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Is The Pandemic Hurting Your Teeth?

April 7, 2021

We are a nation of strong people… pull yourself up by your bootstraps, stiff upper lip kinds of people.  However, this last year of the Covid-19 pandemic has taken its toll.  We are all aware of the symptoms of Covid and vigilantly monitor ourselves for them.  We know about wearing masks, washing hands and keeping our distance from others.

But while we have been concentrating on all those things, we may be overlooking others.  The American Dental Association’s Health Policy Institute has found that our stress from the pandemic situation may be taking its toll in our mouths!

Dentists and Orthodontists have been noticing an increased prevalence in stress-related mouth conditions such as grinding and clinching teeth resulting in chipped and cracked teeth and problems with the temporomandibular joints, more commonly known as TMJ.  These conditions obviously affect teeth and jaws but can also cause headaches, and really, who needs more headaches?!  Also, did you know that crowded and out of place teeth can even cause you to start grinding and clenching at night? And what’s worse, this detrimental activity on your teeth/mouth is happening when you don’t even realize it!!

As our nation works through the pandemic, dental health professionals can help with “oral stress”. An orthodontist can help with straightening teeth that are being damaged or are culprits for causing us to grind at night. Invisalign and Braces are great options for straightening, and custom mouth guards are effective to help prevent damage to teeth from grinding and clinching. If damage has already occurred, see a Dentist or Orthodontist for recommendations on repairs to the teeth or jaws.  Let Smiles Hollywood Orthodontics help your mouth get through this pandemic.

Call us today at (972) 529-9700 or visit us online at SmilesHollywood.com to book your appointment!

Do You Know The Best Time For Brushing Your Teeth?

December 16, 2020

Brushing your teeth in the morning and at night is ideal, but let’s face it… sometimes that just doesn’t happen.  If you brushed only once a day, which is better:  in the morning or before bed?

Think about all the things you eat and drink during the day.  The particles left behind, on and between your teeth and gums are an all-you-can-eat buffet for bacteria in your mouth. If left alone, that bacteria create plaque on your teeth which can calcify and become tartar which in turn can cause cavities.

The anti-bacterial effect of your saliva is one way to combat that bacterial growth, but we can’t leave the job to saliva alone.  At night, the production of saliva naturally decreases and if you sleep with your mouth open, you know your mouth is even drier!  This gives bacteria time to do its dirty work on your teeth.  A simple 2-minute brushing of your teeth before bed can remove the plaque and food particles leading to bigger issues later.  Gum, mints or mouthwash don’t count.  They may make your mouth feel “fresher”, but to remove the plaque on your teeth requires brushing and flossing.

If you aren’t already brushing your teeth before bed at night, it’s easy to make that part of your routine.  A few weeks from now we will begin a new year and for many, that is a perfect time to release bad habits and replace with new ones.  Warding off troublesome and costly dental issues by doing something as easy as brushing before bed can be a great start!! Good dental hygiene is important to having a Beautiful Smile and creating gorgeous smiles is what we do best at Smiles Hollywood Orthodontics in McKinney! For Braces, Invisalign or teeth whitening, call us at 972-529-9700 or visit us online at SmilesHollywood.com.

Grace

October 11, 2020

By now, most school districts have determined what the first half of their school years will look like – all online, all on-campus, or a mix of both!  Beyond that, it seems the most dominant punctuation mark for this school year is a question mark. ???   Where will the country be with Covid-19 as we round the corner to 2021?

There are kudos to be handed out to all: Teachers are working double and triple time preparing lessons for a variety of learning modes while also managing the learning needs of their own children.  Parents without teaching degrees have been thrust into being teachers for their own children in a greater role than usual while still trying to perform their own jobs if they are still working.

There is no doubt that tensions are running high in our great country because of all the stressors we as a nation have faced in 2020.  In case you need to hear this, it is okay to take a deep breath and realize that we’re all doing the best we possibly can.    The situation the country is in is unprecedented and we are writing the owner’s manual as we go along.

When people seem stressed out and snappish, let us remember that we have no idea what they are dealing with personally.  The word of our time is G-R-A-C-E.  Grace for the overworked teachers, parents and equally-stressed people everywhere.  When we’re out and about, masked up and 6 feet apart, let our eyes smile at others we meet. 

UV Light… Did You Know?

August 13, 2020

Have you ever been to the dentist or orthodontist and the dental tech shined a purple light in your mouth?  What in the world are they doing?  They’re probably curing (or “drying”) a sealant to bond something to your teeth.  The fancier way to say it is that the UV-A light’s wavelength is causing a photochemical reaction which causes the polymer to harden.  Pretty handy when you’re getting braces on your teeth!

If you’ve ever glimpsed a tray of dental or orthodontic instruments under a light looking like they’re in a tanning bed, you have witnessed another cool use of UV light, but this time it’s UV-C light.  The UV-C rays disintegrate the nucleic acids in the cells of microorganisms which make it perfect for sterilizing equipment.  Simply put, they’re germ blasters.

With the recent Coronavirus crisis, airlines are looking at ways for additional sanitization between flights and some have touted the beneficial effects of UV light in creative ways.  The below device is being tested for just that purpose.  It looks like a crazy beverage cart with UV-C light wings gliding over the seats.

While there are benefits to UV light, there are also downsides.  Our electronic devices (cell phones, laptops, etc.) emit ultraviolet rays that can disrupt our sleep when used too close to bedtime.  This light suppresses the production of melatonin which is our body’s “Hey-it’s-time-to-go-to-sleep!” chemical.

In a world where our cell phones, tablets, and e-readers reign supreme, many of us climb into bed and fire these up and then wonder why we can’t sleep!  If this is happening to you, a little re-training is in order.  Instead of diving into electronic devices at bedtime (including TVs), read an old-fashioned paper book or listen to music.  Dim the lights in your room at least a half hour before getting in bed to help you wind down.

Another important fact about UV light is it can be very damaging to one’s eyes, especially your retina.  Commercial uses in the dental office and for sterilization procedures require special safety protocols when utilizing these lights.  The UV light in everyday electronics is not as damaging to one’s eyes, however prolonged exposure can be damaging.  This is why many glasses are sold with blue blocking features to protect eyes from UV exposure.

There is a time and a place for every UV light, but OUR favorite way to use UV is while putting on braces to give you a Beautiful Smile! Contact us at Smiles Hollywood Orthodontics for Braces or Invisalign at (972) 529-9700.

We Care About You & Your Smile

May 18, 2020

We Care About You and Your Smile

At Smiles Hollywood Orthodontics, your smile is very important but equally important to us is your health!

We have re-opened our office but have adopted some new procedures and equipment for the safety of our patients and our staff.  We have always worn gloves and masks, but now we are wearing N95 surgical masks as well as face shields to protect you.  We have installed plexiglass at the front desk and in our  Treatment Coordinator offices.  Everyone’s temperature is taken before entering the office, including our staff.  This is for everyone’s safety!

Our new procedures and a sample of our Informed Consent Form are below:

Coronavirus Precautions Update from Dr. Crise

March 16, 2020

Smiles Hollywood Families:

Our office will be implementing new precautions to help combat the spread of germs in our office.  While our office is being cleaned and disinfected diligently, we are also trying to keep the amount of people in our office low.  We are still seeing patients, but as the CDC and health organizations have advised the public, we are implementing “safe” social distancing.

  • We are asking that you please minimize the number of people who accompany the patient to be seen. We know that this may be difficult for families with multiple children, but please call our office if you have questions or concerns.
  • We are encouraging families to wait in their cars during their child’s appointment to minimize the amount of people in our waiting area. We can call or text you when your child is ready to be checked out.
  • We also ask that if you, your child, or the family member accompanying the patient has a cough of any kind, please reschedule the appointment even if the cough is due to seasonal allergies. There will be no exceptions to this.
  • Sadly, we will not be shaking hands or giving hugs. We are sorry and disappointed by this, but we have been asked to implement this policy for public safety.

Thank you for being patient with our office and cooperating with these new procedures for the health and safety of everyone who enters our office.  Our office is constantly monitoring the situation and taking guidance from the CDC, ADA and the AAO for any further precautions that should be taken to ensure the health and welfare of our entire Smiles Family.

Please watch for further updates by email and subscribe to our Smiles Hollywood Orthodontics YouTube channel for later updates as things change.

Sincerely,

Stephanie Crise, DDS,MS

Vitamin D For the Flu?

February 21, 2020

Did you know studies have found that taking Vitamin D is more effective in preventing the flu than the flu vaccine?!  It’s true.  Upping your Vitamin D intake can help keep the flu away.

“Acute respiratory infections are responsible for millions of emergency department visits in the United States,” said Dr. Carlos Camargo of Harvard Medical School. “These results could have a major impact on our health system and also support efforts to fortify foods with vitamin D, especially in populations with high levels of vitamin D deficiency.”

This is great news, but how do we go about getting enough Vitamin D?  It is naturally present in very few foods so most of us get it from exposure to the sun.

Since flu season usually occurs during the colder months of the year when we aren’t spending as much time in the sunshine, many people are deficient in Vitamin D. This deficiency contributes to a weakened immune system for both colds and flu. These facts prompt many people to take Vitamin D supplements.

During flu season we should always practice the usual methods to reduce the chance of getting the flu: handwashing, covering the mouth when coughing, limiting contact with others who are sick, and getting a vaccine.  But if for some reason you don’t choose to vaccinate, or just want an extra layer of protection, talk to your doctor about Vitamin D supplements and take advantage of its well-documented anti-viral capabilities.

Do It Yourself Orthodontic Aligners

January 16, 2020

Most fads won’t hurt you – bell bottom pants, avocado toast, the water bottle flip challenge – but using Do It Yourself (DIY) orthodontic aligner treatment just might.

Many people have heard about DIY orthodontic aligners and how easy it is to straighten teeth with no appointments for a lower price.  It is human nature to want to follow the easiest path.  But sometimes easiest isn’t always best.

The American Dental Association has taken a firm stance against companies who provide “mail order” aligners for teeth.  Their concern is for the safety and health of patients’ teeth.  One of the most popular DIY companies protects themselves by having customers self-certify their dental condition and sign documentation to hold the company harmless for any negative consequences that may occur.

Unbeknownst to many customers, when they agree to the program, they are agreeing to waive rights to any kind of recourse in the event of a negative outcome or circumstance.

Of course, there are customers who report success from such mail order orthodontic aligners, but a quick Internet search will alert the public to issues with aligners that don’t fit correctly, cut into the gums, or aligners that cause serious problems for a person’s bite including loss of gum tissue, root problems and even tooth loss.  Many customers of DIY orthodontic aligners end up in a local orthodontist’s office to fix such problems.

Ultimately, DIY aligners are not appreciably less expensive than going to an orthodontist when you factor in the peace of mind you get from knowing a professional orthodontist is overseeing your treatment.  Typically a patient only has to visit the orthodontist every 8-10 weeks for aligner treatment.

We recommend avoiding do-it-yourself orthodontics and come see us at Smiles Hollywood Orthodontics instead!  Call us for a free consultation!  972-529-9700

E-Cigs…. NOT A “Safe Alternative” To Smoking

July 24, 2019

Dr. Stephanie Crise is committed to the health of the teeth she straightens and has great information on different kinds of braces. But she is equally interested in the overall health of her patients.

E-cigarettes were introduced to the American market in 2007 and in the last few years, popularity has ramped up exponentially! People picked up e-cigs, or vapes, thinking they were safer than smoking traditional cigarettes. Nothing could be further from the truth, especially for young people.

A young person’s brain is still developing up to about the age of 25 and since most e-cigs do contain nicotine, the developing brain is susceptible to many issues with nicotine exposure. Nicotine addiction is an obvious consequence, but also mood disorders, impulse control, attention and learning deficits. When youth make new memories or learn new skills, the brain forms a connection. Addiction is a form of learning which makes nicotine addiction much easier in young people than adults.

Many believe that the aerosol in e-cigarettes is just harmless “water vapor.” But the aerosol inhaled and exhaled can contain nicotine, ultrafine particles that can be inhaled into the lungs, a chemical called diacetyl used in flavoring which can cause serious lung disease, cancer-causing chemicals and heavy metals such as nickel, tin and lead. Flavorings that may be considered safe in food are not safe for the lungs because the stomach can process substances that the lungs cannot.

Also concerning, “The addiction to nicotine and later conversion to (or dual use with) regular cigarettes are the greatest concerns,” says Roy S. Herbst, MD, Yale Medicine’s chief of medical oncology at Yale Cancer Center.

If all that isn’t enough food for thought, the e-cigarette device itself can be dangerous. Batteries in the device are used to heat the coil which turns the liquid to vapor. The batteries can come in contact with metal objects like keys, buttons, coins, etc. and this overflow of electricity can easily cause them to explode, either in someone’s pocket, hand or mouth causing significant injury.

The facts are clear and supported by those who know. For only the fourth time in his term as Surgeon General, Dr. Jerome Adams issued a rare advisory on December 18, 2018: “I am officially declaring e-cigarette use (vaping) among youth an epidemic in the United States.”

Phase One Orthodontics for Kids

June 24, 2019

There is no doubt that regrets in life are hard to take. But when that regret involves your child, it’s doubly hard. Dr. Stephanie Crise has watched this scenario play out more than once in her career and clearly remembers the one with a mom in tears.

She recalls, “A mom brought her little girl to us who was about 9 years old at the time. We examined her and found that the child had a significant need for overbite correction. Mom was advised that early Phase I treatment was recommended to correct the problem.”

However, the family’s dentist convinced them such treatment was not necessary until the child was older. Sure enough, the girl returned to our orthodontist office when she was around 12 years of age, ready for full braces (which is called Phase II treatment). The jaw issue was still present but the difference now was that the window of opportunity had closed in which it could be taken care of with orthodontics alone. A child’s skeleton has fused by this time in his/her development and therefore jaw surgery was now the only way to treat the problem successfully.

This is when the mom’s tears began. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends children be evaluated by a pediatric orthodontist between the ages of 7 and 8 and this story illustrates the reason for that. Many children may not need early treatment, however it is important to monitor them as they grow. For others, early orthodontic treatment can make all the difference including keeping them out of the operating room! Orthodontic treatment is about more than just straightening teeth for a beautiful smile.

It can be necessary for overbite or underbite correction, for proper biting and chewing, to correct habits like thumb-sucking and tongue thrusting, to encourage clear speech, as well as making sure there is a good path for incoming permanent teeth. Smiles Hollywood Orthodontics does not charge for the first evaluation of children at this pivotal age of 7 or 8. Isn’t it easier to have the peace of mind that your child’s mouth and jaw are developing properly rather than to have regrets later? Visit us at SmilesHollywood.com.

Award-winning orthodontists for braces and
Invisalign® in the McKinney, Allen, Fairview, Plano, Frisco,
Celina, Prosper, Melissa, Anna, & Princeton, Texas Areas

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