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Benefits of Straight Teeth and a Healthy Smile

Benefits of Straight Teeth and a Healthy Smile

For many people, malocclusion, or the misalignment of teeth, causes problems with self-esteem. Straightening your teeth offers significant psychological and social benefits. In fact, improving the look of your smile is one of the simplest and best ways to improve your overall appearance. Beyond just the obvious cosmetic benefits, however, straightening your teeth offers a number of other advantages.

One major advantage to straight teeth is that they’re easier to clean. Having your teeth straightened enables you to more effectively remove decay-causing food particles and promotes improved oral health. If teeth are too crowded, or if they overlap one another, small spaces are created in which food particles can become stuck. If a toothbrush is not able to reach into these areas, these food particles are likely to contribute to tooth decay and gum disease.

Importance of Oral Health

Maintaining good oral health is important for a number of reasons that extend beyond your mouth. More and more evidence is showing the connection between oral and overall health. The bacteria that causes tooth decay and gum disease can also increase the risk for and severity of heart disease and stroke. In fact, the connection between periodontal disease and heart disease is proving higher than the link between high cholesterol and heart disease. Periodontal disease has also been shown to increase the severity of diabetes-related complications and an increased risk of death from diabetes. It has also been linked to gastrointestinal disease and a host of other serious health conditions.  Straighter teeth are less likely to be a liability when talking about gum disease, and having straighter teeth can even make cleaning your teeth easier. Straighter teeth are less likely to grind which will save you from chipping and dulling. Crooked teeth can even lead to a crooked jaw from the uneven distribution of force while chewing which could contribute to TMJ concerns.

In women, maintaining proper oral health is particularly important during the childbearing years. Studies have shown that pregnant women with gum disease are at higher risk of giving birth too early and to low-birthweight babies. Premature and low-birthweight infants often have to overcome long-term developmental challenges.

In addition to improving your ability to clean your teeth effectively, properly aligned teeth can also improve your breathing. Narrow arches can sometimes cause breathing problems. In children, these types of breathing problems are thought to contribute to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). This lack of ability to take in adequate oxygen can also contribute to heart disease later in life if left untreated.

Improperly aligned teeth can also put excess strain on the supporting musculoskeletal structure, and can lead to headaches, facial pain and other discomforts. Even more importantly, teeth that are improperly aligned may not function correctly. When this happens, eating and speech may be affected.

While speech problems present obvious social and developmental challenges, the inability to adequately chew your food can also pose serious consequences. It stresses your digestive system and makes it more difficult for your body to get proper nutrition. This is obviously important for children, but is equally important for adults. Sometimes older people think it’s too late for them to benefit from straightening their teeth. However, as we age, it’s common for our nutrition to suffer, and late in life is when we need our nutrition to be at its best. In fact, adequate nutrition, as we grow older, is an extremely important factor in maintaining good overall health and promoting longevity.Invisalign 2

That’s why I believe that improving the alignment of the teeth, at any age, offers the potential for huge benefits.

To inquire more about Invisalign in Denver, please contact our office at 720.778.0400 to schedule a free Invisalign teeth straightening consultation with Dr. Cardon. Learn more about Invisalign teeth straightening here.

Five Reasons Never To Ignore Gum Disease

Five Reasons Never To Ignore Gum Disease

As a Northfield family dentist, our staff at Northfield Family Dental wants all of our patients to understand the risks of gum disease. After all, in order to enjoy a lifetime of great oral health, it’s important that patients provide their gums just as much attention as the health of their teeth.

Healthy gums are the result of good oral hygiene. But even the most ardent of oral hygiene enthusiasts can suffer from gums that become sore and inflamed, which can serve as an early warning sign of a more severe health problem. When gums become inflamed and begin to easily bleed, it’s often a sign of plaque build up that causes gum inflammation and can lead to the development of gum disease.

However, bleeding gums can also indicate a more serious health problem that could affect more than just your oral health. Here are a few of the serious illnesses that bleeding gums can serve as a symptom.

Diabetes

Studies have found compelling links between gum disease and diabetes. Bleeding gums rank as one of the most common signs of diabetes. For individuals battling the disease, trying to manage their blood sugar levels becomes incredibly difficult when suffering from actively bleeding gum disease. Individuals with diabetes must place their oral health as a top priority to prevent oral infections and other health problems.

Thrombocytopenia

More than just a game ending Scrabble word, individuals suffering from thrombocytopenia have lower platelet counts in the blood. This results in symptoms that range from bruising and slow blood clotting to bleeding gums and tissue. The condition can also cause oral lesions to develop, and even minor oral trauma can cause gums to bleed.

Leukemia

The bleeding gums caused by gum disease can be one of the initial signs of leukemia. Leukemic cells can infiltrate gum tissue, making a patient’s gums feel enlarged and appear hemorrhagic. This ranks as a very serious oral health problem that requires immediate medical care. If you practice quality oral hygiene – brushing twice a day and flossing daily – and still suffer from bleeding gums for over a week, you need to schedule an appointment with a Northfield family dentist.

HIV

Over 90 percent of HIV patients suffer from at least one oral health issue, such as bleeding gums or gum disease. While bleeding gums does not qualify as a sign of HIV by itself, patients who suffer from the autoimmune disease need to treat gum disease more seriously in order to prevent infection.

Pregnancy Induced Gum Disease

Expecting mothers commonly suffer from sensitive or bleeding gums. Gum problems during pregnancy occur due to the constantly shifting hormones a woman’s body goes through during the time leading up to delivery. This hormonal shift can cause gums to become swollen or inflamed, make them more susceptible to bleeding. Oral hygiene also plays an important role in a baby’s development, which means that expectant mothers need to make caring for their oral health a top priority. This could mean more frequent checkups and cleanings with our staff at Northfield Family Dental, and special instructions for an improved oral hygiene regimen.

Breaking Bad Habits With A Child’s Oral Health

Breaking Bad Habits With A Child’s Oral Health

As a family dentist in Denver, the staff at Northfield Family Dental wants all of our patients to enjoy a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums. To enjoy great oral health requires practicing quality oral hygiene habits from a young age. While parents would never intentionally place their child’s oral health at jeopardy, that’s exactly what many unintentionally do everyday.

To help protect the long-term oral health of your kids, here are a few bad habits that many parents commonly employ when tending to their kids’ oral health.

Laying A Child Down With a Bottle

It’s not uncommon for frazzled parents to try and calm their fussy baby by laying him or her down with a bottle. While giving a child a bottle of formula may help to quite her down, the sugars that formula contains pose a serious risk to her oral health.

When babies feed lying down, the formula pools around their front teeth. Oral bacteria that thrive in the mouth uses the sugars found in formula to produce acids that attack a child’s still developing teeth. These bacteria can cause tooth decay, which could result in a child loosing their baby teeth at too young an age.

While it’s easy to think of baby teeth as disposable since they do eventually fall out in most kids, baby teeth actually play a vital role in the development of a child’s permanent teeth. They act as space holders that work to guide a child’s adult teeth into the correct position. When a child’s baby teeth fall out at too young an age, adult teeth can develop crooked, misaligned or crowded. This can require orthodontic treatment or pulling teeth to correct.

As a general rule, parents should avoid laying a baby down with a bottle containing anything other than water. Formula, fruit juice and breast milk all contain sugar that can damage you baby’s oral health.

Sharing Pacifiers

For many parents, it’s not uncommon to clean their child’s pacifier or spoon by quickly sticking into their own mouths and licking off any debris before placing the item back into their baby’s mouth. While this might seem like a quick and convenient solution for how to clean off an item a child might have dropped or gotten dirty, the exchange of bacteria that occurs could present a problem.

Adults carry far more bacteria in their mouths when compared to young children. By placing an item into your mouth, you risk transferring foreign oral bacteria to your child’s mouth. An excess of bacteria can negatively throw off the balance of good and bad bacteria in a child’s mouth, increasing his or her chance of developing oral disease.

Delaying Dental Care

Making sure your child develops healthy teeth requires he or she receive regular dental care from a young age – much younger than many parents think. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentists recommend that parents schedule their child’s first dental visit by the age of 12 months, or shortly after a child begins teething, whichever comes first. While this may seem rather soon, early appointments with a family dentist in Denver will provide Dr. Cardon with the opportunity monitor the development of your child’s oral health from the beginning. Early checkups will also allow Dr. Cardon to spot any signs of decay early on while still treatable, which can prevent any significant long-term damage from occurring.

If you have any questions about the best practices for your child’s oral health, feel free to ask any member of our staff during your next appointment at Northfield Family Dental.

Study Finds Drinking Milk Helps to Whiten Teeth

Study Finds Drinking Milk Helps to Whiten Teeth

At Northfield Family Dentistry, Northfield dentist Dr. Craig Cardon and the rest of our friendly and professional staff want every patient to enjoy the very best oral health possible. The brightness of a patient’s smile is one of the most noticeable aspects of an individual’s oral health, and consuming teeth-staining foods can rob even the healthiest smiles of a little of their luster. This can lead to patients feeling insecure or uncomfortable with the state of their smile, and lower overall self-confidence, as a result.

Beverages like red wine, cola, coffee and black tea are some of the biggest contributors of staining the surface of the teeth. However, new research from the University of Alberta may have found a solution to this problem – at least for those patients who really enjoy a strong cup of tea.

Testing the effect of milk on tea’s ability to stain the surface of teeth, researchers discovered that milk significantly reduced tea’s ability to darken teeth and was even more effective at protecting the color of teeth than whitening toothpastes.

Strong Bones and Whiter Teeth

The second mostly commonly consumed beverage in the world, drinking tea has a very definite affect on how teeth are stained. The more the tea is oxidized, the higher the beverage’s teeth staining properties become, detailed researchers in the study.

To determine what effect milk has on tea’s teeth-staining properties, researchers used extracted human teeth as samples. After determining and recording the natural color of the teeth, researchers exposed them to a staining procedure that involved either a solution containing just tea or one that contained both tea and milk for a 24-hour period.

Teeth that suffered from obvious signs of decay, had fillings, obvious fractures or cracks were omitted from those used in the study.

Researchers discovered that casein, the primary protein found in milk, had the ability to bind the tannins, water-soluble compounds that play a large role in why tea easily stains teeth. Researchers noted a dramatic difference in how stained patient’s teeth become due to drinking tea with milk, comparing the change in color to the use of bleaching products or toothpastes that whiten.

Enjoying a Whiter Smile from your Northfield dentist

Northfield dentist Dr. Craig Cardon wants every patient to have the best-looking smile possible. Even if you don’t drink tea or like the idea of adding milk to your favorite beverage, there is an easy way to help prevent staining; just rinse with water whenever drinking teeth-staining foods and drinks. While drinking a glass of wine, for example, try swishing gently with water after every few sips. This will help remove staining liquids from the surface of your teeth so they don’t stay in contact with the enamel.

No matter what teeth-staining habit you’re trying to kick or modify, Northfield Family Dental can help!

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