Can Smiling Make You Happy?

Can Smiling Make You Happy?

There is a reason that we tend to associate a big, wide smile with happiness. While happiness can make us smile, the reverse is also true, and smiling can make us happy. In fact, smiling not only lowers stress levels, but has been shown to boost immune functioning as well.

The Science Behind a Smile

So how does this work? Well, scientists have studied smiles and found out that smiling actually releases hormones into your brain, including dopamine and serotonin. Dopamine and serotonin are very similar, and play roles in the pleasure and reward centers of your brain. A lack of either of these transmitters has also been linked to depression, so smiling is important.

Smiling is Contagious

Smiling is also contagious. We have all experienced a morning in which we have felt down, stressed or frustrated, when another person has smiled at us. This act instantly can lift our mood, making us feel better and be more likely to smile as well.

How to Smile More

Having a mouth full of healthy, straight teeth that are just asking to be shown off demands a constant smile to go along with it. Using Invisalign braces can help to keep you smiling during your orthodontic treatment because of the discreteness of the clear liner. Once treatment has finished and you are finished with the braces, you will be smiling all the time showing off your straight, beautiful smile.

Start smiling more today by visiting an Invisalign orthodontist and getting those straight teeth and perfect bite that will have you smiling for years.

Foods to Avoid With Braces

Foods to Avoid With Braces

Braces can make even simple tasks like brushing, flossing and eating a challenge. While the end results of braces will be worth it, there are some sacrifices that should be made in the meantime to keep your gums healthy and mouth happy. One such sacrifice is avoiding some specific foods while you have your braces. Here are some specific food categories to avoid.

Sugary Foods

Sugary foods refers primarily to candy and other sweets. The primary reason to avoid sugary foods has to do with gum health. With brackets and wires filling your mouth, proper brushing and flossing is much more difficult. This means that even with vigilant cleaning, it is still more likely that spots may be missed or not cleaned as thoroughly. Avoiding sugary food helps to reduce the risk of developing cavities and other diseases associated with this.

Sticky, Crunchy or Hard Foods

Sticky foods such as gum or caramel, crunchy food such as popcorn and chips, and hard food such as nuts or corn on the cob, can actually damage the braces themselves. Biting into these foods can cause damage to the brackets or even wire of the braces. This can cause them to get bent, or even come lose, meaning an extra trip back to the orthodontist. These foods can also irritate teeth that are already under a lot of stress from having force applied to them, and are best avoided.

This may seem like a lot of things to avoid, but fear not. Soon you will be back visiting your Surrey orthodontist office, having your braces removed, and enjoying a straight smile, and perfectly healthy gums and teeth.

Common Applications of a Dental Laser in Orthodontic Treatment

Common Applications of a Dental Laser in Orthodontic Treatment

Modern orthodontic treatment in Surrey has led to numerous applications for a dental laser. Research and advances have led to some now common applications of a dental laser in orthodontic treatment, including:

  • Increasing Velocity of Tooth Movement
  • Reducing Pain
  • Resin Adhesive Curing

Increasing Velocity of Tooth Movement

The primary goal of any orthodontic clinic is the make slight dental movements to create optimal tooth placement. Often, this process can take up to two or three years to achieve through standard treatment. Low level laser therapy has shown positive results in speeding this process up. Dental lasers accelerate orthodontic tooth movement by promoting cell proliferation, specifically in osteoclasts and osteoblasts, the cells responsible for breaking down and building up new bone. Orthodontic tooth movement is dependent on this process of bone remodeling, so it makes sense that this would accelerate movement.

Reducing Pain

The primary reason for pain during orthodontic treatment is a result of the mechanical forces that are being placed on teeth. Pain can lead to reluctance in continuing with treatment, and has been commonly managed with analgesic drugs, which can carry other risks. Dental laser treatment has shown promise in reducing pain, although the exact mechanisms are not well understood. It is believed this is due to the laser acting to inhibit inflammatory mediator secretion, giving an analgesic effect.

Resin Adhesive Curing

A less exciting cut common application of dental laser in orthodontics is to cure resin adhesives. These adhesives are used in a variety of ways, including attaching brackets to each tooth. The laser helps to quickly cure this adhesive, giving a strong, durable bond, in a shorter time frame than conventional curing system. This means less time spent in the orthodontic chair when getting braces or other orthodontic treatment.

These are just some of the common applications of dental lasers in orthodontic treatments. Your orthodontist will be able to explain to you what options will be best for your treatment.

Tips to Keep Your Braces Clean

Tips to Keep Your Braces Clean

After your latest visit to your orthodontist clinic in Surrey,, you may have come home with some shiny new braces. Perhaps you are still working to find a Surrey orthodontist, but already have some questions you want answered about having braces. Probably the most difficult part of having braces is keeping them, and your teeth underneath, shiny and clean. Here are some tips on how to help achieve this.

Find the Correct Toothbrush

Your orthodontist may have given you a recommendation, but if not, it is important that you replace your old standard brush with a better option. Some electric toothbrushes, especially one with a round head, is more effective at getting behind the wire and right up to the brackets. There are also specialty toothbrushes with bristles designed specifically for cleaning around braces.

Follow a Brushing Routine

Now that you have gotten the correct toothbrush, make sure to follow a strict brushing routine. Start with the outside of your teeth, giving extra attention to working the bristles underneath the wire and not just on top. Slanting your toothbrush can really help with this. After targeting the teeth, then work on cleaning the brackets themselves. Next, brush the inside of your teeth as you normally would, making sure to also give them as much attention as your normally would.

Floss and Mouthwash

Next, you will want to floss in between your teeth. This can be difficult with the wire in your way, but thankfully your orthodontist should have given you a threading wire that you can use to thread the floss past the wire. You could also try using floss picks, but should make sure you thread and floss on a regular basis. You can follow this up with a rinse with a mouthwash to help kill any other bacteria that you may have missed that might love to live on the braces brackets.

These dental hygiene steps should help you to keep your braces and teeth shiny and clean. Remember to follow them regularly, and also to avoid especially sticky and difficult food, such as caramel and corn on the cob. 

How Long Does it Take for Braces to Move Teeth?

How Long Does it Take for Braces to Move Teeth?

A common question asked to Orthodontics in Surrey is how long does it take for braces to move teeth? There are many answers to this question, and often the answer is different for each and every patient.

Before an Orthodontist can estimate how long a treatment plan may take, they first will need to assess what will be required for a patient. Every mouth is different, and every person in Surrey who requires braces may have different needs.

These needs can vary. Some patients may require appliances to correct an overbite or underbite, others may need appliances to create more space in the upper mouth. This can all add time to the treatment.

Moving teeth requires that the bone that the tooth is attached to to be slowly broken down. This is known as resorption and can take a fair amount of time. The bone then needs to be regrown (deposition) once then tooth is in its new location to strengthen and hold it in place. As you can see, this process can take a fair amount of time and can really vary between individual patients.

A common answer to the previous question is 18 to 24 months from start to finish. This tends to be the average treatment time for most patients needing braces in Surrey. However, as also previously stated, the type of treatment required can skew this estimate one way or the other. Often, orthodontics will try to best balance how quickly they can move the teeth, without going too fast and causing other damage or problems.

The best answer you can get to this question will be directly from your orthodontist. If you haven’t yet, make an appointment to have an orthodontic assessment done by a professional at Pacific West Dental. Here a professional will be able to determine your best treatment plan, and give you an estimate on how long it may take to get that perfect, healthy smile.

How an Orthodontist May be Able to Help your Sleep Apnea

How an Orthodontist May be Able to Help your Sleep Apnea

You may not have considered visiting an orthodontist should you suffer from sleep apnea. In fact, an orthodontist may be able to help your sleep apnea.

There are three different kinds of sleep Apnea. The first, obstructive sleep apnea, results from muscle relaxing and allowing the soft tissue in the back of your throat to collapse and block your upper airway. When this happens as an individual sleeps, the gradual reduction to the amount of oxygen making its way to the brain causes the sleeper to stir, resulting in muscle function to return, and regular breathing to commence. When this happens several times a night, it is called obstructive sleep apnea.

Another form of sleep apnea is central sleep apnea. With this, the brain is not able to properly and consistently send nervous signals to the muscles that control breathing while you sleep. This results in stoppages of breathing. The third type of sleep apnea is a combination of obstructive and central, and is referred to as complex sleep apnea.

Orthodontists specialize in mouth and throat health. As obstructive sleep apnea is a result of the upper airway being blocked, orthodontists are able to assist with preventing this. Orthodontists are able to have a dental appliance constructed that can be worn at night. This appliance works by holding your mouth and jaw in such a position that it is not possible for your upper airway to become obstructed, thus allowing proper breathing to continue.

If you are suffering from obstructive sleep apnea, you may consider visiting an orthodontist in Vancouver and having an assessment done to determine if a sleep apnea dental appliance is right for you.

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