September 9th, 2022
At Budd Orthodontics, Invisalign treatment with clear aligners has become a popular orthodontic treatment in today’s digital world. The treatment is based off of the information taken from a 3D scan of your teeth with an iTero digital scanner and the corresponding computer simulation of the movements of your teeth.
Although the software used to create this digital simulation is very accurate, it cannot account for all of the variables that make each of us unique – tongue pressure, lip pressure, swallowing patterns, and differences in how well patients wear the aligners. Sometimes when we arrive at the end of the simulated orthodontic treatment, what you see in the mouth does not match exactly what you originally saw on the computer screen. We correct this by completing what we refer to as an Invisalign “Refinement”.
An Invisalign Refinement is completed by essentially repeating the process that was used the first time to create the Invisalign aligners. A new 3D scan is taken of the updated position of the teeth, and any movements that were not achieved with the first simulation are completed in the refinement aligners. It is a little fine-tuning of your smile to make sure that we get the best possible result. This allows us to overcome the limitations of the software simulation and create a smile you will love. A significant number of Invisalign treatments don’t require any refinement, but we always have that as an available option to make sure we deliver the best possible smile. Give us a call today, and let us help you smile with confidence.
June 29th, 2021
The foods we eat and the beverages we drink can slowly cause staining to the surfaces of our teeth. This type of staining is generally very superficial and can be easily removed by polishing the enamel surface of the tooth. This is one reason why it is important to see your dentist at least every six months for a cleaning.
However, there is another type of staining that is not just on the surface and cannot be removed. This type of stain is caused by poor oral hygiene and is completely avoidable with good brushing and flossing. Having braces on your teeth will not doom you to have stains on your teeth. In fact, the opposite is true. Braces or Invisalign can give you a beautiful smile that you can achieve in no other way. That being said, proper care of your teeth is essential during orthodontic treatment. Teeth that are not cleaned regularly will be begin to accumulate plaque bacteria. Plaque bacteria can slowly leach minerals out of teeth causing light to reflect differently off of the surface of your teeth. This change can give the appearance of a white stain on the surface of the tooth – a portion of the tooth that appears whiter with an irregular border around it. This type of staining is often referred to as a “white spot lesion”. Over time, white spot lesions can progress into cavities if enough mineral is lost from the tooth. The area that loses too much mineral will cave in and create a hole in the tooth, thus the name “cavity”.
If white spot lesions occur, there are products designed to try to restore the lost minerals to the tooth to mask the appearance of the white staining. While these products can help to some degree, they generally cannot restore the tooth to its original condition and some of the stain will remain. When this happens, the only way to eliminate the stain is to cover it up with some type of filling or veneer to mask its appearance. While this is always an option, it is obviously much better to avoid the stain to begin with.
In our office, we use a sealant around the braces to help avoid any staining in patients who struggle with their brushing and flossing. Fluoride rinses have also been shown to be effective in studies to help avoid white spot staining on the teeth. However, nothing can take the place of good oral hygiene with regular brushing and flossing. Maintaining clean teeth during orthodontic treatment will pay dividends for the rest of your life. It is definitely worth the effort.
April 17th, 2020
Patients frequently arrive at my Phoenix orthodontic office wanting to know what options are available nowadays for treatment with braces. While there are many different manufacturers of orthodontic products in the U.S., most of them offer the same categories of braces with very minor variations.
Standard Metal Braces- This is the most common type of braces with our younger patients and by far the most common in general. They offer excellent strength and durability while sacrificing a little bit on esthetics. This type of braces is also usually the most cost-effective.
Clear braces or “Invisible” braces – This type of braces is often confused with Invisalign, which is a very different treatment from clear braces. Clear braces are made of porcelain (similar to the material used to make tooth crowns or caps) and are the most popular option with adult patients who are not candidates for Invisalign treatment. Many orthodontic offices charge slightly more for this type of braces due to the higher cost of the material. It is an excellent option for patients looking for excellent treatment results while maintaining the highest possible esthetics.
Lingual braces- This type of braces is placed on the inside of your teeth (near your tongue) instead of the outside of the your teeth. The draw of this type of braces is that they are literally invisible to the casual observer. However, you may sacrifice some comfort for this method of treatment compared to other available options and this type of braces also tends to be one of the most expensive due to the additional instruments, wires, and materials that must be used with this type of braces.
Self-ligating braces- There are both clear and metal versions of this type of braces. The difference between self-ligating braces and standard metal and clear braces is that self-ligating braces do not require ties (the colors that kids choose to hold the wire against the brace). These braces are sometimes thought to be a little easier to keep clean and you don’t have to worry about discolored ties. It was once believed that this type of braces reduced the amount of time you would need to spend in treatment by reducing friction. However, there have been several studies published that have shown that assumption to be false.
Invisalign- Invisalign is actually a series of clear plastic aligners – not braces – that are formed to the teeth. Each successive set of aligners is worn for approximately one to two weeks and will gradually align the teeth. While there are limitations to what aligners can do compared to braces, for the right candidate Invisalign can be an excellent treatment option.
February 11th, 2020
Let’s be honest, seeing a one or two year old sucking their thumb is kind of cute. It makes you want to pick up the baby and give it a big hug and a kiss. However, thumbsucking is not limited to infants and toddlers.
As an orthodontist, I have had patients as old as 50+ who are thumb suckers. These patients relate to me that the thumbsucking is soothing and just helps them relax, especially when it is time to fall asleep. I have no problem with thumbsucking in regard to the social and emotional benefits it provides to some patients. We all have different ways of relaxing and easing the stresses of daily life. Who am I to judge?
The problem with thumbsucking from an orthodontic perspective lies in its effect on the movement of the teeth and the growth of the jaws. Prolonged thumbsucking over months and years will guarantee the need for braces and probably an expander in the future. The suction your mouth creates as you suck your thumb pushes your cheeks against your upper back teeth and splays your upper front teeth forward and your lower front teeth backward. The classic thumb sucker has a narrow palate with a crossbite on both sides and their front teeth stick out and don’t touch. The longer the thumbsucking goes on, the more exaggerated are the effects - especially once the permanent teeth start to grow in.
With my own children, I encourage the use of a pacifier to help the babies fall asleep and then when my kids have turned two, the “binky” fairy comes and takes away their binky to give it to another deserving child and leaves an exciting toy to replace it. They struggle for a few nights and then usually settle in without missing a beat. Thumbs are a lot harder to get rid of.
Treatments are available to help with the cessation of thumbsucking. I will usually recommend a product called Mavala (purchased on Amazon) as a first line of defense and then a habit appliance for patients who continue to struggle. If you need help easing your child away from their thumbsucking habit, or if you yourself have desires to move on from thumbsucking, please contact our office. Your orthodontist can definitely be a huge help in avoiding more serious orthodontic problems down the road.
January 6th, 2020
You may have been told by your orthodontist that your child needs a space maintainer to help make room for adult teeth that are still growing in, but are crowded. You might ask - Why wouldn't there be enough room for the teeth that are growing in? Shouldn't the adult teeth just be replacing the baby teeth that were already there?
Baby teeth are often not the same size as the adult teeth that replace them. Your front adult teeth are quite a bit wider than the baby teeth that they replace. The opposite is true for your back teeth. The back adult teeth are smaller than the baby molars that they replace. This size difference is what can make a space maintainer very useful. This situation combined with the fact that you may get large teeth from your mom and small jaws from your dad (or vice versa) can cause erupting adult teeth to run out of room.
Orthodontists commonly use an appliance known as a space maintainer while children still have adult teeth that are growing in. There are many uses for a space maintainer, but the most common is insufficient spacing for the adult teeth. There are also many types of space maintainers, but the most common is called a lower lingual holding arch. This appliance takes advantage of the size difference between the adult premolars and the baby molars to save room for crowded front teeth. This appliance can make the time spent in braces shorter or even not necessary.
If your child's front teeth appear to be overlapping or too crowded, check with your orthodontist to see if a space maintainer might be a good option. At Budd Orthodontics, we offer free consultations to discuss concerns you might have with your child's dental development. Give us a call! We would love to meet you.