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Posts for category: Oral Health

February 19, 2016
Category: Oral Health
Tags: Braces  

You could actually prevent certain dental problems just by getting orthodontics.

There are so many reasons your Portage, MI orthodontist, Dr. Thomas Kwong, may recommend orthodontic treatment. Some of the most common reasons include:Braces

  • To correct certain malocclusions (bad bites) such as an overbite or underbite
  • Crooked teeth or teeth that stick out
  • Misaligned teeth
  • Crowded teeth or spaces between teeth
  • Jaws that do not line up properly

While you already know that braces can improve your smile’s aesthetics, did you know that they could also improve your oral health? That’s right! Getting braces could actually reduce your risk of developing tooth decay and gum disease and prevent problems that could result in tooth loss.

An abnormal bite can put too much pressure on certain teeth, which may cause excessive wear on healthy tooth enamel. Over time, this wear and tear on your teeth may result in cracked or fractured teeth. Before your tooth needs a dental crown, maybe it’s time you considered getting braces in Portage.

Also, an abnormal bite can affect speaking or chewing. If you find that your misaligned smile is making it difficult to eat all the foods you would like, you may also be missing out on some nutrients that you need. Before this takes a toll on your health it’s time to weigh the pros and cons of braces.

Also, crooked teeth or overlapping teeth make it difficult to thoroughly brush in all those nooks and crannies, which can result in leaving food and plaque behind. Over time plaque turns to tartar, which your toothbrush won’t be able to remove (only your Portage dentist will be able to with a thorough dental cleaning). If tartar isn’t removed, this can result in gum disease and cavities. Before this happens, it’s time to consider whether braces are right for you.

With all the advancements in dental technology, you now have more options than ever to get a straighter smile. Traditional braces are a great way to fix even the most complex dental issues, but there are also porcelain braces that boast tooth-colored wires and brackets and nearly invisible braces like Invisalign that teens and adults can benefit from.

You’ll never know if braces are right for you unless you come into our Portage, MI orthodontic office for a consultation. Let Kwong Orthodontics straighten out your smile once and for all.

By Kwong Orthodontics
January 14, 2016
Category: Oral Health
Tags: Broken Brackets  

Knowing how to properly handle damaged braces may prevent further complications to your orthodontic treatment.

Whether you’ve just gotten your braces or you’ve been wearing them for a few months, while you can take all the necessary precautions sometimes accidents happen anyway. There are many reasons why braces become damaged or broken. Find out how your Portage, MIBraces orthodontist Dr. Thomas Kwong can help.

Some of the most common problems with braces include:

  • Broken brackets
  • Broken wires
  • Loose braces or bands
  • Wires sticking out

If you are dealing with any of these issues it’s important that you call our Portage, MI orthodontic office to see whether you need to come in right away for treatment.

Loose brackets

The brackets, which can either be made from metal or ceramics, are the part of the braces that are attached to the front of the tooth. While hard or crunchy foods are typically off limits, if you decide to eat these kinds of foods they can break or damage the resin that holds the brackets on. If this happens, and you are concerned that the broken bracket may poke your gums or tongue, apply a dental wax or sugar-free gum to the brackets before heading over to our Portage office.

Loose bands

Bands are the metal rings that are placed over back teeth. If one of your bands has come loose give our Portage, MI orthodontic office a call. Don’t try to put the band back on yourself, just save the piece and bring it with you.

Broken wires

This is one of the most common issues we see with damaged braces. Wires that stick out or are broken can cause damage to sensitive tissue like cheeks or gums. You can try to use the eraser side of a pencil to push the wire back but if this doesn’t do the trick opt for wax and sugar-free gum to place over the end of the wire to prevent cuts. A broken wire won’t be able to successful move teeth, so this means that you will need to come in right away for repairs.

Don’t ignore broken braces! Receive immediate dental care from your dentist in Portage by calling Kwong Orthodontics today.

By Kwong Orthodontics, P.C
October 29, 2015
Category: Oral Health
Tags: Clear Aligners  

Find out if you could benefit from getting nearly invisible braces.

Here are some questions you should ask yourself before deciding if it’s time to talk to your Portage orthodontist Dr. Thomas Kwong Clear Alignersabout getting the clear alternative to braces.

Q. What dental issues are you looking to fix?
Two of the biggest factors that determine whether clear braces like Invisalign are right for you are the problems you are looking to correct with orthodontics and how severe your dental issues are. Even though Invisalign can treat moderate to even more complex dental cases, those with very severe issues like large overbites may require traditional orthodontics from your Portage orthodontist in order to help shift the jaw back into the proper place.
Here are the most common issues that Invisalign can handle:

  • Spaces between teeth
  • Crowded teeth
  • Crooked teeth
  • Overbites
  • Underbites
  • Crossbites

Q. How old are you?
Another important factor is age. While Invisalign can be a great treatment option for older teens and adults they aren’t the best option for children and young teens since teeth are still growing. Invisalign can be fantastic for older teens and adults who are looking for a way to straighten their smiles without others noticing. Imagine enjoying prom, graduation or even your first day on the job without having to worry about people seeing your braces.

Q. Are you dedicated to wearing braces?
It’s true that Invisalign is easy to wear, especially since you can remove your trays for eating and drinking. Despite this, it’s important not to abuse this privilege. You will still want to wear your clear trays for a minimum of 22 hours out of the day to get the results you want.

Furthermore, your Portage, MI orthodontist will advise that you wear a retainer even after Invisalign treatment in order to retain your smile’s new shape. It’s important that you continue to follow our instructions so you can keep those beautiful new results.

If you want to find out if the clear alternative to braces are right for you, then it’s time to schedule a consultation with your Portage, MI orthodontist at Kwong Orthodontics. Dr. Kwong can give you that straighter smile no matter your age.

By Kwong Orthodontics
June 02, 2015
Category: Oral Health
Tags: Cavities  

Braces do more than realign your teeth; they can help improve your oral health.

An even, straight smile is definitely a thing of beauty, but straight teeth aren't just for looks. If your teeth are crooked, gapped, or misaligned, Bracesthey may be the reason for health problems you never knew you had. Dr. Thomas Kwong of Kwong Orthodontics in Portage, MI offers a few extra reasons why straightening your teeth with braces can make your life better.

Banishing the Bacteria 

When your teeth are too crowded together, the sections where they overlap can create spaces for food to collect after you eat. These crevices often hide the trapped food and, since they can't be reached with a toothbrush or floss, it turns to bacteria-filled plaque. If it hardens into calculus, it can cause major damage to the enamel of the teeth and the gum tissue surrounding them. When the teeth are properly aligned, however, they have an even surface and allow for more thorough cleaning. Dr. Kwong will also be able to detect any problems much more easily when your teeth aren't hidden behind each other.

Righting Your Bite

If the jaw is misaligned, the teeth may also be affected. This can cause people to chew on one side of the mouth more than the other, resulting in extra wear and tear on the teeth on that side. Malocclusion (misaligned jaws) can also cause a condition known as TMJ, which can cause headaches, chewing difficulties, and, in extreme cases, locking of the jaw open or closed. Braces and other orthodontic implements help to gradually guide the jaw into the proper position.

Be Happy, Be Healthy

The psychological effects of a great smile shouldn't be discounted. With your teeth straightened by your Portage orthodontist, you'll likely feel great about your appearance and project that positive attitude onto others. Mental health is an important component in keeping the rest of your body healthy.

Making the decision to get braces means taking steps toward improving your overall health. Make your first step by contacting the team at Kwong Orthodontics in Portage today!

By Kwong Orthodontics, P.C.
February 09, 2015
Category: Oral Health
Tags: Braces  

If you're one of the many Americans today who has braces, you know that accommodating them inside your mouth takes real care and a sharp eye. After all, putting anything in your mouth that could damage the integrity of your braces could spell disaster for their immediate and long-term effectiveness.

At Kwong Orthodontics, you'll find the expert preventive care you need from trusted orthodontists like Dr. Thomas Kwong himself toBraces ensure that your braces are in tip-top shape from the start. After all, having the knowledge you need to avoid having the wrong stuff for your braces in your mouth and its accompanying potential pitfalls is always better than correctional care after you've already bitten off more than you can chew (or your braces can handle, more accurately...).

Check out five common foods you should avoid if you have braces below:

  • Popcorn
  • Hard and/or sticky candy
  • Hard pretzels
  • Ice
  • Gum

Also, don't chew on things like writing utensils (pens, pencils) or your fingernails, because chewing on these hard surfaces can break or damage your braces. Also, maintaining proper dental hygiene is pertinent to your braces' continued long-term achievement, making brushing (and flossing!) a must-have in your daily dental routine.

Once your braces have been placed, one of the expert orthodontic professionals at Kwong Orthodontics will be more specific about the best way you can care for your braces without neglecting surrounding tooth structures, such as your gums, so that you can continue on the path to optimal dental wellness!

For more information on what to avoid if you want your braces to stay as effective as possible, give Dr. Kwong a call today at (269) 366-0882 so a treatment plan can be set up that's specific to your dental needs. After all, personalized dental care is something that's always sought after at Kwong Orthodontics here in Portage, MI!