Thursday, May 30, 2013

Do you recognize...
This type of Bite?
 If you answered "yes" then you or someone you know might be a 
Infants and toddlers are generally prone to thumb-sucking because, due to breastfeeding or bottle feeding, the sucking motion elicits a feeling of pleasure, comfort and warmth.  So, it is instinctive.  Most children learn to stop sucking their thumbs on their own usually by age 2-4.  But, when it becomes a habit and extends past that, it can severely effect your dentition (or type, number, and arrangement of a set of teeth). 
Because children are still developing, their jaws and palates are very soft and flexible.  The constant pressure of thumbs or fingers in their mouths can easily deform the teeth and/or jaws. 
It is EXTREMELY important to stop the habit early in order to avoid open bite, horrible tooth alignmentspeech difficulties, and more rigorous orthodontic treatment.  In addition to these problems, thumb-sucking will train certain mouth muscles to be stronger than others which can lead to swallowing difficulties. 
Sometimes, the habit can be stopped on your own at home.  However,  It is not an easy thing to fix.  But, here are some tips or remedies to try at home.  Or, if it proves to be a job that cannot be fixed by home remedies, there is an orthodontic appliance that is called a "habit appliance."  It generally looks something like this:
 If you or someone you know has a thumb-sucking habit and you feel like you have tried everything and nothing works, come see us today about a habit appliance.  We have cured even the worst of thumb-suckers... so we can help!!!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

How to Brush Those Pearly Whites

...correctly.  Most people think "well, I may not be the best brusher there is, but at least I am doing it."  Which, yes, if you are brushing regularly you can consider yourself a member of "the good side" of about half the population.  (check out these stats on tooth brushing... crazy).  However, if you are not doing it properly, you may need to work on your technique. That's right, there is a right and wrong way of brushing.  So, not only do you have to do it multiple times a day, you have to do it correctly to be effective.  Teeth are high maintenance! 
Take a look at this infographic. In it, you will see there there is a perfect number of times a day to brush, a certain angle for your toothbrush, a certain motion, a certain strength, a certain type of brush... and flossing is even brought into the routine. Braces or not, these techniques are standard to everyone. WHEW!  Seems like a lot to remember, right? Well, just like anything else that you practice, after a while these techniques will be a habit and you won't even have to think about them.   
So, take a look and if your technique mirrors any of these you may need a little game-changing.  Truth is, improper brushing has been known to cause long-term problems including gum recession, chronic bad breath, and staining, just to name a few from the long list of problems that can result.
Long story short, if you are a habitual brusher, then good for you.  Give yourself a pat on the back for doing what almost half of the population has trouble doing.  But, before you give yourself a full-on back rub, just take a look at your technique.  Because even though teeth can be high maintenance, they are pretty worth it because without them, we might look a little funny...

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Devastating Tornadoes= Helplessness
As severe weather wrecks havoc on OK, TX, IL and many other states in the mid-midwestern United States, the normal feeling which overwhelms most is: helplessness.  Those directly affected by the tornadoes feel helpless because some have lost everything.  Those who are lucky enough to be safe from the destruction feel helpless because it is out of their reach to be there and offer help.   But, there are many ways to send your help to those who need it.   
If you are sitting there today wondering "how can I help?" There are a number of things that you can do.  Of all of the suggestions of ways to help, we found this one  to be most helpful.  It contains information for several different volunteer organizations, ways to text donations to certain relief funds, and also ways to donate food.  Coming together in times of need is what helps us, as a country, remain strong in the face of adversity. 
As the news continues to unfold about this, it is also important to start to look for glimmers of hope, like this to get us through.  Everyone be safe...

Friday, May 17, 2013


You may be asking yourself: "what is 2MIN2X?"  GREAT!  Then our plan has worked! 2MIN2X is a Children's Oral Health campaign.  You can read more about them here but basically their aim is to motivate parents to take action against children's poor oral health by encouraging proper and frequent brushing. 

We are in full support of this campaign! Yes, parents, we know that the responsibility of proper oral hygiene, by the time kids are old enough to know better, rests in their hands. And we know that most of the poor oral hygiene that we see in our office everyday is on older aged children.  But, our support for the campaign comes from the fact that proper dental hygiene is a good habit that can be taught as young as age 2.  (if you have doubts, here's how)

2MIN2X written in its full form is two minutes, two times a day.  That means that out of all the 24 hours in a day, if only four minutes of it were dedicated to great tooth brushing, children could experience healthier teeth, good breath, fewer cavities, and avoid painful dental problems.  4 minutes is nothing!  And, websites like this one make it super easy by providing 2 minute videos to watch while brushing!

Remember this video from this blog?  In this video, one mother says "my four year old hates brushing" and "its a battle."  But, as the news reporter says, "its a battle worth winning."  At this point, you may be asking yourself "why is an orthodontic office so concerned about whether or not 4 year olds are brushing... 4 year olds don't have braces?"  You are right, but soon those same 4 year olds will be the 7 year olds that come to us for their first orthodontic evaluation.  And, if these healthy oral practices are already a habit, then once braces are on oral hygiene would not be the issue that it often is. 

If we have not convinced you of the importance of early oral health concerns, we invite you to take a look at this infographic: 

Just 4 minutes is all it takes to set healthy habits in motion.  Let's do it!

Monday, May 13, 2013

'Tis the Season for Mouthguards

As summer makes its debut, so does warmer weather (hopefully).  Which, in turn, kicks off the season of summer sports and sports practices.  This is FANTASTIC!  We are always in support of living healthy and active lifestyles.  But, from an orthodontic point of view, all of these sports bring a major concern to mind; MOUTHGUARDS  
We know that mouthguards are not the most comfortable things to wear during sports.  But, as the article above points out, there are several different types of guards; you just have to find the one that works best for you.  If you are a patient with braces, we highly recommend the "boil and bite" type, as they will then fit comfortably over your braces.  
You may be thinking to yourself "I know that if I were a boxer or if I played football I would need a mouthguard, but my sport is not that rough.  So, I'm good, right??"  WRONG! 
That article contains a list of fairly low-impact sports that are better off played with a mouthguard.  Just because you are not getting physically hit in the face, most sports have the potential of causing harm to your mouth due to falls, head-to-head contact, tooth clenching, or blows to the face.  
This link can educate you on different types of mouth injuries and will hopefully show you why a mouthguard is a seriously essential piece of equipment for sports.  
So, even though they may not be the most comfortable thing to wear, 1) you can choose one that works best for you, 2) you can choose one that works best for the sport that you are involved in, 3) it can prevent all types of serious mouth injuries and, most importantly, 4) It can make you look seriously intimidating...


Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Mother's Day is This Sunday

May 12...

and let's face it, you still have no ideas what to get for her for Mother's dayAnd that is where we come in!  We have already thought this through for you.  And, with our idea you win either way!!!

So, let's recap... 

1) you submit a story to us (either by email: or facebook or bring it in) about how your real life superhero, mom, saved your day.

2) Be sure to include your mom's email address on this story, and don't tell mom. Otherwise when we send it to her it will not be a surprise. 

3) Once we receive your story, your name will be entered in a drawing to win a beautiful bouquet of flowers that will be delivered to your mom one day before Mother's day. 

4) if you don't win, your mom will still get a surprise email about a story that lets her know that you think she is your real life superhero.   

Both of these options are enough to make any mom feel like she's #1!!

She does a lot for you... DO SOMETHING FOR HER FOR A CHANGE!!