Roeder Orthodontics
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22 Medical Park Drive, Suite C
Asheville, North Carolina 28803
828-274-2500

Brushing your teeth – the only time you get to touch your skeleton

Have we always brushed our teeth?

The history of oral hygiene is long and a little gross in places. The toothbrush (roughly as we know it today) was invented in the 1500s in China, while people in Britain and Europe were still “cleaning” their teeth with rags – and sometimes sponges – dipped in a range of substances. These substances included things like salt, sulphur and other liquids, in traditions that went back to Ancient Rome.

Other Ancient cultures developed their own forms of toothpaste that are similar to what we use today; often made from powdered honey and various herbs, including a very long history of using the Meswak herb in India and the Orient. Mostly, however, it has been various combinations of chalk and soap which have served as toothpaste for many of our ancestors.

Before toothbrushes were invented (which initially used pig hair as bristles) and became very popular with the rest of the world, a simple twig was most often used as a tooth brush, with one end chewed into bristle-like stubs, which were used for a while then just chewed off when no longer fulfilling their purpose.

Modern toothbrushes, which are designed to best fit the shape of our mouths, came into production in the early 1900s first using Bakelite, and eventually different types of plastic. Proctor & Gamble was the first manufacturer of fluoridated toothpaste (in 1956), after local Colorado resident, Dr. Frederick McKay established a correlation between fluoride and a reduction in tooth decay.

 Why do we brush our teeth?

Brushing our teeth properly at least twice a day is an important part of staying healthy. When we don’t brush our teeth – or don’t brush them properly – we allow for bacteria to build up, which can lead to:

  • Plaque/Tartar build-up
  • Tooth Decay and Sensitivity
  • Gingivitis and Gum Disease

There are so many positive reasons to maintain good oral hygiene, including:

  • Reducing your chances of stroke and heart disease; elevated levels of bacteria in the mouth can increase the likelihood of coronary and vascular problems as bacterial build-up travels through the bloodstream, particularly under the tongue and at the back of the mouth and tongue.
  • Maintaining fresh breath; both regular brushing and chewing sugar free gum following meals prevents the build up of the bacteria responsible for bad breath, also leading to more kissable smiles!
  • Increase the health of your baby; maternal gum disease has been linked with an increase in premature birth, and the bacteria in your mouth can affect the health of your baby directly through the bloodstream, even during very early development. In some cases, oral hygiene can even cause conception challenges for both males and females.
  • Prevention is better than cure! Brushing twice a day will not only improve the health of your teeth and gums, but will lead to reduce dental costs in the future. Further, poor oral hygiene has been linked with an elevated risk of dementia later in life.

Think of it like scratching an itch

Brushing your teeth is the only time you get to touch your skeleton (and something not be really wrong!), and the health of your teeth and gums often serve as a good indication of more general aspect of overall health that may not be so easy to see. The state of your teeth and gums also function as a good indicator of many mineral and vitamin deficiencies or excesses.

We think nothing of spending a few extra minutes cleaning a particularly dirty pan, but it is often easy to overlook what we can’t easily see, particularly in our mouths. When brushing, it is good practice to visualize your whole mouth, and each tooth that composes your smile: imagine the surface of each tooth individually, as they all need special attention.

For so many parts of our physiology, we only really even think about it when it is not working, or when something is wrong with it: we don’t often think of the importance of our toes until we stub them, and we don’t often think of the importance of things like our knees or our teeth until they become a problem for us.

Good oral hygiene begins with good brushing techniques and habits. We wouldn’t expect a car or any other tool to serve us day-in-day-out without regular service and maintenance, and twice daily brushing is a great start to keeping everything running smooth under your own skin. So, please take the time to clean every part of your skeleton you can reach.

Come see us at Roeder Orthodontics for even more information on how to keep your smile in top condition. After your free initial consultation, we can offer help with brushing, flossing and everything else to improve your smile. You can connect with us at 282-274-2500 or find us at our office in Asheville, NC.

Art and Science of the Smile

What is it to be beautiful?

In many unexpected moments throughout our lives we are accosted by the beauty of something, and this can take many forms. It could be the beauty of a piece of music, or the actions of another person, the sound of a child laughing, the smell of an alluring flower or cologne, or even a smile from a stranger. Beauty, in any case, reaches out to us, accosts us with an insistence to pay attention and appreciate the beauty while it is before us. Beauty, as they say, can open many doors, but it can also stop traffic.

The classical definition of aesthetic beauty is often thought of in regards to symmetry; the Ancient Greeks, particularly, displayed an obsession with the symmetry of the human form, as reflected in a myriad of artworks. This obsession with symmetry is only one aspect of a larger category; the category of Harmony which gets less attention, but is of equal or superior value to simple beauty.

Symmetry vs Harmony

For the Ancients, aesthetic beauty was found in all things harmonious within themselves, and with their environments. Symmetry is just one aspect of harmony: harmony can be found in both compliment and contrast. Consider the idea of color and the color wheel, where complimentary colors (those adjacent upon the color wheel) create harmony that can be appreciated by anyone, but harmony is also created by the combination of contrasting (opposite) colors.

Modern life can sometimes promote unhealthy ways to view your own image, which include unreal ideas and expectations of beauty – and even flat out telling you what is and is not beautiful.  At Roeder Orthodontics, we recognize that achieving a stellar smile is just as much an art as it is a science. Dr. Roeder believes that aesthetic beauty is found in harmony, which in the case of a smile is about the relationship between all of the elements (not only the teeth, but also the jaw, lips, nose and facial contours) than merely about simple symmetry.

For instance, it is often thought that the simple recipe for a winning smile is having “straight teeth,” but this is not always the case for everyone. In some cases, straight teeth will not necessarily line up with the jaw or the corresponding musculature, and having “straight teeth” can look like synthetic and unnatural. Every smile is different and every individual patient is assessed by Dr. Roeder accordingly to find the natural smile that balances harmoniously with all other contributing factors.

At Roeder Orthodontics, we work with you to find that harmonious balance. Following your initial free consultation, the process begins with a plan based on comprehensive assessment of x-rays, and in discussion with you about your desired outcomes. All functional issues are addressed (establishing harmonious balance between the jaws and aligning the teeth to correct the bite) in tandem with the process of positioning the teeth to balance the facial profile, jaw and musculature. Further fine tuning is then possible (if desired) with micro-rotations of the front teeth to create a natural smile based in aesthetic harmony. Dr. Roeder will work closely with other professionals in a multi-disciplinary capacity, like your dentist or other specialist if warranted, to ensure the best care possible.

Going Beyond the Surface

What goes on under the skin (the teeth, jaw and skeleton) directly affects the resting state of the facial muscles, and is the cause of those beautiful faces which seem to “naturally smile.” We often underestimate the power and influence of non-verbal communications, and we say much more in microseconds with our facial expressions than we are capable of putting into words over hours. It is Dr. Roeder’s goal with every patient to shape the kind of smiles that both open doors and stop traffic – the smiles you can’t help but pay attention to.

Orthodontic Health and Safety

Orthodontic Health and Safety

At Roeder Orthodontics, we understand that orthodontic health is holistically related to overall health and wellbeing.  Using a combination of methods and apparatus from the hard sciences, and the insights and understandings gleaned from the social sciences, we have elevated orthodontic care to an art form.

The health of our patients and team is paramount in everything we do at Roeder Orthodontics, and we employ state-of-the-art scientific techniques and procedures, while taking patient comfort into consideration.

The Hard Science

  • Hospital Standards
  • Low Dose X-Rays
  • Less invasive techniques and treatments

Hospital Standards

Universal precautions are taken at Roeder Orthodontics, and our sterilization and infection control precautions exceed hospital standards. In providing the highest standard of care and an enjoyable environment (that feels as “at home” as possible), all team members are kept up to date with regular training, and proper attire, glasses, masks and gloves are worn during treatment and while sterilizing of instruments. Additionally, barrier wraps are used on all surfaces, and are changed with each patient (you’re worth it!)

Low Dose X-Rays

Dental Radiographs (the fancy name for mouth x-rays) allow Dr. Roeder to look beneath the surface (and in the case of developing smiles, to also look into the future.) In modern orthodontics, x-rays provide a preventative diagnostic tool that has become essential in detecting hidden abnormalities and potential future developmental issues. With the health and safety our utmost priority, we use state-of-the-art technologies and techniques including:

  • Digital capturing of x-ray images
  • Directional cameras and lead body shields
  • Low-dose, low-level radiation, at levels considered safe

While some people may be concerned with the levels of radiation involved in having x-rays taken, the amount of accumulated exposure to radiation from a full series of dental radiographs is roughly equal to what a person may expect to receive from natural background sources over the course of a single day. Our environments are full of background radiation that we are exposed to constantly, and advances in technology allow us to minimize exposure and exposure time. An Orthopantomogram (OPG) is a complete x-ray imaging of the mouth, usually only takes around 15-20 minutes in total, and involves the camera moving completely around the face to take the image. While not recommended (or necessary) for everyone, the entire procedure is considered safe and uses only low-level radiation on par with levels from natural daily exposure.

Less Invasive Techniques and Treatments

Through the advances of technology and medicine, Dr. Roeder provides less invasive options as alternatives to drastic procedures.  For example, one such option is Palatal Expansion, intervening early to avoid more invasive procedures or surgery later in life. These same advances in technology can also be used in tandem, as in the case with Bite Turbos, to minimize the invasiveness of other treatments, while maximizing their effectiveness.

Palatal Expanders

Particularly with developing smiles, crowded teeth in the upper jaw may not have enough room, and sometimes jaw expansion may be recommended.

The developing jaw of a growing child can sometimes be too small to accommodate a full set of adult teeth, which can lead to teeth overlapping or sitting crooked with one another, and in extreme cases can lead to teeth growing sideways. In the past, orthodontists were left with little alternative to extracting perfectly good teeth just to make room in the developing mouth. Today, however, Dr. Roeder offers the far less invasive treatment of palatal expansion (or Rapid Palatal Expansion – RPE), which uses a device (a palatal expander) to gradually widen the roof of the mouth over the course of a few weeks or months, and is sometimes the only treatment required.

As the roof of the mouth is composed of two separate plates that do not completely join together until adulthood, fitting of a palatal expander allows for the two plates to be gradually eased apart, creating more room for the eruption and development of adult teeth. Because of this, the treatment is far more effective with younger patients, and in many cases is alone sufficient for creating enough room for teeth, avoiding surgery altogether and can make future treatment with braces unnecessary. The palatal expander is fitted to the inside of both upper molars, and consists of two separate pieces that move apart with the turn of an expansion screw. While it may sound intimidating, the appliance is simple enough for parents to be able to make small daily adjustments, and as with any orthodontic appliance or apparatus, oral hygiene is extremely important.

Bite Turbos

It can sometimes be a problem for patients with an overbite that is in the process of being corrected with braces that the upper teeth may cause damage to the braces on the front of the lower teeth. When this may be a problem, Bite Turbos can be used in conjunction with braces. Placed normally on the back of the upper front teeth, Bite Turbos limit the vertical contact in the bite, which might otherwise cause damage to the lower front braces, even breaking them off. This has the additional benefit of maintaining the space between molars in the back of the mouth, allowing room for the lower molars to erupt to the point of contact, eventually correcting the overbite when the molars keep the front teeth from closing too far.

Bite Turbos are temporary, and may be expected to be removed after only a few months, once they have done their job. Initially, it may be expected that contact between the molars will be less, and patients are encouraged to start with softer foods, working up to harder foods as the bite comes together over time. Separating teeth in this manner releases the constriction caused by the pressure from opposing teeth, allowing for the teeth to move more comfortably. As with any orthodontic procedure or appliance, good oral hygiene is critical and our team can show you the techniques and habits for brushing and maintaining excellent oral hygiene.

The Social Science and the Art

At Roeder Orthodontics, we recognize that people are not machines, and doctors are not mechanics. Having the orthodontic training and expertise to diagnose and correct orthodontic problems is only half of what Dr. Roeder and his team excel in. In addition to their technical training in orthodontics, they are also trained in the psychology of patient relationships, helping to better understand and relate to patient concerns and questions which enable you to be your own best advocate for your goals. Our entire team is hand chosen by Dr. Jeffery Roeder to best serve our family of patients compassionately, according to individual needs. You’ll see how most of our team members have been with RO for many years – there’s a good reason for that.  We have synergy, and compassion – an essential mix in the composition of science and art.

We understand that orthodontic treatment can sometimes seem overwhelming or uncomfortable, and we know from years of experience that positive relationships are pivotal to positive health-related outcomes. All of our staff equally prioritize empathy and medical training, and we consider all of our patients to be part of our large and diverse family.

Dr. Roeder and his orthodontic team assist you in achieving your goals by first listening to you; your expectations of treatment and results for your own smile and oral health. Contact us today for your initial no-cost, no-pressure consultation.  Our office is located in Asheville, NC and we serve the surrounding communities, including Black Mountain, Canton, Weaverville and Hendersonville. You can call or just stop in any time we are open.

Overjet Protruding and Orthodontic Correction

Overjet Protruding, an oral condition

What is overjet protruding?

Overjet protruding image: speareducation.com

As with any health professional, the role of the orthodontist is about effective communication and delivering quality healthcare to individuals, families and communities. Since terms and language reflect actual history, we look back on the past, and are taken aback by the bluntness of terms spoken in “less sensitive” days.  For most terms in medicine, there are three categories of nomenclature (names or words for something) that things fall into:

  •  Old Form
  • Common Parlance
  • Worker’s Slang

In this case, the Old Form would make reference to the extent of the vertical (superior-inferior) overlap of the maxillary central incisors over the mandibular central incisors, measured relative to the incisal ridges. Common Parlance would reference the condition as “overjet” or “overjet protruding” or just “protrusion.” But in the Worker’s Slang of less socially sensitive times, we would just call the oral condition “buck teeth.”

It is a misconception that overjet is a form of malocclusion (that is, a misalignment between the two dental arches), but refers instead to the relation between the two parts of the jaw, and how that relationship can be affected, leading to protruding upper front teeth.

Overjet has many possible causes, and often results from a number of these causes:

  • The lower jaw being shorter or less developed than the upper jaw
  • Childhood habits such as thumb and finger sucking which continue after permanent teeth come in
  • Tongue thrusting caused from a muscular imbalance which causes the tongue to protrude through the teeth during swallowing, speech, or while at rest

When and Why should overjet be corrected?

As with all things, it is important to make whatever decision is right for you. At Roeder Orthodontics, we encourage early assessment of conditions such as overjet to prevent the need for more invasive corrections later in life.

Overjet correction can yield many benefits including:

  • Correction of protruding front teeth will improve their function
  • Aesthetically improve the look of the smile, helping boost self-confidence
  • Correction may prevent and reduce permanent wear on other teeth
  • Improves bite function, molar connection as well as incisor connection and dention. (Better connections for a better bites)
  • Can help improve speech impediments caused by tongue thrusting

Even in cases of marginal overjet (with protrusion ranging between 3mm and 6 mm), there is an increased vulnerability of the front teeth to incidental damage or injury from falls, sporting collisions, and other accidents. Overjet correction can reduce this vulnerability, protecting the teeth with proper alignment of the entire jaw.

What are the orthodontic options to correct overjet protrusion?

Traditionally, “headgear” or “functional jaw appliances”  had to be employed for such corrections. Today, in most cases, overjet can be treated simply with braces, with many options available.

Roeder Orthodontics offers traditional metal braces, clear braces for those who want to minimize the appearance of brackets, and ceramic braces with a range of color customization for people who like their smile to colorfully shine. Orthodontics have come a very long way since the days of Edward Angle and thankfully, we don’t use terms like “buck teeth” any longer.

For any questions about overjet protruding or orthodontic treatment, it is important your decisions informed with all the options available. Call us on 828-274-2500 or send us a message to schedule a complimentary consultation at our office in Asheville, NC.

Dr. Jeffrey Roeder will perform an initial examination and present you all possible options, including costs and estimated treatment times based on a cooperative model of communication and following recommendations as advised.

Deep Overbite Malocclusion

A deep overbite is different from other types of malocclusion.  When a person is diagnosed with a deep overbite, there are several parameters measured.  In most cases, it means teeth are lined up improperly, and lapping excessively in the front.  Upper teeth will overlap lower teeth and lower teeth can make contact with gum tissue inside the upper arch of teeth.  An overbite is a common oral condition treated with orthodontics.

In order to prevent gum recession or damage due to deep overbite, metal or clear braces are usually the best choice to realign the teeth and correct the position of the jaw using elastic orthodontic bands and gentle pressure.  In some cases, Invisalign may be a treatment option to correct an overbite. In severe cases, surgical intervention may be recommended.   If that is the case, Dr. Roeder will work closely with your dentist or surgical specialist to ensure the best outcome for your individual needs.

At Roeder Orthodontics, we encourage early assessment of children to help anticipate and prevent the need for more comprehensive or invasive correction later on.  Children can receive complimentary screenings from Roeder Orthodontics and join our Roeder Rookies club.  As a member of the Roeder Rookies, pre-orthodontic patients get periodic checkups and monitoring of their oral condition, along with prizes and rewards to make it fun!

Correcting deep bite through orthodontic treatment starts with a comprehensive orthodontic evaluation, including panoramic digital x-rays and digital photographs.  We offer low-dose radiographs at Roeder Orthodontics, and our initial consultation is always free.  After an evaluation, we Dr. Roeder and his team will discuss your treatment options, cost, payment plans if desired, and the expected treatment time based on cooperative treatment between patient and team.

Call us today at 828-274-2500 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Roeder.  Roeder Orthodontics is located in Asheville, NC and we serve patients throughout Buncombe county, including Black Mountain, Fletcher, Canton, Weaverville and beyond.