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E-Cigs... NOT a safe alternative to smoking

July 24th, 2019

Dr. Stephanie Crise is committed to the health of the teeth she straightens and has great information on different kinds of braces.  But she is equally interested in the overall health of her patients.

E-cigarettes were introduced to the American market in 2007 and in the last few years, popularity has ramped up exponentially!  People picked up e-cigs, or vapes, thinking they were safer than smoking traditional cigarettes.  Nothing could be further from the truth, especially for young people.

A young person’s brain is still developing up to about the age of 25 and since most e-cigs do contain nicotine, the developing brain is susceptible to many issues with nicotine exposure.  Nicotine addiction is an obvious consequence, but also mood disorders, impulse control, attention and learning deficits.  When youth make new memories or learn new skills, the brain forms a connection.  Addiction is a form of learning which makes nicotine addiction much easier in young people than adults.

Many believe that the aerosol in e-cigarettes is just harmless “water vapor.”  But the aerosol inhaled and exhaled can contain nicotine, ultrafine particles that can be inhaled into the lungs, a chemical called diacetyl used in flavoring which can cause serious lung disease, cancer-causing chemicals and heavy metals such as nickel, tin and lead.  Flavorings that may be considered safe in food are not safe for the lungs because the stomach can process substances that the lungs cannot.

Also concerning, “The addiction to nicotine and later conversion to (or dual use with) regular cigarettes are the greatest concerns,” says Roy S. Herbst, MD, Yale Medicine’s chief of medical oncology at Yale Cancer Center.

If all that isn’t enough food for thought, the e-cigarette device itself can be dangerous.  Batteries in the device are used to heat the coil which turns the liquid to vapor.  The batteries can come in contact with metal objects like keys, buttons, coins, etc. and this overflow of electricity can easily cause them to explode, either in someone’s pocket, hand or mouth causing significant injury.

The facts are clear and supported by those who know.  For only the fourth time in his term as Surgeon General, Dr. Jerome Adams issued a rare advisory on December 18, 2018: “I am officially declaring e-cigarette use (vaping) among youth an epidemic in the United States.”

Phase I Orthodontics for Kids

June 24th, 2019

There is no doubt that regrets in life are hard to take.  But when that regret involves your child, it’s doubly hard.  Dr. Stephanie Crise has watched this scenario play out more than once in her career and clearly remembers the one with a mom in tears.

She recalls, “A mom brought her little girl to us who was about 9 years old at the time.  We examined her and found that the child had a significant need for overbite correction.  Mom was advised that early Phase I treatment was recommended to correct the problem.”

However, the family’s dentist convinced them such treatment was not necessary until the child was older.  Sure enough, the girl returned to our orthodontist office when she was around 12 years of age, ready for full braces (which is called Phase II treatment).  The jaw issue was still present but the difference now was that the window of opportunity had closed in which it could be taken care of with orthodontics alone.  A child’s skeleton has fused by this time in his/her development and therefore jaw surgery was now the only way to treat the problem successfully.  This is when the mom’s tears began.

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends children be evaluated by a pediatric orthodontist between the ages of 7 and 8 and this story illustrates the reason for that.  Many children may not need early treatment, however it is important to monitor them as they grow.  For others, early orthodontic treatment can make all the difference including keeping them out of the operating room!

Orthodontic treatment is about more than just straightening teeth for a beautiful smile.  It can be necessary for overbite or underbite correction, for proper biting and chewing, to correct habits like thumb-sucking and tongue thrusting, to encourage clear speech, as well as making sure there is a good path for incoming permanent teeth.

Smiles Hollywood Orthodontics does not charge for the first evaluation of children at this pivotal age of 7 or 8.  Isn’t it easier to have the peace of mind that your child’s mouth and jaw are developing properly rather than to have regrets later?  Visit us at SmilesHollywood.com.

Here are visual representations of two types of issues that can be more easily corrected with early intervention Phase 1 treatment appliances.

Left:   Narrow arch on upper jaw
Right: Arch corrected with Expander

Left & right:  Significant overbite

Summer Braces

April 29th, 2019

Ah, summer!  Lazy days, fun in the pool, longer days of sunshine and… orthodontic appointments?  Yes!  Summer is a great time to get children started on orthodontic treatment to improve their smiles!

If your child hasn’t seen an orthodontist before, the American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children have a first visit between the ages of 7 and 8 years old.  This visit will just be checking teeth alignment, jaw position and if necessary, discussing how to straighten teeth when the time is right.

For those who already know braces are needed, take advantage of kids being out of school and free from classes, homework and all those extracurricular activities that can make scheduling a challenge during the school year.

Summer is also the perfect time for kids to get used to wearing braces since there are a few things they’ll need to adapt to:  Eating a braces-friendly diet, learning braces care like proper brushing and flossing techniques, feeling comfortable with having braces on their teeth, and gaining confidence about wearing braces.

Call us at 972-529-9700 to book your child’s Smiles Hollywood teeth audition today!

Should You Brush Your Tongue?

March 11th, 2019

Did you know that your tongue is like a giant trampoline for the more than 500 species of bacteria living in your mouth, and your bloodstream carries that bacteria throughout the whole body!?  For that reason, there is an obvious connection between your oral health and your overall health.

I had two options for this post… I could’ve included a picture of a mouth with actual bacterial damage or this pretty picture with colorful fake germs.  I went with this one because frankly, real germs are GROSS and are anything but a pretty picture.

Daily brushing and flossing is important but don’t forget to brush your tongue too before you put down the toothbrush.  Shutting down as much of that bacteria as you can will help your mouth AND your body.

Award-winning orthodontists for braces and Invisalign® in the McKinney, Allen, Fairview, Plano, Frisco, Celina, Prosper, Melissa, Anna, & Princeton, Texas Areas

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