Category Archives: Invisalign

All Your Questions About Invisible Braces Answered

Close-up of man with big smile holding orthodontic braces tray in dental officeAfter the news that a patient needs braces wears off, the barrage of questions usually starts coming.  “How long do I have to wear braces?” “What are my options for braces?” (That answer is here.) If the patient chooses invisible braces, another list of questions usually follows.  We’ve done our best to answer some of the most common questions about invisible braces; our answers are specifically about Invisalign, which is the brand that we carry and recommend for anyone who wants to use invisible braces to correct their orthodontic issues.

How do invisible braces work?

Invisible braces are custom made for each user.  Invisible braces correct orthodontic problems with a series of removable clear trays that need to be worn for 20-22 hours a day.  Invisible braces can be removed for normal brushing and flossing, which helps keep teeth clean and your breath fresh.

How do I care for my invisible braces? 

There is a specific cleaning system that can be ordered for invisible braces or the user can brush and rinse the aligners in water.

Do I have to be careful about what I eat while I have invisible braces?

There are no food restrictions if you choose invisible braces. The aligners can be removed so you can eat and drink what you want.

Will it correct my alignment issue? Who can use invisible braces?

Invisible braces can correct a number of alignment issues; your dentist or orthodontist can tell you if invisible braces are the right option for you.  These braces are only available for teens and adults, and require less orthodontist visits than traditional braces.  To find out if invisible braces are right for you, schedule an appointment.

How much do invisible braces cost?

The cost for traditional braces and Invisalign are the same at Watertown Area Dental Clinic.  To find out the exact price of braces, schedule a free consultation.

Does insurance cover invisible braces?

It depends on the type of insurance you have.  Some dental plans completely cover the cost of invisible braces, while others only cover only partial or none at all.  The best way to find out is to contact your insurance provider to find out whether and, if so, how much of the cost is covered under your insurance plan.

5 Resolutions for Healthier Teeth in 2016

health teeth resolutionsYour pearly whites may not be at the top of your New Year’s resolution list for a healthier you in 2016, but maybe it should be; studies have repeatedly linked your overall health to the health of your mouth. Whether you’re the type of person that hasn’t gone to the dentist for a few years or a regular patient who is ready to take on your oral problems, the New Year is the time to tackle anything you haven’t faced yet: losing weight, improving your fitness, getting your finances in order…even your achy teeth.

To that end, we’ve got a few suggestions for your next New Year’s resolution so you can get those neglected teeth under control.

I will drink less soda.

Sodas, even diet sodas, contain sugar which can mingle with bacteria in your mouth to form acid. The acid from this reaction attacks your teeth and can decay outer and interior tooth enamel. Scientific studies have shown a strong connection between soda consumption and tooth decay.

If you do enjoy a regular soft drink, how can you minimize the effects of soda on your teeth? Besides limiting your soda consumption, you can brush your teeth regularly and floss every day. Use a straw when you drink soda, and avoid sipping a soda for long periods of time. Drink water after soda (or instead of soda), and swish in your mouth to reduce the amount of sugar on your teeth.

I will fix my crooked teeth.

person putting in bracesIt doesn’t just have to be crooked teeth. If you have an overbite, overcrowded teeth or teeth alignment issues that you didn’t want to face because of that four-letter word ( you know what we’re talking about: BRACES), take heart and face your braces fear in the New Year—without becoming a metal mouth.

Yes it is possible. One of the most popular braces products on the market today, Invisible Braces (Invisalign), are not braces; instead Invisalign corrects orthodontic problems with a series of removable clear trays. The pros of Invisalign are clear: they are completely invisible, can still fix common orthodontic problems,  and require less orthodontist visits (and maintenance). Invisalign also costs the same as traditional braces (at least at Area Dental Clinic!).

Invisalign does only work best for minor orthodontic corrections, is only available for teens and adults, and does requires discipline because you have to wear the trays 20 hours a day.  If you have concerns about any of these areas, contact us. Our dentists can talk you through your options (or you can read about other choices for braces here) and determine what the best option is so you can check ‘fix teeth’ off your resolution list.

I will brush correctly.

Woman In Bathrobe And Towel Brushing Her Teeth correctlyThere are numerous ways you could be hurting your mouth by brushing incorrectly—even when you’re trying to improve the health of your teeth by brushing regularly. The first step is to buy the correct brush: dentists recommend buying a soft or medium brush, which is easy on the gums while still getting your teeth clean. When you brush, make sure you follow the American Dental Association’s recommendation of bushing for two minutes each time.

Do you start brushing on the same side every time? If you haven’t thought about it before, it’s time to start taking note. Commonly, people brush harder when they start, so it’s important to spread that effort around your mouth. Consistency is the key to a healthy mouth. Maintain a daily consistent brushing schedule of 2-3 times a day, and not any more than that. Brushing too much can damage your tooth enamel, which can lead to other tooth problems. Also, don’t brush too hard which can have the same negative effect on your teeth.

I will floss my tooth.

Some statistics say that close to 80% of Americans never floss, even though flossing prevents tooth decay and cavities and reduces the chance of gum disease. Flossing is not about the food stuck between your teeth, but about removing plaque which causes tooth decay and cavities. A cavity is really the product of a perfect storm involving bacteria, food, saliva and the resulting acid. Bacteria in your mouth combine with food that sits on your teeth and creates plaque which includes acid. The acid in the plaque eats holes in your tooth (tooth decay) called cavities.

Flossing can give you fresher breath because you are removing particles from between your teeth that can contribute to bad breath. A healthier mouth may also cost less. You may still have to invest in dental care whether you floss or not; there are many contributing factors to dental conditions. However, regular brushing and flossing can give you a healthier mouth, and a healthier mouth is a cheaper mouth when it comes to paying in.

I will overcome my fear of the dentist.

dentist appointmentIf you’re one of the millions of Americans afraid of the dentist, there is hope—especially if you face the reason for your fear. If your fear revolves around the cost of dental procedures, ask the dentist for a price list. If you have insurance, know what portion of each cleaning or exam is your responsibility. Request a quote before each appointment so you can budget appropriately. One caution: try not to base your decisions for dental care on your insurance. In some cases, you may need more dental work than your dental benefits cover. Be smart with your money management and dental care, and you’ll be healthier overall and (hopefully) less fearful at your next dentist’s appointment.

If your fear is emotional, face your fear calmly. Take deep breaths or use another relaxation technique to relax before your dentist appointment. Remind yourself it won’t be as bad as you think. Sometimes our mind can make the thing we fear more painful than it is—such as tooth extractions or root canals. If pain is on your mind, discuss your options for pain treatment and sedation before the appointment.

Bring along someone you trust. Before you visit the dentist, ask if you can have a friend or family member accompany you on your visit. If needed, ask if your acquaintance can accompany you into the treatment room. Bring along music or a book on tape to keep your mind off the dentist visit. Some dentists have a television in the treatment room that can distract you during your preventative dental care or procedure. If none of these tips help, seek out an expert in dental phobias to face your fear.

I will schedule a dentist appointment.

We’re reminded of a friend of a friend who didn’t get dental care for years. When he did step foot in a dentist office, he had numerous cavities and a series of dental issues to address. Years later, he regularly goes to the dentist with no cavities since then. Don’t put off those dental appointments; regular dentist appointments are the key to a healthy mouth.

When you are ready to visit the dentist, choose your dentist carefully. Do your research before you select the dentist for your first visit. Ask around, and search for online reviews. Look for a dentist that has hours that fit your schedule so you can get to those vital dentist appointments, and jump start that New Year’s resolution that gets your teeth healthier, and your smile wider.

Bracing for the worst: What are my options for braces?

different types of bracesAdmit it. You had to take a deep breath when the orthodontist said, “you need braces” or “your child needs braces.” There’s so much to consider: the cost, length of orthodontic treatment, the looks—and the type of dental braces to use. That’s right, today’s diagnosis of an overbite, overcrowded teeth or teeth alignment issue does not guarantee a metal mouth (though traditional braces have come a long way). You have four common orthodontic treatment options for dental braces:

Traditional Braces are the conventional braces you picture in your mind: stainless steel brackets and rubber bands that move your teeth by applying pressure.

Pros: Does the job quickly (faster than invisible braces), most inexpensive option, thinner than older versions

Cons: Look of braces (though this can be a pro for a child who likes colorful rubber bands), discomfort from tightening or metal in mouth, have to avoid certain foods while wearing them

Ceramic Braces work the same way as traditional braces, without the stainless steel. These braces are made to blend in with your teeth and use white and clear bands.

Pros: Not as noticeable, corrects your teeth faster than invisible braces

Cons: May require more maintenance because they are not as durable, ties may discolor

Lingual Braces are traditional braces that are installed behind your teeth.

Pros: Can’t see them because lingual braces are installed on the back of teeth

Cons: More expensive than traditional or ceramic braces, more complicated (and longer) installation, speaking takes practice with the hardware in the mouth, does not always work well with small teeth, can be difficult to clean

Invisible Braces (Invisalign) are not braces; instead Invisalign corrects orthodontic problems with a series of removable clear trays.

Pros: Completely invisible, can still fix common orthodontic problems, less orthodontist visits (and maintenance), no food restrictions while in, costs the same as traditional braces (at least at Area Dental Clinic!)

Cons: works best for minor orthodontic corrections, only available for teens and adults, requires discipline because you have to wear 20 hours a day

If you have any questions about dental braces, and what option is best for you, contact one of our Area Dental Clinic dentists, Dr. Gibson or Dr. Thomas. Both dentists are certified to provide orthodontic services to adults and children, including Invisalign, and can answer any questions you have. Or schedule a consultation to get an examination and information so you, and your child, can go into the process of wearing braces without having to take too many deep breaths.