Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Pacifiers and Tooth Development

Kidz Connextion dentists are often asked by parents about weaning their small child off a pacifier.  Infants are soothed to a sense of security by pacifiers, but when the time comes it is one of the hardest habits to break.  It can require a great deal of persuasion, but because of the effect they can have on the growth and development of the teeth and mouth, children should stop using pacifiers by the age of two. 

Prolonged pacifier use can cause changes in the shape of the roof of the mouth, prevent proper growth of the mouth, and create problems with tooth alignment.  Narrowing of the roof of the mouth and misalignment of the jaws can also occur.  Using a pacifier too long can also lead to a variety of complications including tilting in of the bottom teeth, and slanting in of the top and front teeth. Until the age of two, any alignment problem with the teeth or developing bone is usually corrected within six months after pacifier use has stopped.  We can help and support parents having any trouble weaning their child off a pacifier before that age.

Kidz Connextion Dental & Braces maintains offices around Phoenix.  To find out more, visit our website at

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Removing Braces

Now that Kidz Connextion in Phoenix offers orthodontic services, we thought our patients would enjoy learning more about what they have to look forward to after finishing major steps of their treatment. Removing braces is generally an easy process, but patients should still feel prepared for it.

We heavily emphasize to patients the importance of protecting their orthodontic brackets. They can be knocked loose by contact sports or misshapen by sticky foods such as toffee. Because of this, you may not be surprised to learn that the dental cement used to attach brackets to enamel is designed to be removable. Following the removal of elastics and wires, the dentist will compress the bracket with a plier. The deformity in the bracket will cause the dental cement to snap away from it, allowing the bracket to be lifted out.

We’ll use flat-tipped pliers to leverage out the metal bands surrounding the molars. Both methods of removing brackets are meant to prevent us from needing to pull on a patient’s enamel, although they will still feel pressure as we remove the molar brackets. Once all the metal is removed, we’ll scrape away the remaining cement. An impression of the patient’s mouth can then be taken and used to shape a retainer. The patient should be able to eat normally again by the end of the day.

Kidz Connextion Dental and Braces maintains offices around Phoenix. To find out more, visit our website at Kidz Connextion.

Friday, January 11, 2019

Causes of Gap Teeth

A gap between the front teeth may not be the most uncomfortable misalignment, but it can make people self-conscious and cause them to whistle as they speak. At Kidz Connextion in Phoenix, we provide orthodontic therapy to correct gaps (also known as diastema), but it’s important to understand their various causes since they can determine which treatment is most appropriate.

If the misalignments are only cosmetic, they may be fixable using non-invasive orthodontic means such as invisible aligners. But a gap between the top front teeth, like an overbite, may be related to behavior. Thumb sucking and tongue thrusting can result in both kinds of misalignments and will have to be corrected for orthodontic therapy to last. Tongue thrusting is sometimes done involuntarily while swallowing and help from an ear-nose-and-throat doctor may be required to fix it.

It is also possible that there is a growth on the inside of the mouth that is pushing the teeth apart. This could simply be an overly large labial frenum, which is the connective tissue between the upper lip and the upper jaw. An oral surgeon could cut away a small amount of it so the teeth will have room to move together. Children’s teeth wouldn’t usually have problems such as staining or cracks, but we can provide new crowns if there is a major problem and crowns can be guided with braces.

Kidz Connextion Dental Care maintains offices around Phoenix. To find out more, visit our website at Kidz Connextion.


Thursday, December 27, 2018

Caring For Your Retainer

Many orthodontic patients require a retainer at the end of orthodontic treatment.  Removable retainers are an easy step to take to preserve a straight smile. Kidz Connextion provides retainers for patients, and caring for your retainer properly is important so that it functions and lasts as long as possible.  A silly but common mistake people make with their retainers is trying to cut corners -- don’t try to clean or brush your retainer while it’s still in your mouth!  You can’t quickly scrub your retainer while brushing your teeth -- the retainer cannot be completely cleaned of debris this way, and toothpaste can also be abrasive to the plastic of the retainer.  Always remove your retainer before cleaning thoroughly with water and your toothbrush, and use a mild dish or hand soap to help clean off debris, never abrasive toothpaste.

You should clean your retainer daily, and also treat it weekly by soaking.  Soaking helps maintain the cleanliness of the retainer and keep it from drying out.  To soak the retainer, dissolve denture cleaning tablets in water or add a little baking soda to water to make a solution.  Storing your retainer properly is also important for its longevity.  Get in the habit of always using and carrying a case.  Too retainers have disappeared after being folded up in napkins!

Kidz Connextion Dental Care maintains offices around Phoenix.  To find out more, visit our website at

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Water Flossing with Orthodontics

A little floss goes a long way when it comes to oral health.  Flossing is an important step to remove food particles that have been left behind after brushing. Flossing can significantly reduce periodontal disease and cavity-causing causing bacteria that leads to tooth decay, but sometimes the act of flossing is difficult for a patient with orthodontics. If you have trouble adjusting to flossing with your new braces, Kidz Connextion dentists may suggest using a water flosser for those hard to reach places!

A safe, easy, and effective way to remove plaque around dental braces is to use a water flosser. A water flosser is a handheld device that sprays streams of water in steady pulses. Not only is this beneficial to patients with traditional braces, water flossers are also an option for people who have trouble controlling traditional floss by hand. You should never get by on flossing alone. It’s important to brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss at least once a day to reap the maximum benefits of a healthy mouth.

Kidz Connextion Dental Care maintains offices around Phoenix.  To find out more, visit our website at

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Drink More Water in 2019

Drinking water is important for your health at all ages and is something simple families can pledge to do together in the New Year.  Kidz Connextion dentists know that plenty of adult patients are guilty of not drinking enough water, so it can be tough to monitor if kids are getting enough too.  We want to encourage you and the kids in your family to stay hydrated and healthy, and drinking more water is a simple resolution that has more benefits for your teeth than you realize!

We all know kids love drinking juice and soda, but we forget that these beverages leave unwanted sugar behind on the teeth.  The type of bacteria that causes cavities feeds on sugar, and produces acid that wears away enamel. Enamel is not replaceable, so it’s important to take care of it even from a young age.  When kids drink juice or soda, it is helpful just to drink some water afterwards to dilute acids and wash away food particles and residue. You and your children should be drinking at least eight 8oz glasses of water each day.  Drinking tap water with fluoride is important to help prevent cavities.  If you want to keep your mouths and bodies healthy, come see us to discuss tips that can help your whole family drink more water in 2019!

Kidz Connextion Dental Care maintains offices around Phoenix.  To find out more, visit our website at

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Have You Had a Cleaning This Year?

Dentists at Kidz Connextion encourage all our patients to maintain a great oral health routine at home, but it is still important to come into the office for regular professional cleanings.  During the holidays, we want everyone looking forward to the New Year and maintaining great oral hygiene!  However much you brush and floss, some harmful bacteria grow in your mouth that cause gum disease and can only be removed by a dental professional. 

It’s important to see a professional regularly not just to clean your teeth, but also to locate and monitor areas in the mouth that may need special attention, and a dentist can tell you if you may be missing a spot or skipping an important step in your regular oral care routine.  During a teeth cleaning, a hygienist thoroughly clean the area above and below the gum line with scaling tools to rid them of plaque and tartar. After the surfaces of the teeth are cleaned, the hygienist flosses between every one of your teeth and may apply fluoride if recommended by the dentist. Come see us for a cleaning to make a great impression during the holidays, and start the year off with your best smile!

To learn more about dental health and all the services provided at the practice, visit our website at