Posts for tag: orthodontics

By Kevin M Brown, DMD, PC
December 21, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
NBCStarDeliversaMessageaboutthePerfectSmile

Sometimes it seems that appearances count for everything—especially in Hollywood. But just recently, Lonnie Chaviz, the 10-year-old actor who plays young Randall on the hit TV show This Is Us, delivered a powerful message about accepting differences in body image. And the whole issue was triggered by negative social media comments about his smile.

Lonnie has a noticeable diastema—that is, a gap between his two front teeth; this condition is commonly seen in children, but is less common in adults. There are plenty of celebrities who aren’t bothered by the excess space between their front teeth, such as Michael Strahan, Lauren Hutton and Vanessa Paradis. However, there are also many people who choose to close the gap for cosmetic or functional reasons.

Unfortunately, Lonnie had been on the receiving end of unkind comments about the appearance of his smile. But instead of getting angry, the young actor posted a thoughtful reply via Instagram video, in which he said: “I could get my gap fixed. Braces can fix this, but like, can you fix your heart, though?”

Lonnie is raising an important point: Making fun of how someone looks shows a terrible lack of compassion. Besides, each person’s smile is uniquely their own, and getting it “fixed” is a matter of personal choice. It’s true that in most circumstances, if the gap between the front teeth doesn’t shrink as you age and you decide you want to close it, orthodontic appliances like braces can do the job. Sometimes, a too-big gap can make it more difficult to eat and to pronounce some words. In other situations, it’s simply a question of aesthetics—some like it; others would prefer to live without it.

There’s a flip side to this issue as well. When teeth need to be replaced, many people opt to have their smile restored just the way it was, rather than in some “ideal” manner. That could mean that their dentures are specially fabricated with a space between the front teeth, or the crowns of their dental implants are spaced farther apart than they normally would be. For these folks, the “imperfection” is so much a part of their unique identity that changing it just seems wrong.

So if you’re satisfied with the way your smile looks, all you need to do is keep up with daily brushing and flossing, and come in for regular checkups and cleanings to keep it healthy and bright. If you’re unsatisfied, ask us how we could help make it better. And if you need tooth replacement, be sure to talk to us about all of your options—teeth that are regular and “Hollywood white;” teeth that are natural-looking, with minor variations in color and spacing; and teeth that look just like the smile you’ve always had.

Because when it comes to your smile, we couldn’t agree more with what Lonnie Chaviz said at the end of his video: “Be who you want to be. Do what you want to do. Do you. Be you. Believe in yourself.”

If you have questions about cosmetic dentistry, please contact our office or schedule a consultation. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Beautiful Smiles by Design” and “The Magic of Orthodontics.”

By Kevin M Brown, DMD, PC
August 01, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: braces   orthodontics  

Reap all the smile benefits when you get orthodontic treatment in Ayer.braces

Are you or your child or teen considering getting braces? By the time a child turns seven years old, it’s usually the perfect time to schedule a consultation with one of our Ayer, MA, dentists to find out whether braces could improve their smiles; however, it’s never too late to get braces. After all, there are quite a few benefits to getting braces that you may have never realized could help you:

A Straight Smile

This is the most obvious benefit but one that shouldn’t be forgotten. After all, this is usually the main reason someone chooses to get braces. There are so many different kinds of braces on the market that are designed to help everyone from children to adults, depending on the problems you are facing. The good news is that there is an orthodontic treatment that can get you the results you want. Turn to braces if you are dealing with:

  • Crooked, twisted teeth
  • Gaps between teeth
  • Crowding or overlapping teeth
  • Overbites
  • Underbites
  • Crossbites
  • Open bites

Boost Your Self-Esteem

They say when you smile the whole world smiles at you; however, if you are embarrassed by how your teeth look then you may find yourself hiding your smile from those around you. If you are self-conscious, getting braces can help. After all, once you get your braces off any issues you were having regarding your smile will be gone. What you will have left is a beautiful smile that you feel confident showing off.

Reduce Your Risk for Decay

Did you know that teeth that are overlapping or crooked can be more difficult to clean? You may not have realized it but it makes sense. After all, it’s much harder to get into certain areas of your teeth to clean properly if teeth are on top of one another. As you might imagine, this can increase your chances for developing cavities. By getting braces to fix your smile you can reduce your risk for decay.

Prevent Dental Damage and Injury

Dental misalignments can put a lot of pressure on certain teeth, which over time can cause excessive wear and even lead to fractures or cracks. This can also lead to long-term issues such as TMJ disorder and chronic back and neck pain, but getting braces now could prevent these problems from happening to you in the near future.

Are you interested in getting braces in Ayer, MA? Do you want to sit down and discuss your orthodontic options with one of our dentists? If so, don’t hesitate to call our dental office today to schedule a consultation with us. That straight, beautiful smile could be yours.

By Kevin M Brown, DMD, PC
July 25, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
EdenSherandtheLostRetainer

Fans of the primetime TV show The Middle were delighted to see that high school senior Sue, played by Eden Sher, finally got her braces off at the start of Season 6. But since this popular sitcom wouldn’t be complete without some slapstick comedy, this happy event is not without its trials and tribulations: The episode ends with Sue’s whole family diving into a dumpster in search of the teen’s lost retainer. Sue finds it in the garbage and immediately pops it in her mouth. But wait — it doesn’t fit, it’s not even hers!

If you think this scenario is far-fetched, guess again. OK, maybe the part about Sue not washing the retainer upon reclaiming it was just a gag (literally and figuratively), but lost retainers are all too common. Unfortunately, they’re also expensive to replace — so they need to be handled with care. What’s the best way to do that? Retainers should be brushed daily with a soft toothbrush and liquid soap (dish soap works well), and then placed immediately back in your mouth or into the case that came with the retainer. When you are eating a meal at a restaurant, do not wrap your retainer in a napkin and leave it on the table — this is a great way to lose it! Instead, take the case with you, and keep the retainer in it while you’re eating. When you get home, brush your teeth and then put the retainer back in your mouth.

If you do lose your retainer though, let us know right away. Retention is the last step of your orthodontic treatment, and it’s extremely important. You’ve worked hard to get a beautiful smile, and no one wants to see that effort wasted. Yet if you neglect to wear your retainer as instructed, your teeth are likely to shift out of position. Why does this happen?

As you’ve seen firsthand, teeth aren’t rigidly fixed in the jaw — they can be moved in response to light and continuous force. That’s what orthodontic appliances do: apply the right amount of force in a carefully controlled manner. But there are other forces at work on your teeth that can move them in less predictable ways. For example, normal biting and chewing can, over time, cause your teeth to shift position. To get teeth to stay where they’ve been moved orthodontically, new bone needs to form around them and anchor them where they are. That will happen over time, but only if they are held in place with a retainer. That’s why it is so important to wear yours as directed — and notify us immediately if it gets lost.

And if ever you do have to dig your retainer out of a dumpster… be sure to wash it before putting in in your mouth!

If you would like more information on retainers, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “The Importance of Orthodontic Retainers” and “Why Orthodontic Retainers?

By Kevin M Brown, DMD, PC
May 08, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: braces   orthodontics  

Crooked teeth don't just detract from a person's appearance; they can also trap food in hard-to-reach places, leading to decay. That's braceswhy Dr. Kevin Brown, Dr. Erin Deedy-Lee and Dr. Mahshid Bahadoran, your dentists in Ayer, MA, recommend braces to any patient who is dealing with alignment issues. That's right... braces aren't just for teenagers anymore! Read on to discover why braces can make a difference in your smile regardless of your age.

Kids

The American Academy of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends that parents have their children's teeth evaluated for alignment issues no later than 7 years old. That's not to say that your child will immediately have braces put on; permanent teeth are still growing in at this time. However, your Ayer dentist can evaluate the growth patterns of your child's teeth and determine if it's necessary to start preparing for braces. Children with severe crowding of the teeth or overbites, for example, need to have tooth extractions or expanders to start correcting these problems before they become difficult to treat.

Teens

According to dental industry experts at Oral-B, the optimal time to have braces put on is between the ages of 10 and 14 years old. That's because most if not all of the permanent teeth are typically grown in, but their placement can still be easily manipulated into the right position with orthodontic devices. They're also old enough to handle the dietary restrictions and mild discomfort associated with adjusting the braces.

Adults

It's a surprising statistic, but nonetheless true: The AAO has found that one in five patients who are wearing braces is an adult. The options for treating dental alignment problems has grown to include clear or white braces and removable aligners, all of which your Ayer dentist offers as a way to straighten your teeth without sacrificing your appearance.

To learn more about how braces can improve dental health, contact Kevin M. Brown DMD & Associates inAyer, MA, to schedule a consultation for yourself or your child today!

By Kevin M Brown, DMD, PC
May 03, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
MasterIllusionistBenefitsfromtheMagicofOrthodontics

Magician Michael Grandinetti mystifies and astonishes audiences with his sleight of hand and mastery of illusion. But when he initially steps onto the stage, it’s his smile that grabs the attention. “The first thing… that an audience notices is your smile; it’s what really connects you as a person to them,” Michael told an interviewer.

He attributes his audience-pleasing smile to several years of orthodontic treatment as a teenager to straighten misaligned teeth, plus a lifetime of good oral care. “I’m so thankful that I did it,” he said about wearing orthodontic braces. “It was so beneficial. And… looking at the path I’ve chosen, it was life-changing.”

Orthodontics — the dental subspecialty focused on treating malocclusions (literally “bad bites”) — can indeed make life-changing improvements. Properly positioned teeth are integral to the aesthetics of any smile, and a smile that’s pleasing to look at boosts confidence and self-esteem and makes a terrific first impression. Studies have even linked having an attractive smile with greater professional success.

There can also be functional benefits such as improved biting/chewing and speech, and reduced strain on jaw muscles and joints. Additionally, well-aligned teeth are easier to clean and less likely to trap food particles that can lead to decay.

The Science Behind the Magic

There are more options than ever for correcting bites, but all capitalize on the fact that teeth are suspended in individual jawbone sockets by elastic periodontal ligaments that enable them to move. Orthodontic appliances (commonly called braces or clear aligners) place light, controlled forces on teeth in a calculated fashion to move them into their new desired alignment.

The “gold standard” in orthodontic treatment remains the orthodontic band for posterior (back) teeth and the bonded bracket for front teeth. Thin, flexible wires threaded through the brackets create the light forces needed for repositioning. Traditionally the brackets have been made of metal, but for those concerned about the aesthetics, they can also be made out of a clear material. Lingual braces, which are bonded to the back of teeth instead of the front, are another less visible option. The most discrete appliance is the removable clear aligner, which consists of a progression of custom-made clear trays that reposition teeth incrementally.

How’s that for a disappearing act?!

If you would like more information about orthodontic treatment please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about the subject by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “The Magic of Orthodontics.”