Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Answering all your burning questions about mouthwash

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:

• Scope
• Listerine
• Act
• Crest
• Tom’s of Maine (all-natural)
• Plax (anti-plaque rinse)
• Breath Rx
• Orajel
• 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. Orchin at your next appointment. If you have a favorite mouthwash, let us know by posting a comment for others to read!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Imagining Your Life With Invisalign

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. Orchin will provide you with a specific schedule that supports your individual treatment plan.

Friday, September 18, 2009

More About Orthodontics From Orchin Orthodontics

There are so many questions about orthodontics that we never ask, so Dr. Orchin took some time to explain the most common concerns.

At what age should orthodontic treatment occur?

Orthodontic treatment can be started at any age. Many orthodontic problems are easier to correct if detected at an early age before jaw growth has slowed. Early treatment may mean that a patient can avoid surgery and more serious complications. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that every child first visit an orthodontist by age seven or earlier if a problem is detected by parents, the family dentist or the child's physician.

What is Phase I and Phase II treatment?

Phase I, or early interceptive treatment, is limited orthodontic treatment (i.e. expander, Herbst, Facemask, headgear, or partial braces) before all of the permanent teeth have erupted. Such treatment can occur between the ages of six and ten. This treatment is sometimes recommended to make more space for developing teeth, correction of crossbites, overbites, underbites, or harmful oral habits. Phase II treatment is also called comprehensive treatment, because it involves full braces when all of the permanent teeth have erupted, usually between the ages of eleven and thirteen.

Would an adult patient benefit from orthodontics?

Absolutely!! Orthodontic treatment can be successful at any age. Everyone wants a beautiful and healthy smile. Between 30-40% of our patients are adults.

How does orthodontic treatment work?

Braces use steady gentle pressure to gradually move teeth into their proper positions. The brackets that are placed on your teeth and the arch wire that connects them are the main components. When the arch wire is placed into the brackets, it tries to return to its original shape. As it does so, it applies pressure to move your teeth to their new, more ideal positions.

How long does orthodontic treatment take?

Treatment times vary on a case-by-case basis, but the average time is from one to two years. Actual treatment time can be affected by rate of growth and severity of the correction necessary. Treatment length is also dependent upon patient compliance. Maintaining good oral hygiene and keeping regular appointments are important in keeping your treatment time on schedule.

Do braces hurt?

The placement of bands and brackets on your teeth does not hurt. Once your braces are placed and connected with the arch wires, you may feel some soreness of your teeth for one to four days. Your lips and cheeks may need one to two weeks to get used to the braces on your teeth.

Will braces interfere with playing sports?

No. It is recommended, however, that patients protect their smiles by wearing a mouth guard when participating in any sporting activity. Mouth guards are inexpensive, comfortable, and come in a variety of colors and patterns.

Will braces interfere with playing musical instruments?

No. However, there may be an initial period of adjustment. In addition, brace covers or wax can be provided to prevent discomfort.

Should I see my general dentist while I have braces?

Yes, you should continue to see your general dentist every six months for cleaning and dental checkups, or more frequently as recommended.

Got more questions? Give us a call at Orchin Orthodontics. We'd love to hear from you.

Friday, September 11, 2009

The Myths and Facts of Orthodontics

There are quite a few myths about orthodontists circulating around. Before you buy into those myths, you should get the facts! We came across a great site that helps set the record straight. Our friends at the American Association of Orthodontists have some excellent information on the myths and facts of orthodontists, check them out today!

Hope this helps,

--Orchin Orthodontics

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Katherine Heigl Struggles with Crooked Teeth

Everyone struggles with little imperfections. Making crooked teeth straight, stained teeth sparkling white and chipped teeth smooth is part of what we do as orthodontists. The sense of renewed self confidence that comes to my patients after having some sort of reconstructive work is what makes our job worthwhile.

Consider Katherine Heigl, award winning actress, and considered by many the Grace Kelly of our day. She describes struggling with crooked teeth her whole life until finally there came a point when she said "enough is enough!" She decided to do something to straighten her teeth.

We think you will enjoy this clip. Please feel free to leave comments, tell me what you think! Have you ever struggled with this same problem? Have you felt the relief of smiling to reveal a straight, bright smile after hiding crooked ones for so long? Contact us so we can hear your story, or help you create a new beautiful smile and a story of your own!

--Orchin Orthodontics