Posts for tag: orthodontics
Straightening your teeth with braces or other orthodontic gear is a positive step toward a healthier and more attractive smile. You'll likely be pleased with your smile when they're removed.
But you may also notice something peculiar once the braces are off—dull, white spots on your teeth. These spots, usually located under or around braces hardware, are where mouth acid has “demineralized” calcium and other minerals in the enamel. As beginning tooth decay, these spots are a sign your hygiene efforts weren't sufficient in cleaning your teeth of plaque.
In many cases, the spots will improve on their own after the braces are removed. We can also strengthen the enamel with fluoride pastes or gels, or inject tooth-colored resin within the spot to restore the enamel's translucence and improve appearance.
But the best approach is to try to prevent white spots from occurring at all. Here's what you need to do.
Keep up your oral hygiene. Even though more difficult with braces, you still need to brush and floss to protect your teeth from tooth decay. To make it easier, take advantage of special brushes designed to clean around orthodontic brackets and wires. A floss threader can also help you better access between teeth—or switch to a water flosser instead of floss thread.
Practice a “tooth-friendly” diet. A diet high in sugar and acid could short-circuit your best hygiene efforts. Certain beverages are big offenders: sodas, energy and sports drinks, and even “natural” juices. Instead, eat foods high in vitamins and minerals like fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins and low-fat dairy.
Get your teeth cleaned regularly. While you're seeing your orthodontist for scheduled adjustments, don't neglect regular cleanings with your family dentist. Professional cleanings at least every six months reduce the risk of dental disease. These regular visits are also a good time for your dentist to check your teeth for any signs of dental problems associated with your braces.
It's not easy to keep your teeth clean while wearing braces, but it can be done. With help from a few handy tools and continuing care from your dental professionals, you can avoid unsightly white spots.
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 “White Spots on Teeth During Orthodontic Treatment.”
How Invisalign treatment from your dentist in Alexandria can help your smile
If you want a straight smile, but you don’t want to wear unsightly metal brackets and wires for years, there’s a revolutionary orthodontic treatment you need to know about. It’s called Invisalign, and it is the most discreet way to get the straight smile you’ve always wanted.
Dr. Moutaz Abdeen at Alexandria Smiles Dentistry wants to introduce you to Invisalign, virtually invisible orthodontic treatment. He proudly serves residents of Alexandria, Alexandria West, Shirlington, and Bailey’s Crossroads, VA, and he can help your smile too.
Invisalign is unlike any other orthodontic treatment because Invisalign is:
- Comfortable; the appliances are made of smooth plastic with no sharp metal parts to irritate your cheeks, lips, gums or tongue.
- Beautiful; Invisalign appliances are clear, so they blend in with your smile, making them virtually undetectable to people around you.
- Quick; the average length of Invisalign treatment is 9 to 15 months.
- Healthy; you can remove the appliances to brush and floss normally, maintaining optimum oral health.
- Satisfying; you can also remove the appliances when you eat, so you can eat the foods you love without worrying about your braces.
Invisalign treatment begins with your first set of appliances, called aligners, which you wear for 2 weeks. You move on to a new set of aligners, which you wear for another 2 weeks. You progress to a new set of aligners every 2 weeks, as your teeth gradually move into alignment. You can have a beautiful, straight smile in as little as 9 to 15 months, compared to years with conventional orthodontics.
Tooth and jaw alignment issues including overbite, underbite, crossbite, open bite and rotated, gapped, or overlapped teeth can all be corrected, thanks to Invisalign.
Why choose old-school conventional metal brackets and wires when you can choose state-of-the-art orthodontic treatment? You owe it to yourself to investigate Invisalign by calling Dr. Moutaz Abdeen at Alexandria Smiles Dentistry in Alexandria, VA. You deserve a straight, beautiful smile so call today!
Orthodontics relies on certain mechanics in the mouth to move teeth to better positions. As the specialty has advanced, we've become ever more precise in moving teeth with braces, the “workhorse” of orthodontics, and other specialized appliances and techniques.
But although cooperating effectively with the mouth's natural ability for tooth movement is crucial for success, there's another aspect to consider if that success will be long-term: the growth and development of oral and facial structure. And not just development during childhood and adolescence: indeed, facial structure continues to change throughout a lifetime, including the senior years. Research has shown that although the rate of growth slows over time, it doesn't stop even for someone 80 years or older.
Our emerging understanding in this area has had an important impact on how and when we perform orthodontic treatment. As we develop a treatment strategy for an individual patient we consider not only the immediate outcome of a treatment, but also how it may change their facial appearance in the future. By taking continuing facial growth into consideration, we're more likely to achieve a new smile appearance that remains attractive later in life.
A key factor is to be sure we're initiating treatments at appropriate ages. We may detect developing bite problems as early as age 6, which might prompt preventive treatment at that time to diminish or even eliminate the problem. But it may also be prudent to wait on full-scale orthodontic treatment until late childhood or puberty. Furthermore, some form of orthodontic treatment might need to continue into early adulthood to ensure the most optimal outcome.
By taking a longer view of the treatment process, we're better able to work within the natural growth and development taking place now and in the future. As a result, a person is more likely to enjoy an attractive and youthful appearance even in their later years.
If you would like more information on aging factors for cosmetic enhancement, 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 “Understanding Aging Makes Beauty Timeless.”
Do you want to flash a perfect smile? The Invisalign System is the clear alternative to regular braces. Dr. Moutaz Abdeen at Alexandria Smiles Dentistry in Alexandria, VA offers orthodontic treatment with Invisalign for a straighter smile. Read on to learn about some of the key differences between Invisalign and regular braces.
Comfortable to Wear
With Invisalign aligners, you will not have to worry about the discomfort that metal braces can cause. While regular braces are effective in repositioning the teeth, metal archwires, bands and brackets can be uncomfortable to wear, pressing against your teeth and irritating your gums. Invisalign aligners are much more comfortable to wear than traditional metal braces.
Eat The Foods You Love
With conventional metal braces, you have to avoid eating certain foods like chewing gum, candy, popcorn and nuts because they can become stuck next to your teeth. With Invisalign aligners, you're free to eat all the foods you love and never have to worry about your diet damaging your aligners.
Improve Your Oral Health
Invisalign aligners are removable for good oral hygiene. With Invisalign, you can floss and brush your teeth normally, which can help prevent dental cavities and periodontal disease. Research shows that periodontal tissue health may improve with the treatment of the Invisalign System.
Create A Beautiful Smile
You don't need unattractive metal bands, archwires and brackets to correct crowded or crooked teeth. The Invisalign system is the virtually invisible way to improve your smile. Straightening your smile with Invisalign will give you the confidence to show off your healthy, beautiful smile.
Millions of people around the world have straightened their teeth with the Invisalign System. Perhaps it's time you joined them? Call Alexandria Smiles Dentistry in Alexandria, VA at (703) 671-0626 right now to book your consultation today. It's never too late for a gorgeous smile.
Fans of the primetime TV show The Middle were delighted to see that high school senior Sue, played by Eden Sher, finally got her braces off at the start of Season 6. But since this popular sitcom wouldn’t be complete without some slapstick comedy, this happy event is not without its trials and tribulations: The episode ends with Sue’s whole family diving into a dumpster in search of the teen’s lost retainer. Sue finds it in the garbage and immediately pops it in her mouth. But wait — it doesn’t fit, it’s not even hers!
If you think this scenario is far-fetched, guess again. OK, maybe the part about Sue not washing the retainer upon reclaiming it was just a gag (literally and figuratively), but lost retainers are all too common. Unfortunately, they’re also expensive to replace — so they need to be handled with care. What’s the best way to do that? Retainers should be brushed daily with a soft toothbrush and liquid soap (dish soap works well), and then placed immediately back in your mouth or into the case that came with the retainer. When you are eating a meal at a restaurant, do not wrap your retainer in a napkin and leave it on the table — this is a great way to lose it! Instead, take the case with you, and keep the retainer in it while you’re eating. When you get home, brush your teeth and then put the retainer back in your mouth.
If you do lose your retainer though, let us know right away. Retention is the last step of your orthodontic treatment, and it’s extremely important. You’ve worked hard to get a beautiful smile, and no one wants to see that effort wasted. Yet if you neglect to wear your retainer as instructed, your teeth are likely to shift out of position. Why does this happen?
As you’ve seen firsthand, teeth aren’t rigidly fixed in the jaw — they can be moved in response to light and continuous force. That’s what orthodontic appliances do: apply the right amount of force in a carefully controlled manner. But there are other forces at work on your teeth that can move them in less predictable ways. For example, normal biting and chewing can, over time, cause your teeth to shift position. To get teeth to stay where they’ve been moved orthodontically, new bone needs to form around them and anchor them where they are. That will happen over time, but only if they are held in place with a retainer. That’s why it is so important to wear yours as directed — and notify us immediately if it gets lost.
And if ever you do have to dig your retainer out of a dumpster… be sure to wash it before putting in in your mouth!
If you would like more information on retainers, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “The Importance of Orthodontic Retainers” and “Why Orthodontic Retainers?”