Emergency Dentistry on a Budget

How Old Should Your Kid Be Before Getting Braces?

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If you look at photographs of high schoolers from the 50s and 60s you’ll see that many of the teenagers have smiles that are framed with braces. This sight is much less common these days. This is because these days kids tend to get their braces at an early age, with some beginning treatment at the age of just 6 or 7. So is there a best age for your kid to get braces? To answer that question we need to look at the two approaches used when it comes to orthodontic treatment for children. Interceptive Orthodontics  The interceptive approach treats children at younger ages, typically between 7 and 10. It is argued that interceptive orthodontics results in fewer teeth being extracted and leads to a better end result. The interceptive approach is split into two phases. Phase one begins with treatment to extract teeth and the use of braces for one or two years. This is followed by a retention phase, in which the child wears a retainer for up to two years, while the rest of the baby teeth fall out.  Phase two begins around the age of 11 onwards. One drawback of the interceptive approach is that, with treatment lasting for up to five or six years in total, it can be expensive and can mean your child has to deal with wearing braces for a longer time. Orthodontic Screening The American Association of Orthodontics has published a recommendation that children are screened to see if they require orthodontic treatment between the age of 8 and 10, as this is when permanent teeth begin to arrive in the mouth and any problems with crooked teeth become apparent.  At the same time, your dentist will also assess your child for any problems with the jaw bones, crossbones and overcrowding. If the problem is severe, it is likely that it will be recommended that treatment be started sooner rather than later. With less acute problems, it is often down to the parent to decide when to begin treatment, taking into account the individual needs of the child. Traditional Orthodontics The traditional approach to orthodontics is to wait until all the adult teeth have arrived. This process begins at the age of 6 and is normally complete by the age of 12. One of the benefits of this approach is the dentist knows exactly what they are dealing with, and doesn’t have to attempt to predict how teeth will arrive and develop. The traditional approach also means your child spends less time in braces, normally around 2 years. In truth, the best age at which your child should be treated with braces will depend on the type and severity of the dental problem. You should also seek the advice of at least one dental professional if you suspect your child needs braces. It isn’t unusual for different orthodontist and dentist who specialise in paediatric treatments to disagree because they have different philosophies about when it is best to commence treatment. You shouldn’t be surprised if you ask for a second opinion and receive a slightly different answer. For more information, talk to a dental clinic like Absolute...

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Pearly Whites No More? Here Are Three Things That You Never Knew Could Stain Your Teeth

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Keeping your teeth in tip-top condition is a challenge for even the most health-conscious person.  You are probably aware of the poor dietary choices that can cause stained teeth. Smoking, fizzy drinks, and excess alcohol consumption are the worst culprits. But there are a glut of other foods and minerals that are considered bad for your teeth, and you may be surprised by some of them. You might be wondering why your teeth aren’t in sparkling condition, despite following a healthy lifestyle and limiting the prime causes of discoloured teeth. Informing yourself of the following causes of stained teeth could shed some light on why your pearly whites are not looking as good as they should: Iron. Iron deficiency is one of the most widespread deficiencies on the planet, with a mind-boggling two billion people around the world estimated to be anaemic. This means that there are millions of people right now taking supplements to improve their iron intake. If you are one of the many people supplementing with iron, be careful. Liquid iron supplements can cause staining of the teeth. To reduce your risk of further staining, be sure to mix any liquid iron supplements with fruit juice and drink through a straw. You may also be at risk of exposure if you work in an iron foundry. Berries. Berries are often categorized as superfoods, delivering a whole range of impressive health benefits to the human body, including abundant levels of antioxidants. In fact, berries are ranked first among the fruits containing the highest concentration of antioxidants. Unfortunately, as with most good things in life, berries have a potential negative side effect. They can stain teeth because they are high in chromogens, which are compounds that cling to your enamel and cause discolouration. It is not advisable to avoid eating berries because of their wonderful antioxidant benefits, but in future it might be a good idea to drink some water while you eat them and clean your teeth after if possible. Soy Sauce.  Popular Asian foods such as sushi and chow mein contain high levels of soy sauce. Despite tasting delicious, soy sauce could be contributing to your teeth not looking their sparkling best. Sauces with intense colour such as soy sauce and curry sauce contain deep levels of pigmentation that can yellow your teeth after extended use. You might want to think twice about adding a couple of extra dashes of soy sauce to your next Asian meal. Moderation is the key. What Can You Do About Existing Stains? If you consume any of the above foods or minerals, and you follow the precautions outlined, you are less likely to see future yellowing of the teeth. But what about existing stains? The best thing you can do to get rid of these unsightly marks and restore your teeth to their former glory is to book an appointment with your dentist at a place like Revesby Dental Centre for a teeth whitening treatment. There are a plethora of dentists offering teeth whitening services nowadays to suit any budget. They are a surefire way to improve the look of your teeth. A thorough teeth whitening treatment will give you the confidence to smile as wide as you...

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You Won’t Believe How Easy It Can Be to Floss When You Have Braces

Posted by on 10:50 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on You Won’t Believe How Easy It Can Be to Floss When You Have Braces

When orthodontists fit you with a new set of braces, they will certainly be able to answer any questions you might have about how to best care for them. Some of these questions might not actually occur to you until later, such as when you’re trying to floss your teeth later that evening. If you have any queries or concerns about your braces, you can certainly speak with your dentist or orthodontist, but when it comes to flossing when you have braces, there are a few tips you need to know about. Rinse It Get into the habit of rinsing thoroughly after each time you eat to prevent food becoming lodged in between your teeth and your braces. Ask your dentist or orthodontist for the best type of mouthwash to use with your braces. They might also suggest a simple salt water rinse. By washing out debris before they have a chance to become lodged in your mouth, it makes the later act of flossing much easier. Floss It Use waxed dental floss. This wax acts as a type of protective coating on the floss, so it is far less likely to snap or shred when it rubs against the metal components of your braces. Pick It Use a flossing pick. These are small pieces of plastic with a piece of floss tightly held between two plastic prongs. You use the pick by grasping it between your thumb and forefinger which (with some practice) is often easier and more precise than traditional dental floss. They are available with both waxed and unwaxed floss, and you should opt for the waxed version, as you should with traditional floss. Tape It Discard dental floss and use dental tape. It looks just the same as regular dental floss and yet this similarity disappears once you use it. While dental floss is of an unchangeable length like a piece of string, dental tape stretches like a piece of elastic. It’s easy to get into the nooks and crannies of your braces without worrying about snapping the tape. Waterblast It It’s a more expensive option, but it is certainly effective. If you opt for a water flossing device, you simply move the head of the device (which is of a similar shape and size to a toothbrush) throughout your mouth. A concentrated jet of water is pushed between the gaps in your teeth (and the gap between your braces and your teeth), dislodging any food particles that might be caught. Flossing your teeth when you have braces doesn’t have to be difficult, but it’s important to know that regular traditional dental floss probably isn’t the best option for you. For more tips, contact experienced orthodontists in  your...

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The Ins And Outs Of Treating Mucoceles

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Developing an unusual bump inside your mouth is always an unnerving occurrence, and you should always visit your dentist for an inspection if you’re worried about a new growth. However, there are a number of relatively harmless conditions that cause these lumps — one of them is the mucocele, a soft, smooth lump containing a cyst filled with protein-rich gel, that forms around a damaged or blocked salivary gland. Salivary glands can become damaged by anything from a blow to the jaw to sucking on your lips too much. Mucoceles can appear on the roof of the mouth, your gums, the insides of your lips or under your tongue, and while the lumps are benign and harmless, they can still be bothersome and make talking or chewing awkward. If so, your dentist can offer a range of treatments to rid you of your nasty little lump quickly and effectively: Non-invasive treatments Don’t immediately assume that you will have to go under the scalpel to have a mucocele removed, as if a mucocele is caught early it can often be cured with simpler, non-surgical treatments: If a mucocele is very small, regularly rinsing your mouth with salt water (about 4-6 times a day) will draw fluid from within the mucocele to the surface of the skin, reducing its size and potentially reopening the blocked salivary gland. Anti-inflammatory medicines, usually administered as topical gels directly to the mucocele, can reduce mucocele size and numb discomfort. Larger mucoceles may warrant a direct injection of corticosteroids; this will reduce swelling very quickly but cannot be administered often due to the side effects of long-term corticosteroid use. Whatever you do, don’t try to burst a mucocele yourself, as the damaged salivary gland within is very vulnerable to infection. Surgical removal If a mucocele is allowed to grow too large, or if it doesn’t respond to standard treatments, one of two different surgical procedures may be required. The first procedure is salivary gland removal and is generally performed when a salivary gland is likely to become swollen again or has done so in the past. This is a minimally invasive procedure performed while you are awake under local anaesthesia, and it will involve a small incision where both the mucocele and the salivary gland beneath are removed. Don’t worry — you have plenty more where that came from. Recovery time is generally 2-4 weeks — this can be shorter if your dentist uses laser surgical tools. The second procedure is called micro-marsupialisation (but does not have anything to do with small kangaroos). In this procedure, the dentist simply places a series of sutures through the cyst and cleans out the fluid within. The sutures are then allowed to remain in the skin for a week, which allows new, clear channels to the salivary gland to form, releasing the blocked flow of saliva. This procedure is done under local anaesthetic, is simpler that salivary gland removal and only takes a couple of weeks to fully recover from if...

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What You Need to Know About Fitting Adult Braces

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There is widespread belief that dental braces work best for children and young people alone. This is totally wrong! Dental braces can be worn effectively by people of all ages! Even though you might see more children and young people today wearing braces as compared to adults, that doesn’t downplay the effectiveness of dental braces as a method of orthodontic treatment for adults. If you are still hesitant about seeing an orthodontist to provide dental braces for you, here is some essential information about adult braces you might need to know about. Why get adult braces? There are a lot of overarching reasons to explain why you should use adult braces. These dental fittings will help correct dental issues such as malocclusion of teeth, crowded teeth, jaw deformation, etc. to allow you to make major facial and dental improvements needed to face the next phase of your life with confidence, e.g. change of appearance for a new job or a special occasion like your wedding. Adult braces will not only refresh your smile, but it will help you keep your teeth looking good and staying healthy for life. How does it feel wearing adult braces? Accommodating braces in your mouth feels almost the same at all ages. When these dental appliances are fitted for the first time, you might experience some slight discomfort as your mouth adjusts to them. As your teeth start to realign, they may twinge a little bit as the gums and cheeks become somewhat painful. Using braces feels like the experience wearing a new pair of well-fitting shoes, they’ll initially cause some discomfort until you’re get used to wearing them. Every time you see an orthodontist to adjust the braces, you may also have to cope with some level of discomfort. However, the discomfort will be mostly minor and shouldn’t worry you much. Look at it this way: The slight discomfort will be a small price to pay for the great results you’ll enjoy in the future! How can you take proper care of your braces? Braces can accommodate food particles in your mouth, resulting in plaque accumulation, and thus increasing the risk for dental infections and diseases. To ensure your braces are well-taken care of, brush and floss it regularly, especially after mealtime and when going to bed. Don’t bite on hard stuffs such as coconuts or the ends of pens. Also avoid chewing sticky substances like chewing gum since they can get stuck on the braces or cause them to become loose. In case any problem arises, immediately visit your orthodontist to have the braces checked. For more information or a consultation, contact local orthodontic care clinics, such as Perfect Smiles...

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Run Out of Orthodontic Wax? Find Emergency Alternatives

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When you have your braces fitted, your orthodontist will typically give you some orthodontic wax to take home. New braces may rub against the soft tissues in your mouth, making them sore, but you can use this wax to cushion areas that hurt your mouth until it gets used to the braces. Wax may also help if you break your braces and end up with a sharp bit poking in your lips or cheeks, giving you some protection until you can have the braces fixed. Sometimes, you may run out of wax just when you need it. If you can’t get hold of any, you may find emergency fixes in your home. Alternative Waxes You may have other waxes at home that can do much the same job as an orthodontic wax, giving you some short-term pain relief until you can buy wax or see your orthodontist. For example, the following options may work: Candle wax: If you have candles at home, break off a small piece of wax. Use your fingers to roll it into a ball around the size of a small pea. When the wax is warm and malleable, put it on the area of the brace that is causing the problem. Cheese wax: If you have cheese in the fridge that is covered in wax, you can use a small piece of the coating as an alternative to orthodontic wax, according to Healthdirect Australia. Again, you should roll the wax to warm and shape it. Silicon wax: If you have silicon earplugs handy, you can also use those to cover a sharp brace edge. Break or cut off a small piece from the earplug and place it on the brace. Chewing Gum Although your orthodontist is likely to have told you never to eat chewing gum with your braces in, gum can be a useful emergency alternative to wax. It’s best to use sticks of gum, which are easier to mould than gums with a hard coating. You should also use sugar-free gum if possible, as gum with sugar is not good for your teeth. Break the gum into pieces and mould them in balls. If the gum breaks rather than shapes, you may need to wet it. Put the gum in your mouth and suck it for a few seconds. This should allow you to mould it. Don’t chew the gum. It may stick to your braces and in extreme cases break them. When you have a small ball of gum, dry your brace and apply the gum to it. Tip: Wax alternatives may not naturally stick to braces in the same way as orthodontic wax. Before you try to apply them, make sure that the brace is dry. This helps the wax stick. You may have to reapply emergency fixes more often than you would orthodontic...

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The Pros and Cons of Invisible Braces

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Invisible braces are clear plastic aligners that you can wear on your teeth in order to alter the position of those teeth and have a better smile/dental appearance. This article discusses some of the benefits and disadvantages of these aligners. Use this information to help you as you decide whether this is the correct solution for your dental problem. The Pros They are discreet. It is very hard to tell that someone is wearing invisible braces because they are clear. Such braces are very good for people who are self-conscious who want to conceal the fact that they are wearing braces. There are no dietary restrictions if you wear them. One problem that metal braces have is that a user has to be careful about what they eat or else food particles will affect the wires of the braces. For instance, sticky things like sweets can be hard to remove if you have metal braces because they stick onto the wires. Clear braces can be removed when you are going to eat so there is no reason to alter your diet. You experience less discomfort. Invisible braces are designed to be changed after a short time, usually every two weeks. This results in less discomfort since the teeth are not subjected to a great pulling force by any of the appliances. Each appliance is designed to achieve a slight movement of your teeth and that is why you will hardly feel any discomfort. The Cons They are suitable for minor defects only. You can only use invisible braces if you have a slight dental problem such as minimally misaligned teeth. It is very hard to use invisible braces to correct serious dental problems like severely rotated teeth. They are more expensive than metal braces. Invisible braces are relatively more expensive than metal braces. You should expect to pay at least 20 percent more for the invisible braces, and that additional cost may put them out of reach if you have limited finances. It is easy to forget to wear them. The success of invisible braces relies on how compliant the individual is by wearing the braces all day (except when he or she is eating, flossing or brushing). However, it is very easy to skip several hours or even days without wearing the invisible braces. This is because you can forget to wear them after removing them as you prepare to have a meal or floss. Talk to your dentist so that he or she advises you on the suitability of invisible braces for your condition. He or she will also advise you on how to get the full benefits that these devices...

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Don’t Pop It! What A “Pimple” on Your Gums Can Mean

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Even on the parts of your skin where you don’t traditionally grow hair, you still have hair follicles. You have close to 5 million of these follicles on your body, even though the majority of them do not grow hair that is noticeable. This is a throwback to when humans didn’t have the benefits of central heating, lived in caves, and needed thick fur for protection. So since you can grow a hair almost anywhere on your body, the sebaceous gland directly underneath these follicles can become clogged, which leads to a pimple. Yes, it’s possible to get a pimple practically anywhere on your skin. You might opt to pop this pimple or you might just be disciplined and wait for it to go away of its own accord. But what about when the pimple is in a really strange location. What about when you notice a pimple on your gum? Not Really a Pimple While that small white mound on your gum looks just like a pimple, it’s in fact a dental fistula (also known as a dental boil). This occurs when an infection in your gum has produced pus, and your body is looking for a way to drain that pus. This infection is a dental abscess, which will need to be treated. Is the Tooth Damaged? You might already be aware of the reason for the abscess if you have noticed that tooth is damaged. A small chip or crack in a tooth can allow bacteria to enter the gum where the abscess begins to grow. This can also be caused by periodontal (dental) disease. Types of Infection A gum abscess occurs when the infection grows in the miniscule space between the tooth and the gum. A gum abscess is generally quite painful, so you will be aware of the problem before the dental fistula becomes visible. A tooth abscess occurs when the infection grows at the base of the tooth itself. This usually happens when the tooth is severely damaged, which you probably will have noticed.  When the tooth is damaged, you might not have any pain and will only become aware of the fistula when it appears. Never Pop! Do not pop this so-called gum pimple, as this can make the situation worse. They will sometimes burst of their own accord, and the taste can be unpleasant, so be sure to rinse your mouth thoroughly. Lightly salted warm water is best, as it also has antiseptic properties. A warm teabag placed on the fistula can act like a warm compress, and will often burst the fistula. Just because the “pimple has popped” it doesn’t mean the problem is over. You will need to make an appointment with your dentist. Fixing the Cause Your dentist will give you antibiotics to clear the infection and may also place adhesive dental gauze over the fistula, allowing it to drain completely. Once the infection is gone, your dentist will need to fix the cause of the infection, which is the damaged tooth. You might be referred to an endodontist, which is a dentist who specialises in root canals. The soft pulp inside the tooth is removed, and the tooth is then sealed, preventing reinfection. If the tooth is so damaged that a root canal is not possible, then endodontics...

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5 Natural Remedies To Fight Tooth Pain

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Toothache can be an incredibly stressful and debilitating experience for otherwise healthy people. Often, the onset is very sudden, and over-the-counter painkillers aren’t always enough to get you through the day. If you’re suffering from tooth pain, whether it’s sharp and sudden, dull and throbbing, or somewhere in between, the following tips might just help see you through: 1. Clove Oil A natural, essential oil extracted from the clove plant, clove oil is a natural antiseptic which not only helps to prevent the spread of bacteria around the affected area, but also effectively numbs the pain of the aching tooth. Simply dry the gums at the source of the pain and apply the clove oil with a cotton bud for instant relief. The taste may not be for everyone, but you can’t argue with the results. 2. Hot water bottle Holding a hot water bottle against the problem side of your face (safely covered, or wrapped in a towel, of course) will allow the heat to radiate through the affected area and effectively soothe dull, throbbing pains. Feels good, doesn’t it? 3. Focus your mind…elsewhere! Mind-over-matter only goes so far, but while you may not be able to telepathically transport yourself into the company of a skilled dentist, you may be able to lessen your own subjective experience of pain in the interim. Studies have shown that our perception of pain is significantly affected by our expectations, so choose not to dwell on the pain, and instead focus intently on the sensations of another, pain-free body part. 4. Control your breathing As with the previous tip, concentrating on one’s breathing can help to decrease the subjective experience of pain. Studies have shown that meditation, which begins with an awareness and control of one’s breath, can lessen the perceived unpleasantness of chronic pain without the need for drug-based painkillers.  5. Find an entertaining diversion The catch with this tip is that you must actively engage with your diversion. A favourite movie or TV show may seem like the ideal refuge from the imposing pain, but you might just find your mind wandering back to reality during quiet on-screen moments. Try a videogame instead: ideally one that is fast-paced, requiring lots of inputs and sustained concentration. Forget about the pain, and go for that high score! A word of caution… Whilst these tips may help you weather the storm, tooth pain rarely resolves itself and is usually indicative of a larger problem, requiring professional attention. Be sure to consult your dentist as soon as the pain starts, and have it treated at its...

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Professional Tooth Whitening Procedures

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When it comes to any kind of personal treatments, it is not unusual for people to be concerned with their personal image and welfare.  As an example, there’s the topic of tooth whitening. In this case, one may choose to follow dentist tooth whitening procedures or home based whitening procedures. Why should you bother with dentists if you can whiten your teeth comfortably at home? Conversely, why should you risk the health of your teeth at home when you can get professional and safe results with a dentist? Definition of Dentist Tooth Whitening Procedures When it comes to tooth whitening solutions, it is perfectly natural to be skeptical of home based products that claim to be as effective as professional treatments. In some cases, these “just as good” products are not quite true. Despite that, there are still lots of online or over the counter whitening products that can produce decent results. It all comes down to needs and procedure costs. By going to the dentist, you will be provided with professional care and a much faster whitening process, two of the things that matter most in terms of health care. How Dentist Tooth Whitening Works After you have done the obvious requirements of scheduling a dentist appointment and undergoing several treatments at the clinic, here is how a typical professional tooth whitening procedure works. Before proceeding to apply the whitening solution to your teeth, dentists will first clean your dentures and fill your cavities. Once they are satisfied with the condition of your teeth, they will proceed to apply a special whitening gel onto your gums in order to prevent them from the treatment. Once the gel is placed, the dentist will use a highly concentrated tooth whitening solution on your teeth and use a special light in order to speed the bleaching process. All of this will happen in a single visit. Pros and Cons of Dentist Tooth Whitening The primary advantage of this procedure is that it is extremely quick and offers you the guarantee of being professionally done. For most people, these factors are the most important considerations. There is nothing better than seeing the immediate effects of professional whitening treatments. Not only that, but what can beat the confidence of experienced dentists handling your teeth? In terms of disadvantages, the cost is what keeps some people away from professional treatments.  Because of its high cost, many people just cannot afford to spend this kind of money, no matter how bad they need the treatment. To learn more, contact a company like Bath Street Dental Practice with any questions you...

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