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Posts for: August, 2018

By The Brace Place Orthodontics
August 23, 2018
Category: Oral Health

Fans of the legendary rock band Steely Dan received some sad news a few months ago: Co-founder Walter Becker died unexpectedly at the age of 67. The cause of his death was an aggressive form of esophageal cancer. This disease, which is related to oral cancer, may not get as much attention as some others. Yet Becker's name is the latest addition to the list of well-known people whose lives it has cut short—including actor Humphrey Bogart, writer Christopher Hitchens, and TV personality Richard Dawson.

As its name implies, esophageal cancer affects the esophagus: the long, hollow tube that joins the throat to the stomach. Solid and liquid foods taken into the mouth pass through this tube on their way through the digestive system. Worldwide, it is the sixth most common cause of cancer deaths.

Like oral cancer, esophageal cancer generally does not produce obvious symptoms in its early stages. As a result, by the time these diseases are discovered, both types of cancer are most often in their later stages, and often prove difficult to treat successfully. Another similarity is that dentists can play an important role in oral and esophageal cancer detection.

Many people see dentists more often than any other health care professionals—at recommended twice-yearly checkups, for example. During routine examinations, we check the mouth, tongue, neck and throat for possible signs of oral cancer. These may include lumps, swellings, discolorations, and other abnormalities—which, fortunately, are most often harmless. Other symptoms, including persistent coughing or hoarseness, difficulty swallowing, and unexplained weight loss, are common to both oral and esophageal cancer. Chest pain, worsening heartburn or indigestion and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) can also alert us to the possibility of esophageal cancer.

Cancer may be a scary subject—but early detection and treatment can offer many people the best possible outcome. If you have questions about oral or esophageal cancer, call our office or schedule a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine article “Oral Cancer.”

By The Brace Place Orthodontics
August 21, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: braces  

The way that you care for your smile says a lot about how much your prioritize your dental health. But some tooth-related issues are out ofmetal bracket braces your control, like teeth that grow in crooked, crowding each other, or protruding forward. Misaligned teeth are mostly caused by heredity, but they can be readjusted with a customized orthodontic treatment. Allow an orthodontist at The Brace Place in Ponte Vedra and Jacksonville Beach, FL, to help you care for your smile with braces.

Types of Braces
Braces are the go-to solution when your teeth are out of place. Some people assume that the only solution is the classic metal brackets and wires that are common in orthodontic treatments for children. But there may be more than one way to get your teeth into a better position. Some patients, namely older teenagers and adults with healthy teeth, may be candidates for clear aligners (removable trays). Another option if you are concerned about appearance is lingual braces, which are hidden behind the teeth.

Braces and Your Smile
Braces do more than just give you a more visually appealing smile. They correct the way that your teeth and jaw function. In addition to shifting the teeth horizontally, braces also change the position of the jaw so that the teeth meet together more comfortably when you bite down. Additionally, braces can make it easier for you and your Ponte Vedra and Jacksonville Beach orthodontist to properly clean your teeth and keep them free from plaque. This is particularly true when you have crowded teeth.

Discussing Orthodontics with Your Dentist
In order to decide which orthodontic method will work best for your case, you must talk to your dentist and ask plenty of questions about what the treatments will entail. Lifestyle factors will play a role—for instance, if you are a very busy person who must meet with others in professional or social environments often, you may want to opt for invisible aligners or lingual braces. If you have more serious orthodontic issues, you may have to get metal or ceramic braces.

Call for Braces
If you think that braces will help your smile, talk to an orthodontist at The Brace Place in Ponte Vedra and Jacksonville Beach, FL, about the option that will work best for you. Call (904) 222-8588 today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Josh Goldknopf.

By The Brace Place Orthodontics
August 17, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Invisalign  

Having your teeth straightened is a process that normally takes multiple years to complete, but thanks to a treatment called Invisalign invisalignsome patients can get results in much less time. Invisalign is the orthodontic option that is often best for  adults,  because they can’t always afford the inconveniences that come with wearing metal braces. Find out more about this orthodontic method when you go to your orthodontist at The Brace Place Orthodontics in Ponte Vedra and Jacksonville Beach, FL.

Invisalign Braces
Metal braces are very effective at aligning the teeth, but they are clunky, dark in color, and uncomfortable to wear. There is a way to align your crooked, crowded, or gapped teeth invisibly without the need for permanent metal brackets and wires. The treatment is called Invisalign and it is very popular with older teens and adults. Invisalign uses molded plastic devices to train the teeth into the proper position. 

Advantages of Invisalign for Adults 
Invisalign is the ideal choice for adults because it provides the same orthodontic results without the need for a permanent device. You won’t have to worry about living with a distracting, unattractive smile for several years. You can remove the aligner whenever you’d like for brushing or flossing. Career-oriented adults prefer this treatment because they often find themselves in very important social and professional engagements. Your Ponte Vedra and Jacksonville Beach, FL,  orthodontist  will estimate the length of your treatment plan, which is usually about a year to 18  months,  so that you can plan accordingly.

Making the Best of Your Invisalign Treatment
If you decide to go with Invisalign to straighten your teeth, you must make certain commitments to ensure a successful treatment. For one, you must wear your device at least 20 to 22 hours per day. You must also keep your teeth clean and free from tartar buildup to avoid gum disease. You’re required to visit your dentist every few weeks for checkups and to receive your new aligner tray. This allows your dentist to monitor the progress of your treatment.

See If Invisalign Is Right for Your Case
You may be an ideal candidate for Invisalign adult braces. Orthodontist Dr. Josh Goldknopf at The Brace Place Orthodontics in Ponte Vedra and Jacksonville Beach, FL, can help you make that determination. Call (904) 222-8588 today for an appointment.

By The Brace Place Orthodontics
August 13, 2018
Category: Oral Health

When your braces finally come off, you’ll hopefully be astounded by what you see –once-crooked teeth replaced by a more attractive smile. But you might also see something you didn’t expect: noticeable white spots on some of your teeth.

These spots called white spot lesions (WSLs) appear lighter than the surrounding tooth enamel due to mineral loss just beneath the surface. This happens because bacterial or food acids have contacted the enamel surface for too long and dissolved the underlying calcium and other minerals. This results in a small discolored and chalky-like area in the enamel.

WSLs are common during orthodontics because wires and brackets create hard to reach places for brushing and flossing, which can accumulate bacterial plaque. The bacteria produce acid, which weakens the enamel at these places. The tiny white spots that result are more than just unattractive—they can become entry points into the tooth for decay. That’s why they should be dealt with as soon as possible—and preferably before they’re created.

To that end, you’ll need to do as thorough a job as possible brushing and flossing while undergoing orthodontic treatment. To improve your thoroughness try using an interproximal toothbrush that can maneuver more closely around braces hardware than a regular brush. You can also improve your flossing with a floss threader or a water flosser, a device that sprays pressurized water to loosen and flush away plaque.

If you do develop WSLs, there are some things we can do to treat them. We can attempt to re-mineralize the affected enamel with the help of topical fluoride (either pastes or gels for home use or with an office application) or a re-mineralizing agent. We can also use techniques like microabrasion, which restores damaged areas beneath the surface, or inject a liquid, tooth-colored resin beneath the WSL’s surface to improve appearance and protect against decay.

If while wearing braces you do notice any white spots or other tooth discoloration let your dentist or orthodontist know right away. The sooner your dental providers can begin dealing with potential WSLs the better your chances for a healthy and beautiful outcome after braces.

If you would like more information on oral hygiene 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 “White Spots on Teeth During Orthodontic Treatment.”

By The Brace Place Orthodontics
August 03, 2018
Category: Oral Health

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. 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.

If you would like more information on bite development in children, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.