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Posts for: February, 2019

Are you wondering what kind of braces will most effectively handle your dental problems?

It’s very rare for any child to develop a perfectly straight smile. Luckily, our Norwich, CT, dentist Dr. Edward Yates has many orthodontic bracestreatment options to cater to your child’s specific dental issues. In fact, patients of all ages dealing with crooked or misaligned teeth can benefit from one of our orthodontic options.

Here are some of the orthodontic systems from which to choose:

Traditional Braces

This is most likely the type of braces that comes to mind when you think of orthodontic treatment. Traditional braces are made from metal and consist of brackets and a series of wires that are connected to the front of your teeth and designed to apply pressure and move teeth around.

This is a great option for children, teens and adults dealing with a variety of different misalignments.

Porcelain/Ceramic Braces

These work the exact same way as traditional braces, the only difference is that instead of being made from metal the brackets are made from a clear ceramic. While it won’t make your braces invisible it will make them less obvious when you smile. This is often a great choice for adults who have more complex dental issues that only traditional braces can address but they still want to have a more discreet set of braces.

In fact, this is a great option for patients of all ages dealing with different alignment issues that also are dedicated to maintaining and keeping their braces clean.

Clear Braces

If you are looking for a completely transparent and nearly invisible way to straighten your smile without others noticing then clear braces are the best option. While they won’t be able to tackle more complex or complicated issues like traditional braces can, clear braces can fix everything from crookedness to gaps between teeth and crowding.

The most common type of clear braces is Invisalign, which uses a set of transparent aligners that fit over teeth and move them gradually into place. Of course, this type of braces is only ideal for older teens and adults whose teeth have already fully developed.

Here are some questions to ask yourself when it comes to the type of orthodontic treatment that will be right for you. This is something you and our Norwich, CT, family dentist can discuss with you during your consultation.

Q. Do you care if others are able to see your braces?

Q. Are you looking for a more discreet option?

Q. Do you play contact sports?

Q. Would you mind changing your diet for the length of your treatment?

Q. Do you do a thorough job cleaning your teeth?

Q. What issue or issues do you want to fix?

Here in Norwich, CT, we are dedicated to giving our patients the smiles they want. If you are dealing with a misaligned smile then let’s talk about the type of braces that is right for you. Call Norwich Aesthetic Dentistry today to schedule a consultation with us.


4TipstoPreventChildhoodToothDecay

February is National Children's Dental Health month, sponsored annually by the American Dental Association. As important as good oral health is to a child's overall health and development, tooth decay tops the list as the most common chronic childhood disease. In fact, over 40% of children ages 2-11 have had cavities in their baby teeth.

If unchecked, tooth decay can have a profound impact on a child's quality of life. The good news is that tooth decay is preventable, and often reversible if detected early. Here are some things you can do to set your child on the path to good dental health for life:

Get your child in the habit of brushing and flossing every day. Cavity prevention starts at home, so teach your child to brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste—but use only a smear of toothpaste the size of a grain of rice before age 3, and a pea-sized amount from ages 3-6. Introduce dental floss into the routine when you notice that your child's teeth are starting to fit closely together. Children generally need help brushing until age 6 or 7 and flossing until around age 10.

Encourage tooth-healthy eating habits. Provide your child with a balanced diet with plenty of vegetables, fruits and whole grains. Stay away from sugary snacks and beverages, especially between meals. If children drink juice, they should do so with meals rather than sipping juice throughout the day or at bedtime. Even 100% juice has natural sugars and can be acidic, which can harm teeth with prolonged exposure.

Establish a dental home early. Tooth decay isn't always easy to spot with the naked eye, so regular dental visits should start no later than a baby's first birthday. We can check the development of your child's teeth and spot any issues of concern. The earlier tooth decay is caught, the less damage it can do. Even if there are no dental problems, establishing a dental home early on will help your little one feel comfortable at the dental office.

Ask about preventive dental treatments. Fluoride varnishes or rinses are frequently recommended to help prevent cavities, particularly for children at higher risk of getting cavities. Dental sealants, another preventive treatment, are a coating commonly applied to molars to seal out tooth decay. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, children ages 6-11 with dental sealants have nearly three times fewer cavities than children who do not have sealants.

The key to healthy smiles for life is to start your child at a young age with good habits at home and regular dental visits. If you have questions about your child's dental health, call us or schedule a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “How to Help Your Child Develop the Best Habits for Oral Health” and “Top 10 Oral Health Tips for Children.”


3Age-RelatedDentalProblemsandwhatyoucandoAboutThem

Like other aspects of our lives, aging can take a toll on our smile. Over a lifetime the effects of disease, teeth wearing and the foods we eat can cause our teeth and gums to look unattractive.

Here are 3 of the most common age-related dental problems and how we can help you "turn back the clock" on each one.

Discoloration. Teeth can dull and grow darker over time. And not just from what we eat or drink—age-related structural changes in the tooth can also cause discoloration. We can often alleviate external staining temporarily with teeth whitening. If the staining is heavy or it originates inside the tooth, then we can install life-like porcelain veneers or crowns to cover the discoloration. We can also use composite dental materials to alter the color of one darkened tooth so that it doesn't stand out from the rest of your teeth.

Wearing. Our teeth naturally wear down over time. If the wearing is excessive, though, teeth can look shorter and less youthful. Again, we can use veneers or crowns to change a tooth's outward appearance and make them look longer. We can also employ enamel contouring and reshaping that smoothes out sharper edges caused by wearing to give your teeth a softer, more youthful look.

Receding gums. On the other end of the spectrum, gums that have shrunk back or receded from the teeth can make them look much larger and unattractive. Our first step is to treat any gum disease present—the most common cause of recession—which often helps the tissues to regenerate. If your case is more advanced, though, you may also need grafting surgery to restore lost gum tissue. Using in-depth microsurgical techniques, surgeons attach grafted gum tissue at the recession site. Over time new tissue will grow, restoring adequate gum coverage.

You can also improve your appearance at any age with orthodontics. Besides a more attractive smile, properly aligned teeth tend to wear more slowly and evenly. This and proper daily oral hygiene and regular dental care can keep your teeth looking younger even in your later years.

If you would like more information on gaining a more youthful smile, 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 “How Your Dentist can help you Look Younger.”