Gentle Dentistry 173 Terrace Street, Haworth, NJ 07641 (201) 384-1611

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Posts for tag: orthodontics

By Gentle Dentistry, P.A.
September 30, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: orthodontics   braces  
4TipsforAvoidingDentalDiseaseWhileWearingBraces

Wearing braces takes time, but if all goes well the changes to your smile will be well worth it. In the meantime, though, you’ll have to contend with one particular difficulty—keeping your teeth clean of disease-causing, bacterial plaque.

Don’t worry, though—while keeping dental disease at bay with braces can be challenging, it is doable. Here are 4 tips for minimizing your chances of tooth decay or periodontal (gum) disease during orthodontic treatment.

Eat less sugar. Like any living organism, bacteria must eat—and they’re especially amenable to sugar. The more they have access to this favorite food source, the more they multiply—and the greater your risk of tooth decay or gum disease. Eating fewer sugary foods and snacks and more dental-friendly ones helps restrict bacteria populations in your mouth.

Brush thoroughly. Brushing with braces can be difficult, especially in areas blocked by orthodontic hardware. You need to be sure you brush all tooth and gum surfaces around your braces, including above and below the wire running through the brackets. A soft multi-tufted microline bristle brush is a good choice for getting into these hard to reach places. Brushing around braces takes more time, but it’s essential for effective plaque removal.

Use flossing tools. Flossing is important for removing plaque from between teeth—but, unfortunately, it might be even more difficult to perform with braces than brushing. If using string floss proves too daunting consider using a floss threader or a similar device that might be easier to maneuver. You can also use a water irrigator, a hand-held device that sprays water under pressure to loosen and flush away between-teeth plaque.

Keep up regular dental visits. While you’re seeing your orthodontist regularly for adjustments, you should also see your general dentist at least every six months or more. Besides dental cleaning, your dentist also monitors for signs of disease and can prescribe preventive measures like antibacterial mouth rinses. Of course, if you see abnormalities, like white spots on your teeth or red, puffy or bleeding gums, contact your dentist as soon as possible. The sooner a problem can be addressed the less impact it may have on your orthodontic treatment and overall oral health.

If you would like more information on caring for teeth and gums while wearing braces, 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 “Caring for Teeth During Orthodontic Treatment.”

By Gentle Dentistry, P.A.
June 27, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: orthodontics   braces   invisalign  

Find out if your smile might be the perfect candidate for clear braces.invisalign

A lot of people deal with misalignments in their smile, whether their front teeth are overlapping each other or they have visible gaps between your teeth. While these issues are best corrected during childhood, we know that not everyone was able to get braces as a child. Luckily, our Haworth, NJ, dentists Dr. Andrew Spector and Dr. Michael Migdal make it possible for older teens and adults to get the straight smiles they want without ever having to wear metal braces.

What is Invisalign?

Invisalign is a unique and revolutionary way for people to straighten their smiles without the use of traditional metal braces. Instead, a set of custom-made clear aligners, which look similar to mouthguards or whitening trays, are given to you to place over your teeth. The aligners fit snugly against your teeth, providing the proper amount of force needed to gradually and safely shift teeth into the ideal alignment.

Is Invisalign right for you?

Anyone who is interested in getting Invisalign will need to go through a consultation with our Haworth, NJ, general dentist to ensure that they are right for this clear orthodontic treatment. Of course, there are certain factors that play a role in whether or not Invisalign is the best approach for you. These factors include:

The problems you want to fix

This is usually the biggest factor when it comes to whether or not Invisalign will fit your needs. While most people assume that Invisalign only fixes small issues, it can handle a wide range of mild-to-moderate misalignments. It’s great for tackling gaps in your smiles, crowding, overbites, underbites and crossbites. If you are dealing with more severe problems, or require complex tooth movements or jaw realignment, then these clear aligners won’t be the most effective solution.

Your age

While you are never too old to get braces you can be too young for Invisalign. Invisalign is ideal for adults but older teens can also benefit from this treatment. Younger teens and children aren’t ideal candidates because their teeth are still growing.

Your dedication

Traditional metal braces are bonded to the front of your teeth and there really isn’t anything you need to do while they work their magic; however, it can be tempting to remove these aligners whenever you feel like it. Taking your aligners off more than you should means that your treatment will take longer. A good rule of thumb is to only remove your aligners prior to eating, drinking (it’s safe to keep your aligners on while drinking water), brushing and flossing.

Are you ready to find out if Invisalign is the best option for giving you the smile you want? If so, the next step is to call Gentle Dentistry in Haworth, NJ, and let us know that you want to get Invisalign. We would be happy to schedule a consultation with one of our dentists.

By Gentle Dentistry, P.A.
May 02, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
EdenSherandtheLostRetainer

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?

By Gentle Dentistry, P.A.
January 04, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: orthodontics  
CoaxingImpactedTeethtotheRightPositioncanImproveYourSmile

What makes an attractive smile? Of course, shiny, straight and defect-free teeth are a big factor. But there’s another equally important element: all your teeth have come in.

Sometimes, though, they don’t: one or more teeth may remain up in the gums, a condition known as impaction. And if they’re in the front like the upper canines (the pointed teeth on either side of the front four incisors) your smile’s natural balance and symmetry can suffer.

Impaction usually happens due to lack of space on a small jaw. Previously erupted teeth crowd into the space of teeth yet to come in, preventing them from doing so. As a result the latter remain hidden within the gums.

While impaction can interfere with the smile appearance, it can cause health problems too. Impacted teeth are at higher risk for abscesses (localized areas of infection) and can damage the roots of other teeth they may be pressing against. That’s why it’s desirable for both form and function to treat them.

We begin first with an orthodontic examination to fully assess the situation. At some point we’ll want to pinpoint the impacted teeth’s precise location and position. While x-rays are useful for locating impacted teeth, many specialists use cone beam CT (CBCT) technology that produces highly detailed three-dimensional images viewable from different vantage points.

If the tooth is in too extreme a position, it might be best to remove it and later replace it with a dental impact or similar restoration once we’ve completed other necessary orthodontic treatment. But if the tooth is in a reasonable position, we might be able to “move” the tooth into its proper place in the jaw in coordination with these other tooth-movement efforts to make room for it.

To begin this process, an oral surgeon or periodontist surgically exposes the tooth crown (the normally visible portion) through the gums. They then bond a small bracket to the crown and attach a small gold chain. An orthodontist will attach the other end to orthodontic hardware that will exert downward pressure on the tooth to gradually bring it into normal position.

Dealing with impacted teeth of this nature is often part of a comprehensive effort to correct the bite. If we’re successful, it could permanently transform both the smile and overall dental health.

If you would like more information on treating impacted teeth, 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 “Exposing Impacted Canines.”

By Gentle Dentistry, P.A.
July 24, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: orthodontics   braces   invislaign  

Metal braces are very effective, but they aren't always the most comfortable brace option. Invisalign, a completely wire-free orthodontic invisalignsystem, may be a better choice if you want to straighten your teeth but don't want to deal with painful adjustments or loose wires that can cut your lips. The Haworth, NJ, dentists at Gentle Dentistry explains how Invisalign works.

Clear, comfortable Invisalign aligners do the work of wires and braces

In addition to concerns about pain, many people don't like the idea of wearing brackets and wires on their teeth for several years. The Invisalign system uses a series of clear aligner trays, eliminating the need for wires and brackets. Your teeth gradually shift thanks to the gentle pressure applied by the comfortable plastic trays.

Invisalign uses the latest dental technology

CAD/CAM technology, the same technology used to design new products, is the backbone of the Invisalign system. After taking digital impressions, photographs and X-rays of your teeth in our Haworth office, we'll press a button and combine the images into a 3D representation of your mouth. The image can be manipulated to demonstrate the changes that will occur when you wear each set of Invisalign aligners. Once we're happy with the design of your aligners, we'll send the design to laboratory that will create your aligner trays.

Invisalign offers comfort and convenience

Straightening your teeth with Invisalign is easy. Every two weeks, you'll insert a new set of aligner trays. Because trays may be worn more than once during the straightening process, you'll want to save your trays in case you'll need them later. Invisalign trays should be worn 20 hours per day for best results. Trays are so comfortable that you won't mind wearing them while you sleep. Caring for the trays doesn't require any special equipment. You'll rinse them when you take them out of your mouth and before you reinsert them.

Invisalign aligner trays are removed when you:

  • Eat
  • Brush and floss your teeth
  • Attend special events or participate in sports

Although you can drink clear liquids without removing the trays, it's best to take them out when you drink other beverages to prevent staining.

Invisalign offers exceptional comfort and can help you get the smile you deserve. Would you like to find out if you're a good Invisalign candidate? Call the Haworth, NJ, dentists at Gentle Dentistry at (201) 384-1611 to schedule an appointment.