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Don't Misstep with a Misaligned Bite

A properly aligned smile is no doubt nice to look at, but the functionality and health behind it are what matters most. Crooked teeth or an uneven grin can do a number on your self-confidence, but it can also be detrimental. A misaligned bite can actually wreak havoc on your health.

A misaligned bite is also referred to as a dental malocclusion, which is the misalignment or improper positioning of the teeth and jaws that can affect the bite. If left untreated, it can lead to any of the following issues or conditions:

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Armed to the Teeth: What You Need to Know About Having Your Child’s Teeth Extracted

As parents, you entrust your child’s health to a small number of carefully vetted doctors. After all, you’ve done the research, read the reviews and heard dozens of glowing recommendations from friends and family which have all led you to select a particular doctor. For the most part, you trust that the information and diagnoses that your child’s doctors are relaying to you are in your child’s best interest. But as parents, it’s important to remember it’s absolutely within your right to question your child’s medical providers and even get a second opinion. In fact, many of Dr. Buck’s patients are seeing him specifically for a second opinion, especially for a second consult on orthodontic treatment. He sees a growing number of pediatric patients whose orthodontists are recommending a course of treatment he just doesn’t support: tooth extraction to accommodate orthodontics.

It’s very common practice for orthodontists to recommend tooth extraction to make room for orthodontics, like braces. In fact, many orthodontists believe this is a valid approach because 50 years ago, they were taught that after puberty, the jaws couldn't develop or grow. But current research shows that yes, the jaws can grow after puberty. When recommending tooth extraction, what’s often overlooked are the long-term implications. In Dr. Buck’s practice, this isn’t something you’ll encounter because in his opinion, going this route can be severely determinantal for your child and can lead to a range of serious health issues later in life, like sleep apnea.

"I’ve very passionate about [avoiding] what I call ‘amputative orthodontics,’ i.e. teeth taken out," Dr. Buck said. "There’s almost never an indication to take out teeth for orthodontics. It doesn’t work well. It damages the face and the physiology. It’s a form of care that should be eliminated, and yet it’s still prevalent."

Contrary to mainstream orthodontics, it IS possible to avoid tooth extraction while realigning your child’s teeth for a more attractive smile and healthy and functional bite. For many of his patients, Dr. Buck utilizes a growth development course of therapy to provide room for orthodontics, negating the need for tooth extraction.

Asking your child’s orthodontist a few pointed questions can give you a better idea of what kind of treatment or procedures they may recommend for your child. Here are a few questions to ask:

• Can we develop the face to be more attractive, and how do we do that? And in my child’s case should that be done.
• Can you tell me what is going on with regard to the oral posture?
• Is my child breathing well?
• Is the tongue in the correct position?
• Are you concerned with the development of the airway?
• Is it possible if we do this right, my child won’t have sleep apnea later in life?

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As Easy as Apple Pie: A Quick Guide to Food Choices for TMJ Patients

For patients living with Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ), the pleasure of eating a favorite meal can quickly become a distant memory. Because the pain associated with TMJ can often limit the kinds of foods patients can consume, eating can quickly become a painful burden. Patients must change their diet in an effort to alleviate their pain, and that diet is often limited in scope. Dr. Buck specializes in treating patients with TMJ by utilizing a neuromuscular and epigenetics approach to treatment modalities.

Because TMJ affects the muscles and joints that are responsible for chewing, TMJ often causes patients to rethink their food choices. Those food choices often become contingent on the patient’s ability to open their mouth, chew or swallow. Many foods can be difficult and even impossible for patients with TMJ to consume as a result of the associated pain or discomfort. If you’re currently experiencing a painful TMJ flare-up, steer clear of these troublesome foods:

• Raw vegetables
• Hard, chewy bread like baguettes, bagels or bread with nuts and seeds
• Chips
• Popcorn
• Nuts
• Steak or other chewy meats
• Processed foods with refined sugar
• Foods high in salicylates such as tomatoes, hot peppers, and olives. (Salicylates have been shown to aggravate TMJ symptoms for some people, especially those with an allergy or sensitivity to it.)

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Healthy Habits that Can Help Reduce Your Risk of Sleep Apnea

More than 18 million adults in the U.S. suffer from sleep apnea, and while it’s a condition that can’t be 100% prevented, there are several things you can do to reduce your risk. Sleep apnea is a condition where a person’s breathing is interrupted during sleep, and it’s one Dr. Buck sees in many of his patients. When this happens, the body and brain aren’t getting the oxygen they need to function properly, so it’s easy to see how this disorder can quickly become life-threatening if left untreated. Sleep apnea can strike anyone at any age, even children. But there are steps you can take to reduce your risk of developing sleep apnea.

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