My Blog

Posts for: June, 2015

By One Dental Care - Kunio Chan, DMD, MAGD
June 15, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: orthodontics   headgear  

Most of us are quite familiar with what traditional braces look like. But occasionally we see more complex-looking devices being worn by young orthodontic patients: thicker wires that extend outside the mouth, with straps that may go behind the neck or over the chin. What are these devices, and why are they sometimes needed?

In general, orthodontic appliances with external parts braced by the head, neck or chin are referred to as “headgear.” These devices may be used to handle a number of particular orthodontic situations, but they all have one thing in common: They provide the additional anchorage needed to move teeth into better positions.

It may come as a surprise that teeth, which seem so solid, can actually be moved fairly easily over time. This is because teeth are not fixed directly into bone, but are instead held in place by a hammock-like structure called the periodontal ligament. Using a light, controlled force — such as the force of springy wires and elastics in traditional braces — teeth can be moved slowly through the jaw bone, like a stick being pulled through sand.

Of course, to pull a stick through sand, you need a firm anchorage — your legs, for example, bracing against a rock. Most of the time, the back teeth, with their large, multiple roots, provide plenty of support. But sometimes, the back teeth alone aren’t enough to do the job.

If a very large space between teeth is being closed, for example, the back teeth might be pulled forward as the front teeth are pulled back; this could result in poor alignment and bite problems. In other cases, the front teeth may need to be pulled forward instead of back. The back teeth can’t help here; this is a job for headgear.

Some types of headgear have a strap that goes behind the head or neck; they use the entire head as an anchorage. Other types, called “reverse pull” headgear, have a strap that comes over the chin or the forehead; they can pull teeth forward. Headgear can even influence the proper growth of facial structures — that’s why it is usually seen on preteens, whose growth isn’t yet complete.

Headgear is usually worn for 12 hours per day, for a limited period of time. In some cases, rather than headgear, appliances called “temporary anchorage devices” (TADS) may be recommended. These are tiny screws that are implanted into the jawbone in a minimally invasive procedure, and serve a similar function.

While it may not look pretty, orthodontic headgear is capable of moving teeth into their proper positions in a relatively short period of time — and ending up with a great-looking smile is what orthodontics is all about.

If you have questions about orthodontic headgear, please call our office to schedule a consultation. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine article “Moving Teeth With Orthodontics.”

Your Billerica dentist can treat cavities at their early stages without needing a drill.

It’s surprising that about 92 percent of all American adults will have to deal with cavities at some point during their lives. Even though Icon Caries Infiltration Treatmentdental decay can be prevented with the proper oral hygiene it’s pretty common for this problem to affect otherwise healthy smiles. Many of these cavities appear only as innocuous-looking white spots. However, find out how your Billerica dentist Kunio Chan, DMD, MAGD, can stop these white spot lesions early on without the need for a drill.

What are white spots?

If your Billerica dentist has stated that you have white spots on your teeth this simply means that there is some demineralization under tooth enamel, which can eventually lead to dental caries. White spots appear when bacteria have broken through the layer of enamel and destroyed some of the mineralized layers of the tooth.

White spots are often found once traditional bracket-and-wire braces have been removed; however, the same issue can occur after long-term antibiotic use, poor oral hygiene, high sugar content or even trauma.

How can Icon caries infiltration treatment help?

The Icon technique was designed as an option that lies somewhere between prevention and restoring a damaged tooth. By using a special infiltration resin, similar to when you have a cavity filled, we are able to fill these small white spots before they become full-blown cavities.

However, since a cavity has yet to form your Billerica dentist Dr. Chan won’t need to drill out the decaying portions. This means no anesthesia and no discomfort during your treatment. Furthermore, the resin we use has a high transparency so it easily blends in with the rest of your tooth without needing to match the shade of your tooth to the resin.

Do you want to stop lesions from becoming full-blown cavities? Want to avoid drilling and dental fillings? Well, the only way to detect dental caries in the first place is to see your Billerica dentist every six months for routine care. If it’s time to for six-month cleaning then contact Dr. Kunio Chan of One Dental Care today. Protect your smile for the future!

By One Dental Care
June 02, 2015
Category: Oral Health
Tags: Foods   Tooth Staining  

Staining Foods You've had a long day at work, you just got home, and the scent of a delicious dinner hits your nostrils as soon as you enter the front door. While this is something many of us look forward to towards the end of the day, did you know that some of the common foods found on our dinner plates stain our teeth?

At One Dental Care, you'll find that having the whitest smile means keeping up on your dental health. Of course, that includes staying away from foods and beverages that can change your pearly whites into a dull shade of gray over time!

Many Americans today are so busy that they don't have time to consider how some of the foods they're consuming are actively ruining the color of their teeth, opting to hopefully "brush it out" later. Unfortunately, some foods are more aggressive than others when it comes to damaging your teeth, and have already started to wear away at them by the time you (hopefully) remember to brush.

Take a look at four common dinner foods and drinks that can quickly pose a real dental dilemma to the color of your teeth below:


Sauces: Tomato sauce, soy sauce, curry sauce, and many other dinner sauces can stain your tooth's outer surface (enamel) and perpetuate the underlying tissue in your tooth (dentin) to begin to show its duller gray self prematurely.

Sweets: Many hard candies and other sweets - even chewing gum - carry teeth-staining ingredients. Typically, if a sugary treat turns your tongue a different color, it's probably adversely affecting the color of your teeth, too!


Wine: Red wine is an acidic beverage that carries two ingredients that are infamous for staining teeth. Called chromogens and tannins, these chemicals are aggressive in their attack on your teeth's enamel; white wine has been known to erode your teeth's natural white enamel, too.

Cola: Cola is also acidic and filled with  chromogens,  while even light-colored soft drinks are so acidic they're akin to battery acid. Considering that cola can lead to a whole lot more health problems than just stained teeth, you might be best served to skip the dinner-time colas from here on out.

For more information on some of the common foods and beverages that you should avoid if you want to retain your teeth's natural white look, give One Dental Care a call at (978) 667-0691 today for lasting dental solutions right here in Billerica, MA!