By Debbie Burke
A little more than one year ago, Dr. Daniel Bair, DMD, MDS – Board Certified Periodontist and his brother Dr. Justin Bair, DMD – Board Certified Orthodontist opened Bair Orthodontics in East Stroudsburg. In discussing their practice, Dr. Daniel called it “an honor and a privilege” to work with patients in our community. Together he and his brother are helping to build awareness of good oral health.
The first thing people often ask about is the difference between periodontics and orthodontics. According to Dr. Daniel Bair, periodontics is the dental specialty that focuses on treating gum diseases that result from bacteria invading tissues in the mouth, causing the body to break down bone and damage the supporting structures around the teeth. He adds, “Orthodontics is the dental specialty that seeks to straighten teeth and align the jaws to create the ideal aesthetic and functional outcome.”
The most important recommendations for good oral health include meticulous home care on a daily basis and visiting a dental professional regularly to diagnose and treat dental disease at an early stage. It’s also important, adds Dr. Bair, to consider your dietary intake and avoid foods that are high in sugar or highly acidic to reduce the risk of forming cavities.
Patients are often curious about whether dentures can be prevented. Dr. Daniel says that dental implants are often the best strategy to avoid the need for dentures, and your periodontist can help support dentures so the fit and retention are significantly improved. The goal is to keep as many natural teeth as possible for as long as possible.
Another issue patients ask about is the effect of “vaping” (e-cigarettes) upon oral health. “Electronic cigarettes have significantly increased in popularity in recent years and over 460 e-cigarette brands are now available in the United States,” says Dr. Daniel. There has been relatively little long-term research published thus far regarding the direct physiologic effects of e-cigarettes on oral health. “However, concern has been raised about the risk of e-cigarette devices spontaneously exploding which can cause significant harm to the user,” he says. “There’s concern about the inclusion of nicotine as an ingredient which has been shown to have negative effects on the health of the tissues and bones in the mouth.”
Parents should know that genetics play a role in the development and characteristics of teeth, and can predispose a person to conditions like congenitally missing teeth, crowding or spacing of teeth, and an unbalanced relationship between the upper and lower jaw.
Orthodontics corrects the discrepancies to create a more ideal relationship. A tip-off for these kinds of problems would be when teeth are not positioned uniformly. It’s best to seek a consultation with an orthodontist by the time a child is seven years old, he says, to allow for ample time to intervene and correct any issues.
Participation in sports can also compromise oral health. Proper precautions are important for children and adults when participating in athletic activities. According to Dr. Daniel, the National Youth Sports Safety Foundation found that athletes who don’t wear mouth guards are 60 times more likely to damage their teeth and an estimated three million teeth are knocked out in youth sports each year. Mouth guards help protect against trauma that can lead to permanent tooth damage or unnecessary loss of teeth. Dental professionals can create customized mouth guards that maximize protection and are comfortable to wear.
Current research is coming out about the close association between periodontal disease and other systemic conditions like diabetes, heart disease and stroke. At-risk patients or patients who have been treated for any of these conditions should consult with a periodontist to evaluate the status of their gums.
Dr. Daniel and Dr. Justin work well together and complement each other’s specialties. Dr. Daniel says, “It’s really a lot of fun. Being in the same office provides a lot of opportunities to discuss interesting cases and share unique perspectives on our individual specialties.”
Bair Orthodontics, 296 East Brown Street, Unit C, East Stroudsburg PA 18301. For more information please visit
www.bairorthodontics.com or call 570.559. 8011