Most people think of straight teeth simply for cosmetic reasons—a straight smile is a beautiful smile. But there are a few other surprising reasons why having straight teeth is important, including significant health benefits.

  • Less tooth decay. Straight teeth can actually decrease the risk of tooth decay because they’re easier to clean. When teeth are crooked and misaligned, there are more places for plaque to hide. When plaque is not brushed away, the bacteria in plaque can cause cavities.
  • Healthier bites. With straight teeth, your bite is even and allows your mouth to chew and speak properly. Productive chewing is crucial for being able to eat a well-balanced diet, including crunchy fruits and vegetables. Crooked or crowded teeth can mean your jawbones do not meet properly, which can result in uneven wear to tooth enamel, impaired speech or chewing, cracked teeth, or jaw pain.

As parents ourselves, we understand your child’s health is your #1 concern. When it comes to their dental health, there can be a lot of information out there that can feel overwhelming and confusing. To help, we’ve rounded up 3 of the most popular questions parents ask about their child’s teeth.

What do I need to know about baby teeth?

Just because baby teeth eventually fall out does not mean they aren’t important. Not only do they act as placeholders for adult teeth, but baby teeth are also an important part of facial and speech development. If baby teeth are left uncared for and lost prematurely, nearby teeth can shift and cause overcrowding or other alignment issues for adult teeth coming in. It’s also important to know they can also get cavities just like adult teeth. In addition to the pain caused by a cavity, young children can develop dental infections that can cause widespread issues. Having a healthy smile is important no matter how old you are!

It can be frustrating when you feel like you do everything right and still hear the bad news from your dentist — cavities! How?

To understand how you get cavities in spite of good oral health care practices, it’s important to first review how cavities form. Our teeth are made of minerals and any time you eat or drink sugary, starchy, or acidic foods, bacteria in the plaque on your teeth begin to produce acid that can eat away at these minerals, especially the outer enamel. This process is called demineralization. Over time, it can lead to decay and cavities.

Are some people more cavity-prone than others? 

The short answer is yes. A few factors can increase the likelihood you’ll develop cavities even if you brush twice a day:

  • A sugary diet: Sipping on soda all day or enjoying a lot of candy can cause extra sugar and acid to spend too much wearing away your enamel.
  • Dry mouth: Saliva not only washes away plaque and bacteria, but it also neutralizes the acids that can attack your teeth. People with chronically dry mouths are prone to more tooth decay.
  • Genetics: Yes, a propensity for cavities can be genetic. Some people are simply more susceptible to the type of bacteria that cause cavities.
  • Tooth anatomy: A crowded mouth can make it easier for plaque and bacteria to hide in between teeth. Even if you brush and floss regularly, it can be easy to miss these spots and still get cavities.
  • Gum recession: When the gums recede, the root of the tooth is exposed. This exposed area is much softer and more vulnerable to cavities.

Even though most of us know we should floss every day as part of a healthy oral care routine, many of us don't do it regularly. Whether you’re not sure why it’s so important or you’re not sure if you’re doing it correctly, here are 5 tips to get you flossing like a pro.

Understand why it’s important

Here’s something you may not know – nearly half the surface area of your teeth lies in between each tooth. That means floss does a lot of work in removing sticky plaque from your teeth, which can lead to swollen gums, tooth decay, cavities, or gum disease.

The rest of your body is healthier when you floss. When you have good oral health, you reduce the risk of stroke, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, respiratory issues, and even heart disease—all of which are linked to poor gum health.

Flossing also helps prevent gingivitis. Gingivitis is an early stage of gum disease where gums become swollen, inflamed, and can bleed easily. If your gums are bleeding, it’s a sign that you need to brush and floss more frequently.

Flossing is a low-cost and easy way to take care of your mouth. In addition to preventing gum disease and other health issues, flossing leads to a healthier mouth, better breath, whiter teeth, a more confident smile.

You hear a lot about how important it is to brush your teeth — but could you be overbrushing them? Overbrushing is actually a very common problem and is usually seen in people who brush too vigorously with medium- or hard-bristled toothbrushes.

Is overbrushing really that bad?

Brushing regularly is necessary for healthy teeth and gums, but you can overdo a good thing. When you brush too hard, you can wear down your enamel. Enamel loss means less protective coating for your teeth, which can cause your teeth to become sensitive to hot and cold. Brushing too hard can also damage tender gum tissue and can eventually cause it to recede, exposing tooth roots, increasing sensitivity, and leaving them vulnerable to disease and decay.

If you worry about going to the dentist, you’re not alone. Dental anxiety is very common, affecting both children and adults. Whether it’s a fear of pain, concern over a scary treatment, lack of personal space, or embarrassment from imperfect teeth, your dental anxiety can be helped with a few coping tips and strategies. Here are five ways to calm your dental anxieties.

Tell your dentist about your fears. Being open and honest about your feelings with your dentist can allow your dentist to do their best to help calm your nerves. Whether this means being more gentle, talking with you beforehand, or playing music, it’s important to be transparent about what you’re feeling.

Ask the dentist to explain what you can expect beforehand. Having your doctor explain certain treatments beforehand can answer any questions you may have and can help calm your worries. Be sure to remind your dentist that you find this helpful. 

If you’re feeling self-conscious about your crooked smile but don’t want standard braces, Invisalign might be a great option for you. Invisalign® are clear aligners that are used as orthodontic devices to straighten your smile. The treatment involves wearing a series of clear aligners over a period of several months, with each successive set of aligners moving teeth closer to a straighter position. Here are some things to consider to determine when it’s a good time for Invisalign:

  • Length of treatment: While some patients can see a marked improvement in their smile in as quickly as 2 months, the majority of Invisalign® patients wear their aligners for about 12 months. Depending on the severity of the problem, your custom treatment plan may last eight months, 12-18 months or longer.

Just because baby teeth eventually fall out doesn’t mean they aren’t important! Baby teeth play an important role in your child’s health and development and need to be taken care of. Here are a few reasons why baby teeth are actually more important than you might think:

  • Overall health. Teeth, of course, are needed for chewing. If a child’s baby teeth have cavities or are not being taken care of, nutritional deficiencies can occur. Untreated cavities can also cause widespread infection so it’s in your best interest to keep baby teeth clean and strong.
  • Speech and facial development. The tongue, lips, and cheeks move based on the location of the teeth when forming sounds. In other words, the presence and positioning of baby teeth help in the development of proper speech. The structure of baby teeth also provides support for the developing facial muscles and the shape of your child’s face.
  • Alignment of permanent teeth. Baby teeth hold space and guide the adult teeth into their proper position. If baby teeth are left uncared for and lost prematurely, nearby teeth can shift and cause overcrowding or other alignment issues.
  • Self Esteem. Of course, missing or decayed baby teeth can be embarrassing and can result in low confidence or limited social interaction.

New year, new you, right? The start of a new year is a perfect time to make resolutions to improve your smile. Why? Because a healthy smile is more than just shiny white teeth. In many instances, the health of our teeth and gums directly correlates to the rest of our bodies. Here are five resolutions you can incorporate into your daily routine for a healthier you:

  1. Eat more fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables are packed with super nutrients that fight off bacteria and inflammation to help keep teeth and gums healthy. Vitamin-packed fruits and veggies vitamins will also strengthen your tooth enamel and naturally help clean your teeth. Of course, they’ll also boost your immune system and keep you healthier all around.
  2. Stop smoking. Quitting smoking is another resolution that your whole body will thank you for, your teeth included. Not many people realize the damage smoking causes to your mouth. In addition to discoloring and yellowing your teeth, tobacco use increases the chance of oral and throat cancers and gum disease. Quitting may be difficult but it’s worth it.
  3. Brush and floss regularly. This is an important routine you should be doing already but sometimes life gets busy and we forego these simple tasks. Be sure to brush twice a day and take the time to floss at least once a day, preferably before going to bed to reduce plaque and tartar build-up.
  4. Drink more water. This is another resolution that will help you feel and look better all over. Try to drink approximately eighty ounces of water each day to keep your mouth hydrated. Water helps keep your mouth clean by washing away plaque and acid build-up from foods throughout the day.
  5. Visit your dentist. Make a resolution to see your dentist this year. In fact, dentists recommend 2-4 cleanings a year. Regular visits can help keep your mouth clean and strong, as well as help discover any potential issues before they get worse.

Schedule an Appointment

If you’re ready to make 2021 the year of your healthiest, brightest smile yet, make an appointment with us today!

 

Your smile is one of the first things people notice about you, which makes it pretty important, right? If you’re dreaming of a perfect smile, you may be wondering if cosmetic dentistry is worth it. Cosmetic dentistry includes dental procedures to improve the appearance of a smile, including the teeth, gums, and bite. It can fix stained, broken, crooked, misshapen, or gapped teeth.

What can cosmetic dentists do?

With today’s modern dental technology, there’s no reason why anyone should live with a smile they’re not pleased with. Your dentist will recommend the best treatment plan to achieve your perfect smile, taking into account your goals and budget. A few particular procedures that cosmetic dentists perform include:

  • Teeth whitening to brighten your smile and get rid of years of discoloration
  • Dental bonding, which involves a tooth-colored resin coating to the top of your tooth to fix any gaps or cracks
  • Veneers, which are a thin piece of porcelain permanently bonded to the tooth and can be used to close gaps or correct small misalignments in the teeth
  • Crowns, which serve as caps for damaged teeth
  • Inlays and onlays to efficiently repair cavities and tooth decay, particularly on the rear teeth where more chewing power is necessary
  • Dental bridges and dental implants to restore a full smile to those with missing teeth
  • Alignment corrections, including orthodontics with metal braces or clear aligners to straighten your smile
  • Gum contouring, a type of dental surgery that reshapes your gumline

Diabetes is a very common disorder that affects your body’s ability to process sugar. There are two types of the disease, both of which can result in high blood sugar levels. Uncontrolled blood sugar levels can cause problems throughout your body, including the eyes, nerves, and heart. But did you know that those with diabetes are at higher risk for oral health issues, too?

Why People with Diabetes Are More Prone to Oral Health Issues

Periodontal disease, also referred to as gum disease, is a chronic, inflammatory disease that can wreak havoc on your gums, as well as the surrounding tissue and bone. Periodontal disease is the most common dental disease affecting those living with diabetes because diabetes impairs the body’s ability to fight infection and slows healing time. As with all infections in the body, gum disease can cause blood sugar to rise, making diabetes even harder to control. This can lead to decreased immunity and an increased susceptibility to worsening oral infections.

Certain medications for diabetes can also put a patient at risk for dental caries. Some antibiotics, for example, can cause dry mouth and worsen other oral symptoms. People with Type 2 diabetes are also more prone to bad breath, dental caries, and cavities due to dry mouth and thrush, which is a common fungal infection caused by the yeast Candida albicans that grows in high-sugar environments.