Our dental board consists of a group of approximately 20 dental practices in the UK, representing around 40 dentists. Articles cannot be attributed directly to any of these dentists however they are available for consultation on any of the articles written. Articles written have all been checked and verified by an ex-General Dental Council (retired) registrant.

Our dental board consists of a group of approximately 20 dental practices in the UK, representing around 40 dentists. Articles cannot be attributed directly to any of these dentists however they are available for consultation on any of the articles written. Articles written have all been checked and verified by an ex-General Dental Council (retired) registrant.

7 Essentials for Any Invisalign User

essentials for any Invisalign user

You are getting your teeth straightened with Invisalign (or SmileDirect Club, StraightTeethDirect or WonderSmile) and you have just been handed your case and aligners, a few cleaning tablets and not much else. However, you might also need to buy the following:

On The Go

You will be wearing your clear aligners for up to 22 hours a day, which also means that you will need to have some essentials for your kit when you are on the go. 

1. Travel Toothbrush and Toothpaste

Hygiene is very important when wearing clear aligners that are seated on top of your teeth all day. Therefore, you should always have a oral care travel kit along with you in your purse. Getting a travel toothbrush will save space in your purse, as well as it being slightly more hygienic since travel toothbrushes usually can be folded together. Make sure that the toothpaste you get does not have any abrasive ingredients, since this will break down your enamel and cause your teeth to become more sensitive, because you are brushing your teeth 3-4 times a day. 

2. Aligner Case

An aligner case is essential to any Invisalign user. Not only does a case prevent you from misplacing your aligners and inevitably throwing them out because you placed them on a napkin, but it is also more hygienic. When you are placing your aligners out in the open in public, you risk bacteria getting all over your Invisalign, which is not ideal, since you will be putting your aligners back in your mouth. You might think that you already have a case, however a lot of people decide to buy an extra case, so that they have one at home and one in their purse. This ensures that you do not forget your case at home, which then prevents any misplacing of your Invisalign.

3. Orthodontic Aligner Removal Tool

If you’re not fond of putting your fingers into your mouth out in public or if your nails are an issue, and you don’t want to risk breaking them, there’s a solution. There are aligner remover tools made specifically for making the removal process easier and more hygienic for clear aligner users. We recommend OrthoKey, since it fits in most aligner cases and features a ergonomic design that is easy to use. Moreover, if you experience pain associated with removing your aligners and have trouble taking them out without drooling all over yourself, a aligner removal tool is definitely for you.

At Home

4. Chewies Aligner Seaters

Chewies are an essential to any clear aligner user. Not only do they reduce pain associated with getting your teeth straightened, but they also help ensure correct tracking. Chewies seat the aligners firmly onto your teeth, eliminating any potential air bubbles and therefore ensuring that your aligner is seated correctly to guarantee effective teeth movement. They are typically quite inexpensive and can be used several times, and as a bonus; they fit in your aligner case.

5. Aligner Cleaning Tablets

Keeping your Invisalign clean is crucial to keep your trays odor free and to prevent any staining of the clear aligners. If you are an Invisalign user, you probably received some Invisalign Cleaning Crystals when you got your Invisalign. However, they only supply you with a sample pack, which will not last you very long. Make sure that you buy some cleaning tablets that are made for clear aligners, you will most definitely need it. Simply pop the aligners into a dental bath in the morning with a cleaning tablet and let it do its magic.

6. Dental Bath

Soaking your aligners every morning is a good ritual to get into. This removes any odor (when used along with cleaning tablets) and help to release any plaque and buildup that might have built up throughout the night. After you have finished your breakfast, you just rinse them under water and give them a good brush, and they are ready for another day.

7. Floss

I can not stress the importance of flossing when you are using Invisalign. It is important to think about the fact that your teeth are trapped in the trays all day and are isolated from your naturally cleansing saliva. Therefore, if you missed a piece of chicken or some candy, those will be stuck inside your trays until you remove them and clean them. This causes even more bacteria build up, which leads to plaque and decay. So remember; floss!

You can typically find these accessories on Amazon or through SmileDirect Club’s online shop as well as Invisaligns accessory shop if you are a clear aligner user in USA or Canada. For some European users, you might find the accessories on Amazon or even through smilemate, that supply Europeans with Invisalign and clear aligner accessories online.

You may also be interested in

I Grind My Teeth In My Sleep, What Can I Do?

If you wake up every day with sore and fatigued jaw muscles and aching teeth, it may be because you have a habit of tooth grinding during sleep. Scientifically known as bruxism, this condition is not only dangerous for your teeth but also indicates an underlying problem with your dental or physical health. 

Why Do I Grind My Teeth In My Sleep? 

According to the Bruxism Association, there are various causes of tooth grinding. 

  • Stress and Anxiety – perhaps, the most common reason for bruxism is stress and anxiety. People often find themselves grinding their teeth during exam days due to increased stress
  • Sleep Disorders – according to the American Sleep Association, bruxism can also be caused due to various sleep disorders like obstructive sleep apnoea. In this condition, breathing during sleep is interrupted frequently, which  affects the quality of sleep and leads to tooth grinding. 
  • Lifestyle Habits – people who smoke or drink alcohol often grind their teeth, either during the day or while sleeping. Excessive caffeine intake has also been linked with bruxism. 
  • Medications – brxusim can also results as side effect of certain medications, like selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).
  • Genetic Predisposition – research has shown that bruxism also runs in families. It is commonly seen that people with bruxism often have close relatives or family members that are also suffering from the same condition. 

What Problems Can Result From Grinding Teeth? 

The habit of excessive tooth grinding can lead to various problems. 

  • Tooth Wear – one of the most common complications of bruxism is tooth wear. As you grind your teeth, a thin layer of the outer protective enamel is removed; ultimately, the entire enamel layer is lost, leaving the tooth vulnerable to teeth cavities. Not only this, the loss of enamel makes the teeth sensitive to hot or cold foods and drinks. 
  • Temporomandibular Joints Problems – tooth grinding puts excessive pressure on your jaw joints, leading to various complications like clicking or popping sounds while opening or closing the mouth, and even jaw joint dislocation. 
  • Headaches – constant tooth grinding puts a lot of pressure on the face and jaw muscles, leading to spasms and headaches. 
  • Tooth sensitivity – excessive grinding damages the outer protective layer of the teeth, which can cause sensitivity to hot or cold foods. 

Jaw Clenching While Awake, What Can I Do? 

Management of bruxism involves treating the underlying cause. If you feel that you or a loved one grinds their teeth, take them to a dentist immediately. Your dentist will identify the underlying cause and then recommend the appropriate treatment. Sometimes, treating bruxism involves a team effort by your dentist, healthcare specialist or psychiatrist. 

What Are The Symptoms Of Bruxism? 

Bruxism can cause a variety of problems. The sleep foundation highlights the following symptoms of daytime or sleep bruxism:

  • Jaw soreness
  • Loose or painful teeth 
  • Flattened teeth 
  • Headaches 
  • Jaw pain
  • Difficulty in opening or closing mouth
  • Frequent jaw dislocation 
  • Sensitive teeth 

Perhaps, the most harmful consequence of tooth grinding is the flattening of teeth. When the teeth are flattened, they cannot effectively cut the food we eat into smaller pieces so that it can be digested properly. This can lead to various medical condition like indigestion, heartburn, and other gastric issues. 

What Is The Treatment For Teeth Grinding? 

According to the Sleep Foundation, there is no treatment currently available that can completely cure bruxism. However, there are several approaches available that can reduce its frequency and damage to one’s oral health. 

The first step in the management of bruxism is identifying the underlying cause. If it is because of stress, it will be managed through psychological treatment. Your dentist may also inject a botox injection for facial muscle relaxation. Similarly, if the underlying cause is a sleep disorder, your dentist will refer you to a sleep medicine specialist for further treatment.

For other medical-related reasons, your dentist will refer you to your physician. Your dentist will give you a mouthguard to protect your teeth and jaw joints from damage while your treatment is being done. A mouthguard is an appliance that prevents the teeth from excessive wear while grinding. 

Mouthguard For Teeth Grinding?

Your dentist may give you a mouthguards, also called night guards, if you grind your teeth. According to the Bruxism Association, a mouthguard is a removable appliance, just like a retainer, worn to prevent the teeth from damage due to excessive grinding. In some cases, dentists also prescribe mandibular advancement devices (MAD). These devices work by keeping the lower jaw in a slightly forward position – thereby preventing jaw clenchign and tooth grinding. After a thorough examination, your dentist will recommend an mouthguard or a mandibular splint, depending on the severity of your condition and individual dental needs. 

Teething grinding is a severe problem that can lead to many dental and medical complications. However, timely diagnosis and dental care can go a long way in minimising the damages associated with this problem. If you, or a loved suffers from night or daytime bruxism, you should take them to a dentist right away.

You may also be interested in

Sporting Smiles – The Whiter Smile

White teeth treatments

The smile is one of the first features that people notice about you. Your teeth are used for many functions including assisting your tongue in verbal communication, properly shredding food into safe portions for you to swallow, and attracting others to you. It makes sense that many want a white perfect smile with your teeth being so valuable to everyday life. There are a few at-home teeth whitening treatments that can help you achieve that bright smile you’ve always dreamed of. Let’s look at two of the most popular treatments and how they work. 

Teeth Whitening Lights: 

Using blue light paired with a whitening serum has become a mainstream way of whitening your teeth. This was performed at dentist offices for years before the technology came home. Make sure your teeth are properly cleaned before your treatments by brushing them. There are a few brands that offer teeth whitening lights but they typically all work the same way. 

The whitening gel serum is typically a bit stronger than other treatments. If you have sensitive teeth or gums, this form of teeth whitening may not be for you. Gentle brush the whitening serum onto the teeth you wish to have whitened making sure to avoid any contact with your gums. After your teeth are properly coated, use the blue light mouth guard that comes with your teeth whitening kit. This mouthguard may feel bulky but it should fit your mouth. Be careful not to smear the gel around your teeth and bite down onto the mouthguard to hold it in place. The blue light mouthguard will have a cord connected to it. This cord can be plugged into your phone to be powered making it mobile-friendly for you to continue your activities at home. 

You won’t be able to speak during this 10-15 minute process. Find an activity to do that doesn’t require much effort or sit back and text a friend while your teeth whitening light works. You need to be careful with teeth whitening lights as there are many brands out there. Counterfeits can be dangerous or useless. With improper use of the blue light or too much direct exposure, your gums can start to bleed. 

Teeth Whitening Lights are most preferred with the expertise of dentists but that can become costly. These treatments typically see the fastest results as patients can leave the dentist that day with noticeably whiter teeth. At-Home teeth whitening lights are effective and can turn your teeth into a bright white within a week. Teeth Whitening Lights can be fairly expensive and can cast anywhere from $130 – $210. Be careful as some patients have found that the mouthguards and cords are easy to break rendering the treatments useless. 

Custom Teeth Whitening Trays: 

Another popular at-home treatment for obtaining white teeth is custom teeth whitening trays. Customers will use an impression kit and take molds of their teeth to send them back to a dental lab. The dental techs will craft a custom teeth whitening tray that fits perfectly over the teeth and is unique to each smile. These whitening trays tend to be durable and can last for a few years. 

Users will inject a teeth whitening gel into the cups of the trays and pop the teeth whitening trays on. There are different types of whitening gels, but Sporting Smiles offers a gel formula that foams into the cracks and crevices of your teeth when activated by saliva. This benefit helps all teeth achieve a white surface, including the back of your teeth. 

Custom Teeth Whitening Trays are easy to communicate with and do not require any support. You’ll be able to speak or walk around your home continuing your daily activities. These treatments are completed in 10 to 20 minutes and results can come in as little as 7 to 10 days. Another benefit to this treatment is the cost. Custom Teeth Whitening Trays can cost as little as $70

You May Also Be Interested in

How To Get Quick Straight Teeth?

Don’t let your crooked teeth ruin your smile and self-confidence!

Are your crooked and misaligned teeth affecting your smile and personality? Do you wish to have perfectly aligned, pearly-white teeth? Many people want to know how to get quick straight teeth for a variety of reasons, predominantly the fact that fast braces mitigate the need to prepare teeth for veneers and can maintain natural tooth structure, meaning they are one of the best ways to get straight teeth fast, read on to find out all of your options

What Is The Fastest Invisalign Works To Straighten Teeth?

When it comes to orthodontic treatment, patients want to achieve the best possible aesthetic outcome in the shortest amount of time. If you are planning to get braces of invisible aligners to get your teeth straightened, then you might be wondering about teeth straightening option that offers the quickest results. 

Well, it all comes down to a few factors. Firstly, the severity of your problem. The more complex the orthodontic problem is, the longer it will take to straighten your teeth. Orthodontists will recommend an orthodontic treatment option that best only suits your dental needs but also provides the best – and the fastest – aesthetic outcome. Another factor is patient compliance. The more you adhere to your dentist’s instructions, the quicker will be the outcome. Lastly, the most crucial factor is the skill of the orthodontist.

What Orthodontic Services are available

There are a variety of cost-effective orthodontic treatment options to suit the dental, aesthetic and budgetary needs of our patients. No matter how complicated your problem is, we have a solution for it!

  • Fixed Braces – we offer metal braces – but if you do not like the metal appearance of the braces, then there is a perfect solution! “Champagne”, gold-coloured braces by ICONIX that are not only more efficient but also less conspicuous than the conventional metal braces. If you are not a fan of gold-coloured braces, then you can get invisible braces. These braces, also called the lingual braces, are attached to the inner side of your teeth. Hence, they are not visible and won’t affect your facial aesthetics. 
  • Clear Aligners – for patients who find the fixed braces uncomfortable or those who do not like their metallic appearance, there are different types of clear aligners, also known as the removable braces. 

If you have a minor orthodontic problem – like crowding or spacing – orthodontists may recommend the Invisalign i7 – an aligner system that contains only 7 aligners. These aligners are designed to be cost-effective and to fix mild problems in a short duration. I7 Invisalign aligners may cost you around £1,995.

Similar to the Invisalign i7, is Invisalign Lite – a 14-stage aligner system that is also used for treating mild to moderate problems. Treatment with Invisalign Lite costs around £3,120. 

For more complex problems, orthodontists often recommend the Invisalign comprehensive package. The Invisalign comprehensive is designed to fix complex orthodontic problems involving the bite – costing around £4,800.

Can Fixed Braces Give Straight Teeth Quickly?

The amount of time required for fixing your teeth mainly depends on the severity of your problem. For mild to moderate orthodontic problems, both fixed braces and Invisalign aligner can be used for a quick treatment. However, fixed braces are generally more suitable for handling more complicated issues involving the bite, as recommended by the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO). The average treatment time required for the treatment of moderate to severe orthodontic problems with Invisalign is about 12-18 weeks, while it is about 22 months for fixed braces.

How Long Will It Take For Traditional Braces To Straighten My Teeth?

On average, treatment with metal braces requires around 18-24 months for completion  – depending on the age, the complexity of the problem and the expertise of the orthodontist. Generally, younger people need lesser time for treatment while the treatment time becomes longer for older people. 

During your treatment, our orthodontists will precisely monitor and control the speed of your tooth movement. This is very crucial because if excessive orthodontic forces are applied to the teeth, it can cause damage to the gums and may result in accelerated resorption of the underlying jawbone. 

Can I Get Braces At The Age Of 20, 30 or 40?

Generally, people think that they can only get their teeth straightened during the earlier years of life. Invisalign aligners are suitable for both teenagers and adults. No matter how old you are – whether you’re 20, 30, 40 or even older – or no matter how complex your problem, there is a solution.

You might wonder “ so, why do dentists recommend seeking orthodontic treatment at an earlier age?” This is because, in the younger years, the jawbone is more flexible and more amenable to remodelling and tooth movement. However, as we age, the jawbone becomes brittle, and hence, more time will be required for moving your teeth in the desired direction. 

Age is just a number. You are never too old to have a beautiful and attractive smile!


You may also like


Will My Braces Still Move My Teeth With A Broken Wire?

Have you ever wondered how the fixed braces move the teeth? The fixed braces contain slots through which the metal orthodontic wire passes and engages the teeth. This wire is attached to the brackets with the help of rubber bands called ties. Essentially, the braces move the teeth due to the force generated by the “tightness” of the orthodontic wire. 

Hence, in cases where an orthodontic wire is broken, it will not be able to exert sufficient force on all – or some of the teeth – to move or realign in the desired direction or angulation. Besides, a broken wire may also injure your cheeks, lips or gums. Therefore, if you feel that you have a broken wire, you must call us immediately to book an emergency appointment with us – so that we can replace the wire. 

Your smile is the first thing that people notice about you. Perfectly aligned and pearly white teeth will not only make you look attractive, but people also perceive you to be more confident, friendly and approachable. People with beautiful smiles have higher chances of landing jobs and doing well during office presentations and meetings. What are you waiting for?

Overcoming dental fear and anxiety

Would you are feeling relatively calm before your any dental appointments or are you a bit nervous a few trips to the any dental office? Do you worry about it for days or weeks prior to the appointment?

Are you somebody who’s actually scared about dental treatment and concerns about it all the time? Do even those items which should make visits more comfortable just seem to boost the apprehension or sense of anxiety and being out of control like anti-anxiety medication, nitric oxide (laughing gas), or localized anesthesia — numbing the treatment area (injections, cables ( shots)? Whichever end of the spectrum you might be on, it may be helpful to be aware that you aren’t alone.

Actually, having a little or perhaps a great deal of nervousness about dental appointments is common. Some studies have concluded that around 75% of people surveyed have at least a small fear of dental visits. There are individuals who have frequent dreams about dental hygiene; some will only eat soft foods because they’re afraid that they may chip a tooth then need dental treatment. Consequently these people who put off having dental treatment endure for years with toothaches, infections, and poor appearance.

It’s possible, even for people who are the most fearful, to reduce their fear and also to learn to have dental hygiene in a way that feels calm and secure.

While dental anxiety could lead to stress and avoidance of care, it may even have more wide-reaching consequences. For some, it impacts their whole identity and sense of self-worth. They may observe other men and women who don’t seem to have the same reactions to dental treatment and begin to feel that something is wrong together. “Why can’t I do something which folks seem to try to do readily?” Actually, untreated oral conditions may end in even worse general health complications.

In the long run, it’s in everybody’s interest to find strategies to conquer dental anxiety and make dental treatment a calm and secure experience.

Great News

Now for the good news! First, it is useful for many people who are fearful to know they’re not alone. Additionally, it is important to understand that help is available. Actually, every experience has shown that even those who have horrified fear of dental procedures can get over their fears and learn to have dental treatment in a manner that feels calm and secure. In case you’re afraid for a long time you might have difficulty believing this, but even people with long-standing fear can be helped. Before we explain how it’s likely to have over dental fear, let us first review some things about what makes people fearful.

How do people become afraid of dental appointments?

Nobody is born being afraid of dental appointments. So everyone who’s afraid has heard somewhere that dental hygiene is something to fear. Many people learn this because they have had previous bad dental experiences. The sense of lack of control in the dental environment might be enough to avoid dental treatment forever. And , others may be fearful because of stories they have heard, movies they watched, or other indirect experiences. The message conveyed to your child from a fearful parent might be going to see that a dentist is something to be afraid of. Such messages can cause individuals to avoid treatment and not have any chance to learn that things could be different.

Fear and anxiety may also be reinforced inadvertently. Consider it this way; try to remember a time when you were really frightened of something, do you remember how your body felt? Those and other indicators of being afraid are unpleasant feelings. So, if somebody who is already afraid forces themselves to undergo dental therapy and re-experiences those same bad feelings during the consultation, then what they will remember then is the same unpleasant feelings. It doesn’t matter how friendly the dental practitioner is or the way pain-free and pleasant the treatment is. What you remember is the sense of being fearful, thus reinforcing the concept that there’s something to be afraid of.

In fact, all dental fear begins at the subconscious level. Because this automatic fear response is subconscious, you can’t make it go away with logic or rationale. In fact, it may make things worse because it might sound just like you’re saying there is something wrong with her/him. So, how can we alter this pattern of dread and reinforcement? Let us find out.

Getting to Calm and Safe

As we said earlier, it’s possible, even for those people who are the most fearful, to decrease their fear and to learn to have dental treatment in a way that feels calm and secure. The basic idea is really quite straightforward. To be able to counteract previous bad experiences, you need to have fresh positive experiences that lead to the development of enhanced attitudes and feelings. The bad experiences you have had or the more they’ve gone , the more good experiences you need before you’ll have different responses to the same situation. Dental caregivers understand that your mouth is a very personal place and hope is a big part of allowing us to partner in your care.

You may also like

6 Causes of Crooked Teeth in Children and How to Treat Them

Crooked teeth can mainly occur when the teeth in the kids’ mouth are larger than the available space in the jaw. When the teeth erupt, they follow the path of least resistance. If there is inadequate space for them to come in straight, they will become crooked. Read on to know more. 

6 Common Causes of Crooked Teeth in Children

  • Thumb Sucking

Thumb sucking is common until the ages of 2 – 4 years. However, if this continues past the ages of 6 and 7 years, the front teeth will be misaligned. Thumb sucking will push the front teeth forward and possibly create an open bite. It may also lead to narrowing of the upper jaw which may require jaw expansion plates or braces. 

  • Genetics

If the parents have crooked teeth, the genes may pass on to the kid. Crooked teeth will be prominent if the kid inherits a small jaw from one parent and large teeth from the other parent. The child may also inherit an overbite or underbite from the parents.

  • Tongue Thrusting

Tongue thrusting is when the tongue presses forward too far in the teeth. This habit results in an open bite as the pressure from the tongue thrust can make the front teeth move outward. 

If left untreated, tongue trust can lead to long-term damage to speech. It can also cause the tongue to protrude from between the teeth or elongate your kid’s facial shape. 

  • Tooth Decay 

The most common reason for tooth decay is due to the nursing bottle syndrome. If the tooth decay is ignored or left untreated, it can cause further damage that can result in crooked teeth. This is because the permanent teeth cannot be guided into their correct position.

  • Misaligned Jaw 

If the lower jaw juts out farther than the upper front teeth, the child will have an underbite. An overbite is when the upper front teeth protrude out farther than the lower front teeth. This misalignment in the jaw caused by an underbite and overbite may lead to crooked teeth in kids. 

  • Poor Dental Habits

Kids tend to put everything into their mouths. This habit can affect how the teeth erupt and develop, and it may cause crooked teeth. Wrong dental habits also include prolonged use of pacifiers, thumb sucking or prolonged bottle-feeding.

Treating Crooked Teeth

Early intervention of braces will help in treating crooked teeth. Don’t wait until your kid turns a teenager to fix their crooked teeth. Early orthodontic treatment will be beneficial. 

Consult with an orthodontist about the different techniques that can be used to fix crooked teeth. They might suggest braces to straighten teeth, spacers to stop overcrowding or a plate to guide jaw growth. The sooner you fix the crooked teeth, less extensive treatment will be required later to correct bite and jaw alignment.

Final Words

Getting braces treatment will help improve the child’s oral health. Not only will it straighten the crooked teeth but also help in correcting the bite and jaw movement. Make an appointment with an orthodontist soon if your kid has crooked teeth. 

Author Bio:

Sharon Williams’ day job is to handle digital marketing for Koch Orthodontics in Lawrenceville, GA. With a flair for creating compelling content that clears the clutter and connects with the audience in an instant, she writes about dental topics to educate and help her readers. She truly believes that a genuine smile can win a million hearts and talks to her readers about improving their smiles and overall dental health, as well as enhancing their overall lifestyle. In her free time, she likes to organize small meets in her neighborhood where she brings people together to discuss various topics that she writes about.

You May Also like

5 Ways A Dentist Can Help You Smile More!

Smiles are beautiful. It’s one of the most attractive aspects of one’s personality. It can make anyone look more inviting, warm and friendly.

 However, if you feel less confident while smiling because of discolored or crooked teeth and would rather cover your mouth while smiling or laughing, you are not alone. According to a study conducted by the National Institutes of Health on the impact of dental esthetics on self-confidence, approximately a quarter of the participants felt insecure while smiling and covered their teeth every time they smiled.   

So is there a way to feel more confident about your smile and have a set of pearly whites to show off?

Of course!

This article explains 5 ways through which dentists can help you smile more. Keep reading to find out!

  1. Whitening 

Teeth whitening is a cosmetic dentistry procedure aimed to reduce stains and discoloration from the teeth to make them appear whiter and healthier. A dentist can conduct this procedure in their clinic or prescribe the patient a take-home kit for an at-home whitening procedure. 

Whitening usually involves treating the surface of the teeth with bleaching agents to get rid of the stains and discoloration. Your dentist will first perform a dental examination to ensure whether whitening is appropriate for you.

  1. Veneers  

Veneers are porcelain or resin shells that serve as restorations for the teeth. They cover the surface of the teeth and help in correcting small gaps, cracks or chips, crooked teeth or discolorations. Your dentist can recommend you veneers as an alternative to teeth whitening and if you want to alter the shape of your teeth as well. Moreover, your dentist will select the material of the veneer according to the color of your natural teeth. 

However, this is for minor cracks or crookedness. For more serious conditions, your dentist may recommend you avail orthodontic treatment. 

  1. Orthodontics 

Orthodontics involve the use of braces or aligners to help in correcting misaligned teeth or jaws. This treatment can have a significant impact on a person’s self-esteem as it makes the teeth appear straighter. Moreover, people who don’t want to get the very noticeable metal braces can get clear aligners. 

Your dentist will decide the treatment length based on your particular case and the aligners you select. In this regard, treatment may take anywhere from a few months to a few years. 

  1. Crowns 

A crown is a dental cap made out of ceramic or porcelain to completely cap a tooth usually following a root canal treatment or other dental surgery procedures. Crowns are also used for covering severely damaged, discolored or crooked teeth. Your dentist will color match the crown to the rest of your teeth for a more natural-looking finish. Usually, it’ll take you a couple of visits down to your dental clinic to get a crown; however, your dentist can also offer you same-day crowns. 

  1. Bridges 

Bridges are false teeth that are fitted between two crowns and are used for replacing missing teeth. Your dentist will first examine and prepare the teeth at either side of the gap to put crowns and cement the bridge between them. 

Like other options, your dentist will examine your mouth and evaluate if you need bridges or not. While these are temporary options for lost tooth, they are suitable if the teeth near the gap already have crowns or fillings. 

Author Bio

Sophie Taylor is an avid reader and writer. She loves to write about different topics – ranging from business development to crafting tips, healthcare and elderly care.

If you want to enhance your pearly whites to have the perfect smile, get in touch with Blackburn Dental Centre for a dentist in Orleans. The dental team at the clinic will conduct a thorough examination of your mouth and jaws to determine what kind of treatment will be best for you and begin your treatment plan accordingly. Get in touch today for personalized treatment and compassionate care.  

Teens and Dental Opioids: A Guide for Parents

C:\Users\Kambona\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\INetCache\Content.Word\aaaa.jpg

Image

Drug abuse is one of the priority concerns among parents in many regions of the world. Over the last few years, the number of teens using various drugs for non-drug purposes has increased tremendously. Although there is adequate drug education in schools, experts believe parents have an essential role to play in helping their children stay away from drugs.

Most doctors associate drug abuse with hard drugs such as heroin, cocaine and crystal meth. While these drugs still result in the worst cases of abuse, addiction, and overdose, other new dimensions continue to emerge. According to studies, prescription drugs are currently the leading cause of drug abuse and overdoses in the US. This is particularly common among high school teenagers with reports indicating that as many as 20% of high school seniors take prescription drugs with no underlying medical condition. 

Prescription drugs and abuse 

bb

Image

Prescription drugs are a group of FDA-approved medicines. While prescriptions exist in almost all drug doses, most abuse cases stem from pain relievers. Opioids, in particular, are very effective in relieving pain. Opioid prescriptions come in various names including oxycodone, hydrocodone, and fentanyl. Popular brand equivalents are oxycontin (oxy), Percocet and Vicodin. There are several other opioid painkillers on the market, some offering instant pain-relief while others promise to reduce the overall distress. 

Unfortunately, prescription drugs offer both desirable and undesirable symptoms. Like cocaine and heroin, opioids can result in feelings of euphoria and temporary “high.” This euphoric feeling is what most drug users chase, and it can quickly develop into a habit or addiction. Due to the habit-forming nature of prescription pain relievers, their use should remain under careful monitoring and control by doctors and parents alike. 

Dental opioids in teenage drug abuse

Dental opioids are popular prescription drugs among teenagers. Although most dentists believe it is unnecessary, teenagers and some adults use dental opioids for pain relief following dental procedures such as root canal. Doctors can prescribe pain relievers following surgery or accident. Whenever this is the case, it is essential to find out about the duration your child will have to take prescriptions. This can help prevent drug abuse and unnecessary use. However, a significant number of teenagers resort to using opioids and other potent pain relievers to deal with oral pain. 

The euphoria one gets from using opioids, and pain prescriptions are short-lived. As such, most teenagers end up using higher doses to achieve the initial “high.” It is common for teenage parties, especially seniors, to feature prescription pills for entertainment. Using drugs for non-medical purposes is the primary cause of overdoses as there is no more control of the dosage one takes. 

Preventing and managing dental opioids in teenagers

It is recommendable to find alternative pain-relief therapies that can avoid over-dependence on the prescriptions. According to the American Dental Association, regular dental procedures like removal of wisdom teeth do not require strong pain relievers. Studies have shown generic NSAIDs like ibuprofen to be sufficient in offering relief for mild pain. Nonetheless, there are rare cases of severe oral pain that may require stronger painkillers and opioids. It is essential to know your options and requirements.

According to experts, parents and teenagers should choose the most reputable doctors and facilities close to their residence. A simple search string like the best dentist near me can begin your quest for a competent dentist in your region. However, drug abuse prevention goes beyond choosing a credible, trustworthy doctor. Two best practices include:

  1. Have an open discussion with the doctor and your child
vbvb

Image

Parents must learn to talk openly with their children about drug use and abuse, including the adverse effects of over-indulging in various substances. More importantly, you should talk frankly with the doctor to enable them to determine the best care for your child’s unique needs. Understanding what your kid is going through and communicating any information regarding opioids use is the best way to plan their medication. Teenagers and kids require awareness education to help them understand the importance of proper drug use, avoiding sharing medication, and prospects of using drugs for recreational purposes.

  1. Control the use of painkillers

When your doctor prescribes painkillers or opioids for pain relief, make sure you only purchase the exact dosage. If there are any leftovers, dispose of them properly. Proper control is crucial in preventing abuse and addiction. It is also essential to know all the options available for pain relief and choose the best drugs for your kid. Opioid painkillers can be useful in reducing dental pain. It is possible to use these options safely. However, both the doctor and parent must ensure effective control of choices and dosage.

Conclusion

No parent wishes to see their kid turn into an addict. There are various things that parents can do to help their teenage children understand the prospects of drug use and abuse. By having the right discussions at home, kids can grow up well-aware of the risks and characteristics of opioids and drug abuse, as well as how to find help. It is also essential to choose reputable clinics and medical facilities that are licensed to offer dental services in the area. Before accepting any opioids or prescriptions, make sure you discuss its usage, dosage, prospect side effects, effectiveness, active ingredients, classification, and any other vital information.  

I Can’t Stop Grinding My Teeth! What Should I Do?

Contrary to what we often see on TV, people don’t just grind their teeth when they’re feeling angry. In fact, regular teeth grinding is incredibly common. Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, is thought to affect as much as a third of the population. It usually occurs involuntarily and most often during sleep. Without treatment, it can cause ongoing health problems as well as lasting cosmetic damage to your teeth. 

What are the symptoms?

Many people who suffer from bruxism don’t realise it As it usually happens at night, sufferers might simply dismiss their symptoms as something else entirely. The symptoms of bruxism are numerous. Some range from relatively minor short term symptoms, to long term symptoms that can affect your everyday life. Common symptoms include:

  • Jaw pain
  • Gum inflammation
  • Muscle pain
  • Excessive teeth wear
  • TMJ (temporomandibular joint disorder)
  • Tooth fracture
  • Gum recession
  • Earache
  • Headaches
  • Migraines
  • Insomnia
  • Neck pain
  • Shoulder pain

These symptoms are often found in other common disorders, making it easy to overlook teeth grinding as the potential root of the problem. Your dentist should be able to spot evidence of bruxism, such as changes in your teeth or excessive wear. During your next dental appointment, tell your dentist if you are having any symptoms and ask them to check whether bruxism could be the cause.  

What causes bruxism?

Bruxism can often be associated with stress or anxiety disorders. In fact, nearly 70 percent of cases are reported to be due to stress or anxiety. A study of shift workers found that those who reported suffering work related stress were more likely to suffer from nighttime teeth grinding. Ignoring stress therefore can have long term effects on your teeth. The National Sleep Foundation recommends regular exercise to help alleviate stress, taking a relaxing bath before sleep or other stress reducing activities. If feelings of stress or anxiety are severe or last longer than a few days, you should seek help from a professional. 

While bruxism can affect your sleep, conversely, sleep disorders can cause bruxism. Sleep disorders, particularly those that include periods of disturbed sleep, can cause teeth grinding or clenching to occur. An example of this is Obstructive Sleep Apnoea, which involves short periods during sleep where the sufferer stops breathing temporarily. Sleep talking, sleep paralysis and sleep hallucinations also contribute to teeth grinding. Other physical conditions can exacerbate teeth grinding, such as Parkinson’s disease, which causes involuntary tremors. 

Finally, certain lifestyle elements can have an impact on teeth grinding. Smokers, for example, are more likely to suffer from bruxism. People who drink more than six cups of coffee a day or who regularly consume alcohol, too are susceptible. Regular drug users are also likely to suffer, particularly those who take methamphetamines, ecstasy or even certain antidepressant medications. 

What can I do to stop?

If teeth grinding has you concerned, the good news is there are things you can do. First, try actions that will alleviate stress such as exercise, deep breathing, engaging in relaxing hobbies and other self care activities If you think you are suffering from severe stress or anxiety, go to your doctor to discuss your options. 

The next step is to visit your dentist. While unfortunately there is no cure for bruxism, there is a wide variety of treatment options that can help. The most common treatment is occlusal splints. These splints act as mouthguards you can wear at night, keeping your teeth separate and protecting them against grinding. You can have splints made specially for your mouth, so that you don’t experience discomfort when wearing them. Mandibular advancement devices, which are often used to prevent snoring, can also help. 

Some people find hypnosis and other similar treatments such as meditation and psychoanalysis helpful. Studies have shown positive outcomes when bruxism sufferers underwent hypnosis treatments to stop teeth grinding. 

If crooked or misaligned teeth are causing your teeth grinding, your dentist might suggest braces to help correct the alignment of your teeth. Other treatments might include equilibration, which involves reshaping the surface of your teeth, or cosmetic treatments such as dental crowns, bridges or veneers

What can I do to fix teeth damaged by teeth grinding?

For teeth that have been worn down or damaged by incessant clenching or grinding, there are solutions to help restore their look, feel and function. Treatment can also work to prevent any more wear or damage, as well as helping to reduce sensitivity. 

If your teeth are severely damaged or worn down by grinding, you might consider crowns or veneers to help strengthen your teeth and improve their overall look and feel. Alternatively, composite bonding has become more advanced in recent years and is a popular method for restoring teeth. Composite is a tooth coloured material which is bonded to the tooth’s surface, protecting it and giving a natural appearance. These treatments can help patients who suffer from bruxism to regain confidence in their smiles.  

Teeth grinding doesn’t have to cause you pain. Speak to your dentist today about treatment options. 

Is It True That Women Are at More Risk of TMJ Pain Than Men?

More than 10 million people in the US suffer from temporomandibular joint or TMJ pain of varying intensities. 90% of those who see a TMJ specialist to seek treatment for extremely severe symptoms are women in their childbearing years. In this article, we will explore why women are more prone to TMJ pain as compared to men. 

Why Women Are at More Risk?

Men and women have different natural levels of hormones, which essentially function as chemical messengers within the body. They have different hormones or different levels of similar hormones. If there are any hormonal changes or if they fluctuate above or below their normal level, there will be some side effects. 

The hormone variations can be observed in people of different ages. However, the women who usually are at the highest risk of TMJ pain are those of childbearing age. This is because they have more pronounced fluctuations in their levels of estrogen and progesterone. 

Stress is another factor that leads to TMJ pain. Women experience stress more physically than men. They are most likely to clench the jaw or grind the teeth. Moreover, stress negatively impacts the hormones and cause an imbalance. This can lead to TMJ pain or worsen the existing TMJ condition.

Women who suffer from nutritional deficiencies can also be at risk of TMJ disorder. 

Do Hormones Affect TMJ?

The exact link between TMJ and hormones is unknown but there are studies done in this area. Researchers have found that women who take estrogen supplements or use certain forms of birth control are at increased risk of developing TMD disorder. 

However, if the level of natural estrogen is high, it lessens the pain associated with the disorder. 

Symptoms of TMJ Disorder

These are some of the signs you must look out for:

  • Jaw pain
  • Headaches
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Pain while chewing food
  • Radiating pain in the face
  • Stiff neck or neck pain
  • Earaches
  • Inability to open the jaw wide 
  • Popping of the jaw
  • Muscle spasms

How to Relieve TMJ Pain?

Perform a simple self-assessment to become aware of your jaw function. You should be able to fit in at least 3 fingers between your front teeth when opening widely, and chew and swallow without difficulty. You should also be able to move your lower jaw side to side, without any pain. If you hear any joint noise or any sudden changes to the bite, it may be a sign of some issue in the joint. These may lead to TMJ disorder if you do not seek any treatment.

If you experience any of the TMJ symptoms, apply moist heat to the jaw, eat a soft diet or take over-the-counter medication. 

TMJ treatment also includes orthodontic treatment which make changes to the jaw and teeth. The dentists may grind the teeth down, use splints that move the jaw to a different position or opt for surgery. 

Passive jaw stretching, yoga or special jaw and TMJ relaxation exercises can also help in relieving some pain. 

Do not wait until the pain becomes unbearable to visit your TMJ specialist.  

Author Bio: Shen Chao is part of Dr. Joshua Hong’s Smile Clinic. While working for the Smile Clinic, he’s gained first hand experiences into the questions and concerns that dental patients have. He has been writing to inform people about various dental topics to help his readers improve their oral health. When he’s not working, you can find him on a hiking trail with his dog or having a Sunday cook-out with friends.