Posts for tag: braces
As adults, we tend to become accustomed to our unique physical features. A freckle on the cheek or a streak of gray hair isn't something we'd necessarily want to change. However, crooked teeth can make people feel self-conscious about the way they look, but braces can call too much attention as well. That's why the team of dentists at Dentistry by Design in Andover, MA, offer Invisalign, a discrete, comfortable, and effective way for adults to straighten their teeth. Learn how Dr. Jhon Giraldo, Dr. Leo Kharin, and Dr. Nicholas Papapetros help you straighten out your smile on your terms!
What is Invisalign?
Invisalign uses the science behind traditional braces - placing pressure on the teeth to move them into the proper position - by transferring that method into clear, flexible plastic trays called aligners that fit directly against the teeth. These aligners are made in a series so they can be switched out to continue the process as your teeth move into place. Not only are these aligners practically invisible to others, they can also be removed so you're free to eat what you like without fear of damage.
When can I take my aligners out?
For best results, your Andover dentist suggests that your Invisalign trays should only be removed at mealtimes. They can then be replaced in your mouth after you brush your teeth. We'll show you the best way to keep them clean.
How long does Invisalign take to work?
Each of our patients' alignment issues are unique, so treatment time and number of aligners will vary. It may only take a couple months before your teeth begin appearing more even. On average, many people see final results from Invisalign within a year to 18 months. One way you can make sure you're on schedule is by following your Andover dentist's recommendation to wear your aligners every day for at least 20 to 22 hours.
If you're ready to get started on your new and improved smile, contact Dentistry By Design in Andover, MA, and ask to set up an appointment with Dr. Kharin, Dr. Giraldo, or Dr. Papapetros today!
Wearing braces takes time, but if all goes well the changes to your smile will be well worth it. In the meantime, though, you’ll have to contend with one particular difficulty—keeping your teeth clean of disease-causing, bacterial plaque.
Don’t worry, though—while keeping dental disease at bay with braces can be challenging, it is doable. Here are 4 tips for minimizing your chances of tooth decay or periodontal (gum) disease during orthodontic treatment.
Eat less sugar. Like any living organism, bacteria must eat—and they’re especially amenable to sugar. The more they have access to this favorite food source, the more they multiply—and the greater your risk of tooth decay or gum disease. Eating fewer sugary foods and snacks and more dental-friendly ones helps restrict bacteria populations in your mouth.
Brush thoroughly. Brushing with braces can be difficult, especially in areas blocked by orthodontic hardware. You need to be sure you brush all tooth and gum surfaces around your braces, including above and below the wire running through the brackets. A soft multi-tufted microline bristle brush is a good choice for getting into these hard to reach places. Brushing around braces takes more time, but it’s essential for effective plaque removal.
Use flossing tools. Flossing is important for removing plaque from between teeth—but, unfortunately, it might be even more difficult to perform with braces than brushing. If using string floss proves too daunting consider using a floss threader or a similar device that might be easier to maneuver. You can also use a water irrigator, a hand-held device that sprays water under pressure to loosen and flush away between-teeth plaque.
Keep up regular dental visits. While you’re seeing your orthodontist regularly for adjustments, you should also see your general dentist at least every six months or more. Besides dental cleaning, your dentist also monitors for signs of disease and can prescribe preventive measures like antibacterial mouth rinses. Of course, if you see abnormalities, like white spots on your teeth or red, puffy or bleeding gums, contact your dentist as soon as possible. The sooner a problem can be addressed the less impact it may have on your orthodontic treatment and overall oral health.
If you would like more information on caring for teeth and gums while wearing braces, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Caring for Teeth During Orthodontic Treatment.”
If you or a family member has problems with teeth alignment or your bite, you may be considering braces. This tried and true method can straighten out most smiles — but there's more to braces than you may realize.
For one thing, orthodontic treatment wouldn't work if it weren't for the natural mechanism for tooth movement that already exists in the mouth. It may seem your teeth are rigidly set in the jawbone but that's not how they maintain their attachment: that's the job of an elastic connective tissue known as the periodontal ligament that lies between the tooth and the bone. The ligament has tiny fibers that attach to the tooth on one side and to the bone on the other to actually hold the teeth in place, much like a hammock secured between two posts.
The ligament attachment also allows the teeth to move incrementally in response to environmental factors or the aging process. We harness this natural movement ability with braces to move teeth to a more desirable position. We first attach small brackets to the front crowns of the teeth (the visible portion) and then string arch wires through them. We then attach the wires to anchor points where we can adjust the amount of tension they're exerting through the brackets against the teeth. By gradually increasing that tension, the teeth respond as they would when any force is applied against them and begin to move.
By precisely controlling that movement we can transform a patient's smile. But we believe the advantages are more than cosmetic: the teeth will function better and will be easier to care for and keep clean. These benefits, though, have to be balanced with heightened risks for root resorption (something that occurs only about 10% of the time) in which the ends of the roots can shrink, or loss of mineral content in teeth enamel where the hardware makes it more difficult to remove bacterial plaque. These risks can be reduced by closely monitoring dental health during the entire treatment process and through stepped up efforts in daily oral hygiene.
The starting point for deciding on an orthodontic treatment is a thorough dental examination with x-rays or CT scan imaging. Once we have a complete picture of your misalignment problems and any other extenuating circumstances, we can recommend a treatment plan just for you.
If you would like more information on orthodontic treatment, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Moving Teeth with Orthodontics.”
Orthodontics relies on certain mechanics in the mouth to move teeth to better positions. As the specialty has advanced, we've become ever more precise in moving teeth with braces, the “workhorse” of orthodontics, and other specialized appliances and techniques.
But although cooperating effectively with the mouth's natural ability for tooth movement is crucial for success, there's another aspect to consider if that success will be long-term: the growth and development of oral and facial structure. And not just development during childhood and adolescence: indeed, facial structure continues to change throughout a lifetime, including the senior years. Research has shown that although the rate of growth slows over time, it doesn't stop even for someone 80 years or older.
Our emerging understanding in this area has had an important impact on how and when we perform orthodontic treatment. As we develop a treatment strategy for an individual patient we consider not only the immediate outcome of a treatment, but also how it may change their facial appearance in the future. By taking continuing facial growth into consideration, we're more likely to achieve a new smile appearance that remains attractive later in life.
A key factor is to be sure we're initiating treatments at appropriate ages. We may detect developing bite problems as early as age 6, which might prompt preventive treatment at that time to diminish or even eliminate the problem. But it may also be prudent to wait on full-scale orthodontic treatment until late childhood or puberty. Furthermore, some form of orthodontic treatment might need to continue into early adulthood to ensure the most optimal outcome.
By taking a longer view of the treatment process, we're better able to work within the natural growth and development taking place now and in the future. As a result, a person is more likely to enjoy an attractive and youthful appearance even in their later years.
If you would like more information on aging factors for cosmetic enhancement, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Understanding Aging Makes Beauty Timeless.”
Orthodontic treatment is an important aspect of dentistry which helps align the biting surface of your smile, straighten your teeth, and correct the aesthetic issues in your smile. However, traditional metal braces may not seem like the best fit for you, especially if you are a busy adult or a teen concerned with how braces may change their look. Luckily, your Andover, MA dentists can provide you with the option of correcting your smile without compromising your look at all. Learn about Invisalign and what it can do for you with your dentists at Dentistry By Design.
How does Invisalign work?
Invisalign uses the same principals as traditional braces in that it uses careful pressure applied to the teeth to move them into new positions. Instead of doing this with metal brackets and wires like traditional braces, Invisalign uses aligner trays made from plastic. The trays are comfortable and clear in appearance, meaning that others may not even notice you have braces at all. While traditional braces may compromise your look with their obvious appearance, Invisalign allows you to straighten your teeth discreetly without others knowing.
The Benefits of Invisalign
In addition to being virtually invisible, Invisalign is removable. While traditional braces require thorough cleaning, brushing and flossing between every bracket and wire, patients can simply remove Invisalign and go about their oral care routine as they always have. Brushing twice daily, flossing once and rinsing your trays before replacing them is enough to keep your mouth healthy throughout treatment. Patients may also remove Invisalign when they eat, making it unnecessary to avoid certain foods or feel embarrassed about food becoming lodged in your braces.
Invisalign Treatment in Andover, MA
Patients should understand that, in order for their treatment to be successful, they should wear Invisalign at least 22 hours a day, including during the night while sleeping. Commitment to wearing the aligner trays will keep the treatment on track and avoid requiring extra time or wearing additional trays. A good candidate for Invisalign understands that proper oral hygiene is crucial to treatment. Simple problems like cavities can lengthen treatment times and cause complications.
For more information on Invisalign, please contact Dentistry By Design in Andover, MA. Call (978) 475-5333 to schedule an Invisalign consultation with your dentist today!