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Monthly Archives: May 2016

Braces Braces & More Braces!

Dental braces, or braces, as the majority of us know them, are designed to straighten and re-align our teeth. Braces are fitted by Orthodontists worldwide and as well as having aesthetic benefits, they can help straighten our bite which in turns helps maintain a good level of dental health. These are all desirable attributes in this modern day of the “perfect smile”, but what types of braces are there? And what can they do for you?

 

Fixed metal braces: Traditional braces that yield proven results and are cost-effective. Fixed metal braces offer patients a pain-free way to a straighter smile, gently guiding your teeth back into position over the duration of your treatment.

 

Throughout the treatment period of 12 to 24 months your progress can be carefully monitored by a specialist, giving you every confidence of exemplary results, so long as you maintain a healthy dental hygiene routine along the way.

 

Blocks are fixed to the front of the teeth with a clear adhesive in a quick and painless procedure. There’s even the option of coloured bands on each block for the kids and teenagers alike.

 

Retainers: Designed to prevent the good work from being undone, the retainer will prevent relapse. Relapse occurs when the tissue and bone around your mouth reverts back to its previous shape before treatment. Retainers will stop this from happening and as a result are a vital part of your orthodontic treatment. They are commonly removable, but in some circumstances, permanent.

 

Made of thin thermosetting plastic, removable retainers are virtually unnoticeable and extremely comfortable to wear due to their bespoke design (custom-made for your mouth). Fixed retainers are secured behind the teeth on either your upper or lower jaw, or both. This offers round-the-clock stability for your mouth.

 

As with many material objects and appliances, retainers become worn over time and will need to be checked by your orthodontist or your dentist to ensure your smile remains straight.

 

Functional braces: A popular option for young and adolescent patients, functional braces reduce the projection of the front teeth during growth of the jaw. The brace can influence the way the teeth grow, pushing the top row inward and the bottom outward.

 

For optimal results, treatment is best undergone between the ages of 9 and 14, however it is important that most of the adult set have come through which naturally varies from patient to patient.

 

It is not uncommon for a patient to have fixed braces fitted soon or immediately after functional brace treatment. The functional brace improves the way in which the teeth bite together, essentially “setting up” the teeth for further alignment from the fixed brace.

 

For more information on our braces, or other treatments available please contact us…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sports & Energy Drinks – The Lowdown

It is widely known that certain drinks advertising themselves as ‘energy’ drinks are high in sugar, as their purpose is to provide energy to sportspeople. Among these are electrolyte drinks which professional sportspeople use to replenish their sugar and salt stocks. However, these drinks have been known to cause tooth decay in many professional and amateur sportspeople who have featured in national news. 

Statistics show that 1 in 5 professional athletes’ performance has been affected due to poor oral health and 50% had not visited a dentist in 12 months.

One of the reasons athletes’ teeth are suffering is due to sports/energy drinks, which are marketed to enhance performance by providing additional energy.  However, these drinks are high in acid and sugar making them an enemy to tooth enamel, which is worn away after their consumption.

 

The solution?

Mouthwash and toothpaste high in fluoride will help wash away the acid that corrodes your teeth. Acid and sugar begin wearing away your enamel 3 hours, which is why it’s important to consume plenty of water soon after the consumption of these drinks – this will contribute to washing away the acid.

Using a straw will also reduce the likelihood of tooth decay and other tooth-related complications

Professor Ian Needleman of UCL said that ‘we’re not trying to demonise energy drinks and that athletes shouldn’t be using them. But that ‘people should be aware of the risks’

 

Are there other energy-giving options other than/in addition to energy drinks?

As mentioned above and to further emphasise Professor Needleman’s statement, energy drinks aren’t a complete no-go for athletes, though if possible they should be consumed in moderation. There are many people who consume energy drinks and who do not go on to burn off the calories they provide, which then leads to weight gain, so it’s important to limit these drinks to when you actually know you’re going to burn them off.

 

Other energy giving foods that don’t have a damaging impact on your teeth include:

  • Bananas – bananas are a well-known source of potassium and offer slow-release energy which means your sports performance is sustained, rather than energy drinks which offer a short and sharp energy surge (which is why they have to be consumed often, causing damage to teeth). Bananas are also very versatile – the longer you let them ripen, the more sugar they accumulate (which will provide more energy), though even if they are not very ripe they are still considered an excellent source of energy.
  • Gingerbread – Although it is still considered confectionary, gingerbread is one of the least damaging to your teeth. Instead of eating an energy bar (tooth-unfriendly sugars), why not try a piece of gingerbread before heading out on the track or field? Don’t forget to drink some after afterwards though, as this will help wash away the bits that linger between your teeth and cause tooth decay.
  • Veg/fruit smoothie – green smoothies are currently having a huge period in the spotlight ever since many LA-based celebrities started consuming them a couple of years ago, and they’ve stayed there since! Kale is full of vitamins including iron and vitamin B which makes them a great energy giver as well as all-round healthy choice. Obviously kale doesn’t have the greatest track record when it comes to tasting great…so you can add a few things to compliment it and turn your smoothie into delicious creamy energy-giving goodness, such as cashews, banana, dates, vanilla extract and water.

 

 

 

Invisalign’s Growing Popularity

With the introduction of Invisalign over 20 years ago, more and more adults have been seeking orthodontic treatment in order to straighten their teeth. Invisalign offers a way back to the perfect smile, without having to draw attention to your teeth.  Why now and why Invisalign? Invisalign are part of the ‘brace family’ though they are not a fixed appliance…. They’re also transparent and barely visible. If you’re really worried about standing out from the crowd, you needn’t be, as Invisalign’s design is centred around subtlety.

 

With Invisalign braces you can:

 

  • Remove the appliance – Invisalign are essentially a set of retainers that you wear behind your teeth. You wear each one for 2 weeks at a time and remove them yourself at home, unlike fixed braces which you wear right through for between 18-24 months. Invisalign make it easy to eat and clean your brace.
  • Undergo a faster treatment – Treatment achieves results in half the time that fixed braces take (though unfortunately Invisalign isn’t for everyone).
  • Be more comfortable than you would be in traditional braces – With no brackets and sharp edges, Invisalign are far more comfortable to wear than fixed braces.

Undergo treatment that does not affect your appearance – You may be worried if you’re in a customer-facing job and don’t want people to notice you’re having orthodontic treatment. Fear not as Invisalign is designed to eliminate this anxiety, going unnoticed by many due to their transparent material and finish. In addition and contrary to 20 years ago, today one in 5 people who get braces are adults, therefore the stigma around them has somewhat reduced.

 

 

A few statistics about Invisalign….

  • Since it’s introduction, Invisalign maintains a 96% satisfaction rate.
  • The average treatment time is 13 months.
  • Around 2.6 million people have Invisalign treatment each year.
  • Invisalign is currently available in 45 countries.
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