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How Orthodontics can alter your smile for the better

November 7th, 2017

If you are like millions of people who avoid smiling in public because of a crooked or an uneven smile, then you know how embarrassing it can be to laugh in public. Since one of the first things that people notice about others is their smile, it is important to be confident with your smile. It can be hard to be confident in your smile when you do not feel attractive to members of the opposite sex. The worry that your smile will prevent others from seeing your personality is common with people who have uneven teeth.

Teeth that overlap or look darker than the other teeth in certain lights can also cause confidence issues. Smiling sets the stage for your day, and if you look in the mirror every single day and hate what is reflected, then your confidence will suffer.

Communication Through Body Language

Almost all our communication is done through the body in the form of body language. Anywhere from 50 to 90-percent of our body language signals are how we communicate, and most of these signals derive from our faces and facial expressions. People are not just their words and voices, but they are also their expressions on their face.

Smiling, universally understood, is just a simple act that anyone can understand no matter where you intend to travel. You can convey that feeling of warmth and friendship without even speaking any words. You can also show openness when you smile. Smiling, no matter how little, can cause others to smile in return.

Smiles are contagious. Even some studies have proven that looking at a smile or smiles causes our minds to make a constant, conscious effort to keep from smiling in return. It is a natural instinct to want to mimic the smiling expression.

Elevating the Mood

Yes, smiling helps to spread joy to others in the world, but smiling can also impact our personal health and overall well-being. Many psychologists are starting to prove that positive emotions have quite the impact on our bodies and our minds. In the recent years, a new field of psychology, called Positive Psychology, is studying how happiness and smiling are linked together.

Each time you break into a smile, your brain has a little party to celebrate how good you feel. Through smiling, you activate your messaging system in the brain that tells your brain to release those neurotransmitters that make you feel good. These neurotransmitters include things like dopamine, endorphins, and serotonin. Just a simple smile can help you relax, reduce your blood pressure, and lower your heart rate.

Changing that Smile

Since many people make quick, split-second judgments about other’s appearances, it is important to fix the things that make you unhappy about yourself. If your smile makes you unhappy, that will be the first thing that people see you. Your personality will be lost in the madness. When you smile, your brain will let you know that you feel good, since it will be boosting your feel-good emotions. Through smiling, you can relax the muscles, lower your heart rate and your blood pressure, and release those endorphins. When you smile, you even enhance other’s views of you, making yourself and the other person happier. Smiles are contagious as well, which will have quite the effect on everyone that is around you.

Smiling is such a simple act, but it is vastly important to our overall happiness. If your teeth make you uncomfortable with smiling, then you could be hindering yourself and hindering other people’s opinions of you. Instead, you should talk with Houston Orthodontist about treatments and ways to alter your smile and your overall outlook on life. If you want to feel confident in your smile, this is the best place to start.

Altering Your Smile

It’s never a bad time to help boost your smile. Embarrassment about your uneven or crooked teeth can be solved by the skilled hands of Houston Orthodontist Dr. Mike Mizell. Adult patients can choose the Invisalign clear aligners to straighten teeth.

Houston Orthodontists Are Celebrating National Orthodontic Health Month

October 4th, 2017

For many, the month of October signals the beginning of fall. The leaves start to change color, fading from green to yellow, orange, and red. The weather grows colder. Sweaters and coats hidden away in the back of the closet come out, and children return from school with art projects featuring pumpkins, witches, spiders, and Frankenstein monsters. Halloween is just around the corner, and after that comes Thanksgiving and the winter holidays -- all of which need to be appropriately planned for and celebrated.

For our Houston orthodontist team, however, October heralds something quite different: the beginning of National Orthodontic Health Month. During this time, orthodontic clinics all over the country collectively participate in an awareness campaign designed to promote the services orthodontic practitioners can provide the community at large.

If you have any questions about orthodontic practices -- about braces, about bite alignment, or about the services we provide more generally -- now is the time to have those questions answered. After all, orthodontic treatment is more than just a better-looking smile. Its ultimate goal is to create a healthy bite where teeth are straight and properly meet, which makes it much easier for you to brush your teeth, bite, chew, and speak. All of these things contribute to a greater sense of self-confidence and a reduced risk of tooth decay, gum disease, tooth loss, and jaw problems.

Remember, dental health is paramount to overall well being. Healthy teeth and gums contribute not only to a bright, shiny smile but a sense of confidence and a basis for good oral health. Sometimes mother nature makes that journey more difficult for some than others, but orthodontic treatment is there to bridge the gap. So take a little time this month to learn what we do. Ask us questions and learn how we can help you and your family have happier, healthier smiles!

We look forward to meeting you!

Back to School & Braces: 6 Tips From a Houston Orthodontist

September 6th, 2017

School is back in session and you probably want to look your best for the new school year. Wait! What if you have a mouth full of braces though? Does anyone look good in braces? After all, wasn’t the reason you got those braces in the first place to have a mouth-full of straight pearly-whites?

Not to fear because the Houston Orthodontics office of Dr. Mike Mizell has some tips for you to keep your braces neat, clean, and looking as good as possible while your teeth are getting straightened out.

TIP 1

Apply the 2x2 brushing rule. The rule states to brush your teeth for at least two minutes and twice a day. This is especially true if you have braces since food tends to get stuck in between the metal brackets and wires. If you are worried about your appearance then this is something you want to avoid.

It is advisable to keep a toothbrush in your backpack so that you can brush after lunch. If, however, it is not possible to carry a toothbrush with you to school then you can rinse your mouth out with water after you eat. This will help keep any food from sticking to your brackets and wires.

A soft, bristle toothbrush works best as it does not damage the wires or brackets. Be sure to replace your toothbrush every 3 months as braces tend to quickly wear down the bristles.

Most orthodontists recommend using fluoride toothpaste when brushing as this will help keep your mouth cavity-free and will actually strengthen your teeth while you are wearing braces.

TIP 2

Bring a bottle of water to school. Drinking water throughout the day not only keeps your mouth clean and fresh, it also helps fight cavities and tooth decay. These are two things you want to avoid, especially when wearing braces. After all, you are wearing them to straighten your teeth, not to contaminate them with germs and bacteria.

TIP 3

Keep some extra rubber bands (a.k.a. elastics) in your locker. Elastics tend to break easily, so you are going to need a whole bunch of them during the bite-fixing phase of your braces, which tends to be the longest part.

Elastics are very important as they align your upper and lower teeth, as well as your overall bite. Not wearing them will often delay the process, so be sure to carry extra ones for emergency purposes.

TIP 4

Eat foods that will not damage your braces. Food is required to keep your body and mind in good-working condition. This is true for everyone but even more so for students who are both mentally and physically active throughout the day.

Chewy, crunchy, and hard foods damage brace-wires, and so it is best to avoid them. Houston Orthodontists recommend the following foods to bring to school for students wearing braces:

  • Eggs
  • Smoothies
  • Yogurt

TIP 5

While it is recommended to bring your own lunch to school when wearing braces, this may not always be possible. If this is the case, purview the school lunch menu to see if they provide any items that are brace-friendly.

Some of the school lunch menu items we recommend include:

  • Macaroni and Cheese
  • Spaghetti
  • Lean Meat
  • Cooked Vegetables
  • Be sure to avoid foods like chips and soft drinks.

TIP 6

Be careful with hard fruits as they can severely damage your braces.

While fruits are an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients, hard fruits like apples and pears can bend the wires and crack the brackets of your braces.

If you are going to eat hard fruits, then cut them into tiny pieces and chew them with your back teeth so they do not come into contact with the metal.

In conclusion, if you follow the above tips you are sure to keep your smile and your braces bright and healthy during the 2017-2018 school year.

As the above tips are not intended to be used as medical advice, if you should have any questions in regards to your or your child’s braces, feel free to contact our office.

Fall Sports and Mouthguards for Braces

August 9th, 2017

In a few weeks, Houston kids head back to school and this means the start of fall sports.  Did you know that sports-related injuries to the mouth and jaw are some of the most common injuries incurred by athletes? Protecting your smile while playing sport is essential when you have braces due to the increased risk of oral injuries, including mouth lacerations if you are unlucky enough to be hit by a ball or another player.

There is the potential for injury whether you have braces or not when playing sports like basketball, football, hockey, skateboarding, soccer, martial arts, wrestling, boxing and even track and field.

In fact, even non-contact sports or recreational activities can potentially have increased risk of laceration injury with braces on. For this reason, Houston orthodontist, Dr. Mizell recommends mouthguards for all patients who wear braces.

What is a Mouthguard?

A mouthguard is a shock absorbing appliance made of flexible material that fits over all the top teeth to help protect the teeth and lower jaw from breaking, and prevents you from accidentally biting your lips, tongue or cheeks. A strong blow to the face may otherwise result in an injury to the mouth and joints.

You can play any sport while you have braces on, however the risk of laceration injury increases. There are many types of mouthguards but only a few mouthguards that are recommended for those of you who have braces. The main difference is that an orthodontic mouthguard needs to fit well and be removable or flexible so that it can adjust or be adjusted to fit over the braces.

Minimize Injuries

Braces can be a challenging time. Minimize your chances of mouth injuries while undergoing treatment with braces. Getting used to the appliances and how to care for them and clean them while undergoing orthodontic treatment can certainly take some getting used to. Be sure to ask us about mouthguards at your next visit.