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All About Orthodontics: Guidelines for Parents

How do I know if my child will need braces? At what age should they be evaluated with an orthodontist? How do I find an orthodontic specialist that I can trust? What can happen if my child needs braces but doesn’t get them? These are all common and important questions parents have about orthodontics and braces for their children and we have the answers!

Girl smiling at cameraAccording to the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) children should have their first check-up with an orthodontist no later than age 7. Children that age still have a mixture of baby (primary) and permanent teeth. This examination is done when permanent teeth are replacing the baby teeth, and as your child’s face and jaws are still growing in order to give your orthodontist as much information as possible. Existing or developing problems can be identified and a treatment plan can be recommended and designed at that point. This type of examination with an orthodontic specialist can reveal if your child has an existing orthodontic problem, or if one is developing. You might also learn that no issues exist at the present time. At Brookline Dental Specialists we offer this exam at no charge and with no obligation. Our goal is to help parents get the proactive evaluation they need to make the best decisions for their child’s oral health now and into the future.

Image of teeth with bracesThere are several issues that braces can correct including a misaligned jaw and misaligned teeth due to overcrowding, spaces between teeth and misshapen teeth. An orthodontist strategically places brackets and bands and then the braces gradually alter the alignment of the teeth. This movement realigns the overbite or underbite and helps close the gaps between the teeth. Left untreated a misaligned bite can increase the risk of permanent damage to your child’s teeth, jaw, and mouth.

There are other long-term health benefits of orthodontic treatment as well. Straight, properly aligned teeth are easier to brush and floss. This can contribute to a reduced rate of tooth decay, gum disease and gingivitis. A correct bite allows the teeth and mouth to chew food more efficiently. Proper alignment protects adjacent teeth from excessive wear which can cause problems down the line. Correctly aligning teeth can even help to improve some speech issues.

Orthodontist in Brookline, Dr. Ghavamian. At Brookline Dental Specialists we have an orthodontic specialist on our staff at our Brookline offices who is an expert and able to collaborate directly with the pediatric and general dentists right in our own practice to provide a complete and convenient dental home for your entire family. Our clinical team strives to help young patients feel comfortable and have positive experiences at the dentist! Our pediatric dentists work with the ortho team to provide all the care your child needs in one convenient, Brookline location. New patients are welcome and we offer a free orthodontic consultation for children with Dr. Ghavamian, D.M.D, M.M.S.c. Give us a call today and let’s get your child scheduled for this important evaluation.

Pictures of Periodontal Disease

Did you know that gum disease, or periodontal disease, affects almost half of the adult population in the US? Nearly 65 million Americans have some gum disease and the symptoms that accompany it, including bleeding gums, gum recession, and tooth sensitivity. Your gums should not bleed when you brush and floss. If you are not routinely flossing your teeth every day bacteria builds up below the gums and can cause your gums to bleed each time you brush. Gum recession is caused by gum disease and can cause your teeth to start to appear “longer” due to fact the gums surrounding them are receding away. Gum recession is an indication that your gum disease is getting worse. The depth of the collar of gum tissue around your teeth increases. In late stage gum disease, when these pockets become too deep it can be very difficult to remove the food and debris by with home care alone, brushing and flossing. Food and debris left in the pockets causes the them to become deeper and the gum disease to worsen. These concerns are among the most common reasons people see the dentist.

PeriodontalThere are certain lifestyle and health issues that can contribute to the risk of periodontal disease including smoking, diabetes, stress, clenching and grinding your teeth, certain medications, and poor nutrition. Periodontal disease and decay are caused by bacterial plaque. Plaque is a colorless film of bacteria that sticks to your teeth at the gum line. Plaque is constantly forming on your teeth. Periodontal diseases can be accelerated by a number of different factors, but it is mainly caused by the bacteria found in dental plaque. If not removed plaque hardens into a rough, porous substance known as calculus, or tartar.

This is why good oral hygiene so important. Adults over 35 experience more tooth loss due to gum diseases, than from cavities and three out of four adults are affected by periodontal disease at some time in their lifetime. The best way to manage periodontal disease is to avoid it in the first place. Be as preventative and proactive as possible with a consistent habit of brushing and flossing at home. Work with your hygienist to develop an effective home care routine and optimal brushing and flossing techniques.

The second critical step in prevention is to make, and keep, routine hygiene maintenance appointments at Brookline Dental Specialists with your dental hygienist. Cleaning tartar and calculus from your teeth and monitoring the health of your gums every six months is recommended. If you are already experiencing periodontal disease and symptoms a perio-maintenance program will be recommended which might include quadrant scaling and deep pocket cleaning once every 3 months.

One of the best things about our practice is our ability to care for all aspects of your dental health care right here in our office. As a periodontal specialist, I appreciate working with hygienists and the general doctors to diagnose, monitor, manage, and treat whatever issues may arise for our periodontal patients comfortably and conveniently in the same office as their family dentist.

We welcome new patients and can create a customized treatment and management plan for you in our dental practice. Your best overall health and wellness can be achieved by taking good care of your teeth AND your gums and we are here to help. Contact the office today and let’s work together to make a dental health maintenance plan that is just right of you!

In the midst of this holiday season, and with the promise of the 2019 new year rapidly approaching, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our patients, doctors and specialists, and the entire team at Brookline Dental Specialists. Each and every one of you helps to make our office and our dental practice a very special place. I feel lucky when I come to work each day.

We added some new faces this year including Sarah in hygiene, Hector and Sima at the front desk, and Maria our newest dental assistant. Our team of general dentists, pediatric dentists and specialists collaborated all year long finding new and innovative ways to bring complete care, provided entirely in our office, for patients of every age. We have expanded the range of care and services we offer and have welcomed hundreds of new patients into our Brookline dental family in 2018.

Brookline Dental Specialists Logo on a wall Our office got a make-over this year too. To complement the new office location on Longwood Ave in Coolidge Corner we designed a new look and feel for our website, logo and brand. It was exciting for all of us to really think about how we could communicate the quality and values we share as a practice and deliver to our patients. Our new logo, the paisley leaf a global symbol of long life and abundance, along with the tagline “Complete & Convenient Care,” embody our values. It is our commitment to provide our patients and community complete dental care, in one convenient location, for a long life of smiles and abundant health!

In 2019 we will strive to deliver on the promise we make to our patients, and each other, every single day: to be the very best family dental practice in Brookline. We look forward to helping people understand how excellent oral health care can benefit their overall health and wellness. We will continue to provide new and existing patients customized treatment and all the dental services you could ever need including specialties like orthodontics, pediatric dentistry, cosmetic dentistry, Invisalign, dental implants, periodontics, and endodontics.

Enjoy the holidays with your family and friends and we looking forward to seeing you and your beautiful smile in the New Year!

Mariam Ghavamian DMD, MMSc

 A picture of Mariam Ghavamian DMD, MMSc

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