staff tested the BPA release from 12 dental sealants used by dentists in the U.S.,” finding the BPA released from dental sealants is .09 nanograms, “well below” the EPA’s “limit proposed for a 6-year-old child.” Dr. David Sarrett, PPR editor, said, “This issue of the PPR provides a much-needed perspective on the amount of BPA in dental materials compared with other sources of exposure.”

In addition, a release on PRNewswire (8/1), states in continuing coverage that “a new systematic review and updated clinical practice guideline from the American Dental Association (ADA) and American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) show dental sealants are a powerful and effective therapy in the fight against childhood dental decay and disease.” The systematic review and the updated clinical practice guidelines are both available in the August issue of The Journal of the American Dental Association and the July/August issue of AAPD’s Pediatric Dentistry Journal. Lead author Dr. Timothy Wright said, “The joint report reaffirms that sealants should be a routine part of cavity prevention, as children with sealants are up to 80 percent less prone to cavities compared to those without them.”
For more information visit www.ADA.com

Increasing Number Of Adults Turning To Braces.

August 4th, 2016

US News & World Report (7/27, Esposito) reports that adults are increasingly “getting braces to straighten their teeth, fix their bites and improve their smiles.” The article reports that “adults made up a record high of nearly 1.5 million orthodontics patients in the U.S. and Canada,” according to a 2014 survey from the American Association of Orthodontists. According to the article, “This rising popularity” is due in part to “orthodontic options that make braces inconspicuous.”

MouthHealthy.org provides additional information for patients on braces.

JADA Article Discusses Antibiotic Use In Dentistry.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (7/25) reported that the CDC and the Organization for Safety, Asepsis, and Prevention (OSAP) collaborated to publish an article in The Journal of the American Dental Association August issue, concerning responsible antibiotic use in dentistry. According to the article, “In an effort to improve antibiotic use in dentistry, best practices were developed to guide dentists through the entire antibiotic prescribing process.”

The Oral Health Topics on ADA.org provides additional information on antibiotic stewardship for dental professionals.

ADA Spokesperson Discusses Biggest Cavity Myth.

July 26th, 2016

A consumer-directed video on the Business Insider (7/21) website features American Dental Association spokesperson Dr. Ada Cooper discussing dental carries. “The biggest myth about cavities is that if it doesn’t hurt you don’t need to fix it,” Dr. Cooper said. “That is completely wrong.” She states that when a cavity has begun to cause pain, it usually requires “more extensive treatment” at that point. Explaining what causes dental decay and why some people may have more cavities than others, Dr. Cooper says “brushing and flossing, of course, are the best way to minimize the number of cavities that you get.” In addition, dentists have many tools available, such as fluoride rinses and treatments, to make teeth more resistant to dental decay. “The best thing to do,” Dr. Cooper says, is to have regular dental visits to ensure detection and treatment of cavities while they’re still small.

The Oral Health Topics on ADA.org and MouthHealthy.org provide additional information on caries for dental professionals and for patients.

Reader’s Digest: People May Make Eight Common Mistakes Brushing Teeth.

July 25th, 2016

Stating that it’s easier than one might think “to make tooth brushing mistakes,” Reader’s Digest (4/13, Bender) identified eight common mistakes people may make while brushing. For example, a common mistake is not brushing teeth long enough, the article stated, noting that “the American Dental Association recommends brushing for two minutes, but many people fall woefully short—and don’t even realize it.” According to the article, common mistakes also include brushing too hard, using an incorrect angle while brushing, using a toothbrush with bristles that are too firm, using a toothbrush head that is too large, using the same toothbrush for too long, not flossing regularly, and not brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. “Dental disease is totally preventable,” says ADA spokesperson Dr. Sally Cram, “and a lot of it can be avoided by stepping up your home brushing program and having check-ups.”

MouthHealthy.org provides additional information on the proper brushing technique.

USA Today Covers Study Finding Nail Biting And Thumb Sucking May Reduce Risk Of Developing Allergies.

July 21st, 2016

USA Today (7/19, May) discusses a new study, which CBS News first reported on last week, that finds children who suck their thumbs or bite their nails are less likely to develop certain allergies. The study, published in the journal Pediatrics, “observed more than 1,000 participants from childhood to adulthood,” finding that “at age 13, 38% of children who frequently sucked their thumb or bit their nails had an allergy, compared to 49% of those who didn’t.” The results were similar for these individuals at age 32. Despite the findings, the authors said, “We do not suggest that children should be encouraged to take up these oral habits.”

Harvard University (MA) (7/19, McCarthy) added that continued thumb sucking after permanent teeth come in may cause problems with proper alignment of teeth. The article notes the American Dental Association offers tips to help children stop sucking their thumbs, recommending, for example, parents praise children when they are not sucking their thumbs.

MouthHealthy.org provides additional information on nail biting and thumb sucking for patients.

Workplace “Cake Culture” Contributing To Poor Oral Health, Obesity, UK Dentist Says.

July 19th, 2016

BBC News (UK) (6/24, Gallagher) reported that Professor Nigel Hunt from the Faculty of Dental Surgery at the Royal College of Surgeons says the office “cake culture” is fueling dental and obesity problems. At the organization’s annual dinner for dentists, Prof. Hunt said, “For many people the workplace is now the primary site of their sugar intake and is contributing to the current obesity epidemic and poor oral health.”

The Daily Mail (6/24, Spencer) reported that Prof. Hunt is “particularly concerned that excessive consumption of sugary treats such as cakes, sweets and biscuits is contributing to tooth decay in adults,” encouraging employers to offer nuts, fruit, and cheese instead of sugary treats when celebrating special occasions or rewarding staff.

MouthHealthy.org provides additional information for patients on how food affects dental health.

Chewing Sugar-Free Gum May Contribute To Oral Health.

July 12th, 2016

In article titled, “This $1 Habit Could Save You Hundreds In Dental Bills,” Men’s Health (7/9, Brabaw) stated chewing sugar-free gum is “a simple (and incredibly cheap!) trick” to help promote oral health and reduce dental costs. “Anything we can do to reduce the amount of acid and bacteria in your mouth will help prevent tooth decay,” said Dr. Matthew Messina, a spokesperson for the American Dental Association. “And that means less dental work over time.” According to the article, chewing gum increases saliva production, which helps remove food and neutralizes acids that wear away at enamel. Dr. Messina recommends chewing sugar-free gum after eating for at least 20 minutes, adding that gum does not replace brushing and flossing. “There’s no better way to take care of your teeth than the usual brushing, flossing, and occasional check in with your dentist,” said Dr. Messina.

MouthHealthy.org provides additional information on chewing gum to prevent dental caries. The ADA also provides a list of sugar-free gum with the ADA Seal of Acceptance.

For more information visit:MorningHuddle@ada.bulletinhealthcare.com

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

Oral Health Important For People In Their 20s And 30s

May 25th, 2016

Pop Sugar (5/21, Williams) stated that for people in their 20s, “it can be easy to get distracted by work, relationships, money, and so much more, but your first priority should be taking care of yourself.” In its list of 31 things people in their 20s should do before turning 30, the article stated, “Don’t avoid the dentist.”

Meanwhile, in an article titled “6 health rules to follow when you turn 30,” Mother Nature Network (5/19, Hochwald) encouraged people in their 30s “to focus on forging good health habits to last a lifetime,” including caring for their teeth. The article noted the American Dental Association recommends flossing once a day. for more information visit the website www.popsugar.com
MouthHealthy.org provides oral health information for adults under 40, including healthy habits to establish and concerns unique to this age group.

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 16th, 2016

The Daily Mail (4/27, Johnston) 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 (4/27) 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.

30 Percent Of Americans Floss Daily, Survey Finds.

May 12th, 2016

US News & World Report (5/2, Sternberg) reported that a recent survey to determine how often people floss their teeth found that 30 percent of the population floss daily, over 37 percent floss less than daily, and nearly 33 percent say they never floss. For the analysis, researchers used data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, looking at information from “9,056 US adults, age 30 and up, who participated from 2009 to 2012.” Among the findings, males and people 75 or older were more likely to report never flossing than females and those age 30 to 44, respectively. ADA spokesperson Dr. Matthew Messina said, “It’s nice to have a study that actually looks at [flossing] and gives us a big enough sample to work with,” observing that it is probably good news that two-thirds of patients are flossing daily or regularly. Lead author Duong T. Nguyen, a medical epidemiologist with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said, “Something as simple as flossing is, to a lot of people, a bane. ... Yet, in the long run it can be so beneficial – it can prevent tooth loss and everything that comes with it.”
MouthHealthy.org provides additional information on flossing, including “5 Steps To A Flawless Floss.”

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.

Cigarette smoking alters the mouth microbiota

April 27th, 2016

Smoking significantly changes the mouth's microbiome, with potential implications for tooth decay and the ability to break down toxins, according to results published in the ISME (International Society for Microbial Ecology) Journal.
Cigarette smoking is the number one cause of preventable disease and mortality in the US, leading to 480,000 deaths annually, or 20% of all deaths.

Over 16 million people live with a smoking-related illness in the US, according to figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

In 2014, the CDC estimated that 16.8% of Americans aged 18 years and over were cigarette smokers, or around 40 million adults.

Much recent research has focused on imbalances in the gut microbiota and how they relate to immune disorders such as Crohn's disease and gastrointestinal cancers.

There are around 600 species of bacteria in the human mouth. Over 75% of oral cancers are thought to be linked to smoking, but it remains unclear whether microbial differences in the mouth affect the risk for cancer.
Written by Yvette Brazier

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

Consulting With A Dentist Advised To Treat Bruxism, Sleep Apnea

April 18th, 2016

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

Conventional Pacifiers Lead to Malocclusion

March 7th, 2016

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

New Toothpaste Fights Tooth Decay

February 17th, 2016

The Wall Street Journal reviewed a new toothpaste that aims to improve oral hygiene by binding to plaque and showing it as green, revealing areas a person missed while brushing. The article stated that researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago conducted a short-term study of Plaque HD, finding plaque was reduced by 51.3% after people brushed with the toothpaste for up to 10 days. American Dental Association spokeswoman Dr. Mary Hayes has not tried the toothpaste, but said it could serve as a consistent reminder to patients. Dr. Hayes added that areas between the teeth and at the gumline are common areas patients miss.
(2/8, Johannes, Subscription Publication)

How Garlic Fights Tooth Decay

January 28th, 2016

 garlic oral health benefits Garlic has been used for medicinal purposes since 3000 B.C.

Allicin, the same stuff that gives you garlic breath, is responsible for garlic’s antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial properties.

This same property in garlic can also help fight gum disease.

There are more than 500 different species of bacteria that naturally reside in your mouth. Some of these bacteria are beneficial to health and others aren’t. Keeping your mouth healthy is all about keeping the good and bad bacteria in balance. This, among other things, helps prevent gum disease.

Allicin prevents the bad bacteria that cause tooth decay from proliferating in the mouth. Several studies concluded that the use of garlic extract could help combat periodontitis (gum disease) by controlling the population of the bad bacteria and letting the good bacteria thrive.

Far too many oral health products claim to fight gum disease by killing “99.9% of bacteria” but this misguided. When you kill all bacteria, the regrowth rate of the good and the bad are different, such that you can create an imbalance between the good and bad bacteria, which can harm oral health and the health of the rest of the body.

This is why I’d love to see toothpaste with allicin added! No need to make the toothpaste garlic flavored, though…

How to reap the benefits?

You can either take garlic (allicin) as a supplement along with your vitamins.

Or, make garlic a regular part of your cooking. Garlic is highly nutritious, yet has very few calories. I like keeping crushed garlic in the freezer for a really easy, no-mess way to add garlic to my omelets in the morning. Dorot, which I get at Trader Joe’s, keeps crushed garlic in little frozen cubes in a tray.

Don’t eat garlic only for your oral health; garlic has also been shown to reduce the length of the common cold by 70%, from 5 days in a placebo group to just 1.5 days in the group given a garlic supplement. This is thought to be thanks to allicin’s ability to boost the body’s immune system.

For more information please visit their website HTTP://askthedentist.com/garlic-oral-health-benefits/

Excessive Home Tooth Whitening Can Cause Permanent Damage

January 20th, 2016

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

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

"Another Good Reason To Straighten Your Teeth"

January 14th, 2016

Periodontal disease has been seen as a risk factor for a host of systemic issues, including heart disease, kidney disease, and Alzheimer’s disease. A study from Taiwan suggests that it may be linked with pancreatic cancer as well. Researchers identified 139,805 subjects with periodontal disease and 75,085 subjects without it in the National Health Insurance Research Database in Taiwan. Next, they performed Cox proportional hazards regression to compare the incidence of pancreatic cancer between the groups. The research showed a predominant positive association between periodontal disease and pancreatic cancer risk among subjects age 65 and older, though it was not observed among those younger than 65. Periodontal disease also proved to be a risk factor for pancreatic cancer independent of diabetes, hyperlipidemia, allergies, viral hepatitis, peptic ulcer, pancreatitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (as a proxy for cigarette smoking), and alcoholic-related conditions (as a proxy for drinking alcohol). However, the underlying biological mechanisms behind the association require further investigation, researchers said.

How coffee can actually protect your teeth

January 4th, 2016

Your morning mugful might do more than just boost your energy — it could protect your teeth, too. In a recent study, Boston University researchers discovered that men who drank one or more cups of coffee per day showed significantly less bone loss in their teeth over 30 years than those who sipped less.

Along with having sturdier (and, yes, more stained) teeth, the daily coffee drinkers showed no signs of gum disease, like bleeding gums. This was even after the researchers controlled for factors that could increase their risk, like alcohol consumption, smoking, and brushing or flossing too hard. Coffee, it seems, was an X-factor in keeping these teeth healthy.

According to study author Raul Garcia, this could be thanks to the chemical components in brewed coffee, which have antioxidants and anti-inflammatory effects. These compounds — including caffeine, caffeic acid, and chlorogenic acid — combat the oxidative damage and inflammation that cause gum disease. Oxidative damage can also lead to a whole host of diseases that affect your whole body, like rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes.

RELATED: The Best Ways to Whiten Your Teeth

It's not surprising then, that the more coffee the men consumed, the more their teeth benefited. "Men who drank more than six cups per day had, on average, significantly fewer teeth with moderate to severe bone loss than those who drank less than six," Garcia says. "But of course, that much coffee per day may have other negative consequences, such as sleeping problems." More than four cups a day has also been linked to irritability, rapid heartbeat, and even an increased risk of early death.

So how much coffee is ideal for your teeth? "Although we didn't report data on this, we looked into it, and we found that an average of two or more cups a day had the most benefit," Garcia says. Other experts have suggested capping your consumption at three cups. But note that if you take your coffee with sugar, you up your risk of cavities.

Propel Orthodontics

December 21st, 2015

Dr. Pamela Johnson Orthodontic Solutions is proud to introduce a new treatment option in our office. Propel Orthodontics is a new advance in orthodontic technology with the ability to straighten teeth in significantly less time.

Propel is a micro-invasive treatment that uses micro-osteoperforations to stimulate the bone to remodel faster therefore "Excellerate" your tooth movement."

Micro-osteoperforation with propel is:

Clinically proven safe and effective
Doctor-performed in a few minutes during your regularly scheduled office visit
Can be used with braces or clear aligners.

Micro-osteoperforation with propel offers straightforward solution to
your orthodontic needs in just a few steps.
1. Your doctor evaluates your orthodontic needs using an x-ray.
2. Before Propel, rinse twice with chlorhexidine, a disinfectant.
3. Your doctor anesthetizes the area and applies Propel where needed.
4. Your doctor discusses options for your next visit, and you can get back to your busy schedule!

Benefits of Micro-Osteoperforation with Propel
- See faster results without added discomfort
- Use Propel with any type of orthodontic appliance, whether braces or aligners.
- Receive Propel treatment during your regular office visit.
- Save time with fewer office visits.
- Forget surgery. Micro- Osteoperforation requires no recovery time.

Low-Carb diets can cause bad breath?

December 10th, 2015

Low-carb diets may be good for your waistline, but you might not be able to say the same for your breath.

Low-carb lifestyle junkies are more likely to suffer from a seldom discussed side effect of such diets -- halitosis, aka bad breath. And since more than 25 million people say they have tried the Atkins diet (not to mention other low-carb eating plans), according to the National Marketing Institute, bad breath may be an epidemic!

Bad breath in the low/no-carb sect is often caused by certain chemicals that are released in the breath as the body burns fat. They are called ketones, and entering into a fat-burning state of ketosis is the hallmark of the Atkins diet. So the good news is that if your breath stinks, you're probably doing a good job of sticking to that low-carb diet.

"Carbohydrates aren't readily available, so you start to use other fats and proteins as your source of energy, and as a result you are going to get a breath problem," explains Kenneth Burrell, DDS, the senior director of the council on scientific affairs of the American Dental Association.

Pass the Bread?
This is not an oral hygiene problem, Burrell says, so "all the brushing, flossing, and scraping of the tongue that you can do is not possibly enough to overcome this."

The bottom line is that you must "reconsider the diet and modify it so this doesn't happen," he says. Sure, "there may be some ways to mask it by using mouthwashes, but you can't overcome the fundamental problem other than by changing the diet -- or at least introducing some carbohydrates."

"It's a difficult problem to solve because if one uses any sucking candy or lozenge, one has to be careful that it has no sugar in it" as sugar is a big no-no on many low-carb eating plans, says S. Lawrence Simon, DDS, a New York City periodontist. Even so-called "sugar-free" products are often loaded with carbs.

"If you have a metabolic cause of bad breath, there is very little the dentist can do; you have to change your diet," he says.

In fact, "the South Beach diet permits more carbs than the traditional Atkins diet, so there is bound to be less bad breath on South Beach because you are not going into a state of ketosis," he says.

Got braces? Tips for successful holiday meals

November 25th, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What you Need to know if your child snores,grinds, or is a mouth breather

November 12th, 2015

Snoring, mouth breathing, and grinding and clenching the teeth are all signs of sleep-disordered breathing or obstructive sleep apnea in children.

How Does Mouth Breathing Hurt My Child?

While it may seem harmless, mouth breathing affects how your child develops, your child’s behavior and personality, as well as the adult that your child grows up to be.

Most healthcare professionals, including your doctor, might tell you not to worry about mouth breathing and insist that your child will “grow out of it.”

But the truth is, mouth breathing can have devastating effects on the development of the face and airway.

How Mouth Breathing Changes Facial and Oral Development

When nasal breathing is blocked, facial and dental development become abnormal.

In both human and animal studies, when nasal breathing is blocked, untreated mouth breathing leads to development of long, narrow faces with crooked teeth, receded jaw, and future TMD and headache issues.mouth breathing development

But it’s not just about looks. When the jaw and airway don’t fully develop, the airway can become easily obstructed during sleep.

During the complete muscle relaxation of deep stage sleep, the muscles around the airway also relax and collapse. The airway is a tight space, often made tighter by large tonsils and adenoids in both children and infants.

If the airway becomes obstructed, the brain must bounce out of deep sleep and into a lighter stage of sleep in order to grind and clench to push the jaw forward to allow for breathing again.

Grinding and clenching are the body’s way of reopening a collapsed airway during sleep to start breathing again. This is why grinding and clenching are the new red flag for catching sleep apnea early on.

How Mouth Breathing Impacts Behavior and Personality

Interrupting deep sleep like this impacts development.

development of mouth breathersDeep sleep is when Human Growth Hormone (HGH) is released, which is essential to a child’s brain development and long bone growth. Once deep sleep is interrupted, HGH stops being secreted. Not having enough HGH stunts your growth and brain development.

Deep sleep is the body’s chance to restore, repair, and heal from the stress of the day. It’s a time of memory consolidation and cementing learning. Hormones that control appetite and other critical functions are regulated and stabilized during this stage.

In a child who is snoring, grinding and clenching, or breathing through the mouth, the brain is not able to rest and sleep is not restorative.

Children who are deprived of deep sleep are often hyperactive as a result of adrenaline used to compensate for sleepiness. They often aren’t able to achieve their academic potential because their brains and bodies aren’t at their best in this damaged, deep sleep-deprived state. They’re often diagnosed with ADHD and other behavioral issues. They have lowered immune systems, poor health, and can be overweight.

Strategies for Parents

Make sure your child can breathe through her nose with ease.
Make sure your child has seen a dentist by age one. Make sure that this dentist is concerned with recognizing mouth breathing and its implications.
Make sure your child is treated for allergies. Allergies can force children into mouth breathing.
Make sure that your child’s diet and environment aren’t contributing to allergies.
Ask your dentist if your child needs a referral to an orthodontist if he’s mouth breathing.

Rheumatoid Arthritis Linked to Gum Disease

November 4th, 2015

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) affects the joints, causing pain, swelling, and stiffness. Anyone can get it, though it affects women more than men, and it’s most common among older people. The immune system attacks the body’s tissues, but its exact causes aren’t known. Yet research has found a connection between RA and periodontal disease.

One recent study included 44 patients diagnosed with RA according to American Rheumatism Association criteria attending the Morales Meseguer Hospital Rheumatology Service in Murcia, Spain, and 41 control subjects. Patients younger than 18 or suffering systemic diseases that could affect the immune system were excluded.

Each patient received a full periodontal examination. Bleeding on probing was significantly greater in the RA group (0.9 +/- 0.36) than the control (P < 0.001). The plaque index also was significantly higher in the RA group (0.76 +/- 0.34) than the control group (0.55 +/- 0.2, P < 0.001).

Overall, the researchers concluded that the RA patients showed a 0.13 increased risk of periodontal disease (95% confidence interval, 0.05 to 0.37). They also determined that these patients must be instructed to intensify their oral hygiene regimes.

Holiday Foods can be tricky for Braces

October 7th, 2015

While last generation's mark of adolescence—braces—has mercifully evolved into an accessory for people of all ages, the long list of treatment-prolonging foods remains unchanged.

Today's braces are more visually appealing and less painful, and wearers don't have to make as many visits to the orthodontist. More than half of teen-agers recently surveyed about their braces report that they are not self-conscious about them. More than a quarter of them say their braces make them look cool.

But foods on the "don't" list, such as nuts, popcorn, hard candy, licorice and caramel, are just as appealing to adults as they are to kids. With one of every five orthodontic patients older than age 18, the holidays present a challenge for an entirely new group of revelers.

Although adults may not include bobbing for apples as an activity at holiday parties, orthodontic patients won't be able to enjoy that bowl of mixed nuts commonly served as an accompaniment during cocktail hour.

The same goes for those caramel-nut taffy apples so artfully displayed at the table's center, brownies with walnuts and pecan pie on the dessert menu.

However, a little awareness and creativity in the kitchen can result in substitutions everyone can enjoy such as pumpkin, parfait, ice cream, fruit cups, gelatin and thinly sliced apples dipped in yogurt or creamy chocolate sauce.

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that orthodontic patients brush and floss after eating sweets. Some dentists recommend brushing within five minutes after eating anything, especially after a meal, and having a travel toothbrush on hand when dining away from home.

Early Orthodontics may mean less treatment later

September 28th, 2015

Orthodontic treatment in young children is known as interceptive orthodontics. Intervention may begin as early as age 6 or 7. At this age, teeth are still developing. The jaw is still growing. That means certain conditions, such as crowding, may be easier to address.

Before permanent teeth have come in, it may be possible to help teeth to erupt (emerge through the gums) into better positions. It's common, for example, for the dental arch to be too small to fit all of the teeth. A few decades ago, the solution for crowding was almost always to extract some of the permanent teeth to make space. Then fixed braces were used to position the teeth properly.

Early intervention takes advantage of the fact that a child's jaw is still growing. For example, a device called a palatal expander may be used to expand the child's upper dental arch. Once the arch is the proper size, there's a better chance that the adult teeth will emerge in better position. Sometimes teeth still may be crowded after all of them have erupted. In such cases, some permanent teeth may still have to be extracted to make room to align the teeth properly.

So-called early treatment also may be useful when the dental arches and jaws are not in the correct position. Functional appliances may fix or improve these problems. More treatment usually is needed later on, but it may be shorter and less involved.

"It is important to note that children who receive interceptive orthodontics generally still need braces or other orthodontic appliances later," Dr. Cangialosi says. "However, this early treatment may shorten and simplify future treatment in selected cases." This is commonly known as two-phase treatment.

It is important to note that early treatment does not apply to all orthodontic problems. However, it may help in certain cases.

How to tell if your child may need early orthodontic treatment:

  • Early or late loss of baby teeth (your child should typically start losing teeth around age five, and will have all their permanent teeth in around age 13)
  • Difficulty chewing and/or biting
  • Mouth breathing
  • Your child continues sucking their thumb after age five
  • Speech impediments
  • Protruding teeth (the top teeth and the bottom teeth extend away from each other)
  • Teeth that don't come together in a normal manner or even at all
  • Shifting of the jaw when your child opens or closes their mouth (crossbites)
  • Crowded front teeth around age seven or eight

How Headgear braces perfect a misaligned smile

September 16th, 2015

During a person's orthodontic treatment, the upper jaw (maxilla) and the lower jaw (mandible) can be more uneven in their positions than in traditional cases of misalignment. In these situations, based on a clinical diagnosis and digital imaging, the orthodontist may recommend wearing headgear braces for a certain portion of your child's overall orthodontic treatment. But what are they, and how are they different from your traditional wires and brackets?

What Is Headgear?

Headgear is the general name for a type of external appliance that applies specific forces to guide the growth of your face and jaw, according to the American Association of Orthodontics (AAO). Orthodontists use them in special cases where your teeth need to move into a position that isn't possible with brackets, wires or clear retainers found in routine care. Because these braces consist of wires that engage both the inside and outside of the mouth, you or your child may feel that it looks a little strange. But it is used by orthodontists very often and for a common purpose – and it's a necessary part of the beautiful end result.

What Is It Used For?

Retraction headgear (also known as Class II correction) is designed to retract the upper jaw, and protraction headgear (also known as Class III correction) is used to move the upper jaw forward while guiding and stabilizing the lower jaw. The process chosen depends on the patient's individual needs. Headgear appliance therapy is usually used when a child or young adult is still growing in order to take advantage of the bones in the jaw when they're still erupting into place. This way, the appliance can guide the teeth and jaw bones into their new positions before they've settled.

How Is It Fitted?

There are two common types used: The "facebow" type consists of a single strap that fits around the back of your neck and has a wire that attaches to the front braces of your teeth. The "J hook" type uses wires that attach to your braces and straps that fit over your head and neck. The appliance should be worn 12 to 14 hours per day.

Are There Special Instructions for Headgear Wearers?

Because the additional appliance hooks onto the existing braces, headgear braces have to be removed when eating, sleeping, playing sports or any time the patient might accidently have it pulled or bumped during physical activity. Regardless of the little extra effort required when wearing orthodontic headgear, the healthy and beautiful smile achieved when the treatment is complete will have made the hard work involved well worth it.

Perfect Bite, Pretty Face?

September 10th, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Back to School with braces

September 3rd, 2015

Going back to school with braces will be a new experience for many of you. The good news is that you are certainly not alone. A lot of patients prefer to get their braces on during the summer months. Just look around and you will see many new smiles under construction at your school!
Here are a few tips to help you transition into the school year while staying on target with your orthodontic treatment goals:
1. Remember to avoid crunchy and chewy foods at lunch. Also, be sure to cut questionable food into small bite size pieces and chew very carefully with your back teeth.
2. Take a couple of minutes after lunch to brush your teeth to be certain you don’t have food trapped in your braces.
3. Scheduling your adjustment appointments in advance will improve your chances of getting after school appointments.
4. If you are wearing rubber bands, be sure you have them with you and stay on the schedule we have given you.
5. If you are wearing a retainer, be sure to bring your retainer case to school. That is one of the most common places that patients lose their retainers!
6. As tempting as it is in class and while studying, avoid chewing on pencils or even holding them between the teeth as it can place a large amount of pressure on the teeth. This can cause teeth to shift or crack, and can even break dental work.

Braces can improve your smile and your Oral Health

August 20th, 2015

Orthodontic treatment is used to correct a "bad bite," a condition known as a malocclusion that involves teeth that are crowded or crooked. Correcting the problem can create a beautiful looking smile, but more importantly, orthodontic treatment results in a healthier mouth. Crooked and crowded teeth make cleaning the mouth difficult, which can lead to tooth decay, periodontal disease and possibly tooth loss.

Orthodontics is a specialty area of dentistry. The purpose of orthodontics is to treat malocclusion through braces, corrective procedures and other appliances to straighten teeth and correct jaw alignment. An orthodontist is a dentist who has completed an additional three year period of full time post graduate schooling to specialize in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of dental and facial irregularities.

Good oral hygiene is especially important when braces are present. Brushing, flossing and regular dental visits will keep your teeth healthy. Patients with braces should maintain a balanced diet and limit between-meal snacks. Dr Johnson will 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.

Bad Breath (Halitosis)

July 30th, 2015

Bad breath facts

Bad breath, or halitosis, is characterized by an unpleasant odor of the mouth.

  • Causes of bad breath include food, tobacco products, poor dental hygiene, health problems, dry mouth, mouth infections, dental problems, or medications.
  • Symptoms of bad breath include unpleasant odor or taste in the mouth, dry mouth, or white coating on the tongue.
  • Treatments for bad breath include proper dental hygiene, mouthwash, sugar-free gum, quitting smoking, and changing bad habits.
  • Bad breath can usually be prevented by proper tooth brushing, quitting smoking, and avoiding foods that cause bad breath odors.

What is the definition of bad breath?

The definition of bad breath, or halitosis, is an unpleasant odor of the mouth. It can occur on occasion, or it can be a chronic condition. It may be caused by foods a person eats, poor oral hygiene, medical conditions, or other factors.

What are the causes and risk factors of bad breath?

There are many risk factors and causes for bad breath; some common causes are listed below.

  • Food: Food is a primary source of bad odors that come from the mouth. Some foods, such as garlic, onions, and spicy foods, exotic spices (such as curry), some cheeses, fish, and acidic beverages such as coffee can leave a lingering smell. Most of the time this is short term. Other foods may get stuck in the teeth, promoting the growth of bacteria, which causes bad breath odor. Low carbohydrate diets may also cause "ketone breath." These diets cause the body to burn fat as its energy source. The end-product of making this energy is ketones, which cause a fruity acetone-like odor on the breath when exhaled.
  • Tobacco products: Smoking and chewing tobacco can leave chemicals that remain in the mouth. Smoking can also precipitate other bad-breath causes such as gum disease or oral cancers.
  • Poor dental hygiene: When a person does not brush or floss regularly, food particles remaining in the mouth can rot and cause bad odors. Poor dental care can lead to a buildup of plaque in the mouth, which causes an odor of its own. Plaque buildup can also lead to periodontal (gum) disease. The mild form of gum disease is called gingivitis; if gingivitis is not treated, it can advance to periodontitis.
  • Health problems: Sinus infections, pneumonia, sore throat (pharyngitis) and other throat infections, tonsil stones (tonsilloliths), thrush, bronchitis, postnasal drip, diabetes, acid reflux, lactose intolerance, other stomach problems, and some liver diseases or kidney diseases may be associated with bad breath.
  • Dry mouth: Also called xerostomia, dry mouth can also cause bad breath. Saliva helps moisten and cleanse the mouth, and when the body does not product enough saliva, bad breath may result. Dry mouth may be caused by salivary gland problems, connective tissue disorders (Sjögren's syndrome), medications, or breathing through the mouth.
  • Mouth infections: Cavities, gum disease, or impacted teeth may cause bad breath.
  • Dentures or braces: Food particles not properly cleaned from appliances can rot or cause bacteria and odor. Loose-fitting dentures may cause sores or infections in the mouth, which can cause bad breath.
  • Medications: Many medications, including antihistamines and diuretics, can cause dry mouth (see above), which can cause bad breath. Other medications that may lead to bad breath may include triamterene (Dyrenium) and paraldehyde.
  • "Morning breath": Bad breath in the morning is very common. Saliva production nearly stops during sleep, which allows bacteria to grow, causing bad breath.
  • Pregnancy: Being pregnant in itself does not cause bad breath, but the nausea and morning sickness common during pregnancy may cause bad breath. In addition, hormonal changes, dehydration, and eating different foods due to cravings may also contribute to bad breath during pregnancy.
  • Other causes of bad breath: Objects stuck in the nose (usually in children), alcoholism, and large doses of vitamin supplements may also cause bad breath.

How is bad breath treated? What can be done to prevent bad breath?

Treatment of bad breath depends on the cause.

  • Brush and floss teeth regularly. Remember to brush the tongue, too. This can help with bad breath caused by foods a person has eaten.
  • See a dentist regularly to ensure dentures or braces are properly fitted and cleaned.
  • Quit smoking or using chewing tobacco.

Keep the mouth moist by drinking water and chewing sugarless gum or sugar-free hard candy to stimulate the production of saliva. Mouthwash may temporarily mask bad breath odors, but it may not treat the underlying cause.

Natural remedies to treat bad breath include chewing on mint or parsley.

If bad breath is due to a health problem such as a sinus infection, diabetes, acid reflux, etc., then the underlying medical issue needs to be treated.

If bad breath is a side effect of taking a medication, discuss with a doctor whether there are other options for medication that can be taken. Never stop taking a medication without first consulting a doctor.

Adapting Your Diet after an Orthodontic Adjustment

April 20th, 2015

If you have just gotten braces or had them tightened, it may take a few days for your teeth to adjust. During this time, you’ll want to take extra precautions to prevent unnecessary pain and potential damage to your teeth, gums, and appliances. Don’t worry: Any discomfort you experience will soon disappear. And it’ll all be worth it in the end. Your new, beautiful smile will be yours for a lifetime!

Change What You Eat

Eating inappropriate foods can cause unnecessary pain. Here are some easy ways you can adapt your diet and eating habits after an adjustment.

1.  Cut your food into small pieces. Any food that requires chewing can be cut up into bite-sized pieces. This includes sandwiches, pizza, meat, and bread.

2.  Eat softer foods. In the first couple of days, stick to soft foods such as yogurt, pudding, and soups. Mashed potatoes and applesauce are good options as well. It’s easy to cook fruits and vegetables to make them softer: just steam them in the microwave!

3.  Be gentle with your teeth. Braces give your teeth a workout, so to ease soreness, be gentle with your teeth. Avoid chewy foods that can further irritate already-sore teeth and gums.

Dealing with Discomfort

Even if you alter your diet and take extra precautions, your mouth may still be sore or irritated. Here are some ways to reduce any lingering discomfort.

1.  Eat slowly and carefully. If it hurts to chew something, stop! If chewing is needed, try to use your back teeth as much as possible.

2.  Put pain on ice. Try sucking on some small pieces of ice. Don’t chew on the ice; this will make your discomfort worse. You can also use an ice pack or put frozen peas in a bag and apply pressure to the sore areas.

3.  Use wax. Put wax on any metal part that irritates your mouth. If you need some, please let us know!

4.  Do a salt rinse. Dissolve one teaspoon of salt in eight ounces of lukewarm water. Swish this solution in your mouth for just a couple of minutes. Just don’t swallow the salt water.

Following these simple tips will get you back to smiling in no time! If you have any questions about your treatment, or how to eat with braces, please give us a call or ask us during your next appointment!

April is National Facial Protection Month

April 6th, 2015

Five of the nation’s top dental associations want to remind young athletes to play it safe by wearing a mouth guard during recreational and organized sports this spring. Research estimates that about 2 percent of all children or adolescents who participate in sports eventually will suffer a facial injury severe enough to require medical attention.

"A properly fitted mouth guard is an essential piece of any athlete's protective equ...ipment,” says Dr. Paul Nativi, DMD, FASD, and past president of the Academy for Sports Dentistry. “Mouth guards protect the teeth from being knocked out, broken and displaced. Mouth guards prevent injuries to the bone and tissues around the teeth. They also help prevent injuries to the mandible (lower jaw) and temporomandibular joint in the jaw. Tooth loss incurs a tremendous financial, emotional, and psychological expense. Protect what you have - wear a properly fitted mouth guard.”

Dental Superheros To The Rescue!

March 31st, 2015

As an orthodontic patient, you are probably more aware than most that the dental world involves a variety of specialties – orthodontics being one of nine dental specialties identified by the American Dental Association (ADA).

Because there are myriad factors involved in taking care of your mouth, teeth, gums, and jaw, we sometimes call on our partners who specialize in different areas of dentistry. You can think of us and our partners as a team of dental superheroes, each with a different special power – although we usually work alone, we rely on each other for backup in tricky situations.

You were most likely referred to us by your general dentist, who diagnosed your need for orthodontic treatment. In turn, we may need to refer you to a different type of specialist, should we spot any indication of a different type of problem.

Below you'll find a handy reference guide to each of the nine dental specialties recognized by the ADA. Of course, should we ever refer you to another doctor, we will explain in detail exactly why your individual oral health requires a closer look by a particular specialist.

Endodontics

Dentists specializing in Endodontics are focused on the dental pulp, or soft tissue inside your teeth. As such, they are authorities on root canal treatment (extraction of the pulp from an infected tooth). With expertise in both root canal treatment and avulsion (salvaging teeth that have been knocked out), endodontists are the tooth-saviors of the dental world.

Probably the best-known of the dental specialties, Orthodontics sets its sights on tooth and jaw alignment and bite problems such as overbites and underbites. (These problems are known in the field as malocclusion, or "bad bite.") Orthodontists straighten and align teeth and jaws, most often using appliances such as braces and retainers.Orthodontics

Experts in the tissues that support the teeth (gums and other areas), periodontists are most often associated with the treatment of periodontal (gum) disease. Periodontists also treat complications arising from gum disease, such as lost bone and gum tissue.Periodontics

In this specialty, dentists are concerned with diseases that affect the oral, jaw, and facial areas. Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology includes diagnosis as well as research into the causes and effects of these diseases.Oral & Maxillofacial Pathology

Specialists in Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology are trained to produce and interpret radiologic (x-ray) images and data, which are used to diagnose and manage conditions of the oral, jaw, and facial regions.Oral & Maxillofacial Radiology

Surgery involving the bones and tissues of the face, mouth, and neck is the task of the oral surgeon. Operations include wisdom teeth removal, orthognathic (jaw) surgery, dental implants, and surgery to remove cancer. This specialty also includes cosmetic facial surgery, which can address birth defects and ease the effects of trauma, accidents, and aging.Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery

Commonly known as Pediatric Dentistry, Pedodontics is the branch of dentistry dedicated to the oral care of infants and children. Trained in child development and psychology as well as dentistry, experts in this field are especially attuned to children's needs, and focus heavily on preventative care.Pedodontics

Prosthodontics is the dental specialty pertaining to tooth restoration and replacement, providing a variety of options to either fix or replace problem teeth. From crowns and veneers, which work with the teeth in your mouth, to bridges and dentures, which replace them outright, prosthodontists identify the best solution for damaged or missing teeth.Prosthodontics

For those specializing in Dental Public Health, the community itself is the focus, rather than individual patients. Dentists practicing in this field concentrate on educating the public about dental health, as well as researching, preventing, and controlling dental diseases throughout a community.Dental Public Health

Sports and Energy Drinks and Your Smile

March 19th, 2015

While they may sound refreshing after a long jog or pick-up game of basketball, energy and sports drinks may do more harm than good. The high level of sugar and acid found in many of these drinks can cause damage to tooth enamel, thus elevating your risk for tooth decay.

Yes, there are health benefits to consuming orange juice, fruit juices, sports drinks, and flavored waters, which can contain valuable ingredients such as vitamin C, minerals, and other antioxidants. These drinks can also replenish nutrients lost during a sporting event and lower the chance of heart disease and cancer. That stated, if not consumed carefully, these beverages can harm your teeth. They are full of sugar, which converts to acid and wears away at your teeth, causing cavities, sensitivity, and eventually tooth loss.

Even one drink a day is potentially harmful, but if you are absolutely unable to give up that sports- or energy-drink habit, we encourage you to minimize your consumption, use a drinking straw or rinse with water after drinking. As odd as it may sound coming from us, do not brush immediately after drinking sports and energy drinks; softened enamel due to acid is easier to damage, even when brushing. Remember, it takes your mouth approximately 30 minutes to bring its pH level back to normal. The best thing to do is to wait an hour, then brush to remove sugar that lingers on your teeth and gums.

There are many sports drinks, energy drinks, and flavored waters out there today, so take the time to read the labels. Check for sugar content and citric acid in the ingredients. If you have any questions, or would like suggestions on the best sports drink options, please give us a call or ask us during your next visit!

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

March 10th, 2015

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

Electric or Manual Toothbrush: What’s the Difference?

March 4th, 2015

You live in the golden age of toothbrushes. Until a few decades ago, people used twigs or brushes made from animal hair to clean their teeth: not very soft and none too effective. Now you have a choice of manual brushes with soft, medium, or hard bristles. Or you might choose to go with an electric toothbrush instead.
Have you ever wondered whether manual or electric brushes provide better cleaning? Actually, they both do the job. The key is to brush and floss every day, regardless of the kind of brush you prefer. At our office, we like to say the best brush is the one you’ll use. So if you prefer manual, go for it. If you prefer electric, turn it on. Both types have their advantages but both types will get the job done as far as removing plaque, if used properly.

Electric Toothbrushes

  • Provide power rotation that helps loosen plaque
  • Are great for people with limited dexterity due to arthritis or other physical limitations
  • Are popular with kids who think the electric brushes are more fun to use
  • Can come with variable speeds to help reduce pressure on sensitive teeth and gums
  • Uses timers to ensure you brush evenly across the four quadrants of your mouth and for the optimal two minutes each session

Manual Toothbrushes

  • Can help brushers feel they have more control over the brushing process
  • Allow brushers to respond to twinges and reduce the pressure applied to sensitive teeth and gums
  • Are more convenient for packing when traveling
  • Are cheaper and easier to replace than the electric versions

In many ways, the golden age is just beginning. There are already phone apps available to remind you to brush and floss. New apps can play two minutes worth of music while you brush, help you compare the brightness of your smile, or remind you to brush and floss throughout the day. Maybe someday, there will be an app that examines your teeth after brushing to identify spots you might have missed.

After braces always wear your retainers!

February 25th, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“How much calcium does my child really need?”

February 17th, 2015

Everyone remembers their parents reminding them to drink milk on a daily basis to build strong bones in order to grow tall and strong. Getting enough dairy is critical for kids whose teeth are still growing. A child who consumes the recommended daily serving of dairy will develop healthy, strong teeth for the rest of his or her life.

Milk and other dairy products are excellent sources of calcium to help your child build bone tissue and maintain optimal dental health. Milk contains vitamin D, phosphorus, magnesium, and proteins. Magnesium works to promote calcium deposits in your child’s enamel, while phosphorus forms a small but important barrier against acidic foods that are known to cause caries, or cavities.

Experts at the Academy of General Dentistry warn that kids don’t receive enough calcium, stating only one in five children meets the minimum standards for calcium consumption. That is, two and a half cups of dairy per day. Children who are nine years old need almost twice as much calcium as younger kids and about the same amount as adult men and women. In addition to milk, eating yogurt or cheese is a great way your child can increase his or her dairy consumption.

If your child is lactose intolerant or is allergic to milk, there are many products which contain the same amount of calcium that your child would receive from drinking a glass of milk. These include:

  • Calcium-fortified soy milk
  • Calcium-fortified orange juice
  • Calcium-fortified breads and cereals
  • Plant-based problem foods such as beans, broccoli or spinach
  • Tofu

If your child does not get enough dairy–rich products, they run the risk of improper tooth development and other dental health problems. We strongly encourage you to monitor your child’s dairy consumption to ensure he or she grows healthy bones and teeth to last a lifetime.

Study: 58% Of People More Likely To Be Hired After Tooth Whitening.

February 9th, 2015

On its website, Valet Magazine (12/17) reports that according to a recent study commissioned by Match.com, good teeth are what women “judge men on most” when first considering a romantic relationship, while independent research firm Kelton Research “found that 58% of a study’s participants were more likely to be hired and 53% received larger salary offers after their teeth had been whitened.” Citing the advice of dentists, the article goes on to advise on methods to whiten teeth, including visiting the dentist for a professional whitening treatment.

February is National Children's Dental Health Month!

February 3rd, 2015

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month. Teach your kids the importance of good oral hygiene. Tooth decay is the number one chronic illness in children. In the past year 51 million school hours were lost due to dental problems. ...Research has shown that if a child’s tooth decay goes untreated, it can lead to tooth loss, speech problems and even loss of self- esteem.
Parents and caregivers can help encourage good oral health by:
* Encouraging a well-balanced diet that limits sugar and starchy foods. If these foods are included in the daily diet, eating them with a meal and not as a snack produces extra saliva to help rinse the food out of the mouth.
* Using fluoride toothpaste protects children’s teeth (for children less than seven years old, use only a pea-sized amount on their toothbrush).
* Asking a dentist or doctor about how to protect child's teeth with dental sealants and fluoridated drinking water.
* Brushing teeth twice daily. Parents may need to help younger children with this.
* Flossing teeth daily. You'll need to floss for your children until they are around four years old.
* Scheduling regular dental checkups every six months.

Dreaming of a beautiful smile? We can help!

January 29th, 2015

The fact is, most of us aren’t born with a red carpet smile. And that’s where we can help. Of course, orthodontic treatment helps make your teeth stay strong, healthy and become perfectly-aligned. But did you know you can get the beautiful straight teeth you’ve always wanted—without traditional braces, wires and brackets?

We are proud to offer an alternative option for straightening teeth called Invisalign. This state-of-the-art proven technology uses a series of invisible, removable and comfortable aligners to gradually straighten your teeth. The aligners are discrete and no one can tell you’re wearing them. So, you can smile more during treatment as well as after. Not only are the aligners invisible, they are removable, so you can eat and drink what you want while in treatment. Another benefit is that brushing and flossing during the Invisalign treatment process are no problem. Invisalign aligners are also comfortable, with no metal to cause mouth abrasions and sores during treatment. And, with no metal and wires involved, you often spend less time at our office getting adjustments.

Finally, you may view your own virtual treatment plan when you begin treatment, so you can see how your straight teeth will look when your treatment is complete. If you’ve been thinking about getting that perfect smile, we would love to have you visit us for a consultation. Please give us a call to set one up! A consultation at our office can determine if Invisalign is right for you. See you soon!

5 Remedies for Sensitive Teeth

January 20th, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

Too old for braces? You Might be Surprised

January 13th, 2015

Although adolescence is a common time to get braces, there’s no reason for adults of any age to have to deal with crooked teeth, overbite, underbite, or other dental issues. In fact, the American Association of Orthodontists notes that demand for orthodontic treatment in adults continues to grow, with adults representing 20% of new patients.

You’re never too old for braces or other orthodontic appliances, but it’s important to consider the following:

  1. Braces don’t have to be as noticeable as the metal brackets of the past. Many adults opt for ceramic or plastic braces, which are bone-colored or clear, respectively. Another option is a lingual appliance, which attaches to the back side of your teeth. These so-called “invisible” braces are much less noticeable than traditional options.
  2. By adulthood, bone growth has stopped. This means that certain structural changes can only be achieved by surgery. Although this typically affects people with significant crowding, bite, or jaw problems, Drs. Neil Warshawsky and Ketti Boller can provide an individualized treatment plan that addresses your unique issues.
  3. Treatment may take a bit longer. The length of orthodontic treatment tends to be slightly longer for adults than adolescents. Exact estimates vary by individual, but the average length of time for adult braces wearers is two years, according to the Harvard Medical School.
  4. Outcomes are just as good for adults! Many adults worry that it’s too late to treat their orthodontic problems. However, treatment satisfaction tends to be very high, which is a testament to how effective braces can be in middle-aged and older adults.

It’s a Wrap: Ending the year with a smile!

December 31st, 2014

People have been ushering in the New Year for centuries but it became an official holiday in 1582 when Pope George XIII declared January 1st to be the day on which everyone would celebrate the New Year. At midnight people would yell, holler, and blow horns to scare away the evil spirits of the previous year so the New Year would be joyous and filled with opportunity. Nearly 500 years later, we still greet the New Year by whooping and hollering, but in a celebratory manner instead. Whether you intend to ring in the New Year quietly at home or have plans to join the countdown at a gala extravaganza, these tips can help you ring out the old and usher in the new with a smile.

Tips for a Happy New Year’s Eve Celebration from Dr. Pamela Johnson Orthodontic Solutions:

•Be Safe. There’s no way to predict the behavior of others on New Year’s Eve, but you can be responsible for your own behavior to keep yourself safe. If adult beverages will be part of your celebration, plan on spending the night wherever you are or line up a designated driver to bring you home after the party is over.

•Enjoy Family and Friends. Spending time with the important people in your life is what makes the holidays enjoyable. Coordinate your schedules and choose New Year’s Eve activities that everyone in the group will enjoy. You don’t have to go to a party to ring in the New Year; some people like to go bowling, see a movie, or have a great meal at home.

•Accessorize with a Smile. Whether you dress up or have a quiet dinner with family and friends, one of the best accessories you can add to your attire is a beautiful smile.

New Year’s Eve is a time to gather with friends and family, reflect on the year that’s coming to an end, and look forward to the new one with anticipation. Enjoy this transitional holiday in a way that’s safe, healthy, and fun. After all, counting down until the clock strikes 12 marks the beginning of a full year of opportunity ahead of you. From Dr. Pamela Johnson, have a great new year!

Giving thanks this holiday season

December 24th, 2014

With the hustle and bustle of the holiday season here, Dr. Pamela Johnson and our entire staff at Dr. Pamela Johnson Orthodontic Solutions wanted to stop for a moment and extend our best wishes to you, our patients, referring doctors and families, this holiday season.

As always, if you know anyone we can help, just let us know. We promise to give them the same quality orthodontic care that we have given you.

We hope that this holiday season brings fond memories. Thank you for being part of our family.

How Do Braces Move Your Teeth Anyway?

December 9th, 2014

We hear this question all the time. Tooth movement is your body’s natural response to light pressure applied by braces over a period of time, on an average of two years. Traditional orthodontic treatment works when we attach braces and brackets onto your teeth; these brackets have small slots, and that is where we insert orthodontic wires when you first get your braces on, as well as your subsequent adjustment visits. These wires are held in place by small elastic ties that fit around the brackets. As time passes during your treatment, these wires apply pressure on your teeth, which sets in motion the movement of your teeth into their desired positions. Each of your teeth has a different size and shape, and so do the brackets. Each bracket is custom-made for the particular tooth on which it’s supposed to fit.

Not long ago, orthodontists had a single option—stainless steel wires–and that was about it. Today, however, we have a number of different high-tech wires at our disposal to move your teeth faster and more comfortably.

When you first get your braces, the first wire or two will typically be very flexible, but still strong enough to apply a constant force on your teeth. As your teeth straighten out over time, however, you will notice we will use progressively thicker and firmer wires to help move your teeth in place for an ideal bite.

Each time you visit our office for an adjustment, we will swap out the wires in order to keep putting the right amount of pressure on your teeth, which is why it’s so important for you to keep your adjustment visits during your treatment. Most adjustment appointments are scheduled four to eight weeks apart to give your teeth time to move at a steady pace and allow us to assess progress and ensure we keep your treatment plan on track.

As for rubber bands and elastics? Most of our patients will need to wear elastics or rubber bands at some point during their treatment. These elastics are typically placed from one or more of the upper braces to one or more of the lower braces, pulling on your teeth to move them in the direction they need to move in order to achieve an optimal bite and a beautiful smile.

If you have any questions about wires, brackets, or elastics, or have any general questions about your orthodontic treatment, please give us a call or ask us during your next adjustment visit!

Happy Thanksgiving!

November 20th, 2014

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, we would like to wish you a safe and happy Thanksgiving. Enjoy a day filled of friends, family, and great food.

We are very thankful for all of our patients and their families. We’d like to know, what are you most thankful for this year? Leave us a comment, or if you have any stories, photos or recipes to share with us, we encourage you to share them below or on our Facebook page!

Does my child need two-phase treatment?

November 12th, 2014

Two-phase orthodontic treatment involves two separate and distinct periods that your child receives orthodontic treatment. It allows your son or daughter to begin early treatment of bite and jaw problems, in order to reduce the dental issues he or she experiences later on.

Two-phase orthodontic treatment with Dr. Pamela Johnson can improve how well the second phase of the treatment works and helps to make room for permanent teeth. Overall, two-phase treatment helps to position the teeth and the jaw for an attractive profile. Our team recommends that you bring your child to our Willowbrook office at the age of seven or eight, so that Dr. Pamela Johnson can determine if early (Phase-One) treatment is necessary.

Phase-One

Phase-One orthodontic treatment is known as early treatment. It begins shortly after your child’s first orthodontic examination, usually around age eight or nine. The main goal of Phase-One orthodontic treatment is to help make room for permanent teeth, which reduces crooked teeth as a result of overcrowding. It treats the jaw and bite growth, and issues like crossbite or underbite. This can reduce the need for your child to undergo extractions.

Phase-Two

Phase-Two orthodontic treatment is when braces are placed on the upper and/or lower teeth. The purpose is not just to correct spaces or misaligned teeth, but also to correct overbite or underbite concerns. Phase-Two usually begins around age 11 or 12, and the braces are worn for an average of two to three years, depending on your child’s unique needs. Some children have fewer issues and wear braces for little more than a year, while others need them for up to four years.

Signs your child needs two-phase orthodontic treatment

If your child exhibits the following signs, he or she may be a good candidate for two-phase orthodontic treatment:

•Losing baby teeth early, before five years of age

•Problems with biting or chewing

•Sucking the thumb after age five

•Evidence of a crossbite, where the teeth don’t come together when opening or closing of the mouth

•Teeth are crowded at age seven or eight

•Protruding teeth on the top or bottom

Not all children need to have early treatment, but if your child shows any of these signs, you should bring him or her to us for an evaluation at Dr. Pamela Johnson Orthodontic Solutions.

We Offer Invisalign Teen!

October 21st, 2014

Dr. Pamela Johnson and our team are excited to offer Invisalign Teen, a clear alternative to braces that's just for teens! With Invisalign Teen, we are able to straighten your teen's teeth without the hassle, discomfort, and embarrassment of traditional braces.

Invisalign Teen's clear aligners are virtually invisible. What's more, they are removable, which means your child is free to eat anything they choose, as well as brush and floss with ease! And best of all, Invisalign Teen uses no wires or metal to straighten your teen's teeth.

Invisalign Teen aligners are made from a ligthweight plastic material and fit precisely on the teeth. Invisalign Teen has become a popular treatment here because it helps our younger patients achieve a straight, beautiful smile without their friends noticing.

Our team is aware that most teens today have a busy lifestyle, and sometimes, they tend to lose things, including their retainers or aligners. But with Invisalign Teen, if your child happens to lose an aligner, let our office know as soon as possible and we will have the aligner replaced.

For more information on Invisalign Teen, please give us a call at our Willowbrook office today!

Make your oral health a priority

September 3rd, 2014

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

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

Adults and Braces: Not just for kids anymore

August 27th, 2014

Just hearing the word “braces” can take many of us back to junior high — that painful era when we wore unattractive glasses, endured unflattering haircuts, and carried a mouthful of braces to complete the awkward adolescent look. Despite the common assumption that braces are for kids, more and more adults are choosing to pursue orthodontics to correct their smiles.

Braces for Adults

Perhaps you never had braces as a kid and you are embarrassed by your crooked teeth. Or you went through a round of braces a decade ago and stopped wearing your retainer, which allowed your teeth to shift. Whatever your personal history, wearing braces in adulthood is an excellent way to create the straight, beautiful smile you deserve.

What are my options?

With recent advances in orthodontic medicine, there are numerous options for adults who need braces. The basic option is traditional metal braces. These are best for individuals who have severely crooked teeth or a significant bite problem, or require other major orthodontic changes. Metal braces are typically the least expensive option. The greatest drawback to wearing metal braces as an adult is aesthetics. Many people find them unattractive and distracting.

If you are a professional who is worried about your personal appearance, clear ceramic braces may be a better choice. Clear braces are capable of handling very crooked teeth or bite issues, but they cost more than metal braces. You also have to be careful about smoking or drinking red wine, soda, and other dark beverages while wearing clear braces. These items may stain the adhesive that binds the brackets to your teeth.

Another popular option for adults who need braces is a clear aligner treatment, such as Invisalign®. This system works in a different way from traditional braces by applying a series of clear, retainer-like aligners. The series is custom made for your teeth, which makes this option more expensive than either metal or ceramic braces. In general, the Invisalign process takes anywhere from three to 18 months to complete. You should be aware that Invisalign is not as effective as traditional braces in treating bite problems, teeth that are lower or higher than others, or severely overcrowded teeth.

Although you may be nervous about the prospect of getting braces as an adult, you should not let your fears stop you from talking with Dr. Johnson.  A consultation at our Willowbrook office will address your concerns and provide information about the best course of treatment for you. No matter what your personal situation, adult braces can be a great way to boost your confidence and create the smile you’ve always dreamed of.

Besides straight teeth, what are the benefits of braces?

August 13th, 2014

Everyone wants a naturally aligned and beautiful smile, and it is no secret that Dr. Pamela Johnson Orthodontic Solutions can help deliver one. However, there are greater benefits to wearing braces than just having straight teeth. You’ll gain many oral health benefits in addition to the cosmetic ones.

Tooth Decay and Gum Disease

Crooked or crowded teeth may overlap each other and create tight spaces in between. These can make it very difficult to brush and floss effectively, allowing bacteria and plaque to build up, and eventually leading to tooth decay and gum disease. With orthodontic treatment, your teeth will become properly aligned and spaced, which allows for more effective brushing.

Difficulties with Speech

Your teeth play an essential role in speech. When they are out of line or lean too far forward or backward, this can affect your speaking patterns, and possibly cause embarrassment and frustration. Braces can readjust the positioning of the teeth to allow for clearer, more professional speech.

Bone Erosion

Bone and gum tissues begin to erode when there are no teeth to support. This is also true for poorly aligned teeth that leave gaps and spaces or place too much pressure on the jawbone due to a bad bite. With braces, the bones and tissues are less likely to erode and can continue to support the teeth in their new alignment.

Digestion

Your teeth play an important role in digestion. Before food ever enters your stomach, it has been partially digested by the teeth. If teeth are severely out of line, however, they may not play their role in breaking down food as effectively as they should. With braces, your teeth will be straightened into optimal alignment for eating and chewing.

Dr. Johnson and staff will be happy to answer any of your questions about your orthodontic treatment. Visit us in our Willowbrook office today!

Preventing Decay While Wearing Braces

July 15th, 2014

Having braces can present some new challenges when it comes to oral hygiene. Preventing tooth decay can be a big challenge simply because of the tendency for braces to trap food under the wires and between the teeth and the brackets. Here are a few tips to keep your teeth healthy while wearing your braces:

1. Eat Braces-Safe Foods.

Keeping your teeth from decay starts with a proper diet. Foods that are high in sugar or starch can cause more plaque which is difficult to remove during your brushing. There are certain foods that should be avoided while wearing your braces. First, sticky foods like caramel or gum can get stuck in your braces and be difficult to remove during brushing. Next, hard foods such as nuts and candy could bend wires or even break a bracket. Foods that are firm or hard to bite into like apples, carrots, or corn on the cob should be avoided. As much as we like to snack on them, those crunchy treats can harm your braces. Things like chips, ice, popcorn can also bend or break your braces. On the other hand, bananas, mangoes, milk, water, poultry, and pasta all tend to be low in enamel-busting acids.

2. Proper Brushing.

You want to place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle against the gums in order to clean the whole tooth, and brush gently in the area between the wiring and the teeth. Use a softer toothbrush with fluoride paste for best results. Rinsing every day will help, too. Rinsing is important regardless, but especially important when you have braces as you need to disinfect the entire mouth, including those spots under the braces where your brush can’t always reach.

3. Ask About Special Cleaning Tools.

There are also special brushes, or other tools, to get under and clean your braces. You can also find many of these items at your local pharmacy.

4. Regular Teeth Cleaning.

It’s important to keep your routine appointments with your dentist and dental hygienist for a thorough cleaning twice a year or as directed. The exact frequency of these visits will be up to your dentist as some types of braces are more demanding of a regular cleaning than others.

As long as you practice good oral hygiene and follow these basic tips, you should have no problem keeping your teeth from decaying while you wear braces.

What causes crooked teeth?

June 23rd, 2014

There are several reasons why some people’s teeth grow in crooked, overlapping, or twisted. The most common is hereditary, while other causes include irregularly-shaped teeth or jaws, premature loss of baby teeth, and habits such as thumb-sucking or tongue thrusting. It is very important that you schedule an appointment at Dr. Pamela Johnson Orthodontist so that we can make an early diagnosis and treatment plan that will best suit your or your child’s needs.

Establishing a proper bite is not just cosmetic but can dramatically improve our patients’ dental and overall health.

Crooked teeth can:

•Interfere with proper chewing

•Hinder proper oral hygiene, which increases the risk of tooth decay, cavities, and gingivitis

•Strain the teeth, jaws, and muscles, increasing the risk of breaking a tooth

Orthodontics is easier today than ever before, with treatment options at Dr. Pamela Johnson Orthodontic Solutions that fit your lifestyle and schedule. We look forward to helping you or your child achieve the bite and smile that will last a lifetime. Give us a call at our Willowbrook office to book your initial consultation.

Flag Day

June 10th, 2014

In the United States, Flag Day is celebrated on June 14. It commemorates the adoption of the flag of the United States, which happened on that day in 1777 by resolution of the Second Continental Congress. The United States Army also celebrates the Army Birthday on this date; Congress adopted "the American continental army" after reaching a consensus position in the Committee of the Whole on June 14, 1775.

In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation that officially established June 14 as Flag Day; in August 1949, National Flag Day was established by an Act of Congress. Flag Day is not an official federal holiday. It is at the President's discretion to officially proclaim the observance. On June 14, 1937, Pennsylvania became the first (and only) U.S. state to celebrate Flag Day as a state holiday, beginning in the town of Rennerdale. New York Statutes designate the second Sunday in June as Flag Day, a state holiday.

Did you also know that the current American flag was a result of a school project? The resulting grade on the project was a B minus? In 1958, high school student Robert G. Heft of Lancaster, Ohio, was spurred on by his interest in politics and talk of Alaska and Hawaii becoming states to design a 50-star flag as a school project. His teacher, Stanley Pratt, gave him a B minus on the project, describing it as unoriginal. However, he would grant Heft a higher grade if Congress accepted the design. Thanks to the late congressman Walter Moeller, Heft earned his gold star when the design was accepted in 1960.

June is National Dairy Month!

June 3rd, 2014

In honor of June being Dairy Month, Dr. Johnson and her team at Dr. Pamela Johnson Orthodontic Solutions would like to remind our patients about the importance of dairy to your overall health! Regular consumption of dairy products, such as milk, cheese, and yogurt, has been found to lower your chances of contracting gum disease (also known as periodontal disease).

Those who consume at least 55 grams of lactic acid a day are less at risk for gum disease. Eating dairy is not just healthy for building strong bones, but is essential for maintaining a strong, healthy mouth and a smile that will last a lifetime.

Questions about which foods you should steer clear of and which you should enjoy? Give us a call or ask us on Facebook by clicking on the link!

Wishing you a safe and relaxing Memorial Day!

May 20th, 2014

Memorial Day weekend, a time to remember and honor the men and women lost while serving for our country. Memorial Day is also the unofficial start of summer, and for many folks getting out of town for three days after being cooped up in the classroom or the office spells sweet, sweet relief.

What about you? What are you up to this Memorial Day weekend? Whether you are headed to a barbecue, a camping trip, or just hitting the great American open roads, we’d like to hear all about it!

Our entire team wishes you a happy, safe and relaxing Memorial Day weekend!

The advantage of Invisalign® at Dr. Pamela Johnson Orthodontic Solutions

May 5th, 2014

Part of what makes Invisalign “work” is that it’s customizable for just about anybody. To find out if you are the right candidate for Invisalign treatment, the first thing our team at Johnson Orthodontics do is to take an impression of your teeth as they are now and digitize it. Using special software, we look at the current positioning of your teeth and compare it to the way your teeth should look.

Next we use special software to map out the exact path your teeth will take from the beginning of your treatment to the end. Based on the results, a set of custom aligners are created just for your teeth. Throughout the course of treatment, you will be required to wear these clear, removable aligners one at a time; each one moving your teeth closer and closer to their final, perfectly aligned position. And since the aligners are virtually invisible, nobody around you will even know you are wearing braces!

If you have questions about Invisalign, or would like to find out if you are a candidate for Invisalign treatment, please give us a call.

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