Thursday, February 23, 2012

Good news for band students!

An article published in the American Journal of Orthodontics Feb. 2012 evaluating the effects of playing a wind instrument on the occlusion (bite)  revealed the following results:  1)  playing a wind instrument ie.  clarinet, saxaphone etc. does not significantly affect the position of the front teeth...  yea!   2)  playing a brass instrument with a large cup-shaped mouthpiece (trombone, tuba) might pose a small (microscopic) risk of developing a bite problem.   These subjects were all in professional orchestras, so I'm guessing the number of years and hours a day that the aforementioned reed or mouthpiece was in position greatly exceeded that of your average treasure coast middle schooler!  So play on... as long as you don't also suck your thumb, you should be in good shape!  Dr L

Rest in peace Clarence Clemons

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Whatever gets you here

A recent exchange with one of my 68 year old male patients discussing his crowded lower incisors resulted in the following confession:  "you know I wouldn't be here if my wife wasn't making me!"  Thank you Marys everywhere - we love you at Legler Orthodontics!  Dr L

Monday, February 20, 2012

How long do I have to wear my retainers?

I'm glad you asked!  When orthodontic treatment with braces or invisalign is completed and there is no more active tooth movement, the goal then focuses on holding the teeth in that new, corrected position without them moving back from whence they came.  The reason they move is because the collagen fibers that connect teeth to gum tissue and bone needs time to turnover or refresh. The bone also requires at least 12mos to mature.  Therefore we emphasize fulltime 24-7 retainer wear (removed for meals) for the first 3 mos when those collagen fibers are really stretched to the max.  After 3 mos they can be worn at night only.  For how long you ask?   I hate the phrase:  "for the rest of my life".  That's a little daunting, so I just say indefinitely or at least as long as you want to insure straight teeth.  The problem is this:  we don't know when or what will cause your teeth to shift in the future.  It could be a variety of things attributed to the aging process with the end result being a change of forces on your teeth causing them to shift, drift or tip.  Sometimes it's a slow process, other times it seems to happen overnight.  My practice consists of 30% adult patients who all noticed their teeth looking or feeling worse than they did in years past.  So whether it's a colorful acrylic retainer, bonded wire or clear "invisible" retainer, wear it regularly and you will sleep better knowing you're treating your teeth with the attention and respect they deserve.  Your smile will show it! 
Dr L

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Is all Invisalign the same?

Invisalign, or treatment with clear plastic aligners, can be a great way to straighten your teeth and improve your smile.  Many patients tell me that this method is a perfect fit for their active lifestyles.  An important thing to understand however, is that invisalign is just a high tech dental lab.  I must accurately diagnose the patient's dental problem and convey the correct treatment plan to the lab tech.  This tech will digitally position the teeth.  This is where it gets tricky.  In order for my expected result to be achieved, I have to communicate back and forth with this tech, usually 8-10 times, refining the tooth movements to achieve the best functional and esthetic result possible.  Just because the lab tech moves a tooth a certain way in the virtual world, does not mean this will actually happen in the patient's mouth.  What a bummer!  As an orthodontist who has been moving teeth for 22 years, I feel confident with my knowledge of the force systems necessary to move teeth effectively.  I have been using Invisalign now for 11years and and after completing over 200 cases, I feel it is an excellent way to provide teens and adults the orthodontic treatment they desire in a manner that is appropriate for their professional or social realm.

Credit for this blog goes out to:  Miss March- my 10th grade typing teacher, Mrs. Raviv- my 10th grade English teacher (both at Mtn. Brook high school).  Also thanks to Al Gore for inventing the world wide webb.   Dr L