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Wisdom Teeth: Why Do We Have Them?

October 20th, 2015

WHEN DENTISTS SEE emerging wisdom teeth are going to cause dental problems, wisdom tooth removal is likely in the cards.

Wisdom teeth–also known as the third molars–received their nickname because they emerge during young adulthood, when a person has a little more wisdom. But why do we wait until the late teenage years to address the issue? In fact, if wisdom teeth so often cause complications, why has nature given them to us at all?

Wisdom Teeth Have Ancient Roots

The most widely accepted theory behind wisdom teeth suggests we look to our ancestors in the distant past for answers. Early humans had a much different diet than we do today: roots, raw meat, tough plants—foods that would have required a lot of grinding. Big, wide molars were the perfect teeth for the job, and that third set of molars would have helped them immensely! They also had larger jaws to accommodate these extra teeth.

Today, we have smaller jaws and eat much softer foods, but our genes still produce third molars! When they don’t have enough room to emerge properly, wisdom teeth can begin erupting at angles of 45 degrees or more—even horizontally! When teeth grow where there isn’t space for them, they cause a lot of problems.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0wbwz9hG6Ac?rel=0

When Is Removal The Right Decision?

Wisdom teeth emerging at bad angles or crowding other teeth can damage oral health. They might not even emerge at all, becoming impacted below the gum surface. In either case, they can cause constant pain and infection, weaken bone structure, and create cysts around the unerupted molars.

You might ask why wisdom teeth aren’t addressed in early childhood. It’s because they actually don’t begin forming until around age 10! All teeth (adult teeth included) begin forming in the jaws during fetal development—except for wisdom teeth.

We Treat Each Wisdom Teeth Case Individually

There are the lucky few that have no problems with their wisdom teeth. It is possible for them to emerge at the right angle, with enough space, and not have to be removed.

Each case is unique, and by getting to know your unique dental profile, we will prescribe the best dental health solution—without any unnecessary treatment. From diagnosis to wisdom teeth removal recovery, we’ll be there every step of the way to provide the best in advice and care.

Thank you for choosing us for your family’s orthodontic care. We treasure the trust you place in our practice!

Image by Flickr user Celestine Chua used under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.

Are Cavities Contagious?

October 5th, 2015

WE ALL KNOW it’s possible to catch a cold from someone who’s under the weather. Did you know cavity-causing bacteria can be passed from person-to-person too?

Bacteria Is At The Root Of Cavities

While sugary treats often take the blame for causing cavities, the real culprits for tooth decay are bacteria. Streptococcus mutans and Streptococcus sobrinus are bacteria which stick to our teeth and eat food particles left behind from our last meal, producing acids which threaten gum health and cause tooth decay.

And just like cold-causing bacteria, these bacteria like to travel.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2xugsNgTV4Q?rel=0

Bacteria Travels From Person-to-Person

Whether it’s through sharing a drink or kissing a loved one, cavity-causing bacteria can be passed from person-to-person the same way many other bacterial infections can. Studies have shown that “catching a cavity” is not only possible, it happens far more often than you might think.

One of the most common transmissions is from parent and child. Cavity-causing bacteria is commonly passed along to a child when a mother or father tastes food to ensure it’s not too hot or when he or she “cleans” a pacifier by sucking on it before handing it over.

Take Simple Steps To Stop The Spread of Bacteria

What can you do to reduce your risk of transmitting these cavity-causing bacteria to someone else?
Floss and brush frequently.
Chew sugar-free gum—this promotes saliva production and washes away plaque and bacteria).
Be mindful of drinks and eating utensils you’re sharing and the risks that are involved.
Be aware of other behaviors which may spread these bacteria.

Trust Our Practice For Solutions

Nobody wants to inadvertently “catch a cavity.” Our practice is committed to providing you with the best information possible to help you create a healthy and resilient smile. If you have any questions about this, be sure to ask us! We love visiting about your oral health. You can also comment below and reach out to us on social media.

Thank you for reading our blog! We value our relationship with you as our patients and friends!

Image by Flickr user bigbirdz used under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.Are Cavities Contagious?

Yes, Soda Really Is Bad For Your Teeth

September 22nd, 2015

HERE’S ONE REALLY SIMPLE THING that you can do to make your mouth healthier: reduce the number of sugary, acidic drinks in your diet!

When we say sugary, acidic drinks we mean more than just soda. We’re including sports drinks, energy drinks, and even fruit juice. Read on!

Sugar + Acid Create The Worst Possible Cocktail For Your Smile

Oral bacteria in our mouths metabolize sugars in our drinks. This reaction creates an acid byproduct that erodes our teeth. If you have a healthy balance of bacteria in your mouth, you suffer less decay, but no one is completely free of harmful oral bacteria, even with great genes and perfect brushing habits.

Acidic Drinks Erode Teeth

In addition to the sugar, these drinks are loaded with acid! Acidity in soft drinks takes a more direct route than sugar, eroding your teeth without the help of oral bacteria. Each attack on the teeth lasts about 20 minutes and when you take another sip, it starts over again. This is why diet and “sugar-free” sodas do just as much damage as regular soda.

Many Of Us Drink At Least One A Day

As many as half of us drink at least one soda per day! Many people drink more. How much do YOU drink each day? Imagine how much better your enamel would feel if you replaced that soda with milk or water.

Be Kind To Your Smile

It’s not just about cavities. Enamel erosion can also lead to tooth sensitivity, and excess sugar leads to gum disease, the biggest cause of tooth loss in adults.

Have YOU kicked the soda habit? Do you have any tips that you can share with us? We’d love to hear from you!

Thanks for your trust in our orthodontic practice! Let us know if you ever have questions for us.

Why soda is bad for your teeth.

Welcome To Our Blog

September 18th, 2015

Thank you for taking the time to visit our blog. Please check back often for weekly updates on fun and exciting events happening at our office, important and interesting information about our orthodontics and the dental industry, and the latest news about our practice.

Feel free to leave a comment or question for Dr. Malan and staff - we hope this will be a valuable resource for our patients, their families, and friends

American Board Of Orthodontics Board CertifiedAmerican Dental AssociationAmerican Association Of Orthodontists

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