Is your college student home for holiday break? Now may be a good time to check in with them regarding their retainers. Many young adults have the best of intentions, but may have misplaced or broken their retainers or simply stopped wearing them while away at school. Consistent retainer wear is key to avoid relapse and shifting teeth, and is a lifelong commitment. If the retainers have been lost or broken, or simply no longer fit, ask them to contact our office for an appointment.
The Biology of Tooth Movement
Occasionally, a curious patient will ask how we get teeth to move through bone. The answer centers around an awesome biological structure we call the PDL (perio-dontal-ligament). The PDL is a tiny network of fibers that sits between the root of a tooth and the bone. It is very sensitive to pressure, which is where the magic lies! When we push on a tooth, the PDL compresses on one side and is stretched on the other side. On the compressed side, the PDL triggers cells to slowly dissolve the bone; on the stretched side the cells slowly build bone. The net effect is a gentle migration of the teeth from one position to another. We tailor your orthodontic plan to selectively apply pressure in a specific sequence. And this amazing anatomical feature allows us to create your healthy, functional, and beautiful smile!!
Continuation from last month's entry......
Hygiene benefits of Invisalign
Invisalign is a removable appliance that allows for much easier daily oral hygiene. Because Invisalign trays can be taken out of the mouth, a patient can brush their teeth as they normally would. The most effective brushing technique known as the Bass Method. To perform this technique, place the bristles at the gum line facing toward the root at a 45 degree angle (facing down for the lower arch, facing up for the top arch). Press the bristles slightly so they enter beneath the gum line. Vibrate the toothbrush back and forth with little strokes before moving to the next tooth.
Flossing for patients with Invisalign is much easier as well because there are no obstacles in the way. Once the aligners are removed, wind approximately 18 inches of floss around your middle finger on each hand. Take the floss and then pinch it in-between your thumb and index fingers. You should have a one to two inch length in-between (similar to the length of a floss pick). Use your thumb to guide the floss between the upper teeth, and your index finger to guide the floss between your lower teeth. Once the floss is in-between the two teeth, push or pull the floss to make a "C" shape and have it hug the side of the tooth you are flossing. Slide the floss in and out while hugging the side of the tooth sliding it along the length of the whole tooth. Make sure to gently guide the floss under the gum line to clean any bacteria hiding in there. Once you have flossed one of the teeth in that area, push or pull the floss to do the same thing to the tooth next to it before moving throughout the mouth. When you move the floss to the next set of teeth, move your finger along the piece of floss using a new, clean piece of floss for each set of teeth.
Oral Hygiene - Invisalign vs. Traditional Braces
Both Invisalign and traditional braces have their advantages and disadvantages, the same goes with ones daily oral hygiene with these treatment modalities.
Traditional braces are fixed appliances which means you can not take them on and off to clean your teeth. Becuase of their placement, different techniques of brushing can be beneficial. One method is the Charter's Method. To perform this techinique, place the toothbrush on an angle at the gum line with the bristles facing towards the root of the tooth. Use light pressure and draw the brush towards the chewing surface of the tooth in a rolling motion. This will remove any food debris along the gum line. Then place the bristles on the brackets and use light pressure in circular motions making sure to get above and below the brackets to clean any food debris or soft plaque. Repeat this process along both dental arches.
Flossing tradtitional braces is no easy task for anyone, but it is one of the most important. Food debris and soft plaque full of bacteria build up between teeth. Lack of removal can cause irritation, inflammation, redness, bleeding, and eventually bone loss of the underlying bone. There are, however, many flossing aids that can be very helpful. Some of these include:
* Orthodontic Plackers: These are little pieces of floss attached to a plastic handle. These make it much easier to get under the arch wires to get interproximally.
* Super Floss: This is a stretchy piece of floss with a stiffened end that allows for threading it underneath the arch wire to be able to floss between the teeth and under the appliances (brackets).
* WaterPik: a motorized stream of pressurized, pulsating water to remove plaque, food debris, and bacteria from above and below the gums.
* Proxabrush: a non-slip handle with soft nylon bristles that are inserted between the teeth and gums at the gum line. These are available in many different sizes.
To Be Continued.........
Adequate oral hygiene is critical during orthodontic treatment. It is a common misconception that braces can cause white spot lesions, also known as tooth decalcification. Such is not the case. Decalcification occurs due to poor oral hygiene habits that disrupt the remineralization process of a tooth. The appearance of a chalky white spot on a tooth is visible before cavitation has occurred, and can be reversed if detected and treated early enough.Therefore, ignoring the health of your teeth along the way can significantly compromise your treatment with braces or Invisalign. In this regard, Invisalign enables you to easily maintain your oral hygiene by allowing you to remove the aligners and maintaining your regular floss-and-brush routine. Regardless of which orthodontic treatment you choose, consistent, effective brushing techniques, and regular visits to your dentist for cleaning and exam are essential.
Braces aren't just for tweens. While some adults may be hesitant to get a mouth full of metal, options like clear braces and Invisalign are ways to more subtly realign teeth. There are many people using aligners like Invisalign in their 50s and 60s and even 70s. Rosenberg Orthodontics is a top 1% Invisalign practice which means we do more Invisalign than 99% of all dental practices in North America. While you’re straightening your teeth with Invisalign clear aligners, you can keep brushing and flossing with ease like you always do. When your treatment is complete the doctor recommends patients use a retainer to prevent teeth from gradually shifting back towards their initial position. Retainers are custom-made from an impression or scan of your teeth for a precise and comfortable fit. It’s that easy!
In our over 25 years of creating beautiful smiles, we have seen the number of adult patients in our practice go up significantly. There are several reasons why we are seeing this happen. Firstly, the advances in technology and available treatment choices have made Invisalign and other aligner therapy treatments an option for many adult conditions, when just a few years ago they were not. More insurance companies are including adult orthodontic coverage in their policies as well, which has helped tremendously. Additionally, flexible spending plans and health savings plans have also helped to make orthodontics an affordable option. We’re committed to working with the unique needs of our adult patients, and providing smiles that will last a lifetime.
Don't lose your Flexible Spending money!
Many flex spending accounts allow employees time after year's end to use remaining pre-tax money in their accounts or even to carry over part of their balance into the following year. Don't miss out on using your flex spending dollars!
Invisalign as well as other orthodontic treatments are included in the health related items for which funds can be used and both are great ways to take advantage of your flex spending benefit. Now would be a great time to see if Invisalign is right for you.
Express Your Smile® was the brainchild of orthodontist Dr. Barry Rosenberg. Dr. Rosenberg has completed thousands of cases of aligner therapy and has lectured across the United States to dental professionals on this subject.
Dr. Rosenberg was looking for a solution to lower the cost and time commitment required for minor tooth movement.
He had observed many cases every day in his private practice and wanted to help more people with this common problem. He decided that the answer was to take the treatment out of the office and into the patient's home. By doing so, he is able to lower the cost and make the treatment more convenient.
The Express Your Smile® system is inexpensive compared to traditional braces or other aligner products.
After an initial examination and digital scan of your teeth, Express Your Smile® aligners are conveniently mailed to you. Most cases can be completed in 6-9 months for a more perfect smile. While Express Your Smile® is not for all dental misalignments, many people will benefit from this type of treatment.