Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Dr. Vardy wants to know: What are you doing for the holidays?


It's November, and believe it or not, it's almost holiday season! The holidays are a wonderful season for families to spend time with one another and give thanks for the blessings they have been given throughout the year.

Do you spread hope during the holidays? If so, how? We'd love to hear your stories from years past or your plans for the holidays this year. We invite you to stop by the office, give us a call or share your stories online.

We're also excited to share our holiday plans with you! Keep checking the blog and our social networks in the coming weeks for more information.

Have a great rest of the week!

--Dr. Vardy and the Vardy Orthodontics team

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Dr. Vardy shares a recent study about Xylitol




At Vardy Orthodontics we have known for some time that certain types of chewing gum, cough drops, toothpaste, mouthwash and candy have been found to help prevent tooth decay. Believe it or not, the sugar substitute “Xylitol” was found to be the culprit, helping to prevent bacteria growth that often contributes to cavities. This research was focused on permanent teeth.

But what about baby teeth? Dr. Vardy wants to share with you a study that found Xylitol in an oral syrup was found to have a significant effect on cavity prevention in children between 9-15 months of age.

Before using Xylitol products you should ALWAYS consult your dentist first!

Hope this helps! Give us a call if you have any questions!

--Dr. Vardy and the Vardy Orthodontics team

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Write a Review of Dr. Vardy or Vardy Orthodontics!



Whether you have visited Dr. Vardy for a week or for years, we'd love to hear your feedback about Vardy Orthodontics. Now with the Internet, it’s even easier to write your thoughts and share them with the world. We'd want to encourage you to write a review of us. It only takes a moment!

You can review Dr. Vardy or the staff here.

Thank you and have a great rest of the week.

--Dr. Vardy and staff

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Ghosts, Goblins, and a Ghoulish Halloween Recipe!

Trick-Or-Treat! October is National Orthodontic Health Month, and in honor of October’s sweet and spooky holiday, Halloween, the American Association of Orthodontists has provided trick-or-treaters with some tips and treats for a ghoulishly good time!

BOO! Spooky recipes for a “braces friendly” Halloween

Frightfully Fabulous Cupcake Sandwiches

Ingredients:
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 cup warm water
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup superfine sugar
2 cups cake flour, sifted
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 can of chocolate frosting or store-bought chocolate mousse
1 container of whipped topping

Assorted “braces-friendly” candy pieces such as chopped peanut butter cups, chocolate bars and melt-in-your-mouth candies.

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Fill a muffin tin with 12 cupcake liners and set aside.

Combine cocoa powder, water, and mix until smooth. Fold in mayonnaise. (Make sure cocoa mixture is not to hot to prevent breaking of mayonnaise). Add vanilla and whisk until smooth.

In mixer, combine sugar, cake flour, baking soda and salt and mix slowly until well incorporated. Add wet cocoa mixture, mix on medium-high until well blended. Scrape down the sides and blend for 30 seconds.

Fill the cupcake liners 3/4 way full of batter. Bake for 30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool on rack.

Slice each cupcake in half, horizontally, and serve the halves with chocolate mousse or frosting, whipped topping, and assorted candy pieces. Kids build the sandwiches by spreading one-half of a cupcake with mousse/frosting or whipped topping, sprinkling on candy pieces and placing the other half of cupcake on top.

Halloween Safety Tips

•Young children should always be accompanied by an adult
•Carry a flashlight
•Wear a light-colored or reflective costume
•Choose face paint over masks for young ghosts and goblins
•Have an adult inspect all treats before the children dig in

Also, be sure to visit our web site; and have a Happy National Orthodontic Health Month!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Preventing Gum Disease and Protecting your Teeth!



It is estimated that around 80 percent of American adults are currently diagnosed with some form of gum disease. Also known as, periodontal disease or periodontitis, gum disease starts with gum inflammation and can end with major damage to the bone and tissue holding the teeth in place, resulting in tooth loss and irreversible damage to the gums. Many doctors and researchers have also found gum disease to be the cause of several other health problems, including heart disease, diabetes, and complications for women during pregnancy. Gum disease is a serious dental health condition, and by understanding how gum disease is caused, what symptoms to look for, and how you can prevent it, you will be able to keep your smile healthy for many years to come.

What causes gum disease?

Your mouth is full of bacteria, and when the bacteria are left in your mouth, it can cause a sticky, colorless film over your tooth surface called plaque. Brushing your teeth regularly and flossing can help to remove much of the plaque build-up on your teeth; however, if you do not brush and floss regularly, the plaque on your teeth can harden and turn into tartar. Tartar cannot be removed by a toothbrush, only your dentist has the special tools needed to remove tartar from your tooth’s surface.

Eventually, if left untreated, the tartar and plaque on your teeth will cause gingivitis. Gingivitis is the early stage of gum disease and is usually curable if caught early enough. Signs of gingivitis include:

• Red, swollen gums
• Gums that bleed when you brush and floss
• Gums that pull away from your teeth
• Pockets between your teeth and gums where food gets caught
• Persistent bad breath

If you have gingivitis, and it is left untreated, you may end up with gum disease. Gum disease causes the gums to pull completely away from the teeth and form infected pockets. The bacteria in your mouth and on your teeth will start to break down the tissue and bone that supports your teeth and holds them in place. Gum disease that is left untreated will lead to the extraction or loss of teeth. Most people do not show signs of gingivitis and gum disease until they are in their 30s, 40s, or older. Certain risk factors can increase your chance of getting gum disease, including:

• Smoking
• Diabetes
• Stress
• Certain prescription medications
• Illness
• Genetics

How can I prevent gum disease?

You can help your chances of never getting gingivitis or gum disease simply by taking care of your teeth and gums on a regular basis. Here are some of the ways you can help keep your smile healthy:

• Brush your teeth at least twice a day using fluoride toothpaste approved by the ADA.
• Floss at least once every day to remove food stuck between your teeth and along the gum line.
• Visit your dentist for routine, general checkups and teeth cleaning every six months.
• Eat a well balanced diet, including fruits and vegetables.
• Stay away from using tobacco products of any kind.

Gingivitis and gum disease are both preventable and treatable. If you would like a list of recommended dental health care products, or have any questions about gingivitis, gum disease, and how to keep your teeth and gums healthy, please ask Dr. Vardy at your next appointment. Our practice is happy to answer any questions you may have, and provide you with accurate information to help you maintain the health of your smile in between office visits. If you think you may have any form of gingivitis or gum disease, please contact our practice at
(212) 579-6881 to schedule an appointment as soon as possible.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

National Dental Hygiene Month



Did you know that October is National Dental Hygiene Month? Fall is here, and Halloween is coming soon, but now it is more important than ever to maintain good oral hygiene.

All those sweet, sour and sticky candies may taste great, but these treats can damage your teeth and braces too! Did you know sour candies can be acidic to your teeth, and actually wear down the enamel that protects them? This can cause tooth decay and cavities! After eating these candies, be sure to wash your mouth out with water, drink milk or eat a few slices of cheese. These will help neutralize the acid in your mouth (wait at least one hour before brushing your teeth with toothpaste, as this can actually increase the effects of acid on your teeth)

Besides cavities and tooth decay, many people do not realize that good oral health and hygiene are important to your overall health too! Research is discovering the connection between periodontal disease and other major health concerns, such as heart disease! Therefore, it is important to maintain a good oral hygiene routine: see your dentist every six months, brush and floss daily and use an antibacterial mouthwash.

Make a resolution to improve your oral health for October, the National Dental Hygiene Month!

--Dr. Vardy

Friday, October 2, 2009

Imagining Your Life With Invisalign



Are you wondering what Invisalign treatment is really like, and what effect it will have on your day-to-day activities? Will it slur your speech? Will people know you're in treatment? You're not alone in your concerns! Following are a list of questions and answers for anyone pondering Invisalign treatment.

How exactly does Invisalign work?

Using 3-D computer imaging technology, Invisalign creates a series of custom-made, clear aligners exclusively for your teeth, based on the treatment plan that we specify for you. Each aligner moves teeth incrementally and is worn for about two weeks, then replaced by the next in the series until the final position is achieved.

Will I experience pain during treatment?

Most people experience temporary discomfort for a few days after a new aligner is placed. This feeling of pressure is normal and is a sign that Invisalign is working by sequentially moving your teeth to their final destination.

Can other people see that I'm in treatment?

One of the benefits of Invisalign is that the aligners are clear. You can straighten your teeth without anyone knowing.

Can I smoke during treatment?

We discourage smoking while wearing the aligners as they may become discolored.

Are there any foods I cannot eat while in treatment?


You can eat normally during the entire course of treatment. One of the advantages of Invisalign is that the aligners are removable. Simply take the aligners out before each meal, brush when you're finished eating, then reinsert the aligners afterward.

What about chewing gum?

We recommend removing your aligners for all meals and snacks, as gum and other chewy substances can stick to the aligners.

How often must I wear my aligners?

Aligners should be worn all day, except when eating, brushing, and flossing.

Will my speech be affected by the aligners?

As with any orthodontic treatment, aligners may temporarily affect your speech. If this does happen, your tongue will adjust within a day or two and your speech should return to normal.

How can I clean my aligners?

The best way to clean your aligners is by brushing and rinsing them in lukewarm water.

How often must I visit your office during treatment?

For most patients, visits every 4-6 weeks are frequent enough for us to determine that your treatment is progressing properly. Dr. Vardy will provide you with a specific schedule that supports your individual treatment plan.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Invisalign Tips



Many people know that Invisalign is a great solution to braces if you don't want to experience the look and feel of traditional metal braces. What few people know, though, is that just like traditional braces, Invisalign requires proper care to work effectively. Good oral hygiene is highly important, even when you are wearing something in your mouth that you can take out to eat with. It's still likely that your aligners can build up plaque if not treated properly. When wearing your Invialign aligners, ask yourself the following questions:

1.) Am I eating with my aligners on? - These aligners are removable and should be taken out when you eat.
2.) Am I drinking anything other than water with my aligners on? - Though it's not a necessity for you to take out your aligners while you drink, think about how sticky a soda is. If you take out your aligners when drinking a soda, you have a better chance of keeping your aligners clean.
3.) Am I brushing before putting the trays on? - The aligners have both an inside and outside. Keeping the outside clean is easy. Keeping the inside clean is also easy: just make sure you've brushed your teeth before putting the trays on.

These are all very simple steps, and ultimately, they help to keep you building good oral habits.
--Dr. Vardy

Friday, September 18, 2009

More About Orthodontics From Vardy Orthodontics


There are so many questions about orthodontics that we never ask, so Dr. Vardy took some time to explain the most common concerns.

At what age should orthodontic treatment occur?

Orthodontic treatment can be started at any age. Many orthodontic problems are easier to correct if detected at an early age before jaw growth has slowed. Early treatment may mean that a patient can avoid surgery and more serious complications. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that every child first visit an orthodontist by age seven or earlier if a problem is detected by parents, the family dentist or the child's physician.

What is Phase I and Phase II treatment?

Phase I, or early interceptive treatment, is limited orthodontic treatment (i.e. expander, Herbst, Facemask, headgear, or partial braces) before all of the permanent teeth have erupted. Such treatment can occur between the ages of six and ten. This treatment is sometimes recommended to make more space for developing teeth, correction of crossbites, overbites, underbites, or harmful oral habits. Phase II treatment is also called comprehensive treatment, because it involves full braces when all of the permanent teeth have erupted, usually between the ages of eleven and thirteen.

Would an adult patient benefit from orthodontics?

Absolutely!! Orthodontic treatment can be successful at any age. Everyone wants a beautiful and healthy smile. Between 30-40% of our patients are adults.

How does orthodontic treatment work?

Braces use steady gentle pressure to gradually move teeth into their proper positions. The brackets that are placed on your teeth and the arch wire that connects them are the main components. When the arch wire is placed into the brackets, it tries to return to its original shape. As it does so, it applies pressure to move your teeth to their new, more ideal positions.

How long does orthodontic treatment take?

Treatment times vary on a case-by-case basis, but the average time is from one to two years. Actual treatment time can be affected by rate of growth and severity of the correction necessary. Treatment length is also dependent upon patient compliance. Maintaining good oral hygiene and keeping regular appointments are important in keeping your treatment time on schedule.

Do braces hurt?

The placement of bands and brackets on your teeth does not hurt. Once your braces are placed and connected with the arch wires, you may feel some soreness of your teeth for one to four days. Your lips and cheeks may need one to two weeks to get used to the braces on your teeth.

Will braces interfere with playing sports?

No. It is recommended, however, that patients protect their smiles by wearing a mouth guard when participating in any sporting activity. Mouth guards are inexpensive, comfortable, and come in a variety of colors and patterns.

Will braces interfere with playing musical instruments?


No. However, there may be an initial period of adjustment. In addition, brace covers or wax can be provided to prevent discomfort.

Should I see my general dentist while I have braces?


Yes, you should continue to see your general dentist every six months for cleaning and dental checkups, or more frequently as recommended.

Got more questions? Give us a call at Vardy Orthodontics. We'd love to hear from you.

Friday, September 11, 2009

The Myths and Facts of Orthodontics



There are quite a few myths about orthodontists circulating around. Before you buy into those myths, you should get the facts! We came across a great site that helps set the record straight. Our friends at the American Association of Orthodontists have some excellent information on the myths and facts of orthodontists, check them out today!

Hope this helps,

--Vardy Orthodontics

Friday, September 4, 2009

Dr. Vardy is answering all your burning questions about mouthwash



While mouthwash is not an alternative to regular brushing and flossing, it can help keep your teeth and gums clean and healthy. There are several different types of mouthwashes available, and all of them will help do different things for your smile. The most common types of mouthwashes are:

• Fluoride - fluoride is the most used type of mouthwash available, and is used to strengthen the enamel of the teeth while preventing cavities and tooth decay.

• Antiseptic - an antiseptic mouthwash is used to kill bacteria and germs in the mouth. Most commonly used before and after a dental surgery, antiseptic mouthwashes can also help to fight gum disease, and halitosis (chronic bad breath). Antiseptic mouthwashes can affect your sense of taste and may stain the teeth, so it is recommended that you consult your dentist before using this type of mouthwash.

• Combination - a combination mouthwash is designed to help prevent tooth decay, freshen the breath, and maintain the health of your smile.

• Prescription - for patients with gum disease, or any signs of gum disease, you may need a prescription mouthwash. Prescription mouthwashes, like Peridex of PerioGard, are used to treat gingivitis, and other forms of decay.

There are also many different brands of mouthwash. Some common brands include:

• Scope
• Listerine
• Act
• Crest
• Tom’s of Maine (all-natural)
• Plax (anti-plaque rinse)
• Breath Rx
• Orajel
• Targon (special mouthwash made for smokers)
• Rembrandt (whitening mouthwash)


If you are curious about which kind of mouthwash would work best for you, be sure to ask Dr. Vardy at your next dental appointment. If you have a favorite mouthwash, let us know by posting a comment for others to read!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Moooooove over Gum Disease! Vardy Orthodontics



Is dairy a major part of your diet? If not, it should be! A recent study from the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) has found that regular consumption of dairy products, such as milk, cheese and yogurt, can lower your chances of contracting periodontal disease (also known as gum disease).

Gum disease is caused by a bacterial infection in the mouth that affects the gums and jaw. Gum disease results in a loss of teeth and bone, and has been connected to certain cases of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, respiratory disease and osteoporosis.

Results of the study show that adults who consume at least 55 grams of lactic acid a day are less at risk for gum disease. Eating dairy is not just healthy for building strong bones, but is essential for maintaining a strong, healthy mouth. Next time you reach for a quick snack, choose some cheese, or a glass of milk, and remember with each bite, and every sip you are preserving your teeth for a lifetime of smiles and good oral health!

For more information about keeping your teeth healthy, call us at
(212) 579-6881 or visit the Vardy Orthodontics website.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Softly Brushing Your Way to Clean Teeth, From Vardy Orthodontics



Just as there are so many different types of toothbrushes to choose from, each brush also has a different type of bristle! There are generally three different types of bristles; hard, medium, and soft. We always recommend that our patients, especially children and seniors, use a soft bristled toothbrush.

Using a hard and medium bristled brush can actually harm your teeth and gums by stripping the enamel from the teeth and irritating the gums so that they become red and sore, and can even cause gum recession. If you do use a hard or medium bristled brush as a personal preference, we recommend using an electric toothbrush.

Soft bristles are much gentler on your teeth and gums, and while patients of all ages are recommended to use soft bristled brushes, they are particularly great for children, seniors, patients recovering from a dental procedure, and patients wearing braces.

Soft bristles, and even extra-soft bristles are every bit as effective when it comes to cleaning your teeth; in fact, if you currently use a hard or medium bristled brush, try a soft bristled brush next time you buy a toothbrush and we bet you won’t even notice a difference!

--Dr. Iris Vardy

Friday, August 14, 2009

Vardy Orthodontics Around the Web



If you've ever visited us at Vardy Orthodontics, you already know that Dr. Vardy and the rest of the team love connecting with their patients. We love the ability to communicate with all of you online too! Besides our web site and our blog, Vardy Orthodontics is on many other networks too!

* Share a video with us, or watch one of ours on YouTube

* Become a "fan" of Vardy Orthodontics on Facebook

* View and comment on our photos on MySpace

See you around the web!

--Vardy Orthodontics

Friday, August 7, 2009

Summer Fun with Vardy Orthodontics!



Its summer here at Vardy Orthodontics, a season full of vacations, adventures and great memories. Whether you are headed to a barbeque, a camping trip, or just having fun in the sun, we want to hear about it! Leave a comment on our blog and tell us about your summer!

Happy Travels,

-From Vardy Orthodontics

Friday, July 31, 2009

Everybody’s Brushing with Dr. Vardy!

At Vardy Orthodontics, we agree with your dentist's advice: brush your teeth! Check out this fun video we found about brushing your teeth:



--Dr. Vardy

Friday, July 24, 2009

Taking Care of Your Toothbrush, from Dr. Vardy

You know your toothbrush is a vital tool for the proper care of your teeth – but do you know the best way to take care of your toothbrush? Following are some guidelines for toothbrush care from Vardy Orthodontics:



One toothbrush should have one owner.

If you share your toothbrush, you could also be sharing bodily fluids and bacteria, increasing your risk of infection.

Toothbrushes need privacy, too.

For the same reason, when storing brushes, make sure they are placed in such a way that they can't touch each other.

Give your toothbrush some space.

Keep your brush in a clean, well-ventilated spot and make sure it has time to dry in between uses. Keeping your toothbrush in a closed, moist space regularly can encourage the growth of germs.

Showering is good for your toothbrush.

Before and after each use, rinse your toothbrush under running water to eliminate excess toothpaste and other residue. Rub your fingers along the bristles – but only after washing your hands; no use substituting one set of germs for another. When you're finished, shake out the brush to accelerate drying.

Let your toothbrush indulge in a nice bath.

You may be able to reduce the amount of bacteria on your brush by soaking it in anti-bacterial mouthwash after each use.

Don't get too attached to your toothbrush.

Swap your old toothbrush for a new one at least as often as every three to four months. Keep an eye out for frayed bristles and replace sooner if necessary. The more worn the bristles, the less effective brushing is. Of course, if you've been sick with the flu, a cold, or a mouth infection, say goodbye to your toothbrush and move on to a new, germ-free one immediately.

Beware of too-good-to-be-true toothbrush-cleaning products.

Some products profess to being designed to "sanitize" your toothbrush. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), there is no conclusive evidence that these products provide any particular benefit to your health. The ADA also encourages consumers to be wary of products claiming to "sterilize" your toothbrush, as there is currently no data to support such claims.

Don't trust Aunt Minnie's toothbrush-cleaning advice.

Although they certainly mean well, and they're clearly creative, your friends and relatives with home-cooked ideas about cleaning toothbrushes may not be the safest sources of information. Dishwashers, microwaves, and boiling water are no substitute for simply buying a new brush – and in fact could damage your brush, rendering it less effective.

Remember – what's good for the toothbrush is good for the teeth!

--Dr. Vardy

Friday, July 17, 2009

Braces 101, with Dr. Vardy

Should you need to call Vardy Orthodontics in case you sustain any damage to your braces, we can help you more effectively if you can tell us exactly which piece is in trouble! Here’s a handy diagram and corresponding list of all the parts that make up your braces.



Elastic Tie: Tiny rubber band that fits around the bracket to hold the archwire in place.


Archwire: The main wire that acts as a track to guide the teeth along. It's changed periodically throughout treatment, as teeth move to their new positions.

Loop in Archwire: Frequently used for closing space left by an extraction. Many archwires don't have a loop.

Bracket: Small attachment that holds the archwire in place. Most often, a bracket is cemented directly onto the tooth's surface, eliminating the need for a band.

Headgear Tube: Round, hollow attachment on the back bands. The inner bow of the headgear fits into it.

Coil Spring: Fits between brackets and over archwire to open space between teeth.

Tie Wire: Fine wire that is twisted around the bracket to hold the archwire in place.

Band: A thin ring of metal fitted around a tooth and cemented in place. The band provides a way to attach the brackets to the tooth.

Hook: Welded or removable arm to which elastics (rubber bands) are attached.

Elastic (Rubber Band): Small rubber band that is hooked between different points on the appliance to provide pressure to move the teeth.

--Vardy Orthodontics

Friday, July 10, 2009

Patient Reviews

Dr. Vardy has been serving New York's orthodontic needs in the Upper West Side since 1993. Take a look at what a few of her patients have to say!




Dr. Vardy is nice, and is good at what she does. ~ Jeff B.

Expertise, knowledge, availability. ~ Peter S.

Dr. Vardy does a great job! ~ Sujin P.

Dr. Vardy is nice, and gets everything done!! ~ William D.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Bottled Water May Be Behind Tooth Troubles: Vardy Orthodontics Explains


We at Vardy Orthodontics want you to know that as more families turn to bottled water and away from the tap, they may be missing out on one important ingredient that most brands of bottled water fail to include: fluoride!

As of 2005, bottled water is second only to soft drinks as the most popular drink in the United States, beating out milk, juice, and – more significantly – tap water. Between 2001 and 2006, the amount of bottled water sold in the U.S. rose an average of 10% per year. And many dental health specialists point to bottled water’s increased popularity as the culprit behind rising rates of cavities.

Because fluoride helps strengthen teeth, it is an important component of maintaining good oral health. The benefits of fluoride were noticed in the early part of the twentieth century, when researchers found communities with low levels of tooth decay. It turned out that these towns had measurable levels (around 1 part per million) of fluoride in their drinking water.

Beginning in the 1940s, communities have fluoridated their water supplies, and dentists have seen a significant decline in cavities ever since. The American Dental Association endorses both community water fluoridation and the use of fluoride-containing products as a safe means of preventing tooth decay. Between tap water and toothpaste, most of us get sufficient amounts of fluoride.

But if your family avoids fluoridated tap water in favor of ever-more-popular bottled water, you could be missing out on the levels of fluoride necessary to make a difference in your oral health.

If bottled water is your water of choice, check the label to make sure that your brand contains fluoride. As of a 2006 decision, the FDA allows bottled water containing .6 to 1.0 milligrams per liter of fluoride to carry a label stating that fluoridated water may reduce the risk of dental cavities or tooth decay. The ADA has backed this decision.

Of course, simply drinking fluoridated water is not a magic ticket to perfect teeth. To keep your choppers in tip-top shape, it’s important to brush and floss daily and avoid sugary sweets, in addition to maintaining your fluoride intake and visiting us at Vardy Orthodontics regularly.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Cardiodontics: The Heart Mouth Connection from Vardy Orthodontics


If you have been told you have periodontal disease (also known as gum disease or periodontitis), you're not alone. An estimated 80 percent of American adults currently have some form of the disease! Periodontal diseases range from simple gum inflammation to serious disease that results in major damage to the soft tissue and bone that support the teeth. In the worst cases, teeth are lost.

Gum disease is a threat to your oral health. Research is also pointing to health effects of periodontal diseases that go well beyond your mouth. So we at Vardy Orthodontics want to let you know some interesting facts and ways to treat the disease.

What is Periodontal Disease?

"Perio" means around, and "dontal" refers to teeth. Periodontal disease is an infection of the structures around the teeth, including the gums and the bones that hold the teeth. The earliest stage of periodontal disease is gingivitis – an infection of the gums. In more severe forms of the disease, all of the tissues are involved, including the bone. Bacteria that live and reproduce on the teeth and gums cause periodontal disease.

Symptoms of Periodontal Disease

Symptoms may include the following:
--redness or bleeding of gums while brushing teeth or using dental floss
--halitosis, or bad breath
--gum recession, resulting in apparent lengthening of teeth
--"pockets" between the teeth and gums indicating that the bone which holds the teeth in the mouth is dissolving
--loose teeth
Gum inflammation and bone destruction are largely painless. Hence, people may wrongly assume that painless bleeding after teeth cleaning is insignificant, although this may be a symptom of progressing periodontitis. If your hands bled when you washed them, you would be concerned. Yet, many people think it's normal if their gums bleed when they brush or floss.

Periodontal Disease Affects Your Health

Periodontal disease is a putrid, festering infection of the mouth. Bacteria and inflammatory particles can enter the bloodstream through ulcerated and bleeding gums and travel to the heart and other organs. In recent years, gum disease has been linked to a number of health problems. Researchers are studying possible connections between gum disease and:
--Heart disease: Gum disease may increase the risk of heart disease. Gum disease also is believed to worsen existing heart disease.
--Stroke: Gum disease may increase the risk of the type of stroke caused by blocked arteries
--Diabetes: People with diabetes and periodontal disease may be more likely to have trouble controlling their blood sugar than diabetics with healthy gums.
--Premature births: A woman who has gum diseases during pregnancy may be more likely deliver her baby too early and the infant may be more likely to be of low birth weight.

Combating Periodontal Disease

--See your dentist! See your dentist every six months for a checkup! Regular professional cleanings and checkups make you feel good, look good, and could be a lifesaver!
--Brush and floss daily. Take your time and do it right!
--Use an anti-bacterial mouthwash. Daily use of an anti-bacterial mouthwash helps to disinfect the teeth and gums, and reduces the number of bacteria.
--Straighten your teeth. Crowded teeth are nearly impossible to keep clean. Orthodontic treatment can greatly reduce inflammation and periodontal disease.

--Vardy Orthodontics

Monday, June 22, 2009

How To Stay Young And Healthy from Vardy Orthodontics


Whether you’re 5 or 50, your health depends on your awareness of what’s good for you. But in a world filled with fad diets, blaring advertisements, and unintelligible ingredient lists, we at Vardy Orthodontics know it can be difficult to determine exactly what is good for you – and what’s not.

For straightforward guidance on how to live a long, healthy life, we recommend Brush Your Teeth! And Other Simple Ways to Stay Young and Healthy by Dr. David Ostreicher. The book sums up good health in six fundamental principles: hygiene, diet, attitude, exercise, sleep and personal safety.

Drawing on nearly three decades of experience as an orthodontist and professor of health and nutrition, Dr. Ostreicher definitively answers age-old debates, like the best way to prevent colds and flu (your mom was right: wash your hands). He provides straight talk on a variety of diet choices including salt, fats, carbs and organic food, and he documents the importance of regular sleep, stress reduction and positive thinking to your overall health. His suggestions throughout are simple, clear, and inexpensive.

Dr. Ostreicher advocates a back-to-basics, common-sense approach to staying young and healthy. We at Vardy Orthodontics couldn’t agree more, and we’d like to repeat the title of his book as our favorite piece of advice: don’t forget to Brush Your Teeth!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Oral Piercing: Is It Worth It? Vardy Orthodontics Explains


Piercing, like tattooing, is one of today’s popular forms of “body art” and self-expression. If you’re thinking about getting a piercing – or if you already have one or more – we at Vardy Orthodontics want to share some health risks you should know about.

Your mouth contains millions of bacteria, and infection is a common complication of oral piercing. Just touching your mouth jewelry (tongue barbells and lip and cheek labrettes) can lead to infection. Many people who have piercings tend to regularly touch them – which is a perfect opportunity for bacteria from hands to enter piercing sites. Also, food particles that collect around piercing sites can lead to infection.

Pain and swelling are other possible side effects of piercing. Your tongue – the most popular piercing site in the mouth – could swell large enough to close off your airway! Piercing also can cause uncontrollable bleeding or nerve damage. Damage to the tongue’s blood vessels can cause serious blood loss.

The hoop, ring, stud, and barbell-shaped jewelry can hinder your ability to talk and eat. Some people also develop a habit of biting or playing with their piercings – which can lead to cracked, scratched teeth; gum damage and recession; and sensitive teeth. There may also be a need for restorations, such as crowns or fillings, and additional dental treatment due to piercings.

Consider the potential pitfalls of piercing carefully before getting one. Keep in mind that it will be an added responsibility to your life, and will need regular upkeep. Make sure that you’re committed to the task of taking care of it for the full healing period and beyond.

If you have an oral piercing, pay special attention to it. Clean the piercing with antiseptic mouthwash after eating, and brush the jewelry when you brush your teeth. Of course, let us know at Vardy Orthodontics if you have any questions.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Parsley and Other Ways To Brighten Your Smile from Vardy Orthodontics


At Vardy Orthodontics we see lots of patients concerned about their bad breath. So we want to educate you about what you can do to really keep your chompers clean and breath minty fresh!

Naturally, good oral hygiene is the first set. With proper brushing and regular dental checkups you can keep bad breath (halitosis) in check.

Certain foods, medications, smoking, sinus issues, or even gum disease cause most bad breath. If the stink lingers for longer than 24 hours, you should see us at Vardy Orthodontics. It might be something more serious, like dehydration, zinc deficiency, diabetes, liver failure, kidney failure, or even certain kinds of cancers!

In the meantime, here are some home remedies to keep you smiling bright from Vardy Orthodontics.

--Spice Up Your Life

Snack on some cloves, fennel, or anise after each particularly odorous snack.
--Don’t forget the tongue
Lots of people brush their teeth regularly, but leave the tongue alone. One of the main causes of bad breath is food and plaque residue on the surface of your tongue. So give it a nice gentle brush-over too!
--Watch your drinking habits
The worst options are coffee, wine, whiskey, and beer.
--Frequent brushing
Carry a toothbrush with you so brushing after each meal is convenient and refreshing! Trust us, you’ll love the way it makes you feel. If you can’t brush, still swish around a couple sips of water to remove any lingering food.
--Make your own Gargle
Gargling with a home mixture of sage, calendula, and myrrh gum extracts four times a day should ward off that bad breath potential.
--Parsley’s there for a reason
Finish your parsley after you finish your dinner and you’ll find a refreshing breath enhancer. Hate the texture? Throw a couple sprigs in a blender to sip after each meal.
--Sugarless Gum
Always a good idea to carry some mints or sugarless gum for that quick spruce up before you meet the boss.
--Don’t cut that cheese
The stronger the cheese, the stinkier your breath can become. Think about blue cheese and Roquefort? They really get the party started in your mouth and it’s hard to make them leave!

Friday, May 22, 2009

A Sour Smile Is Not A Happy Smile -- Vardy Orthodontics


It’s no secret that sweet, sugary candies and drinks have an adverse effect of the health of your smile, but what about sour or tart candies? We at Vardy Orthodontics thought you might want to know what kind of an effect does eating or drinking something sour have on my smile?

Recent research from the Minnesota Dental Association suggests that the amount of acid in sour candies is enough to eat away at tooth enamel and cause cavities. Here are a few souring facts about sour candies, and some helpful tips on how to protect your teeth from Vardy Orthodontics (even if you cannot give up sour candies all together).

Facts

-Sour candies can be very acidic, and may actually burn the gums and cheeks, while weakening and wearing down the enamel on your teeth. (Check the acid levels in some of your favorite candies)

-It can take almost 20 minutes for the acid in sour candies to become neutral. Holding the acid in your mouth by sucking on sour hard candies or chewing sour gummies can keep the acid active for more than 20 minutes.

-The acid in sour candies can cause cavities and severe tooth decay.

Protect your teeth

-Limit the amount of sour candies that you eat on a daily basis, and if you do indulge, remember not to suck or chew on sour candies for long periods of time.

-After eating sour candies, rinse your mouth out with water, drink milk, or eat a couple slices of cheese. This will help neutralize the acid in your mouth (wait at least one hour before brushing your teeth with toothpaste, as this can actually increase the effects of acid on your teeth)

-If tooth erosion has already begun, ask your dentist about ways you can help reduce sensitivity and continue to protect your teeth.

Hope this helps! From Vardy Orthodontics.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Take Vardy Orthodontics' Fun Soda Pop Quiz


Vardy Orthodontics wants to know, where does all that soda pop go?

On average, the typical person consumes over 50 gallons of soda pop per year! The amount of acid and sugar found in a can of soda can cause serious tooth decay and lead to cavities, gum disease, and even tooth loss!

We at Vardy Orthodontics know that you don’t want to lose your teeth, so take the soda pop quiz, presented by the Minnesota Dental Association, and learn more about how to keep your smile healthy.

It’s a fun interactive quiz, so enjoy! From Vardy Orthodontics.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Understanding Cavities from Dr. Vardy


One word nobody wants to hear when they visit the dentist is Cavity! That’s right, the dreaded cavity; but what exactly is a cavity and how do they happen? A cavity is a hole that develops in a tooth when the tooth begins to decay. It’s important to get a cavity filled as soon as it’s detected so that it does not grow bigger.

So, what causes a cavity? A cavity is caused by plaque, a sticky substance that forms on the tooth as a result of germ and bacteria build-up. Plaque is acidic and as it clings to your teeth the acids eat away the outside of the tooth (also called the enamel) and a hole is formed.

Yes, cavities can be repaired by your dentist, but here are a few simple steps you can take to prevent cavities from Dr. Vardy:

--Brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste at least twice daily
--Gently brush your gums to keep them healthy (when choosing a toothbrush it is recommended to use soft bristles)
--Floss your teeth at least once a day to remove plaque and food that may be caught between the teeth where your toothbrush can’t reach
--Limit the amount of soda and sugary treats you eat/drink
--Be sure to visit your dentist every six months for a teeth cleaning and check-up

Friday, May 1, 2009

Marvelous Molasses Cookies for Everyone in Braces at Vardy Orthodontics


At Vardy Orthodontics we understand that it can be challenging to eat certain foods with braces. That is why we found The Braces Cookbook from Brenda and Pam Waterman. Their cookbook has tons of recipes that are delicious and easy to eat with braces. Check out this cookie recipe!

Marvelous Molasses Cookies

They smell wonderful even before baking, they melt in your mouth, and they never harden up. Yum – the best of gingerbread and ginger snaps in one!

--1 cup shortening
--1 cup brown sugar
--1 egg
--1/2 tsp salt
--1/2 cup molasses
--1/2 cup warm water
--1 tsp baking soda
--1 tsp cinnamon
--1/2 tsp ginger
--2 1/2 cups flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Baking time 11 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine shortening, brown sugar, egg, salt and molasses, using an electric mixer and beating until fluffy. Add cinnamon and ginger. In a small bowl or measuring cup, stir the baking soda into the warm water; add water mixture to the molasses mixture alternately with the flour until well blended.

Drop by tablespoons onto greased cookie sheets. Bake for 11 minutes at 350 degrees. Makes about four dozen. Store in a covered container.