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Dental versus Cosmetic Reasons for Braces

By Pamela Li, in News, on March 6, 2014 | Comments (0)

BracesOttawa, Ontario – Do you think your teeth are crooked and you could benefit from wearing braces? For many patients, braces are a medical necessity to improve the mouth function and ensure proper dental care. For some others, they are purely a cosmetic enhancement. Which type of patient are you?

“The reasons for choosing braces are as different as the patients who wear them,” says Dr. Pamela Li, an Ottawa dentist. “For patients who suffer from malocclusions, such as overbites or underbites, braces are needed to improve the function of their teeth and jaws and prevent future dental issues. But for others, they simply may think their gap or crossed over teeth are a bit unsightly.”

The way your teeth fit together is known as occlusion. Some people suffer from malocclusions, which is misalignment of the teeth. There are three types of malocclusions. A Class I malocclusion is the ideal relationship between the upper and lower teeth. While the teeth function properly, there can still be crowding or spacing present. A Class II is commonly referred to as an overbite. The patient will present with lower molars positioned posterior and the upper jaw will appear to protrude forward. A Class III is referred to as an underbite. The lower molar will be positioned anterior and the lower jaw will protrude forward.

While some patients may have an ideal bite, they may still have some degree of crowding or spacing that they deem unattractive. In these instances, braces may not be as necessary, but a cosmetic dentist may still work with the patient to help them achieve their ideal smile.

“There are many reasons why our teeth become crowded looking,” says Dr. Li. “Sometimes a mouth isn’t quite large enough to accommodate all of the permanent teeth. Losing baby teeth too early or too late can also be a factor, because this can inhibit the growth of the permanent tooth, forcing it to erupt in an incorrect position. Sometimes the jaws don’t develop properly due to bad oral habits such as mouth breathing, thumb sucking and other bad oral habits. This will result in constriction of the jawbones, crowding and a bad bite.”

There are also as many reasons for spacing in the teeth as there are for crowding. Small teeth or jaw size can contribute to spacing issues. While many people, such as pop star Madonna, choose to embrace their spacing, still others might find it unsightly and would like the gap closed.

For patients who suffer Class II or III malocclusions, braces are deemed more of a dental necessity to ensure their jaws work properly. Crowded teeth aren’t able to be cleaned as well, which leads to decay. Over time, if these problem aren’t fixed, malocclusions can lead to other serious dental issues, such as decay and periodontal disease. Additionally, improper bites can lead to wear of the teeth and eventual breakage.

The good news is, no matter what your reason for choosing braces, there is now a straightening option for everyone. Dental technology is rapidly progressing, so patients have a variety of options to choose from. Invisalign allows patients to comfortably and discretely achieve a better smile. Lower profile options, such as self-ligating and lingual braces, also give patients a more aesthetically pleasing way to straighten their teeth.

If you feel you could benefit from braces, now is the time to schedule an appointment with your cosmetic dentist and get the smile you deserve.
© 2014 Millionairium and Dr. Pamela Li. Authorization to post is granted, with the stipulation that Millionairium and Dr. Pamela Li are credited as sole source. Linking to other sites from this document is strictly prohibited, with the exception of herein imbedded links.

Keeping Your Mouth Healthy Even at Work

By Pamela Li, in News, on January 27, 2014 | Comments (0)

chewing gumOttawa, Ontario – Office places can sometimes be riddled with treats and snacks that might not be the healthiest for your smile. But Dr. Pamela Li, a cosmetic dentist, offers some tips to keep your smile healthy, even during the workday.

“We all spend a lot of time in our offices, sometimes more than we’d like,” says Dr. Li, who runs an Ottawa dental clinic that serves all ages. “And because of that, it is important that you take care of your teeth while in the office. Leaving food on your teeth can lead to decay and cavities.”

Keep a toothbrush, toothpaste and dental floss in your office. Not only do we eat lunch while at the office, but sometimes we find ourselves having breakfast and indulging in snacks while we are working. The particles from the food and drinks we ingest can leave harmful bacteria on our teeth that can lead to decay. Brushing and flossing after eating can remove these harmful particles. Brush 30 minutes after finishing your meal or snack. This will also keep your breath fresh at work.

Chewing gum can be good for your teeth, provided the gum is sugar free.

“The best tool to combat against the buildup of harmful bacteria on your teeth is the production of saliva,” says Dr. Li, who as a general dentist specializes in treating patients from infants through senior citizens. “Saliva can neutralize the acids that cause cavity and decay, and chewing gum creates saliva. So after your snack, consider popping a piece of gum in your mouth to wash away that bacteria.”

Xylitol is beneficial for decay prevention and it can be found in certain gum and candies. Xylitol is a sugar substitute that kills cavity causing bacteria. Find a gum or candy that contains 1 gram of xylitol and chew or consume around 6 grams throughout the day. Spry or Xyla are some examples and they can be found in health food stores.

A proper oral hygiene routine is essential to keeping a healthy mouth, as is keeping regular appointments with your family dentistry expert. Brush and floss twice a day and visit your dentist at least every six months.

© 2014 Millionairium and Dr. Pamela Li. Authorization to post is granted, with the stipulation that Millionairium and Dr. Pamela Li are credited as sole source. Linking to other sites from this document is strictly prohibited, with the exception of herein imbedded links.

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