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.

small child in the dentist chair

When Should My Child Visit the Orthodontist?

An orthodontist is a dentist who specializes in correcting jaw and teeth alignment problems.The earlier you bring your children to see an orthodontist, the easier (and probably less expensive) it will be to correct their teeth. The American Association of Orthodontics recommends that your child should see an orthodontist for an exam by the time they are seven years old, despite the fact that there are baby teeth present. Your child’s orthodontist can identify bite issues at an early age and can recommend the appropriate treatment.

What to Expect on the First Visit

At seven years of age and up, your orthodontist can evaluate issues such as an uneven bite and teeth overcrowding. Seeing an orthodontist doesn’t mean your child will get braces right away. The first visit is usually a time for detecting any problems and deciding the best time to start treatment.

If the upper and lower jaw are growing too much or too little, it can be detected at an early age. If young children aged seven years and older have a jaw discrepancy, then early orthodontic treatment may be recommended.

Your orthodontist will give your child a thorough examination of the mouth, teeth, and jaw. Your doctor will ask your child to bite the teeth together to evaluate for any misalignment. Questions about any problems with chewing or swallowing, and if the jaw makes clicking or popping sounds are typically asked.

Your orthodontist may take mouth and teeth X-rays to get a better look at how they are positioned. Your doctor is also looking for any permanent teeth that have yet to erupt. An impression (mold) of your child’s teeth may be taken by sinking the top and bottom teeth into a tray of gel. After the tray is removed, the gel hardens and creates a replica of your child’s teeth. The replica is used to determine if any or which treatment options are best for your child. Your child should experience no discomfort during the visit.

Treatment Options

Traditional Braces

Braces help to correct alignment problems by keeping pressure on the teeth that gradually moves them into straighter positions. Traditional braces are recommended to correct bite problems, such as an overbite. These types of braces have wires threaded through brackets attached to the teeth, as well as rubber bands. The wire is tightened in small increments over time to slowly line up the teeth and jaw into their desired positions. Braces can be metal, clear, or white ceramic, and some versions can be placed behind the teeth.

Removable Braces

Clear removable braces use plastic trays (aligners) to move teeth. Removable braces can be taken out when eating and are less noticeable than traditional metal braces. Invisalign is highly recommended by many orthodontists. For younger children, removable braces may not be the best choice, because they can be easily misplaced, or the child may simply forget to put them back in after eating, brushing, or flossing.

If you’re interested in learning more about early treatment for 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.

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.

Snoring

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.

woman at dentist

Am I A Candidate for Orthodontic Surgery?

There are several conditions for which orthodontic surgery may be your best option. Let’s explore what they are, and what you can expect if you decide to have an orthodontic surgery.

What Types of Orthodontic Surgeries Are There?

The proper alignment of your jaw is important for you to eat, speak, and breathe correctly. When there is a problem with the alignment of your TMJ (temporomandibular joint) and its functions, it can cause chronic pain, tingling in your arms/legs, and a clicking or popping jaw. An orthodontic surgery realigns your jaw by moving it to improve the way it fits together.

Also, you may need a tooth removed to make room for the realignment of your teeth. Tooth extraction is a common orthodontic surgery.

Who Makes a Good Candidate for Orthodontic Surgery?

You’re a good candidate for orthodontic surgery if:

  • Your teeth alignment can not be achieved by using braces or other dental appliances; if the problem is beyond these methods, orthodontic surgery may be your best option
  • Severe jaw misalignment
  • You have an open bite (upper and lower teeth do not meet when you bite down)
  • You have a malformed jaw (either too big or too small)

Recovery Process from Orthodontic Surgery

How long your recovery period will be after jaw surgery depends on the kind of surgery. Some people have lower jaw surgery only, and others only upper jaw surgery. Some individuals have both jaws operated on at the same time.

After the corrective jaw surgery procedure is done, your jaws will be wired or banded closed for a duration of time. This can be from two weeks to two months, depending on the extent of the operation.

Lower jaw surgery usually calls for the jaws to be immovable for about two weeks; upper or double jaw corrective surgery typically requires wiring/banding for approximately six to eight weeks, so that your bone can heal and become sufficiently sturdy for a soft diet.

During the time the jaws are wired/banded closed, you’ll be on a liquid diet that’s high in protein. Once the wiring or banding is removed, your jaw will be very tender and too fragile to chew regular food for about four to six weeks. A soft diet is needed during this time that consists of foods you don’t need to chew, such as rice, mashed potatoes, soups, and puddings. You can supplement your nutrition by liquifying vegetables and fruits.

Once you’re past the four to six week mark in your recovery after unwiring, you can gradually add foods that involve light chewing, such as cooked vegetables, boneless fish, and pasta.

If you chew and it hurts your jaw, stop. Pain means it’s too soon to be eating that certain food. You could need several months before you go back to your entire, regular diet, but you’ll get there. It’s important to have patience and heed the pain signals your body gives you to prevent any damage to your jaw while it’s healing.

Benefits of Orthodontic Surgery

People who undergo orthodontic surgery:

  • Have restored jaw function: improved chewing, speaking and breathing
  • Enjoy cosmetic improvements of a better facial appearance now that the jaw is properly aligned
  • No longer have to deal with pain/headaches from aching TMJ
  • Enjoy longer-lasting orthodontic results
  • Have a healthy smile that lasts a lifetime

Dr. Doug Crosby is a leading provider of orthodontic surgery to the communities of Dallas and Richardson, Texas. He offers exceptional orthodontic care, bringing the latest techniques and technology to a comfortable environment. Schedule your orthodontic consultation by calling 972-680-9882 or fill out this form.

Braces vs. Retainers

Traditional Braces vs. Invisalign

What are Braces?

Dental braces are orthodontic devices, generally made from thin, strong wires, used to gently realign teeth. A wide variety of tooth misalignment problems can be gradually corrected by braces – particularly, crooked or crowded teeth.

What Is Invisalign?

Invisalign is a brand of clear plastic spacers also used to fix a range of issues with tooth alignment. These spacers should be worn a minimum of about 23 hours every day, but they can be removed periodically for eating, cleaning, or sports.

Benefits of Each

Braces

  • Braces can correct the widest variety of issues and are suitable for patients of almost any age
  • They are relatively easy to care for and the underlying science behind them is well understood, so virtually all patients are ultimately successful with braces
  • Braces are relatively inexpensive and suitable for many budgets
  • Although they are not as subtle as Invisalign, many of today’s braces can be made from materials that blend in with the teeth for a more pleasing appearance
  • They are especially good for younger patients, who might find it more difficult to care for Invisalign spacers or to keep them in the mouth for the appropriate length of time.

Invisalign

  • Not quite as versatile as traditional braces, but tend to work faster
  • They can be removed any time the patient desires which can be a good when engaging in activities like contact sports, eating, or other hobbies.
  • They are undetectable in day to day situations
  • Requires fewer follow-up appointments than braces

Why One Might Be Better Than the Other

Braces

Braces tend to be inexpensive, are somewhat more versatile than Invisalign, and great for patients of all ages. Very rarely, people with certain known allergies to plastics may experience mild inflammation or other discomfort with Invisalign. In these cases, braces are the best course of treatment for long-term orthodontic health.

Invisalign

Invisalign is ideal for those who want superior aesthetic value from their orthodontic solution, such as performers or speakers. It is also great for athletes, particularly in fast-paced sports where occasional contact with the head may be unavoidable. It is very convenient, requiring no lifestyle changes and very little extra time spent on dental hygiene.

Who Makes a Good Candidate?

Invisalign clear braces may be right for patients aged 12 and up once permanent teeth have grown in. Patients must complete any pending dental treatment before they can start using Invisalign. People of any age with significant dental decay may be unable to use Invisalign.

Conventional braces can usually be placed starting at age 10. Because of the differences in how metallic braces work versus Invisalign, these are most effective if they are placed while the mouth and head are still growing – doing so can reduce the total time that treatment requires.

Adults of any age whose teeth are in otherwise healthy condition can also pursue braces or Invisalign spacers. When used correctly, either of these treatments will continue to produce desirable results, although the course of treatment may be somewhat longer.

Dr. Doug Crosby is a leading provider of both standard braces and Invisalign to the communities of Dallas and Richardson. He offers exceptional orthodontic care, bringing the latest techniques and technology to a comfortable environment. Contact us today to learn more.