want a better nights sleep

want a better nights sleepMiami and Coral Gables, FL

Sleep is required for optimal health; it allows the brain to restore and rejuvenate. Without quality sleep, you increase your risk of accidents, both on the job and operating a vehicle, compromise your immune system, and increase your risk of developing other health-related issues. If you are longing for a restful night’s sleep, follow these tips.

Keep the room cool

Be sure not to have the thermostat too high when you sleep because that is when your internal temperature drops. Research indicates that this drop in temperature even induces sleep.

Keep out the light

Even an alarm clock or nightlight is enough light to interfere with your circadian clock and disrupt sleep. Make sure you have curtains or shades on your windows that block outside light. If you must have a light on for safety, to see going to the bathroom and such, wear an eye mask over your eyes while you sleep.

No electronic devices in the bedroom

Instead of falling asleep with the TV on, or looking at your phone, keep these entertainment devices out of the bedroom. The light emitted from these screens disrupts sleep, and can end up keeping you awake for a longer period.

Avoid stimulants too close to bedtime

Wine, coffee, and even chocolate can interfere with your ability to sleep well. Instead, drink warm unsweetened almond milk with a small amount of stevia and vanilla (the real deal, not imitation), which helps increase serotonin production and facilitate restful sleep.

Skip the naps

Napping too often for too long will disrupt your natural sleeping pattern. Instead, try to push through until bedtime and establish a sleep routine. Stick to going to bed and waking up at the same time every day. If you must take a nap, make it no longer than 20 minutes, and not too close to bedtime.

Exercise regularly

Daily exercise is beneficial for insomnia. Just be sure not to exercise too close to bedtime or you could risk not being able to fall asleep on time.

Don’t toss and turn

If you find that you are not able to fall asleep when bedtime arrives, do not just lay there tossing and turning. Instead, move to a different room to read or relax in another fashion. Eventually, you will feel tired again and want to fall asleep.

For more information about sleep disorders, contact Miami Designer Smiles today at (305) 595-4616.

Miami Designer Smiles serves patients in Coral Gables and Miami, Florida.

child sleep breathing disorder

child sleep breathing disorderMiami and Coral Gables, FL

Have you ever looked at your child and noticed them breathing through their mouth even when they were not sick or congested? If you have, keep reading. Mouth breathing can have devastating effects on one’s health and development. Luckily, there is a solution to this health concern.

Chronic mouth breathing can lead to concerns such as sleep apnea, and interferes with speech development, and leads to problems chewing and swallowing. In fact, when mouth breathing begins early in life, a child’s looks can be completely altered. Ever noticed someone who’s lips are pursed when they close their mouth to swallow? How about someone who looked as though their upper front teeth protruded significantly forward, giving the appearance of “buck teeth?” Both of these are characteristics of a mouth breather.

Not so caught up on looks? Although you may not be all too worried about your child’s looks, how about their health? Mouth breathing leads to improper positioning of the tongue, resulting in a narrow upper palate. In this case, the person is likely to develop sleep-breathing disorders such as sleep apnea. A narrow upper palate can also lead to overcrowded teeth, an uneven bite, and TMJ disorder. So, when it comes to mouth breathing, it certainly has to do with more than just looks.

Correcting mouth breathing may be easier than you think. Myofunctional therapy is essentially physical therapy for the mouth and facial muscles. Re-educating these muscles, and improving posture and muscle tone encourages nasal breathing, which is by far healthier for the patient. When a patient receives myofunctional therapy, the exercises are specific to his or her needs and are outlined in an individualized treatment plan.  

Tackling the mouth breathing issue early on is best. However, even adults can benefit from myofunctional therapy. If you notice your child is a chronic mouth breather, please schedule a consultation with Miami Designer Smiles. Our certified myofunctional therapist can get your child down the road to a healthier life.

To schedule a consultation, please call Miami Designer Smiles today at (305) 595-4616. We welcome patients in Coral Gables and Miami, Florida.

permanent denturesMiami and Coral Gables, FL

If you are a denture wearer, you probably deal with loose fitting dentures, which makes eating and speaking difficult. When deciding whether to get removable or permanent dentures, often patients are not sure how to weigh their options. Here is a look at the difference between the two, which may help you make a decision on which type of denture is best for you.

Miami Designer Smiles offers permanent dentures that not only provide you with a comfortable fit, but you can eat better than before! Just because the word “dentures” is in the name, do not let that fool you. Permanent dentures will help give you back your life.

Removable dentures have been the go-to solution for many patients who are missing all their teeth. The problem with removable dentures is that they often do not fit well right from the start. Removable dentures are not as durable, nor do they last as long as permanent dentures. Traditional dentures that are removable also need to be remade every few years or so, to ensure the most comfortable fit.

Other downsides to removable dentures are a restricted diet. Certain foods such as taffy, or other chewy candy, nuts, tough meat like steak, and popcorn, are simply difficult to eat with removable dentures. Plus, you could damage your dentures.

Permanent dentures are far superior, and you can eat any foods that you want. Permanent dentures are anchored to dental implants that serve as roots in your jawbone. Since the permanent denture is attached to the implant, you never have to worry about loose teeth or an embarrassing smile again. You can smile, talk, and eat with ease, when you are wearing permanent dentures.

If you would like to know more about the benefits of permanent dentures, and whether they are right for you, contact Miami Designer Smiles today. We welcome patients of Coral Gables and Miami, Florida.

mouth breathing

mouth breathingMiami and Coral Gables, FL

Breathing, it may seem like something simple, a no-brainer if you will, but it’s not. Many people are “mouth breathers,” which means they are breathing incorrectly, and it is affecting their oral health and their body. Nasal breathing helps keep your oral health in check and promotes optimal overall health.

Why are you a mouth breather?

People often breath through their mouth during bouts of congestion or as a result of allergies. However, some mouth breathers do so because of their anatomy such as a tongue-tie or lip-tie, deviated septum, or other myofunctional disorders of the mouth or face. Frequent and ongoing mouth breathing is where the problem lies. Here are the health risks associated with regularly breathing through your mouth.

Imbalance in the body’s pH

Mouth breathing changes the pH levels in the blood, which means in your saliva too. Low pH levels in the mouth, in which high acidity is present, increases the risk of tooth decay.  An acidic pH promotes acidophilic and acidogenic bacteria to buildup on your teeth, instead of healthy biofilm that offers your teeth protection.

Dry mouth promotes tooth decay

Mouth breathing inevitably dries out the mouth and decreases the production of saliva. In turn, teeth are more susceptible to decay and periodontal disease. Even people who take certain medications that result in dry mouth, bear the same risk.

How can I stop mouth breathing?

If you mouth breath as a result of a myofunctional disorder, then myofunctional therapy may help by retraining your oral muscles to function in a way that promotes nasal breathing and proper mouth posture. Some patients may experience relief by wearing a specially designed oral orthotic to help hold their jaw into alignment while they sleep, opening the airway to facilitate nasal breathing.

If your teeth have begun to suffer from the effects of mouth breathing, the dentist can develop a specialized treatment plan to restore your teeth. For severe cases, such as enlarged soft tissue of the airway, patients may need surgery to allow nasal breathing.

To schedule an appointment, please contact Miami Designer Smiles today at (305) 595-4616. We welcome patients in Coral Gables and Miami, Florida.

bad habits start as babies

bad habits start as babiesMiami and Coral Gables, Florida

An orofacial myofunctional disorder (OMD) is a disorder of the muscles and functions of the face and mouth. Originating from insufficient nasal or oral breathing, an OMD develops when the muscles and orofacial functions adapt to that disordered breathing pattern.

Swallowing can be affected significantly by an OMD. The act of swallowing relies on a precise balance of the face, mouth and throat. Muscles and nerves in the tongue, cheeks and throat must work together in harmony for proper swallowing to occur.

An OMD can also cause problems in some of these areas:

Dental

Incorrect swallowing can cause tongue thrust, which occurs when the tip and/or sides of the tongue press against or spread between the teeth. Constant pressure from tongue thrust may push teeth out of correct alignment. In children, this pressure can prevent adult teeth from erupting properly.

An OMD can also cause bite misalignment, which may lead to problems biting, chewing, swallowing or digesting food.

Cosmetic

When facial muscles are operating abnormally, it can result in a dull, sluggish appearance of the face or full, weak lips. These cosmetic issues are some of the most obvious symptoms of an OMD or incorrect oral posture.

Incorrect swallowing also has a cosmetic effect, causing a facial grimace from tightening the muscles of the cheek, chin and lips.

Tongue thrust has cosmetic effects too, causing mouth breathing or constant open lips.

Speech

People suffering from an OMD may develop speech problems. A person with abnormal oral muscle patterns may suffer a lisp or develop difficulty articulating certain sounds. An incorrect posture of the tongue and lips also can prevent someone from forming normal speech sounds.

Sleep breathing disorders

An OMD, particularly a swallowing issue, can make it more likely for a person to develop a sleep breathing disorder, including obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

How is OMD treated?

At Miami Designer Smiles, our professional and experienced staff can treat OMDs, primarily through the use of orofacial myofunctional therapy. This therapy is painless and consists of simple exercises that will eliminate the causes of an OMD, such as problems swallowing or the improper resting posture of the tongue.

Treatment usually consists of a regular program that incorporates orofacial exercises. The treatment program may last as long as 6 to 12 months.

Do you think you suffer from an OMD, or may need myofunctional therapy to treat a previously diagnosed OMD? Contact Miami Designer Smiles at (305) 595-4616 to schedule an appointment.

Miami Designer Smiles serves patients in the Miami and Coral Gables, Florida areas.