Monday, December 19, 2011

How do I know if I have a type of gum disease?

Gum Disease-

You may not have pain or any “problems,” but there are a few ways to tell if you need to go see your dental professional.  

            Some ways to know are your gums bleed when you are brushing or flossing, your gums are red and swollen, and/ or  you have mouth sores or bumps that will not go away.  
         When you are at the dental professional’s office, it is important that you ask what steps to take to improve your oral hygiene.  Even though you maybe brushing you may be doing it incorrectly or not brushing or flossing long enough.

Monday, December 05, 2011

Clean teeth & Gums, What's the point?

Keeping your mouth healthy and clean is an important part of your overall health. When teeth are not being taken care of, they tend to build up plaque and tartar. This build up creates bacteria that causes irritation to the gums causing bleeding and a low grade infection. This infection is called gingivitis. People who have gingivitis are more likely to have heart problems, suffer a stroke, or heart attack. You are also more likely to have a hard time controlling blood sugar and blood pressure problems.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Helmets and Mouth Guards

Sports safety is a very important thing to think about when getting involved with any sport. In the past it was seen as un-cool to wear a helmet when riding a bike. In some cities in the US laws are passed to enforce the importance of wearing one for your safety. By spending $20 on a bike helmet, you could not only save yourself from a concussion but also your life. Helmets keep players alive and prevent 1 head injury every four minutes. A face guard is attached to the helmet completely covering the face. This makes players 35% less likely to have a facial injury.
When playing any sports where the player could get hit in the mouth, a mouth guard is needed. People don’t realize that by wearing a mouth guard this decreases the odds of injury to your lips, teeth, and even your brain. When protective mouth wear is being worn correctly, it can decrease the chance of getting a concussion. Mouth guards can range anywhere from $5-$150, but rehabilitation costs for a single tooth knocked out can surpass the price of a custom made mouth guard by 20 times. Most of the sports related injuries happen at practice. So that means not only do you have to wear a mouth guard and helmet during the games but also at practice. In orthodontics we have lots of teens who play a wide variety of sports and extra activities. Some of the most dangerous sports are not ones that you would think would be dangerous. Cheerleading and gymnastics as well as horseback riding are all activities where we have seen a lot of broken brackets and mouth injuries. We see a lot of these injuries because people don’t see them as dangerous and don’t take the precautions that they would for football or hockey. This year alone 5 million teeth will be knocked out while people are playing sports. We at Century Orthodontics hope that you do not become part of that statistic.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

No More Goopey Mess

Invisalign Intraoral Scanner
Our goal at Century Orthodontics has always been to be the St. Louis Leader in Invisalign treatment. We were the first in the Missouri to use Invisalign and we have consistently been one of the top Invisalign providers in the country. That's why we are the first orthodontic office in St. Louis to acquire the iOC Invisalign intraoral scanner. The scanner will allow us to do away the gooey impressions that are normally used to created 3-D models of the teeth. While this machine costs as much as a nice new car, we feel that our patients are worth it!
The benefits of a 3-D dental scanner:
-no need to have impressions taken, leading to a much more comfortable experience and no gagging
-increased accuracy leading to better fitting appliances and thus better control of tooth movement
-elimination of rejected impressions and redo’s
-ability to see the 3-D image of your teeth immediately following the scan
-Ability to view Invisalign tooth animation in a few days vs. a few weeks, allowing us to start treatment 50% faster
The scans generally take between 15-20 minutes, which is comparable to the time required for a full set of impressions. Unlike other scanning systems, iOC is a laser and optical scanner, so there is also no concern about any radiation.
Our office has scheduled 3 days of hand-on training and will begin using the scanner for most Invisalign and Invisalign Teen patients shortly. We think this is going to really improve the overall Invisalign experience and look forward to helping you smile without braces!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

What are Rubber Bands for Braces for?

Everyday at least one of our patients will ask, "Why am I wearing these rubber bands?" Patients wear rubber bands for many different reasons. Common reasons are to fix bite problems or to help guide the movement of teeth. Patients for the most part find that wearing their elastics is one of the most annoying parts of braces, but it is also one of the most important parts to getting the teeth straight and to having proper bite.

Why do I wear elastics? These elastics create a small but continuous amount of pressure on the teeth or jaws to move them into more desirable positions. If you wear your elastics as instructed, treatment will be completed more rapidly. When you are wearing your elastics full time, this means 24/7, taking them out only to eat and brush. We ask our patients to switch their elastics 3-4 times daily. Switching them ensures that the elastics will retain their strength, and the force will be steady. Your teeth will be sore when you start wearing your rubber bands, but the better you are with wearing them the sooner the soreness will go away. Just smile through the first few days, and your rubber bands will become easier and easier.

For patients wearing elastics the most difficult time of the day is right after lunch. Patients forget to put their rubbrt bands back in until after they get home from school or until after dinner. Forgetting will bring tooth movement to a halt and extend the amount of time in braces. It takes 10-12hrs for the teeth to start moving when wearing elastics.

Dr. Waxler tells patients their teeth are like semi-trucks. If two vehicles are on the highway and one is a sports car and the other is a semi-truck, they both can do the speed limit but when they have to come to a stop, it only takes the sports car a few seconds to accelerate back up to the 60 miles an hour. The semi-truck takes a lot longer to reach the speed limit. This is why those big trucks don't want to stop if they can avoid it.

Since your teeth are like semi-trucks, the only thing to keep them from stopping their movement is to wear your elastics as instructed. Teeth will stop moving if the elastics are out of the mouth for more then just eating and brushing. We tell our patients to put their elastics on their pinkie fingers when the bands are out of their mouths. When you are finished eating and brushing, you will look down and remember to put them back in

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

How long do I need to wear my retainers?

How long do I need to wear my retainers?

This is a question that is asked almost everyday in our office. The answer is an easy one, you need to wear them as long as you would like to keep your teeth straight. If you would like your teeth to be straight until you are 90 then wear your retainers until you are 90. We can only ensure that your teeth stay straight as long as you wear your retainers and they fit properly. Dr. Waxler always says "Our bodies are ever changing no matter how long you've held your teeth straight they can still move as you get older. Even people who had "perfect" teeth when they were young, often find their teeth moving slightly as they age."

So what good were braces?

The secret of a good orthodontic result is to put the teeth in the most stable position that is possible considering the person's facial structure and dental problems. After a few years in retainers, the tooth arrangement should be reasonably stable; although corrected dental and skeletal problems all have varying tendencies to "rebound". This is like people who always have to be on a diet or wear glasses to correct a problem, some teeth need to be retained forever.

If I decide not to wear my retainer...., should I still see my Orthodontist?

After approximately two years of retainer wear we enter into a post-retention period. We require appointments on a "as needed" basis. Unless you are told that your problem is particularly unstable, you may only need to wear your retainer 2-4 nights a week. If you lose, break or your retainer no longer fits please call our office to make an appointment so we can advise you on what options will fit your situation best. If you have graduated from our office there may be an office visit charge or a replacement fee.

What about my bonded (or glued in) retainer?

You may come back to see us anytime to have our office check your bonded retainer, but your regular dentist can evaluate this retainer for you at your dental check ups. If anything appears to be wrong please call us immediately to have it checked. If we need to remove this retainer we suggest getting a removable retainer to ensure that your teeth will stay straight. You may have this retainer removed at anytime and take an impression for a removable retainer to be made (at the current fee). This removable retainer will be asked to wear at night time for as long as you would like to hold those teeth straight.