Can Orthodontics Cure Your Chronic Headaches?

woman in painLast week, we discussed two important reasons for you to consider orthodontic treatment to straighten your teeth. Not only is a straight smile easier to keep clean and healthy; confidence in your smile, or the lack thereof, can noticeably affect your overall quality of life. When you’re proud of your smile, you’re more likely to show it often and enjoy the many benefits of a genuine smile (including reduced stress and an improved social life). However, Dr. Cabal warns that there are other considerations for correcting teeth that do not line up properly, some of which may not even seem dental related.

What Causes TMJ Disorder?

Your dental health comprises more than just your teeth and gums. Your entire body, mouth included, is an intricately complex machine, meaning many parts work together to accomplish a task. When you bite, chew, or speak, your teeth and tongue allow you to enunciate your words clearly and reduce food to easily digestible chunks. The power behind your teeth comes from your jaws, which are connected by your temporomandibular joints. Your TMJs, which are the large joints located in front of each ear, allow your jaw to move as it does. When placed under undue stress and/or pressure, these joints can become damaged or misaligned, forcing your jaw muscles to work extra-hard and irritate the associated nerves. The resulting discomfort, known as TMJ disorder, can manifest itself in a number of different ways, making diagnosis more difficult than many other dental disorders.

Beware These Symptoms

The symptoms of TMJ disorder are also shared by a number of maladies. If you exhibit any or all of the following symptoms, contact Dr. Cabal as soon as possible to schedule a consultation and determine if you suffer from TMJ disorder. (more…)

Two Reasons Why Straightening Your Teeth Should be a Priority

successful woman with impressive smileCrooked teeth are not an anomaly. In fact, orthodontic treatment (which focuses on correcting the alignment of your teeth and your overall bite) is a common reason for people to seek the help of their dentist. Typically, however, traditional braces that utilize metal wires and brackets may cause some adults a bit of apprehension. Many people feel that the cumbersome apparatus may inhibit their professional and personal life, and would prefer to brave the dangers of crooked teeth rather than face the awkwardness of wearing metal braces. As an experienced orthodontist in Lake Worth, Dr. Ciro Cabal knows that this sort of hesitation could prove detrimental. Today,we offer two reasons why addressing your crooked smile is important.

Straight Teeth for a Healthy Smile

Tooth decay and gum disease are two of the most common, and also the most destructive, progressive oral health issues. Both can seriously threaten your dental health if left unchecked, and both begin with the excessive buildup of bacterial dental plaque. Brushing and flossing your teeth is your first and primary defense against plaque buildup, and is therefore vital to the continued good health of your mouth. When your teeth are crooked, however, the odd angles and protruding corners can offer excellent hiding spots for food debris and plaque to secretly gather. These spaces are typically unreachable by your toothbrush and are often overlooked during the daily hygiene routine. Once plaque remains for more than 48 hours, it calcifies (hardens) into tartar, which is insoluble and requires professional dental care to remove from your teeth. By straightening your smile and evening the playing field, you can increase your chances of successfully removing all traces of plaque and lowering your risk of developing oral health issues. (more…)

How Much Do You Know About Invisalign Braces?

woman with straight clear smileHaving straight teeth is more important than mere pride in your smile; crooked or misaligned teeth can also make proper dental hygiene more difficult, increasing your risk of oral health issues like tooth decay and gum disease. At your Lake Worth orthodontist office, we can help you achieve a straighter smile without the stigma of traditional braces. To help you understand the benefits of discretely straightening your teeth, Dr. Ciro Cabal tests your knowledge of our Invisalign clear braces treatment.

Invisalign Quiz

How do crooked teeth threaten your oral health?

Your mouth is constantly threatened by oral bacteria, which congregate to form the plaque that often sticks to your teeth and gums. Brushing and flossing your teeth helps to control this plaque buildup; however, when your teeth do not align properly, this plaque becomes difficult to remove as it hides in hard-to-reach places. In time, the bacteria in plaque contribute the formation of tooth decay and gum disease. (more…)

How Did Kissing Under the Mistletoe Begin?

If you’ve ever kissed someone under the mistletoe during the Christmas season, chances are you weren’t thinking about how the tradition began. However, tracing the origins of the mistletoe kiss is not simple. There are numerous myths surrounding the custom, some of which even predate the Christmas tradition. Lake Worth orthodontist Dr. Ciro Cabal discusses a couple of these myths to help shed light on the time-honored ritual.

Druids and the Winter Solstice

In first-century Britain, the Druids held the mistletoe in high regard. They believed the parasitic plant could perform miracles, from enhancing fertility to healing diseases. It was also rumored to ward off evil spirits and protect people from malicious witchcraft. Druids would pass sprigs of mistletoe out to the people while celebrating the new moon after the winter solstice, and the people would be safe from evil and enjoy good fortune. Today, couples who kiss under the mistletoe purportedly enjoy a year of happiness and good luck. (more…)

Moms—How Important are You to Your Child’s Oral Health?

Most parents would not be surprised to learn that their children are most impressionable in their early years. The first few years of a child’s life are a time of rapid development, and most of what they learn comes from home and family life. Therefore, teaching your child the tenets of proper oral hygiene during their early childhood can help them prepare for a lifetime of healthy smiles. Lake Worth orthodontist Dr. Ciro Cabal discusses how your instruction, and your influence, can impact your child’s dental health for years to come.

Teach Them the Basics of Oral Health Care

Repetition is a key to developing habits. Teach your child to brush every day, twice a day, and to floss at least once. Their teeth will be your responsibility until they are old enough to brush their teeth without swallowing the toothpaste, so diligently practice this routine every day to get them used to the ritual. Also, studies show that a majority of dental phobias begin in early childhood, as well. Show your child not to fear the dentist by bringing them in for regular dental checkups as often as recommended. (more…)

Lake Worth Orthodontist Discusses Mouth Lesions

People often confuse cold sores and canker sores, both of which affect your mouth and are similar in appearance. Below the surface, however, the two conditions are quite different, and determining what kind of sore you’ve developed is essential for treating it. To help you understand the difference and treat your sore properly, Lake Worth orthodontist Dr. Ciro Cabal lists some of the main differences between cold and canker sores.

How Did That Sore Get There?

  • Origin—One of the major differences between canker sores and cold sores is origin. Cold sores, or fever blisters, are caused by the herpes simplex type 1 virus (its cousin, the type 2 virus, is the one that causes genital warts). Canker sores, on the other hand, have no known cause, although experts believe they may be a form of localized inflammation problem.
  • Contagious—The herpes simplex type 1 virus is contagious, and your cold sores may be the result of contact with someone carrying the virus. Canker sores, though, do not appear to be contagious, but seem to show more frequently during times of excessive stress or as a symptom of a more serious illness. (more…)

How Do Turkeys Eat without Teeth? And Other Turkey Facts

A healthy human mouth contains 32 teeth, each with a specific purpose in the food-chewing process. Crocodiles have 60 teeth at any one time, but with all of its replacement teeth, it can grow up to 3,000 teeth in its lifetime. Sharks lose teeth every week and can grow up to 20,000 teeth throughout its life. Turkeys, on the other hand, like many other birds, do not have teeth. To honor the traditional Thanksgiving Day bird, Lake Worth orthodontist, Dr. Ciro Cabal explores how turkeys eat without the benefit of teeth, as well as other fun turkey facts you may not know, and will probably never need to.

All About Turkeys

  • Teeth or no teeth, turkeys have to eat. They do so by first picking their food up with their beaks. In lieu of teeth, the turkey secretes saliva onto the food that helps break the food down and begin the digestion process. Its tongue pushes the feed to the back of the mouth, where it is swallowed. The grain is stored in a pocket of the esophagus called the crop for safe consumption later.
  • Did you know there’s a National Turkey Federation? The Federation, which is not related to any diplomatic agencies from the Turkish nation, estimates that nearly 45 million turkeys are eaten on Thanksgiving Day. Other popular turkey dinners include Christmas, where 22 million turkeys are devoured, and Easter, which enjoys about 19 million turkey dinners. (more…)

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…)