Our Blog

What Is a Frenectomy?

June 25th, 2018

HAVE YOU EVER HEARD of a person being “tongue-tied” or “lip-tied”? Dr. Daniels and Dr. Rola care about the health of your mouth as a whole, not just your teeth. When a tongue or lip-tie is present, some problems may arise that we can help with!

Why Do Lip And Tongue-Ties Occur?

A lip or tongue-tie occurs when a thin tissue in the mouth called a frenum is overgrown. There are two kinds of frena in the mouth, labial (lip) frena and the lingual (tongue) frenum. The labial frena can be found in the center of the lips, connecting the inside of your upper and lower lips to the gum tissue. You can see the tongue frenum by looking in the mirror and lifting your tongue up to touch the roof of your mouth.

The purpose of the frenum is to limit certain muscle movements to prevent tissue damage. When the frenum tissue is excessive, however, it has the potential to do more harm than good.

What Problems Can Arise As The Result Of A Tongue-Tie?

A tongue-tie restricts the tongue and prevents it from moving freely. Tongue-ties may be moderate, resulting in only small inconveniences like not being able to lick an ice cream cone. In some cases, however, they cause severe impairments such as:

  • Difficulty nursing as an infant and eating later in life
  • Speech impediments
  • Pain and discomfort
  • Periodontal issues, such as receding gums
  • Tongue thrust and bite misalignment

What Issues Can A Lip-Tie Cause?

A lip-tie refers to a frenum that attaches too far down on the gum. The possible complications of a lip-tie are somewhat similar to those who are tongue-tied. An overgrown labial frenum can:

  • Cause pain and discomfort
  • Make it difficult for children to keep their teeth clean
  • Complicate nursing
  • Lead to periodontal issues, such as receding gums
  • Result in misaligned teeth and bite (usually gap teeth)

A Frenectomy Helps Alleviate Tongue and Lip-Ties

A frenectomy is a simple procedure that can be performed by dental professionals where excess tissue on the frenum is removed. Before performing a frenectomy, several factors are taken into account, including the possibility that the condition may correct itself over time.

We’re Here To Answer Your Questions

If you’re concerned about a possible lip-tie or tongue-tie in yourself or your child, schedule an appointment with us today. We’d be more than happy to answer your questions and together, we’ll determine the best way to move forward!

Thank you for trusting us with your oral health concerns!

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

~ Natasha

Summer Vacation is almost here! Follow these simple tips...

June 1st, 2018

If you are wearing braces and are planning a vacation, Dr. Adam Daniels, Dr. Rola Alkhatib and the CVO team have put together a list of items that will be handy to have with you at all times while you are out of town.

Putting the following items together in a kit keeps everything in one place and easily accessible:

  • Toothpick, flosspick, or other interdental cleaners
  • Floss
  • Travel toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • A water bottle or a mini bottle of mouth rinse
  • Orthodontic wax to help with discomfort from protruding wires, brackets or attachments
  • A small mirror for examining any possible issues in your mouth

Just a reminder:   if your vacation destination includes a flight, make sure they are travel-sized containers that are 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters) or less per item.

If you happen to be on vacation and experience problems, contact us and we may be able to talk you through it until your return.  Otherwise, we may suggest going online and searching for orthodontic practices in your area. Most orthodontists will lend a helping hand to another orthodontic patient and get him or her out of pain or discomfort.

We also suggest avoiding the following foods to prevent broken brackets and/or wire distortion while you are on vacation:

  • Chewy, sticky, or gummy food
  • Apples, pears, and other whole fruits (cut fruit into wedges before consuming)
  • Bagels, hard rolls and pizza crust
  • Corn on the cob
  • Hard candies
  • Hard cookies or pretzels
  • All varieties of nuts, including peanuts, almonds, and cashews

If you are wearing clear aligners, in addition to the recommended kit above, bring your previous aligner and/or next aligner with you.  If you happen to lose your current aligner, don’t worry! Simply put in the previous one or the next one if it fits and contact us as soon as you get home!  If you need an extra retainer case, just let us know, we'll be happy to provide one for you.

Follow these tips and you can have a worry-free vacation! Please give us a call if you have any questions!

Melanie

 

PALATAL EXPANDERS

May 21st, 2018

In Dr. Daniels’ previous post, he talked about some of the benefits of early treatment. You’ll hear us mention “expanders” a lot in the office. Most early treatment in our office involves the use of an expander.

What is an expander?                                                        

An expander is an appliance used to gently widen the upper jaw to help the top teeth fit properly together over the bottom teeth. After careful measurements in our office, we send the components to a lab so it can be custom-made for each patient. Our expander is nicknamed a “hygienic expander” because it’s easy to clean and will not accumulate food around it.

What should you expect with an expander?

The way an expander works is by turning the screw—every turn of the screw is actually 1/4mm, gently widening the upper jaw by opening the mid-palatal suture. It’s very common to have a space between the two front teeth as this happens—don’t fret! The stretchy fibers in the gums between the teeth will bring them back together and we will help close the rest of the space with braces.

Most kids feel very little discomfort with the expander and easily adjust to eating, swallowing, and talking with it after a few days. If they feel anything at all, it’s usually described as “pressure” or “tightness.” I actually had an expander when I was younger and remember feeling this. Since we turn the expander only once per day, it is a very gentle pressure and if there is any tightness, it goes away a few minutes after the turn is finished.

https://youtu.be/HFALOyCkspM

 

We will usually leave the expander in for 6 months after stopping the turns. This allows the new bone to fill in where the suture was opened in the palate. Basically, it needs some time to set in its new position and by holding the expander in there for that length of time, it prevents relapse.

Why not wait until all of the adult teeth are in and start everything all at once?

A common misconception is to wait until all adult teeth are in to start any orthodontic treatment (Please see Dr. Daniels’ first post to see why). In actuality, we usually recommend doing an expander when young (after age 7). The expansion we achieve at a young age is more impactful and will not relapse. The reason is that as our bodies mature, the sutures fuse and the two halves of the upper jaw fuse into one piece—when that happens after maturity, the only way to fix a narrow upper jaw is by doing surgery.

It’s important to be proactive and set the foundation for a more successful outcome when the rest of the adult teeth do come in!

Dr. Rola Alkhatib

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Protect Your Smile With A Custom Mouthguard

May 14th, 2018

THE CRISP SMELL OF FRESHLY CUT GRASS on the soccer field, the gleam of the basketball court before a game, the cheering fans at the football stadium, the feeling of the baseball bat, familiar in your hands… There’s no doubt about it–playing sports can be a magical thing.

We love when our patients are having fun and being active, but unfortunately, sports-related dental injuries happen all the time. That’s why we make custom mouth guards in our practice, so you and your children can always play it safe!

Wear A Mouth-guard And Reduce Your Risk Of Injury

You may be surprised to learn that up to 40 percent of dental injuries are sustained during sports activities. In fact, not wearing a mouth-guard makes you 60 times more likely to sustain an injury to the face and mouth! Wearing a mouth-guard during recreational as well as competitive sports activities decreases both the frequency and severity of injury.

A fractured, chipped or knocked-out tooth isn’t the only thing a mouthguard safeguards against. Did you know that wearing a mouthguard can also help prevent more serious injuries such as concussions, jaw fractures, and neck injuries? Not to mention the protection it provides for the soft tissues of the mouth like the tongue, lips and cheeks.

This is especially true for those of you with braces. Not only are your braces an investment you should protect, but those metal brackets can be especially damaging to your mouth if you’re hit by a stray ball or elbow. On top of that, if your braces are damaged, there may be a delay in your orthodontic treatment.

Custom Mouthguards Provide More Comfort And Protection

https://youtu.be/d0ktAyLnGTE

When it comes to purchasing a mouth-guard, you have a couple different options. A custom-fit mouth-guard made specifically for you by a dental professional is the most effective and comfortable choice. We can even specially customize your mouth-guard for the specific sport you play. Custom mouth-guards are:

  • Less likely to be displaced during the action because of their custom fit.
  • Durable and tear-resistant. Custom mouthguards last longer due to the higher quality of materials used to construct them.
  • More fitted and less bulky. This adds to the overall comfort and makes talking, breathing and swallowing easier.

Your Smile Is Worth Protecting

Customized specifically for your smile, the mouth-guards we make in our practice provide superior safety and genuine comfort.Your smile is worth protecting. Talk to us today about your own custom mouth-guard! Connecticut Valley Orthodontics, offers mouth-guard events, a whole team can come to our office for FREE CUSTOM MOUTH-GUARDS! Contact us to schedule your team event!

Our patients make our day!

~ Natasha

 

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.