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Everything You Need to Know About Traveling with Braces

December 1st, 2018

Have you've ever broken or lost one of your orthodontic appliances and sighed to your self “Thank God I'm not in a remote state away from my doctor”? This isn't uncommon, but we have the perfect travel advice for such disasters. If you are traveling this holiday season, it is important not to ignore your orthodontic care while you are away, as there are no holiday breaks from taking care of your oral health. Whether you have braces or Invisalign aligners, here are some things you should keep in mind while traveling.

In the same manner in which you pack a hair kit, a swimming kit, party outfits etc, you must remember your dental or ortho-kit. This kit should include:

  • Regular and travel sized toothbrush
  • Floss
  • A regular or travel sized mouth rinse
  • A small mirror – you've got to check that your appliance are clear and tartar free. We care about your oral health and self-esteem so always check that you don't have food or plaque between your braces, trays or tooth gaps.
  • Orthodontic Wax – Excellent for irritation when your braces are fairly new and you are still having sensitivity issues or discomfort
  • Rubber bands- You don't want a situation where your rubber band snaps and you have none to re-attach to your orthodontic appliances ( i.e your braces).
  • For Invisalign aligner wearers - a new set of trays ( especially if you'll be gone for a while )

When you are planning a trip, please include a visit to your orthodontist prior to booking that flight, train or bus ride. It's best to know if you might need some extra supplies or need to take some precautions while away.

It is important to know, that sometimes a bracket could break, or a wire might poke out, in those instances, don't panic, here's what you do. If one of your wires or brackets break, but there is no damage to your teeth, it's simple, avoid bending the wire or trying to pull it out. That will only cause more damage. Instead just cover any sharp and uncomfortable edges with wax and make an appointment to see your orthodontist as soon as possible. If you happen to be away for an extended period of time, the you may call your orthodontist for advise on how to proceed, or visit a local practice.

As previously stated, the best way to prevent dental disasters while on your well earned holiday trip, is to book an appointment with your doctor prior let them know how long you'd be gone, and possibly provide you with a kit to get you through any orthodontic mishaps. To book an appointment with us, visit https://bit.ly/2DTSYbS or give us a call at (718) 335-4444

STAYING MOUTH CANCER FREE : TIPS FROM YOUR ORTHODONTIST

November 9th, 2018

Welcome to November, the month of gratitude. While November comes with joyful festivities, like harvest and thanksgiving, orthodontists use this month to also bring awareness to mouth cancer. An integral part of gratitude is being actively responsible, which includes constantly educating oneself on ways in which to keep the mind, body and soul healthy, because prevention is better than cure.

Mouth cancer comprises various kinds of tumors affecting the mouth area such as: lips, salivary glands, tongue, gums, palate and inside of the cheeks. Mouth cancer can grow and spread rapidly, hence it is important that you visit your Orthodontist and General Dentist for screenings, as they are specially trained to immediately spot symptoms.

There are a number of factors that trigger mouth cancer, most common causes being the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), smoking, and excessive alcohol consumption. At this juncture, you’re probably wondering what symptoms you should be looking out for.

Before we list the general symptoms, it is important to note that during the early stages of mouth cancer you may not experience any pain, hence paying attention to the symptoms is crucial as early detection is key to successful treatment.

The most common symptoms include:

  • Numbness in the mouth or lips
  • Red or white patches
  • Ulcers that don’t heal within a 2-3 week period
  • Pain or discomfort in the mouth
  • Lumps and swellings of no obvious cause in the mouth or neck
  • Bleeding from the mouth or throat
  • Red or white patches inside the mouth
  • Loose teeth
  • Difficulty or pain with swallowing, chewing or moving the jaw
  • Persistent hoarseness or changes to the voice
  • Persistent coughing or the feeling that something is ‘stuck’ in the throat
  • Numbness or tingling of the lips or tongue

If you notice any skin patches, redness, growths or discomfort, in your mouth area, which persists over a 2 week period, you should immediately visit your General Dentist or Orthodontist.

While it is important to know the symptoms to look out for, it is far more important to learn how to prevent mouth cancer, that way you and your loved ones can continue giving gratitude for a cancer-free body.

The most common methods of mouth cancer prevention include: cutting down or completely avoiding alcohol consumption, smoking and getting an HPV vaccine while at the age of 11 – 12 yrs. old. Practicing good oral hygiene, getting your regular dental checkups, practicing good eating habits and the above listed prevention methods, should keep you healthy and mouth cancer free.

Visit us for your orthodontic needs; you get a free screening during your consultation process. You can also take advantage of the resources below, if you have any additional questions. Call us at:(718) 335-4444

 

Additional Resources:

American Dental Association (ADA)

Mouth Cancer Foundation

 

An “Orthodontist Approved” Halloween | Healthy Candy Alternatives

October 1st, 2018

The spookiest time of the year is right around the corner, are you ready for Halloween? It’s okay if you aren’t; we’re making it our mission to at least get you orally prepped for the upcoming festivities. So while you’re thinking about who you’d like to impersonate, and how creatively eerie you’d like your decorations to be, it is equally important to think about how you to enjoy all the edible treats in a manner that isn’t destructive to your dental health. Like most holidays, Halloween means a ton of food, and an even greater amount of free candy at almost every facility to can think of.

The lazy but ideal response to tips on how to care for your mouth/teeth on Halloween would be a generic “Stay away from candy!!” alongside other basic dental hygiene tips. However, we are orthodontists, not party poopers, so we’re going to provide some practical tips which would allow you to fully participate in Halloween activities without compromising your oral hygiene.

Quick Facts:

When it comes to dental health, an immoderate consumption of sugar can lead to tooth decay. For those in orthodontic treatment, stay away from hard, crunchy, and sticky foods, whether or not they are sugar free; these types of foods can break any orthodontic appliance you may have, causing a significant delay in your treatment. Following proper eating instructions is also an essential part of the treatment process.

Harmful sugar eating oral bacteria live in our mouth and can create acids that destroy the shiny, outer layer of the teeth. These bacteria cause cavities. Wondering how bad it would be, for yourself or kids in braces, if you ignored your care routine and sneak in a sugary caramel treat? How about these complications:

  • Possible tooth loss
  • Extraction of unhealthy teeth
  • Gum disease
  • Changes in your bite
  • Plaque
  • A need for dental implants etc.

That stated, let’s get to the fun part.

Sweet and Tasty Candy Alternatives:

You don’t have to give up traditions to stay or become healthy; we know that’s not sustainable. Rather, creating modified ways of practicing traditions is a more effective route to sustainable health.  Below are some healthy sweets and snacks you could indulge in, within reason:

  • Hershey Sugar Free Dark Chocolate
  • Werther’s Original Sugar Free candy (Do not Chew)
  • Nice Starlight Mints Sugar Free (Do not Chew)

Healthy snacks:

  • Fruit snack (any hard fruit must be consumed in small chunks or avoided)
  • Sugar-free fruit Yogurt
  • Sugar free fruit cakes
  • Organic veggie chips

Before and after consuming food and sweets this festive season, know that generic good oral hygiene habits apply and contribute to a dazzling bright smile. These include:

  • Flossing
  • brushing your teeth before and after meals (or 3 times a day),
  • Use a mouth rinse once or twice a day
  • Scrub your tongue from front to back with a tongue cleaner

So there you have it, a healthier way to enjoy the beautiful tradition of Halloween. In the spirit of the festivities, we will be kicking off our Candy Buy-Back program on the 1st of November. You or your children are welcome to sell us your excess candy ($1/pound) or donate candy at our practice. All candy will go to treating our troops abroad, and to children displaced by the hurricanes. Feel free to come by our practice for healthy snacks, goody bags and an opportunity to treat those in need of some love and support.

We are dedicated to your dental and oral wellness, come visit us if you have questions about your oral health, adult braces options, invisible braces any of your orthodontic needs. Consultations are free, and our service is unmatched, we’d really just like to leave the perfect smile on your face.

What is Orthodontics?

August 21st, 2014

Orthodontics is a branch of dentistry that specializes in treating patients with improper positioning of teeth when the mouth is closed (malocclusion), which results in an improper bite. Orthodontics also includes treating and controlling various aspects of facial growth (dentofacial orthopedics) and the shape and development of the jaw. An orthodontics specialist is called an orthodontist.

Orthodontics used to be called orthodontia - the word comes from the Greek orthos, meaning "straight, perfect or proper", and dontos, which means "teeth".

Orthodontics also includes cosmetic dentistry; when the patient's aim is to improve his/her appearance.

An orthodontist uses a range of medical dental devices, including headgears, plates, braces, etc. to help in:

  • Closing wide gaps between the teeth
  • Making sure the tips of the teeth are aligned
  • Straightening crooked teeth
  • To improve speech or eating (oral function)
  • To improve the long-term health of gums and teeth
  • To prevent long-term excessive wear or trauma (of the teeth)
  • Treating an improper bite

What is malocclusion?

Malocclusion literally means bad bite. Some children's jaws and teeth do not develop properly. Malocclusion refers to crooked, misaligned teeth and a fault in the relation between the bottom and top set of teeth (the two dental arches). This may develop because of injury to the teeth or facial bones, frequent thumb sucking, or for reasons unknown.

Thumb sucking (or finger sucking) can result in localized deformation of the teeth and supporting bone. In order to restore a natural improvement, the thumb sucking habit has to be stopped.

Generally, malocclusions do not affect physical health, malocclusion is not a disease, it is a variation in the normal position of teeth. However, it may impact on the shape of the person's face and the appearance of their teeth, which can lead to embarrassment, a lack of self-confidence, and even depression.

Severe malocclusion may affect eating, speech and keeping the teeth clean.

UK health authorities say that approximately one third of all 12 year-olds in the country probably need orthodontic treatment. People may require orthodontic treatment for different problems:

  • The front teeth protrude - treatment not only improves the patient's appearance, but also protects the teeth from damage; people with protruding front teeth are more likely to injure them in sports, falling down, etc.
  • Crowding - if the patient's jaw is narrow, there may not be enough space for all the teeth. In such cases the orthodontist may have to remove one or more teeth to make room for the others.
  • Impacted teeth - as the adult teeth come through, they are not in the right position
  • Asymmetrical teeth - the upper and lower teeth do not match, especially when the mouth is closed but the teeth are showing.
  • Deep bite (overbite) - when the teeth are clenched, the upper ones come down over the lower ones too much
  • Reverse bite - when the teeth are clenched, the upper teeth bite inside the lower ones
  • Open bite - when the teeth are clenched, there is an opening between the upper and lower teeth.
  • Underbite - the upper teeth are too far back, or the lower teeth a too far forward ("bulldog" appearance)
  • Crossbite - at least one of the upper teeth does not come down slightly in from of the lower teeth when the teeth are clenched; they are too near the cheek or the tongue
  • Spacing - there are gaps or spaces between the teeth, either because a tooth is missing, or the teeth simply do not fill-up the mouth (opposite of crowding)

- Christian Nordqvist

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