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Monthly Archives: October 2016

An Initial Guide For ORTHODONTICS

Orthodontics is a special branch of Dentistry that treats patients with improper positioning of teeth. The word ‘orthodontics’ or ‘orthodontia’, as it was previously called, comes from the Greek words ‘ortho‘, meaning ‘straight or perfect’ and ‘dontos’, meaning ‘teeth’.  Orthodontics also deals with unusual shape and development of jaw or improper facial growth (dentofacial orthopedics). A person who specialize in orthodontics is called an orthodontist. It is a form of cosmetic dentistry which is used to improve the appearance of a person.

Orthodontics treatment is valuable for treating the following:

  1. Treating an improper bite or Malocclusion.
  2. Straightening crooked teeth
  3. To improve oral functions such as speech or eating.
  4. Closing wide gaps between the teeth.

Malocclusion or improper bite is of many types. It may be overbite, where the upper front set of teeth protrudes out over the lower set which may injure the person in sports, falling down, etc. Then, there is underbite, where the lower front teeth are too far forward or the upper teeth are too far back and crossbite and openbite, when the upper front teeth does not come down over the lower teeth while biting normally and there is space between the biting surfaces of the front or side teeth when the back teeth bite together, respectively. There may be misplaced midline where the center of your upper front teeth does not line up with the center of your lower front teeth. Cawding is also one form of malocclusion where the patient’s jaw is narrow and there may not be enough space for all the teeth. For more information about braces and orthodontics contact Pediatric Dental Arts in Downey California

Orthodontics treatment treats all the above mentioned dental problems.  Different types of appliances, fixed or removable, are used in orthodontics treatment. The most commonly used fixed appliance is braces which consists of wires or brackets and bands. Bands are fixed firmly around the teeth and act as anchors for the appliance, while the brackets are bonded to the front of the tooth. Arch wires pass through the brackets and are attached to the bands. This arch wire when tightened, puts tension on the teeth, thus, gradually moving them to proper positions. The braces are adjusted once a month and the treatment time varies from seven month to several years.

Other than braces, commonly used fixed appliances are fixed space maintainers and special fixed appliances.  Fixed space maintainers are used when a child looses a milk tooth to stop the two teeth from the two sides to come inside the gap until the adult teeth comes out. Special fixed appliances are useful for patients to control tongue thrusting or thumb sucking, which they may find uncomfortable while eating.

Other removable appliances used for an orthodontist treatment includes aligners, removable space maintainers, jaw repositioning appliances, lip and cheek bumpers, palatal expander, removable retainers and head gears.

A proper professional advise from an orthodontist is needed before any of these treatments are opted for. An orthodontist will do an initial diagnosis which includes a full medical and dental health history, a clinical examination and X-rays of teeth and jaw. The treatment is then planned accordingly.

Tooth Whitening or Dental Bleaching

Every one of us wish a white, healthy smile. Tooth Whitening or dental bleaching is the fastest growing and most common procedure in  cosmetic dentistry. This is not a new, modern invention, as tooth whitening is being practiced by people from as early as Roman civilization where urine and goat milk was used to keep the teeth white!

There are a variety of reasons for the discoloring of adult teeth. Teeth of kids are often found to be whiter and brighter. As we grow up, we tend to neglect our teeth resulting in different oral problems. Adult teeth often becomes darker due to certain changes in the mineral structure. Another reason may also be that due to phosphate deficiency, the enamel becomes less porous. Bacterial pigments present in food can also darken the color of your teeth. Ingestion of tea, coffee, tobacco, wine and other colored drinks like cola causes discoloration of teeth.

There are many remedies for such a condition, both home remedies and professional treatments. There are home tooth-whitening kits, gels, creams and toothpastes available in the market. A home tooth-whitening kit generally contains carbamide peroxide, a bleach that is capable of removing both deep stains, as well as surface stains.Then there are some kits where a peroxide-based gel is applied to the surface of the teeth using a small brush. Whitening strips are also available in the market which are to be worn for two- three minutes daily for a week, or so. Different whitening toothpastes are now available in the market which may be of some use also. However, you must be careful while using chemical tooth whiteners on your teeth if you have had some kinds of dental works like crowns, bonding, implants, etc. Consult your dentist  before you plan to use any such whitening products.

Apart from these, natural, organic way of getting whiter teeth is to use apples, celery and carrots as they act as natural stain removers. They help to maintain a a fresh breath by killing bacteria and Malic Acid present in apples are found to give a whitening effect to the teeth. Another age old home remedy is to use baking soda on your teeth to get a whiter smile.

There are many professional procedures to get white teeth nowadays. Check your teeth properly by a dentist before you continue to take a cosmetic teeth whitening treatment. Light -accelerated bleaching or Laser bleaching and internal bleaching are the most common form of teeth whitening treatment in cosmetic dentistry. Different types of energies like halogen, plasma arc or LED is used for Laser bleaching and it takes thirty minutes to one hour (approximately) in a single visit to the dentist. Internal Bleaching is done on teeth that have undergone endodontic treatments (like root canal, etc.) and brightens teeth from inside out.

There are various side effects of teeth whitening using chemicals like burns from chemicals, pain for sensitive teeth and increased sensitivity, etc. So, consult your dentist and take a proper guide so that you do not harm the health of your teeth and your gums in the process.