Posts for tag: orthodontics
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.”
If you’ve ever looked at younger photos of yourself, you’re sure to notice differences with your present appearance. Of course, your basic features might appear much the same. But maybe your lips seemed a little thicker back then, or your nose a bit less prominent.
This is because your facial features don’t stop growing when you reach adulthood—they continue to change throughout your life. For example, lips reach their maximum thickness by around age 14 for girls or age 16 for boys; they’ll remain at that level of thickness for a few years before gradually thinning throughout adulthood. The nose will also continue to grow, becoming more prominent especially as changes in the lower part of the face can make the chin appear shorter.
Although each of us ages at different rates and in different ways, these general physical trends are somewhat predictable. That’s why we can use the knowledge of how our facial physiology changes with age to fine tune orthodontic or other cosmetic dental treatments. The most optimum approach is to consider treatment in the early stages of bite development during childhood or early adolescence.
This means we’re doing more than correcting a patient’s current bite: we’re also taking into account how tooth movement now might affect the jaw and facial structures later in life. By incorporating our understanding of age-related changes into our treatment we might be able to provide some hedge against the effects of aging.
This approach starts with early comprehensive dental care, preferably before a child’s first birthday, and an orthodontic evaluation at around age 6 to assess bite development. It may also be necessary to initiate interceptive treatment at an early age to lessen or even eliminate a growing bite problem to help ease the extent of future treatment. And if a bite requires correction, early evaluation can help create a timetable for effective treatment in later years.
Taking this approach can correct problems now affecting both dental health and appearance. But by acknowledging the aging process in our treatments, we can build the foundation for a beautiful smile well into the future.
At your child's latest dental visit, you found out one of their primary (“baby”) teeth has become decayed and in danger of loss. Of course, you may think, it's only a primary tooth — it's going to come out sooner or later.
But a primary tooth lost “sooner” rather than “later” can create long-term negative consequences for your child's dental health. For the sake of the future permanent tooth, the best treatment strategy could be to put forth the effort and expense to save it.
Besides its role in eating and chewing, a primary tooth's most important function is as a “trailblazer” for the permanent tooth developing below it. A primary tooth doesn't normally loosen and let go until the new permanent tooth is ready to erupt. Until then they hold the new tooth's space in the jaw.
But if the primary tooth is lost prematurely, nearby teeth can drift into and crowd the space so that the permanent tooth comes in out of position. This can result in a malocclusion, or poor bite.
Depending on the state of your child's jaw development, it may be advisable to attempt saving the tooth through a filling or, in the case of deep decay, a modified root canal treatment. If the tooth can't be saved, then placing an orthodontic appliance known as a space maintainer might be necessary. Cemented to a tooth next to the empty space, this appliance has a looped band of metal that butts against the tooth on the other side of the gap, and prevents both teeth from drifting into the space.
Intervening for a decayed primary tooth can seem a waste of time and money since it has a limited lifespan to begin with. But for the health of its companion permanent tooth, as well as possibly avoiding orthodontic treatment, it could be well worth it for your child's long-term dental health.
If you would like more information on dental care for your child, 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 “Importance of Baby Teeth.”
Have you always wanted a straight, healthy smile, but just never received orthodontic correction? Are you at a point where you have no confidence when you smile in public? Consider a consultation with your dentist in Billerica, MA, Dr, Kunio Chan, at One Dental Care. He offers innovative Invisalign clear aligners, an outstanding way for older teens and adults to get well-aligned smiles discreetly, efficiently, and comfortably. Read on to learn all the details.
Invisalign has straightened smiles all over the world for the past 20 years. Instead of metal or ceramic brackets and wires, patients wear customized, clear aligners that are smooth, comfortable, and virtually unnoticeable. Older teens and adults may qualify for Invisalign if they have mild to moderate smile problems such as:
- Open bite
- Cross bite
- Orthodontic relapse (teeth drifted after braces were removed)
- Tooth tipping
- Tooth rotationOvercrowding
Through oral examination and digital X-rays, your Billerica dentist will tell you if Invisalign is your best option. If it is, you'll wear 18 to 30 pairs of aligners over nine to 15 months, a shorter treatment time than traditional orthodontics. Additionally, you'll enjoy aligners that are:
- Removable for special occasions, meals and oral hygiene
- Easily cleaned with non-abrasive toothpaste and a soft brush
- Computer-designed to achieve effective and attractive smile alignment perfect for your unique needs
- So discreet few (if any) people will notice them
Who can get Invisalign?
Many people, except the most complex of orthodontic cases, may qualify. Even teens, who sometimes have difficulty complying with orthodontic oral hygiene routines and dietary restrictions, do well with Invisalign. In fact, Invisalign Teen aligners are fitted with compliance tabs which change color to indicate if the appliances are worn properly. (20 to 22 hours a day is the minimum.)
In addition, people with busy school and work schedules love the simplicity of Invisalign treatment. They see Dr. Chan every four to six weeks so he can check their progress and deliver the next aligner pairs in the care plan. There are no painful or lengthy adjustments to endure, and oral tissues and gums suffer no sore spots as are common with traditional braces.
Are you interested?
If it sounds as though Invisalign could help you, contact One Dental Care for a consultation with Dr. Kunio Chan in Billerica, MA. He has extensive training and the expertise to know if Invisalign is best for your smile. Call the office today at (978) 667-0691.
There are so many wonderful advantages to getting Invisalign treatment in Billerica.
Do you think you are too old for braces? Does the idea of wearing braces during your college or working years not sound appealing? Our Billerica, MA dentist, Dr. Kunio Chan, understands that as people get older it’s less and less likely that they will turn to traditional metal braces to finally achieve that straighter smile. Fortunately, we make it possible to still get the smile you want without other people seeing your braces.
No, this is not a dream. Invisalign is an orthodontic system that makes it possible to fix common dental issues without other people noticing. This series of clear aligners are custom made to fit your upper and/or lower teeth to shift them into the proper position over time. The most obvious benefit to choosing this type of treatment is that you can finally get a straighter smile without people noticing your clear, custom-fitted aligners.
Other benefits to getting Invisalign include:
They are removable: While our Billerica general dentist will tell you that the more often you wear your aligners the better, there are some instances where you can take them off. For instance, you can take them off right before you sit down to eat and also remove them prior to brushing and flossing. And if you have a big event coming up and you really don’t want to wear your aligners you can take them out. Just remember to put them back in as soon as possible.
It’s easy to clean your teeth: Even if we haven’t experienced it ourselves we can all imagine the challenges of trying to brush and floss around metal braces. It can be quite the exhausting chore. Fortunately, Invisalign makes it simple to clean your teeth. Just remove your aligners and you’re ready to go.
Just remember that you will also want to clean your aligners throughout the day. Rinse them out whenever you remove them and then put them in a retainer case to protect them. When you want to brush your aligners use a gentle, soft-bristled toothbrush with antibacterial soup. Don’t brush too hard or you could scratch your aligners.
Enjoy your favorite foods: With traditional braces you have to nix quite a few foods from your diet so you don’t damage your braces. This can be terribly disappointing, but just remove your Invisalign and enjoy anything your stomach is craving without worrying about your braces.
They fit into your lifestyle: As you may already be able to glean from the other benefits above, Invisalign can clearly fit into anyone’s lives without affecting much. Plus, you’ll only need to come in about every 4-6 weeks to see us for routine checkups throughout your treatment.
If you want to get Invisalign One Dental Care in Billerica, MA can make this dream a reality. We would be happy to schedule your consultation to make sure that Invisalign is indeed the right way to straighten your smile. Call us today!