Invisalign is a common orthodontic treatment that uses clear aligners to adjust your teeth into their correct position over time, much like traditional braces. It’s also one of the most popular procedures in cosmetic dentistry. If your cosmetic dentist has recommended Invisalign treatment, it’s important to follow instructions carefully to get the most from your treatment. These Invisalign tips can help you improve your treatment success and make the treatment process as easy and comfortable as possible.
#1. Wear your aligners!
The biggest mistake you can make is simply failing to wear your aligners as often as you should. The goal is to get as close to 22 hours per day as you can. If you leave your aligners out for too long, it can extend the treatment process or hinder results. During the first 2 days, wear your aligner trays as much as possible, removing them only to brush and floss your teeth.
#2. Change your aligners on time
Dr. Mishaan will give you a schedule for when you should change your aligners and in which order they should be changed. Each set is typically worn for two weeks. We recommend not trying to speed up your treatment by switching to the next set of aligners too soon, because this could ultimately delay the overall treatment period.
#3. Combat tenderness as you adjust to the aligners
At our dental office, we always take extra care to ensure that the aligners will sit comfortably in your mouth. Still, some people do experience some discomfort while adjusting to the aligners.
The good news is you can take steps to combat the tenderness and soreness to feel more comfortable during the adjustment process. We recommend trying these Invisalign tips if you experience sore gums:
When you can have your aligners out, suck on an ice cube to numb your gums.
Avoid crunchy, chewy, and crispy foods when you notice soreness of your gums or teeth.
When it’s time to switch to a new aligner, make the switch early in the day. This gives you plenty of time to adjust to the tenderness before you need to sleep.
If you feel a rough edge, discuss it with your dentist so it can be fixed.
#4. Keep the last set of aligners
Don’t toss your old aligners when it’s time for the new set. Always keep the last set on hand just in case you break or lose your aligners. This way, you have a backup set while you wait for the replacement set. Wear the last set of aligners to prevent your teeth from moving back into their previous position. Once your replacement set comes in, restart the 2-week process to avoid too much delay in your progress.
#5. Rinse, brush, and floss regularly
You will need to take your aligners out at least twice a day to brush and floss your teeth and use mouthwash. Remembering good oral hygiene is still required to ensure your mouth stays healthy and clean while wearing Invisalign.
#6. Practice makes perfect
Fun fact: there can sometimes be a learning curve to speaking normally with aligners in place. At first, you may speak with a slight lisp. Keep practicing talking with the aligners in; it shouldn’t take more than a few days until the lisp isn’t noticeable and you’re back to your normal speech.
#7. Attachments can speed up your treatment
Don’t be afraid to opt for attachments or “buttons” to speed up your treatment. These attachments can hold aligners in place, move a tooth, and treat a broader range of orthodontic cases that the plastic aligners could not otherwise treat. The “buttons” are tiny tooth-colored dots of bonding material usually on the middle of your teeth at strategic locations. These attachments work by ensuring there is the right amount of force in the right places to pull your teeth into alignment.
#8. Take care of the aligners
The aligners are easy to clean and take care of with warm water and antibacterial soap. Regular soap and water are usually fine to clean the aligners but you may also use cleaning products specifically for plastic orthodontics. At our office, we always make sure our patients have the correct and most effective cleaning products for their aligners. We recommend never using toothpaste to clean the trays because it can scratch the plastic.
#9. Wear your retainer after treatment
Once you’ve finished using the Invisalign aligners, you will need to use a retainer to help hold your teeth in their new positions. Unfortunately, some patients think their retainer isn’t all that important because their teeth look straight and perfect. If you skip the retainer though, your teeth may drift back out of alignment. So, we always recommend working with your Invisalign specialist to determine how often and for how long you should wear your retainer upon completing treatment.
Considering an alternative to traditional braces to straighten your teeth? To learn more about how aligners can give you a straighter and more beautiful smile contact us to schedule a free consultation with one of our dentists.
It’s no surprise that some people’s smiles are a tad duller than others. People with yellow teeth tend to feel self-conscious about their appearance, which may make them hesitant to smile. But what causes this yellowish tint? Well, several different factors can cause your teeth to turn yellow in color.
Common causes of tooth discoloration include:
Aging: The enamel starts fading as we grow older, exposing more of the dentin and causing yellow teeth.
Diet: Different types of foods and drinks can stain your teeth and cause them to turn yellow including certain fruits and vegetables, wine, tea, coffee, colas and sweets.
Tobacco use: Tobacco can stain your teeth if smoked or chewed on a regular basis.
Poor dental hygiene: In many cases, tooth discoloration results from poor oral hygiene, hence the importance of making sure you floss, brush and rinse with an antiseptic mouthwash daily.
Medications: Certain antibiotics can cause teeth discoloration when administered to children below the age of eight. High-blood pressure medications, antipsychotic drugs and antidepressants can stain your teeth as well.
Genetics: Because of their genes, some people have comparatively brighter or thicker enamel.
Environment: Exposure to excessive fluoride can lead to teeth discoloration.
How to prevent teeth yellowing
Simple lifestyle changes can help prevent teeth discoloration. For instance, cutting back or quitting habits like smoking and drinking coffee can minimize your chances of developing yellow teeth. Using a straw while drinking coffee/teas can also help discoloration. Practicing proper dental hygiene is also helpful.
But if your teeth are turning yellow without an apparent reason or you’ve noticed other symptoms, you should make an appointment with your dentist immediately.
Just like there are various causes of tooth discoloration, there are several different ways to whiten yellow teeth. Although do-it-yourself approaches are available, they are not recommended. Professional teeth whitening techniques are a lot safer and much more effective. When it comes to cosmetic dentistry, the following treatment options can be applied to whiten yellow teeth:
Professional tooth whitening can be achieved in two ways. Medical-grade teeth whitening techniques involve a completely safe and supervised chemical process. We can perform an in-office tooth whitening procedure or provide you with a complete take-home whitening system.
Although in-office tooth whitening employs stronger agents than the take-home option, it’s still the preferred technique of the two. This is because it’s more effective in protecting the rest of the mouth from the materials used. Each of the professional-grade dental products used is completely safe and extremely effective. Advanced whitening systems feature customized mouthpiece trays to help ensure the correct amount of whitening agent reaches the teeth and a buffer in the gel that protects the tooth enamel against damage.
Professional grade whitening products are capable of brightening your teeth by 10 shades within an hour, so it’s both effective and convenient. As such, in-office whitening can transform the appearance of your teeth in just one office visit. Although some people find the take-home whitening approach more convenient, it can take more than 2-4 weeks depending on the strength of the agent used.
Keep in mind, continued exposure to the same substances responsible for staining your teeth can cause them to turn yellow again. Fortunately, teeth-whitening effects can last long with proper oral care. The duration will, however, depend on the level of care provided. You must continue practicing proper oral hygiene because teeth whitening products are not designed to clean teeth. Floss at least once a day, brush twice daily and rinse your mouth with an antiseptic mouthwash every day.
Although veneers are usually made of porcelain, plastic options are not uncommon. When installed, these customized shells cover the front part of the teeth, improving the color and shape of your teeth. Dental veneers can help fix chipped, worn, slightly crooked, poorly shaped, improperly spaced and permanently stained teeth. Apart from being an effective solution to a variety of dental problems, veneers last much longer than bonding and provide much better results.
Prior to the insertion of veneers, Dr. Mishann will take an impression of your teeth first. But since porcelain veneers are formulated in the laboratory, you won’t have them inserted during your first visit. On your second appointment, the dentist will buff your teeth before cementing the veneers in place. Once installed, a beam of light will be used to help harden the cement, effectively securing the veneers to your teeth.
Overall, your teeth can start to take on a yellow tinge for a variety of reasons; anything from diet to age can affect your teeth color. Luckily, there are great ways to restore the white color to your teeth and brighten your smile, such as dental veneers or professional tooth whitening services.
If you’re in the NYC area and looking to explore options for restoring your smile, feel free to contact us or schedule an appointment online. As a leading NYC dentist in this field, Dr. Mishaan is qualified to handle any concern related to tooth whitening treatments and solutions. You’ll be in good, professional hands, and your smile is sure to sparkle!
Your tooth enamel is the hard, outer layer of your teeth that protects against decay and daily abuse. Tooth enamel is stronger than bone — but it isn’t immune to damage.
As your enamel erodes or becomes weak, you may become more sensitive to hot and cold drinks and food. This is because weak tooth enamel essentially exposes the nerves in your teeth.
Once tooth enamel has been damaged, it can’t be restored. You can’t rebuild tooth enamel, but you can strengthen it with better lifestyle choices and cosmetic dentistry procedures. Here’s what you should know about enamel erosion and how we can help.
What Causes Enamel Erosion?
Enamel typically becomes eroded as bacteria produce acids that wear it down. This can also be caused by lifestyle choices such as:
Consuming soft drinks and fruit drinks. Soda is high in citric acid and phosphoric acid that seep into the pores of the enamel.
Having continual acid reflux or GERD, which causes acidic damage to the enamel.
Constant dry mouth. Saliva washes away bacteria and protects the enamel from acid, so if you’re not producing enough saliva your enamel may not be as protected.
Eating a high starch and high sugar diet. The bacteria in your mouth feed on starch and sugar and produce an acidic byproduct which can lead to enamel erosion.
Nightly friction from teeth grinding and other wear and tear can wear away enamel.
Daily poor brushing habits. How you brush your teeth may contribute to enamel loss if you brush too often or too hard.
While it’s true that you can’t rebuild or replace enamel, your dentist can help repair the worn enamel and restore the appearance and function to your teeth. There are several procedures that may be a good option, depending on the severity of the enamel loss.
Options for Strengthening Enamel & Restoring Appearance of Teeth Due to Weak Enamel
Tooth Bonding. One of the most popular cosmetic procedures is called tooth bonding, which is ideal for mild cases of erosion. Tooth bonding involves applying a special tooth-colored resin that’s bonded to the tooth. Bonding can be effective at fixing a chipped tooth, improving the appearance of discolored teeth, and essentially creating “false” enamel to strengthen tooth enamel before it erodes further.
Dental Veneers. If only the enamel on the front surfaces of your teeth has become damaged, we may recommend dental veneers. Veneers are very thin pieces of porcelain that are cemented to the front-facing surfaces of the teeth. Dental veneers are basically custom-made shells that improve the appearance of your teeth and protect you against the consequences of worn enamel. Once the veneers are bonded to your teeth, they can change the length, size, shape, and color of your teeth.
Due to his years of experience in cosmetic dentistry, Dr. Mishaan is an expert at using procedures like dental veneers to carefully craft a beautiful smile that fully compliments you.
Porcelain Crowns. Finally, porcelain dental crowns may be recommended if your enamel is very damaged or your teeth are severely misshapen, discolored, or require extensive dental work. A crown serves as a cap that covers a damaged tooth completely.
Unfortunately, most people do not give their tooth enamel much thought until it’s gone. Dental procedures like tooth bonding and veneers can be a permanent solution to address weakened enamel while restoring a bright, beautiful smile.
If you are concerned about enamel loss and are in New York City, contact our office today to schedule your appointment and discuss your treatment options with leading cosmetic dentist Dr. Mishaan.
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