Posts for tag: orthodontics
If you have considered braces but are unsure of changing your look so drastically, you can now straighten your smile discreetly and effectively. Invisalign allows you to correct your teeth and bite issues without all the hassle of permanently attached metal brackets and wires. But how can Invisalign benefit you and your teeth? Are you a candidate for this procedure? Find out with Dr. Kenneth Woo, Dr. Edmond Woo, and Dr. Ho Kai Wang in Gaithersburg and Kensington, MD.
How does Invisalign work?
Invisalign allows you to straighten your smile without all the metal brackets and wires required of traditional braces. Invisalign’s alternative design uses plastic aligner trays customized to your teeth to move them into new, straightened positions. The trays, created by Invisalign’s dental laboratory, come in a series and are worn in order for about two weeks at a time. Slowly, the trays push the teeth into their corrected positions. The length of the treatment depends on the patient, their teeth, the commitment they have to wearing their trays the recommended 22 hours a day, and how complex their treatment is.
The Benefits of Invisalign vs. Traditional Braces
Traditional braces are obvious, glued permanently onto the teeth during treatment. Invisalign’s clear design allows it to have a subtle, discreet appearance and appear almost invisible to those around you. This, in turn, allows you to straighten your teeth without compromising your look. Additionally, patients can simply Invisalign’s trays to eat the foods they love or brush their teeth as they would have before seeking out orthodontic treatment. Traditional braces require special flossers and avoiding certain foods to keep the teeth in top condition.
Invisalign Treatments in Gaithersburg and Kensington
If you think you can benefit from Invisalign, your dentist can help guide you towards the best treatment plan for you. A new, improved, and beautiful smile is just a phone call away. For more information on Invisalign, please contact Dr. Kenneth Woo, Dr. Edmond Woo, and Dr. Ho Kai Wang in Gaithersburg, MD, and Kensington, MD. Call (240) 683-3833 to schedule your appointment in Gaithersburg, and (301) 933-1833 to schedule your appointment in Kensington today!
What your dentists in Kensington and Gaithersburg want you to know
If you have bite alignment problems or teeth that are out of position, you may be thinking about orthodontic treatment. There are many different orthodontic treatments to choose from, but there is one orthodontic treatment that stands out above the rest; it’s Invisalign, the virtually invisible way to straighten your smile. Your dentists at Kenneth Woo, DDS & Associates want to help you discover the magic of Invisalign. They have offices in Kensington and Gaithersburg, MD, to serve you.
Thanks to Invisalign, you can have a straight, beautiful smile discreetly and in a short period of time. You don’t have to settle for unsightly metal brackets and wires or wearing braces for years.
When you choose Invisalign, you can count on these important advantages:
- Unrivaled comfort, because there are no metal parts, only smooth, comfortable plastic
- Unmatched convenience, because the appliances can be removed to eat the foods you love
- Renewed confidence, because you know the appliances aren’t noticeable to the people around you
Invisalign is also a much healthier choice than conventional braces because you can remove the appliance to brush and floss your teeth normally. This helps prevent decay in between your teeth and inflamed gum tissue after the braces are removed. You don’t have to sacrifice your oral health for a straight smile!
Invisalign can correct the same functional and aesthetic issues as conventional braces including:
- Rotated, badly aligned teeth
- Overlapped or widely spaced teeth
- Overbite and underbite
- Crossbite and open bite
Invisalign treatment consists of clear plastic appliances called aligners which you wear for two week periods. You change to a new set of aligners every two weeks until your treatment is complete. The entire Invisalign treatment takes about nine to fifteen months. Imagine, just a few months to a new, straight smile!
You deserve to discover the advantages of Invisalign for yourself. For more information about Invisalign treatment, call your dentists at Kenneth Woo, DDS & Associates, with offices in Kensington and Gaithersburg, MD. Don’t wait for your straight smile. Call today!
Magician Michael Grandinetti mystifies and astonishes audiences with his sleight of hand and mastery of illusion. But when he initially steps onto the stage, it’s his smile that grabs the attention. “The first thing… that an audience notices is your smile; it’s what really connects you as a person to them,” Michael told an interviewer.
He attributes his audience-pleasing smile to several years of orthodontic treatment as a teenager to straighten misaligned teeth, plus a lifetime of good oral care. “I’m so thankful that I did it,” he said about wearing orthodontic braces. “It was so beneficial. And… looking at the path I’ve chosen, it was life-changing.”
Orthodontics — the dental subspecialty focused on treating malocclusions (literally “bad bites”) — can indeed make life-changing improvements. Properly positioned teeth are integral to the aesthetics of any smile, and a smile that’s pleasing to look at boosts confidence and self-esteem and makes a terrific first impression. Studies have even linked having an attractive smile with greater professional success.
There can also be functional benefits such as improved biting/chewing and speech, and reduced strain on jaw muscles and joints. Additionally, well-aligned teeth are easier to clean and less likely to trap food particles that can lead to decay.
The Science Behind the Magic
There are more options than ever for correcting bites, but all capitalize on the fact that teeth are suspended in individual jawbone sockets by elastic periodontal ligaments that enable them to move. Orthodontic appliances (commonly called braces or clear aligners) place light, controlled forces on teeth in a calculated fashion to move them into their new desired alignment.
The “gold standard” in orthodontic treatment remains the orthodontic band for posterior (back) teeth and the bonded bracket for front teeth. Thin, flexible wires threaded through the brackets create the light forces needed for repositioning. Traditionally the brackets have been made of metal, but for those concerned about the aesthetics, they can also be made out of a clear material. Lingual braces, which are bonded to the back of teeth instead of the front, are another less visible option. The most discrete appliance is the removable clear aligner, which consists of a progression of custom-made clear trays that reposition teeth incrementally.
How’s that for a disappearing act?!
If you would like more information about orthodontic treatment please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about the subject by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “The Magic of Orthodontics.”
Children losing their primary (“baby”) teeth is both natural and necessary. So, is it really that much of a concern if they lose one early?
The answer is yes — premature primary tooth loss could have long-term consequences for the permanent teeth as they develop within the jaw before eruption. Primary teeth play a crucial role in this development: as the permanent teeth form and grow the primary teeth serve as placeholders until they’re ready to erupt. A natural process then takes place in which the primary tooth’s roots dissolve (resorb) to allow them to fall out. Once they’re out of the way, the permanent teeth can then erupt.
If, however, they’re lost before the permanent teeth are ready, it leaves a space in the child’s bite. The dynamic mechanism between teeth and the periodontal ligament causes adjacent teeth to move or “drift” into the space. This can crowd out the permanent tooth intended for the space, causing it to come in improperly forming a malocclusion (bad bite), or it may become impacted and remain partially or fully below the surface of the gums.
This poor dental development could lead to extensive orthodontic treatment later in life, which is why we seek to preserve even decayed primary teeth for their entire natural lifespan. If the tooth is lost, however, we need to take action to preserve the space for the permanent tooth and avoid costly treatment later.
This usually calls for a “space maintenance” appliance — a type of orthodontic “retainer” — worn by the child to prevent other teeth from drifting into the space. Designed by your orthodontist, the appliance can also perform a cosmetic and social function by causing the space to appear unnoticeable.
Maintaining that space requires monitoring — especially by an orthodontist — and continued dental hygiene and care both at home and at the dentist’s office. The extra care preserving the space caused by premature tooth loss will help to ensure your child’s dental structure develops properly and their future smile will be an attractive one.
If you would like more information on the care and treatment of primary teeth, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Early Loss of Baby Teeth” and “Losing a Baby Tooth.”
Fans of the primetime TV show The Middle were delighted to see that high school senior Sue, played by Eden Sher, finally got her braces off at the start of Season 6. But since this popular sitcom wouldn’t be complete without some slapstick comedy, this happy event is not without its trials and tribulations: The episode ends with Sue’s whole family diving into a dumpster in search of the teen’s lost retainer. Sue finds it in the garbage and immediately pops it in her mouth. But wait — it doesn’t fit, it’s not even hers!
If you think this scenario is far-fetched, guess again. OK, maybe the part about Sue not washing the retainer upon reclaiming it was just a gag (literally and figuratively), but lost retainers are all too common. Unfortunately, they’re also expensive to replace — so they need to be handled with care. What’s the best way to do that? Retainers should be brushed daily with a soft toothbrush and liquid soap (dish soap works well), and then placed immediately back in your mouth or into the case that came with the retainer. When you are eating a meal at a restaurant, do not wrap your retainer in a napkin and leave it on the table — this is a great way to lose it! Instead, take the case with you, and keep the retainer in it while you’re eating. When you get home, brush your teeth and then put the retainer back in your mouth.
If you do lose your retainer though, let us know right away. Retention is the last step of your orthodontic treatment, and it’s extremely important. You’ve worked hard to get a beautiful smile, and no one wants to see that effort wasted. Yet if you neglect to wear your retainer as instructed, your teeth are likely to shift out of position. Why does this happen?
As you’ve seen firsthand, teeth aren’t rigidly fixed in the jaw — they can be moved in response to light and continuous force. That’s what orthodontic appliances do: apply the right amount of force in a carefully controlled manner. But there are other forces at work on your teeth that can move them in less predictable ways. For example, normal biting and chewing can, over time, cause your teeth to shift position. To get teeth to stay where they’ve been moved orthodontically, new bone needs to form around them and anchor them where they are. That will happen over time, but only if they are held in place with a retainer. That’s why it is so important to wear yours as directed — and notify us immediately if it gets lost.
And if ever you do have to dig your retainer out of a dumpster… be sure to wash it before putting in in your mouth!
If you would like more information on retainers, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “The Importance of Orthodontic Retainers” and “Why Orthodontic Retainers?”