Month: November 2014

Orthodontic Braces Information

Common Issues with Orthodontic Braces

Orthodontic braces are one of the most popular methods for correcting issues with unruly teeth and delivering a better overall smile in the end. However, while people have been wearing them for decades now, that doesn’t mean you won’t experience a few issues when you get yours. Most of these are perfectly normal, but it still pays to be prepared for them by understanding the issue and knowing how to react. Thanks to Dr Ben White at White Dental Practice Southampton for his input.

Initial Discomfort

As soon as you get your braces added, you’ll probably have a hard time leaving them alone. You’ll want to touch them with your fingers, run your tongue over them and take countless trips to the mirror in order to get a closer look. This is all completely natural, of course, and nothing to worry about.

However, many people eventually feel some initial discomfort at first too. It might be right away, but something you thought would eventually wear off. For a lot of people, though, this initial discomfort will last several days. For other people, the discomfort won’t begin until days after the braces are installed. All of a sudden, your teeth may feel sore or just overall uncomfortable.

Again, this is to be expected and as long as the pain isn’t unbearable, you shouldn’t need to contact your orthodontist. Instead, try mixing a tsp of salt with about eight ounces of warm water. Gargle this solution around in your mouth for a few minutes or so, but don’t swallow it. This should help to dull the pain.

Aside from your teeth, your gums, cheeks, jaws and gums may take issue with their new neighbors too. Unfortunately, this is just something that will take time for them to toughen up against. Otherwise, your orthodontist may have wax that will help with this problem.

Loose Teeth

While it may seem scary or even counterintuitive that your braces would cause loose teeth, understand that’s actually exactly what they’re designed to do. Braces work by applying enough pressure to override the gums in your mouth that otherwise hold each tooth firmly in place.

Again, this is really nothing to worry about. Your braces won’t loosen them to the point that they go missing. Once your teeth are repositioned correctly, you won’t feel them as being loose anymore.

Loose Wires or Bands

Everyone with braces has a mouth full of wires helping to move teeth around as desired. However, many people will have rubber bands in their mouths too, which are used to help bring the jaw into alignment. Unlike your teeth, though, there is no wiggle room for these. They should always stay exactly where your orthodontist had them when you left their office.

If you feel bands or braces coming loose or that they already have, call your orthodontist ASAP. The same goes for your actual braces. It’s important you see your orthodontist before this becomes an issue.

Although we mentioned that loose teeth are normal, your braces should never feel that way. If any piece does fall off, save it so your orthodontist can simply put it back into place.

Some people, when finding a wire has gotten loose, have used the back of a spoon or a pen to push it back into place. This will solve the problem temporarily, but you still need a dental professional to handle the loose piece themselves.

Based on its very function, wearing braces is going to require an adjustment. Unfortunately, this virtually guarantees that you’ll have to put up with some discomfort at the very beginning and perhaps from time to time going forward. Keep the above in mind, though, and you’ll know which problems are nothing to worry about and which should catch your attention.

There’s a good Youtube video below all about orthodontics – and you can also find out a lot more information at The British Orthodontists Society

Invisalign Information & Going Abroad

Getting Invisalign Braces: How It Works

Invisalign braces, at the most basic level, work much like regular metal braces, in that they fit over the teeth and correct the teeth’s alignment over time. However, Invisalign braces are very different from standard braces in that they use a series of aligners, made of see through clear plastic, that are custom-made for each patient. These aligners then gradually shift the teeth into proper alignment over time. The aligners are then modified over time as well, to continue the process in a method that is precisely designed by your dentist, and customized for your needs. Whether or not you choose to have Invisalign treatment abroad comes down to whether or not you’re worried about follow up treatment should anything go wrong and also whether or not the foreign orthodontist offers a guarantee with the treatment. You pays your money and takes your choice, although the money can be significantly less abroad!

What is Invisalign?

Invisalign braces are a great alternative to traditional braces, and they let you achieve a good looking smile without the discomfort and self-consciousness that often comes with metal braces. Created by Align Technology, located in San Jose California, Invisalign braces were first approved by the FDA in 1998.

Invisalign braces are a series of clear plastic retainers, called ‘aligners’, that fit over your teeth and gradually align them using a series of aligners that are created to move the teeth gradually into place. Invisalign braces are designed to be more comfortable, convenient, and efficient that traditional metal braces, with less maintenance and hassle that their traditional counterparts.

Today, Invisalign braces are available from most dentists and orthodontists in North America, and has achieved general acceptance in the dental workplace, with over two millions patients having received the Invisalign treatment.

Advantages to Invisalign

  1. Low visibility – Invisalign braces are made of clear plastic, so they’re not so obvious, and they don’t call as much attention to themselves.
  2. Comfort – Invisalign braces are typically significantly more comfortable than traditional braces, because they’re made from smooth, softer plastic, as opposed to metal braces.
  3. Convenience – The aligners are designed to be removable, so that you can take them out temporarily to brush and floss your teeth. You can also eat whatever kind of food that you like, as the aligners are not damaged by a kind of food.
  4. Less maintenance – Invisalign braces don’t require as much adjustment by your dentist, with office visits typically taking place only every 4 – 6 weeks.

The Invisalign Process

Invisalign braces are fitted and modified over time using a more or less standardized approach, which allows the braces to be fitted and then modified and replaced over time. Basically, the way the process works is:

  1. Meeting with Dentist – Once you select a dentist that performs Invisalign procedures, you’ll meet with that dentist to discuss the process and timelines. If your existing dentist doesn’t provide Invisalign braces, you might need to look for one that does. In that case, ask your dentist if there is another provide who does this kind of procedure, and if they have any recommendations. And if you don’t have a regular dentist, make sure you visit with a few different doctors, to find one that you’re most comfortable with. Remember, this process will take a while, and will involve multiple visits, so make sure you’re comfortable with your chosen dentist, because you’ll be working with them for a while.

Your chosen dentist will then need to sit down with you for a consultation, to see if you’re a good candidate for Invisalign. In most cases, Invisalign will work for most patients. However, there are some cases where Invisalign isn’t the best option.

Another thing to check on is to make sure that your insurance will cover both Invisalign braces and the dentist with whom you’ll be working. Most insurance providers will cover Invisalign, but you should call your carrier to make sure. Likewise, make sure that the dentist you’ve chosen is covered or in-network by your dental health insurance provider.

  1. 3-D Modeling – Once you’ve chosen your dentist, and you’re ‘cleared’ for Invisalign braces, your dentist will need to create a detailed picture of your teeth, to get the right fit for the braces. This involves everything from x-ray’s to impressions of your teeth, which are then used by Invisalign to create a complete 3-D model of your mouth and teeth, and give your dentist a clear idea of what needs to happen, and what the braces need to look like. Your dentist will then be able to estimate how long the procedure will take, and how much your teeth are going to need to move, to bring them into alignment.
  2. Aligner Fitting – Once all of the imaging and design has been complete, a custom-made set of aligners is created, that will fit your mouth specifically, to get your teeth into alignment. As mentioned above, these aligners are clear plastic, and are made to be comfortable, and fit smoothly over your teeth. You then wear them through the day, taking them out only to brush your teeth and floss. Over time, the aligners will adjust your teeth to the proper alignment, slowly moving them into place.
  3. Ongoing Adjustments – Every two weeks or so, you’ll put in a new set of aligners, as your teeth shift into alignment. Each of these aligners are slightly different from the previous pair, as they continually re-align your teeth to the proper placement. You’ll also need to keep working with your dentist, meeting with her every month and a half or so, to make sure that the aligners are working properly and your teeth are progressing. During this time, you’ll need to keep the aligners in place pretty much all the time, at least 20 to 22 hours per day.
  4. Completion – And that’s it! After a length of time comparable to standard braces, you’ll remove your aligners, and your smile should be significantly different that it was, because your teeth are now in alignment. Congratulations!

You should talk to your dentist about whether or not Invisalign braces are right for you. But, if they’re right for you, they can be great way to get your teeth in shape and give you a great smile for life.