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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.

Flossing is often overlooked as part our oral hygiene regimen. Although it is often overlooked, it is essential to maintaining healthy teeth and gums. Brushing alone cannot remove food debris and bacteria in and around our teeth. Flossing is able to reach areas in between teeth and in the back areas of the mouth. Flossing really is a simple act, but many often overlook it and ignore the habit of flossing. For those of us who do floss, improper technique can also cause problems.

Common Flossing Mistakes

1. Skipping The Back Teeth – When we floss it is essential to not only concentrate on the front teeth. It is equally important to get in the back of the mouth, between and around molars, and keep those areas clean. This removes food and plaque bacteria in areas from which a toothbrush can not reach. You need to keep your teeth as clean as possible to avoid the onset of periodontal disease and tooth decay.

2. Not Rotating The Floss At Each Area – The purpose of flossing is to remove bacteria, food debris, and bacteria from between the teeth. If you do not rotate the floss at each tooth you are just replacing the removed bacteria and debris back into the mouth.

3. Flossing Too Aggressively – Some of our teeth have tighter spaces than others and this could cause a more aggressive approach to flossing. It is better to gently work the floss up and down between your teeth, following the natural curve of the tooth, so as not to snap the floss down and cut your gums. You should floss using a mirror to watch what you are doing, it is easier to see if you are missing anything. You should NEVER , “shoeshine” your teeth. Side to side aggressive motion, over time, causes notches into the roots of the teeth.

4. Not Flossing Because Your Gums Bleed – At times our gums can bleed if we are not maintaining proper oral hygiene. This is the earliest sign of periodontal disease, called “Gingivitis”. This stage of periodontal disease can be reversed. If you see some blood, continue gentle flossing, and rinsing with warm salt water. As the bacteria and irritants are removed the inflammation will subside and so will the bleeding. It might take 1-2 weeks for that to happen.

5. Keep Track Of Where You Are Flossing – It can be very easy to miss a tooth or two while flossing. Create a good routine to keep on track and not get distracted.

6. Not Flossing At All! – This is the biggest mistake! Many have been lucky enough not to have decay or serious problems, and have never flossed. This may have “worked” for you in your youth, but it will put you at risk for periodontal disease as you get older. People who have never had a cavity, and do not have good oral hygiene habits are at much higher risk for gum disease. Those pearly whites may stay beautiful until they day they all start to fall out!


Don’t wait for problems to begin. Floss regularly and correctly, and you are setting yourself up for good success in maintaining your oral health. Remember, to floss gently, properly, and often. As many dentists say,” You don’t have to floss all of your teeth, just the ones you want to keep!”.

When thinking about all things dental related, there are many things we may not be aware of. Listed below is an accumulation of strange and interesting facts about teeth, smiles, and dental history.

-Among the first known dentists in the world were the Etruscans. In 700 BC they carved false teeth from the teeth of various mammals, and produced partial bridge work good enough to eat with.

-The first braces were constructed by Pierre Fauchard in 1728 in France . These braces consisted of a flat strip of metal connected to the teeth by pieces of thread.

50’s heart throb James Dean had no front teeth! He wore a bridge.

-Movie star, Cary Grant was born without two of his front teeth, he had no lateral incisors.

-Model, Lauren Hutton, made the “gap” between front teeth, fashionable.

-Tom Cruise corrected his smile with braces at age 39.

-Tongue piercing did not become popular until after the movie, Pulp Fiction.

-The insertion of gems into teeth has long predated hip hop culture, with rich Mayans drilling pieces of jade into their teeth.

-Grills first became popular with hip hop artists in the 1980’s

-The first successful dental implants were done on dogs.

-The first human titanium implants were placed by Branemark in Sweden in 1965.

-Over 1.7 billion dollars is spent annually on tooth whitening products.

-Ancient Romans used urine and goats milk to whiten their teeth.

-The average human produces 25,000 quarts of saliva in a lifetime. That is enough to fill 2 swimming pools!

– A sore jaw, when combined with chest pain, can signal a heart attack-especially in women

-More people use blue toothbrushes vs red ones.

-You are should not keep your toothbrush near a toilet. The airborne particles from the flush can travel up to a distance of 6 feet. Yuck!

-People who drink 3 or more glasses of soda each day have 62% more tooth decay, fillings and tooth loss than others. Put down the pop and sports drinks and pick up some nice fresh water instead.

-80% of people are not happy with their smile.

-In 1994, a prison inmate in West Virginia braided dental floss into a rope, scaled the wall and escaped.
If you don’t floss you are missing  35% of your teeth’s surfaces.

-You should replace your toothbrush at least every three months, and always after you have an episode of flu, cold or other viral infections. Notorious bacteria can implant themselves on the toothbrush bristles leading to re-infection.

-Tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the human body. However, we do not recommend that you use your pearly whites to open bottle caps.

-A recent poll has shown that health professionals (physicians, dentists and nurses) were among the most trusted people in The United States. The least trusted? Lobbyists and congressmen of course!

-According to a recent survey done by Time Magazine, 59% of Americans would rather have a dental appointment than be sitting next to someone talking on a cell phone. Maybe some of us should take a hint!

-According to the Academy of General dentistry, the average person only brushes for 45 to 70 seconds a day, the recommended amount of time is 2-3 minutes.

– 3 out of 4 people in the United States suffer from some form of gum disease. It is the leading cause of tooth loss in people over age 35. The good news is, in most cases gum disease can be prevented or controlled!

-Children smile about 400 times a day.

-Women smile about 62 times a day compared to men who smile eight times a day on average.

-Each person’s set of teeth is unique much like their fingerprints. Even identical twins do not have exactly the same set of teeth. Forensic Dentistry is an integral part of most CSI departments.

-Did you know that your tongue print is also unique?

-Does the hand you write with affect your teeth? It can. Right-handed people, tend to chew food on their right side, while left-handed people tend to chew on their left side.

-50% of people say the smile is the first thing they notice about other people.

-William F. Semple, a dentist from Mount Vernon , OH . was issued the first patent in 1869 for chewing gum.

-Aztec dentists would mix iron fillings, water and navel lint bake and insert it in the cavities to seal it.

-The commonly used practice of putting a cap on toothbrush is actually more detrimental.The moisture entrapped in the cap favors bacterial growth.

-The first toothbrush with bristles was manufactured in China in 1498. Bristles from hogs, horses and badgers were used.

-The first commercial toothbrush was made in 1938.

-You are supposed to replace your toothbrush after you have an episode of flu, cold or other viral infections. Notorious microbes can implant themselves on the toothbrush bristles leading to re-infection.

-New born babies do not have tooth decay bacteria. Often, the bacteria are transmitted from mother to baby when she kisses the child or blows in hot food/drink before feeding the baby.

-Guess who worked as a silversmith, a copper plate engraver, a dentist, and still found time to warn the countryside when the Brits were coming? Paul Revere

-American’s best-known author of western novels, Zane Gray, was a dentist before becoming a writer

-There is a name for the soreness that results when you burn your mouth on melted mozzarella- it’s “pizza palate”.

-What famous artist depicted his stone-faced dentist as a farmer in “American Gothic”? Grant Wood

-83% of people believe their teeth are more important to their appearance than hair and eyes.

-How many athletes avoid dental tragedy each year by covering their pearly whites with mouth guards? 200,000

-Certain cheeses, including aged cheddar, Swiss and Monterey Jack, have been found to protect teeth from decay and help remineralize enamel.

-There are approximately 150,00o licensed dentists in the United States.

-Which Michigan city was the first in the United States to protect its citizens’ teeth by fluoridating the water? Grand Rapids

-Athletes are 60 times more likely to damage their teeth when not wearing a mouth guard during athletic activities

-Long ago, people used to ground up chalk or charcoal, lemon juice, ashes or even a mixture of tobacco and honey to clean their teeth. It was only about 100 years ago that someone finally created a minty cream to clean their teeth and it came to be known as Toothpaste.

-Research says that people with periodontal disease (Gum disease) are at higher risk for developing heart disease, stroke, uncontrolled diabetes, pre-term births and respiratory disease.

-People with gum disease are twice as likely to suffer from coronary artery disease as those without disease.

-Top of the American teeth stakes in the poll for greatest looking teeth were Hollywood actors Brad Pitt and Julia Roberts.

-How much is the Tooth Fairy paying per tooth? Around $2 per tooth. (12/05, Money Magazine)

-32% of Americans cite bad breath as the least attractive trait of their co-workers.

-38.5 total days an average American spends brushing teeth over lifetime.

-73% of Americans would rather go grocery shopping than floss.

-A toothpick is the object most often choked on by Americans.

-Tooth decay remains the most common chronic disease among children ages 5-17 with 59% affected.

-Employed adults lose more than 164 million hours of work each year due to oral health problems or dental visits.

-At  birth the only fully developed organ is the tongue.  It is needed for sucking.

-Royal smile -there is someone whose job includes squeezing Prince Charles’s toothpaste onto the royal toothbrush. That someone is Michael Fawcett, the prince’s personal valet. Since Fawcett is, according to various news reports, the only person Charles trusts with this awesome responsibility, one must presume that the heir to the throne’s dental hygiene declines precipitously whenever the valet goes on vacation.

-50% of Americans do not receive regular oral health care

-In children under age 16, regular brushing with fluoridated toothpaste results in 24 percent fewer cavities than does brushing with non-fluoridated toothpaste.

-People with red hair are more sensitive to pain and consequently need more anesthetic during operations than other patients. Those with red hair needed 20 per cent more anesthetic to numb the pain, according to New Scientist. They also wear through anesthesia more quickly.

-American sweet tooth… Did you know…Americans spent $21 billion on candy in 2001. That is more than the gross national products of Lituania, Costa Rica and Mozambique combined.

-Dentistry is affordable:

Dentistry:  $50 Billion
Pet food:  $50 Billion
Hair care:  $100 Billion
Gambling (legal):  $300 Billion

-More than 300 types of bacteria make up dental plaque.

-The total number of orthodontic patients has doubled since 1971 and today 15 to 20 percent of patients wearing braces are between the ages of 20 and 60.

-Teeth in a growing fetus begin to develop only six weeks after conception

-Among the first known dentists in the world were the Etruscans. In 700 BC they carved false teeth from the teeth of various mammals, and produced partial bridge work good enough to eat with.

-The first braces were constructed by Pierre Fauchard in 1728 in France . These braces consisted of a flat strip of metal connected to the teeth by pieces of thread.

-In Vermont , it is illegal for women to wear false teeth without the written permission of their husband!

-100 years ago 50% of adults in North America were toothless.

-Today less than 10% of adults over age 65 have lost teeth.

-Over three million miles of dental floss is purchased in North America each year

-Tooth Decay is the 2nd most common disease in the U.S. after the common cold.

-Today’s tooth fairy needs a lot more silver than she did in 1900 when she left an average of twelve cents. In 1998, the tooth fairy left an average of one dollar.

-The Blue Whale is the largest mammal on earth, but it eats only tiny shrimp because it has no teeth!

-The snail’s mouth is no larger than the head of a pin, but it can have over 25,000 teeth!

-In 1866 Lucy Beaman Hobbs became the first licensed female dentist.

-George Washington never had wooden teeth. His dentures were made from Gold, hippopotamus tusk, elephant ivory and human teeth.

-Energy drinks have 11% more sugar than regular soda.

-Smokers are three times more likely than non-smokers to lose all of their teeth.

-A tooth that has been knocked out starts to die within 15 minutes, but if you put it in milk or hold it in your mouth it will survive longer.

-A sneeze zooms out of your mouth at over 600 mph.

Tongue Thrusting is a muscular habit of the tongue. It is an action which occurs while swallowing, speaking and at rest. The tongue is thrusted forward and and pushes outward onto the front teeth.

Tongue Thrusting Marielaina Perrone DDS

Early Diagnosis of Tongue Thrusting can prevent long term issues.

It is estimated that we swallow between 1,300 and 2,000 times per day with about 4-5 lbs of pressure per swallow. This constant pressure of the tongue against the teeth will cause the teeth to be forced out of alignment. Children will also sometimes perform tongue thrusting when at rest. This is called nervous thrusting and is a habit that is difficult to correct.

Causes of Tongue Thrusting

After countless studies, there has never been a definitive answer as to why tongue thrusting occurs. There are some ideas as to why tongue thrusting happens. These include:

1) Thumbsucking habit. This builds forward thrusting habits of the tongue, and subsequently, puts extreme pressure on front teeth.

2) Use of artificial nipples on bottles for feeding babies. The texture and rigidity of some nipples will cause the baby to abnormal thrust his or her tongue more than natural breast feeding.

3) Mouth Breathers. Children who breath through their mouths can cause the posture of the tongue to be very low in the mouth. Nasal congestion, allergies, or other nasal obstructions may contribute to this.

4) Swallowing Difficulties. Children sometimes can have difficulty swallowing from enlarged adenoids, enlarged tonsils, or frequent sore throats.

5) Anatomically large tongue. A child with a tongue that is too big for his or her mouth will cause issues with swallowing.

6) Genetics. A child’s jaw line angle may predispose them to tongue thrusting.

7) Muscular, neurological, or other physiological abnormalities

8) Short Lingual Frenum. Also called being tongue tied.

9) Anterior open bite. When there is an anterior open bite, you can not close your front teeth, and you have trouble closing the lips together. Often, a child with an open bite will also have their tongue protruding beyond their lips. This is sometimes due to an abnormally large tongue.

10) Orthodontics. The change in bite and possible constriction of tongue space may contribute to tongue thrusting.

Types of Tongue Thrusting

1) Anterior thrust. This occurs when the lower lip pulls the lower incisors inward, and the upper incisors are extremely protruded. The anterior tongue thrusting is frequently accompanied by a strong muscle of the chin.

2) Unilateral thrust.  This occurs when their is an open bite on one side or the other but not both.

Tongue Thrusting Marielaina Perrone DDS

4) Bilateral thrust. Posterior teeth from the first bicuspid through back molars can be open on both sides and the anterior bite is closed. This type of tongue thrusting is the most difficult to treat.

5) Bilateral anterior open bite. In this type the only teeth that touch are the molars. The bite is completely open on both sides, including the front teeth. A large tongue is often found.

6) Closed bite thrust. In this type of tongue thrusting both the upper and lower teeth are spread apart and flared out. The closed bite thrust is typically a double protrusion.

Is Tongue Thrusting Common?

It is actually quite common to encounter a child between the ages of 5-8 years old with a tongue thrusting issue. Recent studies have shown between 70-90% of children had a tongue thrusting issue that could contribute to an orthodontic or speech problem. In the United States alone between 20 and 80 % of all orthodontic patients exhibit some form of tongue thrusting issue.

Issues Associated with Tongue Thrusting

The force of the tongue against the teeth is an important factor in contributing to misalignment of teeth. Many orthodontists have had the discouraging experience of completing dental treatment, with great results, only to discover that the patient had a tongue thrusting swallowing pattern. This continuous habit will put pressure on the teeth and eventually push them out of alignment and reverse the orthodontic work.

Speech is not usually affected by the tongue thrusting swallowing pattern. The “S” sound (lisping) is the one most affected. The lateral lisp (air forced on the side of the tongue rather than forward) shows dramatic improvement when the tongue thrust is also corrected. However, one problem is not always associated with the other.

At what age does this happen most?

Most children exhibit a tongue thrusting issue from birth because it is considered an infantile swallowing pattern. It is perfectly normal to have this swallowing pattern up to about age 4. Most children outgrow this swallowing pattern and develop the mature pattern of swallowing. Thus they avoid developing a tongue thrust. If the tongue thrusting pattern is not outgrown by age 4 the thrusting gets stronger and becomes a real issue for development.

Tongue Thrusting Diagnosis and Treatment

Diagnosing tongue thrusting can be very difficult. Usually the people who diagnose this will be orthodontists, general dentists, pediatricians or speech therapists. In many cases it is not detected until the child is a bit older and they have a speech or dental problem that needs correcting.

Correction is possible with commitment and cooperation of child and parent. Studies have shown that successful correction of tongue thrusting occurs in 75% of treated cases. Failures occur from lack of commitment by child and/or parent and also when there is a physical or mental developmental issue.

Usually, the tongue thrusting swallowing pattern may be treated in two ways:

1) Correction by MyoFunctional Therapy or Tongue Therapy. This type of therapy is an exercise technique that allows for re-educating the tongue muscles. It is sometimes referred to as physical therapy for the tongue. This is usually performed by a speech therapist through in-office visits and at-home exercises. The length of therapy is often based on the patient and parents cooperation and dedication to following instructions and practice routinely. This type of therapy has proven time and again to give the highest percentage of favorable outcomes.

2) Fabrication of a custom appliance. This appliance is placed in the mouth by the dentist or orthodontist. It is usually not very successful. It does nothing to retrain the tongue so it really has little  long term value.


Tongue thrusting is the reason for misalignment and bite problems for many. Once diagnosed, it can be addressed and treated. Nearly 50% of all patients seeing an orthodontist have tongue thrusting issues. It is important to know if tongue thrusting is an issue for your child, especially before the end phase of orthodontic treatment, so that it can be corrected before a reversion back to malocclusion results. The last thing you want is to lose that pretty smile you’ve worked so hard to attain!