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.

 

 

Laser Dentistry was first introduced in the 1990s as a treatment for gum disease. Today, it is widely used for a variety of treatments after it was deemed safe and effective, and most importantly, a less painful way for treatments to be conducted. That being said, the laser cannot be used for all treatments, but speak with your dentist regardless to see if it is an option available to you. Most dentists will opt in for laser treatments if available and if they are well trained in that area.

 

Benefits of Laser Dentistry

 

As mentioned above, using a laser is far less invasive than going with standard tools like a drill. While a drill may cause some bleeding, inflammation, and discomfort, using a laser with significantly decrease all of these things as it causes less trauma to the affected and surrounding tissue. When a laser is used, the patient won’t have to use as much anesthetic for pain relief which in turn means a shorter healing time, and your mouth won’t have to remain numb for quite as long.

 

Lasers allow the dentist to be more precise and better target just the affected areas so that less damage is done to the healthy tissue that surrounds the gum. The use of lasers also comes with a reduced infection rate as lasers are able to kill the bacteria that come into contact with it.

 

The Use of Lasers in Dentistry

 

As mentioned above, not all dentist offices will have lasers available as there may not be staff trained in this area. Every situation is also unique and lasers may not be the best choice for you. Below are some of the procedures that can be done with lasers, should laser dentistry be available at your dental office.

 

  • Removing decayed matter from the tooth
  • Gum shaping
  • Removing plaque and tartar
  • Biopsies for oral cancer screenings
  • Gum surgery

Does Laser Dentistry Completely Replace Drills and Traditional Tools?

 

No, there are some things that a laser cannot achieve that a drill still can. For example, when replacing a filling, a laser cannot remove the previous filling in which case a drill will have to be used. A laser also cannot be used when undergoing a bridge procedure.

 

Lasers are more so used for smaller procedures or dental cases that are on the minor side of the scale. With larger cavities or cavities that are in hard to reach places, your dentist will more than likely resort to using more traditional methods as it would not be safe to use the laser in these situations.

 

However, it is up to the skill and experience of the dentist involved in the procedure. Dentists that have multiple years experience with a laser will be able to perform more complicated procedures with a laser, whereas someone with only a few months will probably only be able to handle simple cases where a laser can be used. Always inquire about these things before signing on for a dental procedure to ensure that your needs are being met and you get the best quality care possible.

Fillings, inlays, and onlays all have one common goal and that it to fill gaps and holes both between and on your natural tooth. By doing so, they alleviate discomfort and restore your teeth back to their former glory.

 

But just because they all share a common goal, doesn’t mean they all treat the same issue. There are a number of factors that determine which treatment your dentist will deem best for you.

 

Let’s take a look at the various options.

 

Fillings: You probably know at least one person who has gotten a filling done, if nt yourself. In fact, when you think of the dentist, getting a filling because of a cavity is probably the first thing that pops into your head because it is such a common procedure. In turn, fillings are usually the go-to for dentists when filling in gaps and holes in your teeth, provided that the cavity is not too large. However, if the damage is more severe, a regular filling will not work. This is where inlays and onlays come into play.

 

Inlays and Onlays: As mentioned above, inlays and onlays function like fillings, but are used to treat more severe cases. Inlays are used to treat the inner hollowed out sections of your teeth–the chewing area–and are typically used on molars. Onlays are used for more broad and spread out damages, often covering the entire surface of the tooth.

 

Both are considered to be stronger than regular fillings and also provide the tooth with a very effective barrier against bacteria, preventing infection from reaching the exposed nerve endings. Inlays and Onlays, although more expensive than your traditional filling, may be worth the investment in the long run as they last longer and are easier to maintain.

 

When it comes to aesthetics, inlays and onlays also come in a variety of materials including porcelain, silver, and gold. Though it is entirely up to the patient which one they choose to go with, gold and silver are typically used on the back teeth, and porcelain is used at the front to disguise the fact that you had any dental work done.

 

Are you still unsure which option would be best for you? Schedule a free consultation with our office where we will assess your unique situation and make recommendations based on that. See you soon!

 

 

Worrying is a normal part of life and something that may happen to us every day, but when it gets to the point when it actually disrupts your life and prevents you from doing important things such as going to the dentist, that’s when it can become a problem. Refusing to go to the dentist can cause long term health effects such rotten or infected teeth, gum disease, and many more.

 

There are many reasons why someone may choose not to visit the dentist and identifying the specific factor is the first step into getting over your dental phobia. Some of the most common reasons for dental phobia include:

  • A traumatizing or painful experience
  • The feeling of helplessness
  • Not being able to communicate properly during the procedure
  • Fear of the unknown or what could happen during the procedure

 

Some dentists offer various services to help calm and relax you during your trip to the dentist, but not everyone is comfortable with sedation or taking medication to solve this problem. These things will always be available as a last resort, but before you skip straight to sedation, try a few of these methods first:

  • Be upfront about your fears so your dentist can best accommodate your needs and make adjustments based on the information that you give them.
  • Ask your dentist to explain in detail what is going to happen during the procedure so you know exactly what is going on. It may also be useful to have your dentist talk to you throughout the procedure and explain each step as they go along.
  • Plan your dentist’s visit at a time that works best for you, particularly on a day when you don’t have much going on. That way, you won’t feel rushed or panicked. You’re also more likely to hold yourself accountable for going to your appointment, rather than rescheduling at the last minute.
  • Ask if you’re allowed to have someone in the room with you. A comforting person’s presence can make all the difference.
  • The sound of the drill can be a trigger for most people, so ask your dentist if headphones are available or if you can bring your own.
  • Agree on non-verbal communication signals to let your dentist know if you’re in pain, need a break, or are feeling any other type of discomfort.
  • If all else fails, switch your dentist! Your dentist should be caring and sympathetic to your situation and if they treat you as more of a burden, it’s time to part ways.

 

Here at Newbury Smiles, we take pride in making sure our patients are comfortable and their needs are met. Give us a try by phoning our office and scheduling an appointment today.

 

If you haven’t heard of charcoal toothpaste, it may be because you don’t have an Instagram account and aren’t bombarded 20 times a day with another pretty face promoting a product. Influencer culture has greatly, for lack of a better word, influenced our decisions when it comes to various products, and toothpaste is no exception. One of the more popular ones in recent times has been charcoal toothpaste and it’s no surprise that its popularity has been because of celebrities and popular Instagram influencers. But is it really worth the hype, or just another paid promotion gimmick?

 

With evidence compiled by various reviewers and dentists alike, unfortunately, it looks like charcoal toothpaste is a bust, but hey, at least you won’t have to worry about cleaning your sink every time you brush your teeth anymore.

 

Charcoal toothpaste companies claim many things about the product, advertising their charcoal toothpaste as having strengthening and detoxifying benefits and claiming it also has antibacterial and antifungal properties.

 

Unfortunately, it looks like not a single one of these claims has any factual and scientific evidence to support them, and in fact, due to the digging, it looks like charcoal toothpaste is actually doing more harm than good. While the debate on whether fluoride in our toothpastes is a good or bad thing, those for having fluoride present argue that the reason that charcoal toothpaste is bad is because of the lack of fluoride, but the presence of fluoride would be useless anyway as charcoal cancels out any power that the naturally occuring substance has.

 

One of the more popular reasons why consumers turned to charcoal toothpaste though wasn’t because it was marketed as natural and fluoride-free. No, it was because of its claims to have superior whitening effects. However, with the charcoal toothpastes that were tested and reviewed, not a single one of them had enough whitening agents present in the formula to garner actual results. There was also the concern that charcoal is far more abrasive than other cleaning agents found in common toothpastes, and therefore has a negative effect on the enamel and your gums.

 

So is it worth it? Not in the slightest. With its price tag compared to more reputable toothpastes and the evidence showing that there no benefits to your health, its safe to say that charcoal toothpaste will be on its way out soon, both on Instagram and the stores that carry it.