Retaining Your Smile

Invisalign in Richmond VAMost comprehensive orthodontic treatment will involve the use of braces or aligners. In either case, your treatment involves minor movement of your teeth to correct misalignment. This ensures both a straight smile and an even bite.

However, braces are not the only stage needed for a permanent orthodontic solution. Once your braces have been taken off, the retention phase begins. It is vitally important to follow through with retention in order to to maintain your newly straight smile after treatment. Your final orthodontic results depend on your retainer, so be sure to continue following up with our doctor for treatment even after your braces have been removed.

There are a few different types of retainers that may be recommended to you:

  • Clear Retainers – A removable, clear plastic tray that fits over your teeth.
  • Traditional Retainers – A removable appliance made of acrylic and a wire that sits on the front side of your teeth.
  • Bonded Retainer – A thin, fixed wire that is temporarily bonded to the lingual (tongue) side of the anterior teeth.

Our orthodontist will provide you with the best retainer option that is suited for your orthodontic treatment plan. All retainers should be worn as often as instructed to do so. Keep in mind that your teeth have been in active treatment for months or even years. Wearing your retainer right after treatment is crucial and it should be worn for the appropriate amount of time each day as instructed.

Your retainer is an important part of completing your orthodontic treatment, so take care of it and it will take care of you. Regardless of whether it’s made of acrylic and wire or thermoplastic, the process of cleaning your device should be the same.

When it is not in your mouth, keep your retainer in its case. Bacteria and plaque also pose a significant threat to the life of your retainer. Bacteria can build up on it, just like they do on your teeth, making the apparatus less hygienic and affecting the fit. For theses reasons, regular cleaning is vital for retainer care.

When cleaning your retainer, you can brush it with a wet toothbrush. You will also need to disinfect your retainer by soaking it in a cleansing solution. Thoroughly rinse your retainer with cold or room temperature water before placing it back in your mouth.

For more information about your retainer, please contact our office.

Invisalign Dentist Richmond | First Aid for Braces

Orthodontist Near Me

When wearing braces, most people may experience occasional minor discomfort. Left unaddressed, some of these issues could lead to larger problems. Most of these issues can be avoided or remedied through practicing proper oral care at home. However, if any of these problems are persistent, it might be time to make an appointment with our team.

Irritation and Soreness

When getting used to braces, a period of minor discomfort is to be expected. The new sensation of the metal on your lips, cheeks, and tongue can sometimes cause irritation or soreness. If you have any existing injuries or sores in your mouth, continual contact with your braces might exacerbate the issue and lead to increased discomfort and longer healing times.

If you’re experiencing discomfort due to your braces irritating your mouth, there are a couple steps you can take to quickly address it. First, be sure to drink plenty of water, as a dry mouth will only worsen the irritated areas. Second, be sure to exercise proper oral care to limit the chance of food or debris contributing to the irritation. Third wax can be used to cover any parts of your braces that are causing irritation. If the issue persists, schedule an examination with our office today to see how we can help.

Damaged Brackets or Wires

Though your braces are built to withstand daily wear and tear, there’s always a slight chance of damage occurring. The most common issues you might experience are a broken or loose wire or a bracket that has come off your tooth. While neither of these are particularly serious issues, you’ll want to schedule an appoint with us as soon as possible to have them corrected. Your braces can’t work properly if damaged.

Mouth Injuries with Braces

There is a risk of increased damage if you sustain a mouth injury while wearing braces. It is recommended that you wear a mouth guard when participating in any sort of physical activity to reduce the risk of damage to your lips. Using non-medicinal wax on the parts of your braces that are particularly irritating can also help protect against injury.

Many people go through their entire orthodontic treatment without encountering any major issues. However, being aware of the potential problems you might have can help you prepare for them. If you experience any pain or discomfort when wearing braces, don’t hesitate to contact our office.

Invisalign Richmond, VA | Health Alert: The Downsides of Crooked Teeth

Invisalign Richmond

richmond invisalignIf you have crooked teeth, you may already be looking into orthodontic solutions to improve your smile. However, did you know straightening your teeth can have benefits beyond increased confidence?

Many people may not realize it, but your oral health plays a large role in your body’s overall health. Poor oral health can put you at a much higher risk of stroke, heart disease, illness, miscarriages, and more. Crooked teeth can impede your ability to take proper care of your mouth, putting you at an increased risk of any number of ailments. Below are some of the most common issues exacerbated by crooked teeth. If you are experiencing any of these issues, contact our office today to see how orthodontic care can offer relief.

Gum Disease

Crooked teeth can often be much harder to properly clean than straight teeth. Without regular brushing and flossing, your chance of developing gum disease increases significantly. An untreated buildup of plaque can lead to gingivitis and periodontal disease, the leading cause of tooth loss among adults. Swollen and irritated gums can open the door for bacteria to enter your blood stream and trigger inflammation elsewhere in your body and increase your risk of stroke, heart disease, and more.

It’s important for everyone to maintain a proper oral care routine and visit their dentist at least twice annually for cleanings and examinations. However, even that may not be enough if your teeth are too crooked to properly clean. We offer a variety of orthodontic solutions to help correct misaligned teeth and make it easier for you to take care of your smile. Visit our office today to learn more!

TMD/TMJ Pain

Crooked teeth or an improper bite may increase your risk of developing temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD). While the most common cause of TMD is the clenching and grinding of teeth, a misaligned bite may be a contributing factor. TMD can cause soreness and discomfort in the jaw, clicking sounds while chewing, headaches, and other facial pain.

If you have been experiencing jaw pain, an evaluation may help you determine if treatment for TMD is necessary. Correcting a misaligned bite can go a long way in alleviating some of the discomfort caused by TMD.

Enamel Erosion

Enamel is the thin, tough shell coating the outside of your teeth that protects them from damage and wear. Though a variety of environmental factors can lead to enamel loss, teeth grinding is another common cause. When your teeth are crooked and your bite does not properly align, the simple acts of speaking and chewing can cause your teeth to grind against each other. When left untreated, this can contribute a degradation in your enamel.

A loss in enamel can lead to tooth discoloration, increased pain and sensitivity, and cracks and chips forming in your teeth. There is a lot you can do at home to protect your enamel, including drinking plenty of water, avoiding excessively acidic or sugary foods, and brushing and flossing regularly. However, your crooked teeth may limit your ability to prevent enamel erosion on your own.

Contact our office today to see if orthodontic treatment could be the solution you need.

4106 E Parham Rd

Richmond, VA 23228

(804) 672-3030

Richmond, VA Invisalign | The Benefits of Adult Orthodontics

Invisalign in 23228

The benefits of orthodontics are no longer just for children and teens. According to the American Association of Orthodontists, one in five orthodontic patients is over the age of 18. There are many reasons why more adults are receiving orthodontic treatment to improve their overall lives.

Wide Variety of Options

Orthodontics have evolved beyond traditional braces. Clear aligners, such as Invisalign®, is an option that resembles a mouth guard without the use of metal or wires. Invisalign® offers faster treatment times with a better fit to move your teeth more precisely. Even traditional braces have changed. They are now designed much smaller and less noticeable than in the past.

Long-Term Oral Health

Crooked and overcrowded teeth can lead to significant complications. Without straight teeth, you have a higher chance of plaque building up between your teeth. This can lead to gingivitis and potentially worsen into gum disease. With orthodontics, you can also avoid tooth decay, gum and bone loss, irregular wear of the tooth enamel, and TMJ/TMD pain. Orthodontic treatment can improve your life beyond your smile.

Confidence in Your Smile

If you never had braces or your teeth have since shifted back, adult orthodontics can transform your smile. It is never too late to straighten your teeth. You will be able to smile in photos and talk to others without being self-conscious. Research has shown that a smile is one of the first things we notice about others when we meet someone new. Make the right impression with a straight, healthy, and beautiful smile.

There are benefits to receiving orthodontic care that more adults are now opting towards. Treatment can boost your confidence and promote oral health with virtually invisible options.

Contact our team to schedule a consultation today.

 

Invisalign in Richmond VA | Living with Braces: Potential Issues to Consider

Invisalign Richmond

23228 OrthodontistBraces are a common rite of passage for many people, and, thankfully, they have become more comfortable over the years. People generally have few problems with their braces outside of the expected minor discomfort. However, depending on your lifestyle, there are potential risks to consider. Below are some common issues that you might experience and tips on how to avoid them.

Mouth Injuries

Most people know the importance of wearing a mouth guard when participating in high impact sports such as football or hockey. However, when you have braces, even a fall from running can pose a threat to your lips. Ask our doctor about getting a mouthguard for all physical activity as it will act as a safeguard and protect your lips from potential damage.

Increased Risk of Tooth Decay

When you have braces, it’s important to still practice good oral hygiene. Since flossing and careful brushing require greater effort, it can be easy to slack off in these areas. However, doing so will only further complicate your treatment and damage your teeth. There are plenty of tools at your disposal designed to help you clean around braces, from pre-threaded floss to pressurized water tools. If you’re having difficulty adapting your regular routine, ask the orthodontist about different options that can help.

Activity-Related Issues

There are some inconveniences that can arise when trying to add braces into your day-to-day routine. Certain musicians for example might experience discomfort when getting used to playing with braces. People who sing or do extensive public speaking might have some minor issues with pronunciation or discomfort caused by your lips rubbing against the metal. Most of these issues will fix themselves as you get used to living with braces. However if the discomfort persists, ask your orthodontist about the different relief options you have.

Most individuals who have braces do not have any long-term complications throughout their treatment. However, there are smaller issues that can arise when you are first adjusting to your braces that can become a big annoyance if left unaddressed. By knowing what to expect and raising any concerns or issues you might have with your orthodontist, you will be much more prepared to tackle these small issues. Contact our office today to schedule your next visit.

Richmond Invisalign Orthodontist | Fruit Juice & Your Teeth: A Message From Your Dentist

Invisalign in Richmond, VA

Midlothian Invisalign

Fruit Juice & Your Teeth: A Message From Your Dentist

Don’t be fooled by the label “100 percent fruit juice.” Drinks advertised in this way might seem like a healthy choice, but these drinks may be doing more harm than good. In fact, fruit juices contain sugar that can lead to tooth decay. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recently reevaluated their recommendations for allowing small children to consume fruit juice. Here’s what you need to know about the new guidelines.

No Fruit Juice in First 12 Months

The AAP used to suggest that infants younger than 6 months old should not be given fruit juice to drink. This year, however, the AAP updated these recommendations to suggest refraining from fruit juice for any infant 12 months and younger.

A Good Source of Vitamins – And Sugar

Fruit juice can be an excellent source for vitamins and minerals. Many fruit juices contain vitamin C and potassium. However, fruit juices are often high in sugar content. According to a study summarized by Medical News Today, fruit juice may contain as much as 2 teaspoons of sugar for every 100-mililiters.

Fruit Juice May Be Harming Your Teeth

Sugar is a leading cause of tooth decay, especially in children. The AAP also advises that toddlers and young children should not be served fruit juice in a “sippy cup.” These cups provide greater exposure of decay-causing sugar to teeth, leading to an ideal environment for tooth decay.

According to the updated guidelines set by the AAP, moderation is key. While children under 12 months of age should not be provided fruit juice, small amounts may be permitted for older children. The AAP suggests a maximum of 4 ounces of fruit juice per day for children aged 1 to 3, 4 to 6 ounces per day for children aged 4 to 6, and 8 ounces per day for those between the ages of 7 and 18. You may also consider adding water to dilute the juice before giving it to your child, so they receive less sugar.

Children and adolescents aren’t the only group that can benefit from consuming fewer sugary drinks. Sugar still leads to decay in adults as well. Our team suggests trying to limit your own consumption of sugary drinks.

Maintaining regular visits to our office will allow our dental team to ensure your child’s teeth are healthy. We will provide a comprehensive screening to locate and treat decay. If your child drinks more than the suggested amount of sugary fruit drinks, consider scheduling an extra cleaning with our team. Together, we can work to promote a lifetime of optimal oral health.

To schedule your orthodontic visit, please contact our team.

Richmond Invisalign Orthodontist | Your Guide to Eating with Braces

Invisalign in Richmond, VA

23228 OrthodontistWhile undergoing orthodontic treatment, careful consideration should be taken when eating. It is possible to damage your braces from certain types of foods leading to a potentially painful and expensive experience. We’ve put together this short guide to help you decide which foods to eat and which ones to avoid.

Don’t Eat These Foods

Sticky, chewy, and gummy candies are the enemy of braces. Avoid any candy or food that could become stuck in your braces. This includes taffy and chewing gum. Stay away from popcorn, as the kernels can become lodged between your brackets. Hard, crunchy foods should also be avoided. This includes foods such as nuts.

Use Caution When Eating These

You don’t have to completely give up your favorite foods with braces, just use caution. For example, corn should be removed off the cob before eating. If you are a chicken wings or ribs lover, be sure the bones have been removed before digging in to eat. Don’t let your braces become an excuse for avoiding fruits. Never bite directly into apples and pears, but slice them into smaller pieces.

Add These to Your Diet

Most meats and grains are safe for braces, if you eat bite-sized pieces. Additionally, soft fruits such as bananas and peaches can be added to your diet. Soft, easy to chew foods are going to be your safest options. This includes meals such as mashed potatoes, soups and yogurts.

Eating with braces can be a challenge, but our team is here to help you determine the best food choices while undergoing orthodontic treatment. You should still eat a balanced diet filled with fruits and vegetables. Follow our team’s directions to ensure your braces achieve their desired results. What food do you think you will treat yourself to after your treatment is completed?

To schedule your orthodontic visit, please contact our team.

Richmond Invisalign | The One Piece of Gear Every Athlete Needs

Invisalign Richmond, VA

Midlothian InvisalignAn injury to your mouth can be a painful, expensive experience. For athletes, mouth and tooth injuries pose a very real risk. Mouthguards are an excellent tool for protecting your mouth from injury and harm. Our team can help you find a solution that protects your teeth.

Why Wear a Mouthguard?

Mouthguards protect your teeth. For athletes who play contact sports, injuries to the mouth can cause cracked teeth, or even worse, missing teeth. Mouthguards defend your teeth against such injuries. But mouthguards aren’t only for teeth. Your mouth is mostly made up of soft tissues, such as your tongue, inside cheeks, and lips. These areas can become injured or pierced when playing sports.

Do All Athletes Need a Mouthguard?

High-contact sports such as hockey, wrestling, football, and boxing pose the greatest risk for mouth injuries. But all athletes can benefit from being cautious. Gymnasts should consider wearing one to protect their mouth in the event of a fall. Baseball and basketball players should also wear one to protect themselves from being injured by a ball or collision with another player. Mouthguards should be treated as a necessary piece of your athletic gear.

Which Mouthguard Is the Most Effective?

Our team can help you find the best mouthguard during your next visit to our office. There are a number of options available ranging from store-bought ones to custom-fitted mouthguards. We will work with you to determine which type of mouthguard is best for you. It is important that any guard fits properly. We can also work with you if you are currently undergoing orthodontic treatment and are wearing braces. Braces can puncture your mouth if impacted, particularly during sports. Our team will help you find a solution that works.

Your mouth should be protected while participating in athletic activities. Oral injuries can make eating, drinking, and talking difficult. Protect yourself from an injury before one happens. Contact our office and ask about finding a mouthguard that is right for you.

Richmond Invisalign Orthodontist | Caring for Your Retainer: 5 Helpful Tips

Orthodontist in Richmond

Orthodontist in RichmondWe understand how easy it can be to forget about your retainer. Once you get used to having one, it can become second nature to regularly care for it. For those who are new to retainers, however, it can be tricky to remember to take care of your new appliance. We’ve assembled a list of five tips to help you get started in the right direction.

  1. Keep It In, Unless…

Your retainer should be worn for the entire day. Without it, your orthodontic treatment results will suffer. There are only a few exceptions to this rule. Do take out your retainer while you eat, clean it, during sports, and as directed by your dentist and our doctor. Otherwise, keep it in!

  1. Use Your Case

Your retainer will come with a case to store it in. When it’s out of your mouth, use the case. We’ve heard many horror stories of patients putting their retainer in a napkin while they eat, only to throw it away by mistake. A replacement retainer can be costly, so treat yours with care.

  1. Clean it Regularly

Your retainer needs to be kept clean. Like your teeth, plaque and bacteria can build up on it, which can be harmful to your teeth. We recommend cleaning your retainer every time you brush. Rinse your retainer with water, then use toothpaste and your toothbrush to give a gentle scrubbing. Rinse it off a final time before putting it back in your mouth.

  1. Be Careful of Sports

Contact sports pose a risk of damaging your retainer. Even non-contact sports may cause you to experience some degree of facial trauma. While playing sports, your retainer should be removed and placed in its protective case. Ask about a custom mouth guard to protect your teeth during these activities.

  1. Visit Us

While receiving orthodontic treatment, we will schedule a series of appointments with you to measure your progress. These visits are important for ensuring your results are maintained. They allow our team to make sure your retainer continues to fit properly, as well.

It may take some time to become comfortable with caring for your retainer. Follow our guide to stay on track. Keeping your retainer clean is just as important as keeping your teeth clean. Don’t forget to remove your retainer while eating, and always use the case to store it when it is not in your mouth.

For more retainer care tips or to schedule your next visit to our office, please contact our team.

Invisalign in Richmond | The One Piece of Gear Every Athlete Needs

Richmond Invisalign

An injury to your mouth can be a painful, expensive experience. For athletes, mouth and tooth injuries pose a very real risk. Mouthguards are an excellent tool for protecting your mouth from injury and harm. Our team can help you find a solution that protects your teeth.

Why Wear a Mouthguard?

Mouthguards protect your teeth. For athletes who play contact sports, injuries to the mouth can cause cracked teeth, or even worse, missing teeth. Mouthguards defend your teeth against such injuries. But mouthguards aren’t only for teeth. Your mouth is mostly made up of soft tissues, such as your tongue, inside cheeks, and lips. These areas can become injured or pierced when playing sports.

Do All Athletes Need a Mouthguard?

High-contact sports such as hockey, wrestling, football, and boxing pose the greatest risk for mouth injuries. But all athletes can benefit from being cautious. Gymnasts should consider wearing one to protect their mouth in the event of a fall. Baseball and basketball players should also wear one to protect themselves from being injured by a ball or collision with another player. Mouthguards should be treated as a necessary piece of your athletic gear.

Which Mouthguard Is the Most Effective?

Our team can help you find the best mouthguard during your next visit to our office. There are a number of options available ranging from store-bought ones to custom-fitted mouthguards. We will work with you to determine which type of mouthguard is best for you. It is important that any guard fits properly. We can also work with you if you are currently undergoing orthodontic treatment and are wearing braces. Braces can puncture your mouth if impacted, particularly during sports. Our team will help you find a solution that works.

Your mouth should be protected while participating in athletic activities. Oral injuries can make eating, drinking, and talking difficult. Protect yourself from an injury before one happens. Contact our office and ask about finding a mouthguard that is right for you.