As an orthodontist, I am frequently asked, "At what age should my
child first visit an orthodontist?" The answer I provide often
surprises parents. Even though people often associate braces or
Invisalign with the teenage or adult years, the reality is that boys and
girls need to see an orthodontist much sooner. The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends that all children have a check-up with an orthodontic specialist no later than age 7.
a young child's teeth may appear fine to you, there may be a
developmental problem involving physiological development or dentofacial
orthopedics that only an orthodontist will detect. In non-medical
terminology, this means that we look at the way a child's jaw
growth, bone structure, and emerging teeth will impact a child's
development and appearance later in life. In many cases,
orthodontists can catch subtle problems while some baby teeth are still
present so we can monitor or treat them. We can often identify these
conditions without exposing a child to x-rays.
In many pre-teen
examinations, I simply recommend appointments to monitor the child's
growth and development every six months or year. In this way, I can
ensure that treatment begins at the best possible time to achieve ideal
results in an efficient manner. However, in some instances, early
treatment around age 7 is required to prevent more serious problems from
developing or to achieve results that may not be possible without
surgery once the face and jaws have finished growing...
that patients generally come to me to create a beautiful and confident
smile, but there is a lot more that goes into orthodontics. In fact, a
kid's check-up at an early age can give an orthodontist the chance to:
· guide jaw growth
· lower the risk of trauma to protruded front teeth
· correct harmful oral habits
· improve facial appearance later in life
· guide permanent teeth into a more favorable position
· improve the way lips meet
· avoid the need for corrective surgery as an adult
· make treatment at a later age shorter and less complicated
the potential health and treatment benefits of early intervention,
visiting an orthodontist early in life gives you and your child the
opportunity to build a relationship of comfort and trust with your
orthodontist before beginning treatment. I find that this familiarity
reduces any fear or concern that a child might have about getting braces
or Invisalign Teen when the time comes. Similarly, it helps build your
confidence that you have selected the right orthodontist to perfect your
We all want to protect our child's precious smile.
Younger children don't always need treatment, but early observation and
routine monitoring can help protect your child's smile as it develops.
Through an early orthodontic evaluation, you'll be giving your child the
best opportunity for a healthy, beautiful smile.
Karen Conn, DMD, MS is an orthodontist at Udis & Conn
Orthodontics (Jenkintown, PA), where she specializes in Invisalign and
braces for children, teens and adults. She is also the author of the
CONNmunications Blog. Dr. Conn received her undergraduate and doctorate
degrees from the University of Pennsylvania. She completed her residency
in Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics at Temple University, where
she also earned a master's degree in Oral Biology. Udis &
Conn Orthodontics proudly serves Jenkintown, Abington, Elkins Park,
Glenside, Cheltenham, Wyncote, Huntingdon Valley and the surrounding
areas in Pennsylvania. To learn more about Udis & Conn Orthodontics, visit http://www.UdisandConnOrthodontics.com. Contact the office today (215-576-5805) to schedule a complimentary consultation.
Every time you go to the dentist you probably hear the same
question: have you been flossing? If your answer is that you don't or
that you only do sometimes then your dentist will stress the importance
of regularly flossing your teeth. Your dentist will also probably give
you complimentary floss. Still, though, many people don't floss their
teeth at all, or they don't floss regularly. You probably know you
should be flossing, but you don't realize how serious the repercussions
can be. Dental care professionals don't say this because they own stock
in a floss company!
What Exactly Is Floss?
is a soft thread. It's either going to be made of a multi-filament
nylon or mono-filament Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). Nylon floss can
be waxed or unwaxed and comes in assorted flavors to make the process
more pleasant. Sometimes this type of floss will break or tear. PTFE is
less likely to shred and break, but both varieties are effective when
What Is Flossing?
when done properly, reaches parts of your teeth that you toothbrush
can't, like between your teeth and under your gum line. To floss, you
should start with about 18 inches of your floss thread. Wind it around
your middle fingers until you've got about 2 inches to work with. Hold
the floss between your forefinger and your thumb, make sure that it's
pulled tight and then just work it up and down between your teeth. Be
sure to get the floss under your gum line gently, never forcing it. Your
gums are very delicate, and if you floss too hard, you can actually cut
them. Continue making your way around your mouth using clean sections
of floss as you go. That's all there is to flossing.
Why Is Flossing So Important?
toothbrush only cleans the surface areas of your teeth. No matter how
often you brush or what type of brush you use, it simply won't reach
every part of every tooth. There's a tight space between each of your
teeth and there's actually a small gap between your teeth and gums too.
The tiny particles of food and tiny bacteria that contribute to the
formation of plaque have no problem getting into these spaces. Mouthwash
can help to kill the bacteria, but it won't help to remove the bits of
food that get stuck there, and it doesn't get rid of plaque that has
Plaque, if left unattended, will eventually turn
into tartar. Plaque is a sticky substance that brushing and flossing
removes with little effort, but tartar is hard and crusty. Only special
tools used by dental professionals and a process known as scaling can
remove it. Tartar also makes it more difficult for your regular, at-home
techniques to remove new plaque that builds up.
is a lifelong battle, and it's the main goal of pretty much all dental
care. Plaque starts to form between 4 and 12 hours after each brushing,
which is why both brushing and flossing are both extremely important.
Each time you brush you should also be taking a few moments to floss.
The two go hand-in-hand, and they are two tools that work together to
complete the job that is cleaning your teeth. When your plaque turns to
tartar and you can't remove new plaque, then that new plaque is more
likely to turn into even more tartar. This is a dangerous cycle.
health not only keeps your smile looking its best, but it also prevents
bad breath, gum disease, and periodontal disease. Tartar creates a home
for even more bacteria leading to gingivitis, a gum infection.
Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease. The final and most severe
stage of gum disease is periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is
painful and all around unpleasant. It can even lead to the loss of teeth
that have become too infected to save or that have become loosened by
the condition eating away at your gums and roots.
your teeth clean and looking great on the surface, but it's the places
you can't see where plaque and tartar can really do the most damage. If
your teeth look fine when you smile, but you have bacteria eating away
at your gums and teeth below your gum line, then your mouth still isn't
healthy. It's only a matter of time before you start experiencing the
negative consequences. Simply flossing can save you a lot of trouble and
money down the road.
Dr. Marichia Attalla, D.D.S, P.C. is a Periodontist in Nassau
County, NY with more than 10 years experience practicing the art of
dentistry, including the treatment of gum disease, gingivitis and
periodontal disease. Learn more by visiting her website at www.nassaucountyperiodontist.com
Most of us know the importance of keeping our teeth clean
healthy. You have teeth of various shapes and sizes in your mouth, and
these are all used for different jobs. Teeth not only help us to chew
food, but they also help us to talk and pronounce words correctly. They
also help give our face its shape. And although it may be cosmetic,
having a great smile is a great asset to have. I mean, who wants to be
embarrassed to smile? So looking after your teeth just makes sense.
after your teeth means having a daily 'dental health' routine. Advice
from experts - such as the International Dental Foundation - recommend
your daily routine should include:
· Brushing with fluoride toothpaste last thing at night and once during the day]
· Using floss or 'interdental' brushes to clean between teeth
· Having good eating habits - cutting down on sugary foods and drink
· Having you teeth checked out regularly
of these are well known. There are other ways however we can adopt to
look after our teeth and gums and prevent tooth decay and damaging our
teeth. Avoiding some (or all) of the following will certainly help:
Sodas and fizzy drinks
combination of high sugar and high acid is bad news for teeth. Drinking
soda's frequently has the result of 'soaking' your teeth in sugar, a
sure way to tooth decay. The acid in the soda also helps to erode the
enamel on your teeth, leading to tooth sensitivity. If soda is a must
for you, then try cutting down as much as possible - thirst-quenching
water is a great alternative. If you like the fizz - then just try soda
water... Another tip is to sip sodas through a straw to avoid contact
with the teeth.
may help you recover quicker on the sports field, but they're similar
to sodas in that they contain high amounts of sugar and acids - not so
good for teeth. Opt for calorie-free water instead.
Sticky sweets and gummy candy
so all candy and sweets are not considered good for your teeth, but the
chewier and stickier they are, the more harmful they generally are for
you. Because of their sticky nature, they are more prone to stick to the
crevices between the teeth, and therefore less likely to be washed away
by saliva. Be sure to brush well after eating such foods - or better
still find sugar free alternatives.
Drops that contain sugar usually have a high content. Although they are
designed for medicinal purposes, sucking on cough drops for extended
periods helps cover the teeth with sugar. The risk of tooth decay and
gum disease is increased as dental plaque (which includes bacteria)
increases in the mouth. Opt for sugar-free cough drops.
known as "bruxism" grinding or clenching of the jaw affects millions of
people all over the world. If is often associated with stress or is
even shown to be hereditary. More often than not it occurs
subconsciously at night, but can happen during the day as well. It puts
pressure on the teeth and jaw and can cause pain. Wearing a mouth guard
may help alleviate the pressure and protect the teeth from being worn
Using your teeth for purposes other than chewing and eating
eating, smiling and speaking clearly - that's all your teeth should be
used for. Anything else is a no-no. This includes opening stuff such as
potato chip bags (or any other type of bag for that matter) using your
teeth to 'hold' stuff if your hands are full, or anything else that
brings your teeth into direct contact with hard, sharp objects. This can
cause damage by chipping or fracturing teeth.
matter of personal preference for some, tongue piercings are highly
discouraged by dentists. These items in the mouth can cause teeth to
chip or crack, as well as rub up against gums and cause gum problems.
Tongue piercings also encourage more bacteria to build up in the mouth -
not a healthy situation for your mouth to be in. Having mouth jewellery
may be trendy - but your mouth may pay a high price for it.
Sports with no mouth guard
always recommended to wear a mouth guard when playing contact sports.
The mouth and face area are more susceptible to damage in some sports
than others, (such as rugby, hockey or basketball) so wearing a mouth
guard will help cushion any blows received in the mouth area and protect
the teeth from damage and being knocked out.
If you would like to learn more, download your free Fat Myths Loss Guide George
Vlismas is the owner of OnlyMensHealth.com, a newsletter and website
dedicated to providing information and resources on all aspects of men's
health, nutrition and fitness. http://www.OnlyMensHealth.com
No matter how often we brush, floss, and gargle, all of us have
bad breath every now and then. For most of us, unpleasant odors emanate
from our mouths in the early morning hours before we've had a chance to
complete our oral hygiene routine. This morning breath is caused by food
particles that get trapped in our teeth and then combine with bacteria,
which results in malodor. While there is no surefire way to prevent bad
breath all the time, here are five tips from your dentist that will
help control it.
1. Brush your teeth after each meal and before
bed. This will help remove most of the food particles that get stuck in
your teeth. It is also important to use your toothbrush for at least two
minutes each session. Longer brushing times can significantly reduce
your risk of cavities and gum disease.
2. Brush or scrape your
tongue. It might sound and feel a bit strange, but your tongue is
covered with tiny hairs (papillae) that cling to bacteria. If enough of
them accumulate, they can cause malodorous exhalations. Sold in most
drugstores, a tool called a tongue scraper is your best defense against
an olfactory nightmare. You can also use your toothbrush to remove most
of the residue that clings to your tongue.
3. Get regular
checkups. Because gum disease is the most common cause of bad breath or
halitosis, it is important to make regular appointments with your
dentist. Not only will he or she check your mouth for dental problems,
but these professionals can also recommend products and techniques that
may help you manage or even solve the issue on your own. It is also
important to add that bad breath is a common symptom of serious oral
infections. If you experience a sudden, unexplained bout of halitosis,
contact a dental professional as soon as possible.
4. Drink plenty
of water. Dry mouths are even more susceptible to plaque than wet ones,
since food particles stay in place and combine with bacteria. Drinking
six to eight glasses of water a day should wash away most of the residue
that causes bad breath. People who have chronic dry mouth should speak
to their dentist before the problem causes serious dental issues. He or
she may be able to recommend a safe, effective saliva substitute that
increases oral moisture.
5. Stop smoking. As if you needed another
reason to quit, here is a no-brainer. Smoking causes halitosis. Not
only does the harmful habit dry out your mouth, resulting in accelerated
bacteria accumulation and growth, but cigarettes and cigars also smell
on their own. In fact, a whiff of tobacco is often enough to make
non-smokers run for the hills. Moreover, there's really no way to mask
the odor. Because it has a pungent, acrid scent, no mouthwash in the
world can overcome the smell of smoke.
These simple tips from your dentist can help you control, even eliminate bad breath in no time.
Gingivitis can be prevented by basic oral hygiene, which includes daily brushing and flossing of the teeth and gums. Avoid swelling and inflammation of the gum tissue with information from a dentist in this free video on dental health and gum care.
Smile - it's a small thing that comes as an expression of joy,
but it also plays an important role in defining our overall personality.
Even a smallest enhancement in smile can boost our confidence and
self-esteem, which will make us smile more. But how can we gain those
enhancements? Fortunately, cosmetic dentistry is here to help us out
with this thing. While traditional dentistry focuses on oral hygiene and
diagnosis of oral health issues, cosmetic dentistry focuses on
improvement in the appearance of teeth. Today this form of dentistry has
become very popular and dentists have got a wide range of tools to
improve the appearance of our teeth.
Given below are some frequently asked questions about cosmetic dentistry:
#1. Can bleaching damage the teeth?
Bleaching works like this - when active whitening agent carbamide
peroxide combines with water, hydrogen peroxide is released which makes
our teeth whiter. Teeth never become softer, demineralized or weaker due
#2. What about over-the-counter products? Do they work?
there's some evidence that these products work and whiten the teeth.
However, these products are often too abrasive and can also damage the
teeth. Supervision and guidance of dentist is a must for whitening the
#3. What are Porcelain Veneers? What's their use?
shells of ceramic material bonded to the front of our teeth are known
as Porcelain Veneers. These shells help a lot in masking the
discoloration of teeth, thus providing an improved whiter appearance to
the front of teeth.
#4. I've a dental insurance. Can it pay for my improved smile?
dental insurance products provide very limited benefits per year. They
can cover your regular dental checkups, but in most cases they won't
cover the cosmetic services. Insurance is also a business, so companies
often pay for the least expensive options instead of best solutions.
#5. How many visits are required for an improved smile?
answer of this question will depend directly on your desires. Sometimes
you can significantly improve the looks of your teeth in a couple of
visits. However, in certain cases frequent visits may be required. You
can discuss about it with your dentist to get an accurate idea of the
visits that'll be required to improve your smile.
#6. Are results of cosmetic dentistry permanent?
would like to say one thing here - nothing is permanent in this world.
However, modern materials can last for several years with proper home
care and regular visits to the dentist.
United States alone, over 10 million people suffer from
temporomandibular joint pain, or TMJ. Your temporomandibular joint
connects your jaw to your skull, so the pain can impact daily activities
most people take for granted, such as talking or eating. TMJ pain has a
wide-ranging list of causes, from jaw injuries to teeth grinding.
you have TMJ pain, know that there is a good chance that it is
treatable. Bite guards often do the trick without resorting to surgery.
Bite Guards Can Both Diagnose and Treat TMJ Pain
guards, also known as "night guards" or "stabilization splint," are
dental devices that fit over your lower or your upper row of teeth. They
help dentists to both diagnose and treat TMJ disorders. If your dentist
suspects TMJ pain, he or she may prescribe a guard to see if it might
relieve the pain. If they do, your dentist will diagnose TMJ pain and
continue the treatment with bite guards. If the bite guards do not
relieve your pain, your dentist may try other kinds of splints to find a
How Do Bite Guards Work?
guards create a separation between your teeth. If your TMJ pain is
caused by teeth grinding or clenching, these stabilization splints can
solve the problem. They also stabilize your jaw, which helps you to heal
if your TMJ disorder was caused by an injury to your jaw.
patients, particularly those with mild jaw injuries, teeth clenching, or
teeth grinding, find relief through bite guards. For those with more
complicated cases, however, there are other remedies.
Alternative Treatments for TMJ Disorders
you consider surgery, try some of the many alternative treatments
before going under the knife. Surgery is irreversible, while most of
these other treatments are 100 percent reversible.
Prescription medications: Muscle relaxants, sedatives, and prescription pain relievers often work when bite guards fail.
Often physical therapy programs designed to stretch and strengthen your
jaw muscles can give you relief from your TMJ symptoms. Applying heat
and ice can also provide relief in many patients.
If yours is a particularly stubborn case, you may ask your dentist if
Botox is an option for you. Some TMJ patients have found relief through
Change eating patterns: Many
patients with TMJ find that eating smaller pieces of food, eating softer
foods, and avoiding chewy, sticky, and hard foods helps alleviate their
There have been cases in which patients recover from TMJ disorders with no treatment at all.
TMJ disorders can be debilitating, see your dentist as soon as possible
as soon as you develop symptoms. Don't wait until your symptoms become
severe. Contact your dentist today.
The Kanehl Dental Group,
P.A. is a world class practice that delivers state-of-the-art
dentistry. We are one of Jacksonville Florida's leading dental practices
that focuses on TMJ treatment, sleep apnea treatment, cosmetic dentistry, periodontal disease treatment, and diabetic dentistry.
Among the many health risks of diabetes is a decline in oral
health that makes patients more vulnerable to gum disease. According to
dental professionals, this happens because diabetes slows the body's
circulation, making the gums more susceptible to infection. The
metabolic disorder also increases glucose (sugar) levels in saliva,
which fuels the growth of dental plaque that attacks the teeth and gums.
To protect against the disorder, follow these simple tips.
1. Visit Your Dentist Regularly.
diabetics are at a much higher risk of gum disease than the average
patient, you should never miss a dental appointment. In fact, you should
schedule regular checkups two to four times a year. With professional
cleanings and regular examinations, common mouth conditions, such as
ulcers, dry mouth, and infections can be controlled. To prevent bouts of
low blood sugar, it may be a good idea to eat before you see your
dentist. It is also crucial that you inform him or her of any oral
problems you may be having -- no matter how minor they may seem.
2. Follow A Strict Oral Hygiene Regimen.
diabetics should and really must brush and floss daily, preferably
after every meal. This will help remove the plaque that can cause gum
disease, thereby lowering your risk for mouth ulcers and infections. It
is recommended that you complete your oral hygiene routine at least
three times a day. Because your risk of oral infection is elevated, it
is important to avoid aggressive brushing that can cause cuts and sores.
You may even want to use a soft-bristled brush or an electric model for
a safer, more comfortable brushing experience.
3. Control Your Blood Sugar.
we mentioned, sugar stimulates plaque growth, which causes tooth decay
and gum disease. Because diabetics have more glucose (sugar) in their
blood, they also tend to have a lot more plaque on their teeth. But if
you can keep your blood sugar low, you can reduce your risk of
4. Don't Smoke.
In a perfect world,
nobody would smoke -- especially people with diabetes. The unhealthy
activity causes a laundry list of serious complications, including oral
infections and periodontal diseases. According to dental professionals,
smoking can more than double your risk of cavities and infections.
5. Clean Your Dentures.
you have diabetes and you wear false teeth, you are more prone to
developing oral thrush -- a fungal infection of the mouth. Typically
caused by denture irritation or wear, thrush can be prevented with
regular cleaning. It is also recommended that you remove your dentures
in between meals to give any irritated tissue the opportunity to heal.
Your dentist might also advise you to limit your sugar intake when your
mouth is bothered or raw.
When followed to the letter, these simple tips should help you control diabetes-related dental issues.
Porcelain veneers are often the last hope for someone who has
severely damaged teeth and has exhausted all other dental options.
Dental technicians create them from impressions of a patient's natural
teeth that were taken by a cosmetic dentist. Porcelain replacements are
then crafted and fitted over teeth that are thought to be beyond any
other type of dental repair, creating a beautiful new smile.
Do you think this option is right for you? Let's evaluate who makes a good candidate for this treatment.
1. Stained Teeth
can be a lifesaver if you have stains and discoloration. If your teeth
are so far damaged that regular bleaching or laser whitening are no
longer options, or they did not help you to achieve the results you
desired, these are an excellent alternative. Because they are shaped and
shaded to match the surrounding teeth, they are just as natural in
appearance as your originals.
2. Misaligned Teeth
If you are
dealing with misaligned or uneven teeth, you probably feel quite
embarrassed every time you are asked to smile. This can lead to low
self-esteem and avoidance of social situations where others would see
your mouth up close. Why hide yourself? If regular orthodontic work such
as braces or retainers did not work for you in the past, ask your
cosmetic dentist if these porcelain alternatives can balance out your
3. Chipped Teeth
Veneers work very well on
people with cracked or chipped teeth. Not only do they offer the
cosmetic advantage of supplementing the missing portion of the tooth and
making it look much better, but the hard coating can protect the
already-weakened tooth, preventing further damage.
4. Spreading Teeth
their lives, some people may be susceptible to embarrassing spacing
between teeth that tend to grow apart. These awkward gaps are usually
treated with invasive surgical procedures such as dental implants, but
having porcelain veneers placed over your natural teeth can create a
similar look without the excess pain or recovery time.
however, that since these porcelain options are bonded to the natural
teeth, they must only be used when there is no other alternative. After
all, the preparation for bonding can permanently damage your given
teeth, so the treatment should only be used as a last resort.
for those that have the need for the treatment, it can be a godsend.
Imagine living years of your life afraid of opening your mouth and then
having the beautiful smile of a cover model overnight! Ask your dentist
if porcelain veneers are the right option for your dental problems.