My Blog

Posts for: September, 2019

By New Hope Cosmetic and Family Dentistry
September 25, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures

Sometimes, looking at old pictures can really bring memories back to life. Just ask Stefani Germanotta—the pop diva better known as Lady Gaga. In one scene from the recent documentary Five Foot Two, as family members sort through headshots from her teen years, her father proclaims: "Here, this proves she had braces!"

"If I had kept that gap, then I would have even more problems with Madonna," Lady Gaga replies, referencing an ongoing feud between the two musical celebrities.

The photos of Gaga's teenage smile reveal that the singer of hits like "Born This Way" once had a noticeable gap (which dentists call a diastema) between her front teeth. This condition is common in children, but often becomes less conspicuous with age. It isn't necessarily a problem: Lots of well-known people have extra space in their smiles, including ex-football player and TV host Michael Strahan, actress Anna Paquin…and fellow pop superstar Madonna. It hasn't hurt any of their careers.

Yet others would prefer a smile without the gap. Fortunately, diastema in children is generally not difficult to fix. One of the easiest ways to do so is with traditional braces or clear aligners. These orthodontic appliances, usually worn for a period of months, can actually move the teeth into positions that look more pleasing in the smile and function better in the bite. For many people, orthodontic treatment is a part of their emergence from adolescence into adulthood.

Braces and aligners, along with other specialized orthodontic appliances, can also remedy many bite problems besides diastema. They can correct misaligned teeth and spacing irregularities, fix overbites and underbites, and take care of numerous other types of malocclusions (bite problems).

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that kids get screened for orthodontic problems at age 7. Even if an issue is found, most won't get treatment at this age—but in some instances, it's possible that early intervention can save a great deal of time, money and effort later. For example, while the jaw is still developing, its growth can be guided with special appliances that can make future orthodontic treatment go quicker and easier.

Yet orthodontics isn't just for children—adults can wear braces too! As long as teeth and gums are healthy, there's no upper age limit on orthodontic treatment. Instead of traditional silver braces, many adults choose tooth-colored braces or clear aligners to complement their more professional appearance.

So if your child is at the age where screening is recommended—or if you're unhappy with your own smile—ask us whether orthodontics could help. But if you get into a rivalry with Madonna…you're on your own.

If you have questions about orthodontic treatment, please contact our office or schedule a consultation. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “The Magic of Orthodontics” and “Orthodontics For The Older Adult.”

By New Hope Cosmetic and Family Dentistry
September 15, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures

“That kid is growing like a weed!” Every proud parent likes to hear something like that about their child: It means they’re growing up—and it shows!

As nature takes its course, your child will physically transform into an adult. And that also includes their mouth: By the time they enter early adulthood they will have had two sets of teeth and their jaw structure will have changed dramatically.

All of this happens without you needing to do anything. But there can be bumps along the road like tooth decay or abnormal bite development. For that, you can and should intervene by preventing or at least slowing the formation of such situations.

The best way to do this is to form a partnership with your child’s dentist. Like any partnership, each party contributes something to the relationship.

For you that means first and foremost keeping up your child’s regular oral hygiene practice. This should start even before they begin showing teeth. As an infant you should start wiping their gums after each feeding with a clean wet cloth to hold down bacterial growth. When teeth appear, you can graduate them to brushing and flossing, teaching them along the way to do it for themselves.

You can also boost their dental health by cutting back on sugar consumption, which feeds bacteria. Besides monitoring their snacks, also avoid sending them to bed with a bottle filled with a sugary liquid (including formula, breast milk, or regular milk). And be sure you provide them a nutritious diet filled with tooth-strengthening foods.

On your dentist’s part, they provide regular cleanings that help ensure decay-causing plaque doesn’t build up on the teeth. They’ll also monitor for any signs of decay, and provide treatment when necessary. To further protect them against decay, dentists can apply sealants and topical fluoride to your child’s teeth, especially if they appear to be at high risk. And they’ll also be watching for early signs of a bite problem: Early intervention could prevent or at least minimize this development.

With that kind of solid partnership, your child’s normal dental development can proceed as smoothly as possible. Avoiding the possible pitfalls will help them achieve optimal oral health now and throughout their lives.

If you would like more information on proper dental care for your child, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.

By New Hope Cosmetic and Family Dentistry
September 05, 2019
Category: Oral Health
Tags: sleep apnea   snoring  

When you awake in the morning do you still feel exhausted? Are you irritable during the day, unable to think or focus clearly? Is your loud snoring bothering your bed partner?

If you answered affirmatively to any of these questions, you may have sleep apnea. This happens when an obstruction (usually the tongue) blocks the airway during sleep, preventing you from breathing. Your brain notices the drop in oxygen and wakes you to re-open the airway. The arousal lasts only a few seconds, and you may not even notice. But because it can happen many times a night, these waking episodes can rob you of the deep sleep your body needs.

Sleep apnea is more serious than simply waking up grumpy. Over time, it could contribute to dangerous health conditions like high blood pressure or heart disease. If you’re noticing any of these signs, it’s important then that you undergo a complete examination by a physician or dentist trained in sleep-related issues.

Fortunately, there are ways to reduce sleep apnea. One of the most common is continuous airway pressure (CPAP): This method uses a small pump that pushes pressurized air through a face mask worn while the patient sleeps. The forced air keeps the airway open and reduces apnea episodes.

While it’s an effective method, it can be uncomfortable and cumbersome to use—some people can’t tolerate wearing the mask while they sleep. But if your sleep apnea symptoms are mild to moderate, your dentist may be able to provide an alternative therapy with a specially designed oral appliance.

Similar to a mouthguard or retainer, a sleep apnea appliance worn during sleep holds the lower jaw forward, which helps move the tongue away from the airway. It’s much less cumbersome (and noisy) than a CPAP machine. And your dentist can custom design and fabricate your appliance for a comfortable fit.

Not all cases of sleep apnea can benefit from such an appliance, or even from CPAP therapy. Extreme cases could require surgery to remove tissues blocking the airway. But most sleep apnea patients don’t require this invasive intervention. Getting checked by a qualified medical professional could open the door to a more convenient and effective way to a better night’s sleep.

If you would like more information on dental solutions for sleep apnea, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.

September 04, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Laser Treatment  

Would you like a brighter, younger, more refreshed facial appearance? Well, here at The Skin Renewal Center, your medical spa in LaserDarkSpoHouston, TX, Dr. Patrick McNamara performs state-of-the-art laser skin treatments that produce incredibly smooth, flawless results in no-time. Read on to learn the benefits of undergoing this simple, quick, and affordable service!


It's an in-office service

Your board-certified physician, Dr. Patrick McNamara, uses the innovative FRAXEL laser system to improve the appearance of a variety of skin issues. Following an initial skin exam and review of your medical history at our Houston medical spa, your physician will apply a mild numbing cream to the areas that require treatment. Next, the hand-held FRAXEL laser delivers focused beams of light right into the skin to correct:

  • Hyperpigmentation
  • Acne or chickenpox scars
  • Loose skin
  • Fine lines and wrinkles
  • Spider veins
  • Unwanted tattoos
  • Birthmarks
  • Freckles
  • Sunspots
  • Warts
  • Large, obvious pores or oil glands


How it all works

Treatments take just minutes and cause no appreciable downtime. Removing the problematic skin one layer at a time, laser treatment simultaneously stimulates the production of collagen, the component that which gives skin its youthful elasticity.

Following the treatment, most of Dr. McNamara's laser patients return to their normal activities right away. Side effects are minor and may include some redness, tenderness, and bruising (all of which heal rapidly).


Are laser treatments safe?

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons says that laser treatments are very safe when performed by a trained physician such as Dr. McNamara. However, people with active acne lesions, deeply pigmented skin or very wrinkled or sagging skin make poor candidates. Here at The Skin Renewal Center, you'll be fully screened before receiving laser skin treatments.


Look and feel your best

Dr. Patrick McNamara and his team deliver a wide range of esthetic services designed to optimize your appearance and self-confidence, too. Learn all about them at a personal consultation at The Skin Renewal Center. Call today for an appointment: (713) 533-0800.

By Dawn M. Rickert, DMD, MAGD
September 04, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Botox  

Botox could do more than take years off your appearance—it could also help with TMJ disorder.

When people think of Botox, they often think about this injectable treatment’s ability to smooth away fine lines and wrinkles to give people Botoxyounger-looking skin. However, Botox has become quite a versatile treatment that can do more than just make your skin look amazing. Here at New Hope Cosmetic & Family Dentistry in New Hope, PA, your dentist, Dr. Dawn Rickert, has been using Botox to help those dealing with TMJ disorder, jaw pain, and tension headaches—read on to learn why and how.


What is TMJ disorder?

TMJ disorder, which stands for the temporomandibular joint, is the joint that’s responsible for every jaw movement. If you find yourself dealing with issues such as pain, stiffness, or clicking in the jaw, then you could be dealing with TMJ disorder.


What is Botox?

Botox is a cosmetic injectable treatment that uses a purified form of botulinum toxin to help relax the muscles of the face to smooth away certain lines and wrinkles. Once administered, the FDA-endorsed neurotoxin interrupts the signals that cause the muscles to contract. The effects of Botox last about 3-4 months, but patients may choose to turn to their New Hope, PA, general dentist for maintenance treatments if they are happy with the results.


How does Botox treat TMJ disorder?

Since Botox works by affecting the nerve signals sent from the brain to the muscles, it can ease tension, reduce pain signals, and even prevent headaches from forming. By stopping the muscles of the jaws from working overtime, you can also reduce soreness and muscle fatigue.


What should I expect when I get Botox?

When you come into our New Hope office for treatment, we will administer several thin needles into the muscles of the jaws. This only takes a few minutes to administer and causes absolutely no downtime. You should start to notice an improvement in your symptoms within a few days after treatment.


Interested? Contact us

Are you living with painful TMJ disorder and having trouble getting your symptoms under control? If so, New Hope Dentistry is here to help. Call us today at (215) 862-2525 to let us know that you are interested in how Botox can treat your jaw pain.