Dr. Cynthia Wong

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Mouth Sores and Orthodontics

Braces have improved a lot over the years, but traditional metal braces still have the ability to cause discomfort. When a dental appliance such as traditional braces, or even Invisalign, rubs against the cheek, mouth sores may occur. Dr. Cynthia Wong may recommend orthodontic wax to relieve irritation, but she can discuss treatment options with you if they become persistent.

Mouth sores can be quite painful, especially when talking or eating your food. To minimize the pain, you should always avoid spicy foods and foods with sharp edges such as chips, or crackers. If you have a loose orthodontic wire or a denture that doesn’t fit, you should contact Dr. Wong immediately to discuss your treatment options. Depending on the cause, Dr. Wong will adjust, reposition, or reattach existing wires or brackets. To ease the discomfort of your mouth sores before your appointment, you may want to take over-the-counter pain medication such as Tylenol or Advil or apply an over-the-counter topical anesthetic to numb the area.

If you suffer from persistent mouth sores, please give us a call to discuss your treatment options. To learn about the services we provide at our practice, visit www.drcynthiawong.com for more information. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Cynthia Wong Orthodontics in Orland Park, IL, call 708-444-8341.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Why Our Teeth Can't Fit in Our Mouths

The human body is far from perfect, but people may justifiably be perplexed as to why so many of us require orthodontic work and wisdom teeth extraction. Why would nature cause us to have such overcrowded and misaligned teeth? Well, the short answer is, it didn’t. A number of studies in recent years, including one published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in 2011 and one in Plos One in 2015, found that an agricultural lifestyle has caused modern people to have underdeveloped jaw bones which aren’t big enough for our teeth.

The earlier study established that people in agricultural societies tend to have more malocclusions than non-agricultural people. This is widely believed to be because a diet of soft foods, such as grains, during childhood causes people to not develop as large jaws, but tooth size remains controlled by genetics. The second study found that people in agricultural societies not only have smaller jaws, but differently shaped ones from hunter-gatherers and pastoralists, and that the change occurred piecemeal throughout the world as different civilizations adopted agriculture. Agricultural peoples’ jaws are shorter in length and depth, resulting in overcrowding and incomplete eruptions.

So it seems that a dependence on orthodontics is the trade-off for reliable food.

Cynthia Wong, DMD, operates at 15614 S Harlem #B, Orland Park, Illinois, 60462. To contact her office, call 708-444-8341 or visit DrCynthiaWong.com and send a message.


Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Types of Teeth

At Dr. Cynthia Wong’s Orland Park office, we often educate patients about why their misaligned teeth are causing them problems. Therefore, we thought we’d offer this run-down of the types and purposes of teeth.

Adults naturally have thirty-two teeth, with sixteen in each jaw. Per jaw, there are two pairs of incisors, one pair of canines, two pairs of premolars, and three pairs of molars. The backmost molars are called wisdom teeth, but they are functionally the same as the other molars.

Incisors are the front teeth and are used to tear food and form most consonants. They are further divided into central and lateral incisors. Canines are the pointy teeth next to the incisors which are used for piercing food. They often have difficulty erupting from the gum line, which is why orthodontic devices are used to guide them into place.

Premolars and molars are used for chewing. Their surfaces are made up of indentations in between cusps. Some premolars and molars, especially the wisdom teeth, are often removed so that they will not cause overcrowding. Orthodontists place brackets on the back molars to secure the arch wires which bind all the other teeth.

Cynthia Wong, DMD, operates at 15614 S Harlem #B, Orland Park, Illinois, 60462. To contact her office, call 708-444-8341 or visit DrCynthiaWong.com and send a message.


Thursday, March 2, 2017

Orthodontics for Cerebral Palsy Patients

A long-standing problem in orthodontics was that people with cerebral palsy were among those who would most benefit from malocclusion correction but were not considered good candidates for traditional braces. However, the rise of invisible aligners, such as Invisalign, has made it much easier to provide care for these patients.

People with cerebral palsy commonly suffer from misalignment problems which cause them to produce too much saliva, not be able to chew safely, and sometimes even prevent them from closing their mouths. As with other patients, tooth overcrowding also makes oral hygiene difficult. Traditional braces require even greater attention to oral hygiene, which people with cerebral palsy often cannot do for themselves and which caregivers may struggle with.

However, overcrowding is one of the problems which Invisalign is best suited for. The removable aligners make oral hygiene much easier and are generally considered much more comfortable and less prone to accidents. Invisalign cannot be used to correct the most severe cases of malocclusion, but if a child with cerebral palsy begins a treatment plan at a young enough age, a great deal of dental stress for patient and caregiver may be avoided in the future.

Cynthia Wong, DMD, operates at 15614 S Harlem #B, Orland Park, Illinois, 60462. To contact her office, call 708-444-8341 or visit DrCynthiaWong.com and send a message.