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Posts for category: Oral Health

By The Brace Place Orthodontics
October 25, 2021
Category: Oral Health
Tags: Overbite  

Problems with your dental alignment don't just affect how your smile looks. They also affect biting, chewing, and speaking. Dr. Josh Goldknopf of The Brace Place Orthodontics offers orthodontics in Ponte Vedra, and Jacksonville Beach, FL, to correct your dental alignment.

What Is an Overbite?

An overbite is a dental issue affecting your teeth's alignment. An overbite means your upper teeth extend farther than your lower teeth. Skeletal overbite is due to genetics affecting the shape of your teeth and jaw bone. On the other hand, overbites can occur due to childhood habits such as finger sucking and pacifier use that affect your jaw alignment.

Complications of Overbite

Untreated overbite affects more than your appearance. Possible health complications from overbites include:

  • Jaw pain
  • Gum disease
  • Trouble breathing
  • Severe headaches
  • Speech problems
  • Pain while eating

Correcting Your Overbite

Orthodontics in Ponte Vedra, and Jacksonville Beach, FL, can help correct your overbite. Overbite treatment is usually much easier on children and teenagers because their jaws are easier to manipulate. Setting up an orthodontic appointment with us if you've got an overbite is the first step of treatment. We will assess the degree of overbite during your appointment. We may require an X-ray to get a clearer picture of your dental problem. These exams and tests will help us develop a treatment plan.

Braces can help correct your overbite by using gentle pressure to shift your teeth into the proper position. We will walk you through your orthodontic options and so that you get the best results. In some cases, tooth extraction may be part of your orthodontic treatment. This option works better in children. The baby teeth are removed to create room for the child's permanent teeth to grow straight. Tooth extractions may be part of your orthodontic treatment in adults if other options aren't effective.

Don't ignore your overbite. Orthodontics in Ponte Vedra, and Jacksonville Beach, FL, can help improve your smile. Call (904) 222-8588 to schedule your consultation with Dr. Goldknopf of The Brace Place Orthodontics today.

By The Brace Place Orthodontics
October 11, 2021
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral hygiene   braces  
GumSwellingCanHappenWithBraces-HeresHowtoAvoidIt

A few months into wearing braces you may notice your gums are swollen. It's likely you've developed periodontal (gum) disease.

Gum disease is a bacterial infection that usually begins with dental plaque. This thin, accumulated biofilm on teeth is filled with bacteria that cause dental disease. The more of it that remains on your teeth, the higher your risk for a gum infection.

In addition to regular dental cleanings, the best way for a person to reduce their gum disease risk is to remove plaque on a daily basis through brushing and flossing. Unfortunately, wearing braces complicates this: The brackets and wires affixed to your teeth can get in the way of your toothbrush and regular dental floss. As a result, you can easily miss plaque hidden around these bits of hardware.

Aside from gum disease, the braces themselves can irritate your gums. This irritation inflames the gums and may even cause more tissue to grow. Compound this overgrowth with a possible gum infection and it's no wonder your gums are severely swollen.

To lessen the chances of swollen gums with braces, you'll need to beef up your daily hygiene efforts. Simply put, it will typically take more time than normal to thoroughly clean around your braces. A few specialized tools, though, might make it easier.

An interproximal brush with a narrower head than a regular toothbrush is useful for accessing tight places around brackets. And a floss threader or a water flosser (which uses pressurized water to loosen and remove plaque) may help you better maneuver around wires to remove plaque between teeth.

Keeping your teeth clean as possible will certainly help you avoid gum swelling due to disease. But swelling from tissue overgrowth may not be resolved until your braces come off. In severe cases, it may even be necessary to remove the braces to treat the gums before resuming orthodontic treatment.

In any case, be as thorough as possible with your oral hygiene efforts during orthodontics and see your regular dentist for cleanings every six months. When you have completed orthodontic treatment, cleanings every six months are usually recommended. It's the best way to keep your gums healthy while you're wearing braces.

If you would like more information on dental care while wearing braces, 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 “Gum Swelling During Orthodontics.”

By The Brace Place Orthodontics
October 01, 2021
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral hygiene   braces  
PracticalTipsforKeepingYourTeethCleanWhileWearingBraces

Wearing braces can pose challenges for your daily life and habits. One in particular is trying to keep your teeth and gums clean.

Braces or not, your oral hygiene needs to be thorough. Every day, your teeth accumulate a thin film of bacteria and food particles called dental plaque that can cause tooth decay or gum disease. It's essential to remove as much as possible each day by brushing and flossing.

That's a more difficult task with braces. The brackets and wires interfere with accessing many of your teeth's surfaces with a toothbrush or floss. As a result, braces wearers on average have a higher incidence of dental disease than non-wearers.

But while it's difficult to keep your mouth clean wearing braces, it's not impossible. Here are some tips and tools for making oral hygiene easier during orthodontic treatment.

A low-sugar diet. Besides items like chips that could damage your braces, you should also limit your consumption of foods and snacks with added sugar.  This carbohydrate is a primary food source for disease-causing bacteria. Limiting sugar in your diet can help reduce plaque buildup.

The right toothbrush. Brushing with braces is easier if you use a soft multi-tufted brush with microfine bristles. The smaller bristles maneuver better around the braces than larger bristled brushes. You'll still need to make multiple passes above and below the wires to be sure you're brushing all tooth surfaces.

Flossing tools. Traditional flossing using just your fingers can be next to impossible to perform with braces. But a tool like a floss holder or threader can make it easier to get between teeth. You might also try a water flosser that removes plaque from between teeth with a pressurized spray of water.

Dental treatments. Your dentist can give your teeth extra protection while you're wearing braces with topically applied fluoride to strengthen enamel. Using mouthrinses with an antibacterial ingredient like chlorhexidine may also reduce harmful bacteria.

Be sure you also keep up regular visits with your family dentist while wearing braces, and especially if you begin to notice puffy and reddened gums or unusual spots on your teeth. The sooner any case of dental disease is detected, the less impact it will have on your dental health.

If you would like more information on dental care while undergoing orthodontic treatment, 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 “Caring for Teeth During Orthodontic Treatment.”

By The Brace Place Orthodontics
September 23, 2021
Category: Oral Health
Tags: braces  

Braces straighten your teeth, but they require a few extra steps while you have them to care for your smile correctly. Dr. Josh Goldknopf and his talented team at The Brace Place Orthodontics in Jacksonville Beach, FL, and Ponte Verde, FL, love helping people properly care for braces so they can have the best smile with and without them.

Why Braces Work So Well

Humans have been attempting to straighten their teeth for as far back as ancient times. There's been a lot of time to perfect the dental straightening technology. Braces work so well because the teeth are programmed to move ever so slightly with constant slight pressure. Since braces provide constant pressure, the teeth will slowly move into their new desired alignment. Braces will be worn for usually around two years or more while the teeth straighten themselves out. During those two-plus years, the orthodontist at The Brace Place Orthodontics in Jacksonville Beach, FL, works to complete each patient's orthodontic stint successfully.

Special Care for Braces in Jacksonville, FL

In addition to brushing throughout the day with toothpaste designed for braces, you'll want to be sure to use interdental cleaners after each meal or snack time to remove food particles stuck in between your brackets. Flossing will take slightly extra time as you maneuver around the wires and brackets. Always use a mouthwash to get the extra bits gone and the places you can't reach with a brush or floss extra clean. These habits alone will help keep bacteria at bay.

In addition to these behaviors, you'll also need to avoid eating certain foods if you have braces in Jacksonville, FL. Don't eat extra soft or sticky foods like hard candies, bagels, or cotton candy. Avoid hard and crunchy foods like chewing on ice, raw nuts, or toffee. Don't eat anything you have to bite hard down to chew, like raw apples or carrots. Eating anything like this increases the risk of damage to your dental mechanisms, and that food will get stuck behind a bracket, making it very difficult to remove.

Lip Gloss and a Braces Care Kit are Your Friends

You'll want to keep your lips moist while you have braces to avoid any extra cracking or discomfort. A braces care kit includes a toothbrush, toothpaste, dental floss, interdental cleaners, and orthodontic wax. Using all of these things regularly, especially while you're out and about, will keep that mouth super healthy.

When you're looking for braces in Jacksonville, FL, contact Dr. Goldknopf at The Brace Place Orthodontics in Jacksonville Beach, FL, at 904-222-8588 today for an appointment. They also have an office serving the Ponte Verde, FL, community and can be reached at 904-249-0037. 

VanHalensPassingRemindsUsoftheDangersofOralCancerandHowtoHelpPreventIt

Fans everywhere were recently saddened by the news of musical legend Eddie Van Halen's death. Co-founder and lead guitarist for the iconic rock group Van Halen, the 65-year-old superstar passed away from oral cancer.

Van Halen's rise to worldwide fame began in the 1970s with his unique guitar style and energetic performances, but behind the scenes, he struggled with his health. In 2000, he was successfully treated for tongue cancer. He remained cancer-free until 2018 when he was diagnosed with throat cancer to which he succumbed this past October.

Van Halen claimed the metal guitar picks he habitually held in his mouth caused his tongue cancer. It's more likely, though, that his heavy cigarette smoking and alcohol use had more to do with his cancers.

According to the American Cancer Society, most oral cancer patients are smokers and, as in Van Halen's case, are more likely to beat one form of oral cancer only to have another form arise in another part of the mouth. Add in heavy alcohol consumption, and the combined habits can increase the risk of oral cancer a hundredfold.

But there are ways to reduce that risk by making some important lifestyle changes. Here's how:

Quit tobacco. Giving up tobacco, whether smoked or smokeless, vastly lowers your oral cancer risk. It's not easy to kick the habit solo, but a medically supervised cessation program or support group can help.

Limit alcohol. If you drink heavily, consider giving up alcohol or limiting yourself to just one or two drinks a day. As with tobacco, it can be difficult doing it alone, so speak with a health professional for assistance.

Eat healthy. You can reduce your cancer risk by avoiding processed foods with nitrites or other known carcinogens. Instead, eat fresh fruits and vegetables with antioxidants that fight cancer. A healthy diet also boosts your overall dental and bodily health.

Practice hygiene. Keeping teeth and gums healthy also lowers oral cancer risk. Brush and floss daily to remove dental plaque, the bacterial film on teeth most responsible for dental disease. You should also visit us every six months for more thorough dental cleanings and checkups.

One last thing: Because oral cancer is often diagnosed in its advanced stages, be sure you see us if you notice any persistent sores or other abnormalities on your tongue or the inside of your mouth. An earlier diagnosis of oral cancer can vastly improve the long-term prognosis.

Although not as prevalent as other forms of cancer, oral cancer is among the deadliest with only a 60% five-year survival rate. Making these changes toward a healthier lifestyle can help you avoid this serious disease.

If you would like more information about preventing oral cancer, please contact us or schedule a consultation. To learn more, read the Dear Doctor magazine articles “How a Routine Dental Visit Saved My Life” and “Strategies to Stop Smoking.”