So what happens after my Invisalign treatment is over?

invisalignInvisalign braces provide a more invisible option to traditional metal orthodontic braces. Instead of metal wires and brackets, invisalign consists of placing a clear plastic tray over the teeth to gradually move and realign the teeth to their ideal places. Once the treatment is over, patients still must visit their orthodontist for routine maintenance, not unlike maintenance required for traditional braces.

When your dentist clears you from wearing your plastic trays, you and your dentist need to ensure that your teeth do not slide back into their original positions. With traditional braces, patients often have to wear a retainer for some time, and the same is most often true with Invisalign.

It’s possible that the retainer prescribed to you will be another alignment tray. It’s also possible that the retainer will be the last tray you wore, as it’s the last tray that had your teeth in the perfect position. This tray will keep the teeth from moving again.

Your dentist may also give you additional instructions on how to keep your teeth properly aligned during this final treatment and even after. No matter what you think about these instructions, you should do your best to follow them to the letter. By following these instructions, you will ensure that the time and money you have invested in this procedure was not wasted.

During Invisalign Treatment

Before you are cleared to stop wearing your trays, there are several things you must do to keep your treatment going as smooth as possible. Of course, follow all instructions from your dentist/orthodontist. Clean your trays when you brush your teeth. Brushing them removes both intrusive food particles that can interfere with your alignment and prevents staining. Wear your trays at night as well. You should only remove your trays for only two hours maximum every twenty-four hours. However, you should remove them when drinking hot beverages, as the hot liquid can alter the plastic.

Thinking about Invisalign?

If you think you want Invisalign instead of traditional metal braces, talk to your dentist at your next appointment, or call your dentist today to set up a consultation.

Treating Yellow Teeth

yellow-teeth

No one likes it when they have yellow teeth. It prevents many from smiling and can lower self esteem. If you know what the cause behind the yellow teeth is, you can treat it and prevent further yellowing.

Causes of Yellow Teeth

Natural Causes

As cruel as it can be, sometimes a person’s teeth aren’t as white as others are naturally. A tooth’s enamel is typically white, but the dentin layer underneath is yellow. If the enamel isn’t mineralized properly, it will be translucent, so the yellow dentin will show through. The only way to fix this problem is to talk to your dentist about advanced methods to whiten your teeth.

Aging

The older you get, the yellower your teeth will get, no matter how great you are about taking care of your teeth. As you age, your enamel wears down, so the yellow dentin is more visible.

Oral Hygiene

This really should go without saying, but just in case, bad oral hygiene will yellow your teeth. Not brushing, not flossing, and not visiting your dentist for regular cleanings will always lead to yellow teeth.

Eating Habits

Certain food and drinks will stain your teeth. Tobacco, whether you smoke or chew, will also stain your teeth.

 Treating Yellow Teeth

There are a few things you can do to treat your yellow teeth. Of course, the big ones are to brush your teeth twice a day and floss once a day. You should also try to brush your teeth after consuming staining foods and beverages, such as soda and coffee. You can use over-the-counter whitening strips as well, found at practically every grocery store or pharmacy.

If you need more advanced whitening, talk to your dentist about it. Your dentist may be able to professionally whiten them with bleaching or possibly recommend porcelain veneers.

What’s the difference between porcelain veneers and dental crowns?

Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

Dental crowns and porcelain veneers are both used to improve the appearance of your teeth, but they’re used for different reasons. Veneers have replaced dental crowns as treatment for some situations, but the two aren’t interchangeable.

So what’s the difference and why are they used?

Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain veneers don’t restore teeth; they improve their appearance. They can only be used on the front teeth, and they can correct the following dental issues:

  • chipped or cracked teeth;
  • minor gaps between teeth;
  • minor misaligned teeth; and/or
  • misshapen teeth.

Dentists do not have to restructure the front teeth to make room for a veneer like they do crowns, so veneers are the preferred treatment when possible.[..Read More]

How to Check for Bad Breath

Bad Breath

Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

In a panic with how your breath smells even though you brushed your teeth this morning? Several people have quick methods for how to check for bad breath, but only one is foolproof with no false hope.

Don’t quickly puff a breath into your cupped hand and smell it, because that often will not smell great, even after brushing your teeth. Instead, lick your wrist, let it dry for roughly 10 seconds, and then smell that.

If you notice that you have bad breath more often than normal, even after brushing your teeth, you could have a serious health problem called halitosis. You can do several things to mask the odor, but none will remove the cause of the bad breath.

Sometimes halitosis is caused by poor dental hygiene, but if you brush and floss regularly and still have bad breath, you have another problem at hand. It could be caused by certain medications, your current diet, diabetes, using tobacco, or acid reflux issues. It can also be caused by serious periodontal problems such as periodontitis, gingivitis, or tooth decay.[..Read More]

New Game to Teach Kids How to Brush

ToothsaversStatistics show that less than half of American children brush their teeth twice a day and that tooth decay is our nation’s most common chronic childhood disease. The two definitely go hand in hand.

To help combat this, the Ad Council and the Partnership for Healthy Mouths, Healthy Lives have released a new mobile game, Toothsavers. It’s available for both iOS and Android, and it helps make brushing teeth fun by asking kids to save a kingdom in the game with the swipe of their toothbrush. The battles go on for two minutes, the recommended time it takes to brush teeth.¬† Also, by playing twice a day, the kids can unlock new characters.[..Read More]