Patients are sometimes surprised to learn that there is one last step after Invisalign treatment is over. But don’t worry – the last part is not nearly as involving as wearing your aligners for all those months. After you are finished with your main orthodontic treatment you will need to wear a retainer.
Invisalign retainers are very similar to regular aligners. They look and fit around the teeth in the exact same way. The main difference between the two is that retainers do not attempt to shift the teeth, but are designed to keep them in place.
Trusting the teeth will stay in their new spaces after orthodontic treatment is dangerous. The teeth actually tend to shift back into their old, unhealthy spots. An Invisalign Retainer helps to keep them where they should be, so as to not negate all of the hard work you and your smile have done.
Our dentist may recommend you wear your retainer as much as you did your aligners, or only at night. If you are instructed to wear them for at least twenty hours a day, we may later lessen that time after the teeth have had time to adjust. We recommend retainers for patients of Invisalign Express, Full, and Teen.
Many are aware of the basic point of orthodontics – to straighten the teeth. But many are also unaware of everything that orthodontic treatment can do for our teeth, mouth, and overall health.
When teeth are crooked, they can overlap and cover each other. This can make it difficult to clean each tooth properly. Spots of certain teeth can be missed because areas are hard to reach with a toothbrush. This will lead to a buildup of decay, which will result in cavities and possibly even periodontal disease. Straightening the teeth with braces or other appliances will eliminate this issue.
Certain orthodontic problems can also affect the jaw and facial structure. If you suffer from a prolonged bite complication, more pressure can be put on one side of the mouth. This can cause issues such as TMJ, or temporomandibular joint disease, wherein one or both of the jaw joints become inflamed or shifted. TMJ can cause pain in the jaw, face, and surrounding areas, as well as lock jaw, tinnitus, and other issues.
Our Rocklin dentist will recommend orthodontic treatment to eliminate any risk of these and similar problems. They can work with you to determine the best appliance and treatment plan for you.
According to the National Institutes of Health, tooth decay is the number one chronic disease in both children and adults. In fact, only twenty-two percent of patients in the U.S. have not had a cavity before the age of seventeen. For the other eighty-eight percent, a dental filling is needed to restore the strength of the tooth or teeth damaged by decay. Our Los Angeles cosmetic dentist offers several types of dental fillings to best suit every case.
Types of dental fillings
• Amalgam: This common type is made of silver, tin, copper, and mercury. It is typically used for fillings needed in teeth in the back of the mouth. Amalgam fillings are strong and typically less expensive than other options, but do not match the color of the teeth.
• Composite resin: A popular option for tooth restoration, composite resin fillings are made of plastic and fine glass particles. They can be completed in just one visit and will match the color of the teeth.
• Gold: Though not as frequently used as they once were, gold can be used for inlays, onlays, and crowns. They are known to last fifteen years or longer.
• Ceramic: Most commonly made of porcelain, ceramic can also be used for inlays, onlays, and crowns. They last upwards of seven years, but are more prone to breaks.
Our expert in dental fillings in Los Angeles can recommend a type of dental filling based on your specific case.
Many patients are unaware that there is more than one type of dentistry. The field is, in fact, comprised of many different avenues. For example, periodontists are experts in gums and the treatment of gum disease. Endodontists are experts in the roots and pulp of the teeth. When you schedule your biannual dental cleaning, you are most likely seeing a cosmetic dentist. They are in charge of making sure your teeth are looking the best and stay healthy overall.
Some regular treatments and procedures of cosmetic dentists:
- Applying Veneers or Lumineers
- Applying crowns, inlays, and onlays
- Dental bridges and implants
Dental cleanings are likely the most common and most important task our Santa Clarita cosmetic dentist does on a daily basis. While we may work hard to keep our teeth clean at home with brushing and flossing regularly, there is no way we can possibly clean them well enough with what we have. Dentists have the right tools and materials to eliminate pesky bacteria and debris, and reach hard to access areas. They are also usually the first to recognize any threatening or serious issues that need to be treated, such as gum disease.
The American Dental Association recommends brushing your teeth at least twice a day although some dentists suggest brushing three times a day. You should brush for at least two minutes, and although that sounds like a long time, you can make it more manageable by dividing your mouth into four sections and brushing each area for 30 seconds each.
However, make sure to not overdo it. Brushing more often or for a longer period of time can result in weakened enamel. And you do not need to brush aggressively. It does not take a lot of force to remove bacteria.
Your diet will also affect when you brush your teeth. Acidic foods can break down your enamel immediately after consumption, so you do not want to brush immediately after a meal if it was high in acidic content. Brush your teeth at least an hour after eating a meal. Or if you know you are going to eat something acidic beforehand, brush your teeth prior to the meal.
In addition to brushing, make sure to floss your teeth every day. This will remove bacteria that cannot be reached with a toothbrush. And replace your toothbrush once every three to four months or after you have been sick.
If you have any concerns regarding your dental health, schedule an appointment with one of our dentists.