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Monday, January 22, 2018

Winter Lip Care

Patients at Ross Orthodontics in Forest Lake and Hudson are accustomed to brutal winters. But still, undergoing orthodontic treatment makes it especially important to maintain lip care, which is why we want to provide some tips.


Cold air causes chapped lips because of its low moisture content. There’s not much we can do outside except keep our mouths tightly covered, but inside, we should try to keep the air as moist as possible by placing humidifiers in rooms where we have to spend a lot of time. Applying lip balm multiple times a day, including before bed, is a good idea if the wearer does not find menthol or other common ingredients irritating, so it is important to check the label and switch balms if the lips become red and swollen.


As is always the case, braces patients who find the insides of their mouths irritated by brackets should apply large amounts of dental wax. If a person suffers from dry mouth, it will probably be worse in the winter, so whatever is causing it is more urgent to address. Dry mouth makes chapping more likely, but it is a bad idea to use saliva to wet the lips because it evaporates very quickly. Also, avoid tucking the lips under the teeth, or they may cause the teeth to move further out of alignment.


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


 

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ/TMD)

If you have chronic pain in your mouth or jaw area and/or hear a clicking or popping sound when you chew, then you may want to discuss temporomandibular joint disorder with Dr. Gregory Ross, DDS. Located on each side of the head, our temporomandibular joints work together when we chew, speak or swallow and include muscles and ligaments as well as the jaw bone. When these joints don’t work correctly, Dr. Gregory Ross, DDS may recommend fixing an uneven bite through orthodontic treatment.


TMJ/TMD symptoms include jaw joint pain, ear pain, muscle spasms in the face or neck, and/or difficulty chewing. If you are unable to open your jaw all the way, it’s time to discuss treatment options with Dr. Gregory Ross, DDS. Depending on the individual case, treatment may only require a night guard or a mouth guard. TMJ can cause the teeth to grind which can lead to enamel wear and tear. It’s important to address the problem and seek treatment before it gets worse.


If you have questions or concerns regarding TMJ/TMD, 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, December 27, 2017

How Invisalign Moves the Teeth

If you and Dr. Gregory Ross, DDS have come to the conclusion that Invisalign is the right orthodontic option for you, then congratulations, you are on the way to a straighter smile. You may be aware that Invisalign requires a series of aligners to move the teeth, but how exactly does this work? We are here to explain.


Before the aligners are given to the patient, bumps are placed on the teeth. These “bumps” are small tooth-colored dots of dental bonding (white filling material) that are placed in specific locations on specific teeth. They may be rectangular, square, circular, or triangular in shape. The shape and orientation of a button are dictated by the purpose it serves, such as tooth rotation, translation, intrusion or extrusion. These attachments assist with the process, as well as how they’re placed and what they look like. As you wear each set of aligners, your teeth gently and gradually begin to shift into place. Approximately every two weeks, you will begin wearing a new set of aligners, discreetly advancing you to the next stage of your treatment.


If you have questions or concerns regarding orthodontic treatment, 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.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Holiday Foods with Braces

The final round of holiday feasts is fast approaching, which is why at Ross Orthodontics, we want to ensure that our patients enjoy food and drink safely as the year draws to a close. Some foods that are tough or sticky are clearly not a good match with orthodontic wires, but we have lots of ideas for what people with braces can eat.


A lot of traditional Christmas main courses are soft enough to not endanger orthodontic wires. These include ham, ravioli, turkey, and, if very tender, brisket. Carrot sticks and radishes won’t do for appetizers, but boiled vegetables make a fine side, and braces provide an excuse for picking the cheese cubes and olives off a platter. Potatoes are safe when mashed or prepared as pancakes, and squash is a seasonal treat which is usually prepared in a way patients with braces may enjoy.


However, making food soft enough is not the only issue. Popcorn is soft, but the fragments get lodged in orthodontic brackets. Lots of holiday foods are high in sugar, which is why it is important to remove them from braces as soon as possible (and to remember to bring along a Christmas tree toothbrush and floss threader while traveling). Eggnog and wine are also high in sugar, so it’s a good idea follow up holiday toasts with a thorough brushing.


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


 

Saturday, December 16, 2017

When Should a Child Start Orthodontics?

Ross Orthodontics provides treatment to patients of all ages, but parents may well wonder what age treatment should start at. To answer that question, it’s necessary to understand at what age different orthodontic treatments are most effective.


Orthodontists recommend that children first be assessed after some of their permanent teeth have come in when they’re about seven years old. This will give us a chance to catch severe problems that are already affecting the child’s oral health and quality of life, such as an underbite or narrow arch, but it’s unusual otherwise for treatment to begin at that age. If the child loses a baby tooth prematurely due to trauma, it may be necessary for them to wear a space maintainer until the permanent tooth can erupt. Major orthodontic work, including extractions and braces, is usually done between the ages of ten and fourteen, after most permanent teeth have erupted. Adults can certainly benefit from orthodontic work, especially for cosmetic problems such as gaps and slight crookedness. But young teenagers still have some flexibility in their skull bones which allows them to undergo treatment for serious structural problems such as impacted canines, while still being mature enough to maintain their hygiene.


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


 

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Orthodontics and Diabetes

At Ross Orthodontics, our team of specialists is prepared to care for each of our patients’ unique medical needs. One of the health conditions with the biggest impact on oral health is diabetes, and we want our patients to understand how this affects orthodontic therapy.


Braces require the wearer to increase their oral hygiene vigilance. If a person has severe periodontal disease, their braces will have to be removed for their own safety. This can be a problem for people with diabetes because they are especially prone to chronic inflammation and experience periodontal disease at higher rates. At the same time, teeth that have undergone orthodontic treatment are much easier to keep clean, so diabetic patients particularly benefit from it. One solution to this conundrum is Invisalign, the system of removable aligners. Invisalign does not create any additional hygienic challenges, so diabetic patients are at a lower risk of developing gingivitis. It also puts less pressure on the teeth, which is thought to benefit diabetic patients. If a person’s blood sugar is controlled, it may still be possible for them to undergo traditional braces. In those cases, we will carefully inspect the health of their teeth and gums during each monthly appointment.


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


 

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Flossing Teeth with Traditional Braces

You just received traditional braces and because your mouth is full of wire and brackets you may think you never have to floss during the whole stage of orthodontic treatment. Dr. Gregory Ross, DDS is here to tell you to think again. There are still plenty of ways to maneuver around those tools to get your teeth clean and plaque free and you can start with this technique.



  • Use waxed floss, because unwaxed floss is more likely to get caught and shred in your braces.

  • Use about 18 inches of floss and thread it carefully.

  • Take the floss and gently thread it under the main wire of the braces before passing it between two teeth. Then remove the floss and re-thread it under the main wire to pass between the next pair of teeth.

  •  Be sure not to snap the floss. Simply move the floss up and down carefully against the side of each tooth.


If you have questions regarding orthodontic oral care, please give us a call. To learn about services we provide at the practice, visit www.smilesbyross.comfor 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.

Winter Lip Care

Patients at Ross Orthodontics in Forest Lake and Hudson are accustomed to brutal winters. But still, undergoing orthodontic treatment makes ...