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Posts for: December, 2015

By Dr. Stephanie ML Wong, DMD, Inc.
December 26, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures
MasterIllusionistBenefitsfromtheMagicofOrthodontics

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 Dr. Stephanie ML Wong, DMD, Inc.
December 24, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Removal Dentures  

If you are missing most or all of your teeth, you have probably felt your quality of life decrease. Without teeth, speaking and eating are considerably more difficult and facial muscles may begin to sag. However, removable dentures can help you get back to a normal life with a smile to be proud of.dentures

What are removable dentures? 
Dentures are false teeth. They typically replace all the teeth in an arch, but can be worn over or attached to your natural teeth. There are three types of removable dentures. They include:

  • Full dentures: Full dentures replace an entire arch of teeth, usually after extraction of any remaining natural teeth. You can only wear full dentures after the mouth heals from dental work that may have been required.
  • Immediate dentures: Immediate dentures are created based on molds of the teeth before any extractions. This allows your dentist to have the dentures ready on the same day as your tooth extractions. The dentures act as a protective covering and help protect the extraction sites.
  • Partial dentures: Partial removable dentures replace several, but not all, teeth. They attach to your remaining natural teeth using metal framework.

Benefits of Dentures

Confidence
A new, beautiful smile will boost anybody’s self-esteem. No more covering your mouth when you laugh or speaking without showing your teeth. 
Eating
You can eat the foods you enjoy without worrying about being able to chew them. Chewing and biting become natural and second nature. 
Speaking
Dentures make speaking easier, especially if they replace the front teeth. You can speak normally with no lisping or other speech problems. 
Reduce moving teeth
When teeth are missing, the remaining natural teeth move to compensate for the space left behind. Dentures stimulate the bone and help keep your natural teeth in place. 
Prevent facial changes
Dentures support the facial muscles, preventing them from sagging or collapsing.

It is important to consult with your dentist to determine if dentures are right for you. For more information on removable dentures, please contact Dr. Stephanie Wong, DMD in Honolulu, HI. Call (808) 732-3072 to schedule your appointment today!


By Dr. Stephanie ML Wong, DMD, Inc.
December 11, 2015
Category: Oral Health
4ReasonsYouShouldBeginYourChildsDentalVisitsbyAgeOne

As a parent, you have plenty of questions about your child’s health. One we hear quite often is when dental care should begin for a child.

The short answer is when their first tooth comes in, usually at six months to a year of age: that’s when you should begin brushing at home. But there’s also the matter of when to begin your child’s regular dental visits: we recommend the first visit around the child’s first birthday. Here are 4 reasons why this is the right time to start.

Prevention. First and foremost, starting visits at age one gives your child the best start for preventing tooth decay through cleanings, topical fluoride or, in some cases, sealants. Preventive care for primary teeth may not seem that important since they’ll eventually give way to the permanent teeth. But primary teeth also serve as guides for the next teeth’s ultimate position in the mouth — if a primary tooth is lost prematurely, it could affect your child’s bite in later years.

Development. Early dental visits give us a chance to keep an eye on bite and jaw development. If we notice a developing malocclusion (bad bite) or conditions favorable for it, we can refer you to an orthodontist for consultation or interventional therapy to reduce the possibility or extent of future treatment.

Support. Your child’s regular dental visits can also help you as a parent. We can advise you on all aspects of dental care, including brushing and flossing techniques, nutrition dos and don’ts, and how to handle situations like late thumb sucking.

Familiarization. Dental visits starting at age one will help your child become familiar and comfortable with visiting the dentist that might be more difficult to achieve if they’re older. Dental visit anxiety is a major reason why many people don’t maintain regular visits later in life. Children who come to realize that dental visits are a normal, even pleasant experience are more likely to continue the practice into adulthood.

Caring for your child’s teeth is just as important as other aspects of their health. Getting an early start can head off brewing problems now and set the course for healthy teeth and gums tomorrow.

If you would like more information on pediatric dental care, 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 “Age One Dental Visit.”




Stephanie Wong

Dr. Stephanie Wong is unlike any other dentist you've ever been to.  The reason she became a dentist was her yearning to help and heal her patients.  Her goal was to "Create Life Changing Experiences".  She is also well regarded...

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