Magician Michael Grandinetti mystifies and astonishes audiences with his sleight of hand and mastery of illusion. But when he initially steps onto the stage, it’s his smile that grabs the attention. “The first thing… that an audience notices is your smile; it’s what really connects you as a person to them,” Michael told an interviewer.
He attributes his audience-pleasing smile to several years of orthodontic treatment as a teenager to straighten misaligned teeth, plus a lifetime of good oral care. “I’m so thankful that I did it,” he said about wearing orthodontic braces. “It was so beneficial. And… looking at the path I’ve chosen, it was life-changing.”
Orthodontics — the dental subspecialty focused on treating malocclusions (literally “bad bites”) — can indeed make life-changing improvements. Properly positioned teeth are integral to the aesthetics of any smile, and a smile that’s pleasing to look at boosts confidence and self-esteem and makes a terrific first impression. Studies have even linked having an attractive smile with greater professional success.
There can also be functional benefits such as improved biting/chewing and speech, and reduced strain on jaw muscles and joints. Additionally, well-aligned teeth are easier to clean and less likely to trap food particles that can lead to decay.
The Science Behind the Magic
There are more options than ever for correcting bites, but all capitalize on the fact that teeth are suspended in individual jawbone sockets by elastic periodontal ligaments that enable them to move. Orthodontic appliances (commonly called braces or clear aligners) place light, controlled forces on teeth in a calculated fashion to move them into their new desired alignment.
The “gold standard” in orthodontic treatment remains the orthodontic band for posterior (back) teeth and the bonded bracket for front teeth. Thin, flexible wires threaded through the brackets create the light forces needed for repositioning. Traditionally the brackets have been made of metal, but for those concerned about the aesthetics, they can also be made out of a clear material. Lingual braces, which are bonded to the back of teeth instead of the front, are another less visible option. The most discrete appliance is the removable clear aligner, which consists of a progression of custom-made clear trays that reposition teeth incrementally.
How’s that for a disappearing act?!
If you would like more information about orthodontic treatment please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about the subject by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “The Magic of Orthodontics.”
Inflammation is our body’s natural immune response. It is the amazing way that our bodies self-heal. However, as we have discussed over these past few weeks, chronic inflammation is at the root of most degenerative diseases, such as heart disease, arthritis, osteoporosis, and diabetes. Inflammation is also caused by exposure to and accumulation of free radicals. Free radicals can come from pollution in the air, chemicals on and in our food and water, and toxic behavior, such as smoking. Free radicals are also linked to premature signs of aging and cancer. Fortunately, there are antioxidants!
Antioxidants, such as vitamins A, C, and E help to battle the free radicals that we are exposed to pretty much every time we breathe and prevent further damage to our cells caused by inflammation. While there are tons of fruits and vegetables that are antioxidant-rich, berries in particular are an excellent source of flavonoids, a type of antioxidant that has been proven to help minimize inflammation in the body. Blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, cranberries, strawberries, and cherries are packed with flavonoids and a subclass of antioxidants called anthocyanins. Anthocyanins have been linked to protecting our bodies against chronic diseases.
It is truly amazing how much an impact, negative or positive, your diet can have on your health. Eating a diet that is rich in antioxidants, omegas, and plant-based protein can significantly reduce inflammation in your body and thus significantly reduce your chances of suffering from a life-altering disease or condition. Sometimes it is hard to get enough antioxidants and other important vitamins and minerals into our daily diet though. We are busy people and, while it shouldn’t, sometimes our health and nutrition give way to convenience. Do you get the daily recommended servings of fruits and vegetables? Who has time to eat three to five servings of vegetables and two to three servings of fruit every single day?
The dilemma is often that we know we need to eat more fruits and vegetables, but our daily schedules don’t always make that easily obtainable. Fret not though! The solution to this dilemma might be the easiest solution, ever; Juice Plus+. The Parker family has been taking juice plus for well over a decade. It is something that we believe in so much, not only because of the extensive research and scientific findings, but because we have experienced firsthand the health benefits. Juice Plus+ capsules contain juice powers (certified organic and non-GMO) from 30 fruits, vegetables, and grains that offer whole food based nutrition. Your daily dose of antioxidants like beta-carotene, lycopene, vitamin C and E, as well as other essential vitamins and minerals are now easier than ever to get in every day. The benefits go far beyond just helping to prevent chronic inflammation though.
While, unfortunately, there are certain health issues that might not be able to be prevented due to strong genetic influences, we do actually have a lot of control over our health. It all comes down to decisions. You get to decide what you eat and drink, how much you exercise, and whether or not you start taking Juice Plus+. If this is something that interests you, talk to Dr. Blake or Honi. They both can offer you a wealth of information about this incredible product. Reducing inflammation, strengthening your immune system, and improving your oral health doesn’t get much easier than this!
Multiple factors can cause chronic inflammation in the body. As we have discussed in earlier articles, chronic inflammation can lead to diabetes, hypertension, arthritis, cancer, and heart disease, among many other life-changing aliments. Chronic inflammation seems to be at the base of a lot of our health problems. A poor diet, food allergies, chronic infection, stress, inactivity, and digestive and gut issues can cause chronic inflammation. Poor diet and lack of exercise, like chronic inflammation, are at the base of a lot of our health issues. Diet and exercise are also two factors that we have complete control over.
Did you know that the average American consumes 20 spoons of sugar a day? Did you know that 80% of us don’t do the recommended about of physical activity a week? Did you know that the recommended minimum amount of exercise is not even three hours a week? We are eating processed foods that are chalked full of preservatives and ingredients that we can’t even pronounce. We are eating far too much sugar. We are eating too much animal protein and not enough plant-based protein. We are working too much and not getting enough rest. We are holding onto a lot stress and not finding a way to release it. We aren’t moving enough. We are making ourselves sick.
Here are some super easy ways to reduce and even prevent chronic inflammation. Try starting off by picking a few and once you realize how much better you feel, you might want to incorporate them all into your life.
- Reduce sugar intake from 20 spoons a day to 2-3 spoons.
- Decrease your soy, animal-based fats, and corn oil intake. Use coconut, avocado, or olive oil instead.
- Add raw nuts and seeds, like walnuts, almonds, pumpkin, and hemp, into your diet.
- Cut back on dairy and gluten.
- Eat more broccoli, spinach, kale, pineapple, garlic, ginger, and turmeric.
- Eat less animal-based protein and more plant-based protein.
- Try kombucha or other fermented products like kimchi, yogurt, and apple cider vinegar.
- Get more omega 3 and 6 fatty acids.
- Load up on antioxidants.
- Minimize your Ibuprofen and Tylenol intake.
- Do more low-impact exercise, like yoga or walking.
- Get at least 7-8 hours of sleep every night.
- Stop smoking.
- Reduce your alcohol consumption.
Try some of these out and see how you feel!
Your gums not only help hold your teeth securely in place, they also help protect them. They're also part of your smile — when healthy and proportionally sized, they provide a beautiful frame for your teeth.
But if they become weakened by periodontal (gum) disease, they can detach and begin to shrink back or recede from the teeth. Not only will your smile be less attractive, but you could eventually lose teeth and some of the underlying bone.
Treating gum recession begins with treating the gum disease that caused it. The primary goal is to remove the source of the disease, a thin film of food particles and bacteria called dental plaque, from all tooth and gum surfaces. This may take several sessions, but eventually the infected gums should begin showing signs of health.
If the recession has been severe, however, we may have to assist their healing by grafting donor tissue to the recession site. Not only does this provide cover for exposed tooth surfaces, it also provides a “scaffold” for new tissue growth to build upon.
There are two basic surgical approaches to gum tissue grafting. One is called free gingival grafting in which we first completely remove a thin layer of surface skin from the mouth palate or a similar site with tissue similar to the gums. We then attach the removed skin to the recession site where it and the donor site will usually heal in a predictable manner.
The other approach is called connective tissue grafting and is often necessary when there's extensive root exposure. The tissue is usually taken from below the surface of the patient's own palate and then attached to the recession site where it's covered by the surrounding adjacent tissue. Called a pedicle or flap, this covering of tissue provides a blood supply that will continue to nourish the graft.
Both of these techniques, but especially the latter, require extensive training and micro-surgical experience. The end result is nothing less than stunning — the tissues further rejuvenate and re-attach to the teeth. The teeth regain their protection and health — and you'll regain your beautiful smile.
If you would like more information on treating gum recession, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Periodontal Plastic Surgery.”
Inflammation has been linked to a long list of life altering and life threatening diseases and conditions. While acute inflammation is necessary in order for your body to self-repair and heal, too much of it becomes can become a bad thing rather quickly. Chronic inflammation is a condition that is affecting far too many of us and far too many of us who don’t even realize that is truly what is causing our maladies. While inflammation does have a genetic link, we are in control of the things that increase inflammation and increase our risks of suffering from one of the following conditions.
Inflammation has been linked to…
Advanced signs of aging
Inflammatory bowl disease
Digestive tract cancer
Obstructive pulmonary disease
No one wants to experience any of these things awful things! If you could reduce your risks of suffering from diseases and conditions like the ones listed above, wouldn’t you want to try?
One aliment, in particular, that we experts in is gum disease. Gum disease, or periodontal disease is caused by inflammation of the gums and surrounding bone mass. Periodontal disease causes the gums to recede and the bone structure around your teeth and gums to become weakened or damaged. Periodontal disease doesn’t just affect your gums though; poor oral health has been linked to inflammation in other parts of the body and diseases such as heart disease and dementia. Periodontal disease is something that can be prevented.
Find out all the simples way you can reduce inflammation in your body next week as we continue this mini series.
Thanks for sharing a smile with us this week!
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