Posts Tagged ‘ braces ’

Closing the Case on Open Bite

August 21, 2013 Article Comments Off

open bite and why it’s important that it be correctedST. PAUL, LAKEVILLE & PRIOR LAKE, MINNESOTA – We would venture to say there isn’t a malocclusion that we haven’t seen and treated here at Cosmopolitan Orthodontics.

But while bite and alignment issues are routine for any adult or pediatric orthodontist, we know that you may not be aware of all the intricacies involved if you or your children have been recommended for orthodontic treatment. For that reason, we occasionally write about a specific type of malocclusion. Today we’re tackling open bite.

An open bite is the term used to describe a bite where the front teeth don’t touch when your jaws are closed and your back teeth are touching.

“As you can imagine, this poses some aesthetic setbacks, but the problems actually go beyond that,” says Dr. Trudy Bonvino, a Lakeville and St. Paul orthodontics expert who offers braces and other orthodontic treatment options for children and adults.

Uncorrected open bites make it difficult for you to chew and swallow appropriately. This type of malocclusion also can cause speech impediments. Over time, open bite can cause the jaw to pop or click.

What causes open bite?
Genetics, thumb-sucking, tongue-thrusting (by itself, or secondarily to other poor habits), mouth breathing and using a pacifier for too long can cause children to develop an open bite.

The act of thumb-sucking creates palatal changes. It also alters the nasal septum. The resulting high palate can lead to a lifetime of breathing difficulty. When this happens, a tongue-thrusting habit may begin, which only exacerbates the problem.

When identified early, open bite often can be corrected with orthodontic treatment. Otherwise, surgery may be required if the problem is left untreated for too long.

“This is another reason why orthodontists preach the importance of having children evaluated by an orthodontist by age 7,” says St. Paul braces expert Dr. Bonvino.

Open bite is one problem that can successfully be corrected, provided it is identified and treated early. Correcting an open bite while the child is still growing makes it possible for Dr. Bonvino to use the child’s growth to her advantage and incorporate it into treatment.

One key to ensuring open bite doesn’t recur is addressing the reasons why it happened to begin with, Dr. Bonvino says.

“For example, if a child sucks her thumb and doesn’t break the habit, the open bite can recur,” she says.

There are orthodontic appliances that can be used to eliminate the pleasant sensation of thumb- or finger-sucking. Another option is orofacial myofunctional therapy. This is a type of therapy for the head, neck and face, and it involves teaching the patient to chew, breathe and swallow correctly.

Besides correcting a bad bite, let’s not forget that orthodontic treatment to open bite also leads to a pleasing smile. And THAT is something to smile about.

© 2013 Sinai Marketing and Dr. Jennifer Eisenhuth. Authorization to post is granted, with the stipulation that Sinai Marketing and Dr. Jennifer Eisenhuth are credited as sole source. Linking to other sites from this article is strictly prohibited, with the exception of herein imbedded.

Childhood Injury Prevention Week is Sept. 1-7

August 10, 2013 News Comments Off

Burnsville Orthodontist Stresses Safety During Injury Prevention WeekLAKEVILLE, BURNSVILLE & MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA – Childhood Injury Prevention Week is observed Sept. 1-7 each year, and it presents a perfect opportunity for us to stress the importance of protecting your children from injury while they play sports and engage in other physical activities.

Our adult and children’s orthodontics practice, which attracts patients from Lakeville, Prior Lake, Burnsville and Minneapolis, has always promoted safety to area athletes by serving as a sporting equipment sponsor for many athletic leagues.

“By providing mouth guards to students who need them, there’s really no telling how many injuries we’ve helped prevent through the years,” says orthodontist Dr. Trudy Bonvino. “We’re happy to do it because it promotes something we feel strongly about – oral health – while also giving us an opportunity to be involved in the community.”

During Childhood Injury Prevention Week, we stress to every patient, even those whose treatment involves invisible braces such as Invisalign Teen, the need to wear a properly fitting mouth guard when playing contact sports. For football players, a helmet also helps guard against injuries to the mouth.

“Even if you’re not involved in team sports, there are other risky activities that could result in mouth injuries, such as skateboarding and rollerblading,” Dr. Bonvino says.

Sports accidents are responsible for between 10 percent and 39 percent of dental injuries in children, according to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. Children between ages 7 and 11 are most susceptible to sports-related oral injuries.

Here are some sobering statistics on dental injuries provided by Share the Care, a dental health initiative in San Diego:

  • More than 5 million teeth are injured or knocked out annually
  • Nearly $500 million is spent on teeth replacement
  • Sporting activities cause the greatest percentage of dental trauma in teens
  • Half of all children younger than 18 will suffer at least one traumatic tooth injury by the time they graduate

In addition to wearing a mouth guard, there are other measures your children can take to help prevention injury. Some are as simple as getting a good night’s sleep.

Adolescent athletes who got at least eight hours of sleep nightly are 68 percent less likely to be injured than athletes who regularly slept less, according to HealthyChildren.org.

We’re eager to answer any questions related to injury prevention that you may have. Just ask at your child’s next appointment, or call our office for more information.

© 2013 Sinai Marketing and Dr. Jennifer Eisenhuth. Authorization to post is granted, with the stipulation that Sinai Marketing and Dr. Jennifer Eisenhuth are credited as sole source. Linking to other sites from this article is strictly prohibited, with the exception of herein imbedded.

Prior Lake pediatric orthodontistLAKEVILLE, PRIOR LAKE AND MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA – We get it. The process of taking time off from work, dashing to check your child out of school and getting her to the orthodontist sometimes can take longer than the actual appointment.

We’re sure there are times you might even question the importance of a checkup that lasts 10 minutes or less. That’s the topic we’re tackling today: understanding why these quick observation/revisit appointments are vital to your child’s orthodontic treatment.

We have talked for years about how our adult and pediatric orthodontics practice supports the American Association of Orthodontists’ recommendation of having kids evaluated by age 7. Doing so enables you and your child to become established with an orthodontist who can create a growth and development monitoring plan that best addresses your child’s needs.

“There are isolated occasions when your child would require treatment at this young age,” says Dr. Trudy Bonvino, an orthodontist in Burnsville and Prior Lake who offers treatment with multiple types of braces and appliances, including Invisalign. “However, it is more common that your child would be placed on a monitoring program that involves observation/revisit appointments so we can watch as the teeth erupt and determine the best time to begin treatment, should treatment be necessary.”

That’s why we schedule your child for these brief orthodontic observations and revisits periodically. Sometimes we simply need to visually observe your child’s bite and alignment. Other times, we need to take a new set of photographs and/or X-rays. But just because these appointments may be quick and your child spends much less time in the exam chair than you spent getting her there, don’t think they aren’t necessary.

“When we treat young patients, we are careful to plan orthodontic treatment with their growth spurts,” Dr. Bonvino says.

Children grow fast, and using your child’s growth to our advantage frequently enables us to treat conservatively and avoid the need for lengthier, more invasive – and sometimes more expensive – treatments in the future.

 

The Purpose of Observation/Revisit Appointments
By establishing a baseline at your child’s initial evaluation, it allows Dr. Bonvino to help identify the right timing to begin treatment. Observation/revisit appointments are designed to help us monitor your child’s growth to better time the treatment, or find the ideal time to start treatment.

“Ultimately, these appointments mean your child will have her braces on for a shorter period of time because they enable us to find the ideal time to start treatment,” she says.

This is particularly helpful when significant facial and skeletal corrections must be made. Using your child’s growth to help correct some bite and alignment discrepancies enables us to make treatment more comfortable for her. A good example of this is correcting an underbite. We can correct this type of malocclusion with appliances that help control jaw growth and teeth eruption patterns when the child is young and still growing. Waiting until growth is complete to address underbite can require painful surgery to break the jaw and set it into proper position.

Correcting alignment issues before teeth become calcified in the bone also makes shifts in alignment more comfortable and sometimes easier.

“Remember: we’re moving teeth within the bone and trying to time it right,” Dr. Bonvino, a pediatric orthodontist in Prior Lake, says.

Occasionally, teeth can become impacted. Observation/revisit appointments help ensure teeth are erupting on time biologically. When a tooth has developed and become impacted, that advances the level of treatment needed. On the other hand, if we can identify early on that a tooth is not erupting as it should, we can intervene. We have identified this problem in patients’ canine teeth and removed the baby tooth early to create a path for the potentially impacted canine.

So the next time you compare the time and effort spent getting your child to appointments to the time she spends in the chair, remember the big picture. That time and effort will pay big dividends on her future treatment. And for that, she will thank you.

Orthodontic Treatment Can Help Prevent Oral Trauma

March 27, 2013 News Comments Off

PRIOR LAKE, BURNSVILLE AND ST. PAUL, MINNESOTA – A study conducted in 2012 involving Indian girls between 11 and 17 found that children with significant overjet were about three times more likely to have dental injuries.

April is National Facial Protection Month, and we will take the opportunity throughout the month to raise awareness regarding the importance of properly protecting the face and mouth from injury when playing sports. This is accomplished by wearing protective mouth guards and appropriate helmets when necessary.

“We also plan to promote the ways in which orthodontic treatment can help lessen the severity of and even prevent dental injuries,” says Dr. Trudy Bonvino, a Prior Lake and St. Paul orthodontics expert who offers adult and pediatric treatment. “Correcting malocclusions such as overjet can help protect the front teeth in particular from injury.”

Overjet is commonly referred to as overbite, but these terms are not synonymous. Overjet is the term used to describe upper teeth that stick out and create a gap between the back of the upper teeth and front of the lower teeth. Sometimes a person with severe overjet can fit a finger or thumb in this space even when their jaws are closed. Kids often call this “buck teeth.” Overbite, on the other hand, is how far your upper teeth cover your lower teeth when your jaws are closed.

By definition, you can see how having overjet could increase the likelihood of injury if your child was to be accidentally hit in the face with a ball or by another player when playing sports. While mouth guards are advisable when playing contact sports, braces for your children to correct overjet, combined with mouth guard use, can go even farther in protecting your teeth so you can keep them for a lifetime, Dr. Bonvino says.

“Having teeth that stick out three or four millimeters farther than they should exponentially increases the chances of injury,” she says. “Through orthodontic treatment, we can correct overjet. This enables your child’s lips to serve as better protection against trauma because they can more adequately cover the teeth when the teeth are in their appropriate position.”

Of course, it’s important to remember you must rely on more than your child’s lips for protection when playing sports. We routinely provide complimentary mouth guard checks to young athletes from neighboring communities including Prior Lake, Lakeville and Burnsville. Orthodontists are particularly helpful in determining proper mouth guard fit when your child has braces. We also can fit him/her for a custom mouth guard at either of our Prior Lake or Lakeville locations. Remember to let us check your child’s mouth guard periodically to ensure it continues to fit. New mouth guards will be needed as he/she grows and progresses in orthodontic treatment.

National Facial Protection Month is presented each year through a partnership with the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the American Association of Orthodontists and the Academy for Sports Dentistry. These organizations work together to promote sports injury prevention.

Parents, teachers and other professionals can help spread the word about National Facial Protection Month with a variety of free resources available on the AAOMS website. Information available includes educational posters, handouts, coloring books and fact sheets.

ST. PAUL, PRIOR LAKE AND MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA – We see numerous patients from St. Paul, Minneapolis and other neighboring areas here at our Lakeville and Prior Lake practice each year who are ideal candidates for Phase I orthodontic treatment. A question most parents ask is whether undergoing Phase I treatment now will eliminate the need for braces for teeth down the road.

While the answer isn’t a solid “yes” or “no,” here’s some information on various circumstances that would determine whether additional orthodontic treatment would be needed down the road.

First, an explanation of Phase I treatment. Also called “interceptive” orthodontics treatment, Phase I treatment begins while a child is still young- typically between ages 6 and 10- and her growth process isn’t yet complete, says Dr. Trudy Bonvino, a Prior Lake and Minneapolis orthodontist and Invisalign Teen provider. It corrects dental developmental issues or prevents current dental or jaw development problems from becoming more serious.

This treatment phase may include partial braces in St. Paul, devices that resemble a retainer, or other orthodontic appliances.

“Phase I treatment often enables us to use your child’s growth to our advantage,” says Dr. Bonvino, St. Paul orthodontics pro. “We can make certain adjustments when the jaw is still growing that lessen future treatment time in some cases, and eliminate the need for additional treatment in others.”

A variety of problems with tooth alignment, crowding and spacing, gum health, jaws and facial development can be addressed via Phase I treatment. This includes crossbites, underbites, deep bites and jaw growth issues.

In some cases, failure to undergo Phase I treatment can result in the need for tooth extractions or orthognathic (jaw) surgery in the future.

“There are incredible things that can be accomplished when problems are identified and addressed early enough,” Dr. Bonvino says.

For example, the palate can be widened to make room for the adult teeth, and jaw growth can be controlled to correct underbite.

While Phase I treatment can correct a wide array of discrepancies, it doesn’t properly address every bite and alignment issue.

That is why Phase II treatment could be needed. In cases where adult teeth are impacted or located in positions that will prevent them from erupting properly, Phase II treatment comes to the rescue. In those cases, we often put our Phase I patients on a monitoring track until the adult teeth are ready to be guided into their permanent positions.

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that all children receive an orthodontic evaluation by age 7. Some adult teeth have erupted by this age and the bite is established. That makes it possible for us to identify whether problems exist that should be addressed. Frequently, no treatment is needed at this young age, Dr. Bonvino says. But in those isolated cases where it is beneficial, it’s good to have problems identified and addressed as early as possible.

© 2013 Sinai Marketing and Dr. Jennifer Eisenhuth. Authorization to post is granted, with the stipulation that Sinai Marketing and Dr. Jennifer Eisenhuth are credited as sole source. Linking to other sites from this article is strictly prohibited, with the exception of herein imbedded links.

PRIOR LAKE, LAKEVILLE AND BURNSVILLE, MINNESOTA-The holiday perhaps most closely associated with love is right around the corner. That’s right- Valentine’s Day is your time to smile at and pucker up with your significant other.

But for those of you who find yourselves single as the special day approaches, this could be a good time to consider smile improvement with braces or Invisalign treatment, says Dr. Trudy Bonvino of Cosmopolitan Orthodontics, a Lakeville and Prior Lake orthodontics practice.

On the surface, you might think we’re stretching things a bit to suggest a better smile can land you the guy or girl of your dreams. Believe it or not, there are studies that prove people give a lot of weight to a person’s smile.

Several years ago, the American Dental Association, Crest and Oral B conducted a study that showed the smile is the feature people find most engaging.

The changing dating methods might actually hint at the smile being more important than ever.

“Think about how people date these days,” says Dr. Bonvino, an orthodontist whose patients come from Burnsville, Farmington, Shakopee and other neighboring communities. “So many people go online. That means many people likely make the decision to reach out based on your profile picture, and not just your bio.”

Your profile picture gives you a chance to put your best face forward. If you’re not smiling with your lips open, that might be a signal to a would-be suitor that you’re hiding something you’re not proud of.

Orthodontic treatment can fixed crowded or crooked teeth, gaps between teeth, overbites and myriad other bite and alignment issues. It’s also worth mentioning that life with braces doesn’t have to include metal brackets and wires on your teeth, which might make you want to continue smiling with your lips closed.

Dr. Bonvino treats patients with Invisalign, lingual braces (they go on the backs of your teeth) and ceramic brackets that are the color of your teeth.

So if you’re single this Valentine’s Day and want to take steps to ensure that isn’t the case much longer, consider consulting an orthodontist. You’re likely to get treatment you can really smile about.

© 2013 Sinai Marketing and Dr. Jennifer Eisenhuth. Authorization to post is granted, with the stipulation that Sinai Marketing and Dr. Jennifer Eisenhuth are credited as sole source. Linking to other sites from this article is strictly prohibited, with the exception of herein imbedded links.

LAKEVILLE, PRIOR LAKE AND ST. PAUL, MINNESOTA— While it’s true that orthodontic treatment promotes a lifetime of improved oral health, that doesn’t mean you can skip those trips to the dentist while you’re in braces.

Frequently, patients ask us if they must continue to see their dentist while in orthodontic treatment. In short, the answer is yes.

Today we’re sharing three reasons why it’s important to keep up with your routine dental visits and professional cleanings in addition to attending regular checkups with your orthodontist.

1. Plaque and tartar removal
Orthodontic appliances on the teeth provide additional nooks and crannies in which food particles and bacteria collect. Eventually, plaque and tartar can form around your brackets, bands or other appliances on your teeth, says Lakeville and St. Paul orthodontics expert Dr. Trudy Bonvino.

Orthodontists in practice throughout the country stress the importance of oral hygiene during treatment to keep your teeth healthy. But professional cleanings and checkups with your dental hygienist and dentist help ensure plaque and tartar are removed.

Dr. Bonvino stresses that even if you’re an Invisalign or Invisalign Teen patient, dental checkups and cleanings are just as important as they are when you’re not in orthodontic treatment.

“Everyone needs their teeth cleaned and checked twice a year, and they need X-rays annually to make sure their teeth are healthy and cavity-free,” she says. “Even with the different types of braces on the market today, there is no form of orthodontic treatment that negates the need for regular visits with a dentist.”

2. Decalcification
This is a potentially serious condition in which your teeth lose calcium. It is caused by plaque buildup on your tooth enamel and it appears as white spots on your tooth surfaces. It is irreversible and if left untreated, it can lead to cavities, Dr. Bonvino says.

“This is one of the most common occurrences in orthodontic patients, and the sad news is that this is absolutely preventable,” she says.

Patients who eat sugary sweets and acidic foods in moderation, practice ongoing good oral hygiene, and visit their dentist regularly can help prevent decalcification.

3. Cavities can make treatment take longer
If you’re at all interested in completing your orthodontic treatment on schedule, maintaining your regular dental checkups can go a long way toward making that happen.

Your dentist can provide fluoride treatments that strengthen your teeth and protect them from cavities. On the flip side, getting a cavity can set you back in your treatment.

Let’s say the cavity is in an area that requires one or more of your bands or brackets to be removed so your dentist and properly fill it. That will result in additional time at our office to remove the necessary appliances, followed by a trip to your dentist to get your filling. Finally, you must return to our office to have your appliances replaced. All of that results in lost progress on your treatment path.

“Maintaining those regular dental visits will help ensure your teeth look their best once your braces come off,” Lakeville pediatric orthodontist Dr. Bonvino says.

© 2012 Sinai Marketing and Dr. Jennifer Eisenhuth. Authorization to post is granted, with the stipulation that Sinai Marketing and Dr. Jennifer Eisenhuth are credited as sole source. Linking to other sites from this press release is strictly prohibited, with the exception of herein imbedded links.

Factors That Determine How Much Braces Cost

December 2, 2012 News Comments Off

LAKEVILLE AND PRIOR LAKE, MINNESOTA- How much do braces cost?

This is one of the most frequently asked questions when parents have their children evaluated by an orthodontist, and when adults seek treatment for themselves.

Prices vary among orthodontics practices whether they are in Prior Lake, Lakeville, Minneapolis, or elsewhere in Minnesota.

Let’s get right to the answer: the cost averages $5,000-$6,500. There are instances where treatment could cost more- or even less. Read on for a full explanation.

These factors help determine the cost of dental braces:

  • The type of brackets used by the orthodontist
  • Whether the brackets are recycled
  • The type of arch wires used
  • Whether the wires are robotically-bent or bent by hand
  • The length of treatment time
  • The type of retainers that will be used following treatment
  • Whether the practice is a boutique or a managed care practice
  • The orthodontist’s depth of experience

Which orthodontist you choose ought to be based on more than just price, says Dr. Trudy Bonvino, who also is an Invisalign Teen provider.

“It’s a good idea to ask around for references,” Dr. Bonvino says. “Don’t be shy about asking friends, coworkers, family members or members of your church who provides their orthodontic treatment. It can help you gauge an orthodontist’s reputation in the community.”

It is important to understand that the fee actually should vary among orthodontic practices, based on the appliances and other materials that are used, coupled with the provider’s experience.

Parents sometimes feel worried about the disparity in cost and even treatment plans among the orthodontists they visit.

“It shouldn’t,” Dr. Bonvino says, as a Minneapolis invisalign provider. “In some ways, shopping for orthodontic treatment is similar to shopping for home improvements. It’s not uncommon to get three estimates from painters that are different. It comes down to experience, materials used, and other factors similar to what we’ve identified among orthodontists.”

Here’s the message we hope we’ve left with you: orthodontic treatment for yourself or your children is an important investment, so doing your research is a good idea. Understand that there are different levels of expertise among the orthodontists in your area.

We hope you find this information helpful as you set out to choose the best professional for the job.

© 2012 Sinai Marketing Inc. dba Master Google and Cosmopolitan Orthodontics. Authorization to post is granted, with the stipulation that Master Google and Cosmopolitan Orthodontics are credited as sole source. Linking to other sites from this document is strictly prohibited, with the exception of herein imbedded links.

5 Tips for Caring For Braces and Teeth

October 16, 2012 News Comments Off

LAKEVILLE, SHAKOPEE AND ST. PAUL, MINNESOTA– Braces are the vehicle that takes your teeth to their final destination of a straight and beautiful smile.

That vehicle needs to be properly maintained and cared for if it’s going to get to its destination in a timely manner, and without expensive repairs and setbacks.

Dr. Trudy Bonvino, a Lakeville and Shakopee orthodontics provider, shares these five tips for caring for braces and teeth during orthodontic treatment:

Floss Teeth Twice a Day
Flossing can help you clean areas between teeth and other places toothbrushes can miss. A floss threader can be used to help you navigate safely around your appliances. It’s important to floss twice a day, preferably after lunch and before bedtime to help ward off gum disease and decay.

Brush Teeth After Every Meal
Teeth and appliances should be brushed after every meal and before bedtime using soft strokes and a fluoride toothpaste. An interdental toothbrush is a must-have for orthodontic patients, since it’s able to clean the hard-to-reach areas under wires better than an ordinary toothbrush.

Be Consistent With Elastics
If we have prescribed elastics, they are to be worn at all times, except when eating meals or brushing teeth. It’s important that you wear the correct size elastics and have a stash of extras in case our Lakeville, Prior Lake and St. Paul orthodontist‘s office is closed, since teeth can develop resistance to their pressure when they aren’t worn consistently.

“By missing one day of wearing their elastics after even a week of consistent use, patients risk their teeth moving back to their original position,” says Dr. Bonvino. ” I can’t stress enough how this phase requires cooperation and consistency on the patient’s behalf.”

Address Damage Promptly
In cases where damage has occurred to the appliance, you should contact our office immediately to set up an appointment to fix the appliance. If a wire or bracket is irritating sensitive oral tissues, applying wax and using an antiseptic rinse can provide relief until an appointment can be made.

Follow Food Guidelines
When being treated with braces and other orthodontic appliances, certain foods must be avoided. Foods that are hard or chewy like beef jerky and candy can cause costly damage and add months to your treatment time.

At Cosmopolitan Orthodontics, invisible braces such as Invisalign can conveniently be removed to allow you to eat and care for your teeth as normal without risking damage to your appliance. However, it’s important to keep the aligners clean, since they can house bacteria that may lead to cavities.

We recommend soaking aligners in denture cleaner to prevent this from occurring.

By following these tips and guidelines, patients ensure quicker results with fewer setbacks and unnecessary costs due to damage and additional appointments that may be required, says Dr. Bonvino, St. Paul braces provider.

© 2012 Cosmopolitan Orthodontics and Master Google. Authorization to post is granted, with the stipulation that Dr. Cosmopolitan Orthodontics and Master Google are credited as sole source. Linking to other sites from this article is strictly prohibited, with the exception of herein imbedded links.

LAKEVILLE, PRIOR LAKE AND MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA – Even though you may think sports and energy drinks help your children perform on the field, they’re one of the leading causes of tooth decay for kids and teens.

“Many parents don’t realize that these drinks have the power to cause more harm than good,” said Dr. Trudy Bonvino, a Lakeville and Minneapolis orthodontist. “Over time, they can negatively affect kids’ oral and overall health.”

Not only do these beverages contain a large amount of sugar that can cause cavities, but they also have high acidity levels. A study recently published in the Academy of General Dentistry’s journal titled “General Dentistry” found that five days of exposure to sports and energy drinks can begin to erode tooth enamel. Once enamel is damaged, teeth can become sensitive to temperature change and touch, as well as more susceptible to decay.

Even though the study found that acidity levels of sports and energy drinks vary based on brand and flavors, citric and phosphoric acids are the main erosion agents found in both types of beverages. These acids are also found in soft drinks, which have the same affect on tooth enamel as sports and energy drinks do, and have a pH that is close to that of battery acid.

According to the Academy of General Dentistry, once tooth enamel is lost, it’s gone forever (Brochure PDF). However, there are many fluoride toothpastes and rinses that can reharden tooth enamel to protect it from acid attacks.

Those types of beverages not only increase your children’s chances of suffering from cavities, but they also heighten their risk of obesity and diabetes. The American Dental Association reports that sports drinks are not necessary for most kids who are engaged in physical activities because they are designed to replace electrolytes and water lost during vigorous, prolonged activity. Children who drink carbohydrate-filled sports drinks on a regular basis can become overweight without realizing that these beverages are the culprit.

On the other hand, energy and colas contain a number of stimulants that aren’t found in sports beverages. Ingredients such as guarana, caffeine and taurine can negatively impact children’s cardiovascular and neurologic systems, as well as cause sleep, dehydration and anxiety problems.

The best way to help your kids avoid suffering from these side effects is to offer them water as an alternative, not only during and after physical activity, but with meals as well.

Dr. Bonvino recommends that if you choose to let them drink sports, energy or cola drinks, have them wait at least an hour after consumption to brush their teeth so the acidity is not spread around their mouth. Using a straw can also minimize the damage done to their tooth enamel.

“Other simple methods include rinsing their mouth with water or chewing sugar-free gum after drinking those types of beverages,” said Dr. Bonvino. “This increases saliva production and helps their acidity levels return to normal.”

If your kids are undergoing Invisalign or other type of orthodontic treatment, you know that life with braces means taking extra precautions to ensure the health of teeth and gums. Because braces patients are at a greater risk for tooth decay, gum disease and other oral health problems than those who don’t have braces, Dr. Bonvino advises her pediatric orthodontics patients to watch their diet during orthodontic treatment.

“Patients who stay away from sugary foods and beverages, and develop good oral health habits tend to experience the best results,” said Dr. Bonvino. “It may require a few sacrifices, but the payoff of a perfect smile is priceless.”

© 2012 Cosmopolitan Orthodontics and Master Google. Authorization to post is granted, with the stipulation that Dr. Jennifer Eisenhuth and Master Google are credited as sole source. Linking to other sites from this article is strictly prohibited, with the exception of herein imbedded links.

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