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Braces2School

Clinical excellence with world class service

Thomas Jaeger, DDS : (208) 667-3341 (800) 735-1152

Locations: Coeur d'Alene, Silver Valley, St. Maries, Your School

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Jaeger Orthodontics Blog

The Effects of Biting Your Nails

September 25th, 2014

Also known as onchophagia, the habit of nail biting is one of the so-called “nervous habits” that can be triggered by stress, excitement, or boredom. Approximately half of all kids between the ages of ten and 18 have been nail biters at one time or another. Experts say that about 30 percent of children and 15 percent of adults are nail biters, however most people stop chewing their nails by the time they turn 30.

Here are four dental and general reasons to stop biting your nails:

1. It’s unsanitary: Your nails harbor bacteria and germs, and are almost twice as dirty as fingers. What’s more, swallowing dirty nails can lead to stomach problems.

2. It wears down your teeth: Gnawing your nails can put added stress on your pearly whites, which can lead to crooked teeth.

3. It can delay your orthodontic treatment: For those of our patients wearing braces, nail biting puts additional pressure on teeth and weakens roots.

4. It can cost you, literally: It has been estimated that up to $4,000 in extra dental bills can build up over a lifetime.

Dr. Tom Jaeger and our team recommend the following to kick your nail biting habit:

  • Keep your nails trimmed short; you’ll have less of a nail to bite.
  • Coat your nails with a bitter-tasting nail polish.
  • Ask us about obtaining a mouthguard, which can help prevent nail biting.
  • Put a rubber band around your wrist and snap it whenever you get the urge to gnaw on your nails.
  • Think about when and why you chew your nails. Whether you are nervous or just bored, understanding the triggers can help you find a solution and stop the habit.
  • If you can’t stop, behavioral therapy may be an effective option to stop nail biting. Ask Dr. Tom Jaeger and our team for a recommendation.

Orthodontics and Whole Body Health

September 18th, 2014

In recent years, many links have been established between orthodontic treatments and whole body health. According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, researchers have observed that people with gum disease are more likely to develop heart disease or experience difficulty controlling blood sugar than people without gum disease. While researchers continue to find associations between oral health and the overall health of the body, as of yet it hasn’t been determined whether gum disease is the sole cause of these health conditions. What can be determined, however, is that good oral health isn't just about maintaining a healthy smile; it has an impact on the health of your entire body.

The associations between gum disease and whole body health

The links between the health of your mouth and the health of your body are too many to ignore. Is it a coincidence that gum disease and other health problems occur together? Researchers don’t think so, despite the lack of definitive proof.

Here are four possible connections between the health of your mouth and the health of your body.

  • Excessive oral inflammation has been linked to a greater incidence of clogged arteries.
  • The American Society of Microbiology has revealed that certain types of oral bacteria can infect the arterial cells and weaken the wall of the heart.
  • Loose teeth are often believed to be a warning sign for osteoporosis, a disease that causes the bones to become less dense.
  • Some studies suggest women with gum disease are more likely than those without gum disease to deliver preterm, low-weight babies.

Orthodontics and gum disease

So what does undergoing orthodontic treatment at Jaeger Orthodontics have to do with gum disease? Braces do so much more than give you a nice-looking smile. Quite simply, straight teeth are easier to keep clean than crooked teeth. Your toothbrush is able to remove more plaque-causing bacteria, and your floss is more effective at ridding tiny particles between your teeth.

Despite the lack of hard facts in these findings, the message is clear: If you improve your oral health, you will also have a greater chance of maintaining the health of your entire body. And that’s a chance Dr. Tom Jaeger and our team at Jaeger Orthodontics believe is worth taking. For more information about this topic, please give us a call at our convenient Coeur d'Alene, ID office or ask Dr. Tom Jaeger during your next visit!

Misconceptions About Orthodontics

September 11th, 2014

While everyone understands that a dentist takes care of teeth, not everyone is aware of what an orthodontist does. This confusion sometimes leads to misunderstandings about what Jaeger Orthodontics does for our patients and how exactly Dr. Tom Jaeger can help them. Let’s take a closer look at a couple of the myths and misconceptions about orthodontists.

Perhaps the biggest misconception about the orthodontist is that they’re just like your family dentist. The truth is, they’re actually very different. While it’s true that both orthodontists and dentists care about helping you enjoy a lifetime of good dental and oral health, orthodontists go about achieving this goal in different ways. For instance, if you need to have a cavity filled, you probably won’t make an appointment to see an orthodontist. Dentists are the health professionals to see if you’re concerned about a cavity or need a filling. A dentist can also treat gum disease, tooth decay, toothaches, and other common oral health problems.

People see an orthodontist for very particular services. Most of the patients we see on a daily basis are here because they have braces, or they need to be fitted with braces or another form of tooth-straightening device. In other words, they consult an orthodontist when they are concerned about the alignment of their teeth. As a child grows up, his or her teeth may come in crooked. This can happen for a number of reasons, so it’s important for an orthodontist to take a look at a child’s teeth at about seven years of age. At that age, it’s possible to detect any problems that have not become too advanced to treat easily. Your family dentist may also refer your child to an orthodontist once the adult teeth have fully grown in.

Another common misconception about orthodontists is that they only treat children. It’s true that when you visit an orthodontic clinic you’re apt to see a lot of young kids, but you’ll also see teenagers, college students, and adults. Because crooked teeth can be caused by a number of different factors, it’s entirely possible for someone to require orthodontic treatment at any age.

If you want to know more about the practice of orthodontics or what your orthodontist can do for you, then simply ask Dr. Tom Jaeger. It’s best to get answers to your specific questions directly from the person who will be treating you. While you’re sure to find Internet resources helpful, there really is no substitute for the personal attention you’ll get during your appointment at our Coeur d'Alene, ID office.

Happy National Grandparent's Day!

September 5th, 2014

National Grandparent's Day is this Sunday, September 7th.  President Jimmy Carter signed a proclamation in August of 1978 stating that the first sunday after Labor Day would be National Grandparent's Day.

The purpose of the holiday is to honor grandparents, to give grandparents an opportunity to show love for their children's children and to help children become aware of the strength, information and guidance older people can offer.  Both generations get to benefit from the holiday--it's a win, win for everyone!  Grandparetns have so much experience and history to share with their grandchildren if given the opportunity to do so.  And, grandparents can learn an incredible amount from their grandchildren also.  Our world is changing so fast that it takes the younger people to help the older generation navigate through all the technology that surrounds us.  More than all of that is just the time we spend with each other--you can never replace time well spent with those you love.

We have some of the most incredible grandparents that bring their grandchildren to appointments at our office.  It is always a treat to visit with them!  All of us have benefited from our own grandparents at some point in our lives and now some of us here at the office have the joy of being grandparents.  There are nine grandchildren between us, and a couple of "adopted" ones too--we will let you guess who they all belong to!! So much love! Happy Grandparent's Day everyone!

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