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How to Properly Clean Your Invisalign® Trays

July 20th, 2018

Cleaning Invisalign Trays | Family Dental Associates

Many people choose Invisalign trays over braces because they’re so clear, they’re hardly noticeable. However, improper cleaning technique can quickly lead to discoloration, odor and bacteria buildup, which is detrimental to your health and could prolong your treatment. Follow these tips to keep your Invisalign trays looking like new.

Store Them in Their Case

When you’re not wearing your trays, ensure they are safely tucked away in their case. Leaving them out in the open will not only make it more likely that you will misplace or lose them, but it will also lead to more bacteria buildup.

Always keep your Invisalign case with you in the event you need to remove the trays to eat or drink something besides water. If you do leave them out for a long period of time, rinse, soak and rinse them again before placing them back over your teeth.1

Clean Your Trays Each Morning

Trays need to be cleaned each morning for the same reason you brush your teeth. As you sleep, bacteria and plaque buildup on the surface of your tongue and teeth. Wearing trays does not prevent this, as bacteria also builds up in your trays. Start and end the day on the right foot by cleaning your trays and brushing your teeth.

Rinse After Each Removal

Rinse your trays each time you remove them to prevent buildup of dry saliva and plaque. You want to avoid creating an environment for bacteria to grow. Washing your trays with unscented, uncolored anti-bacterial soap and a soft-bristle toothbrush can also help remove some of the plaque. Make sure you keep this habit up even when you aren’t at home.

Soak Them Every Day

Soaking your trays in denture cleaner or Invisalign-brand cleaning crystals is another way to make sure your trays are as clean as possible. Once they’ve finished soaking after about 15 minutes, use a fresh soft-bristle toothbrush to brush off any plaque or food particles that remain. After brushing, rinse the trays before placing them back in your mouth.2,3

Don’t Eat or Drink With Your Trays In

This is the cardinal rule for keeping your Invisalign trays clean. Water is the only thing you can drink with your trays still in place. The trays are not made of material strong enough to withstand regular chewing. Eating with trays in also makes it easier for food to get stuck between your teeth and stain the trays.

Don’t forget that when you take your trays out to eat, you need to place them safely in their case.

Avoid Toothpaste and Colored or Scented Soaps

Using toothpaste and colored or scented soaps on your trays will damage and discolor them. Toothpaste creates a dull sheen on trays, which not only makes them more noticeable in your mouth, but also creates abrasions that encourage bacteria buildup.

Colored and scented soaps will also stain your trays and may leave behind an unpleasant taste when you place the trays back in your mouth.

Establish a Routine

The best way to ensure your trays stay clean and clear is to establish a cleaning routine. Humans are creatures of habit and are more prone to do things they are familiar with. During your treatment period, adopt a cleaning regime that meshes with your existing morning and evening routines to help it stick.

Each set of trays is worn for a relatively short amount of time – usually a few weeks – but in that time, improper care can cause a lot of damage to your teeth and prolong your treatment. Follow your orthodontist or dentist’s instructions and you’ll be done with treatment before you know it.

Are You Ready to Transform Your Smile with Invisalign?                            

When you’re ready to get the smile you’ve always dreamed of, trust Family Dental Associates in Warner Robins, GA. Since 1954, our dental practice has delivered comfortable, patient-centered dental treatments to help people attain and maintain healthy, beautiful smiles. As a certified Invisalign provider, we have the expertise to help you find the right treatment plan to achieve the results you desire.

Book your consultation today by visiting us online or calling (478) 971-7701.

 

1 http://www.orthodonticslimited.com/invisalign/how-to-clean-invisalign-trays/

2 https://www.invisalign.com/how-invisalign-works/living-with-invisalign

3 https://www.dawsondental.ca/blog/invisalign-invisible-braces-2/5-tips-for-cleaning-your-invisalign-tray/

Warning Signs You May Need Dental Implants

June 21st, 2018

Dental Implants

You may have heard about dental implants before. They’re increasingly popular in the U.S. – the American Academy of Implant Dentistry says three million people currently have implants and that number grows by about 500,000 each year.1

Many dental professionals consider implant-supported crowns or bridges an effective and long-lasting solution to the pain and reduced quality of life experienced by patients with missing or severely damaged teeth. They’re a more realistic-feeling alternative to dentures and fixed bridges, allowing people to enjoy their favorite foods and smile with confidence.

Despite the benefits, many people aren’t sure whether dental implants are right for them.

How Do Dental Implants Work?

Dental implants are a permanent replacement for missing teeth. The process starts with a dental professional surgically inserting a titanium root, or post, into the jaw bone where the natural tooth was. After the jaw and post fuse together and provide a sturdy base, an abutment is placed on the post. The abutment is then fitted for a single synthetic tooth, also known as a crown, or a bridge, which is then affixed to the abutment.

Implants can also be used in conjunction with dentures. In the case of implant-secured dentures, specially designed abutments are affixed to the dental implant and the corresponding attachment is affixed to the dentures in the appropriate spot. Once the implants are fully integrated with the bone, the dentures can be snapped on top of the abutments for a solid, slip-free fit.

Common Signs It’s Time to Consider Dental Implants

One or More Severely Damaged Teeth

Teeth that are damaged beyond the capabilities of restorative dental care often benefit from replacement with dental implants. This occurs when a crack or chip has broken through the enamel and damaged the root.

Extracting the tooth and replacing it with a dental implant prevents infection and further damage to the surrounding gums, teeth and jaw.

Natural Teeth are Missing

Not only are missing teeth a source of insecurity and discomfort, but they can lead to structural issues. When a tooth falls out, the neighboring teeth begin to shift and fill in the leftover space. Resorption, which occurs when the jawbone shrinks away due to lack of root stimulation, is another common issue. Both issues can affect a person’s bite and speech, which is why missing teeth should be replaced as soon as possible. Jawbone resorption can also have a dramatic aesthetic effect on facial appearance, resulting in a sunken appearance around a person’s mouth.

Severe or Irreparable Decay

There are many signs of irreparable decay, including:

  • Severe gum swelling and recession
  • Sudden and unrelenting pain
  • Root canal failure
  • Periodontal disease
  • Severely infected tooth

When any of these issues occur and repair isn’t a viable option, your dentist may deem extraction and replacement the best course of action.

Bone Loss in the Jaw

A lesser-known benefit of dental implants is they can actually provide patients with more bone density if they’ve experienced bone loss. A dental professional can perform a bone graft on the jaw bone prior to inserting the post if necessary. Additionally, the titanium post will bond with the jaw bone, creating additional mass after the procedure.

Bite and Speech Issues

You may have all of your teeth and they’re not damaged in any way. However, if you have difficulty speaking, chewing or you have to avoid certain foods, you may benefit from dental implants. Conditions like bruxism, temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ) or natural changes to your teeth can be improved with dental implants in some cases.

Dental Implants in Middle Georgia

If you’re experiencing any of these warning signs or, if you have questions about dental implants, it’s important you work with caring, knowledgeable professionals who can accurately answer your inquiries and ensure you get the most out of your new smile. The staff at Family Dental Associates perform single tooth implants, All-on-4® treatments and offer other dental implant services, so you can rest assured we have the experience and tools necessary to help you choose the option that’s right for you.

For more information about what dental implants can do for you, call (478) 971-7701 today or visit our website.

1 https://www.aaid.com/about/press_room/dental_implants_faq.html

Foods and Drinks You Should Avoid After Teeth Whitening

May 31st, 2018

Foods to Avoid After Whitening | Family Dental Associates

After undergoing your teeth whitening treatment, you may be feeling more confident in your smile than you have in years – so much so, that you’re ready to take on anything. However, if you want those bright and shiny results to last, there are many foods and drinks you should avoid for 24 to 48 hours after the treatment, as your teeth are more susceptible to being stained during this period.

Avoid These Foods and Drinks After Teeth Whitening

Dark Beverages

You may have assumed coffee and tea were no-nos when it comes to beverages, and that’s true. The list also includes virtually any “dark” beverage, such as dark sodas, red wine and most fruit juices. If you’re curious whether a beverage is safe to drink, ask yourself if it would stain a white shirt. If the answer is yes, it’s best to avoid.

Alcoholic Drinks and Tobacco

Not only are alcoholic drinks often dark in color, but the acid in alcohol can also weaken the enamel, which is especially vulnerable after whitening. Even white wine should be avoided. This goes for chewing tobacco and smoking cigarettes as well, which are some of the biggest teeth staining culprits around.

Stain-Inducing Foods

Many dark foods can stain recently whitened chompers, like blueberries, beets, pomegranates and dark meats. Tomato and any other dark sauces, condiments, soups, stews and marinades should also be avoided. Even chocolate and artificially-dyed candy can cause stains after whitening.

Very Cold or Hot Drinks or Foods

Overly sensitive teeth are a common but temporary side effect after the whitening procedure. To avoid high levels of discomfort, it’s recommended you also avoid overly cold or hot food and beverages during your recovery. That means iced drinks, scalding soups and frozen desserts are off limits. You may be able to use a desensitizing product afterward to help combat excessive discomfort.

Yes, Even Vegetables

If you’re not a vegetable eater, you now have a great excuse to kick them to the curb, at least temporarily. Leafy greens, carrots, sweet corn, green beans, peas, broccoli and even mushrooms have the potential to stain teeth post-whitening.

So, What Can You Eat After Teeth Whitening?

After you see what you shouldn’t be eating or drinking after teeth whitening, you’re probably wondering what you can consume. Here are some foods and drinks on the pale side you should stick to for a couple of days:

Skinless poultry
White fish
White bread and pasta
Bananas
Low-fat yogurt
Egg whites
Peeled potatoes
Water
Milk
Tonic water
Sparkling water
Clear coconut water

Zoom! Whitening at Family Dental Associates

If you’re ready to transform a dim smile into a beaming beauty, consider what the Zoom! Whitening at Family Dental Associates can do for you. Our caring and knowledgeable staff are committed to providing our patients with the smile of their dreams. For more information about whether Zoom! Whitening is right for you, call (478) 971-7701 or visit us online today.

The Versatility of Dental Implants

April 19th, 2018

Dental Implants

Your teeth perform several vital functions. Not only do they allow you to eat your favorite foods, but they also help you speak and give you the confidence to smile wide. Unfortunately, people who are missing one or multiple teeth can’t always experience the same benefits that a healthy, beautiful smile provides. While many assume traditional dentures or bridges are the only option for replacing missing teeth, that’s not the case. Modern dental implants can provide permanent, subtle replacements for any number of missing teeth, and they’re much more versatile than you might think.

What Are Dental Implants?

Dental implants are artificial tooth roots that are surgically implanted into the jaw bone underneath the gums. Often called a post or frame, the artificial root can be made from different materials, such as zirconia or titanium, and replace one or multiple teeth, depending on the needs of the patient. The surrounding bone heals around the implant to provide a sturdy, reliable and permanent base for one or more replacement teeth, a bridge or even dentures.

After the post has been installed, an abutment is attached. Abutments can be fitted for the addition of a single crown, or synthetic tooth, a bridge or dentures. Crowns are generally permanent, and are designed to match the size and general appearance of neighboring teeth. If someone is missing all their teeth, several implants can be strategically placed on the jaw and an entire row of synthetic teeth can be attached to the abutments on a bridge or as dentures.

What Makes Dental Implants Versatile?

Dental implants are considered versatile because they can be used to replace one or all of a person’s teeth, or be used to stabilize dentures. Because traditional dentures are not fixed in place, they often slip or feel unstable,which can be an uncomfortable embarrassment for the wearer. Dental implants working in conjunction with dentures or on their own provide a stable, natural-looking, permanent replacement for as many teeth as needed.

Another benefit of dental implants is that no other teeth need to be prepared or altered. Some other tooth replacement treatments, like traditional bridges for example, require neighboring teeth to be ground down or prepared in some fashion. Dental implants do not affect or rely on neighboring teeth in any way and in most circumstances, last a lifetime.

Types of Dental Implants

Endosteal

Patients have the post implanted into the jawbone. It has the appearance of a small screw and is usually made from titanium. This is the most common type of dental implant.

Subperiosteal 

If the patient’s jawbone cannot support the post, they can opt for a subperiosteal implant. Instead of just a post, a metal frame is placed under the gum and fixed on top of the jawbone. The post(s) are then attached to the frame and the tooth can be put in place.

Immediate load

After a typical dental implant procedure, a person must wait until the jawbone has healed completely and fused with the post before having a synthetic tooth attached. During an immediate load procedure, on the other hand, a temporary tooth is placed on the post the same day.

Mini dental implants

This type of dental implant is often used to stabilize dentures. They are smaller than traditional posts – about the size of a toothpick – so the procedure is less invasive.

All-On-4®

Patients who need an entire row of teeth replaced may consider All-On-4. As its name suggests, four posts are implanted in the jawbone and a full row of natural-looking teeth is attached to the posts.

In cases where the jawbone isn’t dense enough to support a dental implant, several treatments can be used to improve the jawbone’s structure. These treatments include bone augmentation, a sinus lift, ridge expansion and implant site development. Your dentist will be able to recommend one of these treatments if necessary.

Who’s a Good Candidate for Dental Implants?

The best dental implant candidates have healthy gums, sufficient jawbone density and are non-smokers. A dentist might not recommend dental implants for people who suffer from illnesses like diabetes or leukemia because these conditions slow the healing process considerably, which could prevent the post from remaining firmly in place.

Have More Questions About Dental Implants?

Dental implants are a popular procedure for many reasons. Their versatility as a tooth replacement option is one of the main reasons patients opt for dental implants over traditional bridges or dentures. If you have more questions about how dental implants can change your life, Family Dental Associates can help get the process started for you today! For more information about our single tooth or All-On-4 procedures, call (478) 971-7701 or visit us online.