Thumbs-Up to a Healthy Mouth

Local orthodontist, Dr. Susan Lempert, counsels many worried parents about their children’s thumb sucking habits.  Dr. Lempert explains “Parents most frequently express concerns about the damage thumb sucking can have on their child’s teeth and they are frustrated with finding a suitable method to encourage their child to stop.”   In her practice Dr. Lempert incorporates recommendations from the American Dental Association and the American Psychological Association to formulate a unique, comprehensive approach.  She starts with a basic understanding of the sucking reflex.

thumb suckingAccording to the ADA and the APA sucking in infants is common, harmless and beneficial for self-soothing.  As a child grows and becomes a toddler this self-soothing is still acceptable and allows the child to feel safe while exploring their new world.   When a child enters the preschool years the benefits of sucking wane and the side effects can become more detrimental.  This is when the sucking effects on the developing mouth and teeth can become evident.

Dr. Lempert explains, “Once the adult teeth erupt the sucking can cause problems with the proper growth of the mouth and the alignment of the teeth.  It can also cause changes in the shape of the roof of the mouth.”  This is why Dr. Lempert follows the guidelines of the American Association of Orthodontists and recommends every child have an orthodontic screening by age 7.  She explains, “Most children do not need treatment at that age but for some we can identify potential problems, like thumb sucking, and offer early solutions that will ultimately make for less problems down the road.  Prevention is important.”

If you have concerns about your child’s thumb sucking habit Dr. Lempert provides complimentary orthodontic screenings for children in her Swedesboro office.  You can visit her website at:  www.lempertsmile.com to learn more about her practice.

Dr. Susan LempertAAO

 

 

 

 

 

Dr. Lempert graduated from Brown University with a B.A. in Human Biology.   She received her Master of Science in Oral Biology Degree, Certificate in Orthodontics, and Doctor of Dental Medicine Degree from Temple University School of Dentistry.  

 

 

 

 

 

Local Orthodontist Says Goodbye To Orthodontic Impressions – It’s No Gag!

Kids and adults alike remember the dreaded impressions or “molds” that were required prior to starting orthodontic treatment.  First a tray was fit to your mouth and then a heaping mound of pink mushy material was pressed onto your teeth and held there for what seemed like an agonizing eternity.  For some it was no big deal but for many, especially those with a strong gag reflex, the molding would bring on the unpleasant urge to be sick!

Great news for the impression weary—getting a 3-D replica of your mouth has become a lot easier!  Intra-oral digital scanning is the latest technology that can help orthodontists make a 3-D reproduction of a patient’s mouth.

Gloucester County native and local orthodontist, Dr. Susan Lempert, explains: “We have embraced digital dentistry in our practice.   Our intra-oral scanner uses a small wand that is waved over the teeth.  Using 3-D video technology it generates an exact replica of the patient’s oral anatomy.  This 3-D replica can be used diagnostically or to fabricate a variety of orthodontic appliances including Invisalign.  Our patients love it and we couldn’t be happier with how easy and accurate it is to use!”

Dr. Lempert digital dentistry

Intra-oral Scanner

A magic wand that gets rid of orthodontic impressions—it is a dream for patients and orthodontists alike and a reality that Dr. Lempert is excited to share with her patients.

Dr. Susan LempertDr. Lempert provides complimentary orthodontic screenings in her Swedesboro office.  You can visit her website at www.lempertsmile.com to learn more about her practice.

American Association of Orthodontists

 

 

 

 

 

Soft Drinks and Orthodontic Treatment: A Recipe for Disaster

Soft Drinks + OthodonticsThe American Association of Orthodontists recently published a warning about the dangers of soft drinks during orthodontic treatment.  Sodas, both regular and diet, sports drinks, energy drinks and fruit juices can do considerable damage to teeth.   This damage is compounded when you are wearing braces or aligners.

The acids in these beverages weaken the tooth by pulling the calcium out of the enamel.  This process of decalcification can lead to cavities.  This loss of enamel is permanent and will not restore itself.

The acid effect of soft drinks on your teeth can be amplified by another source of acid found in your mouth.  Every day the surface of your teeth accumulate plaque, a sticky mixture of food debris, saliva and bacteria. The bacteria in the plaque utilize sugars and starches as food and make acid as a byproduct.  This acid softens the teeth.  For orthodontic patients this decalcification occurs around the braces and under the aligners.  If you combine the acid from plaque with acid from drinks it doubles your risk for tooth decay!

braces

During orthodontic treatment it is best to avoid these damaging drinks.  If you must drink a soft drink use a straw to limit the contact with your teeth.  Also, drink with a meal and do not sip the drink over a long period of time.  The length of time the teeth are exposed to the acid increases the risk of decay.  Brush right away after drinking and if you don’t have a toothbrush with you then rinse with water.

aligners

Dr. Susan Lempert, a local orthodontist, encourages her patients to follow the AAO warnings about soft drinks.  She suggests drinking water instead.  Dr. Lempert prescribes a special fluoride paste for all of her patients during treatment and will also recommend more frequent dental cleanings if a patient’s home care is deficient.

Dr. Lempert explains, “When you finish your orthodontic treatment you want a beautiful smile with straight, healthy teeth.  White decalcification marks and cavities will destroy your result.  Choose your drinks wisely because your smile depends on it!”

Dr. Susan Lempert Dr. Susan Lempert is a local orthodontist and a member of the American Association of Orthodontists.  For more information about Dr. Lempert and her practice you can visit her website at:   www.lempertsmile.com.

 American Association of Orthodontists

 

The Orthodontist’s Role in Recognizing Obstructive Sleep Apnea in Children

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a disorder where there is partial or complete blockage of the airway during sleep.   Children with OSA have repeated episodes of airway obstruction during sleep and may snore, gasp, snort or even stop breathing. This leads to slowing of the heart rate, brain arousal, a drop in blood oxygen level and disruption of sleep.  According to The American Academy of Otolaryngology approximately 10 percent of children snore regularly and up to 4 percent have Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA).

Obstructive Sleep Apnea in Children

The National Sleep Foundation reports that children with OSA can be difficult to wake up, display morning irritability, suffer from excessive daytime sleepiness and have frequent morning headaches.  Additionally, these children are commonly inattentive and display disruptive behavior that can lead to school or social problems.   Many of the symptoms of OSA are similar to those of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.   In addition to the behavioral and social difficulties associated with OSA there are other consequences such as slowed growth and development, cardiovascular problems and increased risk for obesity.

Risk factors for OSA are:

  •  Enlarged tonsils and adenoids
  • Abnormalities of the jaws or tongue
  • Childhood obesity
  • Neuromuscular deficits such as Cerebral Palsy
  • Allergies or asthma

Orthodontists are in a unique position to recognize children who may suffer from OSA.  As certified specialists in the irregularities of the teeth and in the morphology of the jawbones, orthodontists understand the symptoms and characteristics of children with OSA can help identify patients at risk.  Also, orthodontists see their patients frequently and this repeated exposure puts them at an advantage when it comes to identifying the symptoms and distinct craniofacial indicators associated with OSA.

If you suspect OSA in your child be sure to alert your orthodontist.  She can determine whether your child may be at risk, discuss possible orthodontic corrections and refer your child to medical specialist for treatment.

If you have concerns about OSA in your child, Dr. Lempert provides complimentary orthodontic screenings for children in her Swedesboro office.  You can visit her website at www.lempertsmile.com to learn more about her practice.

Dr Lempert
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Dr. Lempert graduated from Brown University with a B.A. in Human Biology.   She received her Master of Science in Oral Biology Degree, Certificate in Orthodontics, and Doctor of Dental Medicine Degree from Temple University School of Dentistry.
 

The Dangers of DIY Braces

Recent online advertising of DIY orthodontic treatment has resulted in some people turning to the Internet in the hope of a quick, cheap fix for their crooked teeth. Self cures like “gap bands” and self- administered clear aligners lack the supervision and guidance that is necessary for safe and effective movement of teeth.  

WATCH VIDEO: “The Expert Smile”

Moving teeth within jawbones is a science and relies on in-depth understanding of facial jawbone growth, the biomechanics of tooth movement, and bone physiology.   Additionally, orthodontists carefully review each patient’s medical history to see if it may influence how their body will respond to therapy. Unsupervised treatment could result in root shortening, tooth damage, or even tooth loss.  Check out this article showing how the use of a self-administered rubber band to try to close a gap resulted in damage to the gums and teeth:

In order to safely get the treatment results you desire it is important to seek the care of an orthodontist.  Orthodontists differ from general dentists in that they first complete 4 years of dental training and then continue their training in orthodontics for an additional 2-3 years.  Once a doctor has completed this added specialty training they are considered an orthodontist and are permitted membership in the American  Association of  Orthodontists (AAO).

Why an Orthodontist

WATCH VIDEO: “Why an Orthodontist?”

Dr. Susan Lempert

Dr. Susan Lempert is a local orthodontist and a member of the American Association of Orthodontists.   Dr. Lempert attributes the success of her patients’ orthodontic treatment and the quality of her results to the mutual trust between her and her patients. Patients of Dr. Lempert believe in the quality of her specialty care and understand that it is a service that has value in their lives.

Many people desire straight teeth but do-it-yourself straightening is not a wise choice.  It is dangerous and ineffective.  For this healthcare procedure it is best to step away from the lure of DIY Internet videos and contact Dr. Lempert.  She will arrange for a complimentary orthodontic evaluation and discuss treatment options in a way that fits your needs and budget.

AAO logo

For more information about Dr. Lempert and her practice you can visit her website at:  www.lempertsmile.com.

 

Focus on Cuspid Impaction ~ Why Your Child May Be at Risk

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month.  This month the focus is on the prevention of a common and destructive childhood dental problem, impacted maxillary (upper) cuspids. Dr. Susan Lempert, a local orthodontist, explains: “When a tooth is unable to erupt normally and becomes stuck in the bone it is known as an impaction.  The tooth is trapped and can damage the roots of the adjacent adult teeth it presses against.  Maxillary (upper) cuspid teeth are particularly susceptible to impaction because they are one of the last teeth to erupt in the upper jaw.  If there is crowding they can easily be blocked out of the mouth.” Cuspid Impaction Dr. Lempert adds: “Impactions happen for many reasons such as crowding, narrow jaws, baby teeth that don’t fall out, permanent teeth that develop in the wrong spot or a combination of each.”  If impaction is suspected, a general dentist will refer the patient to an orthodontist for an early orthodontic evaluation. During this early evaluation the orthodontist can determine whether early treatment is indicated.

Dr. Lempert explains further:  “Early treatment can make space and create a better environment for the impacted tooth to erupt, thus minimizing negative effects on the adult teeth.  Sometimes no orthodontic treatment is indicated and all that is needed to relieve the impaction is removal of the over-retained baby teeth.”

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that all children a screened by an orthodontist no later than age 7.  While most children will not need treatment at this age, some may benefit from early treatment especially when it comes to the prevention of cuspid impaction and the potential damage it can cause.

Dr. Susan LempertAAO logo

 

 

 

 

If you have concerns about your child’s bite Dr. Lempert provides complimentary orthodontic screenings for children in her Swedesboro office.  You can visit her website at:  www.lempertsmile.com to learn more about her practice.

 

 

Treat Yourself to a Healthy Smile this Halloween

Halloween, and all its accompanying candy, can be a scary time for teeth.  Because Halloween treats can play tricks on orthodontic treatment, as part of National Orthodontic Health Month, local orthodontist Dr. Susan Lempert wants to give patients and the entire community a few timely tips to protect braces and aligners and other orthodontic “appliances” while protecting teeth from decay.

Avoid sticky situations with your braces by staying away from hard, sticky, crunchy or chewy candy and snacks.  Sweets can cause cavities which means brushing and flossing are more important than ever during the Halloween season.

Haloween Treats to Avoid

“It’s okay to enjoy some treats at Halloween without causing problems with orthodontic care,” says Dr. Lempert. “We want everyone to have fun on Halloween, and we encourage patients to enjoy acceptable treats in moderation.”   The American Association of Orthodontists even offers orthodontic-friendly recipes for Halloween on its website at http://www.mylifemysmile.org/pressroom.

Ortho Friendly Treats

“It’s important to remember that when orthodontic treatment is complete, and patients see their healthy and beautiful new smiles in the mirror, they will know all of their efforts were worthwhile.”

Dr. Susan Lempert

AAO

 

 

 

If you have concerns about your child’s bite Dr. Lempert provides complimentary orthodontic screenings for children in her Swedesboro office. You can visit her website at www.lempertsmile.com to learn more about her practice.

 

When is the Right Time to See an Orthodontist?

Dr. Susan LempertMany parents assume that they should wait until their child has all of their permanent teeth before visiting an orthodontist.  However, the American Association of Orthodontists recommends that you take your child for an orthodontic check-up no later than age 7.

Orthodontists can spot subtle problems with teeth or jaw growth even before kids have lost all of their baby teeth.  An early visit can ease your mind, even if the recommendation is to wait a while before proceeding with treatment.

Visiting an orthodontist is especially important if your child has any of these conditions:

  • Early or late loss of baby teeth
  • Habits such as mouth breathing, thumb sucking or clenching/ grinding teeth
  • Difficulty with chewing, biting or speech
  • Teeth that are protruding, crowded, misplaced or blocked-out
  • Teeth that meet abnormally, or don’t meet at all
  • Jaws that shift, make sounds or are too far forward or back

Dr. Susan Lempert“I can’t overemphasize how important it is that parents understand the value of an orthodontic check- up,” says local orthodontist, Dr. Susan Lempert.  “By age 7, enough permanent teeth have arrived for an orthodontist to evaluate relationships developing between teeth, jaw and bite.  Orthodontists can determine what, if anything, is awry.”

If you have concerns about your child’s bite, Dr. Lempert provides complimentary orthodontic screenings for children in her Swedesboro office.  Her practice focuses on quality care and personal attention with the goal of providing not only the highest standard of orthodontic treatment, but also an enjoyable experience.

Dr. Lempert is a native of South Jersey, a mother of two, competitive swimmer and a third generation dental professional.  She  is a graduate of Brown University and received her M.S. in Oral Biology, Certificate in Orthodontics and D.M.D from Temple University School of Dentistry where she earned top honors and numerous awards.

Learn more about Dr. Lempert’s practice at  www.lempertsmile.com.

AAO
 
553 Becket Rd, Suite 404
Swedesboro, NJ
(856) 241-8400