Cosmetic Dentist Blog
Posts for: September, 2015
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.”
Cosmetic and restorative dentistry is filled with a varied array of procedures, materials and techniques that can address any shortcoming with your smile. Whatever your condition, there’s a means to correct or enhance your smile.
The real question, though, is whether we’re both, patient and dentist, on the same page as to what’s best to enhance your smile. Dentists have a different perspective on smile outcomes than the average layperson. We’re clued into aspects like tooth alignment with facial features or gum-to-lip distance influenced by our professional training and experience. You, though, may see your smile in terms of other features that define beauty like mouth expressions or lip shape.
Bridging these differing points of view requires open and honest communication. Here are three considerations to make that happen.
Build trust between you and your dentist. It’s natural for us to have differing views on what constitutes proper smile aesthetics based on the perspectives previously mentioned. Working through those perspectives to arrive at a unified plan requires trust that both of us desire the same outcome: a beautiful smile you’re happy to display to the world.
“Seeing” your future smile can help ease your misgivings. It’s one thing to try to imagine a certain treatment outcome — it’s quite another to actually see it beforehand. And you can, through computer simulation that takes a picture of your current face and smile and then augments them digitally so you can see how your smile will appear after proposed treatment. It’s also possible in some cases for you to wear temporary or “provisional” restorations so that not only can you see how they look, but also how they feel and function in the mouth.
Understand what “type” of restoration patient you are. Although everyone is different, we can usually characterize patients and their expectations in two ways. Some patients are “perfect-minded” — they want restorations that offer the maximum symmetry, regularity and tooth brightness. Others are more “natural-minded” in that the changes they seek don’t drastically alter their natural appearance, but are just enough to look different and create a sense of character. Knowing what you really want — a drastic change or a subtle enhancement — will help you communicate your desires more clearly and help us design the treatment options that best fit your expectations.
If you would like more information on fostering communication between dentists and patients, 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 “Great Expectations.”
From taking a baseball in the mouth to plain old aging, missing teeth can be attributed to many things. The holes missing teeth leave behind can be embarrassing, or even affect oral health in a negative way. Dentures, whether partial or complete, are an affordable way to not only fill those embarrassing holes, but prevent bone atrophy and moving teeth.
How do I know if dentures are for me?
A good candidate for dentures is really anyone who is missing teeth. However, the real test comes down to deciding which kind of dentures the patient will need. This is based on how many teeth are missing, what kinds of oral problems are occurring, and if surgery is needed before the dentures are fitted to the teeth.
There are several types of dentures:
- Immediate: Immediate dentures are worn directly after any extractions that must be performed before permanent dentures are created. This ensures the wearer is not seen without teeth during the time it takes for the permanent dentures to be made.
- Implant-Retained: This kind of denture is surgically implanted into the bone. This procedure requires enough bone to be able to implant into, meaning that people with above average bone atrophy or overall bad oral health are not good candidates.
- Partial: There are two different kinds of partial dentures:
- Tooth-supported: These dentures sit on the tooth and do not touch the tissue.
- Tissue-supported: These dentures sit on the tissue and do not touch the tooth.
- Complete: Complete dentures are worn by patients missing all of their teeth on either the top or bottom arch. For those who are missing all of the teeth on both arches, a set of top and bottom complete dentures is worn.
Dentures can change the entire aesthetic makeup of a smile. Having obvious holes in the mouth where teeth used to be can lead to embarrassing situations and speech impediments. Dentures fill those holes so the patient can have the confidence they deserve. Dentures also prevent teeth around the hole from moving to compensate for the missing tooth. Eating is made much easier by wearing dentures. Chewing becomes much less problematic, and the pressure from chewing is evenly distributed instead of the patient taking care to chew in certain areas of the mouth.
If you are missing teeth, Dr. Warren Gase in Cincinnati, OH can provide knowledgeable and professional denture care. Call to schedule an appointment for a consultation today.