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.