My Blog

Posts for tag: braces

By One Dental Care - Kunio Chan, DMD, MAGD
December 23, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: braces   orthodontics   invisalign  

There are so many wonderful advantages to getting Invisalign treatment in Billerica.

Do you think you are too old for braces? Does the idea of wearing braces during your college or working years not sound appealing? invisalignOur Billerica, MA dentist, Dr. Kunio Chan, understands that as people get older it’s less and less likely that they will turn to traditional metal braces to finally achieve that straighter smile. Fortunately, we make it possible to still get the smile you want without other people seeing your braces.

No, this is not a dream. Invisalign is an orthodontic system that makes it possible to fix common dental issues without other people noticing. This series of clear aligners are custom made to fit your upper and/or lower teeth to shift them into the proper position over time. The most obvious benefit to choosing this type of treatment is that you can finally get a straighter smile without people noticing your clear, custom-fitted aligners.

Other benefits to getting Invisalign include:

They are removable: While our Billerica general dentist will tell you that the more often you wear your aligners the better, there are some instances where you can take them off. For instance, you can take them off right before you sit down to eat and also remove them prior to brushing and flossing. And if you have a big event coming up and you really don’t want to wear your aligners you can take them out. Just remember to put them back in as soon as possible.

It’s easy to clean your teeth: Even if we haven’t experienced it ourselves we can all imagine the challenges of trying to brush and floss around metal braces. It can be quite the exhausting chore. Fortunately, Invisalign makes it simple to clean your teeth. Just remove your aligners and you’re ready to go.

Just remember that you will also want to clean your aligners throughout the day. Rinse them out whenever you remove them and then put them in a retainer case to protect them. When you want to brush your aligners use a gentle, soft-bristled toothbrush with antibacterial soup. Don’t brush too hard or you could scratch your aligners.

Enjoy your favorite foods: With traditional braces you have to nix quite a few foods from your diet so you don’t damage your braces. This can be terribly disappointing, but just remove your Invisalign and enjoy anything your stomach is craving without worrying about your braces.

They fit into your lifestyle: As you may already be able to glean from the other benefits above, Invisalign can clearly fit into anyone’s lives without affecting much. Plus, you’ll only need to come in about every 4-6 weeks to see us for routine checkups throughout your treatment.

If you want to get Invisalign One Dental Care in Billerica, MA can make this dream a reality. We would be happy to schedule your consultation to make sure that Invisalign is indeed the right way to straighten your smile. Call us today!

By One Dental Care - Kunio Chan, DMD, MAGD
November 15, 2016
Category: Oral Health
Tags: braces   oral hygiene  
BeVigilantwithDentalCareWhileWearingBraces

If you or a family member wears braces, you're used to visiting your orthodontist for adjustments and progress monitoring. But it's just as important that you continue regular visits with your family dentist, especially if you begin noticing abnormalities with your teeth and gums.

We need to be on alert for dental health because risks for disease increase during orthodontic treatment. Most oral infections arise from plaque, a thin film of bacteria and food particles on tooth surfaces. You avoid plaque buildup by brushing and flossing at least once a day and undergoing semi-annual office cleanings for any remaining plaque and calculus (hardened plaque deposits).

Braces, however, can complicate hygiene. It's harder to get into areas blocked by the brackets and wires with your brush or floss. This can quickly give rise to gingivitis, a form of periodontal (gum) disease characterized by gum swelling. If not treated, gum disease could eventually cause the gums to detach from the teeth and lead to bone and tooth loss.

The brackets and wires can also irritate the gums and cause them to swell or overgrow, a condition called hyperplasia. This further complicates proper hygiene, which then increases the risk for infection even more.

It takes more time and effort to brush and floss effectively while wearing braces. But it's necessary to prevent these problems. Interproximal brushes (which fit in the spaces between teeth) can help, as well as special floss threaders. You might also consider a water flosser, which use a high-pressured water spray to remove plaque between teeth.

And, don't neglect seeing us on a regular basis. If you notice gum swelling, redness or bleeding, contact us as soon as possible.

If the swelling is due to hyperplasia, treatment could wait until after the braces come off, as long as there doesn't appear to be any gum detachment from the teeth. If there is, though, you may need to see a periodontist (a gum specialist) for further evaluation. It may be necessary in advanced cases to remove the braces to treat the underlying gum condition.

It pays to keep a close eye on your teeth and gums while wearing braces. Catching problems before they become too serious will help ensure your new smile is just as healthy as it is attractive.

If you would like more information on dental care while undergoing orthodontic treatment, 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 “Gum Swelling during Orthodontics.”

By One Dental Care - Kunio Chan, DMD, MAGD
April 18, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
EdenSherandtheLostRetainer

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?

By One Dental Care - Kunio Chan, DMD, MAGD
February 18, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures

If you wish you had straighter or more even teeth but dread the thought of traditional metal braces, Invisalign could be the answer you invisalignhave been looking for. Invisalign transforms your smile, straightening teeth and correcting bite. But how do you know if Invisalign is right for you? Your Billerica, MA dentist, Dr. Kunio Chan at One Dental Care, can help you determine if Invisalign is the best course of orthodontic treatment for you.

What is Invisalign? 
Invisalign straightens teeth with a series of clear plastic aligner trays. The trays, worn in succession one after another, are customized to fit your mouth, ensuring maximum comfort and wearability. The number of trays and length of treatment depends on your situation and the severity of your orthodontic issues. Tooth-colored bumps called attachments which affix to the teeth allow your dentist to pinpoint the pressure used to move the teeth, moving some more than others into their final positions.

What conditions can Invisalign treat? 
Invisalign benefits patients suffering from most orthodontic issues. However, some severe issues may require more aggressive treatment. Some of the conditions Invisalign repairs include:

  • underbite
  • overbite
  • crossbite
  • crooked teeth
  • overlapping teeth
  • overcrowding and under crowding (gaps)

How do I know Invisalign is right for my teeth? 
Billerica dentists recommend Invisalign for adults and teenagers over the age of 12, as children under 12 have teeth which are still growing. Invisalign should be worn 22 hours a day. This makes commitment to wearing your trays crucial to the outcome of your treatment. At-home care is also important to the Invisalign process as conditions like cavities or gum disease caused by poor hygiene complicate treatment.

How do I care for Invisalign? 
Invisalign is removable, making caring for your trays just as easy as caring for your natural teeth. Simply remove the trays to brush and eat and rinse them before putting them back in. The trays should be worn while sleeping and throughout the day. Every two weeks, a new tray replaces your current one, slowly moving teeth into their correct positions. Most patients see their orthodontist every six weeks for regular checkups to monitor their teeth’s progress.

For more information on Invisalign, please contact Dr. Kunio Chan, DMD, MAGD at One Dental Care in Billerica, MA. Call (978) 667-0691 to schedule your consultation for Invisalign today!

By One Dental Care - Kunio Chan, DMD, MAGD
January 19, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
MasterIllusionistBenefitsfromtheMagicofOrthodontics

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.”