Posts for: April, 2016

By Wilmington Dental Associates
April 29, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures

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.”

By Wilmington Dental Associates
April 21, 2016
Category: Oral Health

People in Wilmington, DE know how important it is to visit the dentist regularly. They also know how important it is to have a dental family dentistprofessional the whole family trusts, someone who will be there for your family at every age.

If you live in Wilmington and you are looking for a qualified, caring family dentist, consider contacting Wilmington Dental Associates for your family dentistry needs. Not only can Wilmington Dental Associates offer preventative care for the entire family, they offer cosmetic services, including but not limited to veneers, implants, teeth whitening, and Invisalign braces.

Why regular dental visits are important

You probably consider yourself to be diligent in your oral hygiene habits, brushing your teeth twice daily, flossing regularly. You probably try to be just as diligent in getting your kids to brush and floss regularly as well. And that’s good.

But it still isn’t quite enough for optimum oral health.

Your Wilmington family dentist is going to be able to do several things you can’t do at home, starting with a good, thorough, professional cleaning. A professional dental cleaning will not only remove plaque and tartar that can cause tooth decay and gum disease, but your Wilmington dentist will be able to clean places you probably couldn’t reach. Your dentist will also probably do a preventative fluoride treatment as well.

Just as important, your Wilmington dentist will perform a thorough examination, possibly even taking x-rays, to make sure you aren’t developing any issues such as tooth decay or gum disease.

Regular dental visits are especially important for your children. Not only is it good to instill good habits and good oral health awareness early, but your Wilmington dentist can also do thorough cleanings on their teeth, as well as provide such preventative services as tooth sealants, which help protect children’s teeth from cavities.

How often should you visit the dentist? Generally, the American Dental Association recommends biannual dental visits, but that is a question best discussed between you, your family, and your dentist. Still, it is important to note that it is easier to prevent oral health problems than cure them. Poor oral hygiene and health can lead to such problems as tooth decay, bone loss, infection, and even other serious health issues elsewhere in the body.

Finally, it is comforting to have a dental professional everyone in the family can trust.

If you are seeking a family dentist in Wilmington, DE, consider contacting Wilmington Dental Associates. For more information call 302-654-6915,

By Wilmington Dental Associates
April 14, 2016
Category: Oral Health

That bit of gum bleeding after you brush, along with redness and swelling, are strong signs you have gingivitis, a form of periodontal (gum) disease. Without treatment, though, your gingivitis could turn into something much more painful and unsightly — a condition commonly known as “trench mouth.”

Properly known as Acute Necrotizing Ulcerative Gingivitis (ANUG), the more colorful name arose from its frequent occurrence among soldiers during World War I. Although not contagious, many soldiers contracted it due to a lack of means to properly clean their teeth and gums and the anxiety associated with war. Inadequate hygiene and high stress still contribute to its occurrence today, along with smoking, medications that dry the mouth and reduced disease resistance — all of which create a perfect environment for bacterial growth.

ANUG can arise suddenly and be very painful. The cells in the gum tissue begin to die (“necrotizing”) and become swollen (“ulcerative”), especially the small triangle of gum tissue between the teeth called the papillae, which can appear yellowish. Patients also encounter a characteristic foul breath and taste. Untreated, ANUG can damage tissue and contribute to future tooth loss.

Fortunately, antibiotics and other treatments are quite effective in eradicating bacteria that cause the disease, so if caught early it’s completely reversible. We start with a complete examination to confirm the diagnosis and rule out other possible causes. We then attempt to relieve the pain and inflammation with non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin or ibuprofen and begin antibiotic treatment, most notably Metronidazole or amoxicillin. We may also prescribe a mouthrinse containing chlorhexidine and mild salt water rinses to further reduce the symptoms.

We must also treat any underlying gingivitis that gave rise to the more acute disease. Our goal here is remove any bacterial plaque and calculus (hardened plaque deposits) that have built up on tooth surfaces, particularly below the gums. Only then can we fully bring the disease under control.

It’s also important you become more consistent and effective with daily brushing and flossing, quit smoking, reduce undue stress, and get better rest and nutrition. Establishing these new habits and lifestyle changes will help ensure you’ll never have to experience trench mouth again.

If you would like more information on ANUG and other periodontal gum conditions, 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 “Painful Gums in Teens & Adults.”

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