Dental Checkups and Teen Invisalign: Why Now is the Time to Act!

2021-07-14T17:38:04+00:00July 13th, 2021|Adam Brown DDS, Teeth Cleaning|

Summer Checkup and Invisalign Charlotte

Our kids have been out of school long enough. After more than a year of shut-downs, unpredictable schedules, and online courses, it’s time to get them back into the flow of education. And you want to make sure your child doesn’t miss a thing during this upcoming school year!

That’s why now is the time to schedule their dental checkup. And if you have a teen who needs some general alignment treatment, this could also be the perfect opportunity to explore Invisalign.

We know—you already have a lot on your plate. To ease your load a little, we’ve provided some practical information and answers to common questions about back-to-school dental checkups and Invisalign:

 

Top Reasons for Scheduling Now

Why is it a good idea to schedule your child’s dental appointment now instead of, say, a few months down the road? There are many reasons. Here are just a few of them:

Flexibility of Schedule

As soon as your child begins the school year, you’re going to have tons to do and limited time to do it. Carpools, homework, extracurricular activities, and other commitments that come with the school year can fill your schedule up and seriously raise your stress levels. Add another appointment to your to-do list, and it can become downright overwhelming. Typically, the summertime is more relaxed both for families and dentists. By scheduling a checkup now, you can bypass the stress.

Catching Problems Early

The sooner you identify potential dental issues, the better. Bringing your child to the dentist every six months for a cleaning is critical for their dental health. But the examination part of a checkup is just as important.

During an appointment, your child’s dentist will conduct a thorough evaluation of their dental health. This includes looking for chips, cracks, and early signs of cavities, tooth decay, and other problems. A routine visit can save your child from painful dental procedures as well as prevent you from getting hit with an expensive medical bill.

Better Concentration

For many kids, staying focused through class and homework assignments is hard enough. But if your child has a dental issue, it can throw their concentration off even more. Think about it—would you be able to stay focused on the task at hand if you had a throbbing toothache or a relentless sharp pain in your mouth? By getting your child checked out over the summer, it will help them concentrate and lower the risk of them having to miss class for an emergency dental appointment.

 

Oral Health Maintenance

Every aspect of a dental checkup is meant to promote your child’s overall oral health. Thorough cleaning and fluoride treatment can do wonders for preventing cavities, decay, and other serious issues. If your dentist thinks it is necessary, sealant treatment can provide additional protection.

But there’s another factor to consider: A lot of parents find it challenging to get their children to maintain oral hygiene at home. And your child’s dentist can provide them with compelling information that stresses the importance of oral hygiene. Moreover, the dentist can give you and your child personalized tips for brushing, flossing, and other hygienic practices.

 

Questions to Ask the Dentist

OK, so you’ve been convinced to schedule your child’s dental checkup sooner than later. That’s good. Now, you just have to prepare to get the most out of your visit. Here are a few questions to ask your child’s dentist during the appointment:

Will there be a cleaning today?

Cleaning is to be expected during any checkup. But just to be safe, confirm with your child’s dentist that there will be a cleaning. This is critical. No matter how well or often your child brushes, it’s not possible for them to remove all of the cavity-causing bacteria from their mouth. Getting a professional cleaning is one of the most fundamental steps they can take toward good oral health.

Does my child need sealants?

Fabricated from plastic or other dental materials, sealants are thin, protective coatings that can be placed on your child’s permanent back teeth. While these are no substitute for hygienic practices like brushing and flossing, they can go a long way in preventing bacteria and food particles from settling into the nooks and crannies of your child’s teeth. Sealants are particularly effective at preventing cavities and stopping the progression of existing spots of tooth decay.

It’s best practice to apply sealants as soon as possible after your child’s permanent molars come in. But they can still help teenagers and even adults. Since sealants reduce the risk of cavities by 80%, it’s definitely something worth asking the dentist about.

Does my child need an x-ray?

Your child won’t need to get an x-ray at every checkup. Still yet, it won’t hurt to ask the dentist about it each time. X-rays help your child’s dentist see the big picture of how your child’s teeth are developing, and they provide a clear picture of root health. Furthermore, x-rays can reveal tooth decay that may otherwise go unnoticed.

Will you assess my child’s mouthguard?

If your child wears a mouthguard for sports, you will want to bring the mouthguard in at each checkup. Your child’s dentist can assess the wear and tear of the mouthguard, as well as how well it fits in your child’s mouth. This is especially critical if your child is going through a growth spurt or getting new teeth; in these cases, you may need to get the mouthguard reformed.

Do you have any general suggestions for improvements?

The primary focus of a dental checkup is to look at overall dental health. The dentist will take an in-depth assessment of your child’s teeth and gums to ensure that the teeth are lining up correctly, that the bite is in good shape, and that no serious issues are on the horizon. If you have any concerns about your child’s dental health routine at home, be sure to ask for suggestions from the dentist as to how you can help improve it.

Is It Time for Your Teen to Start Invisalign?

Life is difficult enough for teenagers. Attaching a bunch of metal brackets to their teeth is sort of like adding insult to injury! Thankfully, braces are no longer the most popular or effective solution for correcting a teenager’s misaligned teeth or bad bite. Invisalign aligners have made many strides over the years and are now the go-to treatment for common alignment problems. Don’t know much about this product? Read on to get the gist!

What Exactly is Invisalign?

Invisalign is a brand of aligners that gradually move your teeth into their correct places. Much like braces, these aligners apply pressure on designated areas. However, unlike braces, Invisalign aligners are completely clear, and they are also removable (like retainers).

When you order Invisalign, the dentist will send measurements and molds of your teen’s mouth to a lab that will custom-fabricate a tray of aligners to fit their teeth perfectly. This process will occur several times, and each tray of aligners will be manufactured slightly straighter than the one before it.

As with other orthodontic devices and procedures, the Invisalign process is an investment. As such, it’s not something to be done via trial and error. At Adam Brown DDS, we will conduct a thorough consultation with your teen to ensure that they are a good candidate for clear aligners.

 

The Benefits

If your teen has misalignment issues in their teeth, jaw, or both, correcting those issues with Invisalign could yield a plethora of benefits. Here are a few key benefits to keep in mind:

• Self-Confidence

Your teen’s self-confidence will remain intact when using Invisalign. It’s truly a win-win situation; they get all the benefits of wearing traditional braces, but rather than chunks of metal, their clear aligners are essentially invisible! What’s more, as your teen’s teeth and bite are corrected, their self-confidence will likely increase.

• Comfort

Cuts and irritation in the mouth are common with braces. These issues don’t occur as often with Invisalign. If your teen experiences sharp edges and corners while wearing the aligners, the dentist can shave them down. Plus, your teen’s aligners will be custom-trimmed to fit their gum line, which will reduce the risk of irritation and discomfort. The comfort of Invisalign aligners can help your teen stay focused and succeed in school, work, and extracurricular activities.

• Few Dietary Changes

Anyone who has ever had braces can attest to the dietary restrictions involved. There are countless foods, snacks, and beverages that can cause damage to traditional braces. With Invisalign, there’s really no limit to what you can eat and drink. That said, it’s critical that your teeth and gums are kept clean; otherwise, the aligners themselves will not be clean.

There is one caveat, however. Your teen should never eat or drink anything (besides water) without first removing their aligners. Once they are finished eating or drinking, they will need to put their aligners back in. If you want to ensure the healthiest process possible, encourage your teen to brush their teeth before reinserting the aligners.

 

Common Questions About Invisalign

Finally, most parents have their fair share of questions concerning Invisalign. To help you get a better idea of whether or not clear aligners are the right solution for your teen, consider the answers to these common questions:

Why not traditional braces?

If your teen wears the aligners as their trained dentist recommends, Invisalign Teen can be every bit as effective as traditional braces for correcting common alignment issues. There are many problems and obstacles associated with the metal brackets and wires of braces. Invisalign aligners are easily removable, which means that your teen can play sports and engage in other activities without having to worry about damaging their braces or mouth.

How can I ensure my teen wears the aligners?

Parents of even the most responsible teenagers may be concerned about a lack of structure and routine. After all, you don’t want to make a significant investment if you’re not confident that your teen will wear their aligners as recommended (22 hours a day is standard).

Fortunately, Invisalign aligners have a unique feature called “compliance indicators,” which are essentially blue dots that disappear when your teen is wearing the aligners according to their treatment recommendations. If the blue dots are present at your teen’s next checkup, it will notify you and the dentist that your teen hasn’t been wearing the aligners appropriately.

What if an aligner gets lost?

Teenagers (and adults, for that matter) lose things. If your teen loses their aligners, no problem! Invisalign will provide up to six free replacement aligners. All you have to do is notify your dentist so the new aligners can be ordered.

 

Conclusion

Just because the world stopped for the pandemic doesn’t mean that your child’s dental health should slide! Reduce your stress and gain peace of mind by scheduling your child a checkup at Adam Brown DDS this summer. That way, you will know that you are fostering their health without having to take them out of school. And if you’re interested in starting Invisalign treatment for your teen, be sure to ask our office about that as well!

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8 Ways to Sustain Your Family’s Dental Hygiene This Summer

2021-05-25T20:00:30+00:00May 25th, 2021|Dental Trends, Oral Health|

Tips to Help Your Families Dental Health

Summer is around the corner, which means it’s time for all the fun things that come with Summer. Maybe your family is planning to go on a big vacation. Maybe you’re getting geared up for long days at the pool. Perhaps you’re looking forward to some sweet, cold treats to tame the rising temperatures.

But amid the summertime excitement, it’s important not to leave your dental health in the dust. The shifts in routine and the seasonal activities don’t remove your family’s need to maintain good oral hygiene habits. Adam Brown DDS is here with some practical tips and information for how your family can keep your teeth and gums healthy through the sun-kissed days of Summer:

 

  1. Stick to Your Dental Routine 

We’ll start with the basics: keeping up with your normal dental care routine. Even if your kids are out of school and staying up later than usual, don’t let them go to bed without brushing their teeth. And to the adults in the room—don’t allow yourselves to get lax either!

For many families, summer is packed with special events and relaxed bedtimes, but everyone should be brushing twice a day for two minutes with fluoride toothpaste. Also, make sure you are flossing once a day; any two teeth that touch should be cleaned regularly. Many children lack the motor skills to floss until they are more than 10-years-old. If necessary, help your child floss, or invest in a water flosser. 

 

  1. Pack Wisely 

The quickest way for your family to fall behind on dental hygiene is to forget the essentials when you travel. As you plan your vacation, be sure to pack travel-sized items like these:

 

Toothbrush

Like the other items on this list, you can find a selection of travel-sized toothbrushes at most major retailers, grocery stores, and pharmacies. These brushes will fold and easily fit into a carry-on bag. Your travel brush may not be quite as comfortable or effective as your full-sized brush, but it will get the job done. 

 

Toothpaste

Fluoride toothpaste is another essential item that you can’t go without on your trip. If you only took two dental care products when you travel, you would want them to be a toothbrush and toothpaste. 

 

Floss

You can get travel-sized packs of floss, but flossers are even better. Particularly if you have kids, flossers are easier to use on the go, and they’re effective at removing excess food particles and plaque between teeth. If possible, bring a pack of floss in addition to your flosser. 

 

Mouthwash  

While it shouldn’t be used to replace your brushing habit too often, mouthwash can do wonders for killing bacteria and germs in your mouth. You won’t have any trouble fitting travel-sized mouthwashes in your carry-on, and you can use them to freshen your breath when you don’t have a chance to brush. 

 

Toothpicks

Toothpicks are the perfect little gadgets for removing food particles after a meal. Get a travel-sized pack of toothpicks for your trip to use when you don’t have the opportunity to floss. 

 

Wisps

Manufactured by Colgate, Wisp brushes are relatively new. And they’re one of the handiest oral hygiene products you can buy. These pocket-sized, disposable brushes are surprisingly effective at removing food particles and plaque, and each brush comes with a built-in freshening bead that releases toothpaste as you brush. The best part is that you don’t even have to rinse!

 

Sugar-Free Gum

Chewing gum is great for keeping bad breath at bay, but it also increases saliva production when you chew it. Since saliva is essential for dissolving acids and helping you fight dry mouth, this is a good thing. Stay fresh and avoid cavities by packing sugar-free gum for your vacation. 

 

  1. Consider Sustainable Products 

While travel-sized dental care products are great for taking trips, using eco-conscious products for your everyday routine is a great way to benefit both your oral health and the environment. Here are some of the most popular types of eco-conscious dental care products available today:

 

Toothbrushes

Plastic toothbrushes typically are not compostable, nor are the packages they come in. That’s why bamboo toothbrushes are gaining in popularity. Not only are the bristles and handles easily compostable, but bamboo brushes can be just as effective for cleaning your teeth and gums as conventional brushes. 

 

Toothpaste  

Natural toothpaste has been around for a long time. But it has come a long way over the years in terms of helping you effectively remove plaque and prevent cavities. Unless you have a high decay risk, your family could benefit your oral health and the environment by using natural toothpaste that comes in a compostable tube. 

 

Floss

The packaging of conventional floss can take years to biodegrade. There are many sustainable, low-waste floss products on the market that come in biodegradable packaging and are just as effective at removing food particles and plaque. 

 

Mouthwash

Alcohol-based mouthwashes may leave you with a feeling of freshness in your mouth, but they can also dehydrate your oral cavity, hinder saliva production, and cause irritation. If you want to add a mouth rinse to your dental care routine, opt for one that contains coconut oil and xylitol, which are known for their antibacterial properties and less harsh on the gums than alcohol. 

 

Whitening

Brushing with a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda once a week can noticeably brighten your smile, and it has no impact on the environment! Just make sure it’s not part of your daily routine. When used too frequently, hydrogen peroxide can cause chemical burns on your gums while baking soda can damage your enamel. 

 

  1. Don’t Chew Ice 

Few things are more satisfying than an ice-cold drink on a hot summer day. But if you’re an ice-chewer, know the risks that come with it. Chewing ice, especially large cubes, can cause a variety of oral health issues and even lead to a hefty bill from the dentist or orthodontist. Some common consequences of chewing ice include damaged tooth enamel, damaged dental fillings, cracked or chipped teeth, and broken oral appliances. 

While adults should also take precautions, kids are particularly prone to chew ice subconsciously. Make sure your children know the risks involved and try to prevent the habit if possible. If anyone in your family experiences one of the injuries above to your teeth or oral appliances, contact Adam Brown DDS immediately to arrange an emergency dental visit.  

 

  1. Limit Sugary Foods and Drinks 

We get it—Summer is meant to be enjoyed. And sometimes that includes chomping on yummy foods that are not so good for your teeth. Try to moderate your consumption of sugary foods and beverages, as they can significantly hinder your oral health routine. For example, sodas, juices, and ice cream can erode your enamel and cause cavities. Even acidic fruits like blueberries and pineapples can harm your enamel. After eating foods like these, be sure to rinse your mouth, brush, and floss as soon as possible.   

 

  1. Embrace Healthy Summer Foods 

Now that you have an idea of what foods to limit in your summer diet, let’s talk about some foods that can specifically benefit your oral health:

 

Salmon 

Salmon is not only a versatile fish for recipes, but it’s also one of the best foods you can eat for vitamin D. And without vitamin D, your body won’t be able to absorb nutrients like calcium. Salmon is also an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are critical in the prevention of periodontal disease and fostering overall health. 

 

Cheese 

For most people, this one doesn’t take a lot of convincing. Obviously, cheese is best eaten in moderation because it’s high in fat content, but it’s a wonderful source of calcium. And calcium is perhaps the single most beneficial nutrient for teeth, as it helps to keep your enamel strong and your jawbones durable. Moreover, cheese contains casein—a protein that provides a protective layer on your teeth and helps prevent tooth decay. 

 

Bananas

Bananas are one of the most beneficial fruits you can eat for your dental health. They have a low acidic content, and they’re high in potassium, which helps to maintain jawbone density and tooth strength. Yes, bananas have sugar in them, but they won’t stick to your teeth like candy and other sugary foods. 

 

Oranges

Vitamin C plays a critical role in helping your gums fight off gingivitis and other oral infections, and oranges offer a beaucoup of vitamin C. Boost your gum health, and you’ll significantly lower your risk of loose teeth. 

 

Apples

If nature had a toothbrush, it would be an apple. Along with containing vital nutrients (e.g., potassium, vitamin C, fiber, etc.), apples massage the gums, increase saliva, and remove plaque. Making apples a part of your daily diet will help you maintain a clean mouth, fresh breath, healthy gums, and strong teeth. 

 

Carrots

Carrots are also a wonder for cleaning your teeth and gums. They contain lots of keratin, which combat plaque and tartar, and they massage your gums. They also have beta carotene, a nutrient that converts to vitamin A, which increases saliva production and enables oral wounds to heal more quickly. 

 

Kale 

This superfood is known for its incredible array of nutrients, and it’s one of the best foods you can eat for your oral and overall health. Kale has high levels of vitamin K, which helps to protect your bones and enamel, boost your immune system, and foster healing. It also helps the body absorb osteocalcin—another nutrient that benefits bones and teeth. 

 

  1. Drink Plenty of Water 

Water is essential for keeping you hydrated in the heat. But it also comes with specific dental benefits. For instance, it helps to keep your mouth clean by washing away leftover food and residue that would otherwise attract bacteria, in turn reducing the risk of cavities. Furthermore, water dilutes the acids produced by oral bacteria. Start your morning off with a glass of water, and always keep a refillable water bottle with you so that you can sip throughout the day. 

 

  1. Prepare for Accidents 

Finally, accidents happen. While you want to take every precaution, such as having your child wear a mouthguard while playing sports, you may not always be able to avoid injury. That’s why it’s essential to prepare a kit of supplies for your child to keep nearby in the event of a dental emergency. Whether they’re playing a contact sport, engaging in an individual physical activity, or hanging out at the pool, make sure they have easy access to a kit with these items:

  • Gauze
  • Saline solution
  • OTC pain medication
  • A small container (for a knocked-out tooth)
  • The number to their dentist 

 

Conclusion

Summertime may be when the living’s easy (especially for kids), but your family’s dental health still matters. Along with maintaining your regular oral hygiene routine, look for new products that can benefit your smile and the planet. Avoid chewing ice, consume sugary foods and beverages in moderation, and incorporate dental-friendly foods in your diet. Lastly, be sure to drink a lot of water, stay prepared for dental emergencies, and book your back-to-school appointments now at Adam Brown DDS!

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