Monthly Archives: October 2015

Tooth Crowding | Palm Harbor Dentist

162713815While many children and adults have orthodontics (braces) to treat alignment and spacing issues, many more people have – or believe they have – problems with tooth crowding that goes untreated. Crowding can be caused by a number of different factors, and knowing the actual cause may impact the treatment options.

One of the common causes of tooth crowding is natural occurrence – so called mesial drift phenomenon, where your front teeth drift slowly to the center of the mouth. In the past, some dentists believed this was caused by the presence of wisdom teeth, crowding the front teeth from the rear of the mouth, though in reality many of the problems are due to simple insufficient space for the number of teeth as adults grow. Beyond mesial drift, other potential causes – such as weakened support due to periodontal disease, thumb sucking, and tongue thrusting – can also influence teeth to move in directions that are undesirable, leading to misalignment and crowding issues.

While many patients see crowding as a cosmetic problem, the reality is that poorly aligned teeth are at an increased risk for periodontal disease, decay, and the patient is more likely to suffer from TMJ (jaw-joint) problems, as their irregular bite may cause strain on their jaw over time. For these reasons, fixing alignment should be considered more than simply a cosmetic procedure – correcting the alignment allows the patient to have better access to brush and floss, and their bite will be more level.

If you notice crowding in your front teeth, make a point of asking your dentist about options in your next regular checkup. There are a number of treatments available, and treating the crowding early can help prevent more serious problems from developing in the future.

To find out more about tooth crowding contact Dr. Larry Lieberman and make an appointment 727-785-8017 or visit our website at www.dentist-lieberman.com.

Accepting patients from Safety Harbor, Palm Harbor, Clearwater, Dunedin, Tarpon Springs and all surrounding areas.

 

Halloween Candy | Palm Harbor Dentist

Halloween will soon be over, but the Halloween candy may live on for a few days or weeks. While dentists typically agree that sugar increases tooth decay, many also appreciate that Halloween candy is typically OK for kids, as long as it’s eaten in moderation and parents follow some basic guidelines.

First, sugar does contribute to decay by providing food for bacteria that damages teeth. Most Halloween candy is high in sugar, but simply eating candy isn’t necessarily going to cause decay. Rather, the sugar remaining on the teeth long term contributes to decay. Therefore, eating sugary candy isn’t necessarily damaging, as long as the time spent eating candy is limited, and immediately followed by rinsing the teeth with water, and brushing as soon as possible.

ThinkstockPhotos-178564205Not all Halloween candy is created equally, either. Sour candies tend to have far more acid than sweeter candies. The acid is more damaging to tooth enamel than plain sugar, and should be avoided if possible. Candies that are sticky – such as caramels, gummies, and popcorn balls – are more likely to stick to teeth, and therefore more likely to resist brushing. Because they may get stuck on teeth, they are more likely to cause tooth decay.

If possible, try to moderate candy consumption by limiting hungry and cravings with other healthier food sources – rather than allowing candy binges, allow minimal candy intake immediately following another meal, so that the child is less likely to be hungry, and normal post-meal brushing is imminent.

While Halloween can be fun, and candy is typically OK, be sure to ensure that candy is enjoyed in moderation, and try to avoid the overly acidic/sour and sticky/gummy candies.

To find out more about the effects of sour candy contact Dr. Larry Lieberman and make an appointment 727-785-8017 or visit our website at www.dentist-lieberman.com.

Accepting patients from Safety Harbor, Palm Harbor, Clearwater, Dunedin, Tarpon Springs and all surrounding areas.