The Blog of Kennell Orthodontics

Nail Biting and Your Oral Health

September 25th, 2014

We’ve all heard that biting your nails is an awful habit, but you many wonder- really- what’s so bad about it? This interesting article discusses how biting your nails affect your teeth and oral health.

Nail biting, also known as Onychophagia, is a common habit among various age groups, including primarily children, teens and young adults. Nail biting is generally triggered by stress and most often decreases with age. That being said, nail biting is unsanitary, unattractive, as well as unhealthy for your teeth!

Here’s why:

It’s unsanitary. Your nails are dirty, almost twice as dirty as your fingers! Hence, biting your nails is just asking for germs and bacteria.

No good things come to your teeth. Nail biting causes your teeth to constantly be chewing, which is not good for them. This excessive motion wears your teeth down faster than a non-nail biter’s and puts a large amount of stress on your front teeth- contributing to teeth misalignment.

Braces don’t love it either. Braces already put pressure on teeth, nail biting ads unnecessary pressure, further stressing your teeth and weakening their roots.

It can be costly. Nail biting can result in up to $4,000 in additional dental bills over one lifetime, according to the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD). Yikes!

What can you do about it?

Now that you know how harmful nail biting can be, it’s time to take action to break your nail biting habit. Try to be conscious of your fingernails and to keep them looking good- this will help you resist the temptation.

Ask Dr. Alan Kennell or visit the article for tips on how to break a nail biting habit.

When is it time to call Kennell Orthodontics?

September 18th, 2014

Our friends at the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) have put together a helpful list that outlines when you should call Dr. Alan Kennell. Here are some early warning signs indicating it’s time to check in with us:

1. Early or late loss of baby teeth
2. Difficulty of chewing or biting
3. Mouth breathing
4. Finger sucking or other oral habits
5. Crowding, misplaced or blocked-out teeth
6. Jaws that shift, make sounds, protrude or retrude
7. Speech difficulty
8. Biting the cheek or biting into the roof of the mouth
9. Protruding teeth
10. Teeth that meet in an abnormal way or don’t meet at all
11. Facial imbalance or asymmetry
12. Grinding or clenching of teeth

Do any of these warning signs fit you or someone in your family? If so, give us a call as soon as possible!

Healthy Habits

September 11th, 2014

At Kennell Orthodontics, we know good dental health requires only a few minutes a day. We thought we’d provide some practical advice on how to improve your or your child’s smile between your adjustment visits with Dr. Alan Kennell.

Start by brushing your teeth twice a day. Proper brushing techniques are an essential part of maintaining good oral health during your orthodontic treatment, as well as preventing gum disease. More care and time are needed to adequately brush your teeth when you are wearing braces. Brushing daily helps remove decay-causing plaque from tooth surfaces. Please consult Dr. Kennell if you would like us to review brushing techniques with you or your child. The use of a mechanical toothbrush such as a Sonicare or Oral B can aid in removing plaque around braces. Flossing daily will also prevent plaque to build up between the teeth and prevent stains between your teeth. Research has shown the bacteria of gum disease has been linked to coronary artery disease, stroke, diabetes and memory loss. Lastly, we encourage you to throw away old toothbrushes and replace them every 2 or 3 months, or after an illness.

We hope this helps! If you have any further questions about any of these tips, please contact Kennell Orthodontics or ask your general dentist during your next scheduled visit! Or, ask us on Facebook!

Sports and Orthodontics

September 4th, 2014

It's back to school time, and that means it's time for school sports to start and a greater chance of kids damaging their precious mouths and pearly whites. If you play sports, it's important that you consult our office for special precautions, such as wearing a mouth guard. A protective mouth guard is advised for playing spring sports such as baseball, soccer, lacrosse and others. Be sure, however, to avoid mouth guards that custom form to your teeth as these will resist any tooth movements we are trying to achieve.

In case of any accident involving the face, check your mouth and the appliances immediately. If teeth are loosened or the appliances damaged, please schedule an appointment with the office. And don’t forget to ask us about how you can get a mouth guard for yourself.

Only by using a mouth guard and other forms of facial protection can kids with and without braces avoid serious sports injuries. Please give us a call if you have any questions about mouth guards or your treatment at our office.