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Bracket Chatter: The Right Time For Orthodontic Evaluation

October 18th, 2017


While some orthodontists and parents may have differing opinions as to the right time for orthodontic treatment, when it comes to adjusting imbalances in bone structure of the face and jaw, many agree early intervention is key. With dentofacial orthopedics, the signs of issues are often seen as early as seven years of age and can include misalignment of bite, cross bite, crowding of the teeth, nose and respiratory ailments, impacted canines and cleft lip or palate. That’s why studies suggest preliminary treatment to enlarge the dental arch and palate with rapid palatal expansion is beneficial for both anatomical and dental development. Here are five key reasons to help you better understand the benefits for application of early expansion.

  1. Anatomy studies are clear. The palatal area at the roof of the mouth is still adaptable with hardening into bone beginning for most in pre-adolescence through the teens. However, the roof palate of younger patients is much more responsive to the orthopedic treatment with an expander and less pressure is needed to achieve the desired result. When less pressure is used, we reduce the risk for negative consequences. As a patient grows there is greater risk of tipping the teeth out of alignment, creating a less stable orthodontic shift rather than orthopedic expansion.
  2. Use of an expander while a patient still has some baby, or primary teeth along with permanent teeth, allows the use of the baby teeth to serve as anchors for the expansion appliance. This is important in helping to eliminate the negative effects that can be caused by the necessary force being applied to permanent teeth, therefore protecting them. Expansion appliances use the strength of the roots and surrounding bone of the teeth to which they are attached. It is those teeth and supporting bone that carry the lateral pressure of the expansion as the palate opens. When primary teeth are used to support the expander, the newly-erupting adult teeth do not bear any of the expansion pressure and instead receive benefit from the additional space. Expander devices are specifically created to affix exclusively to each patient’s baby teeth, and have the added benefit of distributing the work over several teeth on each side. Studies report the use of a banded hyrax appliance attached to primary molars and canines or a Haas expansion appliance attached to the second primary molars and primary canines are both successful and stable.
  3. In most cases the reason for expansion is because of a crowded upper roof palate resulting in crooked or protruding teeth, jaw misalignment or crossbite. In treated patients, an expansion appliance is placed into the roof of the mouth as high as possible without negatively affecting palatal tissues. As a result, patients sometimes experience temporary difficulties with speech and swallowing, similar to that caused by a retainer. This inconvenience usually passes quickly as patients grow accustomed to the device.
  4. New and permanent teeth that come into mouth with adequate bone and soft tissue support benefit from the ideal scenario for long-term stability and more sound periodontal health. For patients with a crowded, developing mouth, the plan is to create space for the teeth to come in straight without the risk of future gum-related issues or tooth damage.
  5. The effects of a small upper palate goes well beyond adolescence. Growing evidence suggests that maxillary constriction left untreated can be a factor in airway restriction starting in children and continuing through adulthood. The effects of a rapid maxillary expander can help increase nasal airway and improve overall respiratory function. As further airway evaluation becomes part of early dental exams, the benefit of early expansion can include improved air intake and even better sleep.

Did someone say field trip?

September 26th, 2017

October is National Orthodontics Health Month. At Forever Smiles, we love taking this time to educate school-aged children and groups aged 7 to 13 about the fascinating field of Orthodontics. That’s why we offer fun and educational field trips to our office to help teach our young community about orthodontics while simultaneously helping local schools, clubs and organizations in making a positive impact in our area.

As part of a scheduled field trip participants get a “behind the scenes” tour of our offices, meet our friendly dental and orthodontic professionals and discover how we align teeth using science and modern technology. In this fun and interactive program, we discuss our techniques and explain the importance of maintaining good oral hygiene. In addition, we serve delicious and smile-friendly snacks and participants even receive goodie bags with toothpaste, toothbrushes, floss and an age-appropriate gift.

If you know a group or organization who would benefit from an educational field trip, please reach out to Anna at anna@razdolsky.com. Perhaps together, we can inspire a future Orthodontist!







Obstructive Sleep Apnea

September 12th, 2017

Last month we published an article on Peak Performance & Breathing. As part of a continuing dialog on the impact and importance of Orthodontics on breathing, we present this discussion on Obstructive Sleep Apnea. At Forever Smiles we encourage patients to learn more about oral systemic health and how we improve their wellbeing and standard of care through orthodontics.

Do you or someone you know suffer from daytime sleepiness, have difficulty concentrating in school or sometimes feel cranky? You might think it’s time for a Snickers (which are terrible on braces btw), but maybe not. Sleep disorders impact as many as 30 percent of teens and pre-adolescents and it is estimated that as many as 10 percent can suffer from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the tissue at the back of the throat collapses during sleep keeping air from getting to the lungs. It can happen a few times per hour, or as many as several hundred times per night! Imagine, these pauses in breathing waking you up every time, disturbing your sleep. While you may be thinking you’re sleeping a lot, in fact, this disturbed sleep amounts to only a few hours of fit sleep per night.

Dr. Yan Razdolsky and the Forever Smiles team see a lot of patients with airway problems. They study facial growth, development and airway passages, so they are eminently qualified to help screen patients for OSA issues and strongly recommend early orthodontic screenings as early as age 7. The causes of OSA are varied, and can range from a soft tissue obstruction to palatal development or even jaw alignment. It has even been discovered that as many as 50 percent of OSA cases involve the bony structure that surrounds the airway. Through upper arch expansion and by advancing the mandible, or jaw bone, an orthodontist can sometimes address the underlying cause of OSA. The earlier the treatment plan, the better the potential outcome for the patient.

“Using the latest digital imaging technology and orthodontic tools we can identify, treat and potentially prevent sleep-related breathing disorders in children,” said Dr. Razdolsky. “We may even be able to reverse the condition in adolescents and adults.”

Getting 8.5 to 11 hours of quality sleep, depending on age, is essential to healthy growth, development and function. Not getting enough sleep can impact focus, cause sluggishness and irritability. Sleep deprivation can also affect overall health, weight and even your complexion. Although there are a lot of studies and literature on sleep related issues, it is often surprising how little of it is directed to the child or teen. These patients know first-hand what the symptoms may feel like and are often the first at recognizing their own issues. So, if you find that you or someone you know is suffering from symptoms mentioned here on a regular basis, and a Snickers just doesn’t seem to satisfy… talk to Dr. Razdolsky or a Forever Smiles member. A good night’s sleep is a beautiful thing.

Peak Performance & Breathing

August 21st, 2017

For some, back to school means back to sports. For student athletes returning to the court or field this fall, it also means training, and sports conditioning.

But did you know there is an increased correlation between breathing through your nose and enhanced sports performance? What’s more, breathing through your nose as opposed to your mouth has many benefits which are well documented.

Those who breathe through their mouth are more prone to using their upper chest and shoulders rather than their diaphragm. This can yield a shallower intake of air and result in a lower distribution of oxygen to the blood, reduced energy and even decreased stamina or endurance. Furthermore, mouth breathing as a norm in day-to-day activities can lead to other health issues, moodiness and even affect concentration.

Nasal breathing is not only important for improved sports performance, but also overall general health and preventing potential illness. When we breathe through the nose, we warm and humidify the air intake ensuring once it reaches the lungs it is at body temperature. Moreover, germs, bacteria and microbes are filtered out which can help in preventing potential illness.

So, what’s the correlation between mouth breathing and orthodontics?

“While proper breathing techniques are something that can be learned, there are instances where poor airway development in adolescence can hinder efforts,” said Buffalo Grove Orthodontist Dr. Yan Razdolsky. “Craniofacial development or malformation, malocclusion and jaw deformation can lead to airway obstruction and development of other health issues as well.”

There is considerable evidence to support good facial and jaw development to nasal breathing. Studies show a correlation between mouth breathing and development of a narrow jaw, distended nasal cavity, misaligned cheekbones and even crooked teeth. These developmental problems can be treated more effectively if diagnosed early by your Forever Smiles team.

What sport or activity are you training for? Share your story on our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ForeverSmilesIL/.

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