Monday, 16 February 2015 00:00

Say No to Nail Biting!

Nail BiterDr. Chou cautions her patients about the dangers of nail biting. Nail biting is one of the so-called "nervous habits" that can be triggered by stress, excitement or boredom. Experts say that about thirty percent of children and fifteen percent of adults are nail biters. However most will stop chewing their nails by the time they turn thirty.

Here are four dental and general reasons to stop biting your nails:

  1. It's unsanitary. Your nails harbor bacteria and germs, and they are almost twice as dirty as your fingers. Moreover, swallowing dirty nails can lead to stomach problems.
  2. It wears down your teeth. Biting your nails can put added stress on your pearly whites, which can lead to crooked teeth.
  3. It can prolong your orthodontic treatment. For those wearing braces, nail biting puts additional pressure on teeth and weakens roots.
  4. It can cost you, literally. Our friends at the Academy of General Dentistry estimate up to $4,000 in extra dental bills over a lifetime.
Dr. Chou recommends the following to kick your nail biting habit:

  1. Keep your nails trimmed short; you'll have less of a nail to bite.
  2. Coat your nails with a bitter-tasting nail polish.
  3. Ask us about obtaining a mouth guard, which can help prevent nail biting.
  4. Put a rubber band around your wrist and snap it whenever you get the urge to bite on your nails.
  5. Think about when and why you chew your nails. Whether you are nervous or just bored, understanding the triggers can help you find a solution and stop the habit.
  6. If you can't stop, behavioural therapy may be an effective option to stop nail biting.

If you are interested in more information about nail biting or would like to assess your oral health, please contact Dr. Chou at 416.532.3041 or stop by her office in Toronto, ON.
Published in Blog
Monday, 15 December 2014 00:00

When Should my Child see an Orthodontist?

Orthodontic treatment and dental treatment are quite different. Dental treatment is aimed at maintaining overall health of the mouth and the teeth. Orthodontic treatment procedures such as those done by Dr. Norma Chou in Toronto, address issues such as improper bite, poor jaw alignment, and tooth crowding and spacing. . Because of the specific nature of orthodontic treatment, if can sometimes be tough for parents to know when their child should see an orthodontist. (Orthodontists are certified dental specialists with two to three years of extra training beyond the regular dental degree.)

Below are some telltale signs for parents to keep an eye out for.

Asymmetry – If you notice that your child has an asymmetrical face or if their teeth don't line up, you should probably consult an orthodontist

Problems with Speaking and Eating – A visit to an orthodontist should be scheduled if you notice your child is having trouble biting or chewing food, speaking, or is experiencing cheek-biting

Bad Bite – Malocclusion, or bad bite, can begin to develop as the adult teeth grow in and replace the primary teeth. You can usually see the signs of bad bite between middle childhood and the pre-teen years, and an orthodontist should be consulted in order to evaluate and diagnose bad bite.

Tooth Crowding – If your child's adult teeth have started to grow in and are already showing signs of crowding, see an orthodontist and discuss braces.
Published in Blog
Monday, 15 December 2014 00:00

Excellent Orthodontic Treatment in Toronto

orthodontic-treatment-torontoIf you are looking for excellent orthodontic treatment in Toronto, Dr. Norma Chou, Orthodontist, is here to help. Dr. Chou explains some of the dental problems that she can fix with the proper orthodontic treatment plan.

Openbites, underbites, overbites and deep overbites – Dr. Chou specializes in the correction of all four Dr. Chou suggests that these problems are seen early when some can be corrected without as much difficulty and without surgery. The fix usually requires braces, special appliances and/or retainers.

Crowding of the teeth - This usually occurs when the teeth are too big for the size of the jaws. There may also be extra teeth, a condition called hyperdontia. Dr. Norma Chou often treats serious crowding and /or hyperdontia by removing some teeth and aligning the rest with braces.

Crooked teeth – The fix will improve your overall dental health, allowing you to clean your teeth more easily. Dr. Chou uses braces (metal or clear ceramic), clear aligners, and retainers to straighten crooked teeth.

Gaps or spaces – You may not consider a gap between the front teeth a problem at all, but if you want to close it Dr. Chou can use braces to move the teeth together. A special glued-in retainer helps to keep the space closed.

Clenching or grinding your teeth – Grinding your teeth is called bruxism. Stress is one of the causes. Misaligned teeth or sleep issues can also be culprits among adults (among kids, causes can include allergies). Bruxism can give you headaches, a sore jaw and cracked or loose teeth. If you grind your teeth at night, Dr. Chou can fit you with a mouth guard. If it is a daytime problem, meditation, exercise or other ways to curb stress help.

If you have any of the above tooth problems please contact Dr. Norma Chou in Toronto at 416-532-3041, and schedule an appointment to discuss orthodontic treatment. Keep smiling!
Published in Blog

The topic of Orthodontics is very popular among adults and children alike . As a child develops, one of the first things parents may begin to worry about is their oral health. Dr. Norma Chou is often questioned about what signs to look for to determine if a child may need orthodontic attention, and when a child should begin treatment. Each person is different, but Dr. Chou answers a few of the most important questions that you may have below:

When is it best to Begin Treatment?
Orthodontic issues can often be detected early in life. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends all children get a check-up with an orthodontic specialist no later than age 7.

Orthodontists can spot subtle problems with jaw growth and emerging teeth while some baby teeth are still present.

While your child's teeth may appear to be straight, there could be a problem that only an orthodontist can detect.

There are three main outcomes from an early examination. The check-up may reveal that your child's bite is fine. Or, the orthodontist may identify a developing problem but recommend monitoring the child's growth and development, and then, if indicated, begin treatment at the appropriate time. In other situations, the orthodontist might find a problem that can benefit from early treatment.

Early treatment may prevent or intercept more serious problems from developing and may make orthodontic treatment at a later age shorter and less complicated. In some cases, the orthodontist will be able to achieve results that may not be possible once the face and jaws have finished growing.

Early treatment may give your orthodontist the chance to:

- Guide jaw growth

- Lower the risk of trauma to protruded front teeth

- Correct harmful oral habits

- Improve appearance and self-confidence by creating a more pleasing arrangement of teeth, lips and face

- Guide permanent teeth into a more favorable position

- Improve the ability to keep the teeth clean and reduce tooth decay

Because patients differ in both physical development and treatment needs, the orthodontist's goal is to provide each patient with the most appropriate treatment at the most appropriate time. Through an early orthodontic evaluation, you can give your child the best opportunity for a healthy, beautiful smile.

If your child is older than 7, it is never too late for a thorough examination with Dr. Chou!

What are the Treatment Options? Once you or your dentist have determined that you or your child needs orthodontic treatment, you may begin to wonder about what kind of treatment systems are available and which would be best suited for your child. Dr. Chou offers a variety of treatment options such as:

Traditional metal braces Traditional metal braces are the most common type of braces and are more comfortable today than ever before. Made of high-grade stainless steel, they straighten your teeth using metal brackets and archwires. With metal braces, you have the option and fun of adding colored ties (rubber bands) for a more unique, personalized and colorful smile.

Ceramic braces: Ceramic braces are made of clear materials and are therefore less visible on your teeth than metal braces. For this reason, ceramic braces are used mainly on older teenagers and adult patients who have cosmetic concerns. While they are visually less prominent, they do require more attention to oral hygiene as ceramic braces are larger and are more brittle than their metal counterparts. For these reasons, ceramic braces tend to be used more on upper front teeth than on lower teeth. Dr. Chou will explain in more detail at your initial consultation if you are a candidate for the clear braces.

Clear Braces: Clear braces are a series of clear, plastic aligner trays that can be removed to eat, drink, brush, and floss. Clear braces may be desirable because they are virtually invisible, easier to manage and care for due to their removable nature, and very comfortable. However, Dr. Chou will explain to her patients that there are some drawbacks versus braces in certain situations, Clear braces are less effective on extremely severe cases, or may take longer to correct oral issues. Dr. Chou is experienced with clear braces and will discuss this option if you or your child is a candidate.

What are the first steps? If you are interested in orthodontic treatment for yourself or for your child in Toronto or surrounding areas, the first step is to contact us! Dr. Chou will complete a detailed examination of the face and teeth and will and discuss which options are best suited to correct any issues.that she finds. Once the appropriate treatment plan has been determined, you or your child will be on the road to the gorgeous smile that everyone wants! We invite you to call our Toronto office at 416-532-3041 or visit us on the web at to find out why so many families trust their orthodontic care to Dr. Norma Chou and her experienced team. We look forward to meeting you!

Published in Blog
Monday, 23 June 2014 13:24

Importance of Orthodontic Treatment

Dr. Chou tries to inform her patients about the importance of orthodontic treatment.

Many orthodontic problems get worse with time.

Possible effects of waiting too long may include:

• More discomfort

• More complex and lengthier treatment

• Increased treatment costs

• Greater psycho-social stigma with adult patients

Orthodontic treatment is an investment. If at all possible, it is better not to delay your treatment because it may save you discomfort, money and time in the long run. Please know that if you have financial concerns, our staff can work with you on a payment plan so that you can begin the treatment you need.

Dr. Chou wants to help you keep your teeth for a lifetime. Please call her office in Toronto if you have questions or want to schedule an appointment. We hope to see you soon!

Published in Blog
Monday, 30 June 2014 15:44

Goal of Toronto Orthodontist

The goal of treatment by Dr. Norma Chou is to produce attractive teeth with a good bite meaning straight teeth that mesh well with the teeth in the opposite jaw. As an orthodontic specialist, Dr. Chou will develop an orthodontic treatment plan to correct your tooth alignment and this can make it easier for you to bite, chew and speak. It can also enhance your dental health and your overall health, and may improve self-esteem.

Orthodontic treatment is part of a comprehensive dental health care plan. Dr. Chou says that with good dental care, including orthodontic treatment when necessary, teeth should last a lifetime.

Dr. Chou treats patients of all ages from children, teenagers to adults. In younger patients who are still growing, treatment can yield results that may not be possible once the face and jaws have completed their growth. For this reason, early orthodontic evaluation is important.

A healthy bite is as important at age 60 as it is at age 16. Even though adults are no longer growing, they can also enjoy benefits that come from orthodontic treatment. Age is not a barrier for orthodontic treatment; teeth can be moved at any age as long as the patient, teeth and gums are healthy.

Orthodontic treatment is a smart investment in your dental, physical and emotional health. Call Dr. Chou in Toronto for your consultation. Let us help get you smiling.

Published in Blog
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