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Orthodontic Misconceptions

January 12th, 2016

When you think of a person wearing braces, the first image that likely pops into your head is an awkward middle-school child with a mouth full of metal brackets and rubber bands. The vast majority of our patients don’t fit that stereotype, however.

We have patients of all ages who take advantage of a broad variety of orthodontic treatments. There are many misconceptions about orthodontics, so we’d like to put a few of them to rest.

Orthodontic treatment is just for kids
Although teenagers often visit our office to get braces, adults represent a growing proportion of our orthodontic patients. Whether you’re eight or 80, a consultation with our orthodontists can identify problems with your teeth, jaws, or bite that can be corrected by orthodontics.
Traditional metal braces are my only option
Advances in orthodontic technology have come up with improved braces and other orthodontic appliances that are much less noticeable than the braces of yesteryear. Aesthetic orthodontic treatments, such as clear aligners, clear braces, and even lingual (behind the teeth) braces are available to you.
Orthodontic treatment is only helpful for crooked teeth
Sure, a crooked smile is a common reason for patients to seek orthodontic care. But orthodontic interventions can help with a range of dental health problems. From missing teeth to overbites and jaw misalignment, we can help with many problems related to your teeth, gums, and jaws. Straight teeth are also easier to keep clean, so there’s less risk of tooth decay and gum disease.
Orthodontic treatment is too expensive
As with any medical procedure, orthodontics can be pricey. However, GriN Orthodontics works with patients to identify payment plans, insurance coverage, and third-party financing that reduce the financial burden.
Don’t let preconceived ideas about braces deter you from getting the orthodontic care you need!

Invisalign Aligner Care

January 6th, 2016

Invisalign aligners are made from a clear, thermoplastic material that is custom-made to fit your teeth. Unlike conventional braces, Invisalign aligners are removable. Because of this, they require special care. To achieve the best smile results, proper handling and care of your Invisalign aligners is vital.

Follow these steps to take care of your aligners:
Do not eat or drink hot beverages while wearing Invisalign aligners. It’s a good idea to get in the practice of removing your aligners before eating and drinking. Because they are made of plastic resin, heat can distort and damage them. Also, eating while wearing the aligners will cause sugar and other food particles to stay on your teeth, which contributes to plaque and tooth decay.
Clean the aligner trays regularly. Invisalign aligners are exposed to the same bacteria and plaque your mouth is, so you need to clean them as regularly as you clean your teeth. However, you should avoid cleaning the aligners with harsh chemicals. We recommend using a cleaning kit or some other type of specific solution. Carefully follow the instructions we give you.
Store aligners in a cool, dry, safe place. When you’re not wearing the aligners, store them in the case provided by our office. If you don’t use the case, they can easily get lost or damaged. Keeping them out of reach of small children and pets is also a good idea. Dogs love to adopt clear aligners as chew toys!
Don’t chew gum while wearing aligners. There’s one thing that conventional braces and Invisalign aligners have in common: chewing gum damages both.
Don’t soak aligners in mouthwash. Many popular mouthwashes contain a color pigment. There’s a possibility that soaking Invisalign aligners in mouthwash will tint or stain them.
For more tips for a successful Invisalign experience, contact our office!

Electric or Manual Toothbrush: What’s the Difference?

December 16th, 2015

You live in the golden age of toothbrushes. Until a few decades ago, people used twigs or brushes made from animal hair to clean their teeth: not very soft and none too effective. Now you have a choice of manual brushes with soft, medium, or hard bristles. Or you might choose to go with an electric toothbrush instead.
Have you ever wondered whether manual or electric brushes provide better cleaning? Actually, they both do the job. The key is to brush and floss every day, regardless of the kind of brush you prefer. At our office, we like to say the best brush is the one you’ll use. So if you prefer manual, go for it. If you prefer electric, turn it on. Both types have their advantages but both types will get the job done as far as removing plaque, if used properly.

Electric Toothbrushes
Provide power rotation that helps loosen plaque
Are great for people with limited dexterity due to arthritis or other physical limitations
Are popular with kids who think the electric brushes are more fun to use
Can come with variable speeds to help reduce pressure on sensitive teeth and gums
Uses timers to ensure you brush evenly across the four quadrants of your mouth and for the optimal two minutes each session
Manual Toothbrushes
Can help brushers feel they have more control over the brushing process
Allow brushers to respond to twinges and reduce the pressure applied to sensitive teeth and gums
Are more convenient for packing when traveling
Are cheaper and easier to replace than the electric versions
In many ways, the golden age is just beginning. There are already phone apps available to remind you to brush and floss. New apps can play two minutes worth of music while you brush, help you compare the brightness of your smile, or remind you to brush and floss throughout the day. Maybe someday, there will be an app that examines your teeth after brushing to identify spots you might have missed.

Invisalign®: A Convenient Alternative to Traditional Braces

December 9th, 2015

Nobody looks forward to straightening their teeth. You may think about popped brackets, loose wires, and missing out on your favorite foods for years. Luckily, this perception is not always accurate. Tooth straightening has progressed beyond the days of metal braces or nothing. Invisalign clear aligners can get your teeth straight without the use of metal braces.

If you do not need complicated tooth-straightening treatment, such as the correction of rotated teeth, an open bite, or severe overbite, Invisalign aligners may be for you. They tend to cost the same as traditional orthodontics, but are a convenient alternative to traditional metal braces.

Skip the Embarrassment
The first advantage you might notice with Invisalign compared to metal braces is their appearance. While metal braces are noticeable from across the room, Invisalign uses clear plastic aligner trays. People may not even notice your Invisalign trays during your entire tooth-straightening treatment.

If you are a teenager, you can appreciate the benefits of having invisible trays. You do not want your classmates making fun of you, or going through the hassle of extensive oral hygiene routines at school. If you are an adult, plastic trays can help you feel more confident and professional. The workplace is a time to focus on work, not on what colleagues are thinking about your teeth.

Eat What You Want
One of the most dreaded parts about traditional braces is avoiding the foods you love. Eating crunchy, stringy, or chewy foods puts you at risk for having a bracket pop off your tooth. With Invisalign, you take the trays out at each meal so you can eat all the healthy foods you love.

Eating is not just about nutrition; it is about experiences, too. With Invisalign, you can enjoy the following occasions during your treatment:
Eating chips and dip while studying with your friends
Ordering a steak when you and your coworkers go out to lunch
Chewing on candy at Halloween and birthday parties
Snacking on apples and celery in your lunch or before soccer practice
Take Care of Your Teeth
As long as you are taking the trouble to straighten your teeth, you want to keep them clean! Oral hygiene is difficult with metal braces since you need to brush and floss your teeth with wires and brackets in the way. You can brush and floss normally with Invisalign clear aligners because you can conveniently remove the trays before cleaning your teeth. Just remember to always put them back in!

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