Lake Worth Orthodontist Extols the Benefits of a Tongue Scraper

In your quest for oral health excellence, you no doubt pay plenty of attention to keeping your teeth and gums healthy, but how important is your tongue in your oral hygiene endeavors? Your body’s strongest muscle does more than help you speak clearly and eat properly; it also houses much of the germs that cause tooth decay, gum disease, bad breath, and other oral health issues. To help you maximize your dental hygiene routine, Lake Worth orthodontist, Dr. Ciro Cabal, explains the need to keep your tongue clean.

Oral Health and Your Tongue

At any given moment, even while you read this, there are about 10-15 billion bacteria in your mouth. Since you probably don’t spend every waking moment locked in an intense battle with these germs, underestimating their importance is easy. However, the most destructive oral health issues, including advanced tooth decay and severe periodontitis (gum disease) begin with excessive bacteria accumulation. When enough germs are present, they band together to form a sticky extracellular substance (what we know as dental plaque). This biofilm protects the germs and helps them adhere to the surfaces of your teeth. Brushing and flossing your teeth at least twice a day helps control the bacterial population, but half of those billions of oral bacteria reside on your tongue. (more…)

The Inconspicuous Gift of a Straight Smile

For some children, the need for braces is inevitable. Hopefully, your child is the sensible type that understands the need for braces and accepts his/her fate without a fuss. With the stigma associated with the metal brackets and wires of traditional braces, however, chances are slim that your child would exhibit such a stoic reaction. Those chances diminish as your child reaches the teen years and social status takes on a whole new meaning. In the spirit of the holiday season, Lake Worth orthodontist Dr. Ciro Cabal offers a solution that brings joy to all—Invisalign clear braces, which straighten your teen’s teeth without announcing the treatment to your teen’s friends and peers.

What are Invisalign Clear Braces?

Misaligned or crooked teeth basically only have one solution; straighten them. How you approach this goal, however, can vary, and in this aspect, traditional braces leave much to be desired. Invisalign clear braces seek to eliminate the most troublesome aspects of orthodontic treatment while still providing you with a beautiful, straight smile. Invisalign accomplishes this through the use of clear acrylic aligners that gradually move your teeth into the desired position. Because the aligners are clear, they are virtually invisible. Because they are removable, your teen can continue to eat the same foods as before, and doesn’t have to risk anyone seeing braces at social events or gatherings. Removable aligners also allow your teen to maintain good oral hygiene practices without navigating the toothbrush and dental floss around a complicated network of metal. (more…)

Do You Wonder How Candy Came to Define Halloween?

Today, many dentists are pondering what abuse their patients are inflicting on their teeth with the abundance of candy that dominates the Halloween holiday. In fact, the day is so candy-centric that one may wonder which came first, candy or Halloween? The answer to that may be hard to find, but what is certain is that knocking on your neighbors’ doors dressed as monsters to demand candy is a fairly new American tradition. The holiday itself, however, has quite an illustrious history. So how did Halloween and candy become bosom buddies? Lake Worth orthodontist Dr. Ciro Cabal explores the historical relationship between the two.

The Origins of Halloween

The ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (“sah-win”) was a Gaelic tradition to celebrate the end of harvest and prepare for the upcoming winter. They believed that on the last day of October, the world of the living and the world of the dead overlapped, allowing the deceased to enter our world and wreak havoc through sickness, famine, and death. Bonfires were a typical setting for the festival, and partygoers wore masks and costumes to blend in with the spirits. Today, the tradition of dressing up carries on, with the additional aspect t of getting free candy. (more…)

Lake Worth Orthodontist Quizzes You on Cavities

Most of us have been told since childhood to brush our teeth twice a day and floss at least once to prevent cavities. Although 90% of adults in America under the age of 59 have had at least one cavity, many people do not know much about the malady, or have been led to believe a myth that is not true. To help clarify the truth about tooth decay, Dr. Ciro Cabal, an experienced orthodontist in Lake Worth, tests your knowledge about the silent epidemic with this short true or false quiz.

True or False: Cavities

Q: Cavities are formed from eating too much sugar.

A: This is a trick question, and is both true and false. Sugar contributes to the formation of cavities, but it is not the main cause. The true culprit is acid, which oral bacteria excrete after consuming the sugars and carbs in your meal.

Q: Cavities are more likely to affect kids than adults. (more…)

Lake Worth Orthodontist Explores the Germs That Hide in Your Mouth

The science of correcting misaligned teeth has helped countless people gain or regain their confidence by improving the look and function of their smiles. Straighter teeth are much more pleasant to look at, and can also help you avoid many of the dental maladies that can occur from crooked teeth, such as malocclusion (a misaligned bite) and TMJ disorder (distress in your jaw joints). One of the most significant benefits to straighter teeth, however, is the ability to effectively keep your mouth clean. When your teeth do not line up properly, the jagged edges and odd corners offer excellent hiding spots for oral bacteria to rest, often out of reach of your toothbrush. To highlight the significance of eliminating these hiding spots, Lake Worth orthodontist Dr. Ciro Cabal explains some of the malicious microbes that can be found in your mouth and the destruction they cause.

The Tooth Decay Microbe

Among the most talked about oral bacteria is the one that is largely responsible for tooth decay. Streptococcus mutans consumes the sugars and carbs in your diet, then converts them into lactic acid, which attacks and weakens your tooth enamel (your tooth’s first and most powerful line of defense). While enamel is the strongest substance in your body (and the second strongest substance in the world, only weaker than diamond), it is subject to acid erosion. (more…)

Invisalign Braces: The Clear Choice for Teens?

Invisalign braces are often the clear choice for adult orthodontic patients. Now Invisalign Teen is making clear braces an option for image-conscious teens.

How Invisalign is Different

Unlike the application of traditional metal braces, Invisalign treatment has the patient wear a series of custom-designed aligners, or smooth, comfortable, removable plastic trays. The patient switches aligners about every two weeks as the teeth move gradually into the desired position.

Dr. Cabal likes to see his Invisalign patients about every six weeks – less frequently than is necessary with traditional braces. These assessment visits allow the Lake Worth orthodontist to make sure treatment is on track. He’ll evaluate the shifting of teeth and modify treatment, if necessary.

Parents, don’t worry about the less-than-responsible habits of your teen. To accommodate teens, who are likely to lose removable dental devices such as retainers and aligners, Invisalign Teen offers free replacement of up to six aligners during the course of treatment. (more…)

Lake Worth Orthodontist Discusses Key Contributors to the Science

Thanks to great strides in technological advancement, orthodontics has become more popular than ever. Orthodontics became recognized as a specific dental specialty over 100 years ago, but the presence of orthodontics dates back thousands of years. Ancient Egyptians used gold wire to straighten teeth, and famous Greek philosopher Hippocrates contemplated tooth straightening, as well as treatments for other dental conditions. Today, your Lake Worth orthodontist, Dr. Ciro Cabal, honors key contributors that helped make orthodontics what it is today.

Notable Contributors to Orthodontics

• Pierre Fauchard, a notable French dentist, published the book The Surgeon Dentist in 1728. His book discussed various methods of straightening teeth.

• Dr. Norman Kingsley, the first dean of the New York University College for Dentistry, was at the forefront of creating interest in the alignment of teeth. Dr. Kingsley penned the first article about orthodontics in his book, Treatise on Oral Deformities. (more…)

Braces Provide More Than Just a Beautiful Smile

There is nothing quite as charming as a bright smile featuring clean, straight teeth. Unless you were blessed with the best characteristics of a winning smile, braces can provide you with what genetics could not. A pretty smile is just one positive result braces can provide.

The Many Benefits of Braces

Braces not only produce a beautiful smile, they also bolster your overall dental health.

Straight teeth are easier to clean. Crooked and crowded teeth are difficult to properly clean and maintain, which opens the door for tooth decay, a leading cause of tooth loss.

Braces promote proper jaw alignment. A misalignment of the upper and lower arches of teeth (malocclusion) can contribute to an abnormal wear of tooth surfaces, and cause excessive stress on jaw joints.

Your wallet will thank you. There is a stigma surrounding the cost of braces. Granted, braces are an investment, but one that pales in comparison to the additional care required to treat dental problems that arise due to untreated orthodontic issues.  (more…)

What Do Headaches, Tooth Sensitivity, and Shoulder Pain Have in Common?

Did you know that your dental health can have far-reaching implications for the rest of your body? For instance, gum disease has been shown to increase your risk of stroke and pregnancy complications. TMJ disorder is another oral health condition that can have negative effects on your overall health. Our Lake Worth orthodontist, Dr. Ciro Cabal, will explain the symptoms of TMJ disorder and how we can help.

Headaches and Your Oral Health

We do not often associate headaches with dental problems. Consequently, finding out headaches may be connected to your tooth alignment may come as a surprise to some patients. TMJ disorder is an oral health condition involving jaw pain issues. Your TMJs, or jaw hinge joints, allow you to move you lower mandible. These hinge joints become exhausted from attempting to hold misaligned teeth in the correct position. As a result of jaw muscle overexertion, you may experience teeth grinding, which can lead to numerous dental health problems, such as tooth sensitivity and increased cavities.

Other Symptoms of TMJ Disorder

In addition, TMJ disorder causes your jaw muscles to pull on other parts of your body like the top of your head, your neck, and your shoulders. This can result in muscle aches, chronic headaches, and even inner ear pain. Dizziness, jaw popping, and difficulty opening your mouth are other symptoms of TMJ disorder. (more…)

What is Cosmetic Orthodontics?

Your smile can say so much about your personality before you even speak. Many people notice your teeth first because your smile can be an indicator of your authenticity, kindness, and even competence, according to a Penn State University study. In fact, at a recent TED Talks conference, Ron Gutman presented UC Berkeley statistics that tied students’ smiles in yearbooks to their levels of relative success. Our Lake Worth orthodontist, Dr. Ciro Cabal, will explain how orthodontics can improve your image and your confidence so that you can benefit from a big, genuine smile.

The Advantages of Cosmetic Orthodontics

Cosmetic orthodontic treatments are different from other orthodontics. These therapies focus mainly on the front teeth which show when you smile. Cosmetic orthodontics addresses crooked, overcrowded, or unevenly spaced anterior teeth. In contrast, other orthodontic treatments may focus on malocclusion, or misaligned bite, TMJ disorder issues, and other dental health problems.

Because cosmetic orthodontics prioritizes small changes to the visible portion of your smile, many treatments can be completed in a shorter amount of time than other orthodontic treatments. Unlike other therapies, cosmetic treatments do not address extensive dental issues that take more time to correct.

Our cosmetic orthodontic treatments include:

Invisalign in Lake Worth

Invisalign clear braces for teens and adults are a great option for quickly correcting cosmetic smile issues. These removable clear plastic aligners gradually move your teeth into the ideal position for a straight smile. These options for orthodontic treatment offer the most convenience when straightening a crooked smile.

Tooth-Colored Braces

Tooth-colored braces also offer discrete orthodontia with ceramic brackets and wires. Since the braces are color matched to your smile, they are much less conspicuous that traditional braces, yet offer the same benefits of a straighter smile. By applying gentle forces overtime, these tooth-colored brackets will direct your teeth into perfect alignment. (more…)