Tips for a Happy and Healthy Smile over the Christmas Holidays

It's December and Santa is all geared up to bring you the season's choicest blessings and gifts! Christmas is the festival of joy and happiness and a time to party with friends and family. Hence, you indulge yourself in your favorite delicacies. In this pursuit of satisfying your taste buds, we make some unhealthy dietary choices keeping our oral and overall health at stake.

Are you ready to take care of your smile this Christmas? Here are few important tips for a happy and healthy smile over the Christmas holidays-

  • Keep soda at bay- While you are busy partying, you may get ample number of opportunities to drink fizzy beverages. Make a conscious attempt to abstain from soda as it can corrode your teeth. Soda is carbonic acid and hence is sour primarily. Loads of sugar is added to make this acid palatable and that is what constitutes your tasty-looking fizzy drinks. Using a straw to drink soda can save your teeth from damage.

  • Minimize wine consumption-Wine is considered as an essential ingredient of any Christmas celebration. So it may be practically impossible to avoid it completely. The thought of stained teeth can help you overcome the urge for refilling your wine glass. After all, who wants to join office with yellow teeth!

  • Water can help- Water is considered as an excellent detoxifier. Keeping yourself hydrated can help you flush out the toxins from the body. If you drink water after a glass of wine, there are fewer chances for your teeth to be stained.

  • Say NO to sugar- Celebrations has always been associated with desserts or sugary foods. Sugar can create havoc with our overall health. They increase the sugar levels of our blood putting us at a high risk of developing health problems like diabetes. Sugar particles stuck on our teeth help the oral bacteria to thrive and cause dental decay. Limiting the intake of sugary and sticky foods can reduce problem of dental cavities or toothache.

  • Remember to brush and floss- You may grow bone-tired after cleaning your utensils or putting your kids to bed. Still remember to brush your teeth twice daily and floss at least once. Oral hygiene measures are imperative in maintaining a healthy smile.

  • Fruit-FULL Christmas- Try to make it a Christmas rich in fresh fruits and fruit dishes. It is one of the healthiest options available to convert this Christmas into a healthier one! Fruits are rich in nutrients and fibers. Hence, they nourish your body and clean your teeth in the process of chewing.

  • Avoid hard-to-bite foods- If you wear braces try to avoid hard or sticky foods as much as possible. While biting on hard foods, your braces may loosen and get dislodged. After all, who wants to spoil their Christmas holidays running behind their orthodontist for an appointment!

These tips will help you become well-equipped to step into this festive season!

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ORAL HEALTH DEPENDS ON MORE than how many times a day you brush your teeth, it also depends on your diet

Brushing and flossing are essential oral hygiene measures that cleanse your teeth and stimulate your gums. To achieve good oral health, maintenance of oral hygiene is very important. Apart from that, diet plays a very important role in achieving good oral health. Nowadays, we tend to eat more of those things that satisfy our taste buds than those that are actually healthy. Making good food choices is extremely vital for oral and overall health.

Here are few tips that you can follow to convert your diet into one that promotes oral health:

  1. Avoid sugars- Anything sweet contains glucose or sucrose most of the times. This is the source of nutrition for decay-causing bacteria. Hence, a diet with limited sugar can protect your teeth from bacterial attack. Sticky candies also can be quite detrimental for your teeth as they tend to stick the sugar-loaded candy particles to the tiny pits on your teeth. These are difficult to remove through brushing. Hence avoiding sticky foods is also recommended.

  2. Say no to carbonated beverages- The consumption of carbonated drinks are at a sharp rise now. Parents buy colas and sodas for their kids thereby making them used to this bad habit. Carbonated beverages are loaded with high volumes of sugar and contain carbonic acid. Both these ingredients have the potential of dissolving tooth structure leading to weakened teeth and increase in dental cavities. They increase your calorie count and put you at a risk of developing several medical ailments like diabetes.

  3. Include fresh and raw fruits and veggies- Green fresh vegetables are nutrient rich and contains various minerals and vitamins. When you crunch them in a raw form, they provide your body with necessary fibre content and clean your teeth during the process of mastication.

  4. Aim for a balanced diet- A balanced diet is the most important key to stay healthy and young. Inclusion of natural foods should be your aim so that you can minimise the consumption of processed food. Research has proved that those who consume a diet that is poor in nutrients are at a very high risk of developing periodontal disease. Chapped lips and bruised corners of the mouth are often the indicators of deficiency of vitamins like riboflavin. Hence, you should try to understand the food you are consuming and regulate it accordingly to receive maximum benefits. Inclusion of citrus fruits like orange or lime can be extremely beneficial for your gums as these fruits replenish the levels of Vitamin C which is essential for healthy gums.

Let the above mentioned tips help you to make the correct food choice for good oral and overall health.

Live healthy & Eat Smart!



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Why Does My Smile Show A Lot Of Gum And How Can I Fix It?

Do you feel that when you smile you show a lot of gum? A gummy smile can actually make you feel self-conscious.

A gummy smile does not have a set of definition and it is mostly based on perception. As such, it varies from person to person. However, it has been shown that a smile will generally be seen as gummy when a gum tissue measuring about three millimeters or more is exposed.

There are several reasons why your smile shows excessive gum.

Gum Tissue Is Not the Only issue

Smiles look gummy in instances where the teeth, gum issues and the upper jaw are disproportionate â€" not in harmony with each other. The upper lips position also plays a part.

Causes of a Gummy Smile

Although there are several causes of a gummy smile, the most common ones include:

  • Teeth that look short because of inadequate or incomplete eruption and remain partly buried within the gum tissue
  • Teeth which are small when compared to the gums caused by heredities or wear
  • A very short upper lip
  • Long or enlarged gums that are referred to as gingival hypertrophy
  • Vertical maxillary excess, which is an overgrowth of upper jaw that causes the gums to bulge out

The good news is that it is possible for a gummy smile to be fixed.

Well, the type of treatment will be determined by what is causing too much gingival display. The moment the dentists identify the source, they can then work on creating an attractive, healthy smile.

The following are some of the options for gummy smile correction:

In case the basic reason for too much gingival display is minor and is caused by the jaws or teeth, then sometimes orthodontics alone can be used move the bite into the proper position thus making the gums look less noticeable.

For minor to severe jaw protrusion, the most suitable option is either orthognathic or jaw surgery together with orthodontic therapy.

If the teeth are very short due to wear or genetics, then veneers or crowns can be used to make them look longer as well as improve the tooth-to-gum proportion.

In case the problem is excessive gum tissue, a periodontist can carry out a gingivectomy procedure which involves the removal of the excess gum tissue and reshaping it to allow more exposure of the teeth and enhance the appearance of your smile.

In case the teeth are not fully erupted, the appropriate course of action is crown-lengthening surgery. This procedure involves the removal of gum tissue and/or bone to allow more tooth exposure and also let the gums pull back to their proper position.

A proper diagnosis by an orthodontist is crucial before any fix can be prescribed.

 
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Do wisdom teeth make my teeth crooked and does it needs to be removed?

Is there a relationship between the emergence of wisdom teeth and the teeth getting misaligned after braces? If so, what is this relationship, you may ask? Well, just because the lower front teeth apparently start getting crooked around the same time wisdom teeth start erupting, the latter have always been thought to be a 'spoilers'.

Although it is widely believed that wisdom teeth tend to push the other teeth, making them crowded, experts say that is not the case. As a matter of fact, anterior crowding of teeth which are not held by retainers is as a result of latent growth of the mandibular and reduced resorption of bone inside anterior mandible. 

A study conducted at the University of Iowa by department head, Dr. Tom Southard established that wisdom teeth do not actually put enough pressure on the teeth that are in front of them to the extent of making them to become crooked. In his study, he inserted sensors between the teeth. The sensors were meant to compare the pressures both with wisdom teeth and without them.No difference was detected.

 Dental Check-ups Important

In case it seems like the wisdom teeth become partly visible and you have them either trapped underneath the gum line or they start growing horizontally in the jaw, their removal becomes necessary. In fact, the earlier in life you undergo this procedure, the better. As we grow older our bones become harder, hence this increases the chances for complications arising from wisdom tooth removal surgery. Dental check-ups are crucial in monitoring, catching and correcting potential problems and that is why we should have them on regular basis. 

As You Age Your Teeth Change

Experts have discovered through studies over the years that teeth tend to drift forward regardless of whether people have wisdom teeth or not.

What causes teeth to move forward as you age is still not very clear. Despite the fact that wisdom teeth will not undo the effects of braces, still your teeth and bite are bound to change as you grow older. Your bite can deepen, making your teeth to increasingly overlap.

Dental Issues

While wisdom teeth do not cause front teeth to crowd as it was previously believed, it is still possible for them to trigger complications such as causing crowding in the back teeth. It might not be easily visible but this can still lead to jaw difficulties as well as other health problems.

If not removed, wisdom teeth may possibly become impacted hence lead to other problems such as:

  • Defects in bone plus soft tissues, and behind second molars
  • Second molars' root resorption
  • Crowding of back teeth
  • Growth of tumors around crowded teeth
  • Gum disease

This is why, irrespective of their effects on orthodontic results, wisdom teeth are usually removed in almost all patients.
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What is the ideal bite?

The ideal smile is desired by almost every person, but not many people realize the importance of an ideal bite. You may be surprised to know how many people fail to realize that they have a problem with their bite. It's not until they develop a problem or are informed by an orthodontist about it, do they understand that their bite is off? So, what really is an ideal bite? An ideal bite may be described as a bite where the teeth of the upper jaw come in contact with those of the lower one at the same time when the mouth is closed. At the same time, the top teeth should only cover half of the lower ones at max.

There are a number of different types of abnormal bites that may be developed due to certain habits in young children or due to other dental manipulations. Here we describe the most common abnormal bites that a person can have.



  • A Deep bite, is one where the upper incisors cover the lower teeth too much when your mouth is closed.
  • An Open bite is one where the upper teeth just do not overlap with lower ones enough.
  • A Cross bite is a type of bite where the teeth cross over one another because the arch isn't perfect.
  • An overbite is where the upper teeth stick out in front of the lower ones. 


How do we develop poor bites?

There are multiple causes of these abnormal bites. Some can be caused due to damage to the teeth, or have been affected by trauma impacting jaw development. It's common to have misalignments after a dental procedure, but not treating that condition can lead to long-term problems for you. Sometimes, a common treatment like a dental filling or a root canal may shift your tooth into a misaligned position that disturbs your whole bite.

Another reason can be inflammation. The Jaw joints are susceptible to being inflamed, and any such process can lead to severe pain and inability to open or close the mouth. Also, some people have bad habits like grinding their teeth which can lead to bite defects.

A bite defect, although initially not of significance, can cause problems in the long run. They can cause discomfort on closing your teeth and can be cosmetically deforming. Also, any abnormal bite that is making a particular tooth touch the lower jaw first, will result in extra sensitivity and pain in that tooth. Besides this, an abnormal bite may cause severe wear of your teeth by constantly grinding against each other. This will make your enamel wear down at a much faster rate than normal to expose your teeth to harmful carious bacteria.

So, are there any ways that you can correct these problems?

As a matter of fact, there are. You can have that ideal bite, and the good thing is that it isn't complicated either. There are a number of ways that an orthodontist can assess a bad bite and treat it. Once the cause is identified, the orthodontist can improve the cosmetic appearance as well as the function by correcting the problematic tooth or teeth with manipulating your teeth and jaw. These procedures can help relieve the pain and discomfort during eating, talking or just closing your mouth, in general.All in all, we do know the importance of having the perfect smile, it's time we get that perfect bite too!  

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Health Benefits of Having Braces

There is no doubt in anyone's mind that the payoff of getting braces is having a great smile once they are removed. However, the aesthetic advantage of braces is just one of the many benefits that might not be known to a lot of people.

Correct alignment of teeth not only looks good but it also feels good to chew with them as they are more effective in gnashing food into tiny pieces. This easier and more effective way of breaking down what we eat also leads to easier digestion and is very helpful to those who might have nutritional or chewing problems.

Proper positioning of teeth also helps in speech through correction of certain speech impediments or lisps caused by gap/spaces and improper alignment of teeth that might make it hard to pronounce certain sounds or words. The correction of tooth positions also aids in the proper closing and opening of our jaws and can address jaw problems and/or prevent grinding that tend to wear away certain teeth.

The achievement of this alignment also makes cleaning of the teeth and gums easier. Food tends to get trapped in between teeth and they become more difficult to remove upon brushing and even flossing. The build-up of plaque and bacteria in these areas promotes the occurrence of gum disease. If this is not addressed properly it can ultimately lead to the destruction of bone that supports our teeth through the condition called periodontitis. This loosens the teeth in time and can make them mobile; in their advanced stages, the tooth involved will have to be removed since they have become non-functional.

Medical Experts has also led to believe that poor oral health can lead to various health conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, dementia and respiratory infections.This is due to the fact that your teeth provides a direct path to your bloodstream where the infection can enter.

The presence of braces becomes a great reminder of how important it is to properly brush and floss our teeth because the brackets themselves are potential food traps. This reinforcement of dental hygiene will be carried out even after the removal of the braces and helps maintain healthy teeth.

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Can you use mouth wash instead of flossing?

Anyone who has tried flossing (and unsuccessfully prevented injuring their gums in the process) will know that it can be challenging to get into this habit.

The question is if mouth wash can be used as an alternative to flossing. We hate to be a bearer of bad news but the answer is no.

Many people would hands down choose mouthwash over flossing thinking that the former can be a substitute for the other. However, these two dental aids have different uses and are both needed to keep our teeth and gums healthy. 

"So what does mouthwash really do?" you might ask. Mouthwashes or mouth rinses are liquids we swish around the mouth usually after brushing and flossing. Most mouth washes that you can see in the supermarkets usually address bad breath but a lot of them also prevent bad bacteria from increasing in number in the mouth or sticking onto tooth surfaces.

While flossing involves the use of good hand dexterity, mouth washing gives us a hassle free way of cleansing around the inside of our mouth. It is also useful after dental surgery for areas that are not easy/painful to brush.

As good as all of these sound, flossing still tramples mouth washing in terms of removal of food debris and bacteria because it actually involves mechanical removal on the tooth surface. Much like how toothbrushes work, flossing scrapes away the bacteria in between the teeth that tooth brushing is not able to remove. 


A lot of us believe that flossing is an optional addition to brushing but these two go hand in hand in cleaning different areas of the teeth. After eating, you can see food debris that gets stuck in between teeth. Brushing these areas might make us feel like they're clean already, however, thin films of bacteria are still lodged in these tight areas and they can only be removed by flossing. If these area are not cleaned, in time cavities can develop which then means another trip to the dentist for new fillings. 

Granted mouth washes prevents and/or kills bacteria on our teeth, it does not effectively remove everything on the surface. A lot of mouth wash brands also only offer temporarily relief from bad breath. This can make us think that our mouth is clean because of the fresh and pleasant taste it leaves (and make us even lazier with using the floss).

The way to look at tooth brushing, flossing and using mouth wash is to see them as a triumvirate of oral health essentials. They each serve a specific purpose in cleaning our teeth and gums and needs to be used with proper technique to be able to be efficient.

As much as we'd like mouth wash to replace flossing, we definitely cannot substitute one from the other. Flossing may seem like a tedious thing but it ultimately gets the job done in preventing gum diseases and tooth decay.

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What is the Difference Between an Orthodontist and a Dentist?

Aren't dentists the same as Orthodontists? Aren't dentists - Orthodontists?  Well if not, what are the differences between a dentist and a orthodontist?

The short answer is that an orthodontist is a specialist dentist that focuses specifically in teeth, jaws and face to ensure not only for aesthetics, but also functionality.  An orthodontist studies much longer than a dentist and carries out significantly more training courses.

​When deciding on whether you want to have lingual braces, clear braces or even Invisalign braces, it is always recommended to see a specialist for more information.

​Generally once a dentist is certified through the means of a Bachelor degree, a full time course is required on top to become a specialist orthodontist which is done through a Masters of Science in Orthodontics. 

Orthodontic courses are generally very popular and some training facilities require extensive full time experience in the field before accepting new students.

If you would like more information on our Orthodontist, you can read about Dr Jeremy Chin and the team.

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