Get The Most Out Of Invisalign
Do you have crooked or crowded teeth, or perhaps an overbite but don’t want to wear braces? Invisalign might be the right solution for you. Over 7 million peopleRead More
Gum Disease, Diabetes, and Orthodontic Treatment
Did you know that over 30 million people in the United States are currently diagnosed with diabetes? As the number rises in our country, awareness is vital to theRead More
What are Space Maintainers?
If your child loses a tooth early, for whatever reason, they may need a space maintainer. It is important to understand the benefits of a space maintainer and howRead More
Orthodontic Treatment and Your Health
A smile is one of the first things you notice about someone. In terms of orthodontic treatment, the most notable and noticeable benefit from orthodontic treatment is the improvementRead More
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Get The Most Out Of Invisalign
Do you have crooked or crowded teeth, or perhaps an overbite but don’t want to wear braces? Invisalign might be the right solution for you. Over 7 million people across the world are currently using Invisalign to correct their smiles and every day the number grows. This month, we’d like to take time to remind our patients of the benefits of Invisalign and how to care for their aligners this holiday season.
What is Invisalign?
Invisalign is an invisible, removable, and comfortable aligner that will give you a beautiful and straight smile. It is an orthodontic alternative to traditional braces where the patient wears a series of custom-made clear plastic aligners that gently and gradually move their teeth into alignment so that the patient can achieve a healthy bite where the top and bottom teeth properly function and fit together. Clear aligners are great for those who have crooked teeth, crowded teeth, gaps, overbites, underbites, open bites, or even crossbites. However, it is important to note that even though clear aligners can treat a variety of orthodontic conditions, it may not be the best treatment option for everyone.
Unlike traditional braces, clear aligners put the treatment’s effectiveness on the patient’s shoulders as the patient is responsible for wearing the aligner constantly. For the treatment to work properly, aligners should be worn for at least 22 hours each day unless otherwise instructed. Patients should remove the aligner to eat, drink, brush, and floss their teeth only. Otherwise, they should be worn night and day.
Benefits of Invisalign
There are many orthodontic teeth-straightening treatments available. The most recognized is traditional metal braces that use wires and brackets to move your teeth. Traditional braces can be painful, uncomfortable, and put limitations on diet, which makes clear aligners like Invisalign an appealing alternative to many patients.
Some of the benefits of clear aligner therapy include:
- They are custom made to fit the patient’s teeth
- They are removable
- They are easier to keep teeth and gums clean and healthy
- They are clear and discreet
- They are less likely to irritate your gums and cheeks
- They can help prevent wear on teeth from tooth grinding
How does it work?
Clear aligners work like any other orthodontic appliance where pressure is applied to the teeth, gradually moving them and reshaping the supporting soft tissue and bones. An orthodontist will conduct a full dental exam of the patient’s mouth to assess the most appropriate treatment option. This exam may include digital scans, photographs, impressions, and x-rays. After the orthodontist concludes that Invisalign is right for you, a series of clear aligners are created specifically for your unique dental goals and lifestyle needs.
How long does the treatment take?
The length of treatment can also vary depending on what the patient’s goals are and the condition of the teeth. Your orthodontist will be able to give you a better estimate of how long treatment will take once your doctor has customized your treatment plan. Generally, aligners are changed every 2 weeks to gradually move the teeth. The total number of aligners can vary from patient to patient, though on average patients can go through anywhere from 20-30 aligners during treatment.
Though the holidays may look a little different this year, we still would like to remind our patients to take care of their aligners and treatment during the seasonal festivities.
- Remember to remove your aligner while eating and drinking
- Store your aligner in its case when not in use
- Clean your case and aligner regularly with warm water and a soft-bristled brush. Your orthodontist will instruct you on the proper cleaning methods for your aligner.
Even if you can enjoy your favorite holiday sweets and treats, it is important to wear your retainer the recommended hours to maintain your treatment schedule.
If you are interested in Invisalign and wonder if it is right for you, schedule a consultation today. Your orthodontist can suggest the right form of treatment as Invisalign may not be the best treatment method for everyone. For more information, please contact Bracify 3D Orthodonics today.
Gum Disease, Diabetes, and Orthodontic Treatment
Did you know that over 30 million people in the United States are currently diagnosed with diabetes? As the number rises in our country, awareness is vital to the prevention and management of this disease. November is National Diabetes Awareness Month, and we would like to join orthodontists across the country in spreading vital information about how diabetes can affect your oral health and influence orthodontic treatment.
What is Gum Disease?
Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is a condition where bacterial growth within the mouth results in an infection of the surrounding and supporting soft tissue of teeth. One of the most common causes of gum disease is the build-up of plaque that hardens into tartar which can only be removed by professionals. This buildup irritates the gums causing them to become swollen, red, and recede. As they recede higher, the infection continues to spread and can lead to eventual tooth and bone loss.
There are two stages of gum disease: gingivitis and periodontitis.
Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease. The common symptoms of gingivitis include swollen or red gums that may bleed during brushing and flossing. There is no bone or tissue damage at this stage and teeth are often firmly rooted in place. This stage is reversible with dental cleanings and good oral hygiene habits.
Periodontitis is the second stage of gum disease and is the result of gingivitis being left untreated. During this stage, the inner layers of gum and bone have receded from your teeth and formed pockets. These pockets allow for food and bacteria to grow inside leading to further infection. Common symptoms of periodontitis include sensitive teeth, receding gums, the shifting or loss of teeth, and bad breath. If left untreated, the infection can further spread into the bone and jaw area. Periodontitis requires professional treatment and possible surgical options.
Diabetes and Gum Disease
Gum disease is often caused by plaque buildup and though there is no difference in buildup between those with diabetes and those without, diabetic patients are more susceptible to infections, increasing their risk of developing gum disease. For this reason, patients must practice good oral hygiene practices.
Additionally, gum disease can lead to an elevation in blood sugar levels that may cause complications for diabetic patients. High blood sugar levels can also encourage plaque buildup furthering the development of gum disease and making it harder for patients to control their blood sugar levels and gum disease.
Patients diagnosed with diabetes are also more susceptible to tooth decay, thrush, and dry mouth. Fortunately, these conditions and diseases can be prevented and managed if you maintain a healthy dental regimen while managing your diabetes.
What does that mean if you need orthodontic care?
Depending on the severity of your condition, orthodontic treatment may or may not be possible. In moderate to severe cases, gum disease can cause your teeth to shift into undesirable positions during treatment. In other cases, the inflammation of gums may cause bleeding and sores due to friction against the appliances during treatment which can lead to infection. These complications may cause treatment to stop early to avoid increasing patient risk of infection.
However, that doesn’t mean that if you are diabetic and have gum disease you are unable to receive orthodontic care. We will conduct a thorough evaluation of your teeth to determine the best course of treatment. If necessary, we will start by getting your gum disease under control. Once both your gum disease and blood sugar levels are stable, we can begin orthodontic treatment. In some cases, we may recommend aligners as opposed to traditional braces as aligners are removable allowing patients to eat, drink, and clean their teeth easily even with mild cases of gingivitis. Aligner therapy can be a great alternative to patients in maintaining good oral health even with gum disease.
For more information on gum disease and orthodontic treatment or to schedule an appointment, contact Bracify 3D Orthodontics today.
What are Space Maintainers?
If your child loses a tooth early, for whatever reason, they may need a space maintainer. It is important to understand the benefits of a space maintainer and how they can help to support your child’s oral health.
What is a space maintainer?
A space maintainer is an oral appliance custom-made by orthodontists or dentists made of metal or acrylic. Similar to a retainer, a space maintainer helps to keep the surrounding teeth from moving and preserves the space for the permanent tooth to grow and develop properly. Not all children who lose their baby teeth early will require a space maintainer, but it is recommended that you seek a professional opinion to determine if treatment is needed.
Why are they important to my child’s oral health?
A space maintainer is important because they help to keep your child’s teeth in the right positions. When you lose a tooth, the surrounding teeth may shift towards the empty space. If this happens before your child’s permanent tooth erupts, it can cause issues with your child’s oral development and may lead to future orthodontic treatment.
Space maintainers can be removable (similar to retainers) or they can be fixed and cemented to your child’s mouth. There are four kinds of fixed space maintainers:
Unilateral – Unilateral space maintainers are often used to maintain the space of a single tooth. One side is wrapped around the tooth to secure it from shifting and the other side has a metal loop to maintain the necessary space.
Crown and loop – The crown and loop space maintainers are similar to unilateral ones, except the metal loop is affixed onto a crown to ensure there is enough space for new teeth.
Distal shoe – A distal shoe space maintainer is made of metal and often used for slow-growing molars. This maintainer is more complex and often inserted into the gum line to hold the space.
Lingual – Lingual space maintainers are often used when multiple teeth are missing, especially in the front of the mouth. This device is fixed to both sides of the mouth and attached to the molars.
Your child may experience some discomfort during the beginning of the treatment period as it may take a while for your child to adjust to the space maintainer. Once inserted, your dentist will explain how to care for your space maintainer as well as foods you should avoid. Similar to other orthodontic appliances, sticky, chewy goods can loosen or become stuck on your space maintainer and should be avoided.
It is important that children maintain good oral hygiene practices even with a space maintainer. Regular check-ups will be scheduled to monitor the progress of treatment, but your child should also continue to visit the dentist every six months for professional cleanings and routine examinations of their oral health.
For more information on space maintainers or schedule an appointment, please contact Bracify 3D Orthodontics today.
Orthodontic Treatment and Your Health
A smile is one of the first things you notice about someone. In terms of orthodontic treatment, the most notable and noticeable benefit from orthodontic treatment is the improvement of your smile. A bright smile is not just a symbol of confidence, but it can also be a sign of good health. In addition to improving your smile and boosting your emotional and psychological wellbeing, orthodontic treatment can optimize your oral health and improve your overall quality of life.
5 Benefits of Orthodontic Treatment
1. Orthodontic treatment can alleviate speech impediments.
Your teeth and jaw play an essential role in your ability to speak clearly. Misaligned teeth can affect your speech pattern. Orthodontic treatment can reposition your teeth to allow for clearer, more precise speech. This can improve self-confidence, interpersonal relationships, and overall quality of life.
2. Orthodontic treatment can decrease your risk of oral disease.
An uneven smile with misaligned teeth can be difficult to clean, brush, and floss properly due to deep crevices between teeth. These hard-to-reach places can allow harmful bacteria to build up and turn into tartar and plaque leading to the development of cavities, tooth decay, and periodontal disease. If left untreated, these conditions can lead to bone loss within the jaw and possibly the loss of teeth. Straightening your teeth through orthodontic treatment helps enable you to clean them properly and can considerably lower your risk for oral health conditions.
3. Orthodontic treatment can improve jaw function.
Sometimes orthodontic treatment can be used to correct a bad bite or malocclusion. Ensuring your bite fits together is important as misaligned teeth can place additional stress on the jaw and supporting structures of the mouth. This pressure can lead to abnormal wear-and-tear causing discomfort or pain and affecting your ability to chew, bite, and even speak.
After orthodontic treatment, your jaw can return to its natural position reducing pain, improving function, and relieving other symptoms of jaw dysfunction such as migraines, neck pain, and facial pain.
4. Orthodontic treatment can lower your risk of oral injury.
A malocclusion or misaligned teeth can weaken your teeth and their supporting structure making your teeth more susceptible to chipping and breaking up. This can be especially true for patients who often engage in high-contact activities such as sports. This can lead to infection and the need for extraction in severe cases.
5. Orthodontic treatment promotes a healthy body.
A healthy mouth promotes a healthy body. Your teeth and jaw work to break down your food effectively before it reaches your stomach. Misaligned teeth or malocclusions can cause large bites to not be broken down correctly increases the risk of reflux. This can affect your stomach lining and possibly tooth enamel. This poor digestion can even impact your body’s ability to absorb nutrients properly. There is also some medical evidence that supports oral health in connection to a variety of health issues beyond the mouth such as an increased risk of diabetes, stroke, and heart disease. Harmful bacteria can enter from the mouth and make its way to the bloodstream, lungs, and gut affecting the entire immune system. Orthodontic treatment can help to decrease your risk of these health conditions by promoting good oral health to limit your exposure.
Orthodontic treatment can benefit patients of any age. Early treatment, especially in children, can help to create beautiful smiles that last a lifetime saving many patients time and money in the long run. The length of treatment will vary depending on each patient’s condition and overall goal. For more information on the benefits of orthodontic treatment or to schedule an appointment, contact Bracify 3D Orthodontics office.