Posts for: August, 2018
Mayim Bialik has spent a good part of her life in front of TV cameras: first as the child star of the hit comedy series Blossom, and more recently as Sheldon Cooper’s love interest — a nerdy neuroscientist — on The Big Bang Theory. (In between, she actually earned a PhD in neuroscience from UCLA…but that’s another story.) As a child, Bialik had a serious overbite — but with all her time on camera, braces were just not an option.
“I never had braces,” she recently told Dear Doctor – Dentistry & Oral Health magazine. “I was on TV at the time, and there weren’t a lot of creative solutions for kids who were on TV.” Instead, her orthodontist managed to straighten her teeth using retainers and headgear worn only at night.
Today, there are several virtually invisible options available to fix orthodontic issues — and you don’t have to be a child star to take advantage of them. In fact, both children and adults can benefit from these unobtrusive appliances.
Tooth colored braces are just like traditional metal braces, with one big difference: The brackets attached to teeth are made from a ceramic material that blends in with the natural color of teeth. All that’s visible is the thin archwire that runs horizontally across the teeth — and from a distance it’s hard to notice. Celebs like Tom Cruise and Faith Hill opted for this type of appliance.
Clear aligners are custom-made plastic trays that fit over the teeth. Each one, worn for about two weeks, moves the teeth just a bit; after several months, you’ll see a big change for the better in your smile. Best of all, clear aligners are virtually impossible to notice while you’re wearing them — which you’ll need to do for 22 hours each day. But you can remove them to eat, or for special occasions. Zac Efron and Katherine Heigl, among others, chose to wear clear aligners.
Lingual braces really are invisible. That’s because they go behind your teeth (on the tongue side), where they can’t be seen; otherwise they are similar to traditional metal braces. Lingual braces are placed on teeth differently, and wearing them often takes some getting used to at first. But those trade-offs are worth it for plenty of people. Which celebs wore lingual braces? Rumor has it that the list includes some top models, a well-known pop singer, and at least one British royal.
So what’s the best way to straighten your teeth and keep the orthodontic appliances unnoticeable? Just ask us! We’d be happy to help you choose the option that’s just right for you. You’ll get an individualized evaluation, a solution that fits your lifestyle — and a great-looking smile!
For more information about hard-to-see (or truly invisible) orthodontics, please contact our office or schedule a consultation. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Orthodontics for the Older Adult” and “Clear Aligners for Teenagers.”
Seeing the dentist regularly could protect you from serious issues in the future.
We know that you lead a busy life and so it can be challenging to schedule a dental appointment when you should; however, if you don’t know the last time you visited our Silver Spring, MD, dentists Dr. Gregory Hysong and Dr. Lynda LePore for a routine checkup then it’s time to prioritize your oral health if you want to keep your teeth and gums healthy. Preventive dentistry really isn’t that difficult to implement. We’ll show you…
Here’s what preventive dentistry entails:
- Routine professional cleanings and checkups
- Patient education
- At-home oral care
- Healthy diet
- Oral cancer screenings
- Mouthguards (for playing sports)
- Nightguards (if you grind or clench your teeth)
Why is preventive dentistry important?
As you may already imagine, it’s much easier to maintain a healthy smile than it is to fix it once a problem occurs. Plus, preventive dentistry saves you time, money and stress. Our goal as your Silver Spring, MD, family dentists is to make sure that you get the care you need to keep your teeth, gums and jawbone healthy.
One of the best things you can do for your smile is to visit your dentist every six months for cleanings. These cleanings ensure that plaque and tartar aren’t allowed to build up on teeth and along the gums, causing cavities and gum disease. Plus, if we do detect a problem we are more likely to catch it during the earliest stages when it’s so much easier to treat.
Of course, how you care for your smile between six-month cleanings is just as important. This means brushing twice a day and flossing daily to reduce plaque buildup. If you are particularly prone to developing cavities or are at a high risk for gum disease, then you may need to use a medicated rinse and visit your dentist more regularly for cleanings and checkups. This is something we would be happy to discuss with you during your next visit.
Your diet also plays an important role in healthy teeth and gums. Staying away from sugar is one of the best things you can do to protect your teeth from cavities. This means limiting soda, desserts, candies, sports drinks and most fruit juices. Make sure you are eating a healthy, balanced and varied diet that is rich in whole grains, lean protein and veggies.
There are also other preventive measures you can take to safeguard your smile from damage or decay. Sealants are designed to seal the chewing surfaces of the molars to prevent bacteria and food from getting trapped in the nooks and crannies. Mouthguards are also incredibly important and crucial if you play contact sports. If you are a jaw clencher or teeth grinding you are prone to excessive wear and tear and even fractures in your teeth. In this case, it’s important to wear a nightguard while you sleep.
If it’s high time that you visited a general dentist in Silver Spring, MD, for a routine checkup or if you want to chat about other measures you can take to keep your teeth and gums clean then we are here to provide you with the advice you need. Call Colesville Dentistry in Silver Spring, MD, today to learn more about what we can offer your smile.
We’ve come a long way in our ability to restore missing teeth. Today’s top choice is dental implants, prized not only for their close resemblance to real teeth but also their durability.
The rise of implants, though, hasn’t put older restorative methods out to pasture—many continue to offer patients a viable and affordable choice for tooth replacement. One example is the removable partial denture (RPD).
Once quite common, RPDs’ popularity has only slightly diminished with the advent of implants. They’re a fair option in terms of dental function and appearance, and much less expensive than implants or fixed bridges.
Similar to a full denture—a removable appliance that replaces all the teeth on a dental arch—a RPD can replace multiple missing teeth in a variety of configurations. A traditional RPD is usually constructed of vitallium, a lightweight but strong metal alloy, which allows for a very thin and comfortable frame. It’s covered in a gum-colored resin or plastic with prosthetic (false) teeth precisely set at the missing teeth’s locations. The appliance stays in place through a series of clasps that attach to the remaining teeth.
Each RPD is custom-made to fit a patient’s mouth contours and the locations and patterns of the missing teeth. The top design goal for each individual RPD is to minimize any rocking movement during chewing; achieving that goal will depend not only on how many teeth are missing and where, but also what type of teeth are being replaced. For example, teeth missing from the back would require a different support design than teeth missing from the side or front.
RPDs’ biggest benefits are comfortable fit, effective dental function and good appearance. However, their means of attachment can create difficulties keeping remaining teeth clean of disease-causing bacterial plaque. Furthermore, an ill-fitting or unstable RPD could damage or even loosen natural teeth. It’s therefore essential for wearers to diligently practice daily hygiene (including cleaning the RPD) and undergo regular fit monitoring with their dentist.
Even with these constraints, a RPD can do an acceptable job providing dental function. What’s more, it can definitely improve your smile.
If you would like more information on options for dental restoration, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Removable Partial Dentures: Still a Viable Tooth-Replacement Alternative.”
About one-quarter of people have teeth that never developed. While most of these congenitally missing teeth are wisdom teeth, they can also include premolars or lateral incisors (the teeth right next to the two front teeth, the central incisors).
Missing teeth can have an adverse effect on smile appearance. But that’s not all: because each type of tooth performs a specific function, one or more missing teeth can lead to bite problems and disruption of dental function. In the case of missing lateral incisors, the canines (eye teeth) normally positioned beside and toward the back of the mouth from them may begin to drift into the empty space and grow next to the central incisors. This can result in greater difficulty chewing and a smile that “doesn’t look right.”
To correct this situation, we must often first attempt to orthodontically move any out of place teeth to their normal positions. This re-establishes the space needed for the missing teeth to be replaced, which we can then restore with prosthetic (artificial) teeth. If the permanent restoration of choice involves dental implants, we’ll usually need to wait until the completion of jaw development around early adulthood. In the mean time, we can use a retainer appliance to hold the teeth in their new positions with prosthetic teeth attached to fill the empty space for a better smile appearance in the interim.
The real issue is timing—beginning orthodontic treatment when appropriate to a person’s oral development, as well as completing the implant restoration when the mouth has matured sufficiently. There are other considerations such as bone volume, which may have diminished due to the missing teeth. At some point we may need to consider grafting to build up the bone sufficiently to support dental implants.
This all may entail a team approach by various specialties like orthodontics, periodontics and implantology. Working together and coordinating within a timely schedule, a mouth and smile marred by undeveloped teeth can be transformed.
If you would like more information on treating smiles with underdeveloped permanent teeth, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “When Permanent Teeth Don’t Grow.”