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Invisalign: They Easy Way To A Million Dollar Smile

A smile, like a snowflake, is unique. No one in the world has a smile exactly like yours. In some cases, that may be a good thing. Teeth are also one of the first attributes people notice when meeting a new person. Both unfortunately and fortunately, first impressions tend to stick in people’s mind. It’s part of the strange psychological makeup humans have. Studies say within the blink of an eye a person sizes up a new individual, in terms of trustworthiness and attractiveness. That’s a short period of time to make a lasting impression, especially if you’re embarrassed of your snaggletooth smile.

In the past, if your teeth resembled Austin Powers there were a limited number of options. In fact, there was only one option: get braces and feel like a middle schooler for at least a year. Even dentists understand that braces, as an adult, aren’t what you could call a “good look.” Thankfully, the technology for braces has grown leaps and bounds since the days of metal mouth or nothing. 

Today, not only are clear braces available but the process has been streamlined and improved to ensure effectiveness. No longer do you have to hide your misaligned teeth or live in a cave until traditional braces have done the job. If you’ve ever wanted to smile with confidence but couldn’t pull the trigger on traditional braces, read on.

 

 

How They Work:

Invisalign looks a lot like the mouth pieces that Steph Curry toys with while he dominates the NBA. Except Invisalign is clear and less noticeable. Curry’s mouthguard is designed to protect his teeth, therefore, it’s thicker and more noticeable. 

Invisalign fit tightly over your teeth and slowly change the position of your teeth in the appropriate direction. Each week you’ll receive a new set of aligners that will gradually turn even British level crooked teeth into a 1000 mega-watt smile that will elicit double-takes.

During the alignment process the trays should be worn as much as possible, only to be taken out for eating, or brushing your teeth. The duration of the process depends on how consistently you wear them and how misaligned your teeth were at the start. Lengths of time vary from 6 weeks to 6 months. Once that dazzling smile is in place, you’ll only be required to wear a retainer at night.

A smile is a precious gift, one that isn’t doled out equally. Some people are born with a smile that can light up the room. Others of us could shoot water out of the gaps in our teeth as kids. No longer do you have to feel envious of those whose brilliant smile enlists people’s attention. Now a memory searing smile is a short, painless process away. Check our website for more information on how to change your smile today.

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Smoking’s Effect on your Oral Health

Smoking is bad for your health.  This is a fact Americans have finally accepted after a long and arduous campaign of PSA’s,  tax legislations, and constant badgering from friends and relatives.  These health crusades have been so effective, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, that the rate of smoking adults in America fell to its all-time low of 15 percent in 2015.  2015 saw the biggest one-year decline in smoking rate in 20 years!

This is not only great news for the general health of Americans but also for their teeth.  Cigarettes and smokeless tobacco are now seen as the cancer causing death packets that they are and for good reason.  It is estimated that smoking is the cause of death in more than 480,000 deaths a year.  Therefore, it’s hard to be concerned over any other damaging aspect of smoking after that statistic.  It’s a bit like complaining about too many people at the beach after you’ve been attacked by a shark.

However, not enough people realize the corrosive effects smoking can have oral health.  Periodontists play a similar role in your oral health that an ER doctor would over a gunshot wound.  Simply, if you’re seeing a periodontist, things have gone wrong somewhere in your mouth. Smoking is most likely culprit. According to David A. Albert D.D.S of Columbia University, “Studies have found that tobacco use may be one of the biggest risk factors in the development of periodontal disease.”

(ORAMD Blog)

Periodontal disease may not sound terrible, but it absolutely looks it and even worse, absolutely smells like it.  This picture above is a relatively tame example of what it can look like, believe me, it gets worse.  Other than looking ghastly and smelling foul, periodontal disease can cause the following: receding gums, loss of teeth, bone loss, and gum destruction.  These lovely effects, of course, don’t include mouth or throat cancer, yellowing teeth, and Leukoplakia(Warning: potentially disturbing image), which creates white or gray patches on the tongue or cheek.

Clearly, tobacco is just as bad for your oral health as it is for the rest of you.  However, we at Rizzo Dental Group understand that quitting isn’t easy.  So here are some tips to avoid the litany of oral health issues if you smoke.

  • Do not skip regular check-ups.  Smokers, as we covered, are more likely to develop a number of oral diseases.  By seeing a dentist regularly smokers may avoid some potential problems.
  • Use stiff bristles.  Bristles must be stiff and strong enough to scrape off the stains left by tobacco.
  • Use toothpaste specifically designed for smokers, as well as mouthwash.
  • Do oral checks at home.  If sores around the face, neck, and mouth persist after a few weeks, it may be a sign of larger issues. Check for bleeding, swelling, lesion and lumps.  Discolored patches that linger should also be reported to your dentist.

Quitting is by far the best option but if you must smoke, be sure you and your dentist are on the same page.

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Wisdom Teeth: When & Why To Remove Your Smartest Ivories

Wisdom teeth are the gasket of your mouth. You only ever hear about them when they are beginning to cause you problems. Who knows what they actually do, but when they start having problems, you are sure to know about it. According to the American Journal of Public Health, roughly 10 million wisdom teeth are removed each year, to the tune of more than $3 billion. That is a lot of pain, money, and teeth but is it really necessary?

Dentist Jay Friedman of the University of California at Los Angeles wrote in same American Journal of Public Health that approximately 67% of wisdom teeth removals are excessive. There is a train of thought that many dentists have turned wisdom teeth removal into a gold mine of unnecessary oral surgery. So where does the truth lie? Read on to find out.

The Why:

To answer the question of whether removal of wisdom teeth is necessary, we must first answer why we do it in the first place. Unfortunately, dentists are like mechanics in that we really have no choice but to trust them. Wisdom teeth may need removal for any number of reasons like inflamed gums, cavities, or potential jaw damage. Perhaps your wisdoms will eventually grow into their tooth next to them. The ugly truth is, if you have a scurrilous dentist, he will be able to come up with reasons why they should be removed. That’s why it’s key to have real trust in who’s giving you oral advice.

Potential Risks:

While removal of wisdom teeth is considered non-invasive surgery, that doesn’t mean there aren’t complications from time to time. According to the Journal of the Canadian Dental Association the complication rate is  between 7 and 10 percent. By complications, they mean, swelling, hemorrhaging, periodontal damage, fracturing of adjacent teeth or mandible and infection of the sinus. A few of these are significant problems and in rare cases, permanent. One tragic story ended in the death of a teenage girl during oral surgery. That is beyond rare and the dentist responsible is currently in litigation. However, that doesn’t mean oral surgery should be taken lightly.

The Verdict:

While the evidence does weigh heavily in favor of many wisdom tooth removals being unnecessary, that doesn’t mean that all are. The British National Health Service tells its citizens that wisdom teeth don’t need to be removed, even if they’re impacted as long as the teeth aren’t causing pain. Ultimately faith in your dentist to do the right thing for your mouth and not his wallet is the crux of the debate. If you suspect your dentist doesn’t have your health as his or her number-one priority get a second opinion. If you are located near Orlando, don’t hesitate to make an appointment with the Rizzo Dental Group, where you can relax knowing the Rizzo team has your best interests at heart.

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Proper Tongue Hygiene

Did you know that the human tongue has between and 3,000 and 10,000 taste buds? How ‘bout that.   The truth of the matter is we take our tongues for granted.  The pink muscle in our mouth helps us talk, taste, kiss and insult each other yet; the stars of oral hygiene are your teeth and gums.  It’s about time the tongue got some shine.  Here are three reasons to pamper your mouth muscle, known as your tongue.

Bad Breath Can Ruin Relationships:

Ever notice a layer of white gunk on your tongue that is easy to scrape off?  That is a build up bacteria, dead cells and potential yeast, which could cause significant issues if left to its own devices. Unsurprisingly, that white layer doesn’t smell good and can produce the love killing death breath known as halitosis.  There is also a condition called Hairy Tongue, which occurs when normal papillae grow long. Initially harmless, Hairy Tongue, if left unchecked, can result in yeast and protein build up akin to an afro growing on your tongue.  The pictures are traumatizing. There is no circumstance where bad breath is advantageous, and Hairy Tongue should be avoided like the plague, so whether you use a toothbrush or a tongue scraper, get rid of that odor-causing layer.

You Enjoy The Taste of Food

Another benefit of cleaning your tongue is enhanced taste.  Have you ever tried to smell daisies in a field of manure?  It isn’t the cherry blossom festival.  If you don’t clean your tongue, that perfectly cooked fillet mignon might as well be raw.  By spending a minute each day cleaning off your tongue, your taste buds will reward you by appreciating food as you never have before.  The layer of crud that covers your tongue effectively jams the signal coming from delicious food to taste buds.  Cleaner tongue, tastier food!

You Don’t Enjoy Being Sick

Like it or not, the tongue is one of the fastest ways to absorb something into your body.  That is why many medicines are dissolved under your tongue.  It goes straight into the bloodstream. However, our tongue’s technology is not yet advanced enough to discern between what it should and shouldn’t absorb.  Many times when a person is sick, their mouth becomes a biohazard.  All the coughing, phlegm, and other germs can create additional bacteria in your mouth.  All that, if not removed, can then be reabsorbed through the fastest means in your body. By scraping your tongue, you are removing harmful toxins from the system, thus improving your immune system!

Oral hygiene generally focuses on your teeth and gums for good reason.  The cracks between your teeth and their large surface areas are perfect places for plaque and bacteria to grow. Everybody understands this and that’s why brushing and flossing are so important.  However, if you don’t like having death breath, if you don’t prefer eating in the vicinity of a cow, or if don’t like getting sick, take care of that tongue.

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Toothbrush Guidelines: What You Need To Know

Like mouthwash, the toothbrush dates back to a time of utter filth when chewing on a twig passed as dental hygiene.  Fast forward to the present and we have dozens of non-stick options.  From motorized to manual, soft to hard bristles, even little massaging rubber nubs for your gums, toothbrushes come in every possible variety.  With such a plethora of options to choose from, which is the best? We’ve got you covered; here’s the least boring guide to toothbrushes A-Z.

Soft or hard?  Similar to tacos, toothbrush bristles fall between these two ends of the spectrum.  Unlike tacos, evidence suggests that very few of us should be using the hard versions.  Firm bristles can wear away at the enamel on your teeth and can also do damage to your gums, causing your gum line to recede.  If you feel like this cat below while you brush your teeth, perhaps going to a softer bristle is for you.  This is where we give the obligatory message: you should check with your dentist on which is the best toothbrush for you, based on your oral hygiene.

Manual or electric?  This is an age old question that crosses all boundaries, from breast pumps to wheelchairs.  Humans are presented with the option of battery or man powered for decades.  And like razors or shopping carts, the pros and cons of each are essentially the same for toothbrushes. Electric offers you less work while being slightly more effective but are bulkier and more expensive.  Manual can be as effective with the right amount of persistence, not to mention easier to travel with and replaceable.  The choice is yours.

Size, seal and shed.  These are three important words to remember when it comes to your toothbrush.  Size matters when it comes to your toothbrush head and that size is wholly dependent on your mouth.  According to Web MD for most adults one inch high and half an inch wide is an optimal size to maneuver around your mouth, hitting all of those tough to reach places.  That number is likely based on the average adult mouth, which of course isn’t the same for everybody.  Talk to your dentist blah blah blah.

Seal.  You can never go wrong with American Dental Association Seal of Approval that can be found on a wide range of products.  The gold standard of dentist approval, any product with this seal has been tested and evaluated for consumer safety and effectiveness at the highest levels.

Shed.  Every 3 to 4 months your toothbrush should be changed.  The more vigorously you brush, the faster your bristles are likely to wear.  Once the bristles start looking like the end of a burlap sack, it’s time toss that bad boy and begin anew.  Worn bristles greatly affect the efficacy of brushing, failing to remove plaque and other gingivitis-causing bacteria.

Toothbrushes are vital tools in the fight for healthy white teeth and fresh breath.  Make sure you’re using yours effectively and be happy we aren’t chewing on sticks anymore.

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Mouthwashes: Effective or not?

Mouthwash, is it an effective teeth cleaning cure-all or comforting breath mint that actually doesn’t do anything?  It is an age-old question, very, very old, as mouthwash goes as far back as the Roman times.  Unfortunately for them, mouthwash in first century A.D meant human urine!

Yes, you read that right.  Romans and Greeks used urine as mouthwash, however disgusting, they rightly thought the ammonium would serve as a suitable cleanser.  The rest of what is in urine, my guess is they ignored.  Today in the 21st century, mouthwashes come in as many flavors and types as ice cream but the question persists, is it effective?  Like any good scientific answer, all signs point to yes.

Of course, that magic eight ball answer is relative.  Bottom line, nothing replaces brushing and flossing everyday.  No dentist will tell you different and mine would threaten my life if I led you to believe otherwise.  However, there are enough reputable scientific studies that prove consistent use with mouthwash can help fight plaque, bacteria causing gingivitis and bad breath.  The American Dental Association bestows its prestigious seal approval to mouthwashes if submitted scientific evidence proves their product accomplishes one of three goals.

The titles are typically doctoral but you’ll get the gist: first, chemotherapeutic products for the control of gingivitis, second, oral malodor management products and finally, fluoride rinses.  Basically they can fight gingivitis, bad breath, strengthen teeth and fight tooth decay.  Today, mouthwashes are broken into 4 different categories: Fluoride, Cosmetic, Antiseptic, and Natural, available in many flavors and in combination.

Why so many? As they tell kids in elementary schools, “Everyone is unique.”  While that is up for debate, the variety of mouthwashes we actually need is pretty simple.  Here’s a run down of which does what:

Cosmetic: Freshens breath and is easy on teeth but doesn’t fight the root of the issue, which is bacteria.  Cosmetic mouthwashes are strong tic-tacs basically.

Fluoride: Contains sodium fluoride, which strengthens teeth while fighting tooth decay.

Antiseptic: This fights the whole gambit of oral issues and has chlorhexidine gluconate, a bacteria fighting chemical, which if overused can cause discoloration of teeth.

Natural: Everything comes in natural form these days.

As every drug commercial advises, “It’s important to consult a medical professional before (fill in the blank).”  In this case talk with your dentist about which type of mouthwash works best for you.  He’ll weigh your oral hygiene needs that best fit with what is on the market.

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