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How to Treat Sleep Apnea in Children

September 13, 2017

How to Treat Sleep Apnea in ChildrenMost people don’t associate teeth with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADHD). However, a 2012 study revealed that many children who are diagnosed with ADHD don’t really have the condition. Rather, their behavioral problems are actually due to sleep-related breathing disorders (SRBD), such as sleep apnea. The study, published by the journal Pediatrics, followed more than 11,000 children for six years, beginning from when they were 6 months old. The children who had SRBD were 40 to100 percent more likely than those without breathing issues to develop behavioral problems resembling ADHD by the age of 7. It makes sense, then, to consider whether interrupted sleep might be the primary issue at work. A well-rested individual, young or old, can function much better on a good night’s sleep. But a lack of rest affects different people in different ways. Sleepy adults tend to act sluggishly, while sleep-deprived children are more likely to become hyperactive, uncooperative, and unable to focus – just like kids with ADHD.

How Can I Identify Sleep Apnea?

Sleep-related breathing disorders, including sleep apnea, are c

Posted in Blog
September 5, 2017

The dedicated orthodontists of Great River Orthodontics provide a wide range of high quality orthodontic services to patients of all ages in our friendly and comfortable La Crosse, Holmen, West Salem, and Onalaska office environments. Corrective jaw surgery or orthognathic surgery, is one of the many services we offer. During this procedure, the jaws are moved into more optimal positions for function, resulting in a healthier bite and more attractive smile. Because moving the jaws also moves the teeth, this surgery is usually performed in conjunction with orthodontic treatment to ensure the teeth are properly positioned after surgery. People who’ve undergone jaw surgery enjoy many benefits, including an improved ability to chew, speak, and breathe. This surgery can also dramatically enhance your facial appearance.

Who May Need Jaw Surgery?

While your orthodontist can correct many teeth and bite problems, more extreme issues related to the alignment of the jaws may require corrective jaw surgery to remedy. Serious jaw misalignment problems can come about through injury or congenital defects. Most commonly, though, misalignment results from the upper and lower jaws growing at different rates. If y

Posted in Blog
August 5, 2017

At Great River Orthodontics, we are passionate about helping our patients achieve healthy, beautiful smiles. As part of this commitment, we’re constantly working to make orthodontic treatment more convenient and more effective for our patients. While traditional metal braces are still a popular form of treatment we offer at our La Crosse, Holmen, West Salem, and Onalaska, WI offices, there’s a revolutionary alternative that’s helping people achieve a beautiful smile without the need for metalwork: Invisalign!

A Clear Way to a Beautiful Smile

Invisalign is a revolutionary alternative to braces that does away with metal wires, brackets, and bands. Invisalign relies on a series of clear, removable plastic trays that fit directly onto the dental arch to straighten teeth. These trays are called aligners, and they carry a number of advantages over traditional metal braces:

  • Virtually Invisible: Invisalign aligners are made from a see-through plastic material, so they’re virtually invisible when worn. This means no one has to know you’re straightening your teeth, and you don’t have to worry about br

Posted in Blog
June 7, 2017

Periodontal disease—more commonly known as gum disease—ranges from simple gum inflammation to serious disease symptoms that result in major damage to the soft tissue and bone that support your teeth. People usually don’t show signs of gum disease until they are in their 30s or 40s. Men are more likely to have gum disease than women. Although teenagers rarely develop periodontal disease, they can develop gingivitis, the milder form of gum disease. Some of the warning signs of gum disease, include:

  • Bad breath that won’t go away
  • Red or swollen gums
  • Tender or bleeding gums
  • Painful chewing, loose teeth, sensitive teeth
  • Receding gums or longer appearing teeth

Causes of Gum Disease

In most cases gum disease develops when enough plaque builds up along and under the gum line. How does this happen? Our mouths are full of bacteria. These bacteria, along with mucus and other particles, constantly form a sticky, colorless plaque on teeth. Brushing and flossing helps get rid of plaque. Plaque that is not removed can harden and form tartar.

Stages of Gum Disease

  • Gingivitis: The longer plaque and tartar are on teeth, the greater chance the bacteria have to inflame the gums. With gingivitis, the gums become red, swollen, and

Posted in Blog
May 4, 2017

Orthodontists and dentists alike stress the importance of protecting teeth from the internal harm of decay and disease. However, it is just as important to protect your teeth from external force and trauma—everything from teeth grinding to obtaining an injury during a sporting event. For best protective measures in these types of situations, your trusted La Crosse, Holmen, West Salem, and Onalaska orthodontists recommend the use of mouthguards.

About Mouthguards

Mouthguards protect the teeth, jaw, and the soft tissues of the tongue, lips, and cheek lining.

Types of Mouthguards

Mouthguards can be classified into two main categories:

  • Sports Mouthguards – used to protect the jaw and teeth during physical activity and sports such as football, basketball, hockey, boxing, karate, or any other activity where you may be hit in the mouth.
  • Nightguards – used by patients who grind or clench their teeth at night; these nocturnal mouthguards protect the teeth and bite during your sleep.

Sports Mouthguards

Whenever you engage in intensive, potentially dangerous physical activity, it is important that you wear the right protection. For football players that means a helmet. For soccer players that means shin guards. For skateboarders that means elbow pads. But for all these activities, and many others, the quintessential protective

Posted in Blog
April 25, 2017

Just because your child won’t keep his or her first set of teeth forever, doesn’t mean those tiny pearly whites don’t need conscientious care. Primary teeth (baby teeth) serve some extremely important functions. As your La Crosse, Holmen, West Salem, and Onalaska, WI orthodontics team, we believe maintaining your child’s dental health from an early age will lead to health benefits that last throughout adulthood.

The Importance of Baby Teeth

Primary teeth act as guides for the eruption of permanent teeth (adult teeth). They hold the space where new teeth will erupt as the crowns (tops) of permanent teeth push against the roots of baby teeth, causing them to resorb or melt away. As a result, the adult teeth are able to take their proper place. For about the first six years, your child will rely on primary teeth to perform important functions like biting, chewing, and speaking. Until around age 12, your child will use a mix of primary and permanent teeth to accomplish the same tasks. You will want to make sure all those teeth stay healthy and are lost naturally when the time is right.

Tooth Eruption

Teeth actually start forming before birth. As early as four months of age, these primary (baby) teeth push through the gums—starting with the lower central incisors then the upper central incisors. The remaining 20 primary teeth typically erupt by age three. Permane

Posted in Blog
March 14, 2017

We all know that a healthy, balanced diet is critical to overall health; but did you know that diet has a huge impact on teeth? You may not realize it, but certain foods can contribute to developing tooth decay, cavities, and gum disease, while others can reinforce the integrity of your teeth and help you maintain a beautiful, healthy smile. To help guide your daily nutrition decisions, here is little info about a few foods that are good for your teeth and why.

High Water, Crunchy Foods

(Celery, Apples, Carrots) Crunchy foods with high water content help your teeth in two ways. First, chewing them makes your mouth produce more saliva, which naturally cleans and strengthens teeth. Second, because they’re crunchy, these foods act as a natural abrasive agent, helping to scrape off food particles and gently scrub the surface of your teeth, getting your smile cleaner.

High Antioxidant Foods

(Nuts, Berries, Other Fruits & Vegetables) Antioxidants are virtual cure-all health elixirs, but there’s one function that makes them perfect for healthy gums: they act as anti-inflammatory agents. Inflammation is one of the major contributing factors to early-stage gum disease, so a diet high in antioxidants is great for helping keep gums healthy.

Low-Fat Cheese

Cheese contains calcium, which is great for your teeth. It also helps lower the acidity of your mouth, w

Posted in Blog
February 5, 2017

At Great River Orthodontics, we work hard to provide high-quality orthodontic care to families across the La Crosse, Holmen, West Salem, and Onalaska areas. Our orthodontists and their highly-trained staff want to make every patient feel at home in our offices. We have years of experience working with patients of all ages and with every kind of orthodontic need. Our mission is to help people develop beautiful, healthy smiles—and that means taking an active stance on tooth decay prevention.

What Causes Tooth Decay?

Your mouth is a dynamically balanced ecosystem filled with living bacteria—both the good and bad kind. While many types of bacteria benefit your teeth and mouth, others break down the sugars and carbohydrates in food and turn them into acids that eat away at tooth enamel and cause decay. What dental professionals want is to keep those harmful bacteria in check, allowing the beneficial bacteria and other biological factors like saliva to strengthen and clean your teeth.

A Common, But Preventable Problem

Tooth decay is one of the most common human diseases, second only to the common cold! Today it affects more than 25% of children between the ages of two and five in the United States, as well as 50% of children between the ages of twelve and fifteen. Without effective treatment tooth decay can lead to pain, tooth loss, and sometimes even worse illn

Posted in Blog
January 11, 2017

Everybody gets dry mouth now and then. Sometimes temporary mouth dryness can be brought on by dehydration, stress, or a normal reduction in saliva flow at night. However, if your dry mouth persists long past the norm, you may have a chronic condition known as xerostomia.

What is Xerostomia?

Xerostomia is a condition that develops when your salivary glands, which normally keep your mouth moist by secreting saliva, are not working properly. A prolonged lack of saliva has significant implications. First, it causes bad breath or halitosis. Second, it can be harder to eat with a dry mouth. Tasting, chewing, and swallowing may also become difficult. As a result, your nutrition could be negatively impacted. And third, a dry mouth creates ideal conditions for tooth decay to grow. This is harmful to your dental health. Saliva plays a key role in keeping decay-causing oral bacteria in check and neutralizing the acids these bacteria produce. It is this acid that erodes tooth enamel and starts the decaying process.

Possible Causes

There are several possible causes for xerostomia, including:

  • Medications — Medications are responsible for a major amount of dry mouth cases. According to the U.S. Surgeon General, there are more than 500 medications (both prescription and over-the-counter) that cause dry mouth. The medications with the highest correl

Posted in Blog
December 14, 2016

This holiday season don’t scare away people under the mistletoe with a bad case of bad breath. Learn the truth behind halitosis today, and better prepare yourself for a sweet smelling, orally healthy tomorrow.

The Basics of Bad Breath

After food has been broken down in your mouth and swallowed, eventually the particles are digested and absorbed into your bloodstream. Once done, the particles will inevitably make their way into your lungs where their odor mixes with the air that you put out each time you breathe. The odor will then stick with you until those foods have been completely passed from your body.

Less Brush Equals Worse Breath

Bad breath (medically referred to as halitosis) can often be the result of an inadequate oral hygiene routine. When you do not brush and floss your teeth thoroughly on a regular basis, food particles can remain trapped in and around your teeth and gums. These particles promote the growth of bacteria in your mouth, causing bad breath.

Dental/Oral Health Problems Resulting from Halitosis

There are many oral health issues tied to the presence of bad breath. However, one of the greatest is gum disease. If you struggle with consistent halitosis that is not taken care of it could be a sign of developing gum disease (i.e. periodontal d

Posted in Blog