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Whitening Teeth with Braces

July 17th, 2019

Now that you are working hard to improve your dental health and appearance with your braces, it might seem like a logical time to whiten your teeth as well. But should you go ahead with home kits or a professional whitening? The answer might be yes, but not quite yet!

Toothpaste

The easiest way to whiten teeth is regular use of a whitening toothpaste. But these do not make a major difference in tooth color and may also contain abrasives which can damage ceramic brackets and make them more likely to stain. And, whether you have metal or ceramic braces, the brackets used are bonded to your teeth. Any part of your tooth covered by a bracket will not be affected by the whitening paste. Ask our office if you are thinking of using one of these products. We will be happy to recommend the best toothpastes to use while your braces are in place.

Whitening Strips and Trays

Whiteners can be applied at home with strips or tray kits. Strips are coated with a whitening gel and then pressed around your teeth. Tray kits provide a mouthguard-like appliance, which is filled with whitening gel. But neither strips nor tray solutions will whiten any area covered by brackets. When your braces come off, there might be noticeable differences in color on each tooth. Strips are difficult to apply with braces, and trays need to be custom-designed to fit your braces and make sure they don’t disturb your orthodontic work. One size most definitely does not fit all! Finally, these whitening agents can cause tooth and gum sensitivity, especially around the time of adjustments. Many manufacturers do not recommend using their products while you have braces. Please talk to us if you are thinking of using them.

Professional Whitening

A dental professional can whiten your teeth in office for the best possible results. The most effective treatments for your unique teeth are combined with protective care of your gums and mouth. Whether this treatment is appropriate while you have braces is something we are happy to discuss.

The best way to keep your teeth bright is to keep up your regular dental routine! Brushing and flossing are more important than ever now, because plaque builds up around brackets. Avoid foods that stain teeth and rinse or brush after every meal and snack. Dr. Charles Stetler will show you the best way to take care of your teeth while your braces are on—and that includes the best way to keep them white and bright. Talk to us about the perfect time to whiten your beautiful smile during your next visit to our Dallas office. And if you have to wait a few extra days for the smile you’ve been working toward, truly, the wait will be worth it!

Eating and Invisalign®

July 10th, 2019

One of the greatest advantages to using Invisalign is that it provides maximum results with minimal impact on your everyday life. Invisalign is comfortable, easy to insert, and simple to remove. Because you can remove Invisalign aligners, you can enjoy all your favorite foods and beverages without worries about getting food stuck in the wires and brackets of traditional braces.

Eating and Invisalign

While the aligner is durable and strong, you should remove it before you eat or drink beverages, as the chewing action inside your mouth can break, crack, or distort the aligner. Even minute damage to the Invisalign tray will prevent it from aligning your teeth properly. Furthermore, eating with Invisalign in your mouth can be quite messy.

Beverages and Invisalign

Repeated exposure to hot liquids may also cause the Invisalign aligner to distort. This distortion changes the shape of your aligner in a way that will affect how it straightens your teeth. Contact our Dallas office if your Invisalign aligner has distorted after consuming a hot beverage.

Fluids can settle inside the aligner to “bathe” the teeth. Bathing teeth in acidic fluids can be especially problematic, as the acids can wear away tooth enamel. Exposure to acidic fluids is not normally a problem, as saliva neutralizes and buffers the acid then washes it away. Wearing an aligner, however, prevents the saliva from doing those jobs, increasing your risk for tooth decay.

Colored drinks may also change the color of your teeth. Most discoloration is temporary but stubborn stains may occur.

To prevent discoloration and tooth decay, brush your teeth after every meal or beverage before putting in your Invisalign aligners. If you do not have access to clean water, chew sugar-free gum to remove bacteria, acid, and food particles from your teeth. As a last resort, you may leave your aligners out for an hour or two until you can brush and floss properly. Before inserting Invisalign, rinse the aligner in lukewarm water or use the Invisalign cleaning kit.

Contact our Dallas office for more information about eating and Invisalign.

Fun Facts for the Fourth

July 3rd, 2019

The Fourth of July is a great time to get together with friends and family members for BBQ, games, fireworks, and other celebrations in honor of our country’s independence. While your fellow revelers eat hot dogs and wave flags, you can impress them by sharing these fascinating facts and historical tidbits about some of our country’s traditions and symbols from the team at Preston Commons Dental Care.

The Statue of Liberty

With a torch in one hand and a tablet in the other, the Statue of Liberty is one of the most iconic and recognizable symbols of our country. However, as recognizable as certain parts of the statue are, not many people know that broken shackles, which represent oppression and tyranny, are lying at Lady Liberty’s feet. According to the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, the copper-plated lady weighs in at a whopping 450,000 tons and has been holding her torch up for more than 125 years, which must make for some impressive arm muscles.

Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest

Since 1916, people have been flocking to Coney Island on the Fourth of July to witness what some people call the “superbowl of competitive eating.” Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating contest challenges competitors to devour as many hot dogs as they can in just ten minutes, with the current record holder swallowing a whopping 68 hot dogs! If you’d like to witness this bizarre and frenzied eating competition but you won’t be anywhere near Coney Island on the fourth, don’t worry. ESPN has been broadcasting this popular event for several years, so you can watch from the comfort of your couch while you eat a reasonably portioned meal.

The History Behind Fireworks

Viewing the nighttime fireworks display is exciting way to finish off the fourth. Many people know that these brilliant displays probably originated with the Chinese. However, many historians also believe that fireworks were stumbled upon when the Chinese roasted bamboo sticks over fires and watched them explode. After many years of roasting the sticks, a group of alchemists created an early form of gunpowder, which they stuffed into the bamboo sticks to create an even more powerful explosion, paving the way for the today’s modern fireworks.

Whether you’re planning on visiting the Statue of Liberty, watching fireworks in Dallas, or even participating in a hot dog eating contest, Dr. Charles Stetler and our team hope you have a safe and fun-filled holiday. Happy Fourth of July!

What's New!

June 29th, 2019

What's New: Dental Advances You'll Appreciate

Have you stepped inside a dentist's office lately? What you find might surprise you. It's not just the flat screen televisions in the waiting room and above the chair (though they are perks you can now find in many practices). Serious advances have made examinations and treatments more accurate, efficient and less painful than what you may recall.

From laser scans to in-office production of your tooth replacement, cutting edge technology is transforming dental care — and your oral health stands to benefit.

Traditional Procedures Get Digitized

More and more dentists are embracing digital X-rays compared to film-based radiographs, and it's easy to understand why: reduced radiation levels up to 90%, images rendered almost immediately, and computer viewing and storage help dentists make diagnoses and comparisons in a matter of clicks.

The cavity search with a steel hook that typically follows X-rays now has a high-tech alternative as well. Dentists are starting to use "diode" lasers instead, which are far more accurate and much less uncomfortable. Cavity detection happens in a series of sweeps, and won't leave you in agony.

Materials are of Much Higher Quality

Once your treatment plan is under way, you'll soon come to find that even the materials being used are of much higher quality. Dental implants previously known for high failure rates are now straightforward and long lasting, involving a titanium screw that gets inserted into the jaw. Veneers feel more seamless thanks to an improved shell that requires less reshaping, and they are thinner, yet sturdy. And repairs to cracked or broken teeth look more natural due to better bonding solutions and techniques.

Through the use of computer-assisted design and manufacture technology (respectively known as "CAD" and "CAM"), some dentists are going one step further by making materials instead of ordering them. Rather than waiting weeks on end for your custom crown to arrive, in-office equipment makes it possible to have your replacement tooth much faster.

Cosmetic Work Gets a Natural Makeover

Perhaps some of the more noticeable transformations have occurred in the cosmetic field of work. New and improved options are available to help patients perfect that smile like never before. Fillings, which were previously easy to spot due to their dark metallic color, now come in porcelain or shades designed to match your tooth color. Teeth whitening treatments have become much more efficient, and can make your smile up to ten shades brighter in as little as an hour. Even braces have a much more appealing look, with an "invisible" or clear design that is growing in popularity.

Experience the Changes Yourself

As with any industry, adopting new technologies and procedures takes time and varies by dentist. If a previous experience has deterred you from getting regular care, you may want to research other local options and/or give your current dentist a call to learn about what you can expect today. Your oral health is on the line, and the world of dentistry has changed for the better.

Sources:

Dental Health: Advances in Care. (n.d.). Retrieved June 5, 2015, from http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/advances-in-dental-care-whats-new-at-the-dentist

 

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