Taking Care of Your Teeth – Advice from Dr. Cochran

Taking Care of Your Teeth

Dentists have made great strides in dental health since the old days. Now, with proper dental care, you can keep your teeth all of your life.

Did you know that tooth decay is the second most common disease in America, second only to the common cold?

Well, most of this tooth decay can be avoided by exercising some simple daily preventative dental hygiene habits.

Here are a few quick tips to keeping your teeth and gums healthy:

Brush your teeth at least twice a day to remove bacteria that can turn into plaque and eventually tooth decay.

Floss daily to reach the 35 percent of your mouth that your toothbrush cannot reach.

Avoid foods high in sugars and carbohydrates – which tend to give bacteria energy to reproduce and create enamel-eating acids…

Limit between-meal snacks – your mouth needs sufficient time between meals to neutralize acids…

Use fluoride regularly – through drinking water, toothpaste and dental supplements – to strengthen your enamel and prepare against acid attacks…

Visit your dentist at least twice a year! Dentists can spot potential problems before they wreak havoc on your teeth and mouth…

Tooth Decay
Plaque is a sticky film that is constantly forming on the areas of your teeth. This film made up of bacteria, saliva and food particles. It uses sugar and other carbohydrates to grow and produce acids that can build-up around and between the teeth. Without proper brushing and flossing, these acids dissolve the minerals that make your tooth enamel hard. Tiny holes will appear at first, eventually combining to create one large hole – known as a cavity.

Plaque also enhances the hardening of minerals into a rough deposit called calculus, or tartar. Once tartar has formed brushing or flossing cannot remove it – it must be removed by a dentist. This plaque can irritate gums causing them to turn red, swell or bleed easily – the early stages of gum disease. Eventually, this condition can cause gums to pull away from the teeth and can lead to early tooth loss. During a normal prophylaxis (professional cleaning), the dentist removes this build-up.

It is important to maintain a good routine of dental care because your tooth enamel does not contain nerve fibers, which means you will not immediately know you have a cavity. You won’t feel the pain until the acids reach the sensitive dentin/pulp area that lies beneath your enamel and by that time, you already have tooth decay. Going to a dentist every 6 months can help catch tooth decay in its early stages.

BRUSHING

Brushing your teeth after meals and snacks removes plaque, the sticky bacteria that causes tooth decay and gum disease, to produce a clean, healthy mouth, fresh breath and a sparkling smile. Brushing 2-3 times a day greatly reduces the risk of cavities.

Tips for Proper Brushing

Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and replace every 3 months. Hard bristles can hurt your gums.

Use an ADA accepted fluoride toothpaste. Fluoride slows down the breakdown of enamel caused by acids and re-mineralizes the enamel.

Brush for at least two full minutes. Less than 2 minutes does not allow sufficient time to break apart the acids that have built up on the teeth.

Don’t forget to brush your tongue. Brushing your tongue removes bacteria and freshens your breath

Hold your toothbrush at a 45 degree angle against the gums and move the brush back and forth across the outer and inner tooth surfaces in a gentle, massaging motion. Don’t forget your back teeth.

Don’t be too rough. Aggressive brushing can wear away the gums and make your teeth very sensitive.

Dentists estimate that 10-20% of the population actually damages their gums as a result of over-aggressive brushing. -Wall Street Journal

Recommendations for Brushing with Braces

Use an orthodontic toothbrush recommended by your orthodontist – These can prevent breakage of orthodontic appliances and are designed to reach better than standard toothbrushes.

If possible, use an electric toothbrushes with an orthodontic head. The high speed vibrations created by the electric tooth help break down plaque.

Use a fluoride mouth rinse recommended by your orthodontist. This gives your teeth extra strength to fight tooth decay and helps wash away plaque.

FLOSSING

Some people think flossing is not as important as brushing, but it is just as important. Flossing daily removes plaque and food particles from between teeth and under the gumline – cavity-prone areas your brush can’t reach. If this plaque is allowed to build-up under the gumline, gums can become irritated and eventually lead to gum disease.

Tips for Proper Flossing

Wrap an 18-inch strand of floss around your middle fingers and hold a one-inch section tightly between your thumbs and forefingers.

Ease the floss between teeth, using a gentle rubbing motion.

Clean up and down several times while curving around teeth at the gumline.

Don’t forget to floss behind the last tooth.

At first, your gums will need to get used to the flossing and may bleed or become sore for the first few days. This should stop in a few days after your teeth become used to the procedure. However, if bleeding continues after a week or so, call your family dentist or us.

Failing to floss leaves 35 percent of your tooth surface uncleaned!

Recommendations for Flossing with Braces

Even though it is more difficult than without braces, it is important to floss daily.

Use a floss threader to help guide floss between braces or under the archwire.

Rinse your teeth to wash away food or other particles that you have removed.

ORAL HEALTH HAZARDS

Beyond brushing and flossing, you can help maintain your oral health by avoiding the following health hazards:

Cigarette/Cigar Smoking
Smoking cigarettes or cigars can causes a number of oral side effects, including:

Sticky tar deposits

Brown tooth stains

Red inflammation on the roof of the mouth (“smoker’s palate”)

Delayed healing of the gums

Chronic bad breath

The most dangerous effect of tobacco is the development of oral cancer. The risk of oral cancer increases with the number of cigarettes or cigars smoked each day, as well as the number of years a person has been smoking.

Approximately 75 percent of all oral cancers in North America are associated with tobacco use and alcohol consumption.

Chewing Tobacco
Smoking cigarettes and/or cigars is not the only cancer-causing habit – chewing tobacco can be equally detrimental to your oral health. These products, which include dip and snuff, are linked to cancer of the cheek or gums. Another major side effect of chewing tobacco is gum recession, when the gums react to the presence of the tobacco “wad” by receding along the tooth root.

Oral Piercing
Research also shows that oral piercing – most commonly involving the lips, cheeks and tongue – can lead to infection, tooth damage and difficulty with speech and breathing. The moist, bacteria-filled oral area is an ideal setting for infection and injury, and the frequent introduction of fingers into the mouth only increases this likelihood.

Tongue piercing can also cause the following health hazards:

Swelling that can compromise breathing

Severed blood vessels that can cause prolonged bleeding

Cracks in teeth or chips in lip from jewelry

Difficulty talking, chewing and swallowing

Scar tissue formation

Development of hypersensitivity to jewelry metals

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Questions From Patients – Orthodontic Treatment

Questions From Patients

How do I know if my child is in need of orthodontic treatment?
It is usually difficult for you to determine if treatment is necessary because there are many problems that can occur even though the front teeth look straight. Also, there are some problems that look intimidating and complex which will resolve on their own. Asking your general dentist is good reference, but we are your best resource since orthodontics is all we do. Our initial exam is complimentary and we would be more than happy to see your child and make any recommendations necessary.

What are the early symptoms of orthodontic problems?
Although determining if treatment is necessary is difficult for you to assess, the following symptoms may help in prompting you to seek our orthodontic advice.

Ask your child to open their mouth, and let you look at their teeth. If you see any signs of crooked teeth, gaps between your child’s teeth or overlapping teeth, your child may need orthodontic treatment.

Ask your child to bite all the way down, but keeping their lips open so you can see their teeth. Do the front top teeth line up with the bottom? Do the top teeth protrude out away from the bottom teeth? Do the top front teeth cover more than 50% of the bottom teeth? Are the top teeth behind the bottom teeth? All these are indicators for potential orthodontic treatment.

Look at the alignment of your child’s jaw. Does the jaw shift off center when your child bites down? If you see any misalignment or shifting of the jaw, your child may have a skeletal problem, which requires early orthodontic intervention.

These are only some of the obvious symptoms of orthodontic problems.

What age should my child be seen by an orthodontist?
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that your child be evaluated by age seven. Early detection of some orthodontic problems is important in order to take early corrective action and avoid more difficult treatment later.

Can you be too old for braces?
No, age is not a factor, only the health of your gums and bone which support your teeth. About 25% of our orthodontic patients are adults and that number is still growing!

Will it hurt?
Orthodontic treatment has improved dramatically. As a rule, braces make your teeth sore for a few days, but it is not painful. This annoyance can be relieved with an over-the-counter pain reliever. Today’s braces are smaller, more comfortable and use technology that reduces the discomfort. We use the latest in miniature braces and the highest quality of orthodontic materials in order to reduce discomfort and treatment time.

Can I still have braces if I have missing teeth ?
Yes. When teeth are missing, adjacent teeth will drift into the empty space. This will cause a functional, esthetic or periodontal problem. Orthodontic treatment will correct and prevent these problems from happening and will also provide proper alignment for your dentist to replace the missing teeth.

Questions About Treatment

What is Phase I (Interceptive Treatment) and Phase II treatment?
Phase I or Interceptive Treatment usually starts while the child has most of their baby teeth and a few of their permanent front incisors. This stage in development is usually about the age of seven. The goal of Phase I treatment is to intercept a moderate or severe orthodontic problem early in order to reduce or eliminate it. These problems include skeletal dysplasias, crossbites and crowding. Phase I treatment takes advantage of the early growth spurt and turns a difficult orthodontic problem into a more manageable one. This helps reduce the need for extractions or surgery and delivers better long term results and treatment options. Most Phase I patients require a Phase II treatment in order to achieve an ideal bite.

Phase II treatment usually occurs a number of years later. Usually we are waiting for 12-16 more permanent teeth to erupt before Phase II begins. This most commonly occurs at the age of 12 or 13. The goal of Phase II treatment is to achieve an ideal occlusion with all of the permanent teeth.

What is Full or Comprehensive Orthodontic Treatment?
This is another name for orthodontic treatment in the permanent dentition at any age. It is more commonly used when a Phase I treatment was not performed.

Does everyone need a Phase I treatment?
Absolutely not! Only certain bites require early intervention. All others can wait until most if not all their permanent teeth erupt.

Can I wait on Phase I/Interceptive Orthodontic Treatment until my child is older?
This is not recommended. If your child needs Phase I treatment this usually means that he has a difficult problem that requires attention now. If no orthodontic action is taken, treatment options become limited, more difficult, and the long term stability may be compromised. In addition, it may lead to extractions, oral surgery and increase costs.

What is the length or duration of orthodontic treatment?
Braces may be on between 6 months to 30 months, or longer depending on the age of the patient, the severity of the problem, the patient’s cooperation, and the degree of movement possible.

What are extraction and non-extraction therapy, and what are the advantages and disadvantages of each?
Extraction therapy is a technique where some teeth are removed to make room for the other teeth in your child’s mouth. This is in contrast to non-extraction therapy where one expands a patients’ jaw and shave down some teeth to make everything fit.

What are lingual braces?
Lingual braces are mounted behind a patient’s teeth. They were used many years ago, before the advent of orthocosmetic ™ braces. Lingual braces are rarely used anymore. Generally, lingual braces are more uncomfortable than standard braces. Orthodontic treatment takes twice as long and is more costly. In addition, some people have trouble talking with lingual braces. Presently, Lingual braces are only used in special clinical cases.

Will I pay extra for designer braces, colored ligatures and brackets or flavored rubber bands?
Yes, but your stress levels will drop when your child looks forward to their visit at our office! In addition, the cost for these braces is a minor fraction of the cost of orthodontic treatment. Considering the time spent, orthodontics is regarded as dentistry’s best value.

Is orthodontic care expensive?
When orthodontic treatment is implemented at the proper time, treatment is often less costly than the dental care required to treat the more serious problems that can develop years later.

Orthodontic fees have not increased as fast as many other consumer products. Financing is usually available and our office offers many payment programs that will meet your needs. In addition, many insurance plans now include orthodontics.

Questions About TMJ Disorder and Wisdom Teeth

Can orthodontic treatment help me with Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) problems?
There are some associations with a bite that is not correct (malocclusion) and TMJ disorders. TMJ disorders are a family of problems related to your complex jaw joint. If you have had symptoms like pain or a “clicking” sound, you’ll be glad to know that these problems are more easily diagnosed and treated than they were in the past. Since some types of TMJ problems can lead to more serious conditions, early detection and treatment are important.

No one treatment can resolve TMJ disorders completely and treatment takes time to be effective. Drs. Graver, Marshall and Underwood can help you have a healthier and more comfortable jaw.

TMJ disorders develop for many reasons. You might clench or grind your teeth, tightening your jaw muscles and stressing your TM joint. Or, you may have a damaged jaw joint due to injury or disease. Whatever the cause, the results may include a misaligned bite, pain, clicking or grating noises when you open your mouth, or trouble opening your mouth wide.

Do You Have a TMJ Disorder?

Are you aware of grinding or clenching your teeth?
Do you wake up with sore, stiff muscles around your jaws?
Do you have frequent headaches or neck aches?
Does the pain get worse when you clench your teeth?
Does stress make your clenching and pain worse?
Does your jaw click, pop, grate, catch, or lock when you open your mouth?
Is it difficult or painful to open your mouth, eat or yawn?
Have you ever injured your neck, head or jaws?
Have you had problems (such as arthritis) with other joints?
Do you have teeth that no longer touch when you bite?
Do your teeth meet differently from time to time?
Is it hard to use your front teeth to bite or tear food?
Are your teeth sensitive, loose, broken or worn?
The more times you answered “yes,” the more likely it is that you have a TMJ disorder. Understanding TMJ disorders will also help you understand how they’re treated.

There are various treatment options that we can utilize to improve the harmony and function of your jaw. Once an evaluation confirms a diagnosis of TMJ disorder, we will determine the proper course of treatment. It is important to note that treatment always works best with a team approach of self-care as well as professional care.

Do wisdom teeth affect crowding of teeth after braces have been removed?
Unfortunately, the answer is not entirely clear. There are data to support and refute the claims that wisdom teeth cause crowding after braces have been removed. For this reason, we recommend wearing retainers full time after removal of braces. The orthodontist will tell you when you can switch to nighttime only wearing. Each patient is different so the time interval to go to nighttime only depends on the individual case. Always follow exactly what the orthodontists have told you to do.

The average adult has thirty-two teeth by age eighteen: sixteen teeth on the top and sixteen teeth on the bottom. Each tooth in the mouth has a specific name and function. The teeth in the front of the mouth (incisors, canine and bicuspid teeth) are ideal for grasping and biting food into smaller pieces while the back teeth, or molar teeth, are used to grind food up into a consistency suitable for swallowing.

However, the average mouth is made to hold only 28 teeth. It can be painful when 32 teeth try to fit in a mouth that holds only 28 teeth. These four other teeth are your Third Molars, also known as “wisdom teeth.”

Why Should I Remove My Wisdom Teeth?
Wisdom teeth are the last teeth to erupt within the mouth. When they align properly, and gum tissue is healthy, wisdom teeth do not have to be removed. Unfortunately, this does not generally happen. The extraction of wisdom teeth is necessary when they are prevented from properly erupting within the mouth. They may grow sideways, partially emerge from the gum, and even remain trapped beneath the gum and bone. Impacted teeth can take many positions in the bone as they attempt to find a pathway that will allow them to erupt successfully.

These poorly positioned impacted teeth can cause many problems. When they are partially erupted, the opening around the tooth allows bacteria to grow and will eventually cause an infection. The result: swelling, stiffness, pain and illness. The pressure from the erupting wisdom tooth may move other teeth and disrupt the orthodontic or natural alignment of teeth. The most serious problem occurs when tumors or cysts form around the impacted wisdom tooth, resulting in the destruction of the jawbone and healthy teeth. Removal of the offending impacted tooth or teeth usually resolves these problems.

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Why Invisible Braces Are Beneficial

Why Invisible Braces Are Beneficial For Both Oral Hygiene And Self-Confidence

In my last article I explained the immediate and most apparent advantages of invisible braces or clear braces compared with traditional metal or wire braces. Clearly for most people the obvious word is ‘invisible’, and being able to wear braces which are virtually impossible to see unless you actually look directly at someone’s teeth has to be of huge benefit to most people.

Wearing traditional, metal braces can certainly be damaging to a person’s confidence. The fact that statistically the majority of people who wear braces are in their teens, a time when people’s confidence is at its weakest, wearing braces which are invisible is certainly of great benefit. For many people the reason why they choose invisible braces is simply because of this fact alone, but there are many other advantages with wearing invisible braces other than the fact that they are hard to spot.

In this article going to look at another of the advantages which clear braces offer those people who feel their teeth could do with some alignment. Many traditional metal braces are fixed into place, so that they can provide consistent level of pressure against the teeth over the period of time they need to be worn. This offer represents a problem to people, because clearly having metal braces fixed your teeth for two or more years makes it difficult as far as oral hygiene is concerned.

Cleaning teeth is not easy with a metal brace in place, and there are even some foods which can be tricky to eat. If you’re someone who enjoys eating seeded buns then you may find that whilst you’re wearing a metal brace you choose not to eat that particular item, simply because it is too easy for the seeds to become lodged or trapped within the metal brace. Not only does this feel awkward and uncomfortable, but of course it does represent an issue as far as dental hygiene is concerned.

But of course there’s also the fact that there may possibly over the next couple of years be occasions when you really don’t want to have a metal brace defining who you are and what you look like. Perhaps you’ve been wearing a metal brace throughout your time at university, and you really don’t want all your graduation photographs to be dominated by a metal framework grinning at anyone who ever sees your picture.

Whether it’s still photographs, family photographs, passport photographs or any other kind of photograph that is important to you, it is certainly beneficial if you can make do without having a metal brace which is highly visible. The advantage then with invisible braces or clear braces is that they can be removed at any time, very easily.

Invisible braces are actually clear trays which simply fit over your upper or lower teeth. These clear trays are not only quite comfortable to wear, and almost completely invisible, but can easily be slipped on or off at any time. I should point out that taking invisible braces off is not recommended, and you must always remember to put them back on again as soon as possible. Wearing invisible braces for anything less than 23 hours a day could well result in your teeth actually shifting back into their original position, making it almost impossible to fix the invisible braces back. This could mean having to start the process all over again.

So being able to remove invisible braces for particular times such as a special meal, for cleaning your teeth, or the special photographs, is an advantage which has often been one of the deciding factors for many people who have chosen to have invisible braces or clear braces fitted rather than traditional metal or wire braces. In my next article I will explain more about how invisible braces really work.

If you’d like to find out more about invisible braces or would like information and advice on whether clear braces are the right choice for you, visit The Invisalign Guide Blogs on this website will help you find all the information you need

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When wearing Braces – What you need to pay attention to

When wearing Braces – What you need to pay attention to

Brushing and Braces

It’s more important than ever to brush and floss regularly during orthodontic treatment so teeth and gums remain healthy after orthodontic treatment. Patients may find it advantageous to schedule frequent visits to their general dentist for a professional cleaning.

Patients who have a history of gum disease should also see a periodontist during orthodontic treatment. orthodontics san antonio

General Soreness

When the orthodontic appliances are placed, there may be a feeling of general soreness in the mouth, and teeth may be tender to biting pressures for a few days. This can be improved by rinsing with a warm saltwater mouthwash. Dissolve one teaspoon of salt in 8 oz. of warm water and rinse vigorously. If the tenderness is severe, take whatever is normally taken for headaches or similar pains. The lips, cheeks, and tongue may also become irritated as they become accustomed to the surface of the braces. Wax can be placed on the brackets to lessen irritation. After the appliances are placed, we can provide instructions in proper appliance care and tooth brushing.

Loosening of Teeth

This is to be expected throughout treatment. Teeth must loosen so they can be moved.

Loose Wire or Band

Don’t be alarmed if a wire or bracket comes loose. This happens occasionally. If a wire protrudes and is irritating, use a blunt instrument (back of spoon) and carefully push the irritating wire under the arch wire. If irritation to the lips or mouth continues, place wax or wet cotton on the wire to reduce the annoyance. Callus as soon as possible for an appointment to check and repair the appliances. If any piece comes off, save it and bring it with you to the office.

Braces & Sports

If sports are played, it’s important to consult Dr. Rose or Dr. Malik to learn about the special precautions needed while playing sports during orthodontic treatment. A protective mouth guard specifically designed for use with orthodontic appliances must be used while playing contact sports. Discuss sports activity with Dr. Cochran and they will select the appropriate mouth guard. In case of any accident involving the face, check the mouth and the appliances immediately. If teeth are loosened or the appliances damaged, call at once for an appointment. In the meantime, treat any discomfort as any general soreness would be treated.san antonio orthodontics

Emergencies

True orthodontic emergencies are very rare, but we can help when they do occur. If there is severe pain or if there is a painful appliance problem that can’t be taken care of by the patient or parent, call us to schedule an appointment. When describing the appliance, it is helpful to know the names of the orthodontic appliance parts to explain what may be broken or out of place. It is very important you call as soon as possible to schedule a time to assess the problem.

Allowing the appliance to remain damaged for an extended period of time may result in disruptions to the treatment plan. Ask us to demonstrate how to handle minor orthodontic appliance problems. Many times, a bit of wax can be placed in an area of discomfort to provide temporary relief. The following solutions may help relieve discomfort:

Poking Wire

Using a pencil eraser, push the poking wire down or place wax on it to reduce the discomfort. Wax can be applied on the braces to help reduce mouth irritation. Ask Donna, Karen, Maria, or Randa to demonstrate how to apply the wax and how to handle minor orthodontic appliance problems. You may also call the office to schedule an appointment to resolve the poking wire issue.

Loose Bracket or Band

If the bracket or band is still attached to the wire, leave it in place and put wax on it. If the wire comes out entirely, wrap the bracket with a tissue and notify the office right away.

Loose Wire

Using tweezers or a small pair of needle-nose pliers, try to place the wire back into place. If doing this and using wax does not help, as a last resort use a small fingernail clipper to clip the wire behind the last tooth to which the wire is securely fastened. If discomfort continues, place wax on it, and call the office to schedule a repair appointment.

Contact Dr. Cochran DDS, MS, in San Antonio, Texas, for more details about our orthodontic appliance care and their impact on your life.

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Invisalign Can Work For You

Invisalign Can Work For You, Just as it has for over half a million smiles

Not only is Invisalign versatile, helping to correct a broad range of dental and orthodontic issues, but it really works. And there are over half a million smiles to back that up. But a confident smile isn’t the only benefit of correcting your dental issues with custom-made Invisalign aligners—your health can be positively impacted as well. Learn more about several common issues below that an experienced Invisalign doctor can work with you to correct.

Overly crowded teeth : This occurs when there is simply a lack of room within your jaw for all of your teeth to fit normally. When left untreated, overly crowded teeth can cause dental decay, an increase in chances of gum disease, and can prevent the normal function of teeth.Invisalign San Antonio

Widely spaced teeth : This occurs with abnormal continued growth of the jaw bone. When teeth are missing, this issue can also be caused by the other teeth shifting due to extra space. Spacing issues in teeth can cause some periodontal diseases.

Crossbite : This occurs when the upper and lower jaws are both misaligned. It causes one or more upper teeth to bite on the inside of the lower teeth, and can happen on both the front and/or the sides of the mouth. This issue can cause wear of the teeth, gum disease, and bone loss.

Overbite: What people commonly refer to as an “overbite” is known to dental professionals as “overjet.” It occurs when the upper teeth bite over the lower teeth. It’s typically caused by either genetics, bad oral habits, or over development of the bone that supports the teeth. This issue can lead to gum problems or irritation, and/or wear on the lower teeth and can cause painful jaw and joint problems.

Underbite: This occurs when the lower teeth protrude past the front teeth. It’s usually caused by undergrowth of the upper jaw, overgrowth of the lower jaw, or both. It can also be caused by missing upper teeth. This issue can prevent the normal function of front teeth or molars which can lead to tooth wear. It can also cause painful jaw and joint problems.

Our Invisalign orthodontist will work with you to create a custom-designed program that will treat your specific dental or orthodontic issue(s). Your treatment program will consist of a full set of aligners, made for you, and only you. While it’s important that you visit an experienced Invisalign doctor to see how well Invisalign fits your specific needs, you can get a head-start now by taking our self assessment.

And of course, there are other considerations when making the decision to straighten your teeth. Think about how Invisalign can fit in your life by providing a virtually-invisible option to getting the smile you want.San Antonio Invisalign Braces

What is Invisalign®?

The Invisalign® system is the virtually invisible way to straighten your teeth and achieve the dazzling smile you’ve always dreamed of. Using advanced 3-D computer-imaging technology, Invisalign depicts your complete treatment plan, from the initial position of your teeth to the final desired position. Then a series of clear aligners are custom-made for your teeth – and your teeth only – to move them little by little. Each aligner is worn for about two weeks before being replaced by the next in the series, until the final position of your teeth is achieved. Your Invisalign treatment time will be determined by your doctor, based on your specific needs.

What are the primary benefits of Invisalign?

Invisalign aligners are practically clear. No one may even notice that you’re wearing these virtually invisible “braces,” making Invisalign a seamless fit with your lifestyle and day-to-day interactions with others.

Invisalign is removable. Unlike braces, you have the flexibility to eat and drink what you want during treatment by simply removing the aligners. And you can also remove the aligners to brush and floss as you normally would for fresh breath and good oral hygiene.

Unlike braces, there are no metal brackets or wires with the Invisalign system that could cause irritation to your mouth. Plus since your office visits during treatment don’t involve metal or wire adjustments, you’ll likely spend less time in the doctor’s chair.

And finally, Invisalign allows you to view your virtual results and treatment plan before you start so you can see how your straight teeth will look when your treatment is complete.San Antonio Orthodontist

How do I get started with Invisalign?

Just make an appointment with Dr. Chong Lee & Dr.Joseph Oh, an Invisalign trained doctor for an initial consultation.

Can I go to any dentist to be treated with Invisalign?

While Invisalign can be used with virtually any treatment philosophy, special training is needed. All dentists interested in treating patients with Invisalign must attend and complete specialized instructional sessions to become trained Invisalign providers before cases will be accepted from their office. Close to 30,000 doctors worldwide are already certified to treat patients using Invisalign. Find an experienced Invisalign-trained doctor near you.

How will Invisalign effectively move my teeth?

Like brackets and arch wires are to braces, Invisalign aligners move teeth through the appropriate placement of controlled force on your teeth. The main difference is that Invisalign not only controls forces, but also the timing of the force application. During each stage, only certain teeth are allowed to move. These movements are determined by your doctor as he or she maps out your unique Invisalign treatment plan.

What are aligners made of, and what do they look like?

The virtually invisible aligners, which are made of a thermoplastic material uniquely developed for the Invisalign treatment plan, look similar to tooth-whitening trays. Invisalign aligners are custom-made for you and only you to move your teeth in the sequence determined by your doctor.

How old is the company?
Align Technology, Inc., the company that manufactures Invisalign, was founded in 1997.

How many patients are being treated with Invisalign?
More than 500,000 patients worldwide have been treated with Invisalign. The number of Invisalign smiles grows daily.

Has the FDA cleared Invisalign?
Invisalign aligners are classified as Class II medical devices by the FDA, and Align Technology, Inc.has held the necessary 510K clearance from the FDA since 1998 to be able to sell and market the Invisalign syst

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Does Invisalign Work

The question you often hear is

Does Invisalign Work?

Great things in life have their price. If you dream about having a perfect smile, and currently experience problematic teeth, you will need to try one of the braces systems mentioned on our blog, and be persistent. It will most likely take time and your patience, trust in your orthodontists skills and knowledge, but you will most likely get there.

The best answer might be found when you compare Invisalign and Braces.

Invisalign vs Braces ?

If you are considering buying invisalign, there are a few factors you should be aware of. There is no good for all product. Even such technological marvels like Invisalign might not suit you.

This site has been designed to help you make the final decision. We will offer you a comparison of Invisalign vs Braces, so you can make the final choice.

You will be able to see the advantages and disadvantages of both products, and through the comparison it will be much easier to decide.

Invisalign is made out of high quality, strong and transparent plastic.

An interesting story is related to the human face proportions. According to the most accomplished plastic surgeons, who study the proportions if beauty, the difference between a sparkling beauty and an ugly face is measured in millimetres. About the distance between your mouth and nose, eyes and mouth, the shape of your jaw. Braces by correcting your teeth, can reshape your face, and align the proportions properly. When your jaw works well, your face muscles can achieve harmonious balance. You use all the necessary one for a particular action, it also means less wrinkles in the future. The plastic surgery professionals say that the distance between a gorgeous face and an ugly one is one or two millimetres. Of course we know that the beauty standards are never stable, and what we call be beauty really means what makes us happy, and we all are gorgeous. But those who like to step us the standards, and put people on shelves, decided what an amazing face really means.

Unbelievable thing is that a very small change can completely transform your physical presence.

And there is another factor. Properly aligned teeth, make you healthy, help you digest food, and swallow it in smaller chunks. This way you look after your liver, stomach, cells and consequently the whole body.

Healthy and strong mind comes as a result of an optimally working body.

By going to other pages on our website you have most likely read about the two major orthodontic systems: Invisalign Braces and Traditional Braces. They differ in some areas highly (like the price, length of treatment, the ability to tell the end date), and the results people are getting are at times substantially different.

According to those who have worn Invisalign braces, there are many pros and cons, and every case is different. Most of the times, the traditional braces deliver the results the patients want. While in case of invisalign, the situation is not that clear.

Both systems work differently, and depend on the skills of the practitioner that deals with your teeth.

People who experienced invisalign say that for more complicated cases, braces work the best, also because of the time and cost- are cheaper. Patients say that invisible braces are not that invisible. During the treatment, very often you need to have attachments glued onto your teeth. (What are those? Attachments are simply tooth coloured blobs of material glued onto your teeth). Usually people need some time to adjust themselves to wearing them, but it helps.

It is important for you to realize that if you do not live in the USA, where there head quarters of Invisalign company is based, and al the manufacturing takes place, it will take some longer time to deliver your retainer. But it should not be a big problem, as long as it fits well.

Like with all new and different, you will need some time to learn to remove them, and you need to keep personal mouth hygiene to prevent the development of the bacteria and bad smell.

The another issue is that after a long treatment, when you have had let’s say 20 liners that took 40 weeks, you may hear about another several months and liners.

You need to be aware of the fact that the results vary, and there are patients who are very happy with their results and the way the treatment goes. It is very much dependent on the severity of your case. Your best choice is to find a respected and accomplished orthodontist, who will be able to give you an honest advice.

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What are Lingual Braces

What are Lingual braces?

Lingual braces work in much the same way as their traditional counterparts. However there’s one important cosmetic difference; the lack of the usual metal supports on the front of your teeth. In the past braces could only be fit in a certain position; right on the front of your teeth but due to developments in dental technology this is no longer the case. The key difference with Lingual Braces is that they can be placed on the rear of your teeth, hiding the majority of the metal parts. This means that they can realign your teeth just as effectively as a traditional brace but without the aesthetic worries.San Antonio lingual braces

How are Lingual Braces fit?

Firstly, your dentist will need you to press your teeth into a mould in order to take an impression of them. This mould is then sent off to a specialist laboratory where each bracket in your lingual brace is custom made to fit your teeth. In order to help the brackets remain in the correct shape they are usually set in wax and kept safely inside a plastic applicator. During your follow-up visit your dentist will transfer the brackets to the back of your teeth and cement them in place. It’s usual to have several follow up visits with your dentist in order to monitor your progress.

Lingual braces have several advantages over their traditional counterparts. The main advantage is cosmetic, as Lingual braces aren’t visible from the front which makes them an excellent option for patients who wish to avoid the highly-visible traditional braces. In addition to being completely invisible, your lingual braces will strengthen and realign your teeth in the same time frame as traditional braces (which can vary from case to case but usually requires braces to be worn for a number of months). In many cases traditional braces aren’t suited to patients who play contact sports or certain wind instruments making Lingual braces the safest and most convenient option. Lingual braces can be used on patients of any age (as opposed to other types of invisible brace which have to be used early on in life) and are increasingly popular in older patients who want dental treatment without the orthodontic equipment interfering with their day to day life. Also, lingual braces can be a great alternative to patients who are sensitive to plastic and as such, can’t use any invisible braces made of it.

What’s it like living with Lingual Braces?

As not all orthodontists are trained in the use of Lingual braces there can be some issues which occur with access to treatment for follow-up visits. Wearing any kind of brace will have some affect on certain parts of your lifestyle and in addition, lingual braces usually tend to cost more than their traditional counterparts. This is due to the fact that the treatment requires specialist training, customised brackets and computer-aided design technology. Therefore it’s important to take all these factors into consideration and discuss them with your dentist before deciding to have the treatment. As lingual braces are placed on the inside surface of your teeth, they may take a while longer to adjust to than traditional braces. There can be issues with food getting trapped and catching your tongue on the brace but most patients fully adapt to having the brace within a few days. Patients with lingual braces can eat relatively normally but it’s important to avoid certain foods and snacks such as chewing gum or sticky toffee. Similarly it’s important to avoid hard foods and fizzy drinks and in some cases an excess of fruit juice can also cause damage your braces. It’s usual for your dentist to advise regular visits to the hygienist as it’s easier for food to become trapped in lingual braces, due to their position. Lingual braces may affect your speech and some patients develop a slight lisp or have problems forming certain words but this is usually temporary.  orthodontics san antonio

It may be necessary at some stage of the treatment to be assigned some extra dental gear to wear in the evenings or at night in order to provide extra pressure to your teeth to help them move in the right way. After the initial treatment period is finished you’re usually required to carry on using a retaining brace so your teeth won’t revert to their former position. This can either be fixed or removable and the length of time you’ll need to use this for varies greatly from case to case. Most patients wear braces for between 1 to 3 years before a positive result is achieved.

What results can I expect?

Your lingual brace will help aid your teeth to grow straight by applying small but continuous pressure to your teeth. After treatment you should see a noticeable cosmetic difference in the appearance of your teeth and any problems with crowding, gaps, overbites or underbites should be fixed.

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