Bruxism

jaw painYou might wonder why dental terms are often so complicated. For instance, the term bruxism. What does it mean? Bruxism is the clenching and grinding of teeth. How do you get the word “brux” from that you might wonder? Why not call it what it is, clenching and grinding? Like so many of the words in the English language, bruxism is derived from the Greek word brychein meaning “to gnash teeth.” Bruxing often happens while sleeping so the bruxer is unaware of it. If the bruxing is mild it usually can be overlooked, but excessive bruxing can result in problems. If you suspect you or a loved one is a bruxer, contact your Forth Worth orthodontist, Dr. Cabal for a complete evaluation and treatment options.

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Adults And Braces

adult with bracesMore adults are getting braces. The stigma attached to braces from years ago has decreased dramatically especially since research has indicated how important it is to maintain your oral health. According to studies 75 percent of adults have a misaligned bite. Your teeth and jaws are meant to be properly aligned so you can eat a variety of foods–from soft to firm and crunchy–without pain or difficulty. If you are avoiding certain foods because you find them hard to chew, you may be a candidate for adult braces. Contact your Forth Worth orthodontist, Dr. Cabal. He will be happy to perform a complete oral evaluation and discuss treatment options.

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Does Your Child Have Malocclusion?

kid afraid to smileDid you know thumb sucking and mouth breathing can cause malocclusion?  A misaligned bite or “bad bite” affects your overall health such as your speech and breathing.  A bad bite is any irregular contact between the teeth of the upper jaw with the teeth of the lower jaw. Sometimes, in very extreme cases, it may even affect your looks.  Statistics show that 90 percent of school-aged children experience some degree of malocclusion, while only 10 to 15 percent require treatment. Treatment is most commonly sought for cosmetic reasons. If your child has a “bad bite” your Forth Worth orthodontist, Dr. Cabal, will be happy to sit down with you and discuss your child’s individual case and treatment options.

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Does Your Teen Need Braces?

boy with bracesWhen teenagers hear they need braces they often fight the idea. You might hear, “I’m not wearing those things for two years!” “They will call me metal mouth!” or other exclamatory sentences. When you were a teen there were no choices, but today’s teens have options. If your teen needs braces schedule a consultation with your Forth Worth orthodontist, Dr. Cabal. He will be happy to sit down with you and your teen and discuss your child’s individual case and treatment options.

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What is Phased Orthodontic Treatment?

Teens SmilingIf you are a parent of a child who needs braces, you may feel like there is an overwhelming amount of information for you to learn about. If you didn’t wear braces as a youth, the whole process may seem incredibly daunting. Lake Worth orthodontist, Dr. Ciro Cabal, is always here to explain new terminology, so if you aren’t familiar with a word or  phrase (such as  phased orthodontic treatment) just ask. The most important thing to remember is that compliance is key for optimal and fastest possible results. If you want your child to have an ideal outcome, arming your own self with knowledge will help you coach your child every step of the way towards a beautiful smile.

The Phases Orthodontics

Childhood development is a series of phases. In terms of orthodontics,  a phase  is a period of time in which we expect certain results. Most often, there are two phases involved in traditional orthodontic treatment.

Phase one: Mouth and teeth are prepared to accommodate 32 properly aligned adult teeth. (more…)

How Does Xylitol Protect your Teeth?

TrueOrFalseIf you enjoy chewing sugarless gum after a meal, you may be doing more for your dental health than just freshening your breath. Over the years there have been some understandable and highly founded concerns about the long term detrimental health effects of various artificial sweeteners. Xylitol, however, is a natural, fibrous derivative that sweetens gum and mints without added calories and cavity risk. In fact, not only does xylitol make gum taste great, but the compound can actually protect your teeth from tooth decay and gum disease. Try this true-or-false quiz to learn more

Questions

Q1. True or false – Xylitol was discovered 20 years ago.

Q2. True or false – Xylitol is produced by the human body.

Q3. True or false – Xylitol stops tooth decay and repairs demineralized tooth enamel.

Q4. True or false – Xylitol kills bacteria in your mouth.

Answers

A1. FALSE – Xylitol is a bit more mature than that, having been introduced as a sugar substitute in the 1960s. (more…)

All about Gum Disease

GumsAndTeethResearch tells us that about 80% of Americans have some level of gum disease ranging from mild gingivitis to severe periodontitis. Severe gum disease causes bone deterioration and tooth loss. Gum disease is, in fact, the main cause of adult tooth loss in our nation. A dentist or hygienist can diagnose gum disease, but symptoms are sometimes so mild, patients overlook the condition. However, gum disease is a chronic condition. It will only worsen if left untreated.

What Causes Gum Disease?

Clinically known as periodontal disease, gum disease usually results from plaque and tartar buildup at the gumline. It is a bacterial infection in
which bad oral bacteria erode the connective tissues between gums and teeth. As the condition becomes more severe, pouches of infection, called periodontal pockets, form at the base of teeth (between the jawbone and gum tissues) and bacteria thrive in this warm, wet, dark environment. (more…)

Three Terrific Tools for Tidy Braces

Let’s face it: wearing braces is complicated. Orthodontics are designed to move your teeth into proper spacing and alignment to improve the look and health of your entire mouth. Yet, without proper care throughout your treatment period, braces actually heighten your risk for gum disease and tooth decay because the brackets and wires provide plenty of space for particles of food and plaque to hide. Luckily, you have options when it comes to keeping your braces – and your teeth – clean and healthy while wearing braces.

1. Interdental Brushes

As the name implies, these tiny handheld brushes are designed to fit between teeth and were originally intended as an alternative to traditional dental floss. Incidentally, they also fit nicely in those hard-to-reach places around brackets and behind wires to dislodge trapped food and sticky plaque. Talk to your orthodontist about which brand and size of interdental brush might work best for your unique needs.

2. Water Flossers

Water flossers first hit shelves in the 1960s and have been gaining popularity ever since. A number of well-known brands promote water flossers as a better way for you to clean between your teeth and, surprisingly, around brackets and wires to keep your mouth exceptionally clean while you undergo orthodontic therapy. “Sonic” or electric flossers consist of a handheld flossing wand that shoots a jet of water from an attached reservoir. Faucet-powered flossers connect directly to the faucet and propel a jet of tap water between the teeth, exactly like the electric/sonic versions. Faucet-powered versions do not require the use of electricity, batteries, or a reservoir. Both types of water flosser come with attachments specially designed to reach tight spaces between brackets and wires.

3.  Fluoridated Mouth Wash

If your orthodontist believes you might be at a higher risk for developing tooth decay during your orthodontic treatment (risk factors include age, history of dental hygiene at home, diet, etc.), he may prescribe a high-concentration fluoridated mouthwash or suggest you use an over-the-counter brand of fluoride mouthwash (such as ACT®). The extra fluoride will neutralize acids and remineralize your enamel to keep them strong while the swishing action will remove any bits of food or plaque that you may have missed while brushing and flossing.

About Dr. Cabal

Dr. Ciro Cabal is a dedicated family orthodontist whose lifelong passion for providing exceptional dental care continues to this day as he serves patients of all ages from Ft. Worth, Azle, Saginaw, Springtown, Weatherford, Haslet, and the surrounding communities. To schedule an appointment to discuss invisible braces at our Ft. Worth orthodontist office, call Lake Country Orthodontics today at (817) 236-7846.

National Stress Awareness Month: TMJ and Anxiety

Stressed BusinessmanThe Federal Occupational Health unit of the US Department of Health and Human Services has declared April “National Stress Awareness Month.” The organization hopes that this campaign will help individuals learn to recognize the causes of stress and take steps to control anxiety in their daily lives. The FOH also warns that stress can have a major impact on your overall health, affecting you in ways you may never have imagined. While the organization does not specifically mention TMJ, dentists have long known about the link between stress and this condition. If you suffer from TMJ Disorder, your Fort Worth dentist can provide effective orthodontic treatment. He also encourages you to learn more about stress and how you can control your tension. (more…)