Our Blog

When Are Two Phases of Treatment Necessary? - Dr. Jerome Baruffi

February 3rd, 2009

Usually patients we refer for orthodontic treatment already have their permanent teeth – but in some cases we recommend starting treatment earlier, even before the patient’s permanent teeth come in. We call this “two-phase treatment.”

When we have patients with clear developmental problems at an early age, it’s best to start work when they are young, before the problems get bigger and more difficult to treat. Examples include an upper or lower jaw that is not growing correctly, or a mouth growing in a way that doesn’t leave enough room for all the permanent teeth to come in.

In these cases we will refer you to an orthodontist early and do one round of treatment – phase one – while the patient still has “baby teeth.” Phase one usually does not involve braces, but can include a different type of appliance that helps the jaw grow into place properly, such as a retainer. We’ll follow up with phase two usually a few years later, when the patient’s permanent teeth have come in. Phase two often does involve braces and sometimes headgear.

In order to catch early problems, we recommend that children have an orthodontic check-up no later than age seven (and so does the American Association of Orthodontics). However, if we or your pediatrician see any sign that early treatment might be necessary, we may recommend your child visit an orthodontist even sooner.

Fighting Plaque - Dr. Jerry Baruffi

January 27th, 2009

By fighting plaque you can keep your teeth for a lifetime. Today, in fact, older adults are keeping their natural teeth longer because of scientific developments and an emphasis on preventative dentistry.

Good oral hygiene requires an understanding of plaque. Plaque is a sticky, colorless layer of bacteria. When you eat carbohydrates (foods made of sugar or starch) you feed this plaque, which in turn produces acids that attack tooth enamel, cause cavities, and develop a hard substance called calculus (tartar). Uninterrupted, the acid attacks can result in tooth decay and gum disease (also known as periodontal disease). If left untreated, gum disease can cause loss of teeth and bone.

At any age, you can begin the fight with plaque and keep your teeth and gums healthy. It's really quite easy. Simply:

1. Brush your teeth twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste to remove food particles and plaque from the tooth surfaces. While you're at it, brush the top surface of your tongue to eliminate bad breath and bacteria buildup.
2. Clean between your teeth daily with floss or an interdental cleaner. Decay-causing bacteria can linger between teeth where toothbrush bristles can't reach. Flossing removes plaque and food particles from between the teeth and under the gum line.
3. Eat a balanced diet and limit between-meal snacks. If a snack is needed, nutritious foods such as raw vegetables, plain yogurt, cheese, or a piece of fruit should be chosen.
4. Schedule regular checkups. Visit the doctor regularly (every 6 months) for professional cleanings and oral exams.
5. Ask the doctor about dental sealants, a protective plastic coating that can be applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth where decay often starts.
6. Wear mouth protection such as a mouthguard when you play contact sports or extreme sports

Southcenter Dental - Cosmetic Dentistry - Tukwila, WA

January 20th, 2009


Your smile is one of the most important aspects of your appearance. With the advent of new aesthetic dental treatments, a stunning, memorable smile is now easily within your reach!

Are you ready for a Smile Makeover?

* Do you hesitate when you smile?
* Would you like to increase your self-confidence?
* Do you want to look your best in social or professional situations?
* Are you ready to reverse dental imperfections caused by Mother Nature or an accident?

Our office can help you achieve your smile goals. Cosmetic dentistry is art and science working seamlessly together to offer smile enhancement, restoration, and maintenance for your optimal dental health. Using cutting-edge techniques and advanced materials, our office proudly offers you a beautiful, natural smile and all the benefits that come with it. You will look and feel better because a beautiful smile is a healthy smile.

You no longer have to suffer missing, chipped, discolored, or crooked teeth. We encourage you to visit our Smile Gallery to find a treatment that works for you.

Contact us today to schedule your Smile Makeover!

Katherine Heigl Struggles with Crooked Teeth - Tukwila, WA

January 13th, 2009

Everyone struggles with little imperfections. Making stained teeth sparkling white and chipped teeth smooth is part of what I do as a dentist. The sense of renewed self confidence that comes to my patients after having some sort of reconstructive work is what makes my job worthwhile.

Consider Katherine Heigl, award winning actress, and considered by many the Grace Kelly of our day. She describes struggling with crooked teeth her whole life until finally there came a point when she said "enough is enough!" She decided to do something to straighten her teeth.

I think you will enjoy this clip. Please feel free to leave comments, tell me what you think! Have you ever struggled with this same problem? Have you felt the relief of smiling to reveal a straight, bright smile after hiding crooked ones for so long? Contact us so we can hear your story, or help you create a new beautiful smile and a story of your own!

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