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Posts for: July, 2017

ActressEmmaStoneRevealsHowThumbSuckingAffectedHerTeeth

It's no secret that many of Hollywood's brightest stars didn't start out with perfectly aligned, pearly-white teeth. And these days, plenty of celebs are willing to share their stories, showing how dentists help those megawatt smiles shine. In a recent interview with W magazine, Emma Stone, the stunning 28-year-old star of critically-acclaimed films like La La Land and Birdman, explained how orthodontic appliances helped her overcome problems caused by a harmful habit: persistent thumb sucking in childhood.

“I sucked my thumb until I was 11 years old,” she admitted, mischievously adding “It's still so soothing to do it.” Although it may have been comforting, the habit spelled trouble for her bite. “The roof of my mouth is so high-pitched that I had this huge overbite,” she said. “I got this gate when I was in second grade… I had braces, and then they put a gate.”

While her technical terminology isn't quite accurate, Stone is referring to a type of appliance worn in the mouth which dentists call a “tongue crib” or “thumb/finger appliance.” The purpose of these devices is to stop children from engaging in “parafunctional habits” — that is, behaviors like thumb sucking or tongue thrusting, which are unrelated to the normal function of the mouth and can cause serious bite problems. (Other parafunctional habits include nail biting, pencil chewing and teeth grinding.)

When kids develop the habit of regularly pushing the tongue against the front teeth (tongue thrusting) or sucking on an object placed inside the mouth (thumb sucking), the behavior can cause the front teeth to be pushed out of alignment. When the top teeth move forward, the condition is commonly referred to as an overbite. In some cases a more serious situation called an “open bite” may develop, which can be difficult to correct. Here, the top and bottom front teeth do not meet or overlap when the mouth is closed; instead, a vertical gap is left in between.

Orthodontic appliances are often recommended to stop harmful oral habits from causing further misalignment. Most appliances are designed with a block (or gate) that prevents the tongue or finger from pushing on the teeth; this is what the actress mentioned. Normally, when the appliance is worn for a period of months it can be expected to modify the child's behavior. Once the habit has been broken, other appliances like traditional braces or clear aligners can be used to bring the teeth into better alignment.

But in Stone's case, things didn't go so smoothly. “I'd take the gate down and suck my thumb underneath the mouth appliance,” she admitted, “because I was totally ignoring the rule to not suck your thumb while you're trying to straighten out your teeth.” That rule-breaking ended up costing the aspiring star lots of time: she spent a total of 7 years wearing braces.

Fortunately, things worked out for the best for Emma Stone: She now has a brilliant smile and a stellar career — plus a shiny new Golden Globe award! Does your child have a thumb sucking problem or another harmful oral habit? For more information about how to correct it, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine article “How Thumb Sucking Affects the Bite.”


By Advanced Dental Care
July 14, 2017
Category: Oral Health
Tags: metal allergies  
HerearetheFactsontheImpactofMetalAllergiesonDentalWork

Allergic reactions aren't necessarily bad: they're your body's responses to possible threats from foreign substances. But the response can go too far and cause a reaction as minor as a skin rash or as life-threatening as a multi-system shutdown called anaphylaxis.

Anything can cause an allergy: animal fur, food, chemicals — or metals. Because metals play such a large role in dental care, it's only natural we're alert to the possibility of allergic reactions from a procedure.

But don't postpone your implants or other dental work just yet — the threat isn't nearly that ominous. Here are a few facts about dental metal allergies to help you sort it out.

Allergic reactions are rare for metals used in medical and dental procedures. Although reactions to metals in joint replacements or coronary stents leading to failure do happen, actual occurrences are rare. Most metal allergies manifest as a skin reaction to jewelry or clothing. It's less likely with medical or dental metals because they're chosen specifically for their compatibility with living tissue.

Amalgam fillings account for most dental work reactions. Dentists have used this multi-metal alloy for fillings and other restorations for well over a century. Tooth-colored resins are now used for most fillings, but amalgam is still used in less visible back teeth. It's very rare for a person to experience a reaction to amalgam, but when it does occur it usually results in minor inflammation or a rash.

Implant titanium isn't just bio-compatible — it's also osteophilic. Titanium is the perfect choice for implants not only because it's tissue friendly, but also because it's bone friendly (osteophilic). Once implanted in the jaw, bone cells naturally grow and adhere to it to create a more durable bond. Not only does the body usually tolerate titanium, it welcomes it with open arms!

While it's still possible for you to have an allergy to implant titanium, the chances are remote. In one recent study involving 1,500 implant patients, titanium allergies occurred in less than 1%. So the chances are high a metal allergy won't stop you from obtaining a smile-transforming restoration with dental implants.

If you would like more information on allergies and dental work, 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 “Metal Allergies to Dental Implants.”


By Advanced Dental Care
July 06, 2017
Category: None
Tags: Untagged

Protect Your Oral Health and Watch What You Eat

If you want to maintain a healthy smile, not only is it important to practice proper dental hygiene, but also it is important to pay attention to what foods you eat and how often you eat them.  The foods we consume daily not only lead to a fitter physique and a healthier heart, but they also affect the health of our teeth and gums. The more often you eat and the longer foods stay in your mouth, the more damage that occurs.   Bacteria in the mouth convert sugars and carbohydrates from the foods you eat to acids, and the acids then begin to attack the enamel on teeth, starting the decay process. Your dentist in [Location] is available to help you establish a proper diet in order to further protect your smile. 

Establish a Proper Diet

You can improve your oral health and reduce your risk of developing periodontal disease by eating a well-balanced diet based on the well-known food pyramid.  It is recommended that eating a variety of foods from the five major food groups—grains, fruit, vegetables, milk and meat—are highly important.  Vitamin and mineral supplements can also help in the preservation of periodontal health in addition to the boosting of overall health and well-being. Advanced Dental Care and your family physician can help you determine a healthy diet for your individual needs.
 
By eating in moderation and variety you can develop eating habits that follow the recommendations of various reputable health organizations to protect your oral health as well as your overall health.  Avoid fad diets that limit or eliminate entire food groups, which results in vitamin or mineral deficiencies.  Additionally, always keep your mouth moist by drinking water because your saliva protects both hard and soft oral tissues.  When you have a dry mouth, substitute your diet with sugarless candy or gum to stimulate your saliva.
 

Frequency of Eating

When teeth are repeatedly exposed to foods and beverages, the chance for decay greatly increases. Eliminating foods high in starch or sugar won’t always be possible, so try to eat them during meals rather than between meals.
To reduce the time teeth are exposed to these factors, it's important to: 
  • Avoid continuous snacking and sipping of drinks;
  • Allow time between meals for saliva to neutralize acids and repair the teeth
  • Avoid brushing teeth immediately after consuming acidic foods, drinks, citrus fruits and juices
  • Avoid eating right before bedtime
 
It has long been known that good nutrition and a well-balanced diet is one of the best defenses for maintaining your oral health. While choosing healthy foods and drinks are good ways to prevent tooth decay, daily oral hygiene should still remain an integral part for achieving healthy teeth and gums. Visit your [Location] dentist for regular checkups and cleanings as they can help to detect early signs of decay.