Category Archives: Blog

Why Malocclusion is Common in Children

Causes, Risk Factors and Treatment

Crooked or crowded teeth are quite common among children. The condition is called malocclusion. It presents as the teeth of the upper jaw that don’t meet normally with the teeth of the lower jaw when the jaw is closed. There is a problem with the bite of the child. There are many causes for malocclusion; it can be genetic or can be environmental, such as trauma to the jaw. Malocclusion can develop as a child grows.

Certain risk factors can lead to this condition. For example, children who suck their thumbs or fingers beyond the age of 5 are at greater risk. If they were born with small jaws, there will not be enough space and hence, the overcrowding or overlapping of the permanent teeth when they start coming in, permanent teeth being larger and needing more space.

How will you know that your child has malocclusion? You will notice the upper front teeth sticking out over the lower teeth. It’s called an overbite. Vice versa is an underbite. If the front teeth don’t meet when the jaw is closed, it’s an open bite. A crossbite is when the top teeth sit behind the bottom teeth.

A child with malocclusion faces potential problems if not addressed as soon as possible. There can be problems eating or speaking, early or late loss of baby teeth that can lead to malpositioning of permanent teeth, teeth grinding, mouth breathing, tooth decay, gum disease, and sometimes Jaw joint problems. X-rays and impressions of the teeth can help diagnose malocclusion.

The treatment goal is to straighten the teeth and improve their appearance which is done in stages. Tooth removal may be necessary to give way to permanent teeth and if necessary, permanents can also be extracted. The orthodontic treatment plan will also include braces, wires and retainers subject to timed fittings and adjustments over a period of time. In some cases and if so necessary, the child will undergo jaw surgery to fix the bite problem when the bones are involved.

Straightening Crooked Teeth in West Seattle

If you’ve noticed malocclusion in your child, know it can lead to potential oral issues that can jeopardize even the child’s overall health. Visit us for consultation and treatment. Do not ignore malocclusion.

Dental Health Resolutions for a New You in 2018

A Bright Smile Tells It All

When we make new year resolutions, we are more likely not to keep it. We may even start off well only to not follow through. However, when it comes to our health, we take it a little more seriously. Oral health is one health aspect we try to face off squarely as we know it impacts overall well-being. These are four resolutions we might just be able to keep going.

How about scheduling a new dental appointment? Did you know that according to the ADA, one-third of Americans don’t see their dentist yearly? It’s a sad state of affairs especially knowing that tooth decay and gum disease are rampant and that most people show up at the dentist’s when things are a bit too late. So plot a date in your calendar or, better still, pick up the phone and schedule your slot. It might be the best thing you’ll ever do in a long while. And when your at the dentist’s clinic, schedule your next before leaving. That way a friendly reminder from them will keep you on track.

You’re okay with brushing, but how about flossing?

Know that brushing alone is not going to save your teeth from plaque buildup. The best toothbrush nor best toothpaste for you cannot always free your teeth of harmful debris. There will be places you’ll miss and areas you cannot reach by brushing alone. You need to floss, too. Once a day flossing may do, especially before bedtime, so that you don’t let food debris stay overnight and do their damage. Don’t forget.

Please cut-back on the sugar. We all know that too much sugary foods and drinks are notorious harbingers of dental caries and decay. The amount of sugar you take in corresponds to your risks for dental decay. Remember that the longer sugar stays in the mouth and the frequency of exposure to it increase your risks considerably. Limit your consumption by buying less treats or snacks, replace your sweet beverages with water, gargle regularly with water, chew sugar-free gum if the craving strikes you, and don’t add any more sugar to your food and drinks. Please eat more mouth-healthy foods, like dairy products high in calcium, and fibrous foods that can promote more saliva and scrub away food bits.

Kick your smoking habit. The new year is the best time to start. Smoking doubles your risk for gum disease and is linked to a host of other health issues. Plan and put a date to it, discard all your smoking paraphernalia, and solicit the help of family and friends. Picture yourself looking like those awful victims of waste and degeneration, smokers who wouldn’t quit, not very far into the future. Replace this habit with some healthy activity, like sports. Have a bright smile. Live longer and enjoy life.

Visit our West Seattle Dentist Today

Celebrate the new year by seeing us at First Impressions in West Seattle. Let us help you realize your resolutions this 2018.

Prevention is Better Than Cure: West Seattle Dentist

What Preventive Dentistry is All About

You might have been hearing about preventive dentistry and might just like to know what this type of dentistry entails. Firstly, preventive dentistry emphasizes the importance of hygiene procedures and daily practices to prevent tooth decay and other dental conditions. Effective preventive dentistry combines at-home oral care by patients with treatments and counseling by dental professionals.

Preventive dentistry starts early in life. A visit to the dentist when the first tooth erupts, or no later than 12 months of age, can help establish a comprehensive oral health prevention program for your child.

For children and adults, preventive dentistry entails both in-office and home-care standards. Twice a day brushing and flossing is the most important prevention measure to remove dental plaque that cause tooth decay and lead to gum disease. Another is fluoride use, which strengthens tooth enamel and staves off tooth decay. Fluoride is provided in toothpaste, mouth rinses, and in your water source. A balanced diet is essential to overall health and impacts oral state; excessive sugary and starchy foods without or with poor hygiene practices are fodder for mouth bacteria.

Keeping regular dental appointments are important encounters with expert assessment, screenings, treatment and advice. Your dentist can perform the recommended 6 months cleaning, detect early signs of cavities, gingivitis, oral diseases and other conditions that may be telling signs of a medical issue. Radiographs are helpful confirmatory measures to address conditions the naked eye might not see. Other hi-tech dental tools also help advance oral disease prevention.

Orthodontics can correct improper bite and straighten crooked teeth to improve aesthetics, restore proper chewing function, enhance cleaning practices, prevent buildup of caries and formation of gum disease. Application of sealants especially in children are preventive measures against tooth decay, while using mouthguards are necessary to prevent tooth erosion and preserve TMJ function.

Patient education is always a part of dental visits and and integral to preventive dentistry. A well informed patient, one who understands the merits of oral hygiene, follows dentist’s instructions and acts on advice, can surely enjoy lifelong good oral health. Preventive dentistry can safeguard yourself from the exorbitant dental costs of various restorative treatments. It can result in less extensive and less expensive treatment for any dental conditions that may develop, and help you keep your natural teeth for a lifetime.

Benefit from Preventive Care in West Seattle

If you believe that prevention is your key to attaining lifelong oral health, come see us at our West Seattle dental office to learn more.

West Seattle Dentist: Veneers Are A Reason To Smile

When Do You Need Porcelain Veneers?

Dental veneers are used in cosmetic dentistry to replace the look and function of problematic teeth. They are light, thin and translucent, custom-made ceramic shells that are bonded tightly to fit the teeth, usually the front teeth, looking as natural and healthy as the rest of your dentition. Dental veneers can be made from porcelain or from resin composite materials. What do you choose? Porcelain veneers resist stains better than resin veneers and better mimic the light reflecting properties of natural teeth.

Porcelain veneers are the most common choice, however, resin veneers are thinner than porcelain. It requires less work on the natural tooth preparing it to receive its new look. All veneers require tooth trimming, about ½ millimeter of the natural tooth’s frontal surface, about the thickness of the veneer.

You might be suffering from any of the following situations, it would be a great idea to consider porcelain veneers. A discolored tooth is a good candidate. The discoloration might be due to root canal treatment; stains from tetracycline or other drugs, excessive fluoride or other causes; or the presence of large resin fillings that have discolored the tooth.

Veneers can be considered for teeth that are misaligned, malformed, or uneven, as they can be shaped to conform to natural, healthy teeth. It’s also for chipped, broken, and worn down teeth. It can also replace a gap between teeth. On the other hand, veneers are not for decaying teeth or if there’s the presence of active gum disease; or if the teeth are already weakened by a large filling material and not enough enamel is left.

It’s a relatively easy procedure to do in the dental office. They can last up to 10 years with proper care and good oral hygiene. Apart from the natural look they provide and stain-resistant properties, veneers offer a conservative approach to changing a tooth’s color and shape. They generally don’t require the extensive shaping prior to the procedure that crowns do, yet offer a stronger, more aesthetic alternative.

Specializing in Porcelain Veneers in West Seattle

If you are looking at enhancing your look and your teeth are presenting a problem, come over to see your West Seattle dentist. Here at First Impressions Dental, we have done a lot of cosmetic and restorative work using porcelain veneers. See if this is your option and have that natural, healthy smile again.

Why It’s So Great To Have a Family Dentist In West Seattle

Advantages of Having a Family Dentist

If you find a dentist who specializes in treating different members of a family, you’ll have someone who can attend to the needs of your family regardless of age. It can be wearisome to go to a different dentist for every family member, make schedule adjustments, and perhaps forget appointment dates among others. Know what benefits are instore if your family goes to the same provider.

One, it simplifies dental care. The family can avail of their routine cleanings in one sitting. There is no need to schedule appointments with different providers on different days. And one other good is that these visits train your children at an early age about oral hygiene and the importance of regular check ups. The provider can be their regular go-to dentist right up to adulthood. When you join your children for the visits, the kids develop

Family dentists offer a variety of services to patients – those indicated for pediatric to geriatric cases. Most have a complete line-up of services – cleaning, teeth whitening, teeth extraction, dentures or veneers for adults, retainers for teenagers, sealants for kids among others, and fluoride treatments for all. They can also diagnose oral diseases, provide digital radiography and imaging and interpret them, ensure safe anesthesia delivery, monitor growth and development of children’s teeth. You really don’t have to travel between providers in order to get the oral health care you need.

Trust and personal relationships build easier with your family dentist. Many dentists like these have developed long-term relationships with their patients, the kids become comfortable with their dentist and the older ones regard the provider as a family friend, the go-to person for all things dental and more. It is easier to express the littlest concerns and make treatment procedures more comfortable to perform.

With just one dentist for all things, your medical and dental history is known by your provider. Your history and records are all in one place. The family dentist’s staff – the office manager, assistants and hygienists – have also become familiar with the family members. From the door to the chair, each family member is made comfortable because of familiarity. This saves time making follow-ups and dental appointments, too.

More Than A Family Friend in West Seattle

Your family dentist takes the practice of preventive dentistry quite seriously, with the aims of preventing early onset of decay, cavities and gum disease. Seeing you and your kids is a learning lesson each time at the clinic. Come and see your family dentist at Overlake Dental, one of your best choices in West Seattle.