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Posts for tag: braces

By Kirkland Smiles Dental Care
April 23, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: braces   orthodontics   invisalign  

If you're older than 10, you've probably never said, "I wish I could wear cool silver braces!" Although traditional braces offer an effective invisalignway to straighten teeth, they're not exactly attractive. Invisalign offers a much more discreet way to straighten your teeth and improve your bite. Our Kirkland, WA, dentist, Dr. Bernard Pak, explains how the innovative orthodontic system works.

No wires, no problem

Unlike ceramic or metal braces, Invisalign doesn't use wires and brackets to reposition teeth. The system relies on a series of clear, removable aligner trays that exert constant gentle pressure on teeth. Each set in the series is custom-designed for you by Dr. Pak in his Kirkland office using CAD/CAM technology. After two weeks of wear, you'll replace your set with the next one in the series.

Invisalign offers a more comfortable orthodontic experience

Adjustments are an important part of traditional orthodontic treatment, but they can be a little painful. No adjustments are needed with Invisalign. Your aligner trays gradually change the position of your teeth, ensuring that your orthodontic experience is much more comfortable. You also won't have to worry about cuts to your mouth or tongue due to loose brace wires.

Frowning doesn't have to be your default facial expression

Because your Invisalign trays are transparent, you'll never feel that you have to hide your teeth during your treatment. Trays are created from digital images, impressions, and X-rays of your teeth to ensure that they fit snugly. They won't interfere with your speech or attract attention to your smile. In fact, your friends may not even realize that you're straightening your teeth.

Aligner trays make eating and oral hygiene easy

Popcorn, gum, sticky foods, and hard raw vegetables are among the foods you'd have to avoid if you chose traditional braces. All of those foods can damage wires or get stuck in wires and brackets. Fortunately, you don't have to stay away from your favorite foods when you wear Invisalign aligner trays. You'll take out the trays when you eat or drink anything other than water and can continue to eat anything you want. Your oral hygiene routine won't change either, as you'll also remove your trays before you brush and floss.

Are you ready to improve your smile with Invisalign? Call our Kirkland, WA, dentist, Dr. Pak, at (425) 893-9500 to schedule an appointment.

By Kirkland Smiles Dental Care
January 21, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
WhyemBigBangTheoryemActressMayimBialikCouldntHaveBraces

Mayim Bialik has spent a good part of her life in front of TV cameras: first as the child star of the hit comedy series Blossom, and more recently as Sheldon Cooper’s love interest — a nerdy neuroscientist — on The Big Bang Theory. (In between, she actually earned a PhD in neuroscience from UCLA…but that’s another story.) As a child, Bialik had a serious overbite — but with all her time on camera, braces were just not an option.

“I never had braces,” she recently told Dear Doctor – Dentistry & Oral Health magazine. “I was on TV at the time, and there weren’t a lot of creative solutions for kids who were on TV.” Instead, her orthodontist managed to straighten her teeth using retainers and headgear worn only at night.

Today, there are several virtually invisible options available to fix orthodontic issues — and you don’t have to be a child star to take advantage of them. In fact, both children and adults can benefit from these unobtrusive appliances.

Tooth colored braces are just like traditional metal braces, with one big difference: The brackets attached to teeth are made from a ceramic material that blends in with the natural color of teeth. All that’s visible is the thin archwire that runs horizontally across the teeth — and from a distance it’s hard to notice. Celebs like Tom Cruise and Faith Hill opted for this type of appliance.

Clear aligners are custom-made plastic trays that fit over the teeth. Each one, worn for about two weeks, moves the teeth just a bit; after several months, you’ll see a big change for the better in your smile. Best of all, clear aligners are virtually impossible to notice while you’re wearing them — which you’ll need to do for 22 hours each day. But you can remove them to eat, or for special occasions. Zac Efron and Katherine Heigl, among others, chose to wear clear aligners.

Lingual braces really are invisible. That’s because they go behind your teeth (on the tongue side), where they can’t be seen; otherwise they are similar to traditional metal braces. Lingual braces are placed on teeth differently, and wearing them often takes some getting used to at first. But those trade-offs are worth it for plenty of people. Which celebs wore lingual braces? Rumor has it that the list includes some top models, a well-known pop singer, and at least one British royal.

So what’s the best way to straighten your teeth and keep the orthodontic appliances unnoticeable? Just ask us! We’d be happy to help you choose the option that’s just right for you. You’ll get an individualized evaluation, a solution that fits your lifestyle — and a great-looking smile!

For more information about hard-to-see (or truly invisible) orthodontics, please contact our office or schedule a consultation. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Orthodontics for the Older Adult” and “Clear Aligners for Teenagers.”

By Kirkland Smiles Dental Care
May 11, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: braces   orthodontics   invisalign  

If you have gapped, misaligned or crowded teeth, you can achieve a straighter smile without metal braces. Invisalign is an innovative invisalignalternative for straightening your smile that utilizes removable, clear trays that are practically invisible. There are no uncomfortable and unsightly metal brackets and wires. Invisalign trays can be custom made for you at Kirkland Smiles Dental Care. There, Dr. Bernard Pak, your Kirkland, WA, dentist, will create a mold of your teeth that will be used to create custom Invisalign trays just for you.

How Invisalign Works

Invisalign straightens and aligns the teeth with soft, flexible trays. One tray is placed over the top row of the teeth and another along the bottom row. The trays gently guide the teeth toward the desired position. Patients receive a new set of trays every few weeks. Each new set is slightly different from the previous one, which helps the teeth continue moving into position. The average length of time needed to straighten the teeth with Invisalign is between nine and fifteen months. While wearing Invisalign, you’ll see your Kirkland dentist every six weeks.

Advantages of Invisalign

There are several advantages to choosing Invisalign for achieving a straighter smile. Instead of the metal brackets and wires of traditional braces, Invisalign trays are soft and flexible. The trays are composed of a soft plastic material so there are no uncomfortable metal wires poking the mouth or brackets rubbing against the gums. Additionally, the trays are clear, which means they are barely noticeable. Metal braces, on the other hand, are silver and readily visible.

One of the most significant advantages of Invisalign trays is that they are removable. They can be taken out to eat, drink, brush and floss. Since they can be removed to eat and drink, there is no worry of food particles becoming trapped in the trays. With traditional metal braces, food particles are easily trapped between brackets and wires. Further, removing the trays to brush and floss makes it easier to thoroughly clean the teeth and maintain good oral health.

With Invisalign, you can achieve a straighter smile without metal braces. The many advantages of Invisalign make it an easy choice. The soft trays are comfortable and you can straighten your teeth discreetly since they are clear. To find out if Invisalign is right for you, schedule a consultation with Dr. Pak, your dentist in Kirkland, WA, by calling Kirkland Smiles Dental Care at (425) 893-9500.

By Kirkland Smiles Dental Care
March 14, 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.”

By Kirkland Smiles Dental Care
December 07, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: celebrity smiles   braces  
DwightHowardABrightNBAStarWithaSmiletoMatch

Have you started orthodontic treatment recently? Are you having a little trouble getting used to your braces? If so, you are not alone: Everybody goes through an adjustment period during which they momentarily wonder if they’ll really ever get used to this. Don’t worry — you will! And we’ve never heard anyone say, on the day their braces come off and their new smile is revealed, that they aren’t glad they went the distance. Just ask Houston Rockets all-star center Dwight Howard, who discussed his own orthodontic treatment in a recent interview.

“I’m sure I was no different than anyone else who has ever had braces,” he told Mediaplanet. “At first I hated them so much… That changed once I got used to them and I actually grew to love them.” What’s Howard’s advice? “Do exactly what your orthodontist says and know that the outcome is well worth it in the end.” We couldn’t agree more! Here are some tips for wearing braces comfortably:

  • Hard & Chewy Foods: If you love fresh fruits and vegetables, that’s great; there’s no reason to give them up, just the really hard ones. You don’t want to bite into an apple or carrot or any other hard foods like bagels and pizza that have any “size” to them. Small pieces may be ok as long as they can’t bend your wires. Chewy, sticky candy should really be avoided completely. Same with soda, sports drinks and so-called energy drinks because they contain acids that promote tooth decay and can cause a lot of damage around the braces.
  • Effective Oral Hygiene: Keeping your teeth clean is more important than ever, but also more challenging than ever. It’s easy for food to get stuck under wires and around brackets, but failing to remove it can cause tooth decay, gum irritation and soreness. Therefore, the cleaner your teeth and your braces are, the healthier you will be. Use interdental cleaning brushes and/or a floss-threader to get behind your wires. A mouthrinse can also help strengthen teeth and keep bacteria in check. If you have any questions about how to clean between your teeth, please ask for a demonstration at your next visit.
  • Pain Relief: Some soreness at the beginning of orthodontic treatment is normal. To relieve it, you can use an over-the-counter pain reliever and/or a warm washcloth or heating pad placed on the outside of the jaw. If brackets or wires are rubbing against the inside of your cheeks or lips, try applying wax to these areas of your braces. If this does not offer enough relief, we may be able to trim the end of a poking wire. Call us if you need help with this.

Our goal is to make your orthodontic treatment as comfortable as possible on the way to achieving your all-star smile. If you have questions about adjusting to braces, contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Caring for Teeth During Orthodontic Treatment.”