Posts Tagged ‘orthodontic care’
“Pediatric dentistry is incredibly important since habits children learn are most likely carried on for the rest of their lives,” said Dr. Robert Lerman, D.M.D., Southern Connecticut Dental Group. “That is why we see the importance of educating parents so that they can be informed and help their children form the best possible dental habits. A healthy smile is important, and with proper care, a balanced diet and regular dental visits, your child’s teeth can be healthy and strong.”
- A toddler should never be left in the crib or for an extended period of time with any liquid other than water. Milk or juice can cause bacteria and decay; baby bottle tooth decay, or early childhood caries.
- Run a clean damp washcloth after you feed your baby to prevent bacteria growth.
- Take your child to a pediatric dentist by the child’s first birthday or when the first teeth arrive, whichever comes first.
- As soon as your child’s first teeth appear, brush teeth with a little bit of water. After children have reached the age of 2, start introducing fluoride toothpaste in pea-sized amounts.
- Take care of your own oral health. Research shows that the bacteria that cause decay can be passed from caregivers to infants and young children. Rinsing with anti-bacterial mouthwashes has been shown to significantly reduce the number of cavity-causing bacteria.
WebMD Medical Reference
Reviewed By Brunilda Nazario, MD
Excess stress may give you a headache, a stomachache, or just a feeling of being “on edge.” But too much stress could also be doing a number on your mouth, teeth, gums, and overall health.
The potential fallout from stress and anxiety that can affect your oral health includes:
- Mouth sores, including canker sores and cold sores
- Clenching of teeth and teeth grinding (bruxism)
- Poor oral hygiene and unhealthy eating routines
- Periodontal (gum) disease or worsening of existing periodontal disease
So how can you prevent these oral health problems?
Canker sores — small ulcers with a white or grayish base and bordered in red — appear inside the mouth, sometimes in pairs or even greater numbers. Although experts aren’t sure what causes them — it could be immune system problems, bacteria, or viruses — they do think that stress, as well as fatigue and allergies, can increase the risk of getting them. Canker sores are not contagious.
Most canker sores disappear in a week to 10 days. For relief from the irritation, try over-the-counter topical anesthetics. To reduce irritation, don’t eat spicy, hot foods or foods with a high acid content, such as tomatoes or citrus fruits.
Cold sores, also called fever blisters, are caused by the herpes simplex virus and are contagious. Cold sores are fluid-filled blisters that often appear on or around the lips, but can also crop up under the nose or around the chin area.
Emotional upset can trigger an outbreak. So can a fever, a sunburn, or skin abrasion.
Like canker sores, fever blisters often heal on their own in a week or so. Treatment is available, including over-the-counter remedies and prescription antiviral drugs. Ask your doctor or dentist if you could benefit from either. It’s important to start treatment as soon as you notice the cold sore forming.
Stress may make you clench and grind your teeth — during the day or at night, and often unconsciously. Teeth grinding is also known as bruxism.
If you already clench and grind your teeth, stress could make the habit worse. And, grinding your teeth can lead to problems with the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), located in front of the ear where the skull and lower jaw meet.
See your doctor and ask what can be done for the clenching and grinding. Your dentist may recommend a night guard, worn as you sleep, or another appliance to help you stop or minimize the actions.
Poor Oral Hygiene
Being under extreme stress may affect your mood and cause you to skip oral hygiene habits such as flossing and brushing.
If you don’t take care of your mouth, your teeth and overall oral health can suffer. If you already have gum disease, skipping daily hygiene may worsen the problem. If your mouth is in relatively good health, falling down on brushing and flossing can lead to gum disease or increase your risk of cavities.
When under stress, you may also develop unhealthy eating habits, such as snacking on large amounts of sugary foods or drinks. These habits increase the risk for tooth decay and other problems.
Just reminding yourself of the importance of hygiene and healthy eating may help. Boosting or resuming your exercise routine can help you relieve stress and feel energized enough to tend to your oral hygiene and cook healthier meals. Exercise will also boost your immune system — and that, too, is good for your oral health.
Stress can cause an increase in dental plaque, even when the high stress levels are short term. That’s according to a study that evaluated people who cared for loved ones with dementia and who experienced stress.
Long-term, the stress these caregivers felt boosted their risk of bleeding gums, or gingivitis, which can progress to serious gum disease.
Stress can lead to depression. And depressed patients, according to recent research, have twice the risk of an unfavorable outcome from gum disease treatment compared to those who aren’t depressed.
You can’t make depression or the stress disappear, of course. But experts say that learning healthy coping strategies can help reduce the risk of gum problems getting worse. Healthy coping is “problem-focused” with active and practical strategies to deal with the stress and depression, experts say.
Remember, eating a balanced diet, seeing your dentist regularly, and good oral hygiene help reduce your risks of periodontal disease. Make sure you brush twice a day and floss daily.
Getting your teeth cleaned may give you more than a sparkling white smile — it may give you something to smile about, like your health.
In a large study, people who had their teeth professionally scaled at least once every two years were 24% less likely to have a heart attack, compared with those who skipped the hygienist. Scaling cleans between the gums and the teeth.
And their risk of stroke dropped by 13%, says study researcher Zu-Yin Chen, MD, a cardiology fellow at the Veterans General Hospital in Taipei, Taiwan.
“Something as simple as having good dental hygiene — brushing, flossing, and having regular cleanings — may be good for your heart and brain health,” says Ralph Sacco, MD, head of neurology at the University of Miami. Sacco, the immediate past president of the American Heart Association (AHA), was not involved with the work.
Although the link between dental health and heart and stroke risk is not entirely clear, inflammation is a common problem in gum disease and heart disease, Sacco tells WebMD.
A number of studies have linked chronic inflammation to hardening of the arteries, which can lead to heart attacks and stroke, he says.
Cleaning your teeth gets rid of bacteria in the mouth that can lead to chronic infection and inflammation, which can then spread to other parts of the body, Chen says.
The study was presented here at the American Heart Association annual meeting.
Benefits of Frequent Teeth Cleaning
Chen and colleagues reviewed the records of more than 100,000 people in Taiwan’s national health insurance database. About half had received at least one cleaning; the other half had never had a cleaning.
Their average age was 38 years. None had suffered a heart attack or stroke when the study began. They were followed for an average of seven years.
Results showed that people who had more than one cleaning a year had the lowest risk of heart attack and stroke, Chen tells WebMD.
Because the researchers didn’t have information on heart attack and stroke risk factors such as weight, smoking, and race — which could have affected the results — it could be that people with good dental hygiene are more likely to eat right and have other heart-healthy habits, Sacco says.
The cost of dentistry is what keeps more than half of consumers away from the dentist for years at a time, according to a survey by the American Dental Association. Most dental costs are easy to anticipate, though, except for emergencies, such as breaking a tooth. Less obvious dental needs often can be predicted by regular, routine checkups that include diagnostic x-rays to assess the overall condition of the teeth, gums and jaw.
Other needs to consider are whether you or a family member may require specialty care, such as braces or other orthodontia, dentures or tooth implants or crowns or bridges. These generally are not covered as extensively as routine care, such as exams and fillings.
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Our “Dentist of the Month” will be answering questions straight from our Members. This month, Dr. Michael L. Curtis from Bridgeport, Connecticut has provided really helpful answers to some dental health questions. His office accepts over 15 discount dental plans and specializes in family, cosmetic and sedation dentistry.
Do Electric Toothbrushes Make A Difference?
Yes. Many people with arthritis, coordination disorders or other issues may find traditional tooth-brushing difficult. Studies show that patients using electric toothbrushes brush longer and remove more plaque on average. We also recommend a water jet to get in-between teeth under the gum and around crowns or bridges more thoroughly.
How Often Should I Have My Teeth Cleaned?
The time between cleanings can vary depending on your medical history, and dental or periodontal status. People with gingivitis and periodontal disease may need their teeth cleaned every 3 to 4 months. For healthy individuals, a cleaning once every 6 months is usually okay.
How Often Should I Brush, Floss & Rinse?
Most patients should cleanse their mouths before bedtime, so bacteria do not fester all night long while sleeping. Good oral hygiene upon wakening will help remove germs that buildup over night. A fluoride or antibacterial rinse can be helpful as well.
How Do You Foster A Dentist/Patient Relationship?
For every patient, we ask the question “If this were me or a member of my family, how would I like to be treated?” We truly value the quality of care we offer each patient-always delivered with the gentle touch, a friendly smile and a helping hand. You will never be rushed and we are never too busy to answer all your questions.
Why Do You Accept Discount Dental Plans?
Many wonderful patients have difficulty affording the highest quality of care. In this case, we are happy to reduce our fees just a bit so you can enjoy the finest treatment available. It’s our way of saying thank you after 30 wonderful years of serving thousands of families in our area.
Dr. Curtis graduated from the University of Pennsylvania where he received several awards. He then completed 2 years of residency training at Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia and Montifiore Hospital in New York. He is a member of the American Association of Cosmetic Dentistry, Academy of General Dentistry, American Dental Association and several other dental organizations. Dr Curtis has written 4 books on Dentistry and has served as an instructor at both the University of Connecticut and New York University Schools of Dentistry.
There are different types of orthodontic appliances; and, each one of them has pros and cons. I will focus on five of them here:
Self-Ligating Braces: These look just like normal braces. However, normal braces have ligatures that are used to hold the wire in place, while self-ligating braces are designed with built-in clips to make the wire.
- They are very easy to clean, as there are no obstructions. This is because there are no ligatures, which are good at trapping food particles.
- Since there are no additions to the braces, they feel a lot more comfortable than other braces.
- There are less dentist appointments. This is because of the absence of ligatures, which require them to be adjusted often. This aspect ensures that the braces last longer than other braces.
- They take time to completely suit your mouth, hence many adjustments during this period.
- They are not completely invisible.
Lingual Braces: These have metal brackets and wires designed to be fitted behind the teeth. They are ideal for people with moderate to overcrowding teeth, or for those with spaces between the teeth.
- You can go on with your life without anyone ever noticing that you have braces, since they are fitted behind the teeth. They are only visible when you open your mouth too wide.
- They are more expensive than other braces, as they are difficult to fit.
- Cleaning them can also be more difficult than cleaning other braces.
Metal Braces: These are the standard braces. They consist of steel wire and plastic ligatures. There are metal brackets that are used to clip the braces to the teeth.
- These braces can be beautified with different colors to make them look more appealing.
- Though they are not cheap, they are the least expensive type of braces.
- Metal braces can make it more difficult to floss and brush.
Invisalign: These are teeth trays made of clear, molded plastic. They are meant for both upper and lower teeth. These are fitted according to the tooth straightening stage you are in.
- They are almost invisible when in use.
- They are only ideal for people with minor straightening needs.
Ceramic / Tooth Colored Braces: Brackets are fitted on the teeth. They are usually tooth-colored.
- They blend in well with the teeth.
- The ligatured are made of latex, which stains. This makes them noticeable.
This article and the information within it was compiled by Jem. He often writes on issues related to gum disease, dentistry/orthodontics, nutrition and other oral hygiene/health topics. You can follow Jem on twitter @writerjem to learn more about topics he covers.
Dental work can be very expensive–and unfortunately, many procedures are not covered by your medical insurance. It is very important to understand that prevention is the key to help save and reduce the costs incurred from dental work. This article will help give you tips on how to save money on dental health.
Maintain the health of your teeth and your mouth, since poor dental hygiene will increase the risk of getting ill and predisposes you to many other medical conditions. Brushing, cleaning and flossing several times a day will help keep your pearly whites and your mouth in optimum condition. This will reduce the number of dental visits and reduce the cost of dental work in the long run.
Refer family, friends or colleagues. Some dental offices offer reduced prices or free cleanings to those who refer patients to them.
Better yet, Choose from more than 86,000* available dental practices locations nationwide, through one of the country’s largest dental discount networks – the Aetna Dental Access® Network. Click the Aetna logo above to start saving thousands on your dental needs for only $9/month.
A lack of dental insurance is no excuse not to take care of your teeth. If you haven’t visited the dentist in a while due to a lack of coverage, know that delaying your inevitable reconciliation with the mouth gods will only give you more severe problems to deal with once you finally go back.
Did you know that you can call up dental care offices and ask what their rates are for uninsured patients. You may find that the billing office is willing to correlate charges to your income.
Dentistry is a fiercely competitive industry, so you may find some offices are offering online discounts to troll for new customers. Another option is to hit up a dental school for free or low-cost care from dentists in training.
If you’re single, take good care of your teeth and usually only go to the dentist for routine cleanings twice a year, you may be better off ditching insurance premiums and just paying for the cleanings out of pocket.
- If you think you may be clenching or grinding your teeth, your first and most important step is to see a dentist. He or she will likely be able to tell if you are, in fact, grinding your teeth. So having regular dental checkups is crucial because many people grind their teeth at night and may not know it unless their dentist — or sleeping partner — tells them, or they show other signs like a sore jaw, tooth sensitivity, headaches, loose teeth, earaches, and ringing of the ears.
- 2Next, your dentist will help you figure out the probable cause of your bruxism: Teeth grinding may be the result of a number of factors including, stress, diet, or misaligned teeth.
- 3The dentist can then help you determine an appropriate treatment. Therapies may involve stress management, dental splints, mouth guards, or even more extensive dental procedures. Because bruxism is common in children and often outgrown, sometimes no treatment is recommended.
- 4If you are prescribed a treatment, you’ll need to stick to it. So, for example, if you’re told to wear a mouth guard or a bite splint, you’ll need to use it exactly as your dentist instructs. Splints are among the most common method of protecting and stabilizing the teeth against bruxism.
Even when happy, some people resist smiling. Or they cover their mouth with their hand. Their crooked teeth embarrass them.
That’s when you need to see an orthodontist.
Important It is possible that the main title of the report Cleft Palate and Cleft Lip is not the name you expected. Please check the synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and disorder subdivision(s) covered by this report.
Orthodontists are dentists with advanced training in making teeth move. They can realign crooked teeth into a straight, healthy smile.
It’s a transformation Gwen Henson saw recently when her 15-year-old son gleefully got his braces removed. That’s when she decided to treat herself to an unlikely 50th birthday present: her own set of braces.
“Getting braces was something I had thought about for years,” says Henson, an executive in Tempe, Ariz.
Her smile was only part of it. Henson also knew there are potential health issues when teeth begin shifting.
Henson is not alone. In the U.S., one in five orthodontic patients is an adult, according to the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO).
Here’s what you should know if you’re considering getting orthodontic work done.
What Do Orthodontists Do?
The top reason for seeing an orthodontist is the same for adults and kids – to treat malocclusion, or a “bad bite.”
Orthodontists help straighten teeth and improve your bite by correcting how your teeth fit together and how your jaws line up.
They use braces, trays (also known as aligners), and other appliances — such as headgear, which attach around the head or neck to add more force to help make teeth move. They also use retainers to hold teeth in position.
General dentists often refer patients to orthodontists and sometimes medical doctors such as pediatricians do, too. That’s more likely to happen if a child “doesn’t like their teeth and is being teased about them,” says Michael B. Rogers, DDS, president of the AAO and an orthodontist in Augusta, Ga.
To become an orthodontist, someone must complete four years of dental school, then two to three years of specialized study in orthodontics.
Most general dentists can treat minor orthodontic problems and some do orthodontic work. But they’re more likely to refer complicated cases to an orthodontist.
Why See an Orthodontist
“Most patients see orthodontics as just straightening the teeth, but one of the most important factors is the way the bite fits together at the end of treatment,” says Alan R. Heller, DDS, an orthodontist with offices in Bethesda and Laurel, Md.
Crooked or crowded teeth, as well as overbites and underbites, can lead to tooth decay, gum disease, and even tooth loss. That’s because overlapping teeth can be tough to clean.
A bad bite also can cause problems when chewing and talking. Not to mention too much wear, grinding, and clenching.
Orthodontics has come a long way over the years. Primitive but well-designed orthodontic appliances have been found with Greek and Etruscan artifacts, Rogers says.
Stainless steel brackets and wires were introduced in 1927. Clear ceramic or porcelain brackets debuted in the 1970s. In 1999, Invisalign was introduced. It’s a series of clear trays that fit in the mouth and are changed every two weeks. Other tray aligners include ClearCorrect; Simpli5; and Red, White, and Blue.
Today, some braces are may be nearly invisible. Some have clear or tooth-colored brackets. Others are attached to the lingual (back side) of your teeth.
When to Go to an Orthodontist
The AAO recommends that children see an orthodontist no later than age 7, even if there are no problems. That’s because the jaw is still developing and it’s best to catch issues early.
“Most children go into orthodontic treatment when they are between 9 and 14 years old, but the average for girls is a little earlier,” Rogers says.
The typical adult patient might be 26 to 44 years old, but Rogers says he has also put braces on people in their 60s and 70s.
How long will treatment take? Orthodontists customize treatment for each patient. It usually takes one to three years.
Choosing an Orthodontist
To get her son’s teeth straightened, Henson asked family and friends for recommendations. She then interviewed three orthodontists. She decided to use her son’s doctor for her own braces because she liked her son’s treatment plan and the results – well, they made her smile.
The orthodontist also offered a family discount. And his office was convenient. That was a big plus for Henson, since she has appointments every six weeks.
Heller recommends asking how easy it is to schedule appointments. Whether a practice is right for you has a lot to do with the personality of the orthodontist and how good you feel when you’re there.
“The way the office runs and the way the patient is treated can vary quite a bit based on the practice’s philosophy, the personality of the doctor and how friendly the staff is,” Heller says.
Many orthodontists offer free or low-cost consultations. Rogers’ is 45 minutes long. It includes a panoramic X-ray that gives a full-mouth view, photographs, and a medical history.
Among other things, he measures how wide a patient can open her mouth and whether there’s jaw muscle tenderness or clicking, which may indicate grinding. He also measures the protrusion (how much teeth are jutting out) and crowding of the teeth.
Before they leave, patients get an estimate of treatment cost, length, and goals.
What You’ll Pay
Costs for orthodontic work vary by doctor and region. Rogers charges about $5,880 for children and $6,380 for adults, although some may be lower or higher.
Heller says there is a range of prices “from one neighborhood to the next, as well as differences in the way some practices are run.” Some see as many as 100 patients a day. Other practices take fewer patients per day, including Heller’s, which sees 40 patients daily.
More expensive doesn’t always mean better. Go to an orthodontist who offers video games in the waiting room and lavish, high-dollar prizes? You might be paying more for flash than substance, Heller says.
Many orthodontists offer interest-free financing for clients with good credit. And most also offer financing through banks.
In 2010, 60% of all new patients had dental insurance that include orthodontic benefits, according to the AAO.
Ask if there’s a lifetime cap or maximum, or any age limits.
And remember: Just like dental insurance, orthodontic insurance is designed to cover just a portion of the fee, not all of it.
Loves What She Sees
Henson has a high-profile job as executive director of the Arizona Chapter of the National Speakers Association. She once worried what people would think when she showed up at events with braces. But “everybody was very supportive and encouraging,” she says.
Today, when Henson looks in the mirror, she sees a shift in her teeth and her wellbeing.
“Even though I’m still wearing braces, it improves my self-confidence because I know I’m doing something that’s healthy for myself,” Henson says.