How Orthodontics Braces And Invisalign Changed My Life for the Better

When I was 23, my mouth was a mess. The front of my mouth extended forward into a pointy overbite that used to make me prone to spitting while talking. My lower front teeth resembled bowling pins collapsing in on each other and making my overbite seem like an even bigger protrusion.

To make matters worse, food would always get stuck in my mouth when I was eating and cleaning it fully would take hours to floss (which is why I didn’t floss).

For these reasons, I would try not to smile when I was close to people. I would even hide my mouth when I would laugh. I didn’t want the joke to become about me.

These were just a few ways my mess of a mouth would get in the way of my life, but it was getting worse.

My First Dental Visit

I thought my brushing was doing the job fine until I had my first

I thought my brushing was doing the job fine until I had my first dental appointment halfway through Grade 8; which in hindsight, was much too late to be seeing a dentist for the first time. This changed everything.

According to the dentist, I had numerous cavities in the areas of my mouth where my teeth were overlapping. My gums were swollen and would often bleed.

It wasn’t until I hit 23 that I realized the problems I was having were getting much worse and my dentist was right from the beginning. I continued to get cavities, my gums were still bleeding and to make it worse, all the additional brushing I was doing only led to receding gums. Turns out, I was brushing too hard and doing it all wrong. Yes, apparently there’s a proper way to brush your teeth.

The situation was deteriorating, but there could be a long-lasting solution: BRACES! I wasn’t enthusiastic about orthodontic treatment; especially since it wasn’t as “cool” as today. Plus I was in my 20’s and most people get braces as a kid, or so I thought. It was actually the most cost-effective way to combat all my developing symptoms and prevent more from forming, like grinding my teeth. Thankfully, I was able to make small monthly payments to correct this dental issue. Most dentists offer installment plans and I’m glad I capitalized on that!

It wasn’t till I hit 23 that I realized the problems I was having were getting much worse and my dentist was right from the beginning. I continued to get cavities, my gums were still bleeding, and to make it worse, all the additional brushing I was doing only led to receding gums. Turns out I was brushing too hard and doing it all wrong (Yes, apparently there’s a proper way to brush you teeth).

The situation was deteriorating, but there could be a long-lasting solution. BRACES! I wasn’t enthusiastic about orthodontic treatment (especially since it wasn’t as “cool” as today, plus I was in my 20’s, “most people get braces as a kid” or so I thought). It was the most cost-effective way to combat all my developing symptom and prevent more from forming; like grinding my teeth. Thankfully I was able to make small monthly payments to correct this dental issue. Most dentists offer installment plans and I’m glad I capitalized on that!

After Orthodontics

Having lived with a crooked mess in my mouth for so long, it is both shocking and joyous when your retainer is no longer needed, and your new teeth are better than you ever thought possible. It transformed my face in the best way possible. I would have been satisfied with a simple reduction in my overbite, but everything has changed since I started braces.

 

Here are the top 5 biggest changes I experienced (and am still experiencing) since completing my orthodontic treatment:

 

  1. Braces Gave Me a New Smile

Definitely the most noticeable change is my new smile! Remember how I used to press my lips together when I would feel like laughing? Now that’s just a joke. I constantly get compliments on my beautiful smile. The long term benefits completely outweigh the 2 years I spent wearing braces.

  1. Braces Made Me Confident

I always felt like my teeth were always in control of my life. I would spend hours at school or work thinking about how horrible I looked and how I had to make sure that no bits of food were stuck in my teeth after lunch.

My crooked teeth felt like something that was holding me back and that I couldn’t deal with. At least when I was bad at sports or classes I could actually do something about it. When it came to my teeth, I felt like I would never lose that burden.

Now, I can’t believe how much time I wasted on that kind of thinking, however, my mirror and camera have started taking up that time.

  1. Braces Helped Me With Cavities

Remember those 7 cavities that were starting to form? Well those were the only 7 I ever had. Once my teeth started to move (which I didn’t think was going to happen) my oral health started improving drastically within the first few months. I couldn’t believe it.

Over night, food stopped getting stuck between my teeth and it  became much easier to brush my teeth.

It turns out when your teeth are properly spaced apart and straight, it’s a whole lot easier to clean them. Since I was continuously brushing my teeth as they moved apart, I was able to remove plaque build-up in the once covered parts on my teeth.

Those cavities never did develop and since I’ve had braces, I still haven’t had a cavity (and hopefully never will).

  1. Braces Helped Me With Long-term Dental Issues

Both my orthodontist and dentist said that because I realigned my teeth, I am at much less risk of tooth decay. Since food bacteria and plaque can no longer hide from my tooth brush or floss, I have prevented much of the wear and tear on my teeth that accompanies eating with crooked teeth.

  1. Braces Promotes Healthier Gums

Within the first few months of my treatment, I have been able to fully floss all my teeth properly. This is something I could never do before. The orthodontist explained that the food particles that were frequently getting trapped in my mouth had been making my gums swell and become tender. My gums would bleed every time I brushed. I thought it was because my teeth were crooked, but that was only part of it.

Food particles were getting lodged in between my gums and teeth and this was leading to bacteria and plaque infecting my gums. If it continued, I would have been experiencing a lot more tenderness and even and possible oral infections like gingivitis or periodontal disease. The risk of having gum disease is pretty close to zero since now I can easily clean my mouth properly and I visit the dentist regularly.

 

Why Orthodontics? – Braces or Invisalign

I didn’t think my teeth could ever have looked the way they do today. I was in denial, I can’t believe I waited so long to fix my crooked teeth. The lack of confidence to smile, laugh and even eat around others should have been enough to prove to myself that it was time to make a change.

When I found out that I was on the verge of developing numerous short and long term oral issues because of my crooked teeth, it hit me like a brick. Why was I letting my teeth get in the way of my life? Not only socially, but physically as well.

From the start of my orthodontic treatment to its end and into the present, I decided that I am not going to let anything get in my way from living my best life. The long term benefits of braces completely outweigh the 2 years I spent wearing them.

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Orthodontic Treatment – Braces, Then and Now

The world of orthodontics has drastically changed over the past 10 years. Braces used to be larger and included excess parts such as head-gear; uncomfortable causing cuts in the cheeks and gums, and requires more frequent appointments to the orthodontist. Do you remember seeing these types of orthodontic tools in movies? I do. Due to the evolution of technology, orthodontic services have advanced to produce quicker results that are aesthetically pleasing and more convenient to endure.

At the Dental Health Clinic, we have implemented the latest technology for braces. Because we know how important time is for our patients and we want to offer them the best possible service, quality, and results for their investment, their oral health and smile. 

Some of the innovative technology that has pushed for more efficient treatment in orthodontics includes: 3D scanners, arch wires, and self-ligating braces. We’ve included all of these in our office for our patients. Lets look at each one more closely.

The 3-D Intra-Oral Scanner 

The future is literally here. What we used to imagine or see in movies is now a reality. The 3-D scanner allows for orthodontists to view three-dimensional images of the patient’s entire skull, jaw, and oral bone structure. This allows for a more accurate identification of the patients’ symptoms, which allows for a quicker and more effective customized treatment plan. It also gives the orthodontist and the dentist the ability to review and change your treatment plan from the start, so we can save you time and offer the best possible results. Watch this video to see how 3D imaging changed the game for orthodontics.

This is an actual patients mouth and this is the simulation for this patient’s tooth movement. Crazy right?

 

 

 

 

The Wire

Not impressed yet? That’s okay, we have another upgrade to the services offered in orthodontics: arch wires (the material that makes up the wire component of braces). This innovative material is activated to apply pressure and take shape to shift teeth by coming into contact with heat from an individual’s mouth. Since these wires have the ability to move teeth, this allows for straightening in less time, which means fewer visits to the orthodontist. Yup, that’s right, you can have the same amount of treatment with fewer visits.

 

The Brackets

The final huge advancement in orthodontic service is self-ligating braces. These are different from conventional braces because they lack the need for ligatures (you might know them as those colourful elastics). Ligatures are the supportive rubber bands that bind the two major components of braces: the brackets and wires. The need for ligatures is replaced with special clips or brackets. This saves the amount of time spent in each orthodontic appointment. Rather than the orthodontist taking 30 minutes fiddling with elastics during your appointment, We have been able to cut this down to 15 minutes. The task of replacing ligatures in conventional braces is no longer required. Instead, a small adjustment is made to the special clip or brackets, which also reduces the discomfort during the orthodontic appointment.

 

Braces even look different

In terms of aesthetics, braces have come a long way. There are now several options to gain a less obvious, more aesthetically pleasing look. Metal braces have now advanced to having a smaller bracket size with thinner wires. For a less noticeable look, there are now clear ceramic braces, self-ligating braces in clear options, and Invisalign (Click here to see if Invisalign applies to you). 

Since metal braces have smaller brackets and thinner wires, this makes them easier to clean and care for. There are also less restricted food choices as well.

At Dental Health Clinic, we stay on top of the latest trends and technology because we believe innovation means a better quality of life for everyone. With this tech, we can make the most precise predictions about your treatment plan. We want our patients to feel confident in themselves and their dental treatment team. After all, a smile can change everything.

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What are the Differences Between Braces and Invisalign? Which one is right for me?

Which one is right for me?

The choice between Invisalign and traditional braces can be difficult because they are virtually the same. Because there is a lot of information on both types of orthodontic treatments, we have listed the pros and cons of braces vs. Invisalign.

It is important to know that although Invisalign has come a long way in the last 20 years, Invisalign may not be the best solution for all patients. It is essential to have expert advice from your dentist or orthodontist to see what best suits your oral health.

The benefits of orthodontic treatment Braces and Invisalign

Whether you choose to go with braces or Invisalign it is important to note that both products will correct the same issues.

 

Invisalign and braces will straighten your teeth and help with;

  • Improving long term health benefits both in your mouth and for your body
  • Brushing and flossing
    • Less cavities
    • Lowering the risk of developing gum disease
    • Lowering the chance of losing teeth as an adult
  • Improving confidence
  • Speech issues, such as a lisp
  • Headaches caused by uneven bites
  • Cross bites, open bites, uneven bites, over bites, under bites, and more

What is Invisalign?

Invisalign is a clear, removable plastic aligner that is meant to fit snugly over the teeth that need realignment. The durable aligners are made from molds and scans of your mouth and are designed to gently snap into the proper place.

 

What are the benefits of Invisalign?

1. Invisalign is virtually invisible

Since Invisalign aligners are clear and transparent, it is nearly impossible to tell someone is wearing them. This is why it is so popular with adults. It is beneficial for people who work with clients or colleagues as they won’t be able to see signs of an orthodontic treatment. Teens are also starting to make their way to clear aligners like Invisalign. They are more likely to wear them when they are supposed to.

 

2. Invisalign may have faster results and treatment times

Invisalign treatment has been documented to straighten teeth up to 50% faster than braces. Because the aligners can move multiple teeth at the same time, treatment times can come down significantly. You can be rotating a tooth 180 degrees while shifting it into place with the others. Feel free to watch our videos for tooth movement (click here).

Invisalign treatment is much less intensive on the patient and requires a quick bi-weekly checkup to simply switch your aligners. Getting an aligner fixed in your mouth is quick and painless. The aligner can be pushed snuggly into position, no wires, no elastics.

3. Is Invisalign painful?

While shifting teeth does sound painful, it isn’t. Invisalign is molded to your mouth, making everyday wear easy and comfortable. The movements of Invisalign plastic is gradual and not very intense. As your gums loosen around the tooth the movement becomes quicker, but it is important to see the dentist for regular cleanings and checkups.

 

4. Invisalign helps with your oral health

Invisalign can be easily removed and re-inserted by the patient for cleaning and eating. This removable feature makes dental hygiene a much easier task since less food gets stuck in the mouth during eating and brushing and flossing is no longer a problem. It is important to remember that Invisalign, in order for it to work correctly, needs to stay in your mouth for 22 hours of the 24 hour day. This means that once you’ve eaten or brushed your teeth, rinse out your aligners and pop them back into place.

Cons of Invisalign

Sometimes pros can also be cons. Because the aligners are removable, you need to remember to put them back in. Every time you eat or drink anything except plain water, the aligners should be removed.

Cons of Invisalign

Sometimes pros can also be cons. Because the aligners are removable, you need to remember o put them back in. Every time you eat or drink anything except plain water, the aligners should be removed.

 

What are Braces?

Braces are individual brackets that are bonded to each tooth. These brackets are then pulled or pushed together or apart with the use of wires to achieve the dream smile you always wanted. This is the most powerful of all treatments for moving teeth to the desired position. Many people are pleasantly surprised with the results of braces, and most of them thought their results were never going to be possible. (Read more about patients reaction to braces, click here)

 

What are the advantages of Braces?

 

1. Braces suit all treatment types and all ages

No matter how complex your dental issues may be, there is no cause for concern with traditional braces. You may be seeking dental corrections and most patients will also notice positive facial changes, making your face more symmetrical. Braces use lots of force, they are handy for fixing all problems and leave you with a beautiful smile.

 

2. You can expect perfect results with braces

With more force, braces can move your teeth into the desired position by adjusting those malocclusions cases such as over bites or deep bite. Because braces are for everyone, there are literally hundreds of studies and hundreds of years of combined research for braces and orthodontics. That’s why smiles come out looking perfect.

 

3. Are braces painful?

No, braces are not painful. Like Invisalign, although tooth movement is taking place, the most you might feel is a slight headache for 1 hour while your teeth adjust to your brackets and movements. Most people don’t even report any signs of pain or headaches.

4. Multiple types of braces

Braces come in different, colors, shapes and sizes. Traditional wires and metal brackets are still around but there are new types for faster treatment option or less visits. If you’re looking for something less visible, ceramic braces are for you! You can enjoy the benefits of braces without the metal look. (To read more about the advancements of braces, click here)

The disadvantages of braces

Some patients may mind the look of the braces, but if that doesn’t bother you, that’s great! The only true disadvantage of braces is that they are not removable, so brushing and flossing can be a little more difficult.

Ok, so which one is better braces or Invisalign?

To be honest, they are both great solutions and both have their pros and cons. However, the pros for both treatment types significantly outweigh the cons on all levels; social, economical, and health benefits. What is important to remember is that whether you choose Invisalign or braces you need to see your dentist regularly for cleanings and checkups to avoid other complications that come with oral hygiene.

From Etobicoke to Mississauga and Vaughan, Dental Health Clinic has been helping many patients achieve their dream smile. If you have any questions about Invisalign or braces, please contact the Dental Health Clinic by email: admin@dentalhealthclinic.ca, or phone: +1 (416) 742-2300. To schedule your free consultation: Click here.

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Causes and Solutions for People Who Grind Their Teeth

Most of us hardly think about how we grind our teeth everyday. Sure, there is the normal things that we expect like eating, but the reality is that many of us over-exert pressure on our pearly whites without even realizing it and without a tasty meal either.

While teeth are designed to withstand the force that comes with chewing foods, they can become damaged when force or pressure is unevenly applied to the tooth’s structure.  Many people with crooked teeth often run into this problem later in life as their bite unevenly distributes pressure on the teeth. This can erode and chip tooth structure that meets the other teeth during eating.

Teeth grinding is a root cause of many dental appointments. Officially called Bruxism, it is the compulsion to relive anxiety and stress through teeth grinding. Oftentimes many people with this habit will grind their teeth without even realizing it, and there are many cases of people with bruxism who naturally grind their teeth in their sleep.

 

Symptoms of Grinding Teeth

You may not notice that the noises coming from your mouth while you grind in your sleep, however, if you suffer from grinding your teeth you may wake up with a sore jar or tight neck. Here are some of the possible symptoms you may have;

  • Facial pain
  • Headaches
  • Ear-ache
  • Pain and stiffness in the jaw and / or surrounding muscles,
  • Temporomandibular disorder (TMD)
  • Disrupted sleep (for you or your partner)
  • Worn-down teeth, which can lead to tooth sensitivity and even tooth loss
  • Broken teeth or fillings

 

Serious Ongoing Issues That May Arise with as a Result of Grinding  Your Teeth

Tooth grinding depletes enamel from the surface of the tooth, this makes it easier for bacteria to enter deeper into the tooth, increasing sensitivity and the likelihood of getting a cavity or infection. As more enamel is depleted, the tooth will look more yellow and will be structurally weaker as time passes and will be more prone to breaking or chipping.

 

What can you do to correct grinding teeth?

  • Wear a Night Guard

    • At a dental office, the dentist can quickly make a mold of your mouth that fits comfortably and allows you to breathe easily. This plastic molding, called a night guard will stop your teeth from coming in contact with each other while you sleep and can ease jaw pain as well.
    • This is a remedial solution but may not help the actual problem which means it won’t stop you from grinding at night, but it will protect your teeth.
  • Relax & Meditate

    • Since anxiety is a major force behind grinding, try to unwind or meditate to relieve stress just before bed.
  • Orthodontics Braces or Invisalign

    • Orthodontic treatment can help with your teeth grinding issues. Invisalign or braces can help adjust your bite, align teeth, and alleviate uneven pressure. Both Invisalign and braces can correct TMJ issues which might be causing you to grind your teeth in the first place.
  • Avoid Alcohol and Caffeine

    • If you notice that you are grinding your teeth after your morning coffee, it may be time to reduce your caffeine intake or even call it quits on the substance. Caffeine and alcohol affect your nervous system and may cause you to grind your teeth more often. So skip that glass of wine in the evening.
  • Mandibular Advancement Devices

    • Often referred to as MADs, these devices were designed to help people who snore sleep quietly by extending their lower jaw during sleep. Studies have shown that highly effective outcomes in the reduction of sleep Bruxism have been reported by people using MADs.

If you have been experiencing any tenderness in your jaw joints, facial muscles, or a roughness on the tops of your teeth you may be grinding your teeth excessively. Ask your dentist if your mouth is showing signs of teeth grinding.

Most people don’t realize how hard we can bite down and rub our teeth together. Maintaining tooth enamel is key to optimum oral health, taking care to prevent teeth grinding is just as important as brushing everyday and seeing your dentist regularly.

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Do You Need Braces as an Adult?

Don’t Let Age Hold You Back

If you’re an adult with crooked or misaligned teeth and you have been thinking about getting braces, don’t worry, you’re not alone.

In 2008, Gordie Organ, the president of the Canadian Association of Orthodontists, told the CBC that, “at least 35 per cent” of his orthodontics patients were adults in their 40s, 50s and 60s.

This has stayed true today as according to the Canadian Dental Association, more than one quarter of Canadians seeking orthodontic treatment are over the age of 21.

Cosmetic braces improve appearance and functionality of the mouth. They have become much cheaper, available and effective over the last decade. The stigma against wearing braces has become a thing of the past as more and more adults have been using braces to fix their crooked teeth once and for all.

Take Alex Schmidt, a writer for the Cosmopolitan. Like many others before her she had braces as a teenager, and once they came off, she thought that was the last of her mouth problems.

Unfortunately, Alex never wore her retainer, and surely soon enough, after few years Alex noticed that her teeth were starting to shift back into their crooked places, which they soon did.

When Alex was 26, her dentist would tell her she needed braces again. Alex’s underbite and crooked teeth where ‘wearing themselves down’ and if nothing was done, she would need major tooth reconstruction by her mid 30’s due to the continued damage.

Despite her initial hesitation to return to braces, Alex was less keen on using more time and money to fix this problem years later which would require her to replace all her teeth. Despite the inconveniences Alex experienced, like chewing food and communicating in person, Alex said wearing braces was one of the more empowering things she has done in her adulthood.

Alex saw her ordeal as trading the short-term inconveniences of braces for the long-term benefits.  Having braces has made her more confident then in the past, owing to her improved appearance and stronger self-esteem.

In Alex’s article about her braces she said that living with braces, while embarrassing at first, helped her gain confidence and feel less self-conscious in social interactions.

“I found myself better able to relate and connect to the people around me, both strangers and friends. By looking my weirdest and owning it, I felt some form of my best.”

While many people may decide to straighten their teeth to improve their smile, appearance is the least important thing to consider when deciding to straighten your teeth. Crooked teeth can impact your health more then significantly then appearance.

 

How Crooked Teeth Impact Your Health

Crooked teeth make your brushing and flossing harder to do, increasing the chance of plaque build-up, bad breath and cavities. Gum sensitivity and swelling are common in people with severely misaligned teeth, as are lip and tongue injury’s sustained while eating.

Crooked teeth don’t evenly distribute the pressure of your bite during eating, in addition to chewing difficulty, this increases the wear and tear of enamel on the straight teeth, making them more likely to break or chip. Damaged teeth are also very susceptible to bacteria even with constant cleaning.

In certain cases, misaligned teeth can affect how you pronounce words, and create speech difficulty.

Today dentist’s have more types of braces available then ever before. This enables patients to decide the most effective and comfortable solution for their health and budget.

 

The Different Types of Braces:

  1. Traditional metal

The dentist will apply metal brackets to your teeth and thread a flexible wire through them. As the wire is tightened, your teeth will gradually shift into their proper place. The braces may not need to cover all your teeth depending on the degree of realignment needed. Today, metal braces are much smaller, customizable and more comfortable now than they were in the past.

 

  1. Ceramic

As the name suggests, these braces and wiring are made of a tooth-coloured ceramic material that’s the same colour as your teeth. This makes them significantly less-noticeable compared to traditional metal braces however often more expensive.

 

  1. Invisalign

A virtually invisible version of braces. They consist of a set of custom-fit, clear molds that fit over your teeth. These are known as “aligners” and as you wear them your teeth will gradually shift into position.

You can also remove them for short periods of time, making brushing and flossing much easier then with other braces. However, they take longer to work for extreme realignment and are more expensive then ceramic and traditional braces.

Don’t let age hold you back. If you are living with crooked teeth talk to your dentist about your situation, if there is misalignment in your mouth then your crooked teeth may be harming your health.

If you have any questions or want to learn more about this please contact the Dental Health Clinic by email: admin@dentalhealthclinic.ca, or phone: +1 (416) 742-2300.