Posts for: April, 2017
There are a lot of things we do without much conscious thought — habits we've developed over time. Some habits help streamline our lives for the good; others, though, hold us back or even harm us. A lot of these habits, both good and bad, form during our childhood years.
That's why it's important for you to guide your children into forming good habits. The goal is that when they're adults they'll “own” these habits, and their life will be healthier and happier because of them.
One particular area of habit-forming focus is dental care. It's essential your children develop good habits caring for their teeth and gums. The most important is a daily routine of brushing and flossing.
Brushing and flossing has one primary aim: to remove bacterial plaque, a thin film of food particles that builds up on tooth surfaces. Bacteria in plaque are the main cause for two potentially devastating diseases, tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease. Allowing plaque to build up over just a few days can trigger an infection that inflames the gums or softens enamel leading to tooth decay. Left untreated these diseases can ultimately cause tooth and bone loss.
A daily habit of brushing and flossing, along with semi-annual professional cleanings, can drastically reduce a person's risk for these diseases. It's best to instill these habits and their importance as soon as your child's teeth begin to erupt in the mouth.
In the beginning, you'll be performing the habit for them: for children two and younger use a slight smear of toothpaste on the brush. As they get older, you can increase it to pea size. Eventually you'll want to help them learn to brush on their own. In this case, modeling the behavior — both of you brushing your teeth together — will have the biggest impact and help them see how important the habit really is.
Before you know it, brushing and flossing will become second nature, a habit they'll begin doing on their own without being told. Once instilled, it'll be a habit they'll practice long after they leave your care — and one they'll hopefully pass on to their own children.
If you would like more information on proper dental care for your child, 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 “How to Help Your Child Develop the Best Habits for Oral Health.”
Orthodontic treatment has become somewhat of a rite of passage for teenagers everywhere. However, adults can also benefit from wearing braces. Unfortunately, many adults avoid treatment due to having to wear metal brackets and wires on their teeth throughout treatment. Luckily, Invisalign can straighten your smile and correct your bite issues without being visible to those around you. Learn more about Invisalign with Abington Dental Arts in Clarks Summit, PA.
Invisalign vs. Traditional Braces
Invisalign’s biggest advantage over traditional braces is their design. The clear, sturdy aligner trays are not noticeable to those around you at first glance. Unlike traditional metal braces, which require your dentist to permanently place metal brackets and wires onto your teeth throughout treatment, Invisalign is removable, allowing you to take it out to eat and brush your teeth. This important factor helps keep your teeth clean and decreases the chance of decay-causing plaque and tartar buildup since you can easily reach all of the areas of your mouth. Invisalign’s removable nature also means you can eat the foods you love without needing to worry about it becoming stuck in your braces.
What does Invisalign treat?
Though it does so using a different method, Invisalign treats the same issues as traditional braces. The aligner trays, worn one after another until the patient reaches the end of the series, places pressure onto the teeth to move them into their correct positions. This process can correct many orthodontic issues, including:
- misaligned or “crooked” teeth
- under crowding
- uneven teeth
- cross bite
- open bite
Invisalign Treatment in Clarks Summit, PA
If you think you could benefit from Invisalign, you should consult with your dentist to determine if this is the right course of treatment for you. A physical examination will help your dentist gather information about the state of your teeth, what kind of treatment they require, and how best to design your Invisalign experience.
For more information on Invisalign, please contact Dr. Jeffrey Bell, Dr. Dale Collins and Dr. Amy Cravath at Abington Dental Arts in Clarks Summit, PA. Call (570) 586-1411 to schedule your appointment for an Invisalign consultation today!
Ever since childhood, when her career as a model and actress took off, Brooke Shields has enjoyed worldwide recognition — through advertisements for designer jeans, appearances on The Muppet Show, and starring roles in big-screen films. But not long ago, that familiar face was spotted in an unusual place: wearing a nasal anesthesia mask at the dentist's office. In fact, Shields posted the photo to her own Instagram account, with the caption “More dental surgery! I grind my teeth!” And judging by the number of comments the post received, she's far from alone.
In fact, researchers estimate that around one in ten adults have dental issues that stem from teeth grinding, which is also called bruxism. (Many children also grind their teeth, but it rarely causes serious problems, and is often outgrown.) About half of the people who are teeth grinders report problems like persistent headaches, jaw tenderness and sore teeth. Bruxism may also result in excessive tooth wear, and may damage dental work like crowns and bridges; in severe cases, loosened or fractured teeth have been reported.
Researchers have been studying teeth grinding for many years; their findings seem to indicate that it has no single cause. However, there are a number of factors that play a significant role in this condition. One is the anatomy of the jaw itself, and the effect of worn or misaligned teeth on the bite. Another factor relates to changes in brain activity that occur during the sleep cycle. In fact, nocturnal (nighttime) bruxism is now classified as a sleep-related movement disorder. Still other factors, such as the use of tobacco, alcohol and drugs, and a high level of stress or anxiety, can make an individual more likely to experience bruxism.
What can be done for people whose teeth grinding is causing problems? Since this condition may have many causes, a number of different treatments are available. Successful management of bruxism often begins by striving to eliminate the factors that may cause problems — for example, making lifestyle changes to improve your health, creating a soothing nighttime environment, and trying stress-reduction techniques; these may include anything from warm baths and soft music at bedtime, to meditation and mindfulness exercises.
Several dental treatments are also available, including a custom-made occlusal guard (night guard) that can keep your teeth from being damaged by grinding. In some cases, a bite adjustment may also be recommended: In this procedure, a small amount of enamel is removed from a tooth to change the way it contacts the opposite tooth, thereby lessening the biting force on it. More invasive techniques (such as surgery) are rarely needed.
A little tooth grinding once in a while can be a normal response to stress; in fact, becoming aware of the condition is often the first step to controlling it. But if you begin to notice issues that could stem from bruxism — or if the loud grinding sounds cause problems for your sleeping partner — it may be time to contact us or schedule an appointment. You can read more about bruxism in the Dear Doctor magazine article “Stress and Tooth Habits.”