IS THERE A CONNECTION BETWEEN ORAL AND MENTAL HEALTH

Mental health is linked to oral health, and vice versa. Good oral health can enhance mental and overall health, while poor oral health can exacerbate mental issues. Likewise, mental conditions can cause oral health issues. The connection between them is direct, cyclical and, when oral health is neglected, detrimental.

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DIABETES AND YOUR TEETH

Diabetes may cause serious problems with keeping your mouth healthy and having an attractive smile. The disease causes difficulties in the mouth, and problems in the mouth may cause trouble with diabetes. With diabetes, glucose is present in the saliva. When diabetes is not controlled, increased glucose in the saliva allows harmful bacteria to grow.   Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is the most widespread chronic inflammatory condition worldwide, says Dr. Wayne Aldredge.

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SMART APPS FOR DENTAL HEALTH CARE

Oral health is often taken for granted. The mouth is a window into the health of the entire body. It can show signs of nutritional deficiencies or general infection. Systemic diseases – those that affect the entire body – may first become apparent because of mouth lesions or other oral problems.   Regardless of age, oral health is very important. Positive oral health leads to improved overall health. More Americans today are keeping their natural teeth throughout their lives.

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been because they are smaller and sleeker,” McCamish said. “We have more options, such as ceramic braces, which are tooth-colored and nearly invisible.”


Designing braces involves new innovations as well. Digital X-rays show more detail. “We scan the teeth with a digital scanner that gives us an image of the tooth,” McCamish said. “The image is used to make a diagnostic replication or reproduction of that patient’s mouth.”


Today’s braces are more attractive than in the past. “The kids ask if they can have colors because it makes it easier for them to wear braces,” McCamish said. “My theory is, as long as they keep them clean, they can have any color of the rainbow.”


The average treatment range with braces is 18 to 27 months. When they come off, patients will wear some form of retainer, which holds the teeth in place until bone reforms completely around the roots of the tooth.


Maintenance is the secret to success with orthodontics. To do well with braces,

More and more people are becoming aware not only of the aesthetics but the health benefits associated with a beautiful smile. This has motivated many individuals to seek orthodontic treatment, otherwise known as braces.


Braces are about functionality and the way the teeth fit together. “The way the teeth meet affects their wear over a period of a lifetime,” said orthodontist Dr. DeWayne McCamish, who is also president of the American Association of Orthodontists. “Since people are living longer now, it also affects the health of the bone and gums that hold the teeth in place. We have found that 50 to 60 percent of all individuals would benefit from some type of orthodontic treatment.”


Kids are not the only ones getting braces these days. “I have been in practice for 44 years and 27 percent of our practice is adults, so you are never too old to be treated,” said McCamish.


As long as you have healthy bone to move the teeth, you can have braces. “We put them on by bonding,” said McCamish. “We take a brace and put adhesive on it and bond it to the surface of the tooth.”


Technology has made getting braces easier and less uncomfortable for patients. “Braces are different than they have ever

BOTH KIDS AND ADULTS SPORT BRACES THESE DAYS

JAMIE LOBER

Jamie Lober is a Staff Writer for Health & Wellness Magazine

more articles by Jamie Lober

you must keep a healthy, clean oral environment so you don’t end up with stains and marks on your teeth.


“Attitude and proper oral hygiene habits are the only requirements for braces,” McCamish said. “That’s what we try to promote before a patient goes into treatment.”


McCamish says the orthodontic profession is rewarding because orthodontists can change lives by changing a smile. “Patients come in that hide their smiles, avoid looking at you and will not make eye contact,” he said. “It is like a butterfly where they blossom, and a healthy, beautiful smile creates self-confidence.”