My Dentistry Blog
Posts for: April, 2015
Wouldn't it be great to get your teenager's smile straightened in the easiest way possible? Wouldn't you like to track your teen's progress accurately? You can have both with Invisalign clear aligners!
The Wonderful Advantages of Invisalign
Both teens and adults often object to the look of metal or ceramic brackets and wires used in orthodontics. While treatment with traditional braces may be necessary for certain tooth and jaw alignment issues, virtually unnoticeable Invisalign aligners can be used for:
- closing small gaps
- straightening mildly overlapping teeth
- re-positioning rotated teeth
- bite or malocclusion problems with the jaw
- adults who had braces as a child but whose teeth have shifted
Even teens whose jaws have not stopped growing can be candidates for Invisalign. Dr. Alexander Quezada has the training and clinical experience to determine if these comfortable and customized aligners are right for your teen or for you!
How Invisalign Corrects a Smile and Marks Treatment Progress
Dr. Quezada will start with an oral examination and complete smile analysis. This evaluation can include impressions, x-rays, photos and other imaging. If Invisalign is appropriate for the patient, the dentist will proceed with customized sets of BPA-free aligners which will gradually shift teeth into a functionally healthy and great-looking smile.
The patient sees Dr. Quezada every 4 to 6 weeks, and they are given new sets of aligners to wear until the next appointment. Between visits, the individual wears the aligners for 20 to 22 hours per day, taking them out for eating, brushing, flossing and cleaning of the appliance.
Invisalign aligners are truly unobtrusive and very comfortable, with none of the tooth or gum soreness that usually accompanies treatment with metal braces. Also, the aligners can come equipped with 2 special features helpful to the teenage patient:
Eruption tabs. Molded right into each aligner, these tabs accommodate incoming molars. The innovation allows many adolescents to take advantage of Invisalign, as the tabs eliminate the need to wait for all the teeth to come in.
Compliance indicators. Somewhat similar to wear bars on car tires, these food-grade capsules of color, located toward the back of each aligner, tell the dentist, teen and parent if the appliance is being worn for the appropriate amount of time. They are a great tool to get the usual 9 to 18-month treatment with Invisalign completed.
Invisalign is Offered Through Colonial Dental Group in Glenview, Illinois.
Alexander Quezada, DDS has exceptional academic preparation and pursues clinical excellence in all areas of modern dentistry. He is happy to offer Invisalign aligners to both teens and adults. Come to his office in Glenview to discuss treatment options. Call Dr. Quezada at 847-729-2233 to set an appointment.
Fans of the primetime TV show The Middle were delighted to see that high school senior Sue, played by Eden Sher, finally got her braces off at the start of Season 6. But since this popular sitcom wouldn’t be complete without some slapstick comedy, this happy event is not without its trials and tribulations: The episode ends with Sue’s whole family diving into a dumpster in search of the teen’s lost retainer. Sue finds it in the garbage and immediately pops it in her mouth. But wait — it doesn’t fit, it’s not even hers!
If you think this scenario is far-fetched, guess again. OK, maybe the part about Sue not washing the retainer upon reclaiming it was just a gag (literally and figuratively), but lost retainers are all too common. Unfortunately, they’re also expensive to replace — so they need to be handled with care. What’s the best way to do that? Retainers should be brushed daily with a soft toothbrush and liquid soap (dish soap works well), and then placed immediately back in your mouth or into the case that came with the retainer. When you are eating a meal at a restaurant, do not wrap your retainer in a napkin and leave it on the table — this is a great way to lose it! Instead, take the case with you, and keep the retainer in it while you’re eating. When you get home, brush your teeth and then put the retainer back in your mouth.
If you do lose your retainer though, let us know right away. Retention is the last step of your orthodontic treatment, and it’s extremely important. You’ve worked hard to get a beautiful smile, and no one wants to see that effort wasted. Yet if you neglect to wear your retainer as instructed, your teeth are likely to shift out of position. Why does this happen?
As you’ve seen firsthand, teeth aren’t rigidly fixed in the jaw — they can be moved in response to light and continuous force. That’s what orthodontic appliances do: apply the right amount of force in a carefully controlled manner. But there are other forces at work on your teeth that can move them in less predictable ways. For example, normal biting and chewing can, over time, cause your teeth to shift position. To get teeth to stay where they’ve been moved orthodontically, new bone needs to form around them and anchor them where they are. That will happen over time, but only if they are held in place with a retainer. That’s why it is so important to wear yours as directed — and notify us immediately if it gets lost.
And if ever you do have to dig your retainer out of a dumpster… be sure to wash it before putting in in your mouth!
If you would like more information on retainers, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “The Importance of Orthodontic Retainers” and “Why Orthodontic Retainers?”
The arrival of your child’s first set of teeth is a natural and expected process. But that doesn’t mean this period of development, commonly known as teething, is an easy time: your baby will endure a fair amount of discomfort, and you, perhaps, a bit of anxiety.
Knowing the facts about teething can help you reduce your child’s discomfort — as well as your own concern — to a minimum. Here are a few things you need to know.
Teething duration varies from child to child. Most children’s teeth begin to erupt (appear in the mouth) between six and nine months of age — however, some children may begin at three months and some as late as a year. The full eruption sequence is usually complete by age 3.
Symptoms and their intensity may also vary. As teeth gradually break through the gum line, your baby will exhibit some or all normal teething symptoms like gum swelling, drooling and chin rash (from increased saliva flow), biting or gnawing, ear rubbing, or irritability. You may also notice behavior changes like decreased appetite or disrupted sleep. These symptoms may be a minimal bother during some teething episodes, while at other times the pain and discomfort may seem intense. Symptoms tend to increase about four days before a tooth emerges through the gums and about three days afterward.
Diarrhea, rashes or fever aren’t normal. These symptoms indicate some other sickness or condition, which can easily be masked during a teething episode. If your child exhibits any of these symptoms you should call us for an exam to rule out a more serious issue.
Keep things cool to reduce discomfort. There are a few things you can do to reduce your child’s discomfort during a teething episode. Let your child chew on chilled (but not frozen) soft items like teething rings, wet washcloths or pacifiers to reduce swelling and pain. Gum massage with your clean finger may help counteract the pressure from the erupting tooth. And, if your doctor advises it, pain relievers in the proper dosage may also help alleviate discomfort. On the other hand, don’t use rubbing alcohol to soothe painful gums, or products with the numbing agent Benzocaine in children younger than two unless advised by a healthcare professional.
If you would like more information on dealing with teething issues, 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 “Teething Troubles.”