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Straight Teeth: Not Just About Looks

March 13th, 2019

 

THE MOST OBVIOUS impact of orthodontic treatment is a straighter, more attractive smile. While it is true that we tend to perceive people with properly aligned teeth as happier and more successful, the benefits aren’t just superficial.

Clearer Speech

Do you remember the lisp you had between losing your two front teeth and the adult ones growing in? Based on that, it shouldn’t be much of a surprise that our teeth are a crucial component to our ability to speak and enunciate clearly.

In order to make the right sounds, our lips and tongues have to maneuver around our teeth. When teeth are properly aligned, this is simple, but crooked teeth can result in a lisp, slurring, or difficulty making certain sounds that require tongue-to-tooth contact, such as the “t,” “s,” and “ch” sounds. Orthodontic treatment can solve these problems by moving the teeth into their proper positions.

Healthier Digestion

We don’t give our teeth enough credit for the role they play in good digestion. Chewing is a very important part of the process. It doesn’t just chop the food into small enough pieces to fit down the esophagus, it mixes the food with saliva, which begins the chemical digestion process.

When we wolf down our food without much chewing — or when we chew with misaligned teeth that don’t do the job effectively — it forces our stomachs to work harder than they should. If you already have straight teeth, put them to good use by chewing each mouthful for longer. If you don’t, your digestive system will thank you for getting orthodontic treatment.

Better Breathing

Having poorly aligned teeth can make it difficult or even impossible to comfortably close your jaws when you aren’t moving them, which can lead to habitual mouth breathing. Mouth breathing has a number of negative effects, including dry mouth, bad breath, snoring, chronic fatigue, and brain fog. The effects are an even bigger problem for kids, sometimes going as far as changing the development of their facial bone structure.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NA82k3a4rsM

Straight Teeth For A Better Life

Not only do straight teeth make it easier to speak, eat, and breathe properly, they’re also easier to clean! Maybe you’ve been avoiding orthodontic treatment because you’re happy with the way your smile looks, but the many benefits of straight teeth are worth considering.

Straight teeth lead to better oral health and better overall health!

 

Top image used under CC0 Public Domain license. Image cropped and modified from original.

 

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.

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.

Why Would Someone Ever Need Early Orthodontic Treatment?

May 7th, 2018

This is a question that I often get asked. Someone may see a 7 or 8 year old with braces, or their family member or friend may have just gotten referred to see us.  So why would someone so young need braces?

This question can’t be answered quickly or in simple terms, but I will try to give you a light overview of the direction that Orthodontics has moved.  Not everyone is born with a large enough mouth for all of their teeth to fit into.  The way our profession used to address this was to take pictures, x-rays, do some measurements then start extracting numerous teeth.  Some would be baby teeth, then move onto extracting permanent teeth. I have heard of adults having up to 16 teeth extracted in some cases between baby and permanent. Well, things change, our profession has evolved and research shows that in most cases, this is not the best way to approach our patients.

What we see is that extracting permanent teeth can set up patients in the future for a list of problems: narrow smiles, teeth that can easily be worn, jaw joint problems and even difficulty chewing and eating.  Research started showing us, that if we can make room for a patients’ teeth at an early age – we not only can give our kids much broader, more attractive smiles, but we can prevent a whole list of problems long term.  Treating as early as 7 years old has helped my patients avoid tooth impaction, gum recession, bone loss, tooth wear, recessed jaws, narrow smiles and joint problems (just to name some).

Now, not every child needs Early Orthodontic Treatment (Phase 1), but the only way to find out if it is right for your child, is to bring them in for a consultation around the age of 7.  In our office, we do a Panoramic X-ray on all patients and an exam completely complimentary.  It allows me the chance to properly evaluate a patient and educate their family regarding current or future needs for Orthodontic treatment.

In future blogs – I will talk a little bit more about the type of treatment that one might expect in this early stage (Phase 1).

Dr. Adam S. Daniels

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.

Top image used under CC0 Public Domain license. Image cropped and modified from original.

 

 

 

 

Strong Family Chicken Run

March 27th, 2018

CT. Valley Orthodontics is proud to sponsor the Strong Family Chicken Run happening on April 8, 2018!
http://www.strongfamilyfarm.org/5th-annual-chicken-run/
You might even see Dr. Daniels running in the race!

Social Media Helps Us All Smile

March 27th, 2018

IT MIGHT NOT SEEM SO AT FIRST, but a dental practice is all about relationships—relationships between our team members and our relationships with YOU, our valued patients and friends. When we stop to think about the things we do each day, these things make it all worth it.

We Love Seeing Your Smile!

We love social media because it allows us to continue to nurture these important relationships long after you’ve gone back home after visiting our practice. We enjoy hearing about your concerns, your plans, your vacations, your victories... And we get to see your smiles often! We love that!

Seeing Smiles Everywhere

We also like social media because it’s fun. For example, here’s a post that we found online of everyday objects that look like they’re smiling!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TQk7Zh-dXCk?rel=0

Smiles Are Visible From 300 Feet Away

We can’t help it. Humans are hardwired to see faces everywhere. It just goes to show the importance of our smiles! Did you know that people can perceive a smile from 300 feet away? That makes it the most recognizable human expression.

Smiles are a foundational part of how we interact with each other. Whether it’s for family photos, travel selfies, a job interview, or a date, our smiles are such an important part of how we show ourselves to the world.

Keep your smile bright and healthy by giving it the care it deserves. Let us know if you ever have any questions or concerns about your dental health.

Share Your Smile!

Like we said, we love to see YOUR smiles. Follow us on Facebook, and post a pic of yourself on our page. Knowing that you’re proud of your smile is one of the things that makes our jobs so satisfying.

Thanks for being part of the CVO family!

 

Image by Flickr user Kevin Dinkel used under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.