Posts for tag: braces
When you think about straightening your teeth, you probably imagine wires attached to your upper and lower teeth. Although metal braces are a good orthodontic option, Invisalign can be a better choice if you prefer a more subtle straightening approach. St. Clair Shores, MI, dentist Dr. Sam Malouf of Malouf Family Dentistry offers Invisalign and other services you need for a healthy smile.
How does Invisalign work?
Invisalign doesn't use wires or brackets to re-position your teeth but relies on a series of clear aligner trays molded to fit your teeth perfectly. The trays exert constant pressure on the teeth and gradually realign your teeth over the months or years you wear them. Unlike traditional braces, no adjustments are needed. You'll still visit your St. Clair Shores dentist regularly, but adjustments will be made simply by inserting a new set of aligner trays at the end of the two-week wear period.
Why should I choose Invisalign?
Invisalign doesn't affect your appearance, which is an important benefit if the thought of wearing metal braces has kept you from straightening your teeth. The aligners are made of clear plastic to ensure that your friends and family only notice your bright smile and not your braces.
Invisalign aligner trays are more comfortable than traditional braces. You won't have to worry that a stray wire will cut your lip, and you'll never have to deal with the discomfort that can occur after an adjustment.
You also won't leave the dentist's office with a long list of restricted foods. With no wires or brackets to trap food, nothing is off-limits. Oral hygiene is also easier with Invisalign. After you remove your trays, you'll be able to brush and floss normally.
Although trays must normally be worn for 20 to 22 hours per day, you can leave your aligners at home for a little while if you're planning a special night or need to wear a mouthguard to play sports.
Invisalign offers special benefits for adults, many of whom only need to wear the aligners for about a year. If you're a teenager, you can expect to wear your trays for the same amount of time you would have worn metal braces.
Are you ready to realign your smile with Invisalign? Call Dr. Malouf of Malouf Family Dentistry in St. Clair Shores, MI, and serving residents of St. Clair Shores, Grosse Pointe, Harper Woods, Eastpointe, Roseville, Warren, Fraser, Mt. Clemens, Clinton Township, Harrison Township, and neighboring areas.
After months of wearing braces, the big day has arrived — they’re finally off! Your teeth have been realigned and your smile is dazzling. You’re finished with orthodontic treatment, right?
Not quite — because if you want to keep your new smile you have one more treatment phase to go — wearing a retainer. Without this phase there’s a distinct possibility you could lose all the time, effort and expense of braces because your teeth could revert to their previous position.
To understand why, we have to consider how teeth can move in the first place. Although it may seem like your teeth are rigidly fastened to the jawbone, they’re actually held in place by the periodontal ligament, a strong, elastic gum tissue that lies between the teeth and the bone. Tiny fibers from the ligament attach to the teeth on one side and to the bone in a similar manner on the other side.
When pressure is applied to the tooth as happens with braces, the bone around the side of the tooth in the direction of the force will begin to dissolve (resorb), allowing the tooth to move in that direction. New bone will then build up on the other side to stabilize the tooth. Once the pressure is removed (when we take the braces off), there’s a tendency for the teeth, bone and gums to “remember” the old position and try to revert back.
The answer is a removable mouth appliance known as a retainer. Custom-designed to fit the teeth’s new position, the retainer helps hold the teeth in place until the bone completely sets around them. In the beginning, you may need to wear the retainer around the clock and then later only at night while you sleep. While you may only need to wear it for a few months (especially if you’re an adolescent or young adult) some patients may need to wear some form of retainer indefinitely. Your orthodontist will advise you how long depending on your individual situation.
While retainers may seem like an inconvenience, they’re extremely important for keeping or “retaining” the teeth in their new and better position. Following through on this important phase of treatment will help ensure you’ll keep your new smile for a long time to come.
If you would like more information on retainers, 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 “Why Orthodontic Retainers?”