Posts for: October, 2017

By Today's Dental
October 23, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
FAQInterceptiveOrthodonticsforChildren

Have you heard about interceptive orthodontics? This type of early intervention could benefit perhaps 10â??20% of children who need orthodontic treatment, making a positive impact on tooth and jaw development, facial symmetry, and overall self esteem. In case you’re not familiar with it, here are the answers to some common questions about interceptive orthodontic treatment.

Q: What’s the difference between interceptive orthodontics and regular orthodontics?
A: Standard orthodontic treatment typically involves moving teeth into better positions (usually with braces or aligners), and can be done at any age. Interceptive orthodontics uses a variety of techniques to influence the growth and development of teeth and jaws, with the aim of improving their function and appearance. Because it works with the body’s natural growth processes, interceptive treatment is most effective before the onset of puberty (around age 10-14), when growth begins to stop. It is generally not appropriate for adults.

Q: What are the advantages of early treatment with interceptive orthodontics?
A: When it’s done at the right time, interceptive treatment offers results that would be difficult or impossible to achieve at an older age without using more complex or invasive methods — for example, tooth extraction or jaw surgery. That’s why the American Association of Orthodontists, among other professional organizations, recommends that all kids have their first orthodontic screening at age 7.

Q: What are some common issues that can be treated with interceptive orthodontics?
A: One is crowding, where there is not enough room in the jaw to accommodate all the permanent teeth with proper spacing in between. A palatal expander can be used to create more room in the jaw and avoid the need for tooth extraction. Another is a situation where the top and bottom jaws don’t develop at the same rate, resulting in a serious malocclusion (bad bite). A number of special appliances may be used to promote or restrict jaw growth, which can help resolve these problems.

Q: How long does interceptive orthodontic treatment take?
A: Depending on what’s needed, a child might wear a device like a palatal expander or another type of appliance for 6-12 months, followed by a retainer for a period of time. Or, a space maintainer may be left in place for a period of months to hold a place for a permanent tooth to erupt (emerge from the gums). Interceptive treatment ends when a child’s jaw stops growing.

Q: Will braces still be needed after interceptive treatment?
A: Often, but not always, the answer is yes. However, interceptive treatment may shorten the period of time where braces need to be worn, and can help prevent many problems later on.

If you have additional questions about interceptive orthodontics, please contact our office or schedule a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine article “Early Orthodontic Evaluation.”


By Today's Dental
October 17, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: braces   orthodontics   Invisalign  

How Invisalign treatment from Houston can improve your smileinvisalign

When you look at your smile in the mirror, is it as straight as you’d like it to be? Are you envious of the straight, beautiful smiles of your friends? Are you ready to achieve your straight smile? If you answered yes to these questions, it’s time to consider Invisalign, the virtually invisible way to straighten your smile discreetly. Dr. Tiberiu Oancea and Dr. Jeromy Thornton at Today’s Dental in Houston, TX want to share how this revolutionary orthodontic treatment can improve your smile.

When you choose Invisalign, you are choosing the leader in innovative, discreet orthodontic treatment. That’s because Invisalign uses a system of clear plastic trays, called aligners, to straighten your smile easily, comfortably and quickly. There are many important benefits of Invisalign treatment. Invisalign is:

  • A cosmetically-beautiful choice, because the aligners are clear plastic and most people don’t even notice them
  • A comfortable choice, because the aligners have no sharp metal brackets or wires to irritate your cheeks and gums
  • A healthy choice, because you can remove the aligners to brush and floss your teeth normally
  • A satisfying choice, because you can still eat the foods you enjoy

Your Invisalign treatment begins with your first set of custom-made trays, which you wear for two weeks. You move on to a second set, which you also wear for two weeks. You will move to a new set of aligners every two weeks until your treatment is complete, which usually takes 9 to 15 months. You deserve a beautiful, straight smile in a short period of time, and Invisalign can make it happen!

Invisalign can correct many of the same issues as conventional braces including overbite and underbite, crossbite and open bite. Invisalign can also close gaps between teeth, and realign poorly-positioned, overlapped teeth.

If you’ve wanted a straight smile, but stayed away from orthodontics because of unsightly metal brackets and wires, or lengthy treatment, it’s time to think Invisalign! Invisalign can give you a straight smile discreetly and quickly.

To find out more about revolutionary Invisalign orthodontic treatment, talk with the experts! Call Dr. Oancea and Dr. Thornton at Today’s Dental in Houston, TX. Call today to start your journey to a straight smile with Invisalign!


By Today's Dental
October 15, 2017
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral health   nutrition  
BestDietaryPracticesforHealthyTeethandGums

Your diet can play as important a role in your dental health as brushing and flossing. What you eat (particularly sugar) could increase your risk of tooth decay despite your hygiene habits. And vice-versa: a nutritious diet may help boost your preventive efforts even more.

Let’s look at two very different approaches to diet and see how your dental health is likely to fare under each.

A High Sugar/Low Fiber Diet. Modern western diets heavy with processed foods are inundated with two particular types of refined sugars. The first is sucrose, which comes mainly from either beets or sugar cane. Foods (and beverages) may also contain a refined sugar from corn known as high fructose corn syrup. Refined sugars are added for taste to thousands of products like cake, candy, soft drinks or even condiments like catsup. These “free” sugars are easily processed by bacteria into acid. Combine that with fewer fibrous vegetables in the diet and you have a recipe not only for obesity and other health issues, but tooth decay as well.

A High Fiber/Low Sugar Diet. Fruits and vegetables make up a large part of this kind of diet, while added free sugars much less so. That doesn’t make this diet sugar-free: all plant products contain simple sugars produced by photosynthesis. The difference, though, is that these sugars — glucose, fructose and sucrose (natural, not the refined versions) — are more slowly absorbed into the bloodstream during digestion because of the fiber content of fruits and vegetables. You’ll also receive other nutrients like vitamins and minerals necessary for good health. Eating this kind of diet will help decrease the risk of tooth decay.

So there you have it: eat more fresh fruits and vegetables and restrict your intake of processed foods and sweets. You may also want to fine-tune a few items to maximize decay prevention: for example, eat starches in their natural form (whole grains, beans or certain fruits) as much as possible rather than refined or in combination with added sugar (cakes, cookies, etc.). And while fresh fruits with their naturally occurring sugars aren’t a significant factor in tooth decay, dried fruits (especially with added sugar) might.

Bon appétit!

If you would like more information on proper diets for better oral health, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Nutrition & Oral Health.”