When Invisalign aligners came on the scene, they were a revolutionary idea. Suddenly, people could get beautiful, straight teeth without the hassle of traditional wire braces. Instead, using a series of nearly invisible, removable, comfortable, clear aligners, dentists could straighten teeth in less time than people spend in wire braces. Now, various companies have seized upon this idea and are flooding the market with at home straightening kits. Do they work, or is Invisalign still the right choice?
At-home straightening companies send the customer a kit to make a 3-D mold of their own teeth. This mold is submitted to the company, and a series of clear aligners are sent to the customer periodically. The patient never needs to visit the dentist or orthodontist, which allows these companies to charge far less than a patient would pay for Invisalign. In fact, one leading at-home straightening company estimates that their product is about 60 percent cheaper than traditional teeth straightening.
The problem with these at-home straightening kits is the same thing that makes them inexpensive: they allow patients to skip the orthodontist or dentist. Without professional supervision, patients can actually damage their teeth irreparably. This is because straightening teeth often requires adjustments to the plan, and if you are straightening your teeth on your own, there’s no monitoring of your progress and no professional who could make these adjustments.
Additionally, while a dentist is qualified to create a customized straightening plan for you, at-home straighteners are more of a “one-size-fits-all” product. They don’t work for everyone, and there is no way for these companies to consider all the different factors that could affect your progress. When you bypass the guidance of a dental care professional, you run the risk of missing problems with your jaw or the roots of your teeth. Issues that could have been caught by an x-ray before treatment can end up being complications that can affect the results of your straightening attempts. While an at-home straightening program may cost less upfront, it could end up leading to costly problems in the long run.
If you want to straighten your teeth using clear aligners, the best choice is to seek a qualified Invisalign provider. Your dentist or orthodontist will create a 3D image of your teeth and design a treatment plan that’s customized for you. You’ll wear a series of clear aligners that are removable, so that you can continue to eat your favorite foods while your teeth are being straightened. Each set of aligners will need to be worn for about two weeks, and you’ll see your dentist every six weeks so that your treatment can be monitored and adjusted as needed. The average treatment time for Invisalign is between nine and 15 months.
When you’re ready to find out if you’re a good candidate for Invisalign, choose the practice that was voted best dentist in NYC! At Park 56 Dental Group, we offer pediatric, prosthodontics, endodontics, oral surgery, Invisalign®, emergency, and sedation dentistry, all at the highest level of treatment. We serve the Midtown, Central Park, Upper East Side, Park Avenue, and all surrounding Manhattan and New York areas, with a patient-centered practice that has hours to fit your schedule. Schedule your complimentary consultation today by contacting us online or calling us at (212) 826-2322.
How is your bite? Did you know that only about 30 to 40 percent of the population have what’s considered a perfect bite? The rest of us suffer from some kind of malocclusion, in which don’t meet the way they should and sometimes don’t meet at all. Everyone’s bite is uniquely their own, but there are some general types of bites that could be affecting your oral health.
- If you have a crossbite, your upper teeth fit inside your lower teeth. Sometimes only a single tooth is affected, but crossbite can also affect a group of teeth, or all of your teeth. Sometimes, different parts of your upper teeth hit different parts of your lower teeth, coming down in front and behind them. This can cause the jaw to shift to one side and can wear down your enamel.
- With an underbite, the lower jaw protrudes in front of the upper jaw. This can give a person a bulldog appearance, and it can put unnecessary stress on the joints in the jaw.
- When a person has an overbite, the top teeth protrude in front of the lower teeth. While the upper teeth are supposed to be a little bit in front of the lower teeth, when they are too far in front it can create a bucktoothed look. In the case of a deep bite, the upper teeth can completely cover the bottom teeth. In extreme cases, the teeth can dig into the gums, raising the risk of gum disease.
- An open bite, just as it sounds, means the upper and lower teeth do not meet when the jaw is closed. This can happen because of tongue thrusting or mouth breathing, and it can cause swallowing problems or speech problems if it’s not corrected.
- If your teeth are crowded, this means they’re too close together. The problem may be that you have a small mouth, or perhaps large teeth, but whatever the case, it results in teeth that are twisted, overlapping, or trapped. Crowded teeth are difficult to clean, raising your risk of cavities and gum disease.
- When teeth have too much room, dentists talk about spacing. If you have undersized teeth, oversized jaws, missing teeth, or a combination of these factors, you might have spacing issues.
- Misalignment is a vague term that means your teeth are crooked. If your dentist says you have a misalignment, you may not have as severe a problem as people with some of these other types of bites, but your teeth simply don’t quite fit together. Fortunately, your dentist or orthodontist can help you get them back in line.
When you’re ready to fix your bite, choose the practice that was voted best dentist in NYC! At Park 56 Dental Group, we offer pediatric, prosthodontics, endodontics, oral surgery, Invisalign®, emergency, and sedation dentistry, all at the highest level of treatment. We serve the Midtown, Central Park, Upper East Side, Park Avenue, and all surrounding Manhattan and New York areas, with a patient-centered practice that has hours to fit your schedule. Schedule your complimentary consultation today by contacting us online or calling us at (212) 826-2322.
There are certain foods that everyone knows are bad for your teeth, like sticky candy and sugary sodas. Other foods, though, are a little sneakier. In fact, you may be eating a healthy diet and still be damaging your teeth. Don’t worry, if your favorite foods are on this list, you don’t have to give them up forever. Just make sure that you’re aware of the damage they can do, eat them in moderation, and keep up with your oral hygiene and regular dental check-ups.
- It might surprise you to learn that fresh fruit can damage your teeth. It’s a healthy choice for a snack, but some fruit is also high in enamel-eroding acid and cavity-causing sugar. Apples, citrus fruits, and strawberries all fall into this category, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t eat them. Just make sure to rinse your mouth with water to help clean the sugars and acid from your teeth.
- Dried fruit is worse than fresh fruit when it comes to oral health. They’re a great source of fiber, but they contain a lot of sugar and they’re sticky enough to cling to your teeth. All that sugar stuck to your teeth creates the perfect environment to welcome bacteria and cause cavities.
- Popcorn is a nearly irresistible snack, but it’s not great for your teeth. First, it’s high in carbs, which turn into sugars and feed bacteria. Then, the kernels and other particles can get stuck in your teeth or lodged in your gums. Popcorn bits between the teeth help bacteria grow, and when you pull kernels from under your gums, they leave gaps where bacteria can invade. If you can’t resist snacking on popcorn, make sure to brush and floss afterwards.
- What you drink can be just as damaging as the things you eat. Diet soda may seem like a good alternative to regular soda, but the acid in the soda can damage your enamel, and the artificial sweeteners promote the growth of bacteria. Fizzy waters with natural flavors are a better option because they don’t have sugar or sweeteners. Wine, coffee, and tea can all stain your teeth, and sports drinks tend to be loaded with sugar. Limit these beverages, and when you do drink them, make sure to follow up with a glass of water to rinse your teeth.
- Watch how you eat nuts. When choosing a nut butter, pick one without added sugars. If you’re eating almonds, choose slivered almonds to reduce the risk of cracking your teeth.
- Pickles can wear down your tooth enamel. Sweet pickles are especially bad for your teeth because of the added sugar, but even dill pickles have acid that’s very damaging. To cut the acidity, enjoy pickles in moderation and rinse your mouth with water after eating them. Eating cheese with your pickles can also help neutralize the acid.
- Beware of bread. Bread may seem harmless enough, but when your saliva breaks down the starch in bread, it converts it to sugar. White bread is the worst, because it sticks to your teeth, so choose whole grain bread for your sandwiches.
- Water is great for your teeth, unless it’s frozen. When you chew on ice, you can chip away your tooth enamel and even break your teeth. Instead of chewing on ice, reach for celery sticks or baby carrots for that satisfying crunch.
No matter what you eat, regular dental appointments are the key to keeping your teeth healthy. When it’s time for a check-up, choose the practice that was voted best dentist in NYC! At Park 56 Dental Group, we offer pediatric, prosthodontics, endodontics, oral surgery, Invisalign®, emergency, and sedation dentistry, all at the highest level of treatment. We serve the Midtown, Central Park, Upper East Side, Park Avenue, and all surrounding Manhattan and New York areas, with a patient-centered practice that has hours to fit your schedule. Schedule your complimentary consultation today by contacting us online or calling us at (212) 826-2322.
The holidays are upon us! What a whirlwind of a season, as we dash from one event to the next. Many of these events are full of rich foods and sweet treats, and there’s often no time to think about much beyond the next thing on the calendar. Whatever you do during the holidays, take care not to neglect your dental care. Here are some tips for keeping your teeth fresh, clean, and healthy, all the way into the new year!
- Make sure you’ve got healthy food in the mix. While you’re nibbling, munching, and feasting, intersperse healthy snacks with your decadent treats. Crunchy fruits and vegetables are great for your teeth, and so are cheese and whole grains.
- Take care not to overdo the sweets. This time of year, temptations are omnipresent! Popcorn balls, candy canes, and other sticky sweet treats are particularly bad for your teeth, but that doesn’t mean you have to forgo them entirely. Just stick to one dessert and then brush your teeth, to reduce your risk of tooth decay.
- Don’t use your teeth as tools. Cracking nuts, pulling out wine corks, opening packages, and all the other ways you can use your teeth instead of heading to the toolbox or kitchen drawer for a more suitable tool should be outlawed. The last thing you want to do this holiday season is end up with a broken tooth, so use your teeth only for eating and smiling.
- Drink plenty of water and keep your drinks light. Water is good for every system in your body, and it can help fill your stomach so that you don’t overeat. What’s more, it’s extremely helpful in washing away bacteria before plaque can form on your teeth. If you want to drink something other than water, steer clear of sugary beverages and choose drinks that are light-colored, as well. You’ll be doing your teeth a favor by keeping them clean and white.
- Stick to your routine. Brush your teeth at least twice a day, even if you’re on the go. Facilitate this by keeping a toothbrush and small tube of toothpaste handy at all times, in your purse, briefcase, or car, so that you can take care of your teeth even if you’re away from home.
- Don’t wait to fix any dental issues. Even if you’re out of town, don’t let a broken tooth or lost filling go without treatment. Call a local dental office for an emergency appointment; most dentists are prepared to accept visiting patients at this time of year.
- Schedule a cleaning for after the holiday season. You want to start the new year with a gorgeous smile and a healthy mouth, right? Go ahead and make your post-holiday checkup now, so that as soon as this hectic season draws to a close, you can get back into the swing of taking care of yourself.
When you’re ready to schedule your post-holiday dental check-up, choose the practice that was voted best dentist in NYC! At Park 56 Dental Group, we offer pediatric, prosthodontics, endodontics, oral surgery, Invisalign®, emergency, and sedation dentistry, all at the highest level of treatment. We serve the Midtown, Central Park, Upper East Side, Park Avenue, and all surrounding Manhattan and New York areas, with a patient-centered practice that has hours to fit your schedule. Schedule your complimentary consultation today by contacting us online or calling us at (212) 826-2322.
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