• John N. Kim, D.D.S., P.A.

Dentist 
8301 Cherry Lane
Laurel, MD 20707
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By John N. Kim, D.D.S., P.A.
February 29, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures

Thinking about Invisalign as an option to fix your overbite?

People living in the Laurel, MD area who want to find out more about Invisalign can help improve their smiles should consider contacting invisalignthe offices of Dr. John N. Kim.

An overbite or some other type of malocclusion or spacing issue can be a source of self consciousness. Ironically, many people, for various reasons – including self-consciousness – don’t want to wear regular braces. One popular option you Laurel dentist offers is Invisalign.

How Invisalign can help your smile

The Invisalign system is an alignment therapy treatment system which utilizes a series of clear, virtually invisible plastic trays rather than metal brackets, bands and wires associated with traditional braces. The trays are designed and built to each patient’s specific needs. Each set of trays applies a gentle pressure to the patient’s teeth to move them into proper alignment. Typically, the trays are worn for 2-3 weeks at a time, up to 20 hours a day. After the prescribed time, the trays are changed out for the next set of trays in the treatment process.

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Invisalign can be an effective therapy option for mild to moderate malocclusions or spacing issues.

However, Invisalign might not be the most appropriate treatment for everyone. Some points to consider are:

Pros

  • Invisalign trays are virtually invisible.
  • Invisalign trays are manufactured to the individual patient’s case and desired outcome goals
  • Invisalign trays are removable.
  • Invisalign is usually less expensive than traditional braces

Cons

  • Invisalign will have the best results in patients who wear them as directed. Self discipline is key to achieving optimal results
  • Because Invisalign trays are removable they can be misplaced or lost
  • Invisalign is not as effective as traditional braces on more severe malocclusions or complex alignment issues

Whether or not to undergo Invisalign treatment is a decision that should be carefully considered with the advice of a qualified dentist. If you live in the Laurel, MD area and are seeking more information about how Invisalign can help improve your smile, consider contacting the offices of Dr. John N. Kim. For more information call (301)604-8117 or visit the website at www.laurelmddentist.net.

By John N. Kim, D.D.S., P.A.
February 23, 2016
Category: Oral Health
KidsCatsandCaninesDentalDevelopmentThroughtheAges

What do young saber tooth tigers, which have been extinct about 10,000 years, have in common with human kids today? At first glance, not a lot. Smilodon fatalis, the big cat of North America, reached adulthood at around age three and weighed up to 600 pounds. But these ice-age mammals are probably best known for their dagger-like canine teeth, which (as shown by many well-preserved skeletons) grew up to 7 inches long. And that’s where the comparison between kids and kitties gets interesting.

The toothy felines had primary (baby) teeth and adult teeth, which developed in a similar way to human dentition. The primary teeth came in first, persisted during the young cat’s development, and shared space in the mouth as the adult teeth were erupting (growing in) — with one big difference. According to a recent study reported in the academic journal PLOS ONE, those colossal canines grew at an astonishing rate: up to 6 millimeters per month! By comparison, human primary teeth emerge from the gums at around 0.7mm per month, while permanent teeth may grow up to 2mm per month.

It’s understandable why those tiger teeth developed so rapidly: Life in the Ice Age was hard, and predators needed every advantage just to stay alive. But while human baby teeth take longer to develop (and to go away), they, too, are vitally important. For one thing, the primary teeth let kids bite, chew, speak (and smile) properly, until they are replaced by adult teeth — a process that isn’t usually finished until a child reaches the age of 12-13. So those “baby” teeth allow kids to have good nutrition — and positive social interactions — for a significant part of childhood!

There’s another important thing primary teeth do before they’re gone: They help ensure that the succeeding teeth come in properly, by holding a space in the jaw that will later be filled by a permanent tooth. If baby teeth are lost prematurely, those spaces can close up, resulting in permanent teeth that emerge too close together, or in the wrong places. This condition, called malocclusion (bad bite), can usually be corrected by orthodontics. But it’s better to avoid the inconvenience (and cost) of braces, if possible.

That’s why it’s so important to take care of your child’s baby teeth. Even though they won’t be around forever, they have a vital role to play right now. So be sure proper attention is paid to your child’s oral hygiene: That means avoiding sugar, and remembering to brush and floss every day. And be sure to come in regularly for routine exams, cleanings, and needed care. It’s the best way to keep those little teeth from “going extinct” too soon!

If you have questions or concerns about your child’s baby teeth, please call our office to schedule a consultation. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Importance of Baby Teeth” and “Early Loss of Baby Teeth.”

By John N. Kim, D.D.S., P.A.
February 08, 2016
Category: Oral Health
EvenCelebritiesLikeJenniferLawrenceArentImmuneFromBadBreath

Exchanging passionate kisses with big-screen star Jennifer Lawrence might sound like a dream come true. But according to Liam Hemsworth, her Hunger Games co-star, it could also be a nightmare… because J.Law’s breath wasn’t always fresh. “Anytime I had to kiss Jennifer was pretty uncomfortable,” Hemsworth said on The Tonight Show.

Lawrence said the problem resulted from her inadvertently consuming tuna or garlic before the lip-locking scenes; fortunately, the two stars were able to share a laugh about it later. But for many people, bad breath is no joke. It can lead to embarrassment and social difficulties — and it occasionally signifies a more serious problem. So what causes bad breath, and what can you do about it?

In 9 out of 10 cases, bad breath originates in the mouth. (In rare situations, it results from a medical issue in another part of the body, such as liver disease or a lung infection.) The foul odors associated with bad breath can be temporarily masked with mouthwash or breath mints — but in order to really control it, we need to find out exactly what’s causing the problem, and address its source.

As Lawrence and Hemsworth found out, some foods and beverages can indeed cause a malodorous mouth. Onions, garlic, alcohol and coffee are deservedly blamed for this. Tobacco products are also big contributors to bad breath — which is one more reason to quit. But fasting isn’t the answer either: stop eating for long enough and another set of foul-smelling substances will be released. Your best bet is to stay well hydrated and snack on crisp, fresh foods like celery, apples or parsley.

And speaking of hydration (or the lack of it): Mouth dryness and reduced salivary flow during the nighttime hours is what causes “morning breath.” Certain health issues and some medications can also cause “dry mouth,” or xerostomia. Drinking plenty of water can encourage the production of healthy saliva — but if that’s not enough, tell us about it: We may recommend switching medications (if possible), chewing xylitol gum or using a saliva substitute.

Finally, maintaining excellent oral hygiene is a great way to avoid bad breath. The goal of oral hygiene is to control the harmful bacteria that live in your mouth. These microorganisms can cause gum disease, tooth decay, and bad breath — so keeping them in check is good for your overall oral health. Remember to brush twice and floss once daily, stay away from sugary foods and beverages, and visit the dental office regularly for checkups and professional cleanings.

So did J.Law apologize for the malodorous makeout session? Not exactly. “[For] Bradley Cooper, Christian Bale, yeah, I’ll brush my teeth,” she laughed.

Hemsworth jokingly agreed: “If I was kissing Christian Bale I probably would have brushed my teeth too. With you, it’s like, ‘Eh. Whatever.’”

If you would like more information about bad breath and oral hygiene, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Bad Breath: More than Just Embarrassing.”

By John N. Kim, D.D.S., P.A.
January 28, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: teeth whitening  

What constitutes an ideal smile? While most people would agree that fairly straight and even, white, unstained teeth are the most teeth whiteningattractive, the question of what makes a smile beautiful is a subjective concept. For some people, especially in the entertainment world where public scrutiny can be unrelenting, nothing short of perfect symmetry and stellar white teeth will do. For others (think icons like Madonna, Willem Dafoe, and Lauren Hutton), their uniquely imperfect teeth are a signature of individualism and personality.

Professional Teeth Whitening in Laurel, MD

When it comes to professional teeth whitening, some people may shy away from the procedure out of fear their teeth will look unnatural, or that it might fail to produce the desired results. As with any cosmetic dentistry procedure, teeth whitening produces individual results that will vary from patient to patient. In addition to lifestyle habits like drinking coffee, tea, red wine, and smoking cigarettes, other factors like age, trauma, and certain medications can stain teeth.

Contrary to popular belief, all tooth whitening products are not created equal. Different stains can be more resistant to bleaching agents depending on factors like the cause of the staining and the color (grayish stains for example may be more difficult to remove). Simply buying a whitening toothpaste or an over the counter bleaching kit may seem easier and more convenient, but it may not be as effective or as long-lasting as a professional whitening by a dentist. Dr. John N. Kim advises his Laurel patients to get a comprehensive oral exam in order to identify the best method for obtaining a whiter smile that will improve both the color and overall appearance of their teeth. For many people, an investment in whiter teeth and a brighter smile can also provide a boost in self image and confidence.

Contact a Dentist in Laurel, MD

To learn more about professional teeth whitening and whether the procedure is right for you, contact Dr. John N. Kim today at (301) 604-8117 to schedule an appointment.

By John N. Kim, D.D.S., P.A.
January 24, 2016
Category: Oral Health
TheMajorBenefitsofEarlyChildhoodDentalVisits

For a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums, it takes a lifetime of personal and professional care. Starting your child’s daily hygiene with the first tooth eruption is a must; but you should also consider beginning regular dental visits in their early years, around or before their first birthday.

There’s evidence that early dental visits hold a number of benefits that could lead to reduced oral care costs over their lifetime.

Familiarity with professional dental care. Children need to feel comfortable and safe in their surroundings, especially new places. Beginning dental visits early improves the chances your child will view the dentist’s office as a regular part of their life. It’s especially helpful if the dental professional has training and experience with young children to put them at ease.

Early monitoring for dental disease or other problems. A young child’s teeth are highly susceptible to tooth decay. Dental visits that begin early in a child’s life increase our chances of detecting any developing dental problems early. In addition to treating decayed teeth, your child may also need preventative actions like sealants or additional fluoride applications to protect teeth if they are at a higher risk for disease. As the child develops, we may also be able to catch early bite problems: with interventional treatment, it may be possible to reduce future orthodontic costs.

Parental help and support. As we discuss your child’s dental care with you, we’ll be able to provide essential information and training for how to care for their teeth and gums at home. We’ll also be able to ease any common concerns you may have, such as thumb sucking or other oral habits, as well as give you sound advice and techniques for dealing with these problems.

As with other areas of childhood development, starting off on the right foot with oral care can make all the difference to their future dental health. The sooner you begin regular dental visits with your toddler, the better their chances for a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums.

If you would like more information on dental care for children, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Taking the Stress out of Dentistry for Kids.”





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