Posts for tag: braces

By Wayne Cook, D.D.S.
May 12, 2020
Category: Oral Health
Tags: braces  

Good oral hygiene is particularly important when you wear braces. If you don't remove plaque under your wires, you're more likely to develop cavities or gum disease. Fortunately, it's easy to protect your teeth by both visiting your Marion, AR, dentist, Dr. Wayne Cook, for follow-up visits and making a few changes to your usual oral care routine.

How to Practice Good Oral Hygiene When You Wear Braces

Following the cleaning recommendations provided by your dentist will help you safeguard your smile. Although brushing and flossing definitely take a little longer when you wear braces, brushing and flossing thoroughly will help you avoid cavities and other dental issues. These daily tasks will help you maintain your oral health:

  • Rinse Your Mouth Often: Rinsing removes food debris that can become stuck in and under your wires/brackets.
  • Add Extra Brushing Sessions to Your Day: In addition to brushing your teeth in the morning and evening, you should brush after every meal. Use a soft-bristled brush and brush from the top down. Place the brush at a 45-degree angle against your teeth when you brush. Replace your toothbrush every three months or when the bristles begin to flatten out or appear worn.
  • Don't Forget to Floss: Flossing removes plaque and debris between teeth and also helps you access those hard-to-reach areas under brace wires. Flossing threaders and interdental brushes can make the job a little easier. If you find flossing difficult, consider using a water-powered flosser to wash away plaque and food particles.

If you have questions about oral hygiene, let your dentist know during your visits to our Marion dental office. Your dentist and his staff can advise you on oral hygiene techniques and offer tips that may make brushing and flossing easier.

Keep your smile healthy with regular visits to Dr. Cook! Call our office at (870) 739-8799 to schedule an appointment.

By Wayne Cook, D.D.S.
April 08, 2020
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: braces  

Properly aligned teeth are the key to a healthy, attractive smile. Braces, offered by your Marion, AR, dentist, Dr. Wayne Cook, can help you take advantage of the important oral and general health benefits orthodontic treatment provides.

What Braces from our Marion Office Can Do for Your Smile

Misaligned teeth aren't just unattractive but can interfere with your biting and speaking ability and may even increase your risk of developing certain diseases and conditions. Improving the alignment of your teeth can prevent these issues:

  • Poor Speech: Gaps between teeth or bite problems can affect your ability to speak clearly or pronounce certain sounds. Orthodontic treatment in Wayne corrects these problems and helps you improve your speech.
  • Difficulty Biting and Chewing: Your upper and lower teeth are designed to meet perfectly when you bite and chew. If they don't fit together properly, you may find it difficult to chew foods thoroughly. Your stomach has to work harder to digest food that hasn't been broken down completely by chewing. As a result, you may experience upset stomachs and other gastrointestinal issues.
  • Cavities: When your teeth are crooked and overlap, it may not be easy to completely remove plaque. The longer the clear, sticky substance remains on your teeth, the greater the chance that a cavity will form. Braces straighten your teeth, reducing your cavity risk.
  • Gum Disease: Plaque eventually turns into tartar, a hard substance that irritates the gums and can be a factor in gum disease. If you have gum disease, bacteria from the infection can travel to other parts of your body via your bloodstream, increasing your risk of heart disease, stroke, and other serious health conditions. Straightening your teeth can help you avoid these health issues.
  • Breathing Issues in Children: A narrow palate (roof of the mouth) can make it more difficult for your child to breathe. Palate issues may cause sleep apnea, change your child's facial characteristics or make clear speech more difficult. Wearing a palatal expander, an orthodontic device that gradually expands the palate, can be very helpful.

Could braces help you improve your smile? Call your dentist in Marion, AR, Dr. Cook, at (870) 739-8799 to schedule an appointment.

By Wayne Cook, D.D.S.
June 08, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures

Sometimes, looking at old pictures can really bring memories back to life. Just ask Stefani Germanotta—the pop diva better known as Lady Gaga. In one scene from the recent documentary Five Foot Two, as family members sort through headshots from her teen years, her father proclaims: "Here, this proves she had braces!"

"If I had kept that gap, then I would have even more problems with Madonna," Lady Gaga replies, referencing an ongoing feud between the two musical celebrities.

The photos of Gaga's teenage smile reveal that the singer of hits like "Born This Way" once had a noticeable gap (which dentists call a diastema) between her front teeth. This condition is common in children, but often becomes less conspicuous with age. It isn't necessarily a problem: Lots of well-known people have extra space in their smiles, including ex-football player and TV host Michael Strahan, actress Anna Paquin…and fellow pop superstar Madonna. It hasn't hurt any of their careers.

Yet others would prefer a smile without the gap. Fortunately, diastema in children is generally not difficult to fix. One of the easiest ways to do so is with traditional braces or clear aligners. These orthodontic appliances, usually worn for a period of months, can actually move the teeth into positions that look more pleasing in the smile and function better in the bite. For many people, orthodontic treatment is a part of their emergence from adolescence into adulthood.

Braces and aligners, along with other specialized orthodontic appliances, can also remedy many bite problems besides diastema. They can correct misaligned teeth and spacing irregularities, fix overbites and underbites, and take care of numerous other types of malocclusions (bite problems).

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that kids get screened for orthodontic problems at age 7. Even if an issue is found, most won't get treatment at this age—but in some instances, it's possible that early intervention can save a great deal of time, money and effort later. For example, while the jaw is still developing, its growth can be guided with special appliances that can make future orthodontic treatment go quicker and easier.

Yet orthodontics isn't just for children—adults can wear braces too! As long as teeth and gums are healthy, there's no upper age limit on orthodontic treatment. Instead of traditional silver braces, many adults choose tooth-colored braces or clear aligners to complement their more professional appearance.

So if your child is at the age where screening is recommended—or if you're unhappy with your own smile—ask us whether orthodontics could help. But if you get into a rivalry with Madonna…you're on your own.

If you have questions about orthodontic treatment, please contact our office or schedule a consultation. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “The Magic of Orthodontics” and “Orthodontics For The Older Adult.”


Mayim Bialik has spent a good part of her life in front of TV cameras: first as the child star of the hit comedy series Blossom, and more recently as Sheldon Cooper’s love interest — a nerdy neuroscientist — on The Big Bang Theory. (In between, she actually earned a PhD in neuroscience from UCLA…but that’s another story.) As a child, Bialik had a serious overbite — but with all her time on camera, braces were just not an option.

“I never had braces,” she recently told Dear Doctor – Dentistry & Oral Health magazine. “I was on TV at the time, and there weren’t a lot of creative solutions for kids who were on TV.” Instead, her orthodontist managed to straighten her teeth using retainers and headgear worn only at night.

Today, there are several virtually invisible options available to fix orthodontic issues — and you don’t have to be a child star to take advantage of them. In fact, both children and adults can benefit from these unobtrusive appliances.

Tooth colored braces are just like traditional metal braces, with one big difference: The brackets attached to teeth are made from a ceramic material that blends in with the natural color of teeth. All that’s visible is the thin archwire that runs horizontally across the teeth — and from a distance it’s hard to notice. Celebs like Tom Cruise and Faith Hill opted for this type of appliance.

Clear aligners are custom-made plastic trays that fit over the teeth. Each one, worn for about two weeks, moves the teeth just a bit; after several months, you’ll see a big change for the better in your smile. Best of all, clear aligners are virtually impossible to notice while you’re wearing them — which you’ll need to do for 22 hours each day. But you can remove them to eat, or for special occasions. Zac Efron and Katherine Heigl, among others, chose to wear clear aligners.

Lingual braces really are invisible. That’s because they go behind your teeth (on the tongue side), where they can’t be seen; otherwise they are similar to traditional metal braces. Lingual braces are placed on teeth differently, and wearing them often takes some getting used to at first. But those trade-offs are worth it for plenty of people. Which celebs wore lingual braces? Rumor has it that the list includes some top models, a well-known pop singer, and at least one British royal.

So what’s the best way to straighten your teeth and keep the orthodontic appliances unnoticeable? Just ask us! We’d be happy to help you choose the option that’s just right for you. You’ll get an individualized evaluation, a solution that fits your lifestyle — and a great-looking smile!

For more information about hard-to-see (or truly invisible) orthodontics, please contact our office or schedule a consultation. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Orthodontics for the Older Adult” and “Clear Aligners for Teenagers.”

By Wayne Cook, D.D.S.
September 19, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: braces   orthodontics  

Wondering whether you or your child could benefit from orthodontic treatment?braces

When children’s permanent teeth start to come in it can be obvious whether they need braces or not. Of course, it isn’t always that easy to tell. This is why it’s a great idea to visit our Marion, AR, family dentist, Dr. Wayne Cook, for an orthodontic assessment.

So, when is the best age to visit our Marion dentist to find out if braces are the best option for your child? There is no perfect age, but if you are bringing them in for routine cleanings and exams every six months then we can often determine whether they should get braces early on when baby teeth are still present or whether braces may be a better option once permanent teeth have fully erupted.

Of course, here are some of the telltale signs that your child may need braces:

  • Baby teeth that fall out too early or too late
  • Teeth or jaws that do not properly align
  • Crooked, twisted or protruding teeth
  • Crowding or gaps between teeth

Most of these issues are genetic, which means that there is nothing you can do to prevent these misalignments and other dental problems from happening. Of course, there are certain factors such as thumb sucking, injuries or a poor diet that can also contribute to these problems.

What is the most common age to get braces?

This will really depend on the issues we need to address as well as other factors but it’s common for children between the ages of 8 to 14 to have braces. Of course, this doesn’t mean that anyone over the age of 14 can’t benefit from getting braces.

On the contrary, more and more adults are turning to braces to get their smiles back and you could, too. There are many new orthodontic treatments out there that offer adults a way to get a straighter smile later in life. No one is ever too old for braces.

It never hurts to sit down and discuss your orthodontic treatment options here in Marion, AR. Whether you think your child could benefit from braces or you want to find out about adult orthodontic options, we are here to serve you. Call us today to learn more!

Marion, AR Family Dentist
Wayne Cook, D.D.S.
303 Bancario Rd.Suite 7
Marion, AR 72364
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