Posts for: August, 2017
Straightening your teeth with orthodontic treatment can seem like a big undertaking. However, if you wish there was a way to straighten your teeth without the hassle of traditional metal braces, you may benefit from Invisalign. This revolutionary orthodontic treatment can straighten your teeth and correct your bite without the rest of the world knowing thanks to its clear aligner trays. Find out more about Invisalign with Dr. Michael Babcock, Dr. Tom Morgan at Babcock & Morgan Family Dental in Prior Lake, MN.
How does Invisalign work?
Unlike traditional braces, Invisalign does not use metal brackets and wires that are attached to the teeth. Invisalign’s design uses plastic aligner trays to move the teeth little by little into their final positions. The trays come in a series, the number of which depends on the severity of the condition. Patients wear each tray in the series, one after the other, for about two weeks each until the end of treatment. In some cases, small, tooth-colored bumps placed onto the teeth help the trays apply less or more pressure to certain areas of the teeth to pinpoint the route in which the teeth will move.
Can Invisalign help my smile?
Invisalign treats the same orthodontic issues as traditional braces, including:
- crooked or misaligned teeth
- under crowding
- uneven teeth
Invisalign Treatment in Prior Lake, MN
While traditional metal braces force you to sacrifice your look, Invisalign’s clear aligner trays allow you to straighten your teeth discreetly. The trays, custom-made from comfortable plastic especially for your teeth, fit into your mouth exactly, becoming almost invisible while worn. Patients remove the trays to brush their teeth and eat, eliminating the need to add extra steps to your oral care routine or avoid certain foods that would damage or break traditional metal braces.
If you think Invisalign is for you, you should consult with your orthodontist to determine if this is the best course of treatment for your teeth. For more information on Invisalign, please contact Dr. Michael Babcock, Dr. Tom Morgan at Babcock & Morgan Family Dental in Prior Lake, MN. Call (952) 447-4611 to schedule your appointment with your orthodontist today!
Sending the kids back to school means it's time to start packing those lunch boxes! What your children eat and drink can have a big effect on their oral health. So it's important to know what the best choices are… and what to avoid. Here are some tips for sending your kids off with a tooth-healthy school lunch every day.
Tip 1: Avoid Sugary Drinks
The scientific evidence is overwhelming that sugar is the most important dietary factor in causing tooth decay, and soft drinks are the largest source of sugar in many kids' diets. Even natural fruit juices have unhealthy amounts of sugar. So when it comes to beverages, keep it simple: H₂0 is the way to go!
Tip 2: Get Creative With Shapes & Flavors
Healthy food that's low in sugar doesn't have to be boring! You can use cookie-cutters to shape calcium-rich cheese and whole-grain bread into flowers, stars — even dinosaurs. Unbuttered popcorn can be flavor-boosted with a dash of cinnamon or parmesan cheese. There are all kinds of ways to get creative.
Tip 3: Sweeten The Deal With Fruits & Veggies
While fruits and vegetables do have some sugar, they are a good choice for a healthy smile — and a healthy body. That's because they also contain plenty of water and fiber, which slows the body's absorption of the sugar… and even helps clean the teeth! Kids enjoy the naturally sweet taste of bite-sized fruits and vegetables like cherry tomatoes, baby carrots and seedless grapes. And the cheerful, bright colors of these nutritious little nuggets make them even harder to resist!
Of course, even with a healthy diet, your kids still need to practice good oral hygiene at home, and have regular professional cleanings at the dental office. If you have any questions about nutrition or oral hygiene, contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. And have a happy, healthy — and delicious — return to school!
Sure, it’s big news when celebs tweet selfies from the dental office… if you’re still living in the 20th century. But in Hollywood today, it’s harder to say who hasn’t posted snaps of themselves in the dentist’s chair than who has. Yet the pictures recently uploaded to Twitter by Mark Salling, the actor and singer who regularly appears as Noah “Puck” Puckerman on the popular TV series Glee, made us sit up and take notice.
“Getting my chipped tooth fixed. Also, apparently, I’m a big grinder,” read the caption. The photo showed a set of upper front teeth with visible chips on the biting surface. What’s so special about this seemingly mundane tweet? It’s a great way of bringing attention to a relatively common, but often overlooked problem: teeth clenching and grinding, also called bruxism.
Although bruxism is a habit that affects scores of people, many don’t even realize they have it. That’s because the condition may only become active at night. When the teeth are unconsciously ground together, the forces they produce can wear down the enamel, cause chipping or damage to teeth or dental work (such as veneers or fillings), or even loosen a tooth! While it’s common in children under 11 years old, in adults it can be a cause for concern.
Sometimes, mouth pain, soreness and visible damage alert individuals to their grinding habits; other times, a dental professional will notice the evidence of bruxism during an exam or cleaning: tooth sensitivity and telltale wear and tear on the chewing surfaces. Either way, it’s time to act.
Bruxism is most often caused by stress, which can negatively impact the body in many ways. It may also result from bite problems, the overuse of stimulating substances (caffeine, alcohol, tobacco, and illegal drugs), and as a side effect of certain medications. Sometimes, simply becoming aware of the habit can help a person get it under control. Common methods of stress reduction include exercise, meditation, a warm bath or a quiet period before bedtime; these can be tried while we monitor the situation to see if the problem is going away.
If stress reduction alone doesn’t do the trick, several other methods can be effective. When bruxism is caused by a minor bite problem, we can sometimes do a minor “bite adjustment” in the office. This involves removing a tiny bit of enamel from an individual tooth that is out of position, bringing it in line with the others. If it’s a more serious malocclusion, orthodontic appliances or other procedures may be recommended.
When grinding is severe enough to damage teeth or dental work, we may also recommend a custom-made night guard (occlusal guard), which you put in your mouth at bedtime. Comfortable and secure, this appliance prevents your teeth from being damaged by contacting each other, and protects your jaw joints from stresses due to excessive grinding forces.
Whether or not you have to smile for a living, teeth grinding can be a big problem. If you would like more information about this condition, call our office to schedule a consultation for a consultation.