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10 Tips for Getting the Best Invisalign Results

10 Tips for Getting the Best Invisalign Results

Believe it or not, about 4 million people have braces in the United States. Though incredibly common, traditional braces are not the only option you have.

Invisalign aligners offer a fantastic and discreet alternative to those troublesome metal brackets. They’re less painful, more comfortable, and easier to adjust to.

But to get the best Invisalign results possible, you need to commit to your treatment plan. Here are a few tips to help.

1. Clean Your Aligners Regularly

Your Invisalign aligners allow you to get an almost invisible orthodontic treatment. But you have to keep the aligners meticulously.

Unfortunately, the aligners can get stained if you don’t clean them regularly. And when that happens, people will start to notice when you have them in.

Use a gentle anti-bacterial soap and warm water to remove any buildup and bacteria from the trays. Try to do this at least once a day. This will keep the trays clear and in good shape.

2. Wear Them for the Full 22 Hours

The aligners can only work if you wear them and you need to wear them long enough for your teeth to straighten out.

For most people, this means committing to wearing the trays for 22 hours each day. You’ll need to take out the trays to eat or drink anything other than water. But beyond those activities, do what you can to leave them in.

If you don’t, you’ll end up extending your treatment length and won’t get the Invisalign results you want.

3. Follow Your Schedule Like Clockwork

With traditional braces, you have to see your orthodontist for regular adjustments. But with Invisalign, you’re given a series of trays that you need to change out yourself.

It’s important that you follow that schedule as accurately as possible. If you forget to switch out a tray, you’ll delay your treatment’s progress.

If you’re worried about staying on top of your schedule, you may want to consider using traditional braces instead.

4. Expect Some Discomfort

Invisalign still moves your teeth into a better position. This process can cause some discomfort, especially after changing to a new aligner tray. But the pain should go away in a few days and it should never be severe.

Make a plan for it. Switch trays out at nighttime so you can sleep through the worst of the adjustment. And stock up on plenty of soft foods to help you through the sore period.

If the pain feels too bad at any point, call your orthodontist.

5. Floss and Brush Your Teeth

Invisalign trays completely encase your teeth. This is what allows them to work so effectively.

But it also means that the bacteria and germs inside your mouth get trapped against your teeth and gumline, too. Your saliva won’t be able to reach your teeth throughout the day to periodically rinse them off.

This means you need to brush and floss your teeth after each meal and before you put your aligners back in. Otherwise, you’ll increase your risk of tooth decay and gum disease.

6. Hold On to Your Old Aligners

Accidents happen. Sometimes those new aligner trays break or get lost. When this happens, you’ll need a way to preserve your progress until your orthodontist can get you a new aligner.

Your old aligners will do the trick just fine. Try to hold onto your old trays throughout your treatment. This way, you can use them as a temporary retainer until your new trays get to you.

7. Never Eat with the Aligners In

Food and beverages can lead to stains on the aligners if you’re not careful. That’s why it’s important to always take your aligners out before you eat or drink anything other than water.

Though the alignment trays themselves may not get damaged by you eating or drinking, they won’t stay clear for very long.

When in doubt, take them out.

8. Store the Aligners Properly

Invisalign aligners make it easy to get a discreet orthodontic treatment. But their near-invisible appearance poses other challenges—they’re incredibly easy to misplace!

Always use a retainer case or other hard container to store your aligners anytime you’re eating, drinking, or not wearing them. If possible, use a brightly colored case to make it easy to spot in your bag or purse.

9. Don’t Feel Discouraged

It’s normal to feel self-conscious about your aligners at first. But that doesn’t mean you should feel discouraged about your treatment.

Know that it will take time to get used to wearing the aligners. Almost everyone finds it tough to talk normally at first, but the more you do, the easier it will get.

The important thing is to continue wearing your aligners and speak with your orthodontist if they don’t feel like they’re fitting your teeth just right.

Don’t give up on your treatment. Just give yourself a few weeks to get used to the Invisalign. It’s still going to be easier than adjusting to traditional metal braces.

10. Go to Your Checkups

With Invisalign, you don’t have to worry about getting your braces adjusted and tightened every few weeks. Instead, you get to do that on your own by changing out your trays. But you’ll still need to go to the occasional checkup with your orthodontist to make sure your treatment is going according to plan.

It’s important that you take the time to go to these appointments. If anything comes up or you can’t make it, reschedule as soon as possible. Remember, these appointments help you and your orthodontist stay on track with your treatment.

Get the Invisalign Results You Want

If you’re getting started with Invisalign, these tips will help you get the best Invisalign results possible. But they’re only the tip of the iceberg.

Pay attention to what your orthodontist tells you during your consultation and your fitting. And don’t be afraid to ask for advice throughout your treatment.

If anything happens that doesn’t feel right or you’re worried about the way your treatment is progressing, contact us immediately.

What Do You Do with Leftover Halloween Candy?

What Do You Do with Leftover Halloween Candy?

What Do You Do with Leftover Halloween Candy?

November is here which means Thanksgiving and the Holiday season is fast approaching. While you’re decorating and planning meals for the holidays though, chances are you probably have leftover Halloween Candy that you’ve been snacking on. Before you eat the whole bowl of candy on your coffee table, consider these tips to finishing off that candy in a mindful way.

Limit Halloween Candy Before Bed

Eating candy right before bed is bad for many reasons. The sugar that is in candy is likely to keep you up later than you want, but it will also do damage to your teeth. Sugars can linger on your teeth overnight and cavities are more likely to form. If you do get a sweet tooth at night, try limiting yourself to one piece and make sure to brush your teeth right after. Flossing will do even more to make sure all candy residue is gone from your teeth. Additionally, rinsing with mouthwash will help to wash away lingering food particles.

Candies to NEVER Eat

Although a lot of candy isn’t good for anyone’s dental hygiene or diet, it’s natural to indulge in a few treats during this time of the year. With that being said though, there are some candies that you should avoid entirely. Candy that contains chocolate and peanut butter and other things that resemble actual food is better than candies that are made entirely of pure sugar. Fruit flavored candies, similar to Skittles, are made up of enormous amounts of sugar, cornstarch and chemicals like “tapioca dextrin” and “titanium dioxide,” which is not only bad for your diet, but can wreak havoc on your oral health. Excess sugar leads to tooth decay because sugars break down your tooth enamel over time due to sugar’s acidic nature. So while a Milky Way isn’t the healthiest option, it can be the better option for your teeth if you do get a chocolate craving.

 

Avoid candy that is crunchy as well, especially if you wear braces. Candy with nuts like Payday, or something that is sticky like caramel may be hard on the teeth and braces. Biting into something crunchy can break off brackets or wires and can ruin braces, leading to more orthodontic work being done. Talk to your Charlotte orthodontist if you have concerns about what specific candies and foods to avoid during the season.

Store Candy in a Mindful Place

Most Halloween candy will be good for six months to a year. So feel free to keep a little candy around to avoid purchasing even more sweets when you’re at the grocery. With this in mind, it’s a good idea to be intentional with where you store your Halloween candy. Try storing candy in a central location. This will help keep candy consumption on a regular schedule. Storing candy in a jar in the kitchen would be a good idea to keep consumption to a schedule after meals.

At Case Orthodontics, we are here to keep your smile happy and healthy while enjoying all the treats that this time of year has to offer. If you do happen to run into any orthodontic problems contact us! We offer orthodontic services for children and adults alike.

 

October is National Dental Hygiene Month!

October is National Dental Hygiene Month!

October is National Dental Hygiene Month

Aside from fall festivals and Trick-or-Treating, October is also National Dental Hygiene Month – a time to refocus on healthy oral hygiene habits, as individuals and as families. A great way to implement healthy dental hygiene in your kids is to practice these good habits as a family! Case Orthodontics in the Charlotte, North Carolina area, has gathered a list of four healthy routines to focus on: brushing, flossing, chewing and rinsing.

Brushing

As a family, you’ve probably talked to your child about the importance of regular brushing, but it’s important to talk about the way to brush teeth. Bad brushing habits can be harmful to teeth in the long run, even if you can’t see the immediate effects. Even as parents, this aspect of teeth brushing can be overlooked. Follow these tips:

  • Brush with a fluoride toothpaste
  • Place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to your gums
  • Use short strokes in back and forth motion
  • Brush all surfaces of your teeth – outer, inner, and chewing surfaces.
  • Brush your tongue to remove bacteria that can linger there and ensure fresh breath
  • Never brush too hard – this can cause enamel to wear down over time

Flossing

Flossing may be the hardest part of oral hygiene to practice, simply because it’s easy to forget about. Flossing helps to remove bits of food that can linger in between and behind teeth, and just a toothbrush won’t always remove them. If these food particles are not removed, this leads to the buildup of plaque, and cavities will form. A good tip for flossing is trying to first implement flossing at the end of the day before bed. Try flossing as a family and teach your smaller children the best way to floss.  To remind your family to floss, try setting dental floss out on your nightstand or bathroom sink.

If your child wears braces, it is even more important to floss to remove food particles. Waxed floss is best to move easier around braces. Your Charlotte orthodontist or dental hygienist can show your child the best way to floss with braces.

Chewing

Chewing is an important part of your dental hygiene. Obviously, what you chew has a big effect on your teeth. It’s important to stay away from foods that are too hard or crunchy, as this can chip teeth. Additionally, you want to avoid acidic foods that can wear down your enamel over time. There is something you can chew, though – sugarless gum. According to MouthHealthy.org, chewing sugarless gum can provide great benefits to your teeth by increasing the flow of saliva. Saliva helps to wash away food debris and can neutralize acids in the mouth caused by bacteria. Additionally, saliva contains calcium and phosphate that strengthens tooth enamel. Look for sugarless gum with the American Dental Association Seal to be sure it’s safe to chew.

Rinsing

Rinsing with a cosmetic or therapeutic mouthwash can further help with excellent oral hygiene by improving bad breath and killing bacteria. Killing bacteria helps to prevent bad breath, plaque, tooth decay, and gingivitis. If you have concerns about what types of mouthwash to use, look for the American Dental Association Seal of Acceptance. Additionally, use a child’s mouthwash if you have small children. Using a mouthwash is another way your family can practice good dental care together.

At Case Orthodontics, we believe good dental hygiene is essential to overall health and help improve orthodontics care. We offer child and adult orthodontic treatment as well as braces and Invisalign. We serve the greater Charlotte, North Carolina area. Contact us to schedule an appointment!

What is Phase 1 Orthodontics?

What is Phase 1 Orthodontics?

What is Phase 1 Orthodontics?

 

Because a healthy smile leads to overall wellness, it’s important to make a habit of taking your child to the dentist at a very young age. Aside from general dental care, it’s also important that your child has an orthodontic appointment by the age of seven. While your child may not have a serious need for braces, getting a check-up at this age will help determine if your child does need orthodontic work in the future, as well as help correct any other issues early on. This early orthodontic work is also known as Phase 1 Orthodontics and can help lead to easier orthodontic work and a healthy smile in the future.

 

Phase 1 Orthodontics or interceptive orthodontics describes the treatment your child receives around the age of eight or nine, while there are still baby teeth present. During Phase 1, jaw growth and alignment is supported and more space is created to allow for erupting teeth to come through. This is sometimes done with spacers, which are bands placed in the mouth to prevent any overcrowding. This helps prevent having teeth to be pulled to make room in the mouth. If the teeth are too crowded, this can cause occasional or frequent headaches, tooth pain, and can lead to tooth decay.

 

Correcting jaw alignment at an early age can prevent things like jaw surgery that may need to be done to make sure that the jaw and teeth are properly aligned. This also helps with correcting bite issues such as an overbite or underbite and can also help with the symmetry of the face. Because the jaw bones are fully fused by around the age of eight, this early evaluation by an orthodontist is essential. If not corrected, overbites and underbites, also called malocclusions, can lead to jaw pain, tooth decay, headaches and Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction, which inhibits the movement of the lower jaw.

 

There are several benefits of receiving Phase 1 ortho, which include decreasing the amount of time that your child has to wear braces, among others. If these early steps are completed when the permanent teeth haven’t fully come in yet, getting orthodontic treatment such as braces will be a much easier process. When the teeth are essentially prepped during Phase 1, this can decrease the time that your child will need to wear braces and other orthodontic treatment can be less invasive and less expensive, saving you time and money.

 

Phase 1 orthodontics will give your child an easier and faster process to a more beautiful smile. When it comes to your child’s smile, it’s best to plan ahead.

 

At Case Orthodontics, we offer Phase 1 Orthodontics so your child can receive early interceptive treatment. We additionally offer Phase 2 Orthodontics for your child between the ages of 11 and 15. Because tooth alignment can change at any age, we also offer orthodontic treatment for adults. Schedule an appointment at our Charlotte, North Carolina office for an evaluation and start on your child on their path to a straighter and healthier smile!

 

How Long Do I Have to Wear Retainers?

How Long Do I Have to Wear Retainers?

DO I REALLY HAVE TO WEAR THEM FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE?

Glad you asked!

This question is asked quite frequently, so we thought we would answer.

Here at Case Orthodontics, when you are issued your initial set of retainers we advise all patients to wear their retainer’s full time. Full time means at least 20 hours a day for three months. After your teeth have had time to stabilize, we advise to wear your retainers at night. We suggest at least a year of continuous retainer wear after that, wearing the retainer three to five times a week for life.

No matter what treatment option you choose to go with, you will always need retainers.

It is important to wear your retainer because as your body grows, your teeth do some shifting. The purpose of the retainer is to control the shifting which occurs naturally. Without consistent wear for the rest of your life, you risk the chance of your teeth returning to their pre-orthodontic position. Teeth are not static. They are active, always moving and they will continue to move and shift even though you’ve had braces or Invisalign. If your teeth ever hurt when putting your retainers in or at any time when you are wearing them, that is your first caution sign that your teeth are trying to move and you should wear them more frequently. Adult patients usually sleep with their retainers on for the rest of their lives, if they want their teeth in perfect alignment.

Your initial retainers can last anywhere from two to ten years, depending on how well you take care of them. If your retainer has been broken or lost make sure to contact your orthodontist as soon as possible to replace!

Always remember, going a period of time without wearing your retainers can result in teeth shifting. Retainers may not seem like fun, but hey! It’s better than braces, right?

Invisalign® vs. Traditional Braces

Invisalign® vs. Traditional Braces

Many people have this question come to mind after they make the step to pursue orthodontic treatment:

“Do I choose Invisalign or traditional braces”? HELP!

First, let’s start by understanding exactly what the differences between the two are.

When someone mentions braces, a lot of people refer back to when they were younger and remember the “train track” and painful experience. It’s important to recognize that today’s braces are less noticeable, have the option of being clear and are more comfortable; just to name a few!

Having braces on your teeth means that you have a bracket attached to each tooth, along with one arch wire that extends through each tooth.

Choosing Invisalign allows you to straighten teeth without wires and brackets that are associated with traditional braces, making it a more “clearer” option.

Invisalign® uses removable, clear aligners to correct your misaligned teeth.

Each set of aligners gently guides the teeth into place and is worn for approximately two weeks before moving on to the next in the series. You can remove your aligners for eating and when you brush and floss your teeth. The removable design enables you to eliminate harmful bacteria from your teeth and gums. This reduces your risk of tooth decay and other potentially harmful dental issues.

Both treatment options Invisalign® and Traditional braces have their pros and cons.

Invisalign is not for everyone. It requires you wearing the aligners for 22 hours a day, which is the reason it is recommended for teens and adults. Also, there are a few corrections that are not available with Invisalign. Dr. Case will be sure to advise the patient whether he or she is a candidate for Invisalign treatment.

Always seek the advice of an Orthodontist before choosing. Whichever treatment option you choose, the result will almost always be the same. It will provide you with straight aligned teeth that can transform your appearance and over all oral heath!