Modern technology is constantly making strides in improving dentistry, and the area of teeth straightening is no exception. In order to get your dream smile, you don’t have to be stuck with a mouth full of unsightly and uncomfortable metal braces any longer. Transforming your smile is now possible with a hidden product called Invisalign.
Also referred to as invisible braces, Invisalign utilizes clear plastic aligner trays to move your teeth into better positions. The series of customized trays are fitted for your mouth to gently move your teeth over time. Because they are created specifically for you, they are more comfortable than you might think and achieve their goal with minimal soreness. This is a great benefit over the painful and irritating process of traditional braces.
Wearing the clear aligners gradually shifts your teeth, and every few weeks your dental professional provides a new set of aligners to continue moving your teeth toward the final goal. This process is repeated until your teeth have moved into their desired positions, giving you a straight and attractive new smile. The aligners should be worn about 22 hours a day for best results.
Patients of all ages may be candidates for Invisalign. This technology is appealing to adults because it avoids the embarrassment of noticeable braces during professional and social encounters, and with teens who want to avoid the ridicule of a metal smile during an often emotional time of life. There is even a special version of Invisalign made for teens, which has a blue-dot display to remind the young adults about consistent wear and when it’s time to switch trays.
One of the other major benefits of Invisalign is that the trays are removable, making eating and hygiene easy. There are no diet restrictions like with traditional braces, and the cleaning hassles of metal brackets and wires does not exist.
If you are wanting to improve your smile with orthodontics, consider the revolutionary solution of Invisalign. It can keep you smiling throughout the entire process.
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It is vital for parents to understand not to wait until an oral health problem arises to begin dental treatment for their kids. Parents should be aware that in order for children to have the best chance for healthy teeth and gums throughout life, preventive dentistry is one of the keys.
Good oral care should begin when your child is an infant. As soon as babies start drinking milk, sugars can attack the gums even though there aren’t any teeth yet. To avoid damage, clean your child’s gums by gently rubbing them with a damp soft cloth. Around age one, schedule your child’s first appointment with the dentist. The examination will include looking for any issues, teaching home care, and allowing your child to become accustomed to a dentist setting.
As you child grows, dentists and parents can partner together to teach preventive dentistry habits to children. Dentists can show parents the ideal ways to guide children in proper brushing and flossing, and parents can ensure that the methods are carried out consistently at home. You and your dentist may decide together as your child grows whether to opt for dental sealants to help protect your child’s teeth from potential decay and cavities.
Another aspect of good oral health that parents should be involved in is providing nutritious foods for their children. Your dentist can educate your family on the best foods for your teeth and gums, as well as the foods and drinks to avoid. Some items are known to contribute to tooth decay, gum disease, and staining. Teaching your child to make healthy diet choices will promote a healthy mouth.
Preventative dentistry both at home and in your dentist’s office will make your child feel confident about oral care and become comfortable with the dentist. If the time comes for more extensive services, your child will likely trust the dentist and have less apprehension about the dental visit. Good preventive care, however, helps avoid problems and your child will be less likely to encounter major problems requiring painful procedures and lots of time in the dental chair.
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Teaching your kids good dental habits and making sure they get dental care are some of the most important things you can do for them. Guidelines for helping your child improve their oral health depend upon their ages. Here are some oral health tips for various stages of childhood.
Infants (up to 2 years):
It’s never too early to begin oral care! Clean your baby’s gums with a damp cloth after feedings to remove bacteria. Once the first tooth erupts, use a soft toothbrush for babies to gently brush the teeth and gums. Use a pea-sized dab of toothpaste and brush at least twice a day. Around the first birthday, begin taking your child to the dentist for regular checkups.
Preschoolers (2-4 years):
This age group has the highest incidence of tooth decay, because most preschoolers love sugary foods but may not love brushing their teeth. Brush your child’s teeth yourself until they are old enough to do it well, but continue supervising the process to make sure all areas are clean. Consider flavored or character fluoride toothpastes if it encourages your child to brush. Also, limit the amount of sugary foods and drinks your child consumes.
Young elementary (5-7 years):
As more and more teeth grow in, your child needs to brush carefully with fluoride toothpaste. Make sure all areas of your child’s mouth are being reached, and help your child use dental floss to clean between teeth and gums. Continue helping your child make healthy diet choices.
Older kids (over 8 years):
Most children should be able to brush on their own by age 8, but performing spot checks is a good idea to make sure they are doing a good job. Teach your child to brush after meals, especially when eating sugary or sticky foods, and emphasize the importance of flossing every day. Continue taking your child for regular dental checkups every six months, which will help create a life-long habit of good oral care.
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An implant overdenture combines the use of traditional dentures and implant technology to create a denture that fits over your remaining natural tooth roots or dental implants. These root or implant supported dentures are held in place by dental attachments which provide excellent stability and support for your dentures. Overdentures were developed to help patients missing some or all of their teeth regain a quality of life that may have been lacking since they lost their teeth.
There are several benefits to implant overdentures when compared to traditional dentures:
- Saving your natural roots or having implants placed slows bone loss by stimulating the bone in your jaw when you eat or chew.
- Because overdentures are better fitting by design, they are more stable and allow you to chew food more thoroughly. This promotes better digestion and allows you to absorb more nutrients.
- The increased stability provided by overdentures also means you are able to speak more clearly, as there is no slipping or clicking of your dentures.
- Loose dentures are not a worry with overdentures. Sticky adhesives and messy denture creams are unnecessary when you have implant overdentures.
- With overdentures, the natural shrinkage that occurs from an under-stimulated jaw does not occur. This keeps your face from looking sunken, as can often happen with traditional dentures.
To find out if you are a candidate for implant overdentures, schedule an evaluation by your dental professional. Overdentures could be the best, most natural treatment for restoring your oral health and beautiful smile.
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If you have chosen dentures to restore the function and appearance of your mouth, you certainly want them to do their job. Typically, if fitted correctly and you follow the instructions for use and care, dentures are a good solution. However, it’s possible for problems to arise so it’s important to recognize issues and how to handle them.
One key thing about dentures is that they must fit properly. If not, problems like gum irritation, difficulty eating and speaking, mouth infections, and denture movement may occur. Also, if you don’t keep your mouth clean and healthy, problems will likely appear.
If you experience any issues with your mouth after getting dentures, see your dentist right away. It’s possible that over time, your bones and gums can change and alter the fit of your dentures. When this happens, your dentist must determine if modification, adjustment, or replacement is needed. Never try to adjust your dentures yourself.
Here are some things you can do at home to keep your dentures in good condition:
- Handle them carefully. When holding your dentures, place a towel on the counter or stand over a water-filled sink. This will protect them if you drop them.
- Keep dentures out of reach of children and pets.
- Do not sleep with your dentures in your mouth.
- Clean them daily according to your dentist’s instructions. This includes soaking them overnight in a denture cleanser, cleaning them well each morning before wearing them, and cleaning your mouth carefully before inserting the dentures. Use a soft brush or one designed for dentures, plain soap or cleanser recommended by your dentist, and warm water. Never use bleach or household cleansers.
- Store your dentures in warm water or denture cleaning solution. Do not use hot water, which can cause them to lose their shape.
- Do not use toothpicks because they can damage dentures.
Wearing dentures may be tricky at first, and it may take some time to grow accustomed to them. However, if you care for them well and see your dentist for routine checkups, you can avoid most of the problems that denture-wearers sometimes encounter.
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If you didn’t have your wisdom teeth out as a young person, you may be wondering about having them out as an adult. Your dentist may have recommended that you prevent future infections, cysts or pain in the jaw due to wisdom teeth that are growing under other teeth – known as impacted teeth. Even a type of tumor has been linked to impacted wisdom teeth.
Impacted teeth result when the wisdom tooth grows up under an existing tooth. Sometimes, adults have wisdom teeth that come in completely straight behind back molars. In rare cases, one or more of these teeth don’t grow at all. An x-ray can reveal the presence of the teeth. Impacted teeth cause problems with existing teeth and must come out.
Because the roots of wisdom teeth typically fully develop near the age of 24, removing them after this time can be more complicated. Roots can entwine with facial nerves, making extraction problematic. It’s recommended that adults receive a CT scan of their jaw, showing the clear positioning of facial nerves and roots, something not shown by x-rays. If the roots of the lower wisdom teeth aren’t touching or wrapped around the alveolar nerve, extraction is still possible.
Adults with wisdom teeth are at higher risk for gum disease. Gum disease has been linked to an increase of pregnancy complication and other health issues. Previously believed only to affect patients in their late 30s, this gum disease is now being shown to affect much younger patients, especially young pregnant women. Growing evidence is also connecting gum disease to inflammation due to chronic infections in the body, leading to an increased risk of diabetes and heart disease.
Talk to your dentist today to see if you should have your wisdom teeth removed. Be honest about any symptoms you’re having, such as pain or pressure, and let the professional evaluate your specific situation.
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