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Posts Tagged ‘Michelle Couto’

The History of Braces

Friday, October 12th, 2012


Did you know that even in ancient times, people wanted to improve the look and function of their smiles? We think of modern orthodontic appliances as sleek, efficient technology, but this was not always so! Take a look at the highlights in the evolution of braces.

Ancient Times: From Greece to Rome
• According to The Angle Orthodontist, Aristotle and Hippocrates first thought about methods for straightening teeth between 400 and 300 BC.
• The Etruscans, in what we now know as Italy, buried their dead with appliances that maintained spaces and prevented collapse of their teeth and jaws during life. Archaeologists have discovered mummified remains in various locations that have metal bands wrapped around the teeth.
• A Roman tomb has also been discovered in which the teeth were bound with gold wire, including documentation on the wire’s use as a dental device.

18th Century: A French Development
• The French dentist Pierre Fauchard is acknowledged as the father of modern dentistry. In 1728 he published a book that described various methods for straightening teeth. Fauchard also used a device known as a “blandeau” to widen the upper palate.
• Louis Bourdet was another French dentist who published a book in 1754 that discussed tooth alignment. Bourdet further refined the blandeau and was the first dentist to extract bicuspids, or the premolar teeth between canines and molars, for the purpose of reducing tooth crowding.

19th Century: Orthodontics Defined
• Orthodontics started to become a separate dental specialty during the early 19th century. The first wire crib was used in 1819, marking the beginning of modern orthodontics.
• During this period, gold, platinum, silver, steel, gum rubber, vulcanite, and occasionally wood, ivory, zinc, and copper were used — as was brass in the form of loops, hooks, spurs, and ligatures.
• Edward Maynard first used gum elastics in 1843 and E. J. Tucker began making rubber bands for braces in 1850.
• Norman W. Kingsley published the first paper on modern orthodontics in 1858 and J. N. Farrar was the first dentist to recommend the use of force over timed intervals to straighten teeth.
20th Century: New Materials Abound
• Edward Angle developed the first classification systems for malocclusions (misaligned teeth) during the early 20th century in the United States, and it is still in use today. Angle founded the American Society of Orthodontia in 1901, which was renamed the American Association of Orthodontists in the 1930s.
• By the 1960s, gold was universally abandoned in favor of stainless steel.
• Lingual braces were the “invisible” braces of choice until the early 1980s, when tooth-colored aesthetic brackets made from single-crystal sapphire and ceramics became popular.

Today
As we arrive in the present, you need only look at your own braces to see how far we’ve come. Your treatment plan was probably created with a 3D digital model, and we’ve likely used a computerized process to customize your archwires. Perhaps you have clear aligners, self-ligating brackets, or highly resilient ceramic brackets with heat-activated wires.
Orthodontics has come a long way from the days of Aristotle, and even the bulky wrap-around braces of just 60 years ago. Regardless of your specific treatment plan, the development of high-tech materials and methods has made it possible for your orthodontic experience to

Cold season is here, be prepared!

Friday, September 14th, 2012

Cold and flu season is here yet again. The folks at Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say that a common cold usually includes sneezing, runny nose, sore throat and coughing. Symptoms can last for up to two weeks.

To promote a healthy and clean environment, our entire staff give a great deal of attention to sanitation and sterilization in our office at all times, as well as following all requirements for sterilizing instruments and work surfaces. For the protection of other patients and our staff, we always ask that patients reschedule their appointments if they have any type of cold or illness that can infect others.

And remember to constantly wash your hands and avoid contact with those who are ill! Stay Healthy!

Let’s Talk About Toothpaste!

Thursday, September 6th, 2012

Have you been trying to go a little greener these days? Maybe you spend more time comparing organic and non-organic products at the store? If this is the case, then perhaps you’ve noticed that organic and natural items have begun to pop up in more aisles than just produce!

The good news is that you can smile – you’ve got tons of choices, even when it comes to your dental health. Let’s start with toothpaste. There are so many different brands to choose from, and now you must make the choice between natural toothpaste and regular toothpaste.

Some of your natural toothpaste brands include:
• Tom’s of Maine
• Kiss my Face
• Jason Natural Cosmetics
• The Natural Dentist
• Nature’s Gate Organics
• Trader Joe’s All Natural Toothpaste

Regular toothpaste brands include:
• Colgate
• Crest
• Aquafresh
• Arm and Hammer
• Aim
• Oral-B

The good news for you is that both natural and regular toothpastes are good for you and your teeth. The main difference is that natural toothpaste does not contain saccharine (an artificial sweetener) or sorbitol (humectants used to give toothpaste its pasty consistency and keep toothpaste from drying out). Both natural and regular toothpastes contain fluoride, which is essential for protecting the health of your teeth. If you have any questions about a particular type or brand of toothpaste, ask us at your next appointment. We’re happy to answer any questions you may have about your dental health.

Make your own toothpaste!
Looking for a fun and healthy project? Try this simple recipe for making your own toothpaste! Kids, be sure to ask your parents to help before you begin.

1. Mix three parts baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) with one part table salt (sodium chloride).

2. Add three teaspoons of glycerin for every 1/4 cup of dry mixture.
Glycerin is available at many pharmacies, or craft stores.

3. Add enough water to make a thick paste. If desired, a few drops of peppermint oil may be added to improve the taste.
If you do not like the taste of peppermint, feel free to experiment with flavors by adding cinnamon, spearmint, or any other flavor that you like.

4. Apply and use just as you would any other toothpaste. Store unused toothpaste at room temperature in a covered container.

NOTE: this recipe came from: About.com

Preventing Decay While Wearing Braces

Friday, August 10th, 2012


Having braces can present some new challenges when it comes to oral hygiene. Preventing tooth decay can be a big challenge simply because of the tendency for braces to trap food under the wires and between the teeth and the brackets. Here are a few tips to keep your teeth healthy while wearing your braces:

1. Eat Braces-Safe Foods
Keeping your teeth from decay starts with a proper diet. Foods that are high in sugar or starch can cause more plaque which is difficult to remove during your brushing. There are certain foods that should be avoided while wearing your braces. First, sticky foods like caramel or gum can get stuck in your braces and be difficult to remove during brushing. Next, hard foods such as nuts and candy could bend wires or even break a bracket. Foods that are firm or hard to bite into like apples, carrots, or corn on the cob should be avoided. As much as we like to snack on them, those crunchy treats can harm your braces. Things like chips, ice, popcorn can also bend or break your braces. On the other hand, bananas, mangoes, milk, water, poultry, and pasta all tend to be low in enamel-busting acids.

2. Proper Brushing
You want to place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle against the gums in order to clean the whole tooth, and brush gently in the area between the wiring and the teeth. Use a softer toothbrush with fluoride paste for best results. Rinsing every day will help, too. Rinsing is important regardless, but especially important when you have braces as you need to disinfect the entire mouth, including those spots under the braces where your brush can’t always reach.

3. Ask About Special Cleaning Tools
There are also special brushes, or other tools, to get under and clean your braces. You can also find many of these items at your local pharmacy.

4. Regular Teeth Cleaning
It’s important to keep your routine appointments with your dentist and dental hygienist for a thorough cleaning twice a year or as directed. The exact frequency of these visits will be up to your dentist as some types of braces are more demanding of a regular cleaning than others.
As long as you practice good oral hygiene and follow these basic tips, you should have no problem keeping your teeth from decaying while you wear braces.

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