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Posts for: November, 2021

By The Brace Place Orthodontics
November 23, 2021
Tags: clear aligners  

Braces are a classic option for straightening your smile, but if you are looking for a more discreet choice, clear aligners may work for you.

Inconspicuous, efficient, comfortable, and effective, clear aligners from the Jacksonville Beach, and Ponte Verda, FL, office of Dr. Josh Goldknopf can help you achieve your best smile.

What are aligners?

Aligners, made of clear, flexible plastic, are custom made to fit over your teeth to provide gentle straightening over a period of time. After taking a mold of your teeth, the aligners are crafted and given to you in incremental sets. You will wear each for a few weeks at a time before graduating to the next set.

What are the benefits of aligners?

You may find aligners to be more comfortable than braces, as there are no brackets that could irritate your gums. In addition, because each aligner concentrates on only a few teeth at a time, there is less pressure put on your mouth.

Braces do come in less noticeable options, but clear aligners are the most discreet choice for straightening your teeth. Because they are translucent and molded to fit snuggly over your teeth, no one will be able to tell you are wearing them.

Clear aligners from our Jacksonville Beach, and Ponte Verda, FL, offices are easy to care for, and you only need to keep them around for a few weeks before discarding them. You can brush and floss like normal after removing them, and give the aligners a good rinse to keep them clean.

Like braces, aligners take some time to reach full results, but aligners can even out your smile in as little as a year if they are worn as instructed for 22 hours a day.

Clear aligners from the Jacksonville Beach, and Ponte Verda, FL, offices of Dr. Goldknopf could be your path to a great smile. Call us today at (904) 249-0037 for a consultation.

By The Brace Place Orthodontics
November 20, 2021
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: clear aligners  

Advances in technology often lead to greater choices for things like automobiles or smartphones. In recent decades, advances in orthodontics have given families another choice besides braces for straightening teeth: clear aligners.

Clear aligners are a series of computer-generated mouth trays of clear plastic that are custom made for an individual patient's teeth. Like braces, these trays worn in the mouth put pressure on the teeth to move in a desired direction. Patients wear an individual tray for about two weeks and then change it out for the next tray in the series. Each subsequent tray is designed to pick up where the former tray left off in the progress of tooth movement.

Although treatment takes about as along as braces, clear aligners have some distinct advantages. First and foremost, their clear plastic construction makes them nearly invisible to outside observers. This makes them ideal for appearance-conscious teens (or adults) who may be embarrassed by the look of metallic braces.

And unlike their fixed counterpart, clear aligners can be removed by the wearer for meals, hygiene and the rare special occasion. As a result, patients with aligners aren't as restricted with food items and have an easier time keeping their teeth clean and avoiding dental disease than braces wearers.

But although definitely a benefit, removability can be potentially problematic depending on the maturity level of the patient. To be effective, an aligner tray must remain in the mouth for the majority of the time—too much time out negates the effect. Patients, then, must be responsible with wearing aligners as directed.

Clear aligners may also not work for treating difficult bites, especially those that require targeted movement (or non-movement) of select teeth. In those cases, braces may be the necessary treatment. But this situation has changed in recent years with the development of new devices and techniques that increase the range of bite problems clear aligners can treat.

Depending then on the bite problem and a patient's level of personal responsibility, clear aligners can be a viable orthodontic choice. And just like braces, they too can improve both dental function and appearance.

If you would like more information on orthodontic options for teens, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Clear Aligners for Teens.”

By The Brace Place Orthodontics
November 10, 2021
Category: Dental Procedures

You can't correct a poor bite with braces or clear aligners overnight: Even the most cut-and-dried case can still require a few years to move teeth where they should be. It's a welcome relief, then, when you're finally done with braces or aligner trays.

That doesn't mean, however, that you're finished with orthodontic treatment. You now move into the next phase—protecting your new smile that took so much to gain. At least for a couple of more years you'll need to regularly wear an orthodontic retainer.

The name of this custom-made device explains its purpose: to keep or “retain” your teeth in their new, modified positions. This is necessary because the same mechanism that allows us to move teeth in the first place can work in reverse.

That mechanism centers around a tough but elastic tissue called the periodontal ligament. Although it primarily holds teeth in place, the ligament also allows for tiny, gradual tooth movement in response to mouth changes. Braces or aligner trays take advantage of this ability by exerting pressure on the teeth in the direction of intended movement. The periodontal ligament and nature do the rest.

But once we relieve the pressure when we remove the braces or aligners, a kind of “muscle memory” in the ligament can come into play, causing the teeth to move back to where they originally were. If we don't inhibit this reaction, all the time and effort put into orthodontic treatment can be lost.

Retainers, either the removable type or one fixed in place behind the teeth, gently “push” or “pull” against the teeth (depending on which type) just enough to halt any reversing movement. Initially, a patient will need to wear their retainer around the clock. After a while, wear time can be reduced to just a few hours a day, usually during sleep-time.

Most younger patients will only need to wear a retainer for a few years. Adults who undergo teeth-straightening later in life, however, may need to wear a retainer indefinitely. Even so, a few hours of wear every day is a small price to pay to protect your beautiful straightened smile.

If you would like more information on orthodontic retainers, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “The Importance of Orthodontic Retainers.”