Posts for tag: braces
Wearing braces will probably never make your list of Most Pleasurable Life Experiences: you'll have to avoid certain foods and habits, endure some occasional discomfort, and perhaps feel some embarrassment about your appearance. The good news, though, is that at worst, these are mostly no more than inconveniences and additionally they're well worth the straighter, more attractive smile you'll achieve.
But there's one downside to braces that can lead to something more serious. The braces hardware makes brushing and flossing more difficult—and that could increase your risk of dental disease.
The principal goal of oral hygiene is to remove dental plaque, a thin film of accumulated bacteria and food particles that can cause tooth decay or periodontal (gum) disease. Without effective brushing and flossing, plaque can build up quickly and make the chances of having either of these two diseases more likely.
Not only does the braces hardware hinder your toothbrush's or floss's access to the parts of the teeth it covers, but it can also create "hiding places" for plaque build-up. Several studies have found that braces wearers on average have up to two to three times the plaque build-up of non-braces wearers.
There are ways, though, to make hygiene easier while wearing braces, particularly with flossing. Floss threaders or interproximal brushes can both be used to access between teeth while wearing braces. Another option is a water flosser or irrigator that sprays pressurized water between teeth (and beneath brackets and wires) to remove plaque. And braces wearers can get a prevention boost with topical fluoride applications or antibacterial mouth rinses to reduce disease-causing bacteria.
Besides taking a little extra time with brushing and flossing, you can also boost your mouth's health with good nutrition choices, less sugar consumption and keeping up regular dental visits. And, you should also see your dentist promptly if you notice any signs of tooth or gum problems—the sooner you have it checked and treated, the less damage any dental disease is likely to cause.
It's not easy keeping your teeth and gums plaque-free while wearing braces. But with a little extra time and effort, a few helpful tools and your dentist's support, you can maintain a healthy mouth during orthodontic treatment.
If you would like more information on best hygiene practices while wearing braces, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Caring for Teeth during Orthodontic Treatment.”
Have you heard of Invisalign? It's the customized system of clear acrylic aligners which correct a variety of orthodontic issues. Comfortable, removable, and best of all, effective, Invisalign appliances improve dental alignment and smile appearance in a quick and discreet way. If you're looking for an alternative to metal or ceramic braces, Invisalign could be right for you! Dr. Ashley Lloyd offers Invisalign in her Raleigh, NC, practice—read below to get all the details!
How Invisalign Works
Your smile is like no one else's. It expresses your feelings and personality, but unfortunately, smile problems are uniquely yours, too. If you suffer from overbite, underbite, crowding, gaps, or other issues, you likely need orthodontic correction. Many teens and adults, however, avoid traditional braces because of their obvious appearance, dietary restrictions, hygiene complexities, and oral discomforts.
Luckily, Invisalign aligners can correct your alignment and bite issues easily and discreetly. Formed from biocompatible acrylic, your series of 18 to 20 aligner pairs will move your teeth into proper positions gradually over time. Dr. Lloyd takes special scans to evaluate and form treatment plans for her Invisalign patients, after which the Invisalign lab uses computer design software to fabricate the appliances.
Worn for about two weeks each, the aligner pairs produce remarkable results in about half the time metal or ceramic braces take. As Dr. Lloyd's Invislaign patient, you'll visit her Raleigh, NC, office about once a month so she can check your progress and deliver your next aligner pairs in the treatment sequence. When your treatment ends, you'll wear a customized retainer to keep your new smile permanently well-aligned.
The Benefits of Invisalign
Besides being invisible, removable, and smooth, your Invisalign aligners feature numerous benefits, including:
- Ease of care: Just take out your aligners and brush and floss as you have always done. Afterward, simply clean your aligners with a mild soap or toothpaste and replace.
- Versatility: Invisalign works to correct many mild-to-moderate smile alignment issues.
- Healthier teeth and gums: Plaque accumulates easily around conventional braces with their archwires and brackets. Not so with Invisalign appliances!
- Compliance is easy: Just wear your aligners for the prescribed 20 to 22 hours a day, and your treatment will stay on track.
Get that new smile
You can with Invisalign clear aligners from Dr. Ashley Lloyd. Call her Raleigh, NC, office today at (919) 828-1001 for your personalized Invisalign consultation.
On your way to a more attractive smile, you’ll have to deal with some inconveniences while wearing braces like avoiding certain foods or habits or dealing with possible embarrassment about your new “metal smile.” But there’s one consequence of wearing braces that could dramatically affect your dental health: the difficulty they pose for keeping your teeth clean of dental plaque.
Dental plaque is a thin film of bacteria and food particles that if allowed to build up on tooth surfaces could trigger tooth decay or periodontal (gum) disease. Brushing and flossing thoroughly every day helps prevent this buildup.
Unfortunately, metal brackets and wires can get in the way and cause you to miss areas while performing these hygiene tasks. This could cause plaque buildup in those isolated areas that could trigger an infection. And if you (or someone you love) are also a teenager, the natural adolescent surge in hormones can increase your infection risk.
If while wearing braces you notice your gums are reddened, swollen or bleeding when you brush, these are all signs of infection and the body’s inflammatory response to it. The longer the infection continues, the weaker the tissues become, causing them to gradually detach from the teeth. Along with bone deterioration (another effect of the disease), this can ultimately lead to tooth loss.
To prevent this from happening, you’ll need to be as thorough as possible with daily brushing and flossing. To help make it easier, you can use special tools like an interproximal brush that can maneuver around the braces better than a regular brush. For flossing you can use a floss threader to more readily guide floss between teeth or a water flosser that uses a pressurized stream of water rather than floss thread to remove plaque.
This extra cleaning effort while wearing braces can greatly reduce your disease risk. But you’ll still need to keep an eye out for any symptoms like swollen or bleeding gums, and see your dentist as soon as possible. If the symptoms become severe you may need your braces removed until the disease can be brought under control. The health and future vitality of your teeth and gums is what’s of primary importance.
If you would like more information on dental care while wearing braces, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Gum Swelling During Orthodontics.”
Mayim Bialik has spent a good part of her life in front of TV cameras: first as the child star of the hit comedy series Blossom, and more recently as Sheldon Cooper’s love interest — a nerdy neuroscientist — on The Big Bang Theory. (In between, she actually earned a PhD in neuroscience from UCLA…but that’s another story.) As a child, Bialik had a serious overbite — but with all her time on camera, braces were just not an option.
“I never had braces,” she recently told Dear Doctor – Dentistry & Oral Health magazine. “I was on TV at the time, and there weren’t a lot of creative solutions for kids who were on TV.” Instead, her orthodontist managed to straighten her teeth using retainers and headgear worn only at night.
Today, there are several virtually invisible options available to fix orthodontic issues — and you don’t have to be a child star to take advantage of them. In fact, both children and adults can benefit from these unobtrusive appliances.
Tooth colored braces are just like traditional metal braces, with one big difference: The brackets attached to teeth are made from a ceramic material that blends in with the natural color of teeth. All that’s visible is the thin archwire that runs horizontally across the teeth — and from a distance it’s hard to notice. Celebs like Tom Cruise and Faith Hill opted for this type of appliance.
Clear aligners are custom-made plastic trays that fit over the teeth. Each one, worn for about two weeks, moves the teeth just a bit; after several months, you’ll see a big change for the better in your smile. Best of all, clear aligners are virtually impossible to notice while you’re wearing them — which you’ll need to do for 22 hours each day. But you can remove them to eat, or for special occasions. Zac Efron and Katherine Heigl, among others, chose to wear clear aligners.
Lingual braces really are invisible. That’s because they go behind your teeth (on the tongue side), where they can’t be seen; otherwise they are similar to traditional metal braces. Lingual braces are placed on teeth differently, and wearing them often takes some getting used to at first. But those trade-offs are worth it for plenty of people. Which celebs wore lingual braces? Rumor has it that the list includes some top models, a well-known pop singer, and at least one British royal.
So what’s the best way to straighten your teeth and keep the orthodontic appliances unnoticeable? Just ask us! We’d be happy to help you choose the option that’s just right for you. You’ll get an individualized evaluation, a solution that fits your lifestyle — and a great-looking smile!
For more information about hard-to-see (or truly invisible) orthodontics, please contact our office or schedule a consultation. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Orthodontics for the Older Adult” and “Clear Aligners for Teenagers.”
For many people, the image of a mouth full of metal wires and brackets is the first thing to come to mind when discussing straighter teeth. Although traditional metallic and ceramic braces are the most common orthodontic treatment option for children, older teenagers and adults can be understandably reluctant to get braces after a certain age. But braces are not the only option available. Dr. Ashley Lloyd, a dentist in Raleigh, NC, offers Invisalign clear aligner trays for patients looking for a more discreet solution to orthodontic problems like crowding or an overbite.
Get Straighter Teeth with Invisalign in Raleigh, NC
In addition to being discreet and comfortable to wear, the Invisalign system offers a number of additional benefits. Because the trays are removable, they allow you to maintain your regular oral hygiene routine and brush and floss every day as you normally would to help keep your gums and teeth clear of tooth decay and gum disease. You can also continue to enjoy the foods you love without the dietary restrictions that sometimes go along with traditional braces.
And then there's the social aspect. For many adults, even significant bite or alignment problems are not enough to overcome the stigma associated with wearing braces. Invisalign makes it so that you don't have to choose between straighter teeth and your social and professional life. Invisalign consists of a series of plastic trays, each of which is worn for approximately two weeks. You can remove the tray for up to two hours a day to eat and brush and floss your teeth. Like braces, Invisalign gradually shifts your teeth into the desired alignment.
Find a Dentist in Raleigh, NC
It is never too late to invest in a healthier, more attractive smile. For more information about Invisalign and to find out if it is the right option for you, contact our office by calling 919-828-1001 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Lloyd today.