Friday, September 25, 2009
Are you wondering what Invisalign treatment is really like, and what effect it will have on your day-to-day activities? Will it slur your speech? Will people know you're in treatment? You're not alone in your concerns! Following are a list of questions and answers for anyone pondering Invisalign treatment.
How exactly does Invisalign work?
Using 3-D computer imaging technology, Invisalign creates a series of custom-made, clear aligners exclusively for your teeth, based on the treatment plan that we specify for you. Each aligner moves teeth incrementally and is worn for about two weeks, then replaced by the next in the series until the final position is achieved.
Will I experience pain during treatment?
Most people experience temporary discomfort for a few days after a new aligner is placed. This feeling of pressure is normal and is a sign that Invisalign is working by sequentially moving your teeth to their final destination.
Can other people see that I'm in treatment?
One of the benefits of Invisalign is that the aligners are clear. You can straighten your teeth without anyone knowing.
Can I smoke during treatment?
We discourage smoking while wearing the aligners as they may become discolored.
Are there any foods I cannot eat while in treatment?
You can eat normally during the entire course of treatment. One of the advantages of Invisalign is that the aligners are removable. Simply take the aligners out before each meal, brush when you're finished eating, then reinsert the aligners afterward.
What about chewing gum?
We recommend removing your aligners for all meals and snacks, as gum and other chewy substances can stick to the aligners.
How often must I wear my aligners?
Aligners should be worn all day, except when eating, brushing, and flossing.
Will my speech be affected by the aligners?
As with any orthodontic treatment, aligners may temporarily affect your speech. If this does happen, your tongue will adjust within a day or two and your speech should return to normal.
How can I clean my aligners?
The best way to clean your aligners is by brushing and rinsing them in lukewarm water.
How often must I visit your office during treatment?
For most patients, visits every 4-6 weeks are frequent enough for us to determine that your treatment is progressing properly. Dr. Wu will provide you with a specific schedule that supports your individual treatment plan.
Friday, September 18, 2009
It’s no secret that sweet, sugary candies and drinks have an adverse effect of the health of your smile, but what about sour or tart candies? We at Wu Orthodontics thought you might want to know what kind of an effect does eating or drinking something sour have on my smile?
Recent research from the Minnesota Dental Association suggests that the amount of acid in sour candies is enough to eat away at tooth enamel and cause cavities. Here are a few souring facts about sour candies, and some helpful tips on how to protect your teeth from Wu Orthodontics (even if you cannot give up sour candies all together).
-Sour candies can be very acidic, and may actually burn the gums and cheeks, while weakening and wearing down the enamel on your teeth. (Check the acid levels in some of your favorite candies)
-It can take almost 20 minutes for the acid in sour candies to become neutral. Holding the acid in your mouth by sucking on sour hard candies or chewing sour gummies can keep the acid active for more than 20 minutes.
-The acid in sour candies can cause cavities and severe tooth decay.
Protect your teeth
-Limit the amount of sour candies that you eat on a daily basis, and if you do indulge, remember not to suck or chew on sour candies for long periods of time.
-After eating sour candies, rinse your mouth out with water, drink milk, or eat a couple slices of cheese. This will help neutralize the acid in your mouth (wait at least one hour before brushing your teeth with toothpaste, as this can actually increase the effects of acid on your teeth)
-If tooth erosion has already begun, ask your dentist about ways you can help reduce sensitivity and continue to protect your teeth.
Hope this helps! From Wu Orthodontics.
Friday, September 11, 2009
While mouthwash is not an alternative to regular brushing and flossing, it can help keep your teeth and gums clean and healthy. There are several different types of mouthwashes available, and all of them will help do different things for your smile. The most common types of mouthwashes are:
• Fluoride - fluoride is the most used type of mouthwash available, and is used to strengthen the enamel of the teeth while preventing cavities and tooth decay.
• Antiseptic - an antiseptic mouthwash is used to kill bacteria and germs in the mouth. Most commonly used before and after a dental surgery, antiseptic mouthwashes can also help to fight gum disease, and halitosis (chronic bad breath). Antiseptic mouthwashes can affect your sense of taste and may stain the teeth, so it is recommended that you consult your dentist before using this type of mouthwash.
• Combination - a combination mouthwash is designed to help prevent tooth decay, freshen the breath, and maintain the health of your smile.
• Prescription - for patients with gum disease, or any signs of gum disease, you may need a prescription mouthwash. Prescription mouthwashes, like Peridex of PerioGard, are used to treat gingivitis, and other forms of decay.
There are also many different brands of mouthwash. Some common brands include:
• Tom’s of Maine (all-natural)
• Plax (anti-plaque rinse)
• Breath Rx
• Targon (special mouthwash made for smokers)
• Rembrandt (whitening mouthwash)
If you are curious about which kind of mouthwash would work best for you, be sure to ask Dr. Wu at your next appointment. If you have a favorite mouthwash, let us know by posting a comment for others to read!
Friday, September 4, 2009
Just as there are so many different types of toothbrushes to choose from, each brush also has a different type of bristle! There are generally three different types of bristles; hard, medium, and soft. We always recommend that our patients, especially children and seniors, use a soft bristled toothbrush.
Using a hard and medium bristled brush can actually harm your teeth and gums by stripping the enamel from the teeth and irritating the gums so that they become red and sore, and can even cause gum recession. If you do use a hard or medium bristled brush as a personal preference, we recommend using an electric toothbrush.
Soft bristles are much gentler on your teeth and gums, and while patients of all ages are recommended to use soft bristled brushes, they are particularly great for children, seniors, patients recovering from a dental procedure, and patients wearing braces.
Soft bristles, and even extra-soft bristles are every bit as effective when it comes to cleaning your teeth; in fact, if you currently use a hard or medium bristled brush, try a soft bristled brush next time you buy a toothbrush and we bet you won’t even notice a difference!