Don’t Wait Too Long to Start Children’s Orthodontic Treatment

 

A question many parents ask when they bring their child to the dentist is, "When should I have my child evaluated for braces?" Many parents notice as their child’s baby teeth fall out and their permanent teeth begin growing in that those permanent teeth aren’t growing in as straight and evenly spaced as the baby teeth. This naturally causes some crowding, and even some alarm. Thankfully, there’s no reason to panic. Orthodontics doesn’t have to be scary or complicated. Here’s what you should know about planning an orthodontic treatment for your child.

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What’s the Difference Between These Dental Professionals?

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_288954563.jpgYou may have noticed that some dentists have different letters at the end of their names. For example, Dr. Abelar’s title is "Martin P. Abelar, DDS." You may have also noticed other dentists who have the letters DMD at the end of their name. So, what’s the difference between DDS and DMD? And while we’re on the subject, what’s the difference between a dentist, periodontist, orthodontist and maxillofacial surgeon? Or between a dental hygienist and a dental assistant? Is one more qualified than the other? Here’s the lowdown on the differences in titles and abbreviations in dentistry.

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Dental Safety Gear Explained

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_587430104.jpgIf you’ve ever set foot inside a dental practice, chances are you’ve noticed a few things that set the dental office staff apart from the patients. We’re not just talking about the fact that they are performing your exam - they are also dressed differently than patients. So, what’s the deal with the garb? Why does your dental staff wear certain articles of clothing and protective gear?

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Drinking for Better Teeth?

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_160629524.jpgWith spring here and everyone heading back outside to enjoy the beautiful weather, it’s of paramount importance to stay hydrated. In fact, it's absolutely vital to our survival, since much of our bodies are made up of water. Did you know that 80 percent of our blood is made of water, and that 85 percent of our brain is water? Even 70 percent of our muscle tissue is water! So staying hydrated is absolutely crucial to our survival.

Of course, not everyone loves water. It’s not fizzy or flavored, not colored, and it doesn’t really do much to boost your energy level like a cup of coffee would. Thankfully for those of us who cannot exist on water alone, there are a bevy of beverage options to choose from out there. But you may be left wondering which of these options are actually good for our teeth - and which of them are really bad. Here’s the lowdown on some surprisingly good (and maybe surprisingly bad!) drink options for our oral health.

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How Much Pain Is Normal with New Braces?

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_486598651.jpgBraces are one of those necessary evils that nobody particularly wants but almost nobody regrets getting once they come off. The good news is that they usually work really well - and they don’t stay on forever (despite how it feels sometimes!). The bad news is that, unfortunately, they aren’t always the most comfortable or easy-to-clean oral appliances. If you’re hesitant about getting braces because of a fear of potential discomfort, check out this blog about what to expect when you get braces.

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Bacteria Gum Could Help Improve Oral Health

b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_3156379.jpgStreptococcus salivarius. It sounds like a bad guy from a Harry Potter book - and in the right conditions, it really is a bad guy to the harmful bacteria in your mouth. But when used to fight that harmful bacteria, Streptococcus salivarius (or S. salivarius) can be extremely beneficial to your overall oral health. That’s because S. salivarius is what is known as a probiotic bacterium, a good bacterium that destroys other, bad bacteria - namely the kind responsible for everything from cavities to bad breath.

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Love Red Wine? Here’s One More Reason to Raise a Glass

b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_486675022.jpgIf you follow health news, chances are you’ve probably already heard of something called a polyphenol. Polyphenols are compounds that contain multiple phenolic hydroxyl groups, or any compound that contains six-membered aromatic rings that are directly bonded to a hydroxyl group. While this probably doesn’t mean a whole lot to the average person, the important takeaway is that polyphenols are good for you. They have been found to do everything from acting as an antioxidant, which can reduce and prevent health issues including heart disease and diabetes, to acting as a prebiotic, which can increase the number of good bacteria in your gut, aiding in digestion, weight management and even disease prevention.

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Common Questions About Dental Implants

b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_294243569.jpgWhether you are already missing teeth or you are facing the loss of a permanent tooth, an increasingly popular solution is the installation of dental implants. A dental implant is a permanent prosthetic tooth (crown) that secures via a metal post that is implanted into the jaw. When properly installed, the crown looks and feels just like a natural tooth. But in order to achieve a flawless installation, there are some steps you should take before you even lose the tooth your crown is replacing. If you’re considering dental implants, here are some facts you should consider.

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Adults and Braces

b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_404002636.jpgBe honest: When you think about wearing braces, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? For most adults, it's probably those already-awkward teen years spent with your teeth crisscrossed in painful metal brackets that not only made you feel self-conscious, but also robbed you of the many joys of teen and preteen fun, like bubblegum, potato chips and, yes, even first kisses. But today, braces – and the faces of those who wear them – are changing. Braces aren’t just for kids anymore. In fact, here at Dr. Abelar’s practice, the average age of braces wearers is not a tender 14, but 40!

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How to Cut Costs at the Dentist

b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_331734899.jpgThe new year is in full swing, bringing with it new goals, new resolutions and, yes, even new insurance plans. For many Americans, a new policy, or changes to an old policy, can be very stressful, especially if your coverage has changed.

One area where coverage can often be seriously lacking is in dental care. In fact, even though more Americans have dental coverage today than ever before, out-of-pocket costs have never been higher. So even if you do have insurance, there’s a good chance you’re still paying more money out of pocket than you would have 20 years ago for the same services. For an individual, these costs can be hard to manage - but for a family, they can be devastating.

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Budget Shortfalls Lead to Drastic Care Cuts in Scotland

b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_358326896.jpgWhen reports surfaced earlier this year that the United Kingdom’s National Health Service (NHS) was facing major budget shortages, many United Kingdom residents who benefit from NHS services were unsure what to expect. With British dentists reportedly turning children away and charitable organizations that normally provide dental care to impoverished communities in Third World countries setting up shop in England to address the dental crisis, it was only a matter of time before shockwaves of the funding cuts hit other areas of the United Kingdom.

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Could New App Help Patients Get After-Hours Dental Services?

b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_266568947.jpgAccording to a recent report by Daniel Wesley at CreditLoan.com, Americans work more hours than any other workers on Earth. In fact, Wesley claims that 66.5 percent of women and 85.8 percent of men work over 40 hours per week. That doesn’t leave a whole lot of free time - or time to see the dentist. But a new app created by former hedge fund analyst Eva Sadej could soon change that.

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What Is the Tide Pods Challenge?

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_1012687777.jpgAccording to the Alexandria, Virginia-based American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC), American emergency rooms handled a record 39 cases of poisoning from intentional ingestion of Tide Pod laundry detergent packets among patients between the ages of 13 and 19 in the first week of 2018.

In the first three weeks of the year, that number soared to 86, thanks to what is being called the "Tide Pods challenge," a social media dare that has teens eating the fast-dissolve detergent packs on film and posting the video to YouTube. The problem is, unlike its predecessors like the "cinnamon challenge" (where teens attempted to down mouthfuls of powdered cinnamon to disastrous results) and the "ice bucket challenge," which had people dumping buckets of ice-cold water on their heads to raise money and awareness for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), the Tide Pods challenge is extremely dangerous. Here’s why you and your teen should definitely skip the trend.

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Protect Teeth During Spring Travel

b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_208781929.jpgDental emergencies. Chances are, we’ve all had one, or will at some point in life. Whether it’s a loose filling, chipped tooth or painful infection, sometimes even when we think we’re on top of our oral health, these problems can take us off guard. And while it’s bad enough to have a dental emergency on a busy work day or what should have been a relaxing Saturday afternoon, it can be even worse (and scarier!) to have one while vacationing abroad.

This spring, millions of people will travel abroad for spring break, and at least a few of them will experience a dental emergency while vacationing. But a dental emergency doesn’t have to mean cutting your trip of a lifetime short - or risking your life on a questionable provider under less than ideal conditions. If you or someone you love is planning a trip abroad this spring, check out these tips for finding a safe emergency dental provider in a foreign country.

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Don’t Be Caught Off Guard By Common Oral Infections

b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_520145404.jpgIf you develop an oral sore seemingly out of nowhere, your first reaction may be to totally ignore it - or to completely panic. Either way, there are some things you should know (and some symptoms to look for) before you make your next move. Before you brush it off as nothing, or go into panic mode, check out this guide to some common oral infections that may or may not warrant a trip to the dentist.

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Forensic Scientists Find Links Between Teeth, Environment

b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_776608750.jpgMany things get stuck in our teeth - caramel, popcorn, spinach - but did you know that for some workers, evidence of their job can get stuck in their teeth, too?

A team of scientists at Gujarat, India’s Gujarat Forensic Sciences University, under the helm of forensic odontology student Dr. Riddhi Thanki, Rajesh Babu and Dr. MS Dahiya, found a connection between the hardened plaque deposits found on teeth and certain environmental factors.

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Denti-Cal to Expand in 2018

b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_138177026.jpgFor 13.5 million lower-income Californians, the Medi-Cal medical insurance program provides coverage for a number of much-needed medical services these individuals may not otherwise be able to receive. But while many recipients have seen improvements in their medical benefits in recent years, Medi-cal’s dental coverage, Denti-Cal, has until recently lagged far behind. Experts say this is due to the 2009 state budget crisis, which cut dental coverage to Medi-Cal and other programs, and though the state’s budget has rebounded since, Denti-Cal was only partially restored in 2014, and never again.

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Don’t Be Afraid to Floss

b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_273038321.jpgThere’s no topic discussed at a dental exam that seems to make people more uncomfortable than flossing. As you may already be aware, the American Dental Association (ADA) recommends we floss our teeth at least once a day. This is because string dental floss can reach between the teeth in ways brushing or water flossing cannot. In fact, when you don’t floss, you’re only cleaning about 60 percent of your teeth! That’s right - flossing alone cleans about 40 percent of your teeth’s surfaces.

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To Keep or Not to Keep: Wisdom Teeth

b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_245617978_20180104-034709_1.jpgIf your child has a mouthful of healthy teeth, it may come as quite a surprise to hear that your dentist wants to remove your child’s wisdom teeth. After all, why would you remove perfectly healthy teeth? But even healthy wisdom teeth can cause big problems if they’re not extracted. Here’s why.

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These Vitamins Can Help Oral Health

b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_338422418.jpgA trip down the vitamin aisle at your local pharmacy can be an overwhelming experience. With literally hundreds of brands and types of vitamins to choose from, it’s hard to know which one you need to address your specific health needs. Do you go with a generic multi-vitamin? A probiotic? A chewable? And how do you know what dose to take, or if you’re already getting enough of certain vitamins from your diet or other medications?  

The best advice we can give you about vitamins is to speak to your physician about which supplement is best for you, but if you are looking for a vitamin to improve your oral health, here are a few that have proven benefits. Remember: If you’re interested in trying any of these vitamins, speak to Dr. Abelar or your physician to see if they would be a good fit with your lifestyle.

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