ClickCease ClickCease
teen with braces

Being a Teen With Braces: How to Help a Teenager Like Their New Look

First impressions are everything. And, when you have straighter and whiter teeth, you’ll be considered smarter, more successful and get more dates.

But, if your teen wants to reach this rosy future, they need to be willing to bare braces for a while in order to get there.

If you have to experience life as a teen with braces, it’s not always going to be easy. They may even feel alienated from their friends and get sick of taking care of their braces.

However, as the kid’s parents, you have an important role to play in helping your teenager like their new look. Check out our tips below!

Show Patience to Your Child

Many parents consider themselves to be patient. But, you need to use every ounce of your patience when your teen is getting braces.

The braces will only be successful if your kid follows the advice of the orthodontist. You need to ensure that they commit to the treatment properly.

This probably won’t be achieved by shouting and punishing them when they don’t behave themselves. You need to show sympathy and patience!

You need to expect that your teen child may forget to follow the oral hygiene guidelines of the orthodontist. It’s your responsibility to remind them!

Make Sure Your Teen Understands

Up to 16 percent of children say that they’re scared of going to the dentist. Imagine how they’re going to feel when they realize they have to sign up for orthodontal treatment.

You need to educate your teen before you take them for treatment. This will help them to understand why it is important they get braces. Make sure you understand why braces are better for teens.

Do your homework before you start to tell them what they need to know. You don’t want to pass on false information yourself.

You may even discover helpful tips for your kid. You should also encourage your teen kid to research braces and oral hygiene themselves.

Support Your Child as Much as Possible

As the parent of your child, it goes without saying that you want to support your child. Nevertheless, there are often ways to support the child when you’re at home.

You may want to change small things around your home. Don’t tease your child by leaving chewy candy or popcorn around the house.

When you’re a teenager with braces you don’t want to be constantly reminded that you can’t enjoy the same food as the rest of the family.

Help Your Teen With a Healthy Diet

When you get braced fitted, you can’t eat what everyone is eating. So, you need to make sure your teen is eating a healthy and balanced diet.

Over 80 percent of children in the U.S. have a poor diet anyway. If your child’s diet could improve, you could use the opportunity to eat healthier dishes at home.

Do you ever catch your teen reaching for the cookie jar? You know that chewy food is going to get stuck in the braces.

Make sure you stop them. But, you can also make sure you prepare delicious and healthy meals at home that everyone can eat.

Tell Your Child That Braces are Cool

You may remember when you were a child that braces weren’t very cool anymore. And yet, you should remember that times have changed.

You can show your kid that braces are no longer uncool. The days when kids shouted “metal mouth” and “nerds” at kids with braces are no longer.

Braces simply aren’t as ugly as they used to be. They’re much smaller and better designed these days.

You need to remind your kid that this is the case if they’re nervous about getting braces.

Soothe the Pain With Coldness

When you have your braces fitted, your teen may experience some inflammation in their mouth. But, you can help soothe the discomfort with something cold.

This could be anything from going to get ice-cream to celebrate or simply giving them a cold glass of water to ease the soreness.

If your teen has had anything sugary, just remember to tell them to brush their teeth afterward.

Focus on the Positives of Getting Braces

If your teen is down about getting braces, you need to show them that things aren’t so bad.

When your teen discovers that they have to keep braces for over a year. That may appear like a long time when you’re just a teenager.

However, tell them that when they’re an adult, a year feels like nothing. They’ll start to understand that they need to think about the future.

Only wearing braces for a year or two can allow them to have amazing teeth in adulthood. Mention Prince Harry or Miley Cyrus as examples of former brace wearers.

Help Them to Plan for Life With Braces

When you know what to expect, it’s much easier to prepare yourself for your life with braces. This is an important way to help your kid deal with braces.

You could take your kid shopping. There are going to be numerous things that they might need when they have braces.

This could include everything from a better toothbrush and toothpaste, relief wax and pain killers. But, they may also need certain food stocked in the kitchen.

Make sure they know how to prepare mash potatoes and smoothies themselves. This way they can make sure they’re eating the right food for braces.

Helping Your Teen With Braces

Getting braces during your teenage years can be a big moment. You may be worried about how other people will treat you as a teen with braces.

However, as the kid’s parent, you can help them to adapt to life with braces. By showing them support and educating them about the importance of oral health, you can be a great parent.

Do you want to learn more about whether you should get Invisalign or braces? You can discover everything you need to know here.

invisalign or braces

Invisalign or Braces: Which One Is the Best Fit for You?

Want to create that perfect smile? But you’re not sure if Invisalign will work for you?

When it comes to finally achieve the straight teeth you’ve dreamed of, you probably have a ton of questions. Factors like cost, time, and effectiveness come into play.

Luckily we’ve done the work for you and have created a guide to help you find out if Invisalign or braces are going to be the best fit for you.

Both Invisalign and braces have great benefits for your oral health, but which choice out will get you the best results? Continue reading to find out!

Invisalign or Braces: What’s the Difference?

When it comes to their goal, both Invisalign and braces aim to straighten your teeth, improve your smile, and benefit your overall oral health. Yet at first glance, they are different in a lot of ways.

Many of us are familiar with braces, which have been around much longer than Invisalign. Braces are metal brackets that are adhered to each of your individual teeth by your doctor. They are then connected using a metal wire.

Your doctor will tighten and manipulate the wire in order to gradually move each tooth into its proper place. The wire is also held into place using small rubber bands. These come in a variety of colors.

Rather than using brackets and wires, Invisalign is able to straighten teeth by using a series of clear, appliances or aligners. These are made using molds specifically to move your teeth.

Why Choose Braces?

When it comes to braces, the most common form is still metal. They are not removable like Invisalign because the brackets are stuck onto your teeth. This can be a deterrent to some who don’t like the look of braces.

However, the benefit of having braces is that they tend to work faster and are better at fixing complex issues when it comes to your bite and teeth positioning.

Treatment time for braces can be anywhere from 18 months to 3 years. Although this timeframe can vary from patient to patient. It’s always encouraging to see the quick results that wearing braces can bring.

There is a lot of maintenance that goes along with the braces treatment plan. This is because you will have to avoid certain foods that can get caught in your braces.

You also will need to go to follow-up visits to your doctor to have your braces adjusted. Typically your doctor will expect you to visit every 4 to 8 weeks. These visits involve changing your bands and also tightening or changing the wire. These visits only take about a half-hour on average.

It’s also somewhat inconvenient to try and clean or floss your teeth while wearing braces. Luckily there are ways of managing this using tools made specifically to help braces wearers with oral hygiene.

Why Choose Invisalign?

Invisalign is another option for those who are eligible. This is because many people like that they can remove the aligners when needed. You can take it out to clean your teeth, when you eat, and for special occasions.

That means that they won’t prevent you from eating what you like during your treatment plan. They are also practically invisible when wearing them. Invisalign aligners are also fairly comfortable.

Typically a person’s treatment plan with Invisalign consists of between 12 to 48 trays. Treatment time is usually between 6 and 18 months. The key is in the consistency of the patient wearing their aligner for 20-22 hours a day.

If you forget to wear your aligner, this could prolong your treatment time.

Invisalign treatment plans also require you to go to regular office visits. Usually, your doctor will expect to meet with you ever 4 to 6 weeks. At that time you’ll go over your progress and see how much closer you are to achieving your smile goals.

You’ll have to switch out your aligners every 1 to 2 weeks as your teeth shift. This is another important part of your progress. If you don’t keep up with your appointments or switching your aligners, you may have setbacks in your goals.

How Will You Decide?

As mentioned earlier, there are a few factors that you will want to take into consideration. These can depend on your unique situation and the recommendations of your doctor.

For example, braces tend to be a less expensive option. Although this isn’t always the case depending on your specific circumstances. If braces are the cheaper method, this may be a deciding factor.

Invisalign tends to cost an average of $5,000 whereas braces can be a range of $1,800 to $5,500. There’s also a chance that you might lose or break your aligners which means you will have to purchase a replacement.

Also, Invisalign isn’t a good fit for people who require bridgework, have back tooth bite issues, need to rotate canine or premolars or move teeth vertically.

Ultimately the only way to know for sure will be to consult with your doctor.

Find the Right Choice For You

Choosing between Invisalign or braces isn’t just a matter of preference. It takes a professional to know which is going to be the best option for your individual situation and goals.

Not everyone is eligible for using Invisalign. Others may prefer the more cost-effective option of having braces. You may also want braces to avoid losing your aligners or forgetting to wear them as needed. If your child is considering both, braces may be a better option to make sure they continue to make progress.

Either way, both Invisalign and braces are effective options for achieving your goals. We hope this information gives you further insight as to what you can expect when you choose between Invisalign and braces.

Want to get started on making your choice? Schedule your consultation and we’ll help you determine your best option. Take the first step here.

braces

5 Reasons Traditional Braces Are Better For Teens

Getting braces is a right of passage for most teens and now, with so many ways to fix their smiles, we can get overwhelmed with the choices available.

Braces have created winning smiles since Ancient times and continue to do so. But are fixed braces more effective than aligners? Which gets the job done quicker?

To help you, we’ve compiled five reasons why traditional braces are the better option.

What Do We Mean by Traditional Braces?

Conventional braces consist of metal brackets bonded to the enamel of every tooth. Your orthodontist slides a metal archwire between the brackets connected by colorful (or neutral) elastic O-rings.

To protect your teen’s dental health, the dentist adjusts the archwires to pull teeth into their right position. Your teen may need orthodontic treatment because:

  • They have an overbite or teeth that are too high
  • They need teeth realignment
  • They have a space between teeth or a dental overlap
  • Your teen’s orthodontist wants to prevent premature erosion

Having your teen’s teeth straightened is one reason to get orthodontic treatment, but it also improves the functioning of the teeth and jaw muscles.

But why are traditional braces a better option than other forms of aligners?

1. You Can’t Lose Braces

“Mom, I wrapped up my Invisalign in tissue and left it on my lunch tray in school.”

You won’t have to hear any of these excuses when your little one has fixed braces. Because you have to take out aligners to eat, brush, or floss, there’s a higher chance of your teen losing them. And if they accidentally throw the trays away in the garbage, it might extend their overall treatment time as their teeth shift while they wait for new ones to be made.

Also, it’s important to note that braces don’t require any extra cleaning steps besides regular brushing and flossing. It’s known that aligner attachments can stain easily for those who drink hot drinks. The invisible composite gets stained and potentially warp the aligners.

The aligner’s success also depends on how often your teen wears them. Every dentist recommends wearing aligners 22 hours a day so if you don’t think your child will stick to this, braces are a better alternative because they’re bonded to the teeth.

The only thing you can consume with your aligners in is water, which is a problem if your teen has commitments during lunchtime and with after-school activities. Whereas with braces, you can eat quickly without worrying about misplacing or breaking your aligners.

2. Braces Are Better for Complex Cases

People often turn to aligners for simple dental issues, whereas braces work far more efficiently for simple and complex cases.

Braces for teens move misaligned teeth within a short period of time, help fix misaligned bites, and correct crowded teeth.

This is because aligners focus on the pressure on the upper part of your teeth whereas braces exert equal pressure on the entire tooth. Doing this pushes the tooth into the right position from the top to bottom which is far more effective.

3. Faster Treatment Time

Braces use metal wires and brackets to pull teeth into the right place. This means they have more force compared to Invisalign which is limited to how many teeth can be moved at once.

If you’re hoping to close gaps and align teeth quickly, braces are for you. The speed of treatment is also a big factor as many people want to finish their treatment plan as quickly as possible.

Also, aligners require around 40 trays during normal treatment and then refinement aligners afterward to fix any stubborn teeth. So, once your teen is ready to finish the treatment, they must wear aligners for even longer.

Once your teen is done with braces, all they need to do is to wear a retainer at night to keep their teeth in the correct spots. This is another advantage as the retainers will be harder to misplace and won’t affect their daily life as much as aligners. Some dentists will even affix permanent wire retainers to the backs of your teeth, making them impossible to lose.

4. Multiple Types of Braces to Choose From

Depending on their mood, patients can choose which types of braces they want thanks to a selection of ceramic or lingual braces.

For example, you can get brackets to match your enamel color for a discreet look or make a statement with a lime-green set of bands. It’s all up to you.

Also, many types of braces can be less expensive than aligner trays. Aligners are custom-made with 3D technology, which can hike up the overall price.

Braces are also easier for the orthodontist to work with. At each appointment, they can inspect your teen’s braces and adjust the wires accordingly without relying on a third party (a lab).

5. No Self-Discipline Needed

It’s tempting to take removable aligners out during the day, but it’s essential to keep them in for a full 22 hours. If your child tends to snack throughout the day or tends to forget to take care of their teeth, they might not have their aligners in for long enough each day.

Thankfully, you don’t have to think about braces being in your mouth—aside from brushing and flossing, they take care of themselves.

So, Are You on Team Braces?

Even with all of the tooth alignment options available today, traditional braces are often still the best choice. Not only are they a better way to fix complex dental problems, but they also let your little one have fun expressing themselves with colorful bands.

Further, you get peace of mind knowing that your teen can’t lose their braces and will flash a sparkling smile in no time.

If you’re in Dallas, TX, and are interested in getting braces for your teen, we’d love to chat. Contact us here for any inquiries.

invisalign

A Smile Guide on How Invisalign Works

Did you know that almost two-thirds of adults in the U.S. have some form of teeth misalignment?

That’s right!

What’s more, around 15% have misaligned bites severe enough to hinder mouth functions!

That said, if you feel that there’s something wrong with your bite, it’s possible there really is.

But there’s still good news. Even as an adult, you can still straighten your teeth and improve your bite. Today, orthodontic treatments are as effective in adults as they are in children.

One such innovative teeth straightening procedure is the Invisalign system. It works on teens and adults alike and can correct many of the same issues that other types of braces can.

However, there are benefits specific to this advanced teeth straightening system. And that’s exactly what you’ll learn in this post, so be sure to keep reading!

What Is Invisalign?

Invisalign, as its name implies, is a nearly “invisible” teeth and bite aligner in the form of retainers. The aligners replace the metal brackets and wires of traditional braces. Instead, you get clear, removable trays that fit snugly over your teeth.

SmartTrack®, a patented thermoplastic material, makes up the clear portion of the trays. And yes, the material is quite transparent, so it’s hard to tell you have them on! This is one of the reasons many adults and teens prefer Invisalign over regular braces.

Also, the trays are custom-made based on a 3-dimensional model of your entire mouth. This ensures that the aligners can move your teeth to where you want them. However, you’d need to replace these trays every few weeks as your treatment progresses.

How the Invisible Teeth Straighteners Work

So, how does Invisalign work to correct teeth and bite alignment problems?

Like metal braces, Invisalign gradually moves your teeth through gentle pressure. Your customized aligners will help shift your teeth to a more ideal location. It’s not painful, but you may feel a bit of mild discomfort.

Don’t worry though as it’s completely normal and is a sign that your aligners work. However, you’d need to make sure you wear the aligners for no less than 20 hours each day. Compared to traditional fixed braces though, being able to take the trays off may be a better choice for you.

Moreover, Invisalign treatment is usually shorter compared to other fixed orthodontic appliances. In fact, a study found that Invisalign treatment was six months shorter than fixed braces!

Of course, this still depends on the severity of the teeth and bite problem. However, the average treatment time for minor cases is between six and 12 months. If you have a more complex issue, your orthodontist may require you to wear the trays for up to 18 months.

Patient adherence to aligner use also influences the length of treatment time. This is why you should wear your aligners for at least 20 hours each day so that they can do their job right.

The Smile Scan: The First Step to Getting Straighter Teeth

During your Invisalign consultation, your doctor will perform a “Scan Smile.” It’s a quick and accurate digital scan of your mouth, so no need to worry about goopy putty! It’s 100% computerized, so it’s far more precise than traditional dental impressions.

Your orthodontist will review the scan to determine the best course of treatment. The scan will also reveal if Invisalign would work best for you. If it’s not, don’t worry—your dentist will discuss your other teeth and bite alignment options.

Let’s say your orthodontist confirms that you’re a good candidate for Invisalign. The doctor will then show you how the system will move your teeth throughout the treatment. You’d even be able to see how your smile will look at the end of the treatment!

Also, the Smile Scan is usually a one-time procedure. The orthodontist will model all your aligners from the initial scan. You only need to pick up your new trays every week or two.

Why These SmartTrack® Aligners May Be a Better Choice Than Metal Braces

Invisalign patients tend to have healthier gums than patients with fixed braces. They also have a lower risk of developing tooth decay and bad breath.

One reason why this happens is because the aligners are removable. Since you can take them off, you can brush and floss much better and easier.

The only addition to your oral hygiene practices would be to clean your invisible trays. Invisalign care takes only a few more minutes as you can brush them gently with the same toothpaste. To keep your aligners clear, it’s best to soak them in a specialized cleaning solution.

Whereas fixed braces cover a huge portion of your teeth. Food debris, which bacteria in your mouth feed on, can get trapped in the braces’ crevices. These left-over foods can then nourish the bacteria responsible for plaque and tartar.

Moreover, you don’t have to worry about food restrictions since you can remove your aligners. Of course, you’d still want to watch what you eat and avoid too many sugary or starchy foods. But at least, you can eat without having a hard time or worrying about detaching brackets or wires.

Correct Your Bite Without People Even Noticing Your Teeth Straighteners

There you have it, your ultimate guide to the Invisalign system and how it can give you a straighter smile. If you would like to correct your bite but you’re not keen on wearing metal braces, then consider Invisalign. It may also be the better choice for you if you’re worried about tooth decay or gum disease.

Plus, you’ll have more freedom to eat and drink what you want when you have removable aligners! There’s also the extra perk of not worrying about food getting stuck between your braces.

If you have gapped, crooked, or overcrowded teeth, know that we can help. Please connect with us now so you can schedule your complimentary Invisalign consultation! The sooner you do, the sooner you’ll be able to flash those dazzling smiles.

foods to avoid with braces

Braces Care 101: The Top Foods to Avoid with Braces

Is someone in your family joining the 4 million people in the U.S. who have braces? If so, you probably have plenty of questions, including which foods to avoid with braces.

You’ll get a lot of information on braces at your first orthodontist visit, including information on what not to eat. But understanding why those foods are off-limits is also important.

It can help keep things in perspective and make it easier to avoid them. You don’t want to damage the braces or slow down the process of correcting the teeth.

Keep the following list of foods to avoid with braces handy to help you pick the best meals and snacks for your braces-wearing family member.

Why There Are Foods to Avoid With Braces

Food restrictions while wearing braces help protect the braces themselves and the teeth. Many of the foods you can’t eat with braces can cause damage to the brackets, wires, and bands that help properly align the teeth.

At best, that damage requires a trip to the orthodontist for repairs, which wastes time and potentially money. If you don’t repair the loose or broken braces immediately, it could slow down the treatment or make it less effective. When the brackets aren’t attached properly to the teeth, they can’t move them the way they’re designed to work.

Other foods are uncomfortable to eat with braces, especially when the braces are new or after an adjustment. Kids may have pain associated with braces at those times, and the wrong types of food can make the pain worse.

Some things you can’t eat with braces are on the list because of the potential of getting stuck in the braces. It can be difficult to remove food when it gets jammed into the braces. If you don’t get it all out, it stays against the teeth, where it can cause decay.

Sugary Foods

Limiting sugary foods is a healthy move for everyone. It improves your overall health and your teeth. Bacteria feed on sugars and can lead to tooth decay.

Cut down on the amount of sugar-filled foods you eat while wearing braces. Don’t forget about sugary drinks, such as soda and juice, which can be just as damaging.

You can have some sugary foods, as long as they’re not hard and sticky. Just limit the consumption to keep your teeth as healthy as possible. Always brush your teeth well after eating sugary foods to remove the sugars right away.

Crunchy and Hard Foods

Anything with a hard, crunchy texture is potentially damaging to braces. This includes things like popcorn, hard chips, nuts, raw vegetables, hard candies, and hard cookies. Those foods can also hurt to chew with braces on the teeth.

That’s especially true right after you get braces or after you get them adjusted. Soft foods feel better at those times.

Crunchy and hard foods can loosen the brackets and bands on braces. They can also bend the wires.

Another problem with these types of foods is pieces getting stuck in the braces. That can be painful, and the pieces can be difficult to remove. If the pieces remain in the braces long term, they can increase the risk of tooth decay.

Look for alternatives to these items. Soft, puffed popcorn without hulls can satisfy a salty snack craving. Cooking vegetables to soften them makes them safer to eat.

Chewy Foods

Braces make it more difficult to gnaw on chewy foods, such as beef jerky, hard bread, chewy rolls, and bagels. Even thick pizza crust can be a little too chewy for braces. Trying to eat those chewy foods can also loosen the parts on the braces, which can force an unexpected trip to the orthodontist or make the braces less effective.

Food You Bite Into With Front Teeth

Does your braces-wearing family member love chicken wings and corn on the cob? Before serving up those favorites, consider how they affect braces.

Any food that requires you to bite into it with your front teeth can potentially cause damage to braces. It can cause the brackets on those teeth to come loose, or it could bend the wires. It’s also more challenging to bite into those foods with braces on the front teeth.

Instead of leaving those items off the menu, cut them up to eat them with a fork. You can cut meat such as chicken wings and ribs off the bone and cut corn off of the cob. Cut up whole apples, pears, and similar foods into pieces instead of biting directly into them.

Sticky Foods

Sticky foods aren’t great for teeth in general, but they’re especially bad for braces because of the potential for damage. Sticky pieces can also get stuck in the braces. If left there, they can increase the chances of decay.

Skip anything that’s overly sticky. Common food items in that category include taffy, caramels, gummy candy, licorice, and fruit roll-up snacks.

Chewing gum is another sticky item to avoid. It can get stuck in the braces, and it’s difficult to remove if that happens. Sugary gum adds the increased potential for decay.

Foods That Stain

Some foods and drinks have intense color and lead to stains on braces, especially the bands. Berries, beets, grape juice, and similar food items can cause stains. Acidic drinks can also cause stains on your braces.

The stains don’t hurt the effectiveness of the braces. But they can leave the mouth looking stained and less attractive.

Non-Food Items

Your child knows not to eat non-food items, but even chewing on them can cause damage to braces. If your child chews on fingernails, pens, pencils, or any other non-food item, work on breaking the habit to protect teeth and braces. Even chewing on ice cubes is a dangerous habit with braces.

Protect Your Braces

In no time, the foods to avoid with braces will become second nature to your family and you won’t have to refer to the list all the time. Think about the potential for damage to the braces and your teeth, and you can usually decide if something is safe to eat with braces.

Is your child ready for braces? Check out more information on orthodontic braces at our office. Then, give us a call to schedule your appointment.

invisalign trays

The Dos & Don’ts of How to Clean Invisalign Trays

If you’re using Invisalign, it’s important to properly clean your aligners every day to deliver the best possible results while also keeping your mouth healthy.

How Often Should I Clean My Invisalign Trays?

It is important to clean your Invisalign trays every time you brush your teeth. It only takes a few minutes to keep your aligners clean by using the following methods:

  • Soaking aligners in denture or retainer cleaning solution
  • Lightly brushing with toothpaste
  • Soaking in Invisalign brand cleaning crystals

How Do I Get Stains Out of Invisalign Trays?

At times your Invisalign aligners may have stains. This occurs if you drink a lot of coffee or tea or if you don’t clean them properly every day. If your aligners need to be cleaned thoroughly due to stains, try the following methods:

  • Fill a small bowl with half warm water and half hydrogen peroxide. Soak your Invisalign for a couple of hours or overnight if they’re “cloudy” to make them clear again
  • Lightly brush the trays with a toothbrush dipped in baking soda to remove stains and any buildup
  • Soak your trays in a half water/vinegar solution for about 30 minutes

Can I Use My Invisalign for Teeth Whitening?

Ask your dentist if you can add over-the-counter teeth whitening solutions to your Invisalign trays. Although it may not harm the aligners, teeth whitening solutions can make your teeth more sensitive to hot and cold foods/beverages.

Can I Change My Invisalign Trays Early?

As you progress through your Invisalign treatment plan, your orthodontist will advise you during your regular checkups on how long you should wear your trays before moving on to the next set. The average time to wear a set of aligners is about two weeks. If you lose or break your aligners, call your orthodontist immediately to find out what to do. Your dentist may advise you to go to the next set or to use the previous set of aligners for a few days.

Can I Use Toothpaste to Clean My Invisalign?

Your orthodontist might suggest you soak your Invisalign in denture or retainer cleaner rather than use toothpaste. Some orthodontists advise that toothpaste is too abrasive and will scratch your aligners. However, some dentists recommend lightly brushing your aligners with toothpaste and rinsing well with cold water.

Why Do My Invisalign Turn Yellow?

Your Invisalign aligners may turn yellow due to:

  • Not brushing your teeth before putting your aligners in your mouth
  • Drinking coffee, tea, juice, wine, or colored sodas

If you can’t brush after each meal, rinse your mouth well before inserting your aligners to avoid yellowing of your trays.

Can I Use Mouthwash While Wearing Invisalign?

Mouthwashes may contain harsh ingredients that can damage your aligners. Also, many types of mouthwash contain artificial colors that will stain your normally clear trays.

For more information about Invisalign and the proper way to clean your trays, contact Dr. Doug Crosby Orthodontics in Richardson and Dallas, Texas. We provide comprehensive orthodontic treatment options to ensure that all your needs are met. Call today at 972-680-9882.

retainer for teeth

How Long Do I Have to Wear a Retainer?

What is a Retainer?

A retainer is a custom-made, removable or fixed appliance that helps teeth maintain their new position after braces have been removed.

What is a Retainer Used For?

A retainer is typically a removable device. Once you’ve had your braces removed, you will wear a retainer to gently hold your teeth in their position. It is essential to wear a retainer consistently since teeth will naturally attempt to shift back over time.

Unlike braces, a retainer does not always need to be worn constantly. Most patients will see the results they desire by wearing their retainer at night and between meals.

How Long Do You Wear a Retainer?

Majority of patients will wear a retainer for at least one full year.

In general, the more severe orthodontic correction, the longer you will need to wear a retainer. To determine exactly how long the retainer must be used, it is important to schedule follow up visits with your orthodontic specialist.

After a certain period of time, most patients switch to the use of a removable retainer. They will be advised to go on using the retainer indefinitely during the night. This is crucial for long-lasting results, since teeth shift naturally throughout a person’s entire life.

In general, a patient who discontinues the use of a retainer will not notice a change right away. Over the course of a few years, however, teeth will be much more likely to move closer to their original position. In some cases, this can damage or loosen them.

What Are the Different Types of Retainers?

There are three main types of retainers your orthodontist will choose from:

Bonded

Bonded retainers are put into place for a very long period of time. While it is not uncommon to wear them for years, some patients may require them for decades. Most of them are cemented to the back of teeth, which minimizes the change in aesthetic appearance from using them.

Removable

Removable retainers serve as a transitional step for many people who finish with their bonded retainers. The removable retainer is designed to adhere to the shape of your mouth.

Invisible

This type of retainer is made from clear plastic, which makes them the most discreet of the available options.

If orthodontic concerns are very minor, an active retainer may be used instead of braces. The active retainer is not designed to exactly adhere to the shape of your teeth. Instead, its structure allows your teeth to incrementally move to a more favorable position.

How Do You Care for a Retainer?

Once you begin wearing a retainer, maintain your daily regimen of brushing and flossing. See your dentist on a regular basis to check for cavities and ensure the area around the retainer stays clean.

For more information about retainers and which type of retainer would be best for your needs, contact Dr. Doug Crosby Orthodontics in Richardson and Dallas, Texas. We provide comprehensive orthodontic treatment options to ensure that all your needs are met. Call today for a consultation at 972-680-9882.

dentist vs orthodontist

Dentist vs. an Orthodontist: What the Differences Are

Both dentists and orthodontists dedicate their time to providing dental care, but there are differences. You can make better decisions by being aware of these key differences.

General Dentists

A general dentist diagnoses, treats, and manages overall dental health by providing a wide range of oral health services, such as check-ups, dental cleanings, X-rays, extractions, root canals, veneers, crowns, and fillings.

Dentists are not trained in braces or clear aligners, so most dentists refer anyone needing orthodontic treatment to an orthodontic specialist.

Orthodontist (Orthodontic Specialist)

An orthodontist specializes in realigning teeth and correcting overbites and underbites.
Orthodontists use corrective appliances to do so, such as Invisalign or other clear aligners, wires, braces, retainers, and other corrective appliances.

When Would You Need a Dentist or an Orthodontist?

Dentist

The better you take care of your teeth, the healthier you’ll be and you’ll also maintain a great smile. Regular visits to a dentist are essential to accomplishing these goals. Regular visits to your dentists help you keep your natural teeth longer by preventing tooth decay and gum disease.

Orthodontist

You’ll need an orthodontist when you have crowded, missing, or extra teeth. You’ll also need an orthodontist if your jaw is misaligned, resulting in a bad bite. Your orthodontist will straighten your teeth by moving them using corrective appliances or retainers. Children and adults can see an orthodontist to improve their teeth’s appearance and bite.

Just like your family doctor works with medical specialists when needed, your general dentist works with orthodontists. Both dentists and orthodontists play a significant role in keeping your teeth healthy and attractive.

If you’re interested in learning more about orthodontic treatment for you or your child, contact Dr. Doug Crosby Orthodontics in Richardson and Dallas, TX. Dr. Crosby provides compassionate and comprehensive orthodontic evaluations and treatment options to ensure that all your child’s needs are met for a healthy and beautiful smile.

Dr. Crosby’s professional team works with you every step of the way, beginning with a complimentary consultation. To schedule your orthodontic consultation, give us a call today at 972-680-9882 or fill out the form on this page anytime.

woman holding invisalign retainer

Best Invisalign Provider in Texas

What Is Invisalign?

Invisalign is an alternative to metal braces. Invisalign involves wearing a series of custom-made clear plastic aligners that help shift your teeth into the proper position. While Invisalign isn’t totally invisible, it’s a transparent, functional and aesthetic option that realigns the teeth without the obvious appearance of conventional braces.

What Are the Benefits of Invisalign?

Clear aligners have many benefits including:

  • Better Oral Hygiene: Conventional braces can’t be removed for teeth cleaning every day, but Invisalign aligners can. Better oral hygiene means fewer cavities and gum disease in the future. Once your teeth are straightened, you can easily get in between each tooth to floss and get rid of plaque and bacteria.
  • Speed: In many cases, Invisalign can be faster than conventional braces since they can straighten teeth as fast as a year.
  • Comfort: Since there are no wires or sharp corners that conventional braces have, Invisalign can be more comfortable.
  • Time: With Invisalign, you are able to make fewer orthodontic visits compared to conventional braces.
  • Teen Option: Invisalign Teen is an alternative treatment option for teenagers who want a subtle choice that effectively corrects cosmetic dental problems.

Both general dentists and orthodontists can prescribe Invisalign, but an orthodontist is a specialist with the training and experience in moving and adjusting teeth.

Services Dr. Doug Crosby Provides

Dr. Doug Crosby Orthodontics is a top go-to, Invisalign provider in Dallas, Texas and its surrounding areas.

We are a full-service orthodontics practice. Our additional treatment options include:

  • Two-phase treatment to address the unique needs of children
  • OrthoPulse – light accelerated orthodontics
  • Orthodontic surgeries
  • Early orthodontic treatments
  • Adult orthodontic treatments

It’s our goal to help you find the best treatment option for you or your child that brings out the healthiest and most beautiful smile possible. We give our patients the highest level of quality service through the delivery of excellent Orthodontic care.

If you want to learn more about Invisalign, contact Dr. Doug Crosby Orthodontics in Richardson and Dallas, Texas. We provide comprehensive orthodontic treatment options to ensure that all your needs are met. Our practice works with you every step of the way. To schedule your Invisalign consultation, give us a call at 972-680-9882 or fill out the form on this page anytime.

boy being examined by the dentist

What Happens During The First Orthodontist Visit

Orthodontists check for problems with jaw alignment and other issues that can require the use of braces or other appliances. When you or your kids need to see an orthodontist, you might be wondering what to expect at the first visit. Whether you have a visit coming up or need to make an appointment, keep the following in mind.

Staff Introductions

During your first visit, you’ll get to meet your orthodontist and staff members. Knowing who will be helping you can help ease any nervousness you have about your visit. If you are bringing your child in for an initial visit, you can talk to the orthodontist about any concerns you have and find out whether or not you will be allowed to stay in the room or stay in the waiting area during the examination.

Clinical Examination

Orthodontic visits typically begin with an examination to determine if there are any problems or issues that need orthodontic care. For example, you might have a problem with the way your jaw is aligned. Your orthodontist will physically examine your teeth and jaw. X-rays are also taken in order to provide orthodontists with more details on jaw development or alignment. After examining your teeth and jaw, your orthodontist will let you know if any problems have been found and what your treatment options are.

Teeth Impressions & Treatment

If your teeth or jaw show signs of misalignment or similar problems, your orthodontist will take tooth impressions. Your orthodontist uses these impressions to come up with the right treatment, such as braces or expanders. While going over your treatment plan, your orthodontist will provide you with detailed information on what to expect, how long you might need treatment for and what the estimated costs will be. You should also find out how often you will need to come in for visits while undergoing treatment. For example, you might need to come in from time to time for adjustments to braces. You’ll also meet with staff to discuss payment options and your insurance coverage.

Next Steps

If you need orthodontic treatment, you’ll typically end your first visit by setting up your next appointment. Keep in mind that you will need to see your orthodontists regularly throughout treatment. These visits are an important part of ensuring that your orthodontic treatment is working properly.

If you need to schedule an orthodontic evaluation, please contact Dr. Doug Crosby Orthodontics today.