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Many people assume that a baby’s teeth  are not important to care for because they will fall out eventually. This is simply not so. Not only can breakdown of these primary teeth cause severe discomfort and infection to your child, they can also have far reaching consequences into adulthood. As a matter of fact, in many ways, the primary teeth are just as important as the permanent teeth. Below are the top reasons why!

Caring For Your Child’s Teeth

-Function. The primary function for any tooth whether it be primary or permanent is to chew and break down food for nutrition. Without teeth, it becomes extremely difficult to eat most hard, crunchy, healthy foods. No one wants their child to suffer the pain or embarrassment of tooth loss due to decay or infection. It may take years for the next tooth to emerge and allow him or her to eat properly again.

-Development. Our teeth are essential in the development of a growing child. The growth of the jaws are triggered by the teeth. The teeth give the body a guide with which to grow from. Without this guide, there could be significant growth issues of the face, jaw, and bite. Also, without the primary teeth as space holders, the permanent teeth will have no room to enter into the mouth and cause crowding issues which can lead to periodontal disease, tooth decay, and occlusion issues. Some of these problems may be correctable with orthodontics (braces) and possibly a retainer, but some require further tooth loss, and possibly surgery. Most of these corrective measures are quite expensive. Taking the time to care for the baby teeth to prevent these problems is a far less costly and helps keep your child healthy.

-Preventing Pain and Discomfort. Tooth decay is quite prevalent in today’s American child. This can be easily prevented with proper dental hygiene maintenance and a healthy diet. When tooth decay does occur, it is best to get it fixed right away,when it is small, and before the child even notices it. Tooth decay can progress quite quickly if left untreated, especially in primary(baby) teeth. If left untreated, tooth decay will cause pain, infection, and discomfort to your child as well as a more expensive option to repair (like tooth extraction, baby root canal or a stainless steel crown).

Infections in the baby teeth can lead to long term problems in the gums.  Infections can also  cause problems with the development of the permanent teeth.

-Learning Tool. Baby teeth are the ultimate training ground for your children. It gives them a chance to learn good oral hygiene that will carry over into adulthood. Teaching them proper techniques and habits will be a lesson that will serve them well as they grow older into adulthood and beyond. These habits should include brushing, flossing, rinsing with an anti bacterial mouthwash, choosing healthy snack and meal options, and visiting the dentist at least twice a year.

Conclusion

Baby teeth are often misunderstood in their role of development. They are very important in a child’s development and should be treated with the utmost care. With proper care, a child will be proud of their smile, and have easy, fun, informative dental visits. If issues do arise, they should be treated early. The dentist and parents should be partners in a child’s dental care.



For many adults, braces or orthodontics have just not been an option. They do not want to invest the time and effort to make their teeth straight. For those that do want to correct their occlusion,  it is a worthwhile investment. Orthodontics is a great way to fix bite issues as well as some cosmetic issues. However, if you do not have any bite issues and are looking for a fresh start with a new smile, instant orthodontics may be the answer for you.

How Does Instant Orthodontics Work?

Instant orthodontics is achieved using multiple cosmetic dentistry procedures in a fairly short time to give you the white, bright, straight smile you desire. Depending upon how extreme your smile issues are to begin with, instant orthodontics can range from 2-3 visits to 2-3x times that number. Let’s take a look at some of the cosmetic dentistry procedures involved in instant orthodontics:

-Porcelain Veneers. This is a hallmark procedure in cosmetic dentistry for an instant orthodontics case. Porcelain veneers are a custom made thin shell of porcelain that is bonded to the existing teeth (after a small amount of preparation to the teeth). Once in place you have a long lasting durable dental restoration that can change color, shape, and size of your teeth. These are generally used on the top front teeth and  sometimes, bottom front teeth. Porcelain veneers work best in cases where minor changes need to be made in alignment, shape and color of teeth. Preliminary models of the teeth should be made to assess whether veneers can correct issues properly. If after diagnostic workup, it is found that the issues are too severe, a different method of correction will be necessary. So, porcelain veneers are ideal in cases where there is a limited amount of misalignment of teeth and/or the patient’s desire is to not only bring them back in line but also to change the color and shape of their teeth.

-Porcelain and Zirconia Crowns. These types of crowns are the most cosmetic offered in dentistry today. They are made from modern dental porcelains that range in strength and esthetics. If done properly, no one should ever be able to tell a porcelain crown from natural tooth. Modern porcelains possesses strength, color properties, and light reflection properties that very closely mimic our natural teeth. Porcelain crowns can be used to change bite alignment issues as well as change alignment of front teeth which are more extreme such as those issues that porcelain veneers alone cannot fix. More natural tooth structure needs to be removed in preparing a porcelain crown vs a porcelain veneer.

-Dental Bonding. This cosmetic dentistry procedure can be useful when closing a gap between teeth, changing a surface imperfection, or altering tooth shape. Dental bonding is much less expensive in the short term, but can change color,(stain), and chip requiring frequent replacement. Porcelain crowns or porcelain veneers do not change color and are more resistant to fracture. That said, dental bonding does a great job in closing gaps on teeth as well as changing the size, shape and color of one or more teeth much in the same circumstances diagnostically as veneers.

Why Choose Instant Orthodontics Over Traditional Orthodontics?

While traditional orthodontics has a necessary and important place in dentistry. Traditional orthodontic movement of teeth into correct anatomical position is the generally the more conservative approach due to the fact that the teeth do not require alteration to their anatomy. Many adult patients choose instant orthodontics over traditional orthodontics for the following reasons:

-Time. Traditional orthodontics can take a year or longer to achieve the results you are looking for. Orthodontics will not whiten teeth or change color or tooth shape.

-Periodontal disease. This needs to be under control prior to any type of dental work of this magnitude. Traditional orthodontics can make a situation where there is bone loss present even worse as the teeth move. Teeth moving into place may cause increased bone loss, tooth looseness, root resorption, and gum tissue recession.

-Tooth Decay/Old restorations present. When there is tooth decay present or an older dental restoration (such as a crown or previous dental bonding) that needs replacing, it may actually be easier and more cost efficient for the patient to get new dental restorations and re align the teeth in that manner.

-Bite Reclamation. Over time, our teeth wear (this is especially true for those who grind their teeth). This wear can cause a loss in what is called vertical dimension, collapsing our bites. A good cosmetic dentist can not only make your new restorations look perfect but they can also add the extra function of restoring that lost vertical height. This will give the effect of smoothing out the skin and wrinkles around the mouth thus giving you a more youthful appearance. Instant orthodontics can not fix loss of tooth structure.

Instant Orthodontics Conclusion

Instant orthodontics is not for everyone. For those who are unhappy with their smile and looking for more than just teeth whitening it could be just the answer for their needs. If traditional orthodontics is not feasible for you, instant orthodontics may be a great option. You can expect your smile to look great in just a few weeks,  but be aware, over time some of those restorations may need to be redone if they break or tooth decay becomes an issue. Remember, dental hygiene is the foundation of any cosmetic dentistry work. If you wish any restoration to last, you must brush, floss, rinse, and see your dentist regularly for examinations and professional cleanings.

Interceptive Orthodontics is a phased type of orthodontics. Growth is utilized to correct developmental occlusion problems. Staging the treatment can correct immediateInterceptive Orthodontics Marielaina Perrone DDS problems and future issues. Interceptive orthodontics simply means diagnosing and treating malocclusions as soon as they are detected. The American Academy of Orthodontics now says all children should have an orthodontic assessment no later than the age of seven.

In the past, orthodontic treatment did not begin until around age 12-14. This is when all the permanent teeth are already erupted or very close to it. It was also common for your dentist to remove  permanent teeth to correct the bite and allow for room for the final phase of tooth movement. Modern orthodontists now advocate a way to keep permanent teeth, with phased  interceptive orthodontics. In interceptive orthodontics, children are treated at much earlier ages (usually between age 7-11 years old) to take advantage of continuing growth. Patients at this age tend to be more receptive to, and compliant with treatment. Interceptive orthodontics allows for fewer teeth to be extracted and also allows for  better end results.

Why Does My Child Need Interceptive Orthodontics?

Parents and patients need to understand that when interceptive orthodontics is performed there is usually more than one phase of of treatment. Phase two will begin when all the permanent teeth are in place. Going through phases allows for the second phase to be shorter in duration, since the major corrections happened in the interceptive orthodontics phase. Sometimes interceptive orthodontics are needed to correct problems related to skeletal development, and sometimes it is needed as a direct result of oral habits.

-Correction of Thumb Sucking and Pacifier Habits. Persistent thumb sucking, and extended use of a pacifier effect the development of the mouth. Thumb sucking, and pacifier use after the age of three could result in:

- a reshaped jawbone given its soft and pliable nature

- mis-aligned teeth growing out of position

- narrower dental arches

-extreme tongue thrust habits

- protruding front teeth which may be more susceptible to injury

- “open bites” that would require extensive orthodontic treatment to straighten

Some developmental issues requiring interceptive orthodontics include:

-constricted palate, causes misalignment of back teeth commonly called crossbite

-crowding of teeth

-uneven development of upper and lower jaw

Interceptive Orthodontics Marielaina Perrone DDS

Examples of Interceptive Orthodontics:

-Expansion of the upper jaw to eliminate a crossbite

-Expansion of one or both jaws to create space for overly crowded teeth

-Early removal of specific baby teeth to facilitate the proper eruption of permanent teeth

-Maintaining space for permanent teeth after the premature loss of a baby tooth

-Reducing the protrusion of upper incisors to decrease the likelihood of fracture from trauma

What are the advantages of interceptive orthodontics?

Some of the most direct results of interceptive treatment are:

-Creating room for crowded, erupting teeth

-Creating facial symmetry by influencing jaw growth

-Reducing the risk of trauma to protruding front teeth

-Preserving space for unerupted teethLas Vegas Cosmetic Dentist Marielaina Perrone DDS

-Expanding the palate to properly position back molars

-Reducing the need for tooth removal

-Reducing treatment time

Is your child a candidate for Interceptive Orthodontics?

Orthodontics is not just for improving the appearance of the smile. Orthodontic treatment improves malocclusions.  Malocclusions occur as a result of tooth or jaw misalignment. Malocclusions affect the way you smile, chew, clean your teeth or even the way you feel about your smile. Recent studies have shown that malocclusions left untreated can result in problems as we age. Crowded teeth are much more difficult to brush and floss which may contribute to tooth decay and periodontal disease. Protruding teeth are more susceptible to accidental chipping. Crossbites can result in unfavorable growth and uneven tooth wear. Openbites can result in tongue-thrusting habits and speech impediments.

Interceptive Orthodontics Conclusion

In the end, orthodontics is not just about a pretty smile. It adds to ones function and ability to maintain healthy teeth throughout their lives.

Just about everyone will grind their teeth from time to time. Grinding of your teeth (bruxism is the medical term for this) on rare occasions generally does not cause any harm. But when teeth grinding and clenching occurs on a regular basis damage can occur to the teeth, surrounding tissues, and other oral health complications can present themselves.

What is Teeth Grinding?

teeth grinding

Bruxism is the term that refers to a constant grinding and clenching of the teeth and jaws, unintentionally, and at inappropriate times. Bruxers (people with bruxism) are often unaware that they have developed this terrible habit. They often do not know or realize that treatment is available until damage to the mouth and teeth has already been done. Bruxism damage can present itself in a variety of ways. Every individual may experience symptoms a little differently.

Stress and anxiety are often thought as the major culprits of grinding. But it often occurs during sleep and is just as likely to be caused by an abnormal bite alignment (occlusion) or missing or crooked teeth.

Bruxism is considered to be a habit rather than a normal reflexive chewing activity. Reflexive events are responses to various stimuli and always occur without you being able to stop them (like the little hammer on the knee which makes your leg kick). Chewing and clenching can be controlled either consciously or subconsciously by the brain. During sleep, and often during daytime awake hours when we are distracted, our subconscious can take over allowing teeth grinding to happen. Bruxism can be quite rhythmic in nature. Researchers have classified bruxism as a habitual behavior and a sleep disorder.

Signs and symptoms of bruxism or teeth grinding can include:

-Anxiety, stress, and/ or tension. This can include tense musculature of the face and jaws. Waking up with an ache in the jaws face or teeth, or a headache.

-Teeth appear worn down or loose. Wear occurs from the aggressive movement of the teeth against one another. Although all teeth may show this type wear, it is especially noticeable when a person has front teeth that appear having theteeth grinding same length, as if they were somehow filed down.

-Chipped or cracked teeth. As teeth become worn, the edges of front teeth and the cusps (or corners) of back teeth will begin to show tiny fractures or cracks. These cracks generally can not be visualized by x-rays. It takes magnified vision or use of a dental microscope to diagnose them. Teeth with these type of fractures may eventually require further extensive treatment to restore their function. This could include large fillings, crowns, or even root canal therapy. Root canal treatment would be needed if the nerve was so inflamed that it could no longer heal itself, or a fracture extended into the nerve or pulpal area of the tooth allowing bacteria to leak in.

-Tooth sensitivity that is quite pronounced. Can be a constant ache, sensitive to touch or chewing,  hot, cold, or even sweet sensitivity.

-Receding gums and/or teeth with notches in them at the gum line. Most people have been told or assume that receding gums occur because of age, aggressive brushing or the presence of periodontal disease. In the majority of cases this is wrong.Bruxism These are called abrasion areas. When teeth grind hard against each other over time, the teeth will flex at the gum line and the enamel (which becomes quite thin in this area) micro fractures away. You end up with an area at the gum line that you can catch your fingernail in and can get very sensitive to touch and/or cold due to exposure of the root and closeness to the nerve endings.

-Jaws falling out of normal position or locking.

-Wearing away of the tooth enamel, exposing the dentin under the enamel.

-A popping or clicking in the temporomandibular joint (TMJ).

-Damage to the inside of the cheek tissues and tongue. Sometimes a bruxer will actually bite themselves on inside of the cheeks and tongue, (especially in the back part of the molar area).

The symptoms of bruxism can resemble other conditions or medical problems.

How is Bruxism Diagnosed?Teeth grinding

During routine dental examinations, your dentist will examine the teeth for evidence of bruxism. This often noted by the damage to the teeth. If the signs are present, the dentist may ask you some follow up questions to see if you have any of the other symptoms, such as snoring.It has been found that patients who both snore and grind have a much higher chance of developing sleep apnea.

Treatment

The goals of treatment are to reduce or remove pain, prevent permanent damage to the teeth, and to decrease the actual clenching. Treatment generally includes a custom made nightguard. The night guard is made for you to hold your teeth in a better position and protect your teeth when you grind to absorb the force of biting. This guard may help to prevent future damage to the teeth and aid in changing the patient’s behavior over time.

As always maintain a regular schedule of visiting your dentist so that these issues can be diagnosed in a timely manner should they arise. Also, of note is that this can affect children as well.