History of Orthodontics

More and more people, both children and adults are seeking orthodontic treatment today. Having well aligned teeth is not only important for a nice smile but also for proper dental health.

The importance of having healthy and aligned teeth dates back as early as 1000 BC. The ancient Egyptians and the Etruscans were using material made from animal intestines to move teeth into better alignment. An ancient Roman scientist discovered that by applying finger pressure on teeth for an extended period of time over the course of months would help move teeth into a new position.

The first more modern practice of orthodontics was documented in the early 1770’s. A French surgeon dentist named Pierre Fauchard came up with the concept of the “Bandeau” which was a horseshoe shaped device that gave the mouth a natural arch. Later on in the early 1800’s Francois Delabarre invented the wire crib that was placed on the teeth and help move them into better alignment. In the mid 1800’s dentists began to realize that the jaw and the teeth would have to be aligned simultaneously and this was accomplished by using tiny rubber tubing and wire cribs together.

In the early 1900’s, we entered the era of orthodontics that we are more familiar with today. Back then, dentists would wrap different materials depending on their preference (ivory, wood, copper, or zinc and later on gold or silver) and connect them with bands that helped move the teeth into the desired position. In the 1970’s stainless steel was more widely used and this had the advantage of being less costly and also more flexible than the other materials used previously.

In the late 1990’s, orthodontics changed with the introduction of the invisible braces. In addition to brackets that were placed on the inside of people’s teeth to make it more aestically appealing, clear retainers were also being used which would help to align teeth.

To schedule an appointment with a dentist at Flushing Hospital, please call 718-670-5522.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

What Is The Right Way to Brush Your Teeth?

What is the right way to brush your teeth?

A.  From side to side

B.  Up and down

C.  In small circles

If you answered A, you’re right! According to the American Dental Association you should:

  • Place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gums.
  • Gently move the brush from side to side in short (tooth-wide) strokes.
  • Brush the outer surfaces, the inner surfaces, and the chewing surfaces of the teeth.
  • To clean the inside surfaces of the front teeth, tilt the brush vertically and make several up-and-down strokes.
  • Brush your tongue to remove bacteria and keep your breath fresh.

The ADA also recommends brushing your teeth twice a day with a soft-bristled brush. The size and shape of your brush should fit your mouth allowing you to reach all areas easily. You should replace your toothbrush every three or four months, or sooner if the bristles are frayed.

To make an appointment with a dentist at Flushing Hospital Medical Center, please call our Dental Department at 718-670-5521.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

5 Reasons Why Dental Hygiene Matters

Female dentist smiling with man in chair

October is National Dental Hygiene Month. Flushing Hospital wants you to think beyond your teeth and gums and learn how good oral care has some surprising benefits for your overall health.

Here are five surprising reasons why oral care matters for a healthy body.

  • Healthy gums for a healthier heart

One health concern may lead to another. Studies have linked oral inflammatory disease with elevated heart disease risk. Gum disease from extended bacterial exposure can lead to cardiovascular disease as it may increase the inflammation level throughout the body. Your dentist should ask about your heart health and family history of heart disease.

  • A healthy mouth could mean a healthier pregnancy

Regular checkups with a dentist and hygienist become even more important during pregnancy. Women who are pregnant should take extra care to keep their teeth at their best, not just for themselves, but for their babies too. Pregnant women with poor oral health may be at higher risk of delivering pre-term, low birth weight babies than pregnant women with good oral health.

  • There’s a link between gum disease and diabetes

People with diabetes are more prone to gum disease. However, new studies suggest that serious gum disease may actually contribute to diabetes as it affects blood glucose control. This two-way link is a wake-up call to take care of your teeth, especially since the incidence of diabetes is rising.

  • Early screening for Oral Cancer

As part of regular examinations, dentists should check all soft tissues to ensure they are healthy. All dentists are trained to do a cancer screening as part of ongoing dental checkups, by inspecting the gums, tongue, lips and cheeks for anything suspicious or any unusual changes. A precancerous lesion can begin as a small white or dark red patch that may not be causing you any noticeable symptoms. Keep in mind that only about one-half of all patients diagnosed with oral cancer survive more than five years, so detecting early signs of the disease is crucial.

  • Trying to lose weight? Brush your teeth!

Brushing your teeth signals you have finished eating and may help with portion control. Use this trick to your advantage – have a healthy meal and then, before you are tempted to overeat or indulge in sweet desserts, go and brush your teeth. This will tell your brain that mealtime is over. While brushing cleans your teeth and freshens your breath.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Are Gummy Vitamins Good for my Child?

Gummy vitamins contain important nutrients to maintain a child’s health, but they can be damaging to your child’s teeth. Similar to candy, gummy vitamins stick to the grooves of your child’s teeth and can cause cavities.

Although your child may brush their teeth the recommended two times per day, toothbrush bristles cannot reach the deepest grooves of the back molars. Sticky sugar particles can remain embedded in the grooves, causing cavities when not brushed properly.

Try switching to traditional chewable tablets if you’re giving your child gummy vitamins. Before the age of two years, speak with your children’s pediatrician or pediatric dentist about a liquid vitamin.

If you believe your child has developed a cavity, ask at your child’s next dental visit or call The Dental Department at Flushing Hospital Medical Center at 718-670-5521 to schedule an appointment.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.