our blog

Our Blog

Invisalign - A Metal-Free Alternative

September 9th, 2019

When it comes to straightening your teeth to achieve a healthy smile, having a mouth full of metal braces may not be YOUR ideal solution. Lucky for you, we offer a cosmetic alternative: Invisalign®.

The results from Invisalign® users indicate that it's a comfortable, effective option for straightening teeth. In addition, Invisalign provides a "nearly invisible" option that allows you to avoid the dreaded “metal mouth.” We can help determine if Invisalign is right for you, but this article will explain why so many adult patients are calling Invisalign the best choice for straightening your smile.

Metal-Free Braces

While you can get brackets to more closely match your enamel color (making them more discrete), Invisalign is designed to be invisible. Aligner trays made of smooth, comfortable, BPA-free clear plastic are worn over your teeth to subtly and gently move your teeth. Since there are no metal parts to change the look of your smile, your Invisalign aligners can straighten your teeth while allowing your pearly whites to shine through. If you’re an adult, who tends to be self-conscious, Invisalign may be an excellent choice for you. People may not even notice you’re straightening your teeth with Invisalign!

Eat, Brush, and Floss Easily

Another particularly attractive aspect of Invisalign is the freedom it allows. While traditional metal braces can make eating, brushing, and flossing difficult, this is not the case with Invisalign. The aligners are easily removed for these activities, which gives you the freedom to live life as usual.

More Comfort

Invisalign consists of smooth, comfortable plastic instead of  traditional metal brackets and wires that are more likely to irritate your cheeks and gums. For many adults, that's an important advantage.

Straightening your teeth to improve your smile and overall oral health is an important decision. To learn more about Invisalign and to find out if it’s right for your smile,  schedule a complimentary initial consultation with Bel Air Orthodontics today!

Back To School With Braces

August 26th, 2019

With the start of a new school year, parents and kids everywhere are heading out to stock up on back-to-school supplies. If you're undergoing orthodontic treatment, we'd suggest adding a few extra supplies to your backpack. Here's a list of items that will help make your school year braces-friendly and worry free:

Orthodontic wax - Sometimes braces can be irritating to the mouth. If you have a poking wire or a loose bracket, a small amount of non-medicinal relief wax makes an excellent buffer for your gums. It will keep you in school and out of discomfort until you can visit our office for repair.

Elastics (rubber bands) - If Dr. Godwin has prescribed elastics, they must be worn as instructed. Often, they are worn 24/7, except while eating and brushing your teeth. During the school day, you should remove the elastics for lunch, but don't forget to replace them with fresh, clean elastics when you are through. Packing an extra bag of elastics will ensure that you have them available at all times.

Travel toothbrush and Floss - Keeping your teeth and braces clean throughout orthodontic treatment is a priority. Besides that, your friends and teachers don't want to look at food stuck to your braces - Yuk!  Keep your teeth and Dr. Godwin happy . . . Remember to brush after every meal.

Floss Threaders and Interproximal Brushes -  Orthodontic appliances can often make flossing and brushing more challenging. Products like floss threaders and proxy brushes can help take the hassle out of cleaning around brackets and wires. Proxy brushes are great for removing trapped food particles that can get lodged in and around orthodontic appliances. Floss threaders and products like Oral-B Superfloss are made with special, rigid ends that make flossing with braces much easier and more effective.

Retainer case - If you are wearing removable orthodontic appliances, you'll need to take them out before eating lunch. When retainers or other removable appliances are not in your mouth, they should ALWAYS be in a retainer case. Most retainers are lost in school cafeterias or restaurants, so keep yours safe . . . Take your retainer case to school!

Braces-friendly snacks and/or lunches - Pack non-stick snacks and lunches that are easy to chew and won't damage your orthodontic appliances. Don't forget to stay away from sugary drinks and treats that can lead to cavities. There are lots of braces-friendly alternatives. For more ideas, visit bracescookbook.com

If you have any questions, or need any of the above items for your backpack, feel free to contact the team at Bel Air Orthodontics. We hope you have a fun and successful school year!

The Retainer Who Thought He Was Human

August 15th, 2019

Have you ever wondered where all those missing retainers go?

Well, our patients have some amazing stories to tell. Fact, fiction or just plain silly . . . only our patients know for sure. All we ask is that the stories entertain us, and many of our patients deliver just that. We thought we’d share a few of the stories we have received as a regular Blog feature.

Here's Our Latest Story . . .

Upon situating itself in my mouth for extended periods of time, my retainer (who I called Gerald) was subjected to the rigorous curriculum that my high school had to offer. There were, of course, obvious upsides to this including a world class education for close to nothing. However, there were a few adverse side effects. Gerald’s thoughts surpassed that of your average retainer. Soon enough, Gerald could compete with the PSAT scores of many high school freshman. The quality of Gerald’s thoughts began to progress so rapidly that he became self aware. He was no longer regurgitating simple facts, but began to function as if he were human.

In a few short weeks, Gerald was struggling internally with issues regarding his identity, and as such, began to rebel against the hand that fed him. No longer would he stand to represent a role of enforcement, making his position as a retainer and his identity as a person the basis of a strong conflict of interest. Sadly, his duty as retainer fell by the wayside, and he was frequently trying to escape the quite literal jaws of conformity. It  wasn’t long before I  could barely keep my mouth open without Gerald trying to escape.  Long “o” sounds were almost impossible, and I was forced to keep Gerald under lock and key.

Several days after the initial escape attempts, I awoke to find Gerald’s padlocked cage open and no retainer to be found. I made a mental note to take out future retainers before attending burglary club, then set off to find Gerald. On my bedroom door, scrawled in messy font on a post-it, was a note from none other than Gerald himself.  The note said that he had gone to follow 50 Cents to his summer “In da club” tour across the United States. With a heavy heart, I picked up the phone and called my orthodontist.

Braces Care On The Go

August 5th, 2019

Wearing braces can feel like a major lifestyle adjustment. Suddenly you're faced with situations you never really thought of before. What happens when you indulge in the spinach dip appetizer at your favorite restaurant? How do you handle lunchtime at school, when you're away from the comfort and convenience of your bathroom at home? Fortunately, adapting to life with braces isn't as overwhelming as it may seem. With a little preparation and a few handy supplies, you'll be a braces-wearing pro in no time.

To help make your orthodontic experience as convenient as possible, we'll send you home with a on-the-go braces care kit filled with essential orthodontic items for keeping your braces clean and comfortable.  We’ve also put together this list of helpful tips and additional dental items we recommend that will help you care for your braces while you’re at school or work.

Go Prepared

Remember to take your on-the-go braces care kit with you. It contains a toothbrush, floss, dental wax, interdental proxy brush and brushing timer. When you wear braces, it's much easier for food and bacteria to build up on the teeth throughout the day. Good oral hygiene is incredibly important to keep your smile looking as healthy as possible. You may also want to pack some toothpaste, floss threaders, a retainer case (if needed), and some OTC pain medicine. If your school nurse requires a permission form for over-the-counter medication use during the school day, our office will be happy to make that available to you.

Use Your Time Wisely

Take advantage of breaks and the lunch hour to give your braces and teeth a once over. Make sure you don’t have any food debris caught in your braces, and take the time to brush and floss. If you’ve just had your braces adjusted recently, you may feel some mild discomfort in your gums or cheeks. This is where the OTC medications and wax you packed will come in handy.

Eat the Right Food

You can prevent any possible mishaps or breakages with your braces by steering clear of foods that are sticky, chewy, and crunchy. Gum, candy, popcorn, hard chips, apples that aren’t cut into bite-sized pieces, nuts, beef jerky, and ice fall into this category. The last thing you want is to break a bracket in the middle of the day.

Choose a Removable Option

If you know before you begin orthodontic treatment that traditional braces will be a challenge due to employment and/or social situations, think about trying a removable option. For many adults with hectic schedules, clear Invisalign® aligners are convenient braces-free option. Clear aligners can be just as effective as braces for most teeth-straightening needs, and they can be removed while you’re eating, brushing, and flossing. They also tend to be more comfortable, since they don’t have metal brackets and wires to irritate your gums.

If you follow these tips and stay on your oral health routine at home, you’ll be maximizing the effectiveness of your orthodontic treatment but also keeping it as hassle-free as possible. For more information on caring for your braces while on the go, contact the team at Bel Air Orthodontics.

Top of Page