Posts for: October, 2015
You're never too old for braces. In fact, 20% of people who wear braces are adults. Braces not only straighten teeth but also improve your bite, making it easier to chew and speak clearly. The dental team at All Smiles, Worth's orthodontics professionals, have helped countless patients perfect their smiles. They know you have plenty of questions when you're considering braces for yourself or a child. If you're not sure if it's the right time for orthodontic treatment, ask yourself the following questions:
Is there a bite problem?
Overbites, underbites, crossbites and open bites can make you feel self-conscious about your appearance and might make it difficult to chew food thoroughly. Braces correct the problem by slowly moving the teeth into alignment.
Are you concerned about overcrowding or undercrowding?
Braces are a good option if overcrowding is a problem. Teeth compete for space when there's not enough room in your mouth. They may overlap each other and grow at odd angles due to lack of space. If the opposite problem, under crowding is an issue, you'll notice gaps between your teeth.
Have your teeth shifted?
As we age, it's not unusual for teeth to shift. Even if you had perfect teeth when you were younger or wore braces, shifting can change the alignment of your teeth. Shifting occurs due to a variety of reasons, including genetics, jaw clenching, teeth grinding, loss of a tooth and gum disease.
Is it difficult to clean your teeth?
When teeth overlap, it’s hard to reach every nook and cranny when you brush and floss your teeth. If you can’t remove food particles and plaque, you are at risk for developing tooth decay and gum disease. Straightening your teeth will not only improve your appearance; it can also improve your oral health.
Are you interested in new options for straightening your teeth?
If you’ve never gotten braces because you don’t like the look of metal or ceramic braces, one of the newer brace options may be a good option. Lingual braces work just like traditional braces, but are attached to the back of your teeth. If you prefer removable braces, Invisalign is a good alternative. The Invisalign system uses a series of clear aligners to move your teeth. The aligners can be removed when you eat or drink, or for special events.
Ready to take the next step? Call All Smiles, the Worth orthodontics pros, at (708) 448-0333 to make an appointment. There's never been a better time to improve your smile.
For over a hundred years dental amalgam — a combination of silver, mercury, tin and other metals — has been an effective filling material for teeth damaged by decay. But it has one major drawback — its metallic appearance stands out in stark contrast to the natural color of teeth.
As an alternative, composite resin fillings can match the color, shape and texture of natural teeth. These materials and the techniques used to bond them are proving just as effective as and more aesthetically pleasing than dental amalgam.
Fillings help protect and preserve a decayed tooth. By first removing decayed tooth structure through drilling, the resulting void is filled with durable material that strengthens the tooth and provides it protection from further decay.
The ultimate goal for restoration is to return the tooth to as near normal form and function as possible. Dental amalgam serves well in terms of function, providing the tooth strength in the face of the daily biting forces it encounters. In contrast, composite resins excel in appearance, but haven’t always matched the durability of amalgam. They’re material construction has improved over time, though, as well as the techniques used to bond them to teeth.
Most of these bonding techniques incorporate layering. The first step is to seal the dentin (the porous, living tissue just below the enamel); we then build up the composite material layer by layer within the tooth using special bonding adhesive and curing lights. In some cases where a large volume of tooth structure must be replaced, the restoration is first formed on the tooth and then removed for curing before being cemented into the tooth or a separate restoration is formed by a dental lab.
The end result is a tooth which both looks and functions like a fully intact tooth. Though care must be taken not to subject composite resin restorations to undue forces (no cracking open nutshells, for example), your new filling should continue to serve you and look great for a long time to come.
If you would like more information on metal-free restorations, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “The Natural Beauty of Tooth Colored Fillings.”
Exchanging passionate kisses with big-screen star Jennifer Lawrence might sound like a dream come true. But according to Liam Hemsworth, her Hunger Games co-star, it could also be a nightmare… because J.Law’s breath wasn’t always fresh. “Anytime I had to kiss Jennifer was pretty uncomfortable,” Hemsworth said on The Tonight Show.
Lawrence said the problem resulted from her inadvertently consuming tuna or garlic before the lip-locking scenes; fortunately, the two stars were able to share a laugh about it later. But for many people, bad breath is no joke. It can lead to embarrassment and social difficulties — and it occasionally signifies a more serious problem. So what causes bad breath, and what can you do about it?
In 9 out of 10 cases, bad breath originates in the mouth. (In rare situations, it results from a medical issue in another part of the body, such as liver disease or a lung infection.) The foul odors associated with bad breath can be temporarily masked with mouthwash or breath mints — but in order to really control it, we need to find out exactly what’s causing the problem, and address its source.
As Lawrence and Hemsworth found out, some foods and beverages can indeed cause a malodorous mouth. Onions, garlic, alcohol and coffee are deservedly blamed for this. Tobacco products are also big contributors to bad breath — which is one more reason to quit. But fasting isn’t the answer either: stop eating for long enough and another set of foul-smelling substances will be released. Your best bet is to stay well hydrated and snack on crisp, fresh foods like celery, apples or parsley.
And speaking of hydration (or the lack of it): Mouth dryness and reduced salivary flow during the nighttime hours is what causes “morning breath.” Certain health issues and some medications can also cause “dry mouth,” or xerostomia. Drinking plenty of water can encourage the production of healthy saliva — but if that’s not enough, tell us about it: We may recommend switching medications (if possible), chewing xylitol gum or using a saliva substitute.
Finally, maintaining excellent oral hygiene is a great way to avoid bad breath. The goal of oral hygiene is to control the harmful bacteria that live in your mouth. These microorganisms can cause gum disease, tooth decay, and bad breath — so keeping them in check is good for your overall oral health. Remember to brush twice and floss once daily, stay away from sugary foods and beverages, and visit the dental office regularly for checkups and professional cleanings.
So did J.Law apologize for the malodorous makeout session? Not exactly. “[For] Bradley Cooper, Christian Bale, yeah, I’ll brush my teeth,” she laughed.
Hemsworth jokingly agreed: “If I was kissing Christian Bale I probably would have brushed my teeth too. With you, it’s like, ‘Eh. Whatever.’”
If you would like more information about bad breath and oral hygiene, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Bad Breath: More than Just Embarrassing.”