Archive for June, 2014

Harmful Dental Habits to Avoid

north Austin dentistWith the treatments available in modern dentistry, it is now possible for patients to keep their natural smiles well into their golden years. However, patients play an important role in preserving their smiles, and they must nix any harmful dental habits in order to achieve that goal.

One of the most detrimental habits for your oral health is avoiding your dentist. Even if you’re not experiencing any troubling symptoms or discomfort, it’s still important to check in with your dentist every six months for an exam and professional cleaning. This essential routine dental care can help to protect your oral health by keeping oral bacteria to a minimum and giving your dentist the opportunity to identify small problems and address them before they become major issue.

In addition to visiting your dentist on a regular basis, you should also avoid slacking on your home oral hygiene routine. Brush twice a day for at least two minutes at a time and floss every day to keep your teeth in tip-top shape between dental appointments.

Certain habits may actually damage your teeth, too. For example, do you often bite into objects that aren’t food, like your fingernails or pencils or try to open a bottle with your teeth? Don’t! You could do serious damage to your teeth.

You may have some harmful dental habits that you’re not even aware of, too. Many people unconsciously grind their teeth, a condition called bruxism. Patients whose teeth show unexplained signs of wear and tear may want to consult with their dentists about wearing a mouthguard at night to eliminate contact between the upper and lower arches. This problem can be exacerbated by stress, so stress management techniques can also be effective at reducing the grinding of the teeth.

The next time you see your dentist, use that as an opportunity to check in and make sure that you don’t have any harmful dental habits that may affect your oral health. And if you haven’t seen our dentist, Dr. Paul Lounsberry in a while, take advantage of the chance to get back on track.

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Can I just wear Invisalign at night?

Invisalign north AustinPatients tend to choose the Invisalign system to straighten their teeth because of the convenience that this treatment offers in comparison to conventional orthodontic appliances.

Invisalign repositions the teeth using a series of progressive trays made of a clear plastic material, rather than standard metal brackets and wires used in other orthodontic interventions.

The patient’s dentist will provide a schedule for swapping out the trays, which generally happens every two weeks or so. Adhering to that schedule is the key to getting the desired outcomes from Invisalign.

Patients also must be sure to wear the trays for the recommended amount of time each day, generally between 20 and 22 hours each day. The patient is responsible for following the dentist’s instructions in using the trays properly. Patients must wear the trays during the day as well as at night in order to move their teeth. 

Adhering to that schedule is the key to getting the desired outcomes from Invisalign.

As a reward, their teeth will move more quickly (in some cases as little as a year) during treatment than they would with standard orthodontics.

There’s really no need to avoid wearing the trays, either. Although some Invisalign patients may be reluctant to wear their trays all day, the trays have minimal impact on day-to-day activities. They can be removed at mealtime and for brushing and flossing.

In fact, removable trays have a significant advantage over brackets and wires. Patients don’t have to restrict their diets, and they can easily brush and floss their teeth just as they have always done.

The rest of the time, you’ll barely even remember that you’re wearing the trays at all. Plus, since Invisalign doesn’t intrude on your smile’s appearance, no one else will realize that you’re undergoing orthodontic treatment, either.

To get the desired results from your Invisalign trays, it’s important to wear them almost the entire day, removing the trays only when it’s time to eat or brush and floss your teeth. If you have any questions or concerns about how to wear your Invisalign trays, be sure to ask our dentist by calling 512-200-7422 today.

Posted in: Invisalign

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