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.  

 

 

 

 

 

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.