Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Legler Orthodontics Dental Health Month

Did you know that your teeth are supposed to last a lifetime? According to the American Academy of Periodontology (the study of teeth), 50% of people say that a smile is the first feature they notice about someone. So, why are 40% of adults over the age of 65 missing their teeth? It all begins with educating children on the importance of dental health and the proper way to take care of their teeth. The American Dental Association dedicated the month of February for a national dental health observance, bringing together thousands of devoted dental professionals, healthcare providers, and educators to promote the benefits of good oral health to children, their caregivers, teachers, and many others. Of course, Dr. Legler can’t pass up this opportunity to make a difference in our community and years ago he decided to visit schools throughout Indian River and St. Lucie Counties bringing with him a fun, interactive, and informational presentation on how to take proper care of your teeth.
Tooth decay is one of the most common chronic conditions of childhood diseases in the United Sates. About 1 of 5 (20%) children aged 5-11 years have at least one untreated decayed tooth, 1 of 7 (13%) adolescents aged 12 to 19 years have at least one untreated decayed tooth, and the percentage of children and adolescents aged 5 to 19 years with untreated tooth decay is twice as high for low-income families (25%) compared with children from high-income households. Untreated tooth decay can cause pain and infections that may lead to problems with eating, speaking, learning, and playing. 
Therefore, at Legler Orthodontics it is our mission to educate the children in our community about dental health and oral care. There is good news! Dr. Legler’s Dental Health Month school presentations teach the children how tooth decay and other oral diseases are completely preventable if proper measures are taken.
Here are some of the steps in Dr. Legler’s Dental Health Month presentation that he goes over with the students:
Step 1: At Home Teeth Care
First, you and your child should brush your teeth at least twice a day. Start by setting a timer for 3 minutes, put the toothpaste on your toothbrush and begin brushing in circular motions. Also, try not to make sawing motions (back and forth). Brush up on your gums and don’t forget your tongue.
Second, it’s time to floss! Make sure you get in between all of your teeth because flossing helps remove plaque (leading cause to dental decay).  Here’s a great example; You wouldn’t wash only one side of a dirty dish and then put it back in the cabinet to use again tomorrow, would you? When you brush your teeth, you’re only washing half of the surfaces of your teeth, the front and back. This leaves the sides of your teeth and the area near the gum line dirty, like washing only one side of a dirty dish. Ew! Floss your teeth!
Finally, finish your dental care routine with a fluoride rinse. This helps fight against tooth decay and gingivitis (gum disease). This also freshens your breath and helps to reduce bad breath throughout the day. This final stage of your dental routine is one you should not skip!
Step 2: Healthy Diet
A healthy diet is imperative in your child’s life. If children start out eating healthy they are most likely going to keep a healthy diet throughout their life. Healthy foods like fruits and vegetables are not only good for oral health but obviously for a person’s overall health. By eating these foods, you can avoid cavities, make your teeth stronger, and develop good eating habits at an early age. Candy and soda, basically all sugar, is terrible for your teeth. Every time you eat or drink these types of foods and liquids, little by little, plaque begins to build up and slowly eat through the layers of your teeth causing tooth decay. These are what we call "sugar bugs" and they start at the outer layer of the tooth, the enamel, then they work their way into the dentin, the second layer of the tooth and finally they eat away at the inside third layer, the pulp. This final layer contains blood vessels and nerves, if the "sugar bug" reaches this layer, your tooth will begin to ache. Ouch!
Step 3: Visit the Dentist Twice a Year
Even if you take excellent care of your teeth and gums and eat healthy food you still need to visit the dentist regularly. This is what we call preventative dentistry. More than 50 years ago, examinations of people entering the military showed that Americans’ teeth were in pretty bad shape. There were no guidelines for how often you should see a dentist so, many dentists focused on fixing problems rather than preventing them. Dental and health organizations decided people should go to the dentist twice a year for check-ups and cleanings because cavities and gum disease are entirely preventable. Whatever the origins, this has proven to be a useful rule of thumb for many people. Many dental problems don’t become visible or cause any pain until they are in more advanced stages. When a patient visits the dentist twice a year, the dentist can find early signs of disease and these problems can be treated at a manageable stage.

Step 4: Visit an Orthodontist by Age 7
Even though most people think of preteens and teens when they think of orthodontics, there many benefits for a child to be evaluated by an orthodontist at age 7. An early exam allows an orthodontist to make a baseline evaluation before your child’s growth spurt. With this knowledge they can decide if the use of orthodontic appliances before their growth spurt are necessary to correct oral/facial deficiencies. While most children will not need orthodontic treatment at age 7, for some early treatment can prevent the need for oral surgery in their teenage or adult years. An early evaluation can also help a parent correct their child’s harmful oral habits, permit an orthodontist to guide their jaw growth, lower the risk of future trauma, and pre-position permanent teeth before they begin to grow. Whether you think your child is ready or not, it doesn’t hurt for your child to be evaluated by an orthodontist at age 7. On the plus side, at Legler Orthodontics, we offer a FREE orthodontic consultation! Here is an example of a Legler Orthodontics patient that needed treatment at age 7. This is the result after Phase 1 of orthodontic treatment: 
These four steps, while they may seem simple and obvious, could change the outcome in the future of a child’s dental health. Dr. Legler feels it is part of his duty to enlighten and educate the children of our community and ensure that they will remember his awesome, entertaining, and educational presentation on how to take proper care of your teeth. Concluding the presentation, we hope to make this goal a reality by giving each student an at-home toothbrushing kit. Packed with a sand timer, toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, and a few extra goodies, we hope to give the students a jump start on their path to maintaining excellent dental health! Legler Orthodontics and Dr. Legler can’t wait to visit our local schools this year!
Here is a short video of Dr. Legler and the of our community during his Dental Health Month Presentation:

Friday, November 17, 2017

What's up With Your Dog's Teeth?

There’s no better feeling than walking through the front door after a long day of work and you’re greeted by your most loyal, lovable, and adorable companion as if you’ve been away for a month! Those sweet, slobbery, yet STINKY kisses sure do put a smile on your face but, what is up with your dog’s breath? As humans, we are consistently encouraged by medical professionals to focus on taking care of our teeth. We are told to brush at least twice a day, floss once a day, use mouth wash, stray away from sugary foods, and visit the dentist twice a year. But, have you wondered what you should be doing to ensure your fur baby’s dental health?
Here at Legler Orthodontics we love our dogs, they are our pets and a part of our family and we want to do whatever we can to keep them healthy and happy. We work with teeth all day long and we’re a part of those medical professionals that constantly push for dental education and health amongst our patients and the people in our community. But, as much as our team loves each and every one of our doggies, we were curious what do we need to know about our dog’s teeth? What should we be doing to keep them healthy?
We decided to take the next step and learn all about dental health for dogs! We visited one of our local vet offices, the VCA Florida Veterinary League and had the pleasure of speaking with their Medical Director, Dr. Darrell Horn who has been practicing for 26 years and Dr. Jeremy Nix, a recent graduate from the University of Tennessee Veterinary School. They sat us down and told us everything we need to know about keeping our dog’s teeth sparkling and strong!
The reason our dogs have such stinky, gross breath is due to plaque build-up and tartar formation. Now, we’ve been told for years to brush our teeth twice a day but, do you brush your dog’s teeth? We bet not! It’s recommended by vets to brush their teeth daily to prevent food and bacteria from building up, which commonly leads to plaque, gum irritation, and infections. But we know, this task is proven to be quite difficult and most likely not realistic. So, Dr. Horn and Dr. Nix gave us some great ideas to make up for our slacking doggy parenting skills.
Step 1: Get GOOD Food
Quality food will nourish their body and keep their teeth strong. Stray away from wet mushy food that is not only fattening, but does nothing to help their teeth. You want to look for dry food that has big kibbles and a granular crumbly surface. These large kibbles allow the dogs to really bite into the food and the abrasive surface of the kibble rubs against the side of the tooth, allowing the plaque to loosen and fall off. Here is the type of food Dr. Horn and Dr. Nix recommend:

Step 2: Dental Treats and Powder
It’s important to give your dog healthy dental treats that are not only healthy, but improve their breath immensely. Suggested types would be dental chews, bones, and biscuits from Greenies and Del Monte Tartar Check Dog Biscuits. Also, you can use VetriScience Perio Support, which is a powder designed for use in between scheduled dental cleanings to help maintain clean teeth and fresh breath. It’s formulated to help control plaque formation and to support gum health. All you have to do is use a small amount and sprinkle it over their food.

Step 3: Schedule a Dental Cleaning
Depending on your dog’s dental situation, it is encouraged to get dental cleanings. Most big dogs may never need a dental cleaning but, small dogs are unfortunately not so lucky. It is so important to bring your dog in for a dental cleaning while they are young. In a dental cleaning the vet has to put your dog asleep and as they get older, they are at a higher risk of having problems while going under anesthesia. X-Rays will be taken, an overall check will be done, and a decision will be made for your dog to either have just a cleaning and polish or if some areas need further attention.
Step 4: Toys
You want to make sure the toys you buy for your dog are safe. Fractured pet teeth are one of the most common dental problems encountered by veterinary dentists. This happens when dogs are allowed to chew on objects that are just too hard for their teeth. Strictly avoid bones, cow hoofs, pig ears, hard and thick rawhides, plastic or nylon bones and large ice cubes. Rule of thumb, you want to be able to indent the surface of the toy with your finger nail. Try using a toy soft enough to chew but not break off into their mouth. Dr. Nix recommends the soft toys with the hole in the middle. Put a little peanut butter inside and your dog will be one happy camper!
Step 5: Try to Brush Their Teeth
Even though it may be a pain it is encouraged to try and brush your dog’s teeth once a week. Not only will it help prevent periodontal disease, it will help freshen their breath and get them used to having people mess with their mouth. A specific dog toothbrush and toothpaste is recommended:

Our experience at the VCA Florida Veterinary League was extremely informative and has helped us better understand the importance of keeping our doggie’s teeth healthy. We can’t thank Dr. Horn and Dr. Nix enough for the tips they gave us. We encourage you to practice these steps and keep a close eye on your dog’s mouth. Say goodbye to smelly dog breath and hello to a new and improved fresh, healthy, and strong doggie smile! Those slobbery kisses will now be irresistible! 
Check out our video below for our time spent at the VCA Florida Veterinary League:

For more information, check out these websites: