Friday, September 24, 2010
by British Dental Health Foundation
Playing with a pierced tongue stud could lead to a gap between the front teeth. A new study suggested that tongue piercings could be a major cause of unnecessary orthodontic issues. The report claimed that those with tongue piercings were likely to push the metal stud up against their teeth and consequently cause gaps and other problems to arise.
The research was carried out at the University at Buffalo in New York.
Dr Nigel Carter, chief executive of the British Dental Health Foundation, said the study highlighted the risks that tongue piercings have on oral health.
“It’s certainly something to think about before going out to get a tongue piercing. The temptation of playing with the stud in the mouth would be very high and in time this could lead to hundreds of pounds worth of corrective treatment,” Dr Carter said. “The results of this study stress the risks that are associated with tongue piercings. As well as causing an apparent gap, oral piercings can also lead to chipped teeth and infection.”
“In order to avoid such health problems in the future, along with the spiraling costs of any related treatment, I would advise people to stay clear of tongue piercings,” Dr Carter said.
Sawsan Tabbaa, lead author of the study, said that “force, over time, moves teeth” and that the results are caused by people playing with their studs crop up in a “very high percent of the cases.”
A professor of orthodontics at the University at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine, Tabbaa, explained that tooth damage was common in both past and current case studies.
The current study featured a 26 year-old female patient and showed that a space between the upper front teeth had appeared during a period of seven years, as the metal bar was pushed against and between the teeth.
The patient provided researchers with photographs to show that she had no diastema before having her tongue pierced. It was strongly thought that positioning of the tongue stud between the maxillary central incisors caused the midline space between the front teeth.
The only solution was for the patient to wear a fixed brace for an extensive period of time.
The author concluded that tongue piercings could result in serious injuries, not just to teeth but said they have also been associated with haemorrhages, infections, trauma to the gums and, in the worst cases, brain abscesses.
The results of the study were published in the Journal of Clinical Orthodontics
Thursday, September 16, 2010
A tortoise in Charlotte County, Fla, has a local orthodontist to thank for its new lease on life. After getting clipped by a car, the tortoise was left with a cracked shell that left it in pain every time it moved its legs, according to WINK News.
Robin Jenkins, DVM, at the Peace River Wildlife Center in Punta Gorda, Fla, called his daughter’s orthodontist, Kay O’Leary, DDS, Port Charlotte, Fla, for help. Turns out, the acrylic used for retainers also sticks to shells.
“It took four of us to hold the pieces, there were four pieces, to get the pieces all lined back up so we could actually apply some brackets to hold some wires to pull those pieces together,” said O’Leary.
In honor of O’Leary’s help, the tortoise, who is still recovering, has been named O’Leary. Eventually the tortoise will be set free. According to O’Leary, the braces will fall off on their own.
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
What Is the Right Way to Brush?
Proper brushing takes at least two minutes — that's right, 120 seconds! Most adults do not come close to brushing that long. To get a feel for the time involved, try using a stopwatch. To properly brush your teeth, use short, gentle strokes, paying extra attention to the gumline, hard-to-reach back teeth and areas around fillings, crowns or other restoration. Concentrate on thoroughly cleaning each section as follows:
Clean the outer surfaces of your upper teeth, then your lower teeth
Clean the inner surfaces of your upper teeth, then your lower teeth
Clean the chewing surfaces
For fresher breath, be sure to brush your tongue, too
Click here for information on Colgate toothbrushes
Tilt the brush at a 45° angle against the gumline and sweep or roll the brush away from the gumline. Gently brush the outside, inside and chewing surface of each tooth using short back-and-forth strokes. Gently brush your tongue to remove bacteria and freshen breath.
What Type of Toothbrush Should I Use?
Most dental professionals agree that a soft-bristled brush is best for removing plaque and debris from your teeth. Small-headed brushes are also preferable, since they can better reach all areas of the mouth, including hard-to-reach back teeth. For many, a powered toothbrush is a good alternative. It can do a better job of cleaning teeth, particularly for those who have difficulty brushing or who have limited manual dexterity. To find the right Colgate toothbrush for you, click here.
How Important is the Toothpaste I Use?
It is important that you use a toothpaste that's right for you. Today there is a wide variety of toothpaste designed for many conditions, including cavities, gingivitis, tartar, stained teeth and sensitivity. Ask your dentist or dental hygienist which toothpaste is right for you. To find the right Colgate toothpaste for you, click here.
How Often Should I Replace My Toothbrush?
You should replace your toothbrush when it begins to show wear, or every six months, whichever comes first. It is also very important to change toothbrushes after you've had a cold, since the bristles can collect germs that can lead to reinfection.