My Blog

Posts for: July, 2016

By Michael J. Tisdelle DDS
July 30, 2016
Category: Oral Health

Around ages 6 to 8, a child's primary teeth will begin to loosen to make way for their permanent teeth. If all goes well, the new set will come in straight with the upper teeth slightly overlapping the bottom.

But sometimes it doesn't go that well: a child may instead develop a poor bite (malocclusion) that interferes with normal function. If we can detect the early signs of a developing malocclusion, however, we may be able to intervene and lessen its impact. You as a parent can play a vital role in this early detection.

The first thing you should be watching for is teeth spacing. Normal teeth come in straight with a slight gap between them. But there are two abnormal extremes to look for: teeth having no space between them or crowded together in a crooked, haphazard manner; or they seem to have too much space between them, which indicates a possible discrepancy between the teeth and jaw sizes.

You should also notice how the teeth come together or “bite.” If you notice the lower front teeth biting in front of the upper (the opposite of normal) it may be a developing underbite. If you see a space between the upper and lower teeth when they bite down, this is a sign of an open bite. Or, if the upper front teeth seem to come down too far over the lower, this could mean a deep bite: in extreme cases the lower teeth actually bite into the roof of the mouth behind the upper teeth.

You should also look for crossbites, in which the teeth in one part of the mouth bite abnormally in front or behind their counterparts, while teeth in other parts bite normally. For example, you might notice if the back upper teeth bite inside the lower teeth (abnormal), while the front upper teeth bite outside the lower front teeth (normal).

The important thing is to note anything that doesn't look right or seems inconsistent with how your child's teeth look or how they function. Even if you aren't sure it's an issue, contact us anyway for an examination. If it really is a developing bite problem, starting treatment now may lessen the extent and cost of treatment later.

If you would like more information on bite development in children, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.

By Michael J. Tisdelle DDS
July 15, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures

Fans of the primetime TV show The Middle were delighted to see that high school senior Sue, played by Eden Sher, finally got her braces off at the start of Season 6. But since this popular sitcom wouldn’t be complete without some slapstick comedy, this happy event is not without its trials and tribulations: The episode ends with Sue’s whole family diving into a dumpster in search of the teen’s lost retainer. Sue finds it in the garbage and immediately pops it in her mouth. But wait — it doesn’t fit, it’s not even hers!

If you think this scenario is far-fetched, guess again. OK, maybe the part about Sue not washing the retainer upon reclaiming it was just a gag (literally and figuratively), but lost retainers are all too common. Unfortunately, they’re also expensive to replace — so they need to be handled with care. What’s the best way to do that? Retainers should be brushed daily with a soft toothbrush and liquid soap (dish soap works well), and then placed immediately back in your mouth or into the case that came with the retainer. When you are eating a meal at a restaurant, do not wrap your retainer in a napkin and leave it on the table — this is a great way to lose it! Instead, take the case with you, and keep the retainer in it while you’re eating. When you get home, brush your teeth and then put the retainer back in your mouth.

If you do lose your retainer though, let us know right away. Retention is the last step of your orthodontic treatment, and it’s extremely important. You’ve worked hard to get a beautiful smile, and no one wants to see that effort wasted. Yet if you neglect to wear your retainer as instructed, your teeth are likely to shift out of position. Why does this happen?

As you’ve seen firsthand, teeth aren’t rigidly fixed in the jaw — they can be moved in response to light and continuous force. That’s what orthodontic appliances do: apply the right amount of force in a carefully controlled manner. But there are other forces at work on your teeth that can move them in less predictable ways. For example, normal biting and chewing can, over time, cause your teeth to shift position. To get teeth to stay where they’ve been moved orthodontically, new bone needs to form around them and anchor them where they are. That will happen over time, but only if they are held in place with a retainer. That’s why it is so important to wear yours as directed — and notify us immediately if it gets lost.

And if ever you do have to dig your retainer out of a dumpster… be sure to wash it before putting in in your mouth!

If you would like more information on retainers, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “The Importance of Orthodontic Retainers” and “Why Orthodontic Retainers?

By Dr. Michael Tisdelle
July 14, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Veneers  

What porcelain veneers can do for you and your smile

Are you unhappy with your smile? Have you been waiting for the perfect cosmetic dentistry option to make your smile beautiful again? VeneersNow, you can have a celebrity-perfect smile easily and quickly with porcelain veneers. Porcelain veneers are a great investment in your smile and your confidence. Dr. Michael Tisdelle in Charlottesville, VA wants to help you discover the magic of porcelain veneers.

There are many reasons why people choose porcelain veneers as the go-to option for a perfect smile. Porcelain veneers can improve the look of front teeth that are:

  • Stained and yellowed from tobacco use or smoking
  • Deeply discolored from medications like tetracycline
  • Broken or damaged from injury or trauma
  • Crowded, rotated or overlapped from genetics
  • Excessively, unevenly worn from aging or poor bite alignment

Veneers from your dentist in Charlottesville are thin laminates of sparkling porcelain. They look delicate, but they have the strength to last for many years. They also repel stains, making them the perfect choice if you use tobacco or drink coffee, but you still want a bright, dazzling smile. Porcelain has a unique ability to reflect light, just like your natural teeth, so you can be assured your veneers are going to look completely natural.

Your porcelain veneer treatment begins with your dentist removing a small amount of tooth surface, just enough to accommodate the thickness of the veneers. Molds of your prepared teeth are sent off to the dental laboratory where skilled dental technicians create your new veneers. At your final appointment, Dr. Tisdelle cements your new veneers and you have a great new smile!

Porcelain veneers can help your smile and improve your life. You owe it to yourself to look your best and feel great about yourself, and now you can, with porcelain veneers. It’s time to call Dr. Michael Tisdelle in Charlottesville, VA and find out how porcelain veneers can help your smile. Call today!