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All Posts in Category: Orthodontics

Propel VPro5: A new advancement in orthodontics

Do you wear dental braces? Are you thinking about getting them? Either way, you’d probably like your treatment to be as fast as possible. So, in this post, we highlight a new product that may be of interest.

The world of orthodontics is exciting. New techniques and technologies are being developed at a rapid pace. And, at Turner Lim Orthodontists, we do our best to keep up with the latest developments.

A new product we now offer is Propel VPro5. This is a horseshoe-shaped device that patients use for five minutes every day. It vibrates. And the theory is that the vibrations facilitate tooth movement.

The jury is out

Now, you may have noticed we used the word “theory” in the previous paragraph. This was intentional. So far, there is no solid research to prove that the device makes any significant improvements.

So, we make it very clear to patients that there is no guarantee. Of course, Propel VPro5 may work. Time will tell, and it certainly won’t do any harm.

The theory

Though the manufacturer says Propel VPro5 can be used with a variety of braces, we offer it to patients taking Invisalign treatment.

With Invisalign, your orthodontist fits buttons to your teeth. Aligners then sit on top of these buttons. If the aligners are in the right place, your teeth will be pushed more effectively, and the results will be better.

Sometimes, however, a bit like a lid on a takeaway coffee cup, the aligners don’t engage properly with the buttons. This is because, if you were to view the wire through a microscope, you’d see little nicks, which can be problematic.

Your teeth are in a little suspension network—they’re not locked into bone. So, by jiggling the teeth using Propel VPro5, we can seat the aligner better.

A summary of the benefits

Propel VPro5 is designed to produce

  • better treatment because Invisalign aligners engage better with the buttons
  • faster treatment because of better engagement.

How does it work?

Patients use Propel VPro5 in their own time. Just before bed is common.
Here’s how to use it:

  • Charge the device before use.
  • Depress the button on top of the unit to start.
  • Make sure the device is clean before use
  • Bite onto the mouthpiece for five minutes (Don’t bite too hard. Apply just enough force to hold it in place).

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Why orthodontists use fluoride on teeth

Water fluoridation is a controversial subject. And, at Turner Lim, we have no intentions what so ever of entering the debate. Instead, in this post, we explain why orthodontists recommend fluoride to their patients.

A bit about fluoride

It was at the beginning of the 20th century that American dentist Frederick McKay accidentally discovered that fluoride could prevent tooth decay.

Fluoride is not a substance cooked-up in a science lab. Actually, it is a natural mineral found in water sources such as rivers, lakes and oceans.

When applied to your teeth, fluoride absorbs into the enamel — a process called ‘remineralisation.’ As a result, by replenishing lost calcium and phosphorus, the fluoride can put a stop to tooth decay.

The bugs in your mouth HATE fluoride, which is a good thing. And fluoride also protects your teeth from acid-filled fizzy drinks.

Toothpaste

Many kinds of toothpaste contain fluoride. And for patients with low saliva counts or high decay rates, we often prescribe toothpaste with extra-high levels.

Note: The saliva in your mouth is responsible for washing away the acid. Due to factors such as age or medications, some people have low saliva counts (dry mouths). For them, fluoride is beneficial for acid protection.

Tooth Mousse

A good way to apply fluoride is with the topical treatment tooth mousse. Incidentally, at Turner Lim Orthodontists, we recommend Tooth Mousse Plus.

Because you can apply it with a cotton bud, tooth mousse is absorbed deeper into the tooth’s surface than fluoride toothpaste or mouthwash.

When is tooth mousse used?

In general dentistry

Dentists often use tooth mousse to remineralise teeth showing the very early stages of cavities. Doing this eliminates the need to take the more drastic measure of putting in a filling. Tooth mousse is also effective for treating sensitive teeth.

In orthodontics

It is common for patients to find white marks on their teeth when their braces come off. A build-up of plaque is the cause, and in most cases, marks are very mild. However, with about 10% of patients who don’t do a particularly good job of cleaning their teeth, the marks can be quite nasty. To remove these marks, orthodontists use tooth mousse to add minerals to the affected teeth.

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Are pacifiers bad for your baby’s teeth?

At Turner Lim Orthodontists, patients often ask whether pacifiers can cause harm to their children. In this post, we address the concerns.

It’s only natural

The desire to suck is normal. After all, it’s how babies eat. Most babies lose the urge after about six months; however, some continue to comfort themselves.

But …

Problems can arise when the habit continues for too long. Pacifiers can affect tooth alignment if your child continues sucking after two to four years of age. The good news, though, is if your child ‘kicks the habit’ before her baby teeth start to fall out (around six or seven), it’s likely that her bite will correct itself.

Most dental professionals believe that a pacifier is better for a child than her thumb — simply because it’s easier to give up.

To be sure there is no lasting damage, it pays to limit your child’s pacifier time or even take it away after her first year.

What damage can a pacifier do?

Here are some of the negative effects of sucking a pacifier or thumb for too long:

  • Top front teeth can slope outwards, and bottom front teeth slope inwards.
  • The child’s upper and lower jaws can become misaligned.
  • The roof of the child’s mouth can become narrower.

Orthodontic pacifiers

To reduce any possible damage to your child’s teeth, consider getting an orthodontic pacifier. Research shows that they cause fewer bite problems than the traditional type.

With a nipple that is rounded at the top and flat at the bottom, an orthodontic pacifier supports the form of a baby’s growing palate and jaw. Like a mother’s nipple, it flattens in the mouth to provide a natural sucking action and create less pressure on gums and teeth.

orth-pacifier

An orthodontic pacifier

Where can you get one?

We don’t supply orthodontic pacifiers at Turner Lim. However, they are readily available from baby shops and some dentists.

5 Tips for giving up

If you feel it’s time for your child to give up her pacifier, here are five things you can try:

  1. Praise your child for not sucking her pacifier or thumb.
  2. Make her feel secure, so she doesn’t slip into old habits.
  3. Get your dentist or orthodontist to show your child what can happen if she doesn’t stop.
  4. Create a sticker chart to mark your child’s progress.
  5. Make sure the rest of your family backs you up.

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