Posts for: July, 2015
In the past, it was common for a Lincolnwood, IL dentist to wait to offer orthodontic services until the patient was between 12 and 14 years old and already had all of his or her permanent teeth in place. These days, however, dentists such as Robert Silvers, DMD at The Cosmetic and Implant Dental Center in Lincolnwood, IL are offering orthodontic treatment earlier and earlier. In fact, thanks to a new orthodontics model known as interceptive orthodontics, the recommended age is now as young as seven.
What is Interceptive Orthodontics?
Interceptive orthodontics is an orthodontics model that seeks to use a child's growth as a part of the orthodontic process, rather than waiting until the child's teeth are already firmly in place. In this way, a child's growth actually helps facilitate treatment.
Interceptive orthodontics generally requires multiple treatment phases, but because these phases work with the body, they tend to be shorter and more effective.
What Advantages Does Interceptive Orthodontics Offer?
Interceptive orthodontics creates room for teeth before they come in, preserves space for emerging teeth, encourages jaw symmetry, and reduces the need for tooth removal. It also reduces treatment time and improves treatment effectiveness. Interceptive orthodontics improves tooth alignment for improved self-confidence and self-esteem and for reduced dental problems later in life.
Is Interceptive Orthodontics Right for My Child?
If you know your child will need orthodontics treatment at some point, you might as well take advantage of the earlier years for greater success. Talk to your doctor to see if treatment will be necessary and to find out what the risks and advantages of each of your options might be. Then, you can make the best choice for your family together.
If you have a child around the age of seven, don't wait to seek the orthodontic treatment you know he or she will eventually need. Bring your child in to see your favorite dentist, Dr. Silvers at The Cosmetic and Implant Dental Center in Lincolnwood, IL, and set your child up for a lifetime with a beautiful and fully functional smile.
While braces are a tried and true method for achieving a more attractive smile, they may also give rise to problems with dental disease. This is because their hardware — the brackets and bands that serve as tracks for the tensioning wires — make it more difficult to access the tooth and gum surfaces to clean away plaque. This thin film of food remnant may then become a haven for bacteria that cause gum disease or tooth decay.
One of the more common conditions to occur while wearing braces is gingivitis. This is an initial inflammation of the gum tissues caused by bacterial plaque that hasn’t been removed by brushing or flossing. As the inflammation grows unchecked, the infection could advance deeper into the tissues to become a more serious form of gum disease that threatens the survival of affected teeth.
Difficult as it may be for those wearing braces, the best way to avoid gingivitis is through more thorough oral hygiene practices. Fortunately, there are many hygiene products that can help you get around many of the access difficulties posed by braces. Smaller toothbrushes known as interproximal brushes and floss threaders, small aids that thread dental floss under braces wires, can access the spaces between teeth more readily than conventional brushes or floss. Water flossers (which use water under pressure to remove plaque between teeth) and motorized toothbrushes can further increase efficiency. We can also reduce bacterial growth in the mouth if need be with prescription-strength antibacterial mouthrinses.
If, however, gingivitis or gum overgrowth (another common occurrence during orthodontic treatment) continues to be a problem, we may need to take other actions including surgery. In extreme cases, the braces may need to be removed to adequately treat the gums and allow them time to heal before proceeding with orthodontics.
Extra care with daily hygiene and regular dental checkups and cleanings in addition to your orthodontic visits will help keep gum problems at bay while you’re wearing braces. Taking this extra care will stop or minimize the effect of disease as you continue on to the ultimate goal of your orthodontic treatment — a more beautiful smile.
A woman as gorgeous and funny as Sofia Vergara surely planned to be a model and actress from the get-go, right? Wrong! Sofia’s first career choice actually was to be… a dentist! That’s right, the sexy star of TV’s Modern Family actually was only two semesters shy of finishing a dental degree in her native Columbia when she traded dental school for the small screen. Still, dental health remains a top priority for the actress and her son, Manolo.
“I’m obsessed,” she recently told People magazine. “My son thinks I’m crazy because I make him do a cleaning every three months. I try to bribe the dentist to make him to do it sooner!”
That’s what we call a healthy obsession (teeth-cleaning, not bribery). And while coming in for a professional cleaning every three months may not be necessary for everyone, some people — especially those who are particularly susceptible to gum disease — may benefit from professional cleanings on a three-month schedule. In fact, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to having professional teeth cleanings — but everyone needs this beneficial procedure on a regular basis.
Even if you are meticulous about your daily oral hygiene routine at home, there are plenty of reasons for regular checkups. They include:
- Dental exam. Oral health problems such as tooth decay and gum disease are much easier — and less expensive — to treat in the earliest stages. You may not have symptoms of either disease early on, but we can spot the warning signs and take appropriate preventive or restorative measures.
- Oral cancer screening. Oral cancer is not just a concern of the middle aged and elderly — young adults can be affected as well (even those who do not smoke). The survival rate for this deadly disease goes up tremendously if it is detected quickly, and an oral cancer screening is part of every routine dental visit.
- Professional teeth cleaning. Calcified (hardened) dental plaque (tartar or calculus) can build up near the gum line over time — even if you brush and floss every day. These deposits can irritate your gums and create favorable conditions for tooth decay. You can’t remove tartar by flossing or brushing, but we can clear it away — and leave you with a bright, fresh-feeling smile!
So take a tip from Sofia Vergara, and don’t skimp on professional cleanings and checkups. If you want to know how often you should come in for routine dental checkups, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor articles “Dental Hygiene Visit” and “Dental Cleanings Using Ultrasonic Scalers.”