Posts for: November, 2015
You’re ready to have that missing tooth replaced with a dental implant or other life-like restoration. But we may first have to address another problem — moving the teeth around the missing tooth space back to where they should be.
That empty space is the primary reason those teeth are no longer in the right position. Through their attachment to the periodontal ligament that lies between them and the bone, teeth are able to move slightly over time in response to mouth changes. This same mechanism, however, may also cause teeth to “drift” toward each other across the empty space left by a missing tooth; too much drift and there won’t be enough room for the replacement tooth.
A fairly straightforward orthodontic treatment can restore drifted teeth to their original position to make room for the replacement. There is one situation, however, that can complicate this treatment — if you also have periodontal (gum) disease, a plaque-induced bacterial infection. During normal tooth movement bone dissolves (resorbs) in front of the tooth in the direction of movement, while new bone forms behind it to help stabilize the tooth in its new position. Gum disease, however, can weaken the bone around these teeth, inhibiting the natural rebuilding process of bone and connective tissue that could jeopardize the success of the orthodontic treatment.
It’s important, then, to first treat and bring the gum disease under control to restore health to both the gums and bone. It’s also just as important during orthodontic treatment to prevent another infection flare-up through renewed brushing and flossing and regular office cleanings and checkups. Choosing clear aligners over traditional braces to move the teeth could also help — unlike fixed braces that often make oral hygiene difficult, clear aligners can be removed to allow easier cleaning of teeth and gums.
Depending on your situation, the process for preparing your mouth for a tooth replacement can involve several procedures and healing time. But the end result — a brand new tooth that looks amazing — will be something to smile about.
Your teeth have - hopefully - survived the sweet, sticky, sugar-coated event that was Halloween. Time for the next holiday to potentially put a dent in your dentin - THANKSGIVING! We here at Malenius Dental have put together a list of the good, the bad, and the starchy foods of this all-American food fest.
Foods That Are Good to Gobble
Turkey - Protein-rich foods, like good old Tom Turkey. can actually be good for your teeth. Turkey contains phosphorus, which can help foster strong teeth and bones when mixed with Vitamin D and calcium.
Yams - Yams are naturally sweet, so hold the gooey, sticky marshmallows, please. Served baked or roasted, yams are nutrient-rich and don't stick to the surfaces of teeth. If you must sweeten them up, a touch of brown sugar or molasses will suffice.
Veggies - Vegetables like beets, broccoli, carrots and celery contain high amounts of Vitamins A and C which are instrumental in repairing gums from periodontal disease.
Pumpkin: Pumpkin is loaded with vitamin C and calcium, a great combination for strengthening bones and teeth. Be sure to brush your teeth after eating Grandma's delicious pumpkin pie, though.
Cranberry Sauce - Cranberry gets the Gold Star of Dental Health as far as Thanksgiving goes! Recent research has indicated that cranberries contain special compounds that disrupt the development of plaque-causing bacteria. Be sure to make your cranberry sauce with real cranberries and not the stuff that keeps the shape of the can...
Turkey Day Hall of Shame Foods
Pecan Pie - A sticky, sugary, chewy disaster for teeth. At least pumpkin pie has some vitamins to offer!
Popcorn balls - The popcorn and caramel can easily get stuck in your teeth promoting tooth decay, not to mention discomfort!
White Wine - - Although it won't stain your teeth like red wine, white wine has a high pH level and packs an acidic punch that can erode your teeth.
Stuffing, cakes, and rolls - That's right. Pretty much all the good stuff! These carb-loaded, starchy treats are great for causing tooth decay.
Okay, we don't want to ruin all your holiday fun. Go ahead and indulge - in moderation - in some of these forbidden treats. We won't tell! Just be sure to rinse your mouth with warm water or, better yet, brush your teeth after your big holiday meal.
As always, to schedule a cleaning, examination, or consultation, give us a call at 630-668-6180. At Malenius Dental, we are here for you!!
Have you started orthodontic treatment recently? Are you having a little trouble getting used to your braces? If so, you are not alone: Everybody goes through an adjustment period during which they momentarily wonder if they’ll really ever get used to this. Don’t worry — you will! And we’ve never heard anyone say, on the day their braces come off and their new smile is revealed, that they aren’t glad they went the distance. Just ask Houston Rockets all-star center Dwight Howard, who discussed his own orthodontic treatment in a recent interview.
“I’m sure I was no different than anyone else who has ever had braces,” he told Mediaplanet. “At first I hated them so much… That changed once I got used to them and I actually grew to love them.” What’s Howard’s advice? “Do exactly what your orthodontist says and know that the outcome is well worth it in the end.” We couldn’t agree more! Here are some tips for wearing braces comfortably:
- Hard & Chewy Foods: If you love fresh fruits and vegetables, that’s great; there’s no reason to give them up, just the really hard ones. You don’t want to bite into an apple or carrot or any other hard foods like bagels and pizza that have any “size” to them. Small pieces may be ok as long as they can’t bend your wires. Chewy, sticky candy should really be avoided completely. Same with soda, sports drinks and so-called energy drinks because they contain acids that promote tooth decay and can cause a lot of damage around the braces.
- Effective Oral Hygiene: Keeping your teeth clean is more important than ever, but also more challenging than ever. It’s easy for food to get stuck under wires and around brackets, but failing to remove it can cause tooth decay, gum irritation and soreness. Therefore, the cleaner your teeth and your braces are, the healthier you will be. Use interdental cleaning brushes and/or a floss-threader to get behind your wires. A mouthrinse can also help strengthen teeth and keep bacteria in check. If you have any questions about how to clean between your teeth, please ask for a demonstration at your next visit.
- Pain Relief: Some soreness at the beginning of orthodontic treatment is normal. To relieve it, you can use an over-the-counter pain reliever and/or a warm washcloth or heating pad placed on the outside of the jaw. If brackets or wires are rubbing against the inside of your cheeks or lips, try applying wax to these areas of your braces. If this does not offer enough relief, we may be able to trim the end of a poking wire. Call us if you need help with this.
Our goal is to make your orthodontic treatment as comfortable as possible on the way to achieving your all-star smile. If you have questions about adjusting to braces, contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Caring for Teeth During Orthodontic Treatment.”