Posts for: October, 2017
Around ages 6 to 8, a child's primary teeth will begin to loosen to make way for their permanent teeth. If all goes well, the new set will come in straight with the upper teeth slightly overlapping the bottom.
But sometimes it doesn't go that well: a child may instead develop a poor bite (malocclusion) that interferes with normal function. If we can detect the early signs of a developing malocclusion, however, we may be able to intervene and lessen its impact. You as a parent can play a vital role in this early detection.
The first thing you should be watching for is teeth spacing.Â Normal teeth come in straight with a slight gap between them. But there are two abnormal extremes to look for: teeth having no space between them or crowded together in a crooked, haphazard manner; or they seem to have too much space between them, which indicates a possible discrepancy between the teeth and jaw sizes.
You should also notice how the teeth come together or “bite.” If you notice the lower front teeth biting in front of the upper (the opposite of normal) it may be a developing underbite. If you see a space between the upper and lower teeth when they bite down, this is a sign of an open bite. Or, if the upper front teeth seem to come down too far over the lower, this could mean a deep bite: in extreme cases the lower teeth actually bite into the roof of the mouth behind the upper teeth.
You should also look for crossbites, in which the teeth in one part of the mouth bite abnormally in front or behind their counterparts, while teeth in other parts bite normally. For example, you might notice if the back upper teeth bite inside the lower teeth (abnormal), while the front upper teeth bite outside the lower front teeth (normal).
The important thing is to note anything that doesn't look right or seems inconsistent with how your child's teeth look or how they function. Even if you aren't sure it's an issue, contact us anyway for an examination. If it really is a developing bite problem, starting treatment now may lessen the extent and cost of treatment later.
The American Dental Hygiene Association has designated October as National Dental Hygiene Month. Good dental hygiene is the best weapon against your mouth’s number one enemy: dental plaque.
Plaque, a sticky biofilm that forms on your teeth, is an accumulation of bacteria, other microorganisms, food debris, and other unpleasant components. It can make your teeth feel fuzzy or slimy. And worse, the bacteria in plaque can lead to tooth decay and gum disease.
The best way to keep plaque at bay is by brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing once a day. But even though you can remove much of the plaque in your mouth with a toothbrush and dental floss, there are nooks and crannies that are hard to access with these basic oral hygiene tools.
Staying on top of dental plaque is an ongoing challenge. Immediately after teeth are cleaned, plaque starts to form again. And the longer plaque stays on teeth, the thicker it grows. Minerals in saliva become incorporated into the biofilm. As plaque takes on more minerals, it becomes calcified. This is when it hardens into calculus, or tartar. At this stage, tooth-brushing and flossing cannot disrupt the hardened layer of buildup, sometimes visible as yellow or brown deposits around the gum line.
This is why it’s important to schedule regular professional dental cleanings. At the dental office, we have special tools to remove tartar and get at those hard-to-reach places that your toothbrush and floss may have missed. If you have questions about dental hygiene, plaque control or another oral health issue, we are happy to talk with you. We are your partners in fighting plaque for a bright, healthy smile!
Read more about the topic in the Dear Doctor magazine article “Plaque Disclosing Agents.”
Often, people find themselves wishing they had an entire smile makeover. In these cases, complex procedures like veneers or orthodontic care may best suit patients’ needs. However, sometimes, the smallest changes can produce the biggest results. Tooth contouring and reshaping procedures use small, subtle changes to improve the appearance of your smile. Find out more about tooth contouring and reshaping with Dr. Joseph Zeigler and Dr. Nina Zeigler in St. Louis, MO.
What is contouring and reshaping?
Contouring and reshaping reshape the outer enamel of the teeth. These small adjustments can make a big impact and are often enough for many patients to feel as though they have undergone a full smile makeover without in-depth or draw-out procedures.
What can I expect during a contouring and reshaping procedure?
Your dentist will start your procedure by examining the teeth and determining which areas will require contouring. They may isolate the tooth to prepare it for the procedure. With the tooth prepared, your dentist will begin shaping the tooth. After the procedure, your dentist will polish the tooth and clean up any problem areas.
What issues do contouring and reshaping treat?
This procedure is versatile and can help in many different situations. Mostly, dentists use contouring and reshaping for teeth which are uneven and too long or too wide. However, contouring and reshaping can also treat teeth which are pointy to even them out and help them better blend into the smile. In some cases, your dentist can even treat slight overlaps in the teeth using contouring and reshaping.
Am I a good candidate for tooth contouring and reshaping?
A good candidate for this procedure should be in good dental health. Their teeth should have no evidence of tooth decay and gum disease. A good at-home oral care routine helps keep the teeth healthy and clean along with regular dental examinations and cleanings.
Tooth Contouring and Reshaping in St. Louis, MO
For more information on tooth contouring and reshaping, please contact Dr. Joseph Zeigler and Dr. Nina Zeigler in St. Louis, MO. Call 314-872-7590 to schedule your appointment with your dentist today!