My Blog

Posts for: November, 2017

By Dr. Steven L. Rattner DDS & Associates
November 21, 2017
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 Dr. Steven L. Rattner DDS & Associates
November 15, 2017
Category: Oral Health

Have you ever wondered why you should visit your dentist every six months?preventative dentistry

Did your parents drag you to the dentist when you were growing up? Do you not go to the dentist as regularly as you should now that you are an adult? There is a reason you should visit our Gaithersburg, MD, dentists Dr. Steven Rattner and Dr. Maryam Roosta every six months; however, do you know why these visits are so important?

Visiting a dentist twice a year is an essential preventive measure to keep teeth and gums healthy and problem-free. Even though this doesn’t negate daily brushing and flossing habits (or your diet), coming in for cleanings and exams every six months is important for people of all ages.

Preventive dentistry is important because it focuses on providing the care your smile needs to prevent problems from occurring in the first place. Our Gaithersburg, MD, general dentists want to protect your smile from issues rather than just treating the problem once it happens. By coming in every six months for cleaning, exams and even x-rays, we can preserve your oral health.

What happens during a routine dental exam?

While we know that most people who’ve been to the dentist understand what happens during these six-month visits they may not realize all that goes into it. We have the tools necessary to remove tartar from your teeth, which your at-home toothbrush won’t be able to remove. By removing tartar buildup we can prevent gum disease from affecting the health of your gums.

Furthermore, once a year we will also run a series of x-rays. These x-rays will not only tell us about the health of your jawbone but will also detect decay, infections and other issues that we may not be able to see with the naked eye. X-rays can also tell us how teeth are erupting and whether wisdom teeth need to be removed.

Along with your cleaning, we will also perform a thorough but fast exam to look for sores, growths or other signs of oral cancer. This screening is painless and is the best way to detect oral cancer early on when it’s much easier to treat.

As you can see, these routine visits are important for not just your oral health but also your general health. If it’s time you got a professional dental cleaning, turn to Grove Dental Arts in Gaithersburg, MD to schedule your next appointment with us. We will work with your busy schedule to get you on the books!

By Dr. Steven L. Rattner DDS & Associates
November 06, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures

Mayim Bialik has spent a good part of her life in front of TV cameras: first as the child star of the hit comedy series Blossom, and more recently as Sheldon Cooper’s love interest — a nerdy neuroscientist — on The Big Bang Theory. (In between, she actually earned a PhD in neuroscience from UCLA…but that’s another story.) As a child, Bialik had a serious overbite — but with all her time on camera, braces were just not an option.

“I never had braces,” she recently told Dear Doctor – Dentistry & Oral Health magazine. “I was on TV at the time, and there weren’t a lot of creative solutions for kids who were on TV.” Instead, her orthodontist managed to straighten her teeth using retainers and headgear worn only at night.

Today, there are several virtually invisible options available to fix orthodontic issues — and you don’t have to be a child star to take advantage of them. In fact, both children and adults can benefit from these unobtrusive appliances.

Tooth colored braces are just like traditional metal braces, with one big difference: The brackets attached to teeth are made from a ceramic material that blends in with the natural color of teeth. All that’s visible is the thin archwire that runs horizontally across the teeth — and from a distance it’s hard to notice. Celebs like Tom Cruise and Faith Hill opted for this type of appliance.

Clear aligners are custom-made plastic trays that fit over the teeth. Each one, worn for about two weeks, moves the teeth just a bit; after several months, you’ll see a big change for the better in your smile. Best of all, clear aligners are virtually impossible to notice while you’re wearing them — which you’ll need to do for 22 hours each day. But you can remove them to eat, or for special occasions. Zac Efron and Katherine Heigl, among others, chose to wear clear aligners.

Lingual braces really are invisible. That’s because they go behind your teeth (on the tongue side), where they can’t be seen; otherwise they are similar to traditional metal braces. Lingual braces are placed on teeth differently, and wearing them often takes some getting used to at first. But those trade-offs are worth it for plenty of people. Which celebs wore lingual braces? Rumor has it that the list includes some top models, a well-known pop singer, and at least one British royal.

So what’s the best way to straighten your teeth and keep the orthodontic appliances unnoticeable? Just ask us! We’d be happy to help you choose the option that’s just right for you. You’ll get an individualized evaluation, a solution that fits your lifestyle — and a great-looking smile!

For more information about hard-to-see (or truly invisible) orthodontics, please contact our office or schedule a consultation. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Orthodontics for the Older Adult” and “Clear Aligners for Teenagers.”