WELCOME TO TURNER LIM AUCKLAND ORTHODONTISTS


  Contact : (09) 827-1478 facebook

How your smile can affect your physical & mental health

You can’t judge a book by its cover. This is true, but it doesn’t stop people unfairly judging us on our looks.

Your smile influences how others perceive you. For example, if you have lower protruding teeth you may be viewed as aggressive. If you have a gap in your upper teeth, people may think you’re not too bright (picture Lloyd Christmas from Dumb & Dumber). That’s just the way it is.

The mechanics of a smile

Do you know it takes 12 muscles to smile and 113 muscles to frown? Melancholy is exhausting! When you smile you feel good about yourself; others get a good vibe, too. By smiling at someone, you send a message that they’re attractive, pleasant and likeable. You put them at ease.

Career prospects

Unfortunately people’s perceptions can affect your success in life. A study in America looked at recruitment companies. Recruiters were shown manipulated images that gave some people sticky-out teeth and some crooked teeth. The study showed candidates with bite problems were less likely to get a position.

Of course, people’s perceptions also affect how you feel about yourself. There have been many psychological tests that show people feel better about themselves if their teeth aren’t crooked.

Your health

So, we’ve addressed the, perhaps, superficial side of bite problems. However, whether you care about your looks or not, consider your physical health.

Your mouth is the gateway to your body — gum disease, missing teeth and cavities can have a negative effect on your health.

Some conditions cause by bad teeth
  • Heart disease — about 91% of people with heart disease have inflammation in the mouth (periodontitis).
  • Diabetes — people with periodontitis tend to have less ability to control blood sugar levels.
  • Bad breath — as if a bite problem wasn’t enough! Gum disease can also lead to bad breath.

Turn that frown upside down

Okay, smiling is good. That we all agree on. However, what if you have crooked or missing teeth? It can seriously knock your confidence — you’re more likely to hide your teeth than flash a “gappy” smile. And, of course, the health issues are a concern.

The obvious course of action is to see your orthodontist or dentist. The sooner you address a dental issue the better, and there are many options available. For example, braces are not reserved just for teenagers; it is never too late to get orthodontic treatment. Braces are also far more comfortable and less obtrusive than they used to be (check out 4 types of braces).

Everyone deserves to enjoy good physical and mental health. It’s a shame when poor teeth get in the way.

Did you enjoy this post? If so, please share. We welcome your comments, too.

Read More

Braces Friendly Snack Ideas

Braces change the way you eat and certain snacks are better suited to eating when in braces than others. Foods to avoid include raw vegetables like carrots or celery and raw fruit like apples or pears; sweets like chewing gum, and caramels or hard lollies. All of these can damage your new set of braces. However, you still have plenty of choices for fun and healthy foods that will not harm your braces.

 

Healthy Snacks

Fruit is an excellent healthy snack. You just need to avoid biting into hard fruits such as whole apples. You can still eat them if they are cut into smaller pieces or if you choose a softer variety. Citrus fruits are soft to chew and high in vitamin C and calcium. Other soft fruits that won’t cause damage are: bananas, berries, grapes, kiwi fruit and melons. Dairy and whole grain products offer a whole other range of options. Yogurt and cheese go well between meals. A good-old-fashioned peanut butter and jam sandwich or slices of avocado with a bit of sea salt and black pepper on soft toast are all good snack options that don’t require too much chewing.

Sweet Treats

Custards, yoghurt and ice creams provide a sweet and safe snack while you are wearing braces. Just avoid products with nuts! Chocolate and biscuits are ok as long as they aren’t too hard – biscuits dunked in hot Milo or tea are easy on your braces and delicious! It’s still wise to avoid any chewy lollies, sugarless or not, which can stick to and damage the wiring.

Crunchy or Salty Snacks

Not all crunchy foods are bad; you just need to limit the crunch. Walnuts are a softer nut that can normally be eaten safely. Small crackers or potato chips satisfy the need for crunchy and salty. You can also allow pieces to dissolve slightly in your mouth before chewing, to reduce any risk.

Soft muesli bars are also an option. Check the ingredients to ensure they contain no large nut pieces, and brush your teeth afterwards. Otherwise pieces can become stuck in your braces and become very annoying.

What are your favorite snacks while wearing braces?

Please let us know by leaving a comment below!

Read More

What if I don’t wear a retainer after my braces come off?

In the past, once your dental braces were removed, that was it. Your treatment was over. We now know, however, that you still need to wear a retainer after treatment.

What is a retainer?

Retainers are designed to hold teeth in place after braces are removed. They are usually made of wire, plastic or a combination of both (click here for more information).

Why do I need a retainer?

If you had orthodontic treatment 15 – 20 years ago, you may find your teeth have become crooked over time. Back then, your orthodontist probably didn’t tell you to wear a retainer.

Orthodontists have tried to figure out why teeth move and whether retainers can be avoided. Studies have looked at whether other things cause teeth to move, such as wisdom teeth and the removal of certain teeth. However, the cause is none of these things. The culprit, it seems, is age. Like our hair and skin, our teeth change over time. They wrinkle in their own way — they get crooked.

How do retainers work?

Braces straighten teeth by applying pressure. Like a tree bending in the breeze, they usually want to return to their original position once the pressure is gone — especially with young patients who are still growing. Retainers increase muscle memory and keep teeth in place.

How long should I wear a retainer?

The length of time you must wear a retainer depends on your situation. We usually recommend that patients wear retainers every day and night for 6 – 12 months. Afterwards, they can usually wear them at night only for 6 – 12 months. Ideally, a retainer should be worn for a lifetime, usually just one – two nights a week, though.

What if I don’t wear a retainer for a short time?

Research shows there is always a risk of your teeth moving after treatment. If you stop wearing your retainer for a short time soon after your braces are removed (when everything is soft and not settled in) you could experience movement. Also, if your treatment was for a serious condition (like severe crowding or severely crooked teeth) your teeth could also be susceptible to movement.

In summary, once your braces are removed, please wear a retainer — prevention is far better than a cure.

Did you enjoy this post? If so, please share.

Read More