Category Archives: Dental Info

A Mom’s Guide to Saving Money On Braces: Tips from Dr. Bert Kelling!

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Braces, formally known as orthodontic care, can be provided in a huge variety of ways.  Usually braces are provided by an Orthodontist who has years of expertise training in order to know how to provide the best patient care. Every patient wants to not only achieve the best result, but the easiest and fastest way too (for the least amount of money!). We know you want to be smart about the cost of braces and we’re here to help!

1) Avoid compromise treatment.  If you spend money on compromise treatment leading to an incomplete result, all the money may be a waste. Incomplete orthodontic care is very hard to maintain and later can require re-treatment, costing even more.

2) Catch orthodontic problems early.  In addition to knowing all the different ways to move teeth, it is important to know how to select the best timing of care, not too early, causing unnecessary treatment, and not too late, making care more complicated.  Proper timing saves money, giving us our second point: be sure to catch any orthodontics problems early enough to provide care at the best time. This can prevent problems from worsening and causing more treatment and expense. Remember: the first orthodontist visit should be around age 7 or 8.  See our blogs on the “Timing Of Braces” by clicking here.

3) Ask your employer to add orthodontic care to your health insurance. Insurance coverage for braces usually provides $1,500 to $2,000 toward the cost of treatment. Adding coverage for braces to an existing dental policy is usually minimal extra cost. Watch out for waiting periods and plan ahead.

4) Use your retainers properly. After the braces are off, be sure to understand how to use your retainers properly to maintain your great result and avoid having to pay for more treatment later. After braces, teeth can shift easily, so retainers are very important. Your orthodontist has extensive knowledge of the wide variety of retainers and will recommend the best for each patient. Regular checking and proper management of retainers is also important.

5) Start financial planning for braces early.  By working with an orthodontist early, optimally starting around age 7 or 8, you will know if braces will be needed in the future. This will allow you to save up the fee ahead of time. When you can pay the whole fee at the beginning of treatment, usually you can get a discount on the fee. Early planning also helps you line-up insurance coverage on time!

The key to saving money on braces involve planning early, spending your funds wisely on expert, efficient orthodontic care, and conscientiously protecting your beautiful new smile for a lifetime.  That’s something to really smile about! Feel free to ask me more about how to save money on braces with Raleigh Orthodontics. You can call 919-847-6364, or visit raleighorthodontics.com

The Chewing Mechanism and Orthodontic Health

orthodontic health

Let’s narrow our focus now, leaving ideas pertaining to overall health, and visiting what we call the chewing mechanism or orthodontic health.  Of course, what we use to chew, the jaw joints, teeth, and chewing  muscles and nerves, are  used for a variety of other functions, chewing is the most active use of these parts of our body.  We also use the chewing mechanism when we speak, breath and make facial expressions. Let’s look at the characteristics of a healthy chewing mechanism. In the chewing action you need the jaw joint to be smooth, flexible, and comfortable. The second area involved is the bite, which should be solid, stable, and easy to use. The last area is the muscles and nerves need to be relaxed, comfortable and balanced. If all works well, then you won’t need Dr. Kellings’ help, but when they are not working right you are in pain then Dr. Kelling is the person you need. He can diagnose where the problem lies then provide you with a treatment plan.

Jaw Joint
Open your jaw all the way then shut it. You will see that the movement is done by TMJ which is the temporo-mandibular joint. The bone that forms the side of the skull is the temporal bone and the mandible (the lower jaw). It is a small disc of cartilage that separates the bone so that the mandible may slide easily whenever you talk, swallow, kiss, etc. Damage to this complex triangular structure, just in front of the ear, can cause a lot of discomfort. To locate this joint put your finger on the triangular structure in front of the ear. Move your finger just slightly forward then press firmly while you open your jaw all the way then close it. You can feel the joint motion in your ear canal.

What causes pain in this joint? It is because of displacement of the cartilage disc that caused pressure with stretching of the associate sensory nerves. The popping or clicking occurs when the disk snaps into place as the jaw moves. The chewing mechanism may spasm, not function efficiently, then cause pain and tenderness. Causes of these problems are trauma to the jaw, teeth grinding, excess gum chewing, stress and psychological factors, of course, improper bite with a malpositioned jaw, then last but not least arthritis.

In cases of injury, ice packs soon after the injury help to reduce swelling. Stress reduction, relaxation techniques, NSAID, muscle relaxants are used for relief. Treatment can involve a splint to align the upper and lower teeth, and last but not least surgery. After surgery the MD may send you to an orthodontist for further treatment, and management of the joint and pain.

The Bite
The bite should be solid, stable, and easy to do. Teeth, muscles, jaw joint and more, are all parts of the chewing system. All of these parts must work together for proper functioning to maintain orthodontic health . When one or more of the parts does not work right or malfunctions, problems develop.

Chewing Mechanism

A very common problem we see is a disharmony of the chewing system. In a healthy chewing system we find harmony and no pain. The muscles are relaxed. The joint is stable and the teeth work in a protected environment. When teeth bite together in the “normal” bite, all of the teeth work in a protected space, the teeth should contact all exactly at the same time along the axis of the tooth. Our goal at Raleigh Orthodontics is to promote orthodontic health as well as physical health, well-being, to prevent disease in all of our patients.

Muscles and Nerves
Some of the symptoms (problems people have happen) related to a Bad Bite are:

Tooth Problems:
• Tooth with a little pain
• Pain that is severe with a tooth, then death of the nerve that
will lead to a root canal
• Loss of a tooth
• A tooth that hurts with cold and air movement.
• (abfraction) or “melting” of a tooth surface.
• Tooth enamel that is worn down by contact with something.
• Chipped, tipping, with misalignment of teeth

Muscle Problems:
• Regular headache
• (headache pain) Migraine type
• Muscle spasm
• (Radiating pain to other muscles, teeth, eyes, ears, neck) are called trigger points. In severe cases, the
whole upper body will become involved.
• (jaw feels tired) Sore, easily fatigued muscles
Use caution—severe pain cases should be evaluated by a qualified team of Doctors, Specialist in Dental problems with the symptoms you are exhibiting.

Bone Problems:
• Recession of gum tissue around the teeth
• Loss of supporting bone around the teeth
• Horizontal bone loss around front and back teeth

Joint Problems:
• Jaw joint pain in front of the ears one or both sides (sometimes deep into the ear. (The pain feels like that of an earache.)
• Popping, clicking, grinding, and locking of the jaw joint.
• Joint surfaces melt down.
• Protective disc deterioration.

Nerve Problems:
• Precision dental sensory perception is lost.
• Throughout teeth, head, neck, and upper shoulders have radiating pain. ((WARNING: radiating pain to left jaw and left arm may be a sign
a heart related issue.)

Functional and Cosmetic Problems:
• (Teeth disappear behind lips) collapsed bite.
• (Deepening of wrinkles) collapsed lower face.
• (Sore, wet spots on corners of the mouth) drooping smile.
• (Lips become thin and lack fullness) loss of lip support.
• Cannot chew effectively.
• Swallowing problems

Orthodontic Treatment

What is done if you have any of these problems? Because a bad bite problem is quite complex, a diagnosis is necessary before or treatment is started. Diagnosis of the dental problem will uncover the cause of the problem so proper treatment can be planned out. It is necessary to understand the cause of the problems to be able to create a proper treatment plan. You are doing this to sort out the medical problems for referral to a physician, with dental problems being handled by a dentist in the specialty that is needed. So before good dental treatment can begin a proper diagnosis must be made.

The final process is described above and it requires a significant commitment on your part to get the best results. Investing both your time and money allow you the best orthodontic treatment possible. There are many options to decrease the amount of time and cost of treatment, but may not provide you with the best results. Our goal is to work with you to find out what is your best option, so that you can reach the desired outcome. We want you to have that “Great Smile”.

Orthodontic Health

For information about Dr. Bert and his practice please contact him by email at this website: Raleigh Orthodontics

If you want more information here is an external link for your use:  http://www.americanboardortho.orthodontic health

www.mylifemysmile.org

Awareness of Lifestyle for Orthodontic Health

orthodontic health

Orthodontic Health

To evaluate the probability of great Orthodontic Health, we need to breakdown the cycle from the time of the accident when the ball is set in motion. The body is affected as a result of the awareness of a condition that will affect the body.

Awareness

Several conditions have manifested themselves as a result of an accident. They are: TMJ, whiplash, and disc displacement. Actions that are now limited as a result of the accident are: jaw motion and muscle tension/relaxation. The longer the decreased mobility and presence of pain the more the feelings head toward a feelings of hopelessness, awareness of pain leads to awareness of anger. Thoughts head toward negative emotions and thoughts with “Why me?” & “I can’t do anything right!”

Remember the statement in a previous blog that said: Sometimes it shows that a negative emotional state gives people a better chance to cope with situations than a positive state. People who seem to be in a positive mood often are more prone to judgmental mistakes. But in a more negative mood they tend to be more correct in their decisions.

Again the longer our conditions exist the longer the effect it has on the patient. Socially the family is affected due to the patient’s health with the lack of ability to perform duties that they are usually responsible for handling, and then negative obstacles’ pop up: strained family relationship for one. Due to the lack of healing of
health problems that are from the accident of the conditions we remain out of work. These problems and more are used as an excuse for missing work.

Our actions that substantiate the negative response to the accident area: substance abuse related to missed work due to pain and abuse of prescription medication. The more pain, the more abuse of meds the more the family dynamics are affected and the patient is under pressure. This is where the clenching of the teeth and tension on muscles increase with more awareness of pain is increased.

After all of our actions start to head toward “Chronic Behavior”, it is not always a good thing. We again break this down into: Feelings-depression and frustration due to the lack of health improvement of our condition. Socially we feel we should get special treatment from friends and family. Actions that place a negative feeling on us are: over use of health and medical services seeking drug therapies, abuse of prescription drugs for pain. Now the final thought is: “I’ll never get better.”

All of the actions, feelings, and results do not help our condition improve. This is where you need to build new skills toward a more positive lifestyle that will support the patient in making those changes. Seek help with your support system to make the changes health changes you need to make and awareness of what you need to. The people from these groups will help you achieve your goals and stay on track. They are: family, friends, and the medical team. What this shows is that a negative attitude can be turned around to a more positive attitude with a little help and guidance by changing our feelings that affect our actions.

Orthodontic Health

For information about Dr. Bert and his practice please contact him by email at this website: Raleigh Orthodontics

If you want more information here is a link for your use:  http://www.americanboardortho.com/public/Orthodontic Health

www.mylifemysmile.org

Feelings and Actions Influence Orthodontic Health

orthodontic health

In the last blog, Social and Physical Influences on Orthodontic Health, we looked at how problems in our physical and social environments can undermine the health of the mind and body.  When such health problems arise it can have negative consequences in our feelings and actions.  Keep in mind that as you seek to have a healthy body, having a bright smile to share with others and great orthodontic health will be a boost to your efforts.

The Mind and Feelings Connection

Health complications and challenges can cause us to feel hopeless, dejected, and misunderstood.  Eventually such feelings will undermine our desire to direct our lifestyle and efforts to improve our orthodontic health. It is very important to guard against such a process in our lives.  When the feeling arises we need to reverse the process by examining our mind and thinking about what our thoughts  have been.  Have they been encouraging of our continued efforts to overcome health challenges?  Or have they fallen into thoughts of limitations yielding to despair.  Have we marshaled help from our family and friends to overcome or have we isolated ourselves, walling off the opportunity to be boosted by those around us who care about us?  The mind is a battlefield of thoughts and when we win the battle our feelings improve.

Importantly, if you’re reluctant to freely socialize and smile because of concern about the looks of your teeth, perhaps this limitation in your orthodontic health is holding back your positive health moves and feelings and actions that can lead to making the changes in your lifestyle that will enhance your health.  Pay attention to this.  Look at the battlefield in your mind for times when you thought your smile was not good enough for something your wanted to do.

The Body and Orthodontic Health

Be aware if you’re stuck in an unhealthy environment or unfavorable personal relationships that can drain your enthusiasm for making healthy lifestyle choices.  Do your lifestyle habits represent giving up on taking responsibility for your lifestyle?  Are you stuck in an unhealthy rut?  Look at what you’ve been doing in the last few months, especially your habits relating to body health: rest, exercise, nutrition, intake of unhealthy substances, etc.  Start with controlling one of these well and you’ll notice how you feel better.  Let this encourage you to take the next step and think with each success you’ll make a profound improvement in the end.

As you make improvement in controlling your social and physical environments a greater level of health will return to your mind and body.  This will positively influence your feelings and actions encouraging you to do even better at taking charge of what’s around you, making personal relationships an encouraging experience and keeping your physical environment one that promotes health.  Your thoughts will be hopeful, your behavior health promoting, and your feelings will be comfortable and joyous as you see a brighter health future for yourself.

Orthodontic Health

The healthy environment you will live in, both body and mind, will encourage you to appreciate the power of a beautiful smile.  If you want to improve the confidence of your smile and react to happiness and joy in your smile without holding back, then improving your orthodontic health will be a rewarding experience for you.  As this happens, you begin to benefit from that bright smile, and learn that just the act of a spontaneous big grin will lift your spirits, give you a hopeful outlook, and empower your health and fulfillment.  That’s the power of a beautiful smile.

We’re here at Raleigh Orthodontics to help you get that beautiful smile and great orthodontic health to enjoy the rest of your life.

For information about Dr. Bert and his practice please contact him by email at this website: Raleigh Orthodontics

If you want more information here is an external link for your use:  http://www.americanboardortho.com/public/Orthodontic Health
www.mylifemysmile.org

Health Habits & Your Orthodontic Health

Health Habits

Great health habits help us enjoy a longer, happy live.  To promote this, we can consider the habits we have that support our health.  We can evaluate our health habits and see how well we’re promoting a long, health life for ourselves.  This gives us our health age. To arrive at our health age we first look at our health habits.  Which below apply to you?

Health Habits Checklist

1. Air __I do not smoke.
2. Water __I seldom or never have more than 4 alcoholic drinks per sitting.
3. Food __ I eat substantial breakfast every day or almost every day.
4. Exercise __ I take long walks or engage in sports, swimming, gardening or other physical activity at least 3 times per week.
5. Rest __ I regularly have 7 or 8 hours of sleep.
6. Regularity __ I seldom or never eat between meals.
7. Weight __ I weigh less than 20% above my desired weight.
To determine your health age, first look at the Health Habits Checklist printed above and count your total number of health habits. Use the Overweight Table printed below to determine if you are less than 20% overweight.

Overweight Table
Height (inches) Overweight Limit Men/Women
60                     130
61                      133
62                     136
63                     139
64                     154 /144
65                     160 /149
66                     164 /155
67                     169 /160
68                     174 /165
69                     180 /169
70                     185 /174
71                      190
72                      195
73                      200
74                      205
75                      212

From this point you need to look at the Health Age Chart. Find your age at the left and read across to the right until you are in the column under your number of habits. If this is a negative number congratulations!  Your good health habits are helping your health! Subtract this number from your actual age to get your health age. You’re younger than you thought!  If you find a positive number you have to add it to your age to determine your health age.  If you’re here you need to start some health habits!

Age    0-2Habit    3Habits    4Habits    5Habits    6Habits    7Habits
20-24    +14.3         +7.4          +0.5           -1.1           -4.2            -9.4
25-29    +15.6         +8.3          +1.8           -0.9          -4.5           -10.2
30-34    +16.9         +9.1          +3.0           -0.6          -4.7            -11.1
35-39    +18.2         +9.9          +4.2           -0.4          -5.0           -12.0
40-44    +19.4        +10.7         +5.4           -0.1           -5.2           -12.9

45-49    +20.7        +11.6         +6.7           +0.1          -5.5            -13.8
50-54    +22.0        +12.4        +7.9           +0.3          -5.7            -14.7
55-59    +23.3         +13.2        +9.1           +0.6          -6.0           -15.5
60-64   +24.5         +14.0       +10.4          +0.9         -6.2            -16.4
65-69    +25.8        +14.8       +11.6           +1.1          -6.5            -17.3
70-74    +27.1         +15.6       +12.8          +1.3          -6.8            -18.2

For example, if you are in the 35-39 age group and have only 0-2 health habits, your health habits age is actually 55.2 years. On the other hand, if you have 7 habits, your health age is 25. That is a 30 year difference for a 37 year old.*

*For information on health age research, ask us or contact Dr. Jack Zwemer at the School of Dentistry, Medical College of Georgia     Augusta, Georgia 30901.

What health habits can you start in order to have a longer, healthier, happier life?

If you’re more than 20% over your optimum weight dealing with this can be a big help.  You may need to work on weight control by increasing exercise or physical activity in addition to developing good eating habits. Healthy snacking, regular good physical exercise and controlling a healthy weight can really help your health age, for example.

Orthodontic Health Habits

Your health habits directly reflect on your  dental and orthodontic health. Fewer snack and ewer carbohydrates reduce plaque growth in the mouth. Smoking endangers oral health by promoting serious mouth cancers and undermines  health age as well.

Changes in your health habits now will impact you for the rest of your life. We want you to have that “Great Smile” you are working toward. Our team here at Raleigh Orthodontics will support you toward reaching your ultimate goal.

Exercise can be fun with a workout buddy so a gym might be your answer. They have a number of work-out machines that will give you a choice on exercise routines.  If joining a gym is not in your budget, there are other ways to increase your physical activity to help control your weight.

Consider side walks or walking tracks. Even in small towns, you can find a walking path or a place to walk. If walking or exercising is not your cup of tea, try playing sports. They have adult ball teams, tennis, and usually a small walking track or a list of areas that can be used by females that are secure.

Getting sufficient sleep and rest is a great health habits. Restorative sleep helps us do our best work, enjoy it more, and enjoy the people around us in a positive mood.  Excellent rest helps us manage lifestyle stresses.  Having many health habits and reduced stress will lead us to bright smiles as we enjoy our orthodontic health.

In our next blog we’ll deal with lifestyle stresses and how they build-up.

For information about Dr. Bert and his practice please contact him by email at this website: Raleigh Orthodontics

If you want more information here is an external link for your use:
Orthodontic Health.

WWW.uic.edu/dept/ortho/index.html

LET’S DEFINE WELLNESS AND LIFESTYLE

well-being

Wellness incorporates spirituality, psychology, and the physical wellness. All these influence our general well-being and can have effects on the health of our teeth, chewing muscles, and jaw joints- our chewing mechanism.

This article shows how the characteristics of our lifestyle and wellness are balanced and help to define what we mean by “wellness”.

Wellness Characteristics

There is no universally accepted definition of wellness, so here are some of the characteristics that help describe wellness:

State of well-being
State of acceptance or satisfaction with our present condition
Meeting high standards for quality of life and a sense of well-being.

Wellness is an active process of learning to make choices that lead toward a longer and more fulfilling life. Wellness is a process always needing attention and looking for opportunities for improvement. Maintaining awareness of our health keeps us continually improving and seeking more knowledge about how we can improve our health choices. We actively choose from among many options that could affect our health, but what we have to do is pick the “best” options.
The choices we make to support our wellness is our lifestyle- our style of life. Don’t you want to have a style of life that keeps you healthy and happy? Let’s look at some specifics of our lifestyle.

Lifestyle Issues

Wellness is the freedom from disease –not being sick—it means you are healthy and well. Every individual is responsible for themselves and making choices for maintenance of their level of well- being. Here are the main areas to pay attention to: proper weight, good nutrition, ample physical activity, and get proper exercise and rest.  Also and very importantly we need to take control of health risks factors like the use of tobacco, alcohol and drug use/abuse.  Eliminate tobacco and elicit drug use and limit or eliminate alcohol use in order for the healthy habits to be effective.

Research studies show that Americans who make smart lifestyle choices are healthier, happier, more productive, miss less work, have lower health care costs and even live longer.

Lifestyle choices are important in determining overall health, so it’s important for you to be educated about your health, “take charge” of your life, and have healthy lifestyle-related goals.

The focus is not in the healthcare, but the healthy self-care. While traditional western medicine is focused on alleviating disease, the wellness approach to health encourages you to be responsible for your own well-being. Wellness is a proactive and preventative approach that is designed to provide optimum level of health, with fulfilling emotional and social functioning.

Wellness involves recognition that we have psychological, physical, spiritual and social needs that are all necessary for us to enjoy life to the fullest. Wellness emphasizes the whole person. It brings together spirit, mind, and body; and the understanding that all we do can be impacted by the choices we make.

Dr. Bert and his staff want all their patients to pay attention to their wellness. Dr. Bert wants each of his patients to know that they have the ability to influence their wellness thru healthy lifestyle choices. The great smiles he and his patients create together are a revelation of a happy and well inner self. They let everyone know that you are good inside and out. You are able to have a healthy lifestyle and make good choices for your own well-being. Achieving your full wellness potential will give you the bright, happy smile you’ll love to show off.

We will share more about health and wellness and how your teeth, jaw joints and chewing muscles are important to wellness as we continue our blogs. We hope to see you soon in our office for a visit or follow-up.

For information about Dr. Bert and his practice please contact him by email at this website: Raleigh Orthodontics

If you want more information here is an external link for your use:

More websites to view information: www.snhu.edu/2354.asp

www.orthodontics.com