Online orthodontic services have been causing a lot of buzz lately, thanks in no small part to their large advertising budgets. They pitch a simple and time-saving treatment. All you have to do is make an impression of your teeth, or take a picture or scan and send it in. Before you know it, a package with alignment devices is mailed to your front door. After a few months of use, you have perfectly straight teeth. What could be easier?
There are a few things to consider before signing up with one of these services, however. The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recently released a flier with a list of questions to ask and factors to consider. The main drawback with direct-to-consumer orthodontic companies is the lack of an in-person evaluation before treatment and supervision during treatment. These are very important because a beautiful smile involves more than just the visible parts of your teeth.
Irreversible damage is possible with orthodontic treatment when not properly done. Some consumers have reported tooth loss, gum erosion and changed bites among other issues.
If you are looking into getting your orthodontic treatment online, here’s a list of questions you should ask according to the AAO.
Ask Questions, Get Answers
As part of your treatment, are comprehensive diagnostic records like x-rays taken before your treatment?
- Does the treatment and fee include x-rays of your teeth and jaws?
- Does the treatment and fee include a clinical examination of your jaw alignment, teeth, bite, and the relationship of your teeth to the skeletal structures?
- Does the treatment and fee include taking photographs of your face, facial profile, mouth, and teeth?
- Does the treatment and fee include taking digital scans or other impressions of your teeth?
NO – are you comfortable starting orthodontic treatment without comprehensive diagnostic records? If you still want comprehensive diagnostic records taken, are you all right going to another dental professional to take them? If yes, what will that cost?
As part of your treatment fee, do you receive any in-person visits to a dentist’s or orthodontist’s office during your treatment?
- How many?
- What occurs during these in-person visits?
- Is there a licensed dentist or orthodontist in the office to supervise the visits?
NO – are you comfortable with orthodontic treatment that does not involve any in-person visits with a dentist or orthodontist?
If a dentist or orthodontist is involved with your treatment, do you know the name of the dentist or orthodontist who will be specifically involved with your case (for example, is it available on the company’s website or elsewhere)?
- What are his or her education and credentials?
- In what state is he or she licensed?
- In what state does he or she practice?
- What do other patients being treated by him or her have to say?
NO – are you comfortable not being able to research your dentist’s or orthodontist’s background, credentials, patient reviews, etc. before you begin treatment?
Is only one treatment type offered (such as invisible aligners or a certain appliance)?YES – how do you know that is the best treatment option for you, given your unique situation and oral condition, compared to other treatment models (such as braces)?
NO – how is the decision being made for the best treatment model for you, and who is making that decision?
How do you know if your teeth and gums are healthy enough for orthodontic treatment?
- Who is making that decision and how is it being determined?
- If the decision maker is a dentist or orthodontist not associated with your treatment, who pays for that assessment?
What are the possible risks (financial, health, etc.) associated with your orthodontic treatment?
Who can you speak with at the online orthodontic company about your orthodontic treatment?
- What is his or her education, background, qualifications and/or experience with orthodontics?
Who is responsible for detecting any issues that may occur during your orthodontic treatment?
- Is it you?
- If it is a doctor not associated with your treatment, who pays for those check-ups?
If an issue arises during your treatment, how will it be handled and who will be responsible for handling it?
If a doctor is involved with your orthodontic treatment, how can you contact him or her over the course of your treatment? How can you contact him or her if an emergency arises?
If an emergency arises, does the company have a dentist or orthodontist in your area that you can see in-person? If not, who would cover the costs associated with seeing a dentist or orthodontist in your area?
If you are injured or have another dispute involving your orthodontic treatment, how is it handled (litigation, arbitration, etc.)? State dental boards have their own complaint processes for patients who have had issues with orthodontic treatment. Contact information for your state dental board can be found at https://www.aaoinfo.org/aao/state-dental-board-info.
If you are injured or have a dispute involving your orthodontic treatment, what rights do you have against the person or company involved with your orthodontic treatment?
- Are you asked to sign any forms that seek to release them from liability?
Does the treatment model comply with the dental laws in your state?
- To check your state’s dental laws, click https://www.aaoinfo.org/state-laws-and-regulations
- Information for your state dental board can be found at https://www.aaoinfo.org/aao/state-dental-board-info.
Unsure of how best to care for your Invisalign® product during the holiday season?
If you need braces but don’t want to deal with all the wires and metal of traditional solutions, then Invisalign® is the right choice for you. Invisalign® aligners are transparent, simple to remove, easier to put back in, and far less noticeable than any other option out there. In this coming holiday season, there are a lot of activities out there that can damage or wear down your aligners if you aren’t careful. To help make sure that doesn’t happen, here are five quick and easy tips on how to make sure your Invisalign® aligners stay in pristine condition.
1. Clean Your Teeth and Invisalign® Every Morning
Right off the bat, you want to make sure you remove and clean your trays every single morning before you brush your teeth. It may be tempting to let a night or two pass without brushing, but you’re just giving bacteria an opportunity to build up and threaten your dental health and that’s not even considering the nasty smell that can assault you and everyone you talk to.
2. Rinse Your Aligners Every Time You Take Them Out
Whenever you take your aligners out, make sure you use cold water to get rid of pesky dry saliva. Whenever you’re having a meal, make sure to take them out to prevent any small food particles from getting lodged between your teeth and the tray. Not only can food get stuck in there, but it can also wear on your aligners and stain them, counteracting the most useful benefit of Invisalign®.
3. Always Clean Your Teeth Before Putting the Trays In
Make sure you always brush and floss before putting your Invisalign® in. A failure to do so can lead to significant plaque and the eventual possibility of cavities.
4. Soak Your Trays Every Day
Soaking and rinsing your aligners every day is a critical step in ensuring oral health and the continued effectiveness of your Invisalign®. Furthermore, make sure you aren’t leaving your aligners exposed to open air for prolonged periods. Keep them in their case whenever not in use, else they might become covered in bacteria and becomes serious health risks for your mouth.
Try to keep an extra set when traveling so that you don’t get caught by surprise in the event that your primary set gets lost or damaged. A failure to continue treatment can lead to a loss of progress, necessitating more treatment when you get back to your orthodontist.
5. Don’t Clean or Soak Your Aligners in Mouthwash Solution or Hot Water
Never clean your aligners with hot water or a mouthwash solution, both of which can cause extensive damage to your aligners. They can melt and deform the unique plastic used in Invisalign®, making them useless in the best case or counterproductive in the worst case. Make sure you always use cold water for all your soaking and cleaning needs. Also, avoid using toothpaste to clean your Invisalign® trays because it can discolor them and make them stand out more.
If you thought that having Invisalign® would hinder your holiday fun, you can rest easy. As long as you take the proper precautions and maintain your aligners diligently, you can have all the fun you want without anyone knowing you have a dental alignment device in place.
When most people think about dental braces, they imagine teenagers. It’s because there are lots of teens with braces. However, there are many reasons why adults need braces too. Sometimes it’s to correct an issue with their jaw or to align teeth that are slightly crooked. There are times when adults are highly motivated to get braces. In fact, it’s been proven that a great smile is beneficial to professionals and can even result in more job opportunities. Simply put, most people like a nice smile.
If you’re an adult and you’re thinking about getting braces in Cypress Texas, there’s a lot to consider because there are different types of braces from which to choose. Fortunately, you can consult with Dr. Benjamin Creed to determine which option accommodates your specific needs. It will depend on the reason why you need braces and whether there are any issues that would prevent you from getting them.
For starters, there are traditional metal braces that are often worn by teenagers, but can also be worn by adults. Some people choose metal braces because they are usually the cheapest option. If cost is a key consideration, you’ll probably want to go with metal braces. If you have dental insurance or a flexible spending plan, you can probably afford some of the other options.
Adults often choose clear braces because they don’t feel comfortable with the appearance of metal braces. Wearing clear braces means you can have your teeth corrected without anyone even knowing about it. Another benefit of wearing clear braces is not having to deal with some of the issues associated with metal braces. For instance, they can cause issues with your gums for the first two weeks after installation.
You might choose braces that are tooth colored. This is often preferred by adults for the reasons mentioned. Notably, tooth colored braces are slightly larger than metal braces, but they are barely visible because they look like part of your teeth. Even the wires used to connect the braces are clear. In some instances, tooth colored braces can stain. As an adult, you’ll have to follow the instructions provided by Dr. Creed to ensure your braces are not stained by beverages like coffee, tea and wine.
In addition to clear braces, there’s also the option of invisible braces. These are called lingual braces and are perfect for adults that don’t want metal or clear braces. Lingual braces are brackets placed on the back of each tooth, which is why you can’t see them at all. These braces are often chosen because they’re invisible, but sometimes they’re not the most comfortable option. Lingual braces work by molding the brackets to each tooth and then connecting the wires behind your teeth. Some patients with Lingual braces report having small cuts to their tongue and difficulties with speech.
Invisalign aligners are another great option for people that don’t want to wear metal braces. This is often a preferred choice because patients don’t have to worry about their appearance. Invisalign is an option for straightening teeth that allows you to wear removable plastic aligners. The fact that they’re removable means you can properly clean your teeth everyday. Invisalign is also preferred because they’re invisible, so even when you’re wearing them, most people won’t be able to tell.
There are different considerations when trying to choose the right braces. Fortunately, you don’t have to make the decision on your own. You can work with Dr. Creed to choose the best option.
For teenagers, making the decision to wear braces is usually not an easy one because of the effect it could have on their social lives. Today’s active teenagers have hectic and packed schedules with activities ranging from playing in the band, participating in the cheerleading team, playing a sport to even hanging out with friends.
Consequently, not only is their social image important, but it also plays into their confidence levels. Therefore, it is evident that most of them are not excited at the idea of wearing visible metal braces. Not only do these braces affect teenagers’ outward appearance, but they also force them to make many trips to the orthodontist’s office. Fortunately, Invisalign Teen treatment is now available in Cypress Texas!
Invisalign Teen is a modified version of the standard adult Invisalign treatment designed to cater to teenagers’ unique needs. This treatment is customized for teenagers using not only a series of clear but also removable aligners. However, this is not the only benefit of Invisalign Teen. Others include:
In the past, teenagers were limited to treatment methods making use of regular metal bands, wires, and brackets. With Invisalign Teen, they can now steer clear of these. Additionally, they can now avoid the embarrassment and name calling associated with wearing braces. As you can imagine, this has a positive effect on how they view themselves while boosting their self-confidence since they easily fit into the rest of the crowd.
Given Invisalign Teen aligners are almost invisible, teenagers can now take photos for their yearbook or prom without worrying about how braces will look in their photos. Consequently, they can now go through school without worrying about losing out on good school memories since they were being bullied, teased, or ridiculed at school.
Unlike teens who wear metal braces, those who opt for Invisalign Teen are not saddled with restrictions concerning their diet. These aligners are designed to be removed during meals allowing teens to enjoy any meal.
Also, these teenagers do not have to spend a lot of time cleaning their teeth since they can also remove their aligners while cleaning their teeth.
Additionally, given metal braces are fixed to the teeth for the duration of the treatment process, they have to be continuously adjusted. This means teenagers have to make frequent trips to the orthodontist to have them tightened. With Invisalign Teen, this is not a concern. As such, teenagers have more free time in their hands to engage in whatever they have to do.
With metal braces, it could be a problem to engage in certain activities such as some sports or even playing in a band.
In sports, teenagers and their parents always worry about them hurting the inside of their mouths or cutting their lips due to brackets and wires associated with braces. They also have to factor in the cost of getting specially designed mouth guards used when one has braces on. With Invisalign Teen, these concerns are thrown out of the window since the teenager can remove them at any time.
With braces, it can be challenging to play some instruments such as those from the brass or woodwind family. However, Invisalign Teen aligners allow such teenagers to pursue their musical talent without the additional learning that comes with wearing braces.
Orthodontic treatment can take up a considerable portion of a teenager’s life. With the availability of Invisalign Teen in Cypress Texas, teenagers and their parents no longer have to worry about the constraints associated with regular braces. Feel free to book an appointment for your teenager to help them navigate this phase of life with a big smile on.
Please visit Dr. Creed’s Orthodontic practice in Cypress, Texas, where initial consultations are always complimentary.