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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 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 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 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.


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?


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.


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.

smiling girl

Top Reasons for OrthoPulse

If you wear braces, stopping in at the orthodontist for a checkup is just another part of your hectic routine. You signed up for all the brackets, wires, and appointments because it’s completely worth it to get the dazzling, perfect smile you’ve always dreamed of. But, would you be excited to learn you can shorten the length of time to achieve that smile? It’s possible with a new device called OrthoPulse.

What Is OrthoPulse?

OrthoPulse is an FDA-approved, state-of-the-art treatment called photobiomodulation, or light-accelerated orthodontics. Used with traditional braces or Invisalign, OrthoPulse uses light energy to stimulate movement of bone tissue below the gum line, reducing the amount of time necessary for you to wear braces.

How Does OrthoPulse Work?

OrthoPulse looks like a plastic sports mouth guard, but that’s where the similarities end. You insert the device into your mouth for just 10 minutes allowing the infrared light to stimulate bone movement at the tooth roots. This helps your teeth reach their intended placement much sooner than wearing braces alone. Wearing the appliance is easy, comfortable, and you can wear it while watching TV or scrolling through social media.

What Are Some of the Features of OrthoPulse?

An OrthoPulse device features:

  • A one-size-fits-all waterproof mouthpiece made from medical grade silicone
  • An LED light source that emits a safe 850 nm of infrared light
  • An accelerometer that times each session without the need for wires or other equipment
  • A battery that can be charged wirelessly
  • Bluetooth capability to track treatments
  • Status indicator to show how much time is left for a treatment and to display battery life
  • Free app with iPhone or Android devices to allow you and your orthodontist to track treatment progress

How Much Time Can I Save Using OrthoPulse?

Each orthodontic case is different. Some patients have major tooth and bite misalignments, while others wear braces for cosmetic benefits. Consult with your orthodontist to find out how long you’ll need to use OrthoPulse to achieve your best smile faster.

Who’s a Good Candidate for OrthoPulse?

Anyone who wears traditional braces or plastic aligners like Invisalign can use OrthoPulse.

You’re a good candidate if:

  • You wear traditional braces or plastic aligners
  • You’d like to reduce the amount of time you need to wear braces
  • You can commit to using the OrthoPulse device daily for 10 minutes

How Do I Care for My OrthoPulse?

It’s so simple. After using the device, rinse with warm water and let air dry. You can also wipe it clean with a cleansing cloth. Your orthodontist will give you specific instructions on how to use OrthoPulse including how to properly charge the device.

If you’d like to learn more about speeding up your perfect smile with OrthoPulse, make an appointment today with Dr. Doug Crosby Orthodontics in Richardson or at our Dallas location.

girl at dentist

Why Would I Need a Retainer?

After having braces removed, a person is fitted for a device called a retainer. This device is a specially molded mouthpiece that is designed to be worn at night, and often during the day, to make sure the teeth that have undergone straightening do not shift back into their past position.

This is even more important for younger children because their mouth grows as they do and teeth becoming crooked again can happen easily. Preserving expensive dental work isn’t the only reason your dentist might request you to wear a retainer.

Minor Defects

In a few cases, a small gap or only a slight crookedness of a tooth or two may not require the use of braces. In these cases, the dentist will design a retainer that can help gently ease the tooth or teeth back into their proper position over time. The defect may be too slight to require braces, but any abnormalities of the teeth can make chewing difficult, resulting in digestion problems.

Speech Problems

Wearing a retainer requires getting used to speaking with something foreign in your mouth. You have to learn to speak slowly in order to properly form words. This makes a retainer useful for helping both children and adults who have problems with their speech. Being forced to speak slower and concentrate helps improve their speech.


Retainers can’t help with many causes of snoring but there are some that are caused by a misalignment of the jaw. In these cases, a retainer may help position the jaw properly to open up the airway and make breathing easier, and snoring less.

Proper Care for Dental Retainers

Whatever reason requires you to wear a retainer, it is important to follow your dentist’s instructions about proper care. Remember that your mouth is full of bacteria and your retainer must be cleaned regularly. It is also important to keep it from becoming bent or twisted as it was made to fit your mouth perfectly. Even though they may look alike, no two retainers are exactly the same.

For a complete evaluation of your teeth and whether or not you could benefit from the use of a retainer, contact us for an appointment. Our trained staff will evaluate your situation and proceed with the best course of action to get you the greatest smile possible.

Gum Cleaning

Signs of Gum Disease

Brushing helps keep your teeth healthy, but don’t forget about your gums. When you don’t floss or go for routine cleanings, you can end up developing gum disease. While this disease starts out mild, it can become a serious problem that requires extensive treatment to lower the risk of complications.

Causes of Gum Disease

You can develop gum disease when bacteria on your teeth forms plaque and tartar. The bacteria from plaque and tartar can invade your gum tissue, causing inflammation and damage. Gum disease starts out as gingivitis, a mild inflammation of the gums. When you do not treat gingivitis, it can become periodontal disease, which occurs when bacteria gets below the gumline and attacks the bone in your jaw. This causes the bone to gradually deteriorate, which can cause serious dental problems and other health problems.

Signs and Symptoms of Gum Disease

It can be hard to tell that you have gum disease in the early stages, since it usually does not cause significant discomfort. You might notice some signs and symptoms of this disease, such as:

  • Bleeding gums, especially after brushing or flossing
  • Gums that have a reddish appearance or are swollen
  • Gums that feel tender
  • Bad breath
  • Teeth that have become loose in their socket
  • Changes in the way your teeth line up when you bite down
  • Discomfort when you chew foods
  • Teeth that have a high amount of sensitivity to hot & cold temperatures

If you have any signs and symptoms of gum disease, you should seek dental care as soon as you can. Taking care of gum inflammation early helps keep it from turning into periodontal disease.

Treatment for Gum Disease

Gum disease requires professional treatment to prevent complications. When you leave gum disease untreated, it can end up increasing your risk of heart problems, infections in other parts of your body and other serious health issues. Gingivitis can usually be treated with a dental cleaning and regular flossing and brushing at home. You might also benefit from using mouthwash, toothpaste and other products that help ease gum inflammation.

When you have periodontal disease, you’ll need to undergo professional dental care. This involves scaling and root planing to get rid of plaque and tartar. If you still have gum disease, you might need to see a periodontist for more advanced treatment, such as undergoing surgery to lower your risk of tooth loss.

Preventing Gum Disease

Flossing at least twice a day helps prevent you from getting gum disease by removing food particles before they attract bacteria. You can also reduce your risk of gum disease by having routine dental cleanings done twice a year. Keep in mind that if you wear braces or another orthodontic device, it can be harder to keep your gums clean and in good condition. This makes routine orthodontic and dental appointments even more important.

If you wear an orthodontic device and have gum problems, please contact Dr. Doug Crosby Orthodontics to make an appointment. We can check your gums and help you manage gum problems before they become worse.