Expectant mothers, especially first-timers tend to worry about everything from the food that they eat and the activities that are still safe for them to do during this period of development. A common concern of expectant mothers is whether or not they are still able to go to the dentist. Let’s find out.


Truthfully, going to the dentist while pregnant is not only safe, but also highly recommended. With the surge of hormones and blood levels, your gums bleed more often and swell which can trap food and cause cavities and gum irritation. Therefore, keeping up with your bi-annual cleanings is very important, especially since there is a link between gum disease and preterm birth stats.


As far as other dental work being done such as cavities, crowns, fillings, etc, these are all safe during pregnancy as well, though it may be wise to take care of these things before the third trimester as it is not recommended for women to be on their backs for extended periods of time during the last few weeks. If the dental work is not urgent, seeking care for minor things is recommended to be done after giving birth.


In terms of medications that are used during and after dental procedures, there are conflicting ideas about the use of lidocaine and whether or not it has any adverse effect on the developing fetus which is why if you can hold off on any procedure that involves anesthesia, you should do it.


The antibiotics that are prescribed afterward though are deemed completely safe and will have no effect, large or small, on your baby.


The big question that gets asked is the use of x-rays in dental work and whether or not the routine procedure is deemed safe during pregnancy. X-rays in a lot of cases are needed when diagnosing certain ailments, and also to track your dental health progress so it’s a valid concern seeing as how common they are.


The answer to the concern is yes, x-rays are safe. The amount of radiation that is emitted from a single x-ray is not enough to cause any sort of adverse effect on the developing fetus. Of course, safety nets are put in place no matter whether you’re pregnant or not. Shields and blankets can be placed over your belly to limit the amount of radiation, even though none will actually penetrate through. As mentioned above, the only safety reason so put off having major dental work during pregnancy is the prolonged lying on your back which can cut off blood flow to the baby in the third trimester.


Some general tips for pregnant women and their dental concerns:


  • Brush your teeth twice a day 
  • Floss daily
  • Go to all bi-annual exams and cleanings
  • Inform your dentist of your pregnancy
  • Leave non-emergency procedures until after the pregnancy

For further questions and inquiries, contact Newbury Smiles today by calling +1 805-499-3691, or by visiting our website at newburysmiles.com/contact.

Halitosis, commonly known as chronic bad breath, is different from the bad breath that you experience when you wake up in the morning or eat something garlic-y. No matter what you do, whether it be brushing your teeth, chewing a mint, or using mouthwash, the bad smell remains. When this happens, it’s best to consult a dentist as it may indicate an underlying condition that could be serious.


What Causes Halitosis?

If quick bad breath fixes are only covering up the problem for a short time, something else may be happening in your body, including: 


Cavities: Holes and pockets in your teeth are the perfect place for bad breath causing bacteria to hide, especially since they’re so hard to clean out.


Nose and Throat Infections: Postnasal drip can be a cause of halitosis. Bacteria love to feast upon the mucus that leaves your nasal passage and drains into your throat.


Dry Mouth: Saliva helps you process the food in your mouth, making it easier to swallow, but it also helps your oral health. Saliva produces disease-fighting substances that help prevent the formation of cavities. Halitosis can cause the saliva to disappear, leaving food particles and bacteria in its place.


Smoking: While the act of smoking already makes your breath smell less than desirable, smoking also drys out your mouth which was already previously stated to cause halitosis. Excessive smoking can also lead to gum disease, another culprit of halitosis.


Chronic Medical Conditions: Halitosis can be a warning sign of something much more sinister such as kidney disease, liver disease, reflux, and diabetes. 


Treating Halitosis

If you suspect that you have halitosis, start by changing your dental routine. If you brush your teeth only at night, start by adding an additional brushing session to your day, each session lasting for about 2 minutes. Start flossing once a day as well.


If you’re a smoker, try to start cutting back on the number of tobacco products you consume in a day and drink plenty of water to prevent your mouth from drying out. Cutting back on caffeinated drinks and replacing them with water will also help.


If none of these things work, make an appointment with your dentist as you may have an underlying medical condition that is not known yet that your dentist will be able to figure out.


If you suspect you have halitosis, have questions about halitosis, or simply would like to have a consultation, give us a call at +1 805-499-3691.

It’s safe to say that waking up with a headache, tooth pain, and a sore jaw isn’t normal and a situation that needs to be addressed right away. Symptoms such as these appearing after what should have been a restful night’s sleep may be recognized as a condition that we covered in a previous blog called bruxism, or teeth grinding in layman’s terms.


One of the most common treatments for fixing this condition is a night guard. A night guard is a removable appliance that the affected person wears at night that prevents them from grinding their teeth. The best part is is that a night guard is easily attainable without a prescription at most local pharmacies, but you can also get one through your dentist. It is recommended to get one through your dentist as these ones tend to be of higher quality and provide a more comfortable fit. However, they are more expensive so keep this in mind if cost is an issue for you.


Both serve the same purpose in the end however, so whichever one you choose, both will prevent your teeth from grinding against one another.


Other Treatments for Teeth Grinding

As a refresher, if a night guard is not a good match for you, there are alternate options.

  • Teeth straightening: Teeth that are misaligned can cause the affected person to grind their teeth. Braces or Invisalign can rectify the problem.
  • Stress prevention: People deal with stress in multiple ways, most commonly by clenching their jaw. Your dentist may recommend you to find some stress prevention techniques to help with the stress or use healthier coping mechanisms.
  • Change of diet or medication: Caffeine and other stimulants are notorious for making people grind their teeth so limiting your intake or cutting it out completely may make a huge difference. Anti-depressants are also known to cause this.

To find out whether or not a night guard is right for you, contact us today by calling +1 805-499-3691 or by visiting newburysmiles.com

When something feels off with our bodies, we go to the doctor to find out what it is. However, too often people are ignoring their dental health and figuring that it’s not that big of a deal. Especially in the realm of minor underbites and overbites, people will put them on the backburner because they consider them to be only a minor cosmetic flaw and not worth dishing out money to fix. However, ignoring your overbite can lead to health concerns that stretch beyond just a cosmetic hiccup.

What is an overbite?

An overbite is classified as when your upper jaw extends over your lower jaw. People who ignore their overbites typically only have minor cases where the teeth only overlap a few millimeters, but there are severe cases which cause facial abnormalities. With any overbite case, individuals typically suffer from headaches and jaw pain.

What causes an overbite?

The most common cause for overbites has to do with genetics. Therefore, if someone in your family has had an overbite in the past, then it is very likely that future generations will also develop one, especially if bad habits are combined with it. Thumb sucking for example in children could play a role in whether or not an individual gets an overbite as the thrusting motion of the tongue might propel the upper jaw forward.

Early Treatment

Treatment at an early age is recommended as the jaw is more malleable and has not solidified yet. Waiting until adulthood could result in surgery, a much more invasive method when it comes to correcting overbites. Severe overbites are time sensitive as failing to take care of them also affects your oral health. Being unable to clean your gums and teeth properly could lead to tooth decay and even tooth loss. Difficulty chewing could lead to malnutrition as well because of the pain that the afflicted individual suffers.

By opting in for early care, you can save yourself from all of these ailments.

Treatment

Splint therapy is ideal for those who need their jaw to be repositioned. This takes the pressure off of the nerves and then once it’s in the correct position, braces are applied to keep the jaw from shifting, though in some case, the orthodontist will recommend going straight to braces.

There are many different kinds of braces that we’ve talked about in detail in our other blogs. For details on the different kinds of braces available to you, click here.

However, there is another treatment method that we have also discussed in detail in the past that is available for those who suffer from an overbite which is headgear. With headgear, more than likely traditional metal braces would be used, but each dentist is different and they will be able to give you all the options available to you.

For more information about headgear, click here.

Blogs and articles are only able to help you some of the way. For full details on your overbite, schedule a consultation by visiting our website newburysmile.com and navigating to the Contact tab. Alternatively, you can also give us a call at +1 805-499-3691.

For those unfamiliar, an underbite is a dental condition where the lower teeth extend further than the front teeth, creating an appearance where the individual looks like a bulldog. Underbites can vary in severity, and although they look like more of a cosmetic issue than anything, severe underbites can affect an individual’s quality of life by affecting things like:

  • Their ability to chew and bite their food
  • Their ability to speak

Childhood habits

The risk for an underbite can begin when a child is under the age of five. Habits that the child performs on a daily basis may contribute to the development of an underbite, which includes:

  • Sucking on their thumb
  • Using a pacifier above the age of 3
  • Using a bottle long beyond the infancy stage

Genetics

Individuals who suffer from having an underbite often have someone in their immediate family who has also had one in the past.

Injury

Although unlikely, severe trauma to the face where surgery is required or a jawbone has been broken can lead to an underbite. This is dude to the fact that while jawbones are repairable, they may not always line up as they once did before the break.

Medical Treatment

A visit to the dentist will tell you all you need to know about correcting your underbite.

For less severe cases, braces and headgear will be able to move the teeth into the correct position to cure the underbite. Removal of one or more teeth may also be an option if the reason for the underbite is because of overcrowding in the mouth. For the teeth that stick out, your dentist may simply be able to shave and smooth down the problem teeth to create a more even appearance.

Depending on your age, surgery may be recommended for very severe cases as headgear and braces become ineffective for those who already have solidified jawbones. That is why the earlier that an underbite is addressed and treated, the better the chances of having a non-invasive method being used.

Underbite surgery

For those who have surgery as an option, the results are very hopeful. Most, if not all, oral surgeons in your area will be able to correct issues such as underbites by either lengthening the upper jaw or shortening the lower jaw. To keep these changes in place, plates, screws, and wires may be used in some cases. However, surgery is invasive and certain risks are involved including scarring and infection.

To find out which method is best for you to treat your underbite, set up a consultation by visiting our website newburysmiles.com and navigating to the Contact section, or give us a call at +1 805-499-3691

Orthodontic headgear, while a bit of an eyesore, remains to be an extremely effective tool in the orthodontic world. It is used to correct severe bite problems such as underbites and overbites by altering the alignment of your jaw. Orthodontic headgear can also be used as a spacer to create room for adult teeth if there is not enough room left behind by the older teeth. Therefore, headgear is commonly used on adolescents and those headed into their late teens.

Purposes

As mentioned above, orthodontic headgear is used to correct bite problems that might occur within the mouth. Common bites problems that orthodontic headgear is used to correct include:

  • Overjet: otherwise known as “buck teeth” where the front teeth jet out in an outward angle, giving the individual an appearance of a beaver.
  • Overbite: where the upper set of teeth overhang the bottom set.
  • Underbite: the opposite of an overbite where the lower set of teeth come over the front set.
  • Crossbite: the less severe out of all of the conditions where the teeth simply do not align when the individual bites down.

While individuals typically only have one issue that needs to be solved with the use of headgear, there are cases where two or more of these issues may be present at the same time.

Treatment

Children 9-13 are the main candidates and patients that typically receive treatment from the headgear. At this stage in their growth, their teeth and jaw are still actively growing and are therefore easier to manipulate with orthodontic headgear. By doing this, the teeth and jaw problems are corrected in a  non-invasive manner, whereas putting off the treatment may have to involve surgery in the future as the bones are less malleable. For those between the ages of 13-18, further medical exams will have to be taken to determine whether or not the bones are still growing or if they have solidified. This is typically done through x-rays. If the x-rays show that there is no more growth happening, other measures will have to be considered as headgear will off little to no help.

How Headgear Works

True to its name, headgear consists of gear that is worn on the patients head. There are 2 different types depending on the issue that is being treated: a cervical and high-pull, or a reverse-pull facemask.

Cervical and High-Pull Headgear

This one is typically used for those suffering from overjet and overbite. To do this, this type of headgear holds the maxilla in place while allowing the lower jaw to recover.

Cervical and high-pull headgear is made of three parts:

  • Head cap: Two straps: one placed on the back of the neck, and the other on the top and back of the head.
  • Facebow or J-hooks: A facebow are two bows, one of which is attached to the headgear, and the other which is attached to the back molars. J-hooks are wires, one end attached to the headgear, and the other which is attached to the braces.
  • Attachment appliances: Springs, bands, or coils that are used to create the tension needed for the movement of the jaw.

Reverse-Pull Facemask

A reverse-pull facemask is used by pulling the lower jaw forward so it catches up with the upper jaw.

The reverse-pull facemask is made of three parts:

  • Face mask: The face mask is a forehead pad and chin cup that are attached to a metal frame. Velcro straps are typically used to hold it in place.
  • Mouth yoke: Horizontal yoke where the attachments are placed.
  • Attachment appliances: Elastics are connected to the mouth yoke and braces to draw the upper jaw forwards. 

What to Expect

Whatever orthodontic headgear your orthodontist ends up recommending, both of them are a huge time commitment. Orthodontic headgear, in order to be effective, needs to be worn 12 to 14 hours a day. Because of this, orthodontists recommend putting it on just after dinner and wearing it through the night, then taking it off in the morning so it doesn’t disrupt your daytime activities.

Because orthodontic headgear is typically used on children, a schedule may be put in place so that the child can slowly get used to the device. Such a schedule may look like: 1 hour on the first day, 2 hours on the second, and so on and so forth.

As things begin to progress, your orthodontist will increase the tension in the orthodontic headgear. At first, this may cause some discomfort, so therefore taking a pain reliever to reduce the soreness is recommended. However, severe pain should be reported immediately.

As mentioned above, using orthodontic headgear consistently is key to having the treatment be a success. Depending on the age used at and the severity of the misalignment, treatment could be over in as little as 6 months. Speak with your dentist for any specific questions about headgear and whether or not it is right for your child. 

To set up a consultation, visit our website at newburysmiles.com and navigate to the Contact page, or give us a call at +1 805-499-3691.

It took four years, but now you’re finally free of your braces! Long gone are the days of not being able to chew gum, eat popcorn, candy apples, and cutting the inside of your lips and cheeks. Well…maybe just one of those is true. While you’ll be able to run your tongue over the smooth surface if your newly straight teeth, you’re not quite out of the woods just yet. After braces comes your retainer, a device that is used to keep your teeth straight after the braces are no longer pulling them into place. But don’t worry, they’re not nearly as bad as you think they are.

 

Dental retainers come in a few different types, meaning that just like with your braces, you can choose which option works best for your lifestyle. Note that the retainer itself is not optional, not unless you want your teeth to wander back to their pre-braces position and waste the thousands of dollars that you spent on orthodontic work. But as mentioned before, retainers are a walk in the park compared to braces so lets explore which one is the best one for you.

 

Types of Retainers

First, you’ll need to choose between one of two options: fixed or removable. Like their names explain, removable retainers are able to be taken off when you’re doing activities such as eating and brushing your teeth. Fixed retainers are not removable and stay in a fixed position, cemented to the back of your teeth. Removable retainers are good for those individuals who have good disipline and will commit to wearing them during the assigned times and won’t forget to put them back in after a meal or a teeth brushing. Eventually, removable retainers will only need to be worn at night rather than the day which makes it an appealing choice for most. However, for those who are forgetful or just prefer to not have the hassle or worry about losing or damaging their retainer, a fixed retainer would be the best option. Fixed retainers are also referred to as bonded retainers.

 

For those who choose removable retainers, there are two different kinds to choose from.

 

The first is called a Hawley retainer which was the only option for a little while. Hawley retainers are made of a plastic base that conforms to the shape of your hard palate and a wire that wraps around the front of your teeth. Hawley retainers are a great option for kids because they come in a variety of colours, and can even have sparkles added to the colour for a more fun look.

 

The second type of removable retainer is called an Essix retainer. These retainers are made of a clear plastic which is perfect for teens and adults who may not want a visible wire shown around their teeth. If you wore Invisalign® before as your choice of teeth straightener, these almost mimic the fit and function. However, Essix retainers do not have the durability and lifespan of a Hawley retainers, making them not the best candidate if you need to wear it for awhile.

 

Orthodontic Retainer Care Tips

We covered cleaning your dental retainer in an earlier blog post which you can read about here. However, here are a couple general care tips to help preserve your retainer for months to come.

 

– Keep your retainer in its case when it is not in use to avoid losing it or dropping and potentially breaking it. 

 

– If you have an Essix retainer, follow the same rules as you did with your braces and avoid eating anything too hard or stick to prevent damaging the retainer.

 

If you have any further questions about retainers, your dentist can provide you with answers and resources. To book a consultation with Dr. Saadat, give our office a call at +1 805-499-3691.

Suffering from migraines, but can’t seem to find the root cause of it? Maybe it’s time to look inside your mouth. At the San Diego School of Medicine, researchers have reason to believe that there is a definite link between migraines and the oral bacteria in our mouths after an investigation of foods containing nitrates. 

 

How it works is like this: nitrates can be transformed into nitrates by the bacteria that occur naturally in our oral cavity. Then, permitting the right conditions and environment, these nitrites can become nitric oxide which has the common side effect of headaches when consumed by people.

 

However, as miserable as this bacteria can make us feel with migraines, members of the American Gut Health Project say that this certain bacteria has a positive effect on our cardiovascular system and contributes to a healthy heart. Therefore, finding ways to reduce the bacteria may have consequences, especially for those already in poor cardiovascular health.

 

That doesn’t mean, however, that researchers will not come up with some kind of medication that will adjust your natural oral microbiome to prevent migraines. Likely what will happen is that the medication will be personalized for each individual and overall health and well-being will be taken into account before the medication is prescribed. 

 

This new link between migraines and oral bacteria still needs to be developed and investigated further, but the one thing that it does reinforce is the important link between our oral health and our physical overall health. This is why your bi-yearly health checks at your dentist are so important so that gingivitis and tooth decay does not occur or turn into something that can have devastating consequences on your body.

 

If you haven’t scheduled your cleaning with your dentist, give them a call and set up an appointment. New to the area and looking for a new dentist? Contact us today by calling 805-499-3691 or visit our website at newburysmiles.com/contact

When people talk about wanting straight teeth, they often only think of the cosmetic side of things and that it will make their smile more attractive. While this is true, there are actually other reasons why straight teeth are better for your health overall. Below are 6 reasons why straight teeth are healthier teeth.

  1. Easier to Clean

When the teeth are crowded and overlapping, it can be hard to get into the crevices to clean them properly. Improper cleaning can lead to dental disease and tooth decay as the bacteria that develops in these crevices is left untreated. Straight teeth give you a smooth and even surface to clean to make sure that nothing is missed.

  1. Speech Problems Resolved

You may not be thinking about it when you speak on a regular basis, but your teeth play a vital role in how you pronounce words. If there are large gaps or the teeth are very crooked, your pronunciation of words and your overall speech will be affected. By having straight teeth, your speech will become much more fluid.

  1. Increased Confidence

A mouth full of crooked teeth is not what most people would consider to be aesthetically pleasing. Therefore, people in these situations tend to avoid smiling because it makes them feel self-conscious or that they’ll be judged for the appearance of their teeth. With a mouth full of straight teeth, these individuals will see an increase in their confidence as they’ll be able to express themselves more freely. 

  1. Less Chance of Injury

With crooked teeth, there’s an increased chance that they will become damaged due to any external factor. There’s also the risk of biting your lip or cheek.

  1. Improved Digestion

Your teeth are responsible for breaking down your food so that it’s easier to digest in your stomach, but that can be challenging when your teeth are misaligned and/or have large gaps between them. As a result, the food is not broken down enough and your stomach has more work to do which in turn can cause indigestion or stomach upsets.

  1. No More Headaches and Neck Pain

Using your misaligned teeth for things like chewing can cause headaches and neck pain as there is added pressure to these areas. With straight teeth, this pressure is eliminated and individuals are able to live a pain-free life.

 

With all these benefits mentioned, why wait to get your teeth on the right track? Contact us today by calling +1 805-499-3691 or by visiting us on our website at newburysmiles.com to book a complimentary consultation.

 

As an overview, a canker sore is a small crater that can appear on your tongue or the inside of your lip or cheek. They are not contagious, therefore cannot be spread, but you can develop more than one canker sore at a time. Canker sores mainly appear in women and teens, but anyone is susceptible to them. You can get a canker sore in any of the following ways:

  • Biting your lip or cheek
  • Having braces
  • Vigorous brushing
  • Stress
  • Lack of sleep
  • Food allergies
  • Acidic foods and drinks
  • Vitamin B12, iron, or folic acid deficiency

 

Symptoms:

As mentioned above, a canker sore will appear on the soft tissue areas of your mouth. A canker sore is small and crater-shaped, typically with a red border and a white or yellow center.

Canker sores can be swollen and painful, sometimes making it hard to do things such as eating, talking, and teeth brushing, depending on where they appear in your mouth.

Although severe in the beginning, canker sores heal on their own over time with minor ones only needing a week or two to heal, and major ones up to 6 weeks.

 

Treatment:

Canker sores go away on their own so no intervention is required. However, you can lessen the pain and avoid getting any new ones by taking the following steps:

  • Eat soft foods that are easy to chew or don’t require chewing at all. If the latter is the case, try nutritious smoothies to get your nutrients or puree your meals
  • Avoid citrusy, spicy, and salty foods and drinks
  • Rinse your mouth with salt water
  • If painful, take a painkiller or numb the area with topical medicine or an ice cube

 

Prevention:

Most of the time, you may not know what caused your canker sore. If you got one because of vigorous brushing, take it easy and have your dentist show you the proper way to brush your teeth. They may also recommend a soft-bristled toothbrush instead. 

If you developed a canker sore because of biting your cheek or tongue, slow down when eating and be sure not to talk at the same time.

If you frequently get canker sores and they are not because of the previous reasons, make a food diary and try to spot some patterns in your diet. Perhaps you’re eating too many acidic foods and those are causing the flare-ups, or maybe you have an allergy you don’t know about.