Archive for December, 2014

Can I Still Drink Tea and Coffee with Invisalign?

Invisalign north AustinIf you’re treating your misaligned or crooked teeth with Invisalign, it’s important to keep your trays in good shape and to keep them clean. If the aligner trays become warped or damaged, they won’t move your teeth properly. If they become stained, your teeth will look dingy until you switch to a new tray. For both these reasons, it’s important not to drink tea or coffee while you are wearing your aligner trays.

Caring for Your Invisalign Aligner Trays

When you received your aligner trays, our dentist will provide instructions regarding how to take care of them, how often to change them, and how long you should wear them every day. For the best possible results from your treatment, you should follow these instructions closely.

In general, guidelines on how to take care of your trays include:

  • Wear the trays at least 22 hours every day
  • Remove the trays when you eat
  • Rinse the trays to keep them clean and free of food debris
  • Avoid hot beverages or foods that can stain the trays

The trays are designed to move your teeth into the proper position, so it’s important to keep them clean and avoid anything that could change their shape.

Why Avoid Coffee and Tea?

Coffee and tea can affect your Invisalign treatment in two ways. First, they are usually hot beverages, so the heat of the liquid can cause your trays to warp out of their proper shape. Second, they are both staining agents. In the same way that tea and coffee can stain your teeth, they can also stain your aligner trays. If the trays become stained, they will no longer be clear. Because you have to wear each tray for about two weeks, during that time the stains will be visible, making your teeth look discolored.

If you want to enjoy a cup of coffee or tea with your breakfast, remove your trays first. However, be sure not to leave them out of your mouth for an extended period of time.

Call Balcones Family Dental today to set up an appointment with one of our skilled dentists.

Posted in: Invisalign

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Benefits of Fluoride Treatments

north Austin dentistOn your regular visits to the dentist, you probably receive a fluoride treatment about once a year. These treatments help protect your teeth from decay and can even reverse decay in its very early stages. With these regular treatments, your teeth stay as healthy as possible.

How Does Fluoride Work?

Fluoride is one of a few minerals that help keep the teeth strong. Teeth are constantly being eroded by acids in the food we eat and beverages we drink. In addition, bacteria in the mouth create waste products that are also highly acidic and damage the teeth. If acidic food remnants or the plaque bacteria leaves behind are not cleaned away, they eat into the outer tooth surfaces. The early stage of this process is called demineralization. Eventually, the acids can eat through the enamel, creating decay.

Fluoride, however, helps rebuild the enamel through a process called remineralization. Fluoride strengthens the damaged areas and reverses the earliest stages of tooth decay. It also helps your teeth remain stronger and more resistant to acid erosion. This is why it’s important to use a fluoride toothpaste on a regular basis. In many places, fluoride is also added to drinking water, which helps keep teeth healthy, as well, especially the teeth of children, who have more difficulty maintaining regular dental care.

Fluoride strengthens the damaged areas and reverses the earliest stages of tooth decay.

Why Do I Need Extra Fluoride?

Fluoride treatments are a common procedure in dentistry. But if there is fluoride added to our drinking water, and we use toothpaste with added fluoride, why is it necessary to have fluoride treatments when we go to the dentist? The answer is that a dentist can use a stronger, more concentrated form of fluoride, and can apply it to your teeth in a variety of ways.

In the dental office, fluoride can be applied as a gel, foam, or varnish. Regular fluoride treatments are typically a gel or a foam, which helps strengthen the teeth and reverse minor decay that regular-strength fluoride hasn’t been able to remineralize. Fluoride varnishes can be used to reduce sensitivity and to seal the teeth to further protect from decay, so these applications of fluoride work even more thoroughly to protect your teeth.

Call our office at 512-200-7422 to set up your next appointment.

Posted in: dentist

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