October 12th, 2017
X-rays have been a function of dental healthcare for a long time. That in and of itself should be good news, because it means we've had plenty of time to improve them. While there is always some risk in exposure to radiation, dental X-ray exposure has decreased significantly due to all the advances in technology. So there’s risk, but X-rays are quite safe.
Think of X-rays as you would about a car. Automobiles these days have all kinds of technology to make them as safe as possible. There's still a chance that you’ll suffer an accident. Would you stop using a car because of that risk? When it comes to dental X-rays, Drs. Lisa and Dale Davis and our team believe the positives clearly outweigh the negatives.
X-rays can be done digitally or with film. For film, X-rays require different exposures at different speeds to produce the image. Digital X-rays have software that automatically adjusts the exposure and produces the X-ray in a digital file. Since they substantially reduce your exposure to radiation, digital X-rays are the current standard in dental offices.
In addition to digital X-rays, lead aprons are an essential piece of X-ray safety. They help protect internal organs from X-rays by acting as a shield. They usually come with a thyroid collar as well, since that is one of the most vulnerable areas to X-rays in the body. Lead aprons can absorb up to 95% of any scatter rays that result from an X-ray. Not bad, right?
Although dental X-rays involve some radiation exposure (not all of it can be eliminated), so does everyday life. Getting too much sun, for example, can be dangerous. The truth is, we accumulate radiation in our bodies over a lifetime, so it’s worthwhile to be aware and avoid as much unnecessary exposure as possible. When it comes to your dental health, though, getting an X-ray — especially when your doctor says you need it — offers more benefits than risks.
Ask us about the type of dental X-rays we use during your next visit to our Midland, MI office!
October 5th, 2017
If you’ve visited Davis & Davis Orthodontics, then there’s a good chance you’re looking to perfect your smile by straightening your teeth with braces. At some point during your treatment, you may need to use elastics, otherwise known as rubber bands, for a certain period. These are used to apply additional pressure that will move your teeth in the right direction.
Placement of the elastics is specific to each patient’s teeth. These small rubber bands stretch over the tiny loops on both the top and bottom brackets. At first, Drs. Lisa and Dale Davis may recommend you wear the elastics both day and night for an extended time.
You may be told to switch only to nighttime wear once the teeth are set in the correct position. By consistently wearing the elastics, you can shorten the overall time your braces will have to be on.
The elastics are made from medical-grade latex. If you have an allergy to latex, make sure to let Drs. Lisa and Dale Davis know, so you can be given an alternate material. We will show you how to take elastics on and off when they’re given to you at your appointment.
You should remove them when you eat so they don’t become overstretched or break. It’s important not to overstretch the bands, and always to replace them if they break. Eventually it will become a familiar habit to carry the bands around with you for times when this might happen.
The Do’s and the Don’ts
- DO … always wash your hands before removing or replacing the rubber bands.
- DO … call us if you run out of elastics.
- DO … get in the habit of carrying around extra rubber bands as replacements.
- DON’T … double up on elastics because this can exert too much pressure on your teeth and could actually harm the roots.
- DON’T … overstretch the rubber bands or they will lose strength and become ineffective.
If you were recently given elastics as well as your braces, feel free to ask any questions during your appointment, or call our Midland, MI office any time. Using elastics correctly is one more step in your journey to a perfect smile!
September 28th, 2017
Did you know that the most common oral health diseases are tooth decay and gum disease? Not so coincidentally, they are also the easiest to prevent. As much as we would like for the brushing and flossing to do all the work for us, in reality, we really are what we eat — and a healthy diet is just as important for dental health as it is for the rest of the body.
Eating well boosts your immune system, and makes you less susceptible to gum disease and tooth decay. When you maintain a balanced diet, you provide your body with all the nutrients it needs to succeed. So what does a healthy, balanced diet entail? It’s really quite simple. Here are some tips:
- Focus on lean meats, veggies, whole grains, and healthy fats.
- Limit your intake of sugary drinks like energy drinks and soda.
- Keep your sweet tooth in check.
- Beware of acidic meals and snacks that are high in salt and sodium.
- Drink lots of water.
Unfortunately, there’s no “one size fits all,” magic diet that will automatically improve your oral health, but following the five guidelines above as best you can is a great way to start. Food and drinks that are high in sugar or acidity weaken your enamel, stain your teeth, and make you more likely to develop a cavity or gum disease.
At Davis & Davis Orthodontics, we like to encourage our patients to drink a lot of water during the day. Doing so not only keeps you hydrated, but also helps rinse out the sugar and acid from various things you’ve consumed during the day.
If you think your diet might be affecting your smile, come pay Drs. Lisa and Dale Davis a visit or give our Midland, MI office a call! We’re always happy to answer your questions.
September 21st, 2017
The electronic toothbrush has undergone several technological advances since the 1960s. Everything from design and bristle motions to rotation, oscillation, and sonic vibration has led to dramatic changes in this necessary tool over time.
Rotation oscillation happens when the head of the toothbrush rotates from one direction to the other. The benefit of powered toothbrushes is that they can produce 50,000 strokes per minute, compared to 300 strokes with a manual toothbrush.
When you’re thinking about brush head size, smaller brush heads are best for hard-to-reach areas and small mouths. Brush heads should be replaced every three to six months as needed. A good way to save money is to designate a brush head for each family member which can be taken on and off a shared base motor.
Having a base motor or rechargeable toothbrush can deliver enough power on a full charge for a week of brushing, which makes it convenient for travel or when life gets busy. Some toothbrushes include audible signals that let you know when to switch the area of your mouth you’re brushing or when a full two minutes has gone by.
Do you have sensitive teeth? Studies have indicated that people tend to apply more pressure on their teeth when they use a manual toothbrush. This makes an electric toothbrush a preferable option if you’re having issues with sensitive teeth or gums.
There are even electric models with pressure sensors that will stop the brush from spinning when you press too hard against your teeth!
Everyone can benefit from having an electric toothbrush. A large handle size can be taken into consideration if a member of the household is young, or has a physical disability or arthritis. They’re even recommended for children in order to maintain good oral hygiene from a young age.
Biofilm is a term used for plaque or debris that builds up in your mouth. If not properly addressed, this can cause serious bacterial infections to your gums and teeth. If you want to remove biofilm in the most efficient way, an automatic toothbrush is the way to go.
When you're ready to make your decision, make sure to consult with Drs. Lisa and Dale Davis at our Midland, MI office to decide which electric toothbrush is right for you!