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

Monday, December 3, 2018

Bite Checks

One of the most important parts of children’s bi-annual appointments is a bite check. At the Kidz Connextion Dental and Braces offices in Phoenix, we’re expanding the services we offer so that we can provide better treatment of patients in a setting they’re already comfortable with. The bite check lets us know whether a child might need orthodontic care or dental extractions and helps us to identify the cause of any discomfort they may be experiencing.

Children’s jaws are softer than those of adults, and the upper jaw does not fully fuse together until puberty. The wisdom teeth often do not erupt until near the end of adolescence. For this reason, children have a lot of misalignment issues that can be corrected much more easily than in adults. Misalignments may be due to the teeth being slightly tilted, twisted, or otherwise out of place, or it could be due to misshapen or mismatched jaw bones.

The digital x-ray machines in our offices allow us to closely monitor jaw and tooth placement without subjecting children to dangerous radiation or requiring them to hold film in their mouths. We’ll also examine their teeth at each appointment for unusual patterns of wear and make sure children are able to close their jaws together. It is usually possible by the time a child’s permanent molars start coming in around the age of seven to do an orthodontic assessment.

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


Thursday, November 29, 2018

Retained Baby Teeth

Losing baby teeth is usually an exciting milestone for children, but sometimes, teeth don’t fall out when they should. There are several reasons why baby teeth might stay past their time, but at Kidz Connextion Dental and Braces, we’ll figure out what’s going on and make a treatment plan.

As adult teeth erupt, they dissolve the roots of the baby teeth ahead of them. If all goes well, the baby teeth will fall out shortly before adult teeth move in to take their place. When the baby teeth remain in position, we call them “retained deciduous teeth.” This often happens when the adult teeth come in at an angle or in a different position from the baby teeth, leaving the child with two sets of the same teeth. This most commonly affects the lower incisors. In these cases, we would recommend extracting the baby teeth because it will be impossible to effectively brush them and they could cause bite problems.

Another common reason for baby teeth to remain in place is that there is no adult tooth coming in to push it out. This can happen for genetic reasons and is more common in girls. It would require more extensive treatments to correct, but it probably doesn’t mean the child’s health is in danger. Baby teeth might also have to be extracted if their roots are fused to the jaw bone and show no signs of weakening. But we don’t want to extract baby teeth when there is still a possibility a permanent tooth will push it out naturally, which is why it’s important for us to be able to do regular assessments.

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