Dr Neal Kravitz

Dr. Kravitz Achieves 300 Cases of Lingual Braces!

April 16th, 2013

Congratulations to Dr. Kravitz for this award representing 300 cases of lingual braces! Did you know Dr. Kravitz is one of 10 orthodonists worldwide to serve on the clinical advisory board for Incognito? He also travels around the country to speak at lectures specifically on lingual braces.  Want to learn more about lingual braces? Visit our website to watch videos, see pictures and read articles with frequently asked questions. Schedule your free consultation with us today!

Lingual braces go behind your teeth and stay hidden!

Valentine’s Day and your teeth

February 14th, 2013


With Valentine’s Day almost here, and all that candy making its rounds this week, it’s once again time to remind all our patients to be extra careful when choosing those candies and treats!

All those sweet, sour and sticky candies may taste great, but these treats are known to damage teeth, as well as braces! Did you know sour candies can be acidic to your teeth, and actually wear down the enamel that protects them? This can cause tooth decay and cavities! Sour and fruity candy, such as Starburst and Skittles, are the worst for your teeth since these candies have a low pH value, which is known to ruin enamel.

Our friends at The American Association of Orthodontists recommends softer treats, such as soft chocolate or peanut butter cups, or melt-in-your-mouth foods. Those who indulge should make sure they brush and floss between teeth, around brackets and at the gum line. If damage occurs, please give us a call as soon as possible.

Happy Valentine’s Day from all of us!

February is also American Heart Month!

February 7th, 2013

You may remember our post from last week, when we discussed February being “National Children’s Dental Health Month.” But did you know February also marks American Heart Month?

It’s a great time to take notice of the health of your heart, as cardiovascular disease remains the leading cause of death in the world, according to the American Heart Association. Studies have shown a correlation between gum disease and heart disease, underscoring the importance of good oral health care, especially while you are undergoing orthodontic treatment.

Visiting your dentist on a regular basis during your orthodontic treatment not only ensures a successful outcome, but can also help prevent gum disease or at least catch it in its early stages. In observance of Heart Month, it’s also important to know your numbers: blood pressure (less than 120/80), cholesterol (less than 200) and BMI (less than 25).

If you have any questions about heart health, about the importance of visiting your dentist or about your treatment at our office, please give us a call today!

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month

February 1st, 2013

Each February for the past 62 years, the American Dental Association (ADA) has sponsored National Children's Dental Health Month to raise awareness about the importance of oral health. Developing good habits at an early age and scheduling regular dental visits helps children get a good start on a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums.

For kids wearing braces, brushing and flossing can become more difficult, requiring extra time and vigilance to remove food particles that accumulate on and between the teeth and in braces. New options for braces such as Invisalign Teen, which is removable, make it easier for kids to maintain good oral health during orthodontic treatment.

If the health of your teeth is ignored during treatment with braces, the results can be significantly compromised. We are available and happy to explain why effective brushing and flossing is one of the most critical actions needed from patients during orthodontic treatment. Have you visited us lately? Give us a call and schedule an appointment!

Aldie Elementary Warms Up With a Chili Cookoff!

February 1st, 2013

Kravitz Orthodontics is a proud sponsor of Aldie Elementary School's chili cookoff and talent show this Friday night! Stop by, taste the homemade chili recipes created by the students and their families and stay to see who wins! Team Kravitz is looking forward to hearing about the many talent show skits that the students are performing-good luck to all!

Kravitz Orthodontics is Happy to Sponsor Little River Elementary's Book Club!

January 30th, 2013

Kravitz Orthodontics is a proud sponsor of Little River Elementary's book club! The book club is split into three groups: kindergarten and first grade, second and third grade, as well as fourth and fifth grades. The groups will read one book each month including some of our favorite titles: The Stinky Cheese Man by Jon Scieszka and Hoot by Carl Hiaasen. Dr. Kravitz has provided all materials and books for this wonderful group of staff and students. Our team truly believes in the importance of extra curricular activities and are so thrilled to be a part of the Little River family! Continually supporting our community!

The myths and facts about braces

January 24th, 2013


Some folks believe your chances of being struck by lightning increases when you have braces, while other folks believe having braces interferes with romance, and even metal detectors as you try to make your way through the airport for a much-needed vacation. Trust us when we say we know there are quite a few myths about braces out there these days. But before you buy into those myths, we think you should get the facts first! To set the record straight, here is some great information on the myths and facts of orthodontics. We encourage you to check them out today!

If you have any questions about braces or your orthodontic treatment, please feel free to give us a call or ask us on Facebook! Smile bright!

Patient question: What can I eat with braces?

January 18th, 2013


We love when patients ask us this question! Now that you’re wearing braces, it’s just as important to maintain a good oral hygiene regimen as you did before your orthodontic treatment began. The first few days in braces are going to be more difficult to eat than normal. There will be a slight discomfort when you first get your braces on, so the act of chewing will make it slightly more painful.

Here are a few soft foods that do not require you to do much chewing and are easy to chew on when your teeth are sore.

Ice cream, yogurt, pudding, cool soups, Jell-O, scrambled eggs, cream of wheat, baked potatoes, soft cooked pasta, soup, bananas, cottage cheese, smoothies, macaroni and cheese, pancakes, soft cheeses, and milk are all foods you can eat safely without having to worry about pain or breaking your brackets.

Be sure to always check with us if you have questions about a particular food item by either giving us a call or asking us on Facebook!

Six oral hygiene tips for our patients

January 10th, 2013


If you’re undergoing orthodontic treatment, brushing and flossing after every meal and snack is the only way to prevent plaque build-up, tooth decay and gum disease. Your teeth will need extra care, especially during treatment at our office. Our goal is for you to have a beautiful healthy smile, and in order for us to achieve this good hygiene on your end is very important. Food and particles are known to get trapped by brackets, wires, bands and appliances, and this can make it difficult to keep your teeth clean. Using a Waterpik is another great way to clean teeth and gums. Here are a few tips to help with keeping your teeth clean and healthy during your orthodontic treatment:

1. Brush after every meal or snack
2. Floss daily to remove trapped food and particles
3. Rinse after eating with mouthwash to kill any bacteria
4. Brush with a fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled tooth brush
5. Clean teeth with a proxabrush
6. Maintain regular check-ups with your general dentist throughout your treatment

Do germs really live on my toothbrush?

January 4th, 2013

The dreaded cold and flu season is here again! After recovering from your cold, one of the most important steps you can take to avoid becoming reinfected is replacing your toothbrush!

Germs can linger on the bristles, and you risk prolonging your sickness by continuing to use the same toothbrush. Be smart - keep a spare, just in case! To protect your toothbrush from bacteria all year long, consider the following tips:

• Wash your hands before and after brushing
• Allow the brush to air dry after each use, harmful bacteria dies after being exposed to oxygen
• Store the toothbrush in an upright position to allow water to drain and dry faster
• Replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months. Worn bristles are less effective in properly cleaning your teeth, and can actually be damaging to teeth if used too long!

Hope this tip helps! Feel free to give us a call or ask us on Facebook if you have any questions!

Happy New Year!

December 28th, 2012


The year is almost over, and as we reflect on the year that was, we’d like to ask all our patients: what was memorable about 2012 for you, and what are you looking forward to in 2013? Do you have a New Year’s resolution, or any exciting plans for the coming year?

We know that we are looking forward to serving our amazing patients with even more great care in 2013!

Have a safe and happy New Year from our family to yours!

Season's Greetings!

December 20th, 2012


In this season given to tidings of comfort and joy, and as we reflect on the year that was, we’d like to ask you, our wonderful patients: What do you love about the holidays this year? Being with your loved ones? Hitting the slopes? A clean slate for 2013? Opening presents by the fireplace? All the delicious food?

Also, what gift are you most looking forward to getting this year? We’d love if you shared with us all the things you love about the holidays. Stay warm, and don’t forget to limit the amount of sweets you eat!

Happy holidays from our family to yours!

Lights...Camera...Mercer!

December 18th, 2012

Our team here at Kravitz Orthodontics really takes pride in being such a large part of the community. We enjoy going to sporting events, PTA events, school plays, concerts, farmers markets, you name it! Mercer Middle School does a great job with providing fun after school activities for their students (we love seeing Principal Duellman at the events!), including yearbook club in which students are the photographers and editors of the school yearbook! Dr. Kravitz recently donated two new cameras to the school for the yearbook club and school staff to use. We can't wait to see the pictures from this school year!

Need a New Year’s Resolution? How about a healthier, more beautiful smile?

December 14th, 2012


2013 is almost here, and it’s a great time of year to get started on achieving a straight, dazzling and confident smile that will last you a lifetime. We are proud to offer some of today’s most innovative orthodontic technologies that can straighten your smile in less time than you ever imagined. Not only do today’s braces and other orthodontic treatments straighten your teeth quicker, they also offer greater comfort for you, and require fewer visits to our office.

So if obtaining a healthy, beautiful smile is one of your New Year’s resolutions, we invite you to give us a call to schedule an initial orthodontic consultation. Happy holidays!

Where’s your bite? The differences between crossbites, overbites, and underbites

December 7th, 2012

Did you know there is a direct correlation between your bite and your overall health? When your teeth and jaws are not properly-aligned, it may affect your breathing, speech, and, in extreme cases, even affect the appearance of your face. As a result of malocclusion, also commonly referred to as “bad bite,” your teeth may become crooked, worn or protruded over time. Most people experience some degree of malocclusion, but it is generally not severe enough to require corrective measures. If your malocclusion is serious enough, however, orthodontic treatment may be necessary to correct the issue.

Malocclusion may also be referred to as an underbite, crossbite or overbite. So, what, exactly, is the difference between the three?

• Crossbites, which can involve a single tooth or a group of teeth, occur when your upper and lower jaws are both misaligned, and usually causes one or more upper teeth to bite on the inside of the lower teeth. Crossbites can happen on both the front and/or the sides of the mouth, and are known to cause wear of the teeth, gum disease and bone loss.
• Overbites, also known as “overjet,” occurs when your upper teeth overlap considerably with the lower teeth. Overbites can lead to gum issues or irritation and even wear on the lower teeth, and are known to cause painful jaw and joint problems. Overbites can usually be traced to genetics, bad oral habits, or overdevelopment of the bone that supports the teeth.
• Underbites, which occur when the lower teeth protrude past the front teeth, are caused by undergrowth of the upper jaw, overgrowth of the lower jaw, or both. Underbites can also be caused by missing upper teeth, which can prevent the normal function of front teeth ( molars). This in turn leads to tooth wear and pain in your joints and jaw.

Fortunately, we are able to treat bite problems. If you suspect you or your child has a bite misalignment, we encourage you to be examined at our office as early as possible. By starting early, you can make sure you or your child avoid years of pain and self-consciousness.

In the Words of Dr. Kravitz...

December 3rd, 2012

Congratulations to Dr. Kravitz who has written yet another fantastic publication about clinical research of orthodontics!

For those of you who do not know, Dr. Kravitz is a Diplomate of the American Board of Orthodontics. He is also clinical faculty and research adviser at the University of Maryland and Washington Hospital Center. Dr. Kravitz continues to publish his orthodontic technique and his remarkable cases in book chapters, educational guides, and numerous professional dental and orthodontic journals, including the AJO-DO, JCO, WJO, JADA, Angle Orthodontist, the Ontario Dentist Journal and Orthodontic Products. He is viewed as leader in the field of orthodontics, currently serving on the editorial review board for seven refereed professional journals, the continuing education (CE) advisory board for dentalearning.net, and the clinical advisory board for Incognito lingual braces-a committee comprised of less than ten orthodontists worldwide. Dr. Kravitz was also one of the very few doctors in the country chosen to be featured on the cover of Orthodontic Products journal! The next time you visit our office, ask to take a look at this new book!

The Evolution of Braces

November 30th, 2012


Did you know that even in ancient times, people wanted to improve the look and function of their smiles? We think of modern orthodontic appliances as sleek, efficient technology, but this was not always so! Take a look at the highlights in the evolution of braces.

Ancient Times: From Greece to Rome

• According to The Angle Orthodontist, Aristotle and Hippocrates first thought about methods for straightening teeth between 400 and 300 BC.
• The Etruscans, in what we now know as Italy, buried their dead with appliances that maintained spaces and prevented collapse of their teeth and jaws during life. Archaeologists have discovered mummified remains in various locations that have metal bands wrapped around the teeth.
• A Roman tomb has also been discovered in which the teeth were bound with gold wire, including documentation on the wire’s use as a dental device.

18th Century: A French Development

• The French dentist Pierre Fauchard is acknowledged as the father of modern dentistry. In 1728 he published a book that described various methods for straightening teeth. Fauchard also used a device known as a “blandeau” to widen the upper palate.
• Louis Bourdet was another French dentist who published a book in 1754 that discussed tooth alignment. Bourdet further refined the blandeau and was the first dentist to extract bicuspids, or the premolar teeth between canines and molars, for the purpose of reducing tooth crowding.

19th Century: Orthodontics Defined
• Orthodontics started to become a separate dental specialty during the early 19th century. The first wire crib was used in 1819, marking the beginning of modern orthodontics.
• During this period, gold, platinum, silver, steel, gum rubber, vulcanite, and occasionally wood, ivory, zinc, and copper were used — as was brass in the form of loops, hooks, spurs, and ligatures.
• Edward Maynard first used gum elastics in 1843 and E. J. Tucker began making rubber bands for braces in 1850.
• Norman W. Kingsley published the first paper on modern orthodontics in 1858 and J. N. Farrar was the first dentist to recommend the use of force over timed intervals to straighten teeth.

20th Century: New Materials Abound
• Edward Angle developed the first classification systems for malocclusions (misaligned teeth) during the early 20th century in the United States, and it is still in use today. Angle founded the American Society of Orthodontia in 1901, which was renamed the American Association of Orthodontists in the 1930s.
• By the 1960s, gold was universally abandoned in favor of stainless steel.
• Lingual braces were the “invisible” braces of choice until the early 1980s, when tooth-colored aesthetic brackets made from single-crystal sapphire and ceramics became popular.

Today
As we arrive in the present, you need only look at your own braces to see how far we’ve come. Your treatment plan was probably created with a 3D digital model, and we’ve likely used a computerized process to customize your archwires. Perhaps you have clear aligners, self-ligating brackets, or highly resilient ceramic brackets with heat-activated wires.

Orthodontics has come a long way from the days of Aristotle, and even the bulky wrap-around braces of just 60 years ago. Regardless of your specific treatment plan, the development of high-tech materials and methods has made it possible for your orthodontic experience to be as effective, efficient, and comfortable as possible.

Sources: Angle.org, ArchWired

Happy Thanksgiving!

November 21st, 2012


With Thanksgiving almost upon us, it’s a great time to ask ourselves what we’re thankful for. With our friends and family around us, we celebrate the blessings given to us in the past year. Our staff thought we’d ask: What are you thankful for this holiday season? Do you have any Thanksgiving wishes or recipes you would like to share?

Our entire team would like to wish you a safe and happy Thanksgiving. It’s a big food holiday, so be careful what you eat with those braces! If you have any stories or photos to share with us, we’d encourage you to send them along or post them below or on our Facebook page!

Gobble Gobble!

Ask the expert: Do Wisdom Teeth Really Cause Crowding?

November 14th, 2012

“It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so.” -Mark Twain

Despite popular belief amongst patients and dentists, wisdom teeth do not contribute to lower incisor crowding in adulthood. Blasphemy!, Copernicus!, Leviticus 24:15!, you say? Amazingly, the belief that wisdom teeth contribute to lower incisor crowding is based on an antecdotal statement from a single research paper more than 50 years-old.

In 1961, orthodontist Leroy Vego, published an article, "A Longitudinal Study of Mandibular Arch Perimeter" which examined the role of wisdom teeth on lower incisor crowding. Vego evaluated plaster stone models of 65 individuals who have never had orthodontic treatment; 40 individuals with lower wisdom teeth present and 25 patients with lower wisdom teeth congenitally absent (never born with wisdom teeth), over six years from ages 13 to 19. He reported that there was a significantly greater degree of crowding in [those individuals] with wisdom teeth. Vego concluded: "that the erupting lower third molar can exert a force on approximating teeth."

From this statement, the theory formulated that lower wisdom teeth "push" the teeth in front of them as they come into the mouth, contributing to incisor crowding. As such, general dentists, orthodontists, and oral surgeons recommended the prophylactic extraction of wisdom teeth to prevent against the relapse of crowding after orthodontic treatment.

Ample research exists (References 1-8) which disprove Vego's theory that wisdom teeth exert enough pressure on teeth to move them forward. In fact, numerous elements play a role in crowding, irrespective of whether the individual has wisdom teeth. Most notably, lower incisors tend to drift forward through the bone in the direction of our main chewing muscles (masseter and temporalis). Additionally, bone is continually remodeling and bone in the lower anterior region happens to resorb throughout life. Other factors such as tooth-size, tooth-shape, and original tooth-position also play a significant role. Therefore, little rationale exists for the extraction of third molars solely to minimize present or future crowding.

Nonetheless, timely removal of wisdom teeth is still encouraged. Wisdom teeth may develop cavities, gum inflammation (pericoronitis), root resorption of the second-molar, cysts or tumors, impede orthodontic tooth movement, or interfere with proper occlusion, and therefore should be extracted in many patients. In our office, we encourage the extraction of wisdom teeth during late adolescence, prior to the child leaving for college. As the patient reaches greater skeletal maturity, jaw bones become increasingly more dense, which may result in higher post-operative pain following wisdom tooth removal. Typically, after the age of 25, asymptomatic wisdom teeth are not extracted and simply monitored with routine periodic x-rays.

I hope this has provided some helpful information on wisdom teeth. Please feel free to respond with any questions or comments or requests for additional information.

Respectfully,
Dr. Kravitz
South Riding, Virginia
www.kravitzorthodontics.com

Welcome to our Blog!

October 29th, 2012

Welcome to Kravitz Orthodontics! When you visit our office, you will immediately see a unique atmosphere. Our friendly front office staff will welcome you with a warm smile and "hello!", you will meet our kind back office staff as you begin your appointment and even catch up with Dr. Kravitz as he sits down to work on your beautiful smile. We take pride in what we do here at our office, making sure that the care we provide to you is the highest of quality. If you live in Northern Virginia, it is quite possible that you have heard of the fantastic work that Dr. Kravitz does or even how involved our team is within the community. We have created this blog just for YOU-our patients, our friends. This blog will be your access to what exactly we do in the community that makes us so great! We ask that if you have children who attend any of the schools featured, or if you attend any of the events that we sponsor, that you share your fun experiences with us! We'd love to hear from you! Kravitz Orthodontics is continually supporting our community and our team looks forward to seeing you soon!

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