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Thursday, August 9, 2018

Orthodontic Instruments

We understand at Ross Orthodontics that dental instruments are a source of curiosity or apprehension for a lot of people. Because orthodontic offices have specialized equipment, we wanted to explain to our braces patients how some of our tools work.


At a typical appointment, the instruments we use most frequently will be the handheld mirror and the explorer. Explorers have metal hooks at the ends which general dentists used to break tartar and probe gum pockets to check for infections. We also use them to apply elastic bands to orthodontic brackets.


Several kinds of pliers are used in orthodontics, almost all of which are reverse-action to prevent anything from accidentally falling into the patient’s mouth. A Howe plier is used to place wires into orthodontic brackets, and pliers with distal end cutters are used to trim and taper their ends once in place. Pliers with needle-nose tips are used to stretch elastics that are fitted in between the patient’s molars to make room for metal bands. The bands are pushed onto the teeth and shaped with burnishers, which are flat metal instruments also used by general dentists to sculpt fillings.


To learn more about Ross Orthodontics, visit Smiles by Ross. Offices are located in Forest Lake, Minnesota and Hudson, Wisconsin.


 

Saturday, August 4, 2018

The TMJ-Headache Connection

A misaligned bite can have consequences beyond the mouth. At the orthodontic offices of Dr. Gregory Ross, we also provide support for dental sleep medicine. By correcting bite problems, we can reduce the frequency with which patients get certain kinds of headaches.


Temporomandibular joint disorders (TMD or TMJ) are dysfunctions of the hinges that connect the lower jaw to the head. They often develop as a result of bruxism, or night time teeth grinding. There are several reasons why people may grind or clench their teeth, including obstructive sleep apnea and mental stress, but discomfort from misaligned bites is a contributing factor. As people strain their jaw muscles and wear down the cartilage in their temporomandibular joints, pain may radiate or be deferred to their shoulders, necks, and the tops of their heads.


By correcting misaligned teeth, we enable them to rest comfortably together while the patient sleeps. However, bruxism caused by other factors may still damage them, which is why we also assist patients with custom-fitted night guards. These oral appliances prevent the teeth from rubbing together. The aligners used in Invisalign treatment are worn at night and achieve the same effect.


To learn more about Ross Orthodontics, visit Smiles by Ross. Offices are located in Forest Lake, Minnesota and Hudson, Wisconsin.


 

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Eliminate Braces Pain with Orthodontic Wax

Orthodontic wax is something you will get very familiar with throughout orthodontic treatment. Orthodontic wax is recommended by Dr. Gregory Ross, DDS, for relief from the pain and irritation caused by wires and brackets. Orthodontic wax protects the gums and the linings of your cheeks, and lips, to provide a comfortable barrier when the sharp end of the wire begins to irritate these areas.


Orthodontic wax is designed to fit easily into your pocket, purse, or backpack, so you can use it wherever and whenever you may need it. Because this dental wax is non-toxic, it’s no big deal if you accidentally swallow a piece. You should apply the wax to the area of discomfort, and remove it before brushing and flossing your teeth. Be sure to reapply the wax regularly, especially after meals, to prevent irritation from getting worse.


If you have questions or concerns regarding orthodontic oral care, please give us a call. To learn about the services we provide at the practice, visit www.smilesbyross.com for more information. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Gregory Ross, DDS call our Forest Lake, MN location at 651-464-6988 or our Hudson, WI location at 715-808-8379.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Caring For Your Retainer

Many orthodontic patients require a retainer at the end of orthodontic treatment.  Removable retainers are an easy step to take to preserve a straight smile.  Dr. Gregory Ross provides retainers for patients, and caring for your retainer properly is important so that it functions and lasts as long as possible.  A silly but common mistake people make with their retainers is trying to cut corners -- don’t try to clean or brush your retainer while it’s still in your mouth!  The retainer cannot be completely cleaned of debris this way, and toothpaste can also be abrasive to the plastic of the retainer.  Always remove your retainer before cleaning thoroughly with water and your toothbrush. Use a mild dish or hand soap to help clean off debris- never abrasive toothpaste.


You should clean your retainer daily, and also treat it weekly by soaking.  Soaking helps maintain the cleanliness of the retainer and keep it from drying out.  To soak the retainer, dissolve denture cleaning tablets in water or add a little baking soda to water to make a solution.  Storing your retainer properly is also important for its longevity.  Get in the habit of always using and carrying a case.  Many retainers have disappeared while folded up in napkins!


To learn more about caring for your retainer, visit www.smilesbyross.com for more information. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Gregory Ross, DDS call our Forest Lake, MN location at 651-464-6988 or our Hudson, WI location at 715-808-8379.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Mouth Guards for Sports

If you and your family are getting active in sports this summer, you may be missing an important piece of safety equipment.  Athletes participating in any contact sport should wear some kind of mouth protection. A mouth guard helps prevent damage to the teeth and jaw, and also helps prevent injuries to the cheeks, tongue, and lips.


Sporting goods stores carry mouth guards, but they are generic in form and size.  These mouth guards often end up feeling bulky and uncomfortable, leading to child and teenage athletes in particular not wearing the protection at all.  A very ill-fitting mouth guard can even interrupt breathing and speaking. Custom mouth guards can be fit over braces and won’t interrupt normal activity, so visit Dr. Gregory Ross for a custom mouth guard fitting.  Get a mouth guard made of thin, hard plastic that protects your teeth and still fits comfortably.  This is an easy precaution to take to protect your mouth, and you can go right back to playing your best!


To learn more about custom mouth guards and all the services we provide at the practice, visit www.smilesbyross.com for more information. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Gregory Ross, DDS call our Forest Lake, MN location at 651-464-6988 or our Hudson, WI location at 715-808-8379.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Plaque Buildup around Braces

Plaque is a sticky, colorless film of bacteria that constantly forms on our teeth and along the gum line. Plaque that is not removed from around the gum line can cause inflammation and irritation to the gums around your teeth. Red, puffy or bleeding gums can be the first signs of gum disease and if not eliminated with proper oral care, it can be detrimental to the metal in your mouth. Dr. Gregory Ross, DDS, encourages patients to maintain a rigorous oral care routine before, during, and after orthodontic treatment.


By brushing twice a day for two minutes in a circular motion, you will eliminate the pesky plaque that food leaves behind. Don’t forget that plaque will linger between the teeth, so it’s important to floss at least once a day as well. You should visit your dentist twice a year for routine cleanings and oral exams. If your oral care routine needs an adjustment, Dr. Gregory Ross, DDS will give you a refresher.


If you have questions or concerns about orthodontic oral care, please give us a call. To learn about services we provide at the practice, visit www.smilesbyross.com for more information. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Gregory Ross, DDS call our Forest Lake, MN location at 651-464-6988 or our Hudson, WI location at 715-808-8379.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Invisalign Treatment

Invisalign is the invisible alternative to traditional braces for adults and teens, and Dr. Gregory Ross, DDS has seen Invisalign transform smiles for patients of all ages.  Invisalign is recommended to correct mild to moderate spacing or crowding of the teeth.  Any severe misalignment may require another method, so always consult your dentist.  An Invisalign treatment plan consists of a series of clear, removable plastic aligners that are custom-made for your teeth, and a typical treatment plan can be completed in less than a year.


To straighten your teeth with Invisalign, we begin with an examination. A dentist can determine if Invisalign will be effective in achieving the smile you want. Impressions or scans of your teeth are used to create a full set of aligners customized to your teeth and your treatment plan. Each set of aligners is worn for about two weeks, depending on your individual treatment plan.  The aligners should be worn at least 20 hours a day. You should remove the aligners to eat, and to brush and floss.


To learn more about Invisalign and all the services provided at the practice, visit www.smilesbyross.com for more information. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Gregory Ross, DDS call our Forest Lake, MN location at 651-464-6988 or our Hudson, WI location at 715-808-8379.

Orthodontic Instruments

We understand at Ross Orthodontics that dental instruments are a source of curiosity or apprehension for a lot of people. Because orthodonti...