Posts for tag: orthodontics
Sometimes it seems that appearances count for everything—especially in Hollywood. But just recently, Lonnie Chaviz, the 10-year-old actor who plays young Randall on the hit TV show This Is Us, delivered a powerful message about accepting differences in body image. And the whole issue was triggered by negative social media comments about his smile.
Lonnie has a noticeable diastema—that is, a gap between his two front teeth; this condition is commonly seen in children, but is less common in adults. There are plenty of celebrities who aren’t bothered by the excess space between their front teeth, such as Michael Strahan, Lauren Hutton and Vanessa Paradis. However, there are also many people who choose to close the gap for cosmetic or functional reasons.
Unfortunately, Lonnie had been on the receiving end of unkind comments about the appearance of his smile. But instead of getting angry, the young actor posted a thoughtful reply via Instagram video, in which he said: “I could get my gap fixed. Braces can fix this, but like, can you fix your heart, though?”
Lonnie is raising an important point: Making fun of how someone looks shows a terrible lack of compassion. Besides, each person’s smile is uniquely their own, and getting it “fixed” is a matter of personal choice. It’s true that in most circumstances, if the gap between the front teeth doesn’t shrink as you age and you decide you want to close it, orthodontic appliances like braces can do the job. Sometimes, a too-big gap can make it more difficult to eat and to pronounce some words. In other situations, it’s simply a question of aesthetics—some like it; others would prefer to live without it.
There’s a flip side to this issue as well. When teeth need to be replaced, many people opt to have their smile restored just the way it was, rather than in some “ideal” manner. That could mean that their dentures are specially fabricated with a space between the front teeth, or the crowns of their dental implants are spaced farther apart than they normally would be. For these folks, the “imperfection” is so much a part of their unique identity that changing it just seems wrong.
So if you’re satisfied with the way your smile looks, all you need to do is keep up with daily brushing and flossing, and come in for regular checkups and cleanings to keep it healthy and bright. If you’re unsatisfied, ask us how we could help make it better. And if you need tooth replacement, be sure to talk to us about all of your options—teeth that are regular and “Hollywood white;” teeth that are natural-looking, with minor variations in color and spacing; and teeth that look just like the smile you’ve always had.
Because when it comes to your smile, we couldn’t agree more with what Lonnie Chaviz said at the end of his video: “Be who you want to be. Do what you want to do. Do you. Be you. Believe in yourself.”
If you have questions about cosmetic dentistry, please contact our office or schedule a consultation. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Beautiful Smiles by Design” and “The Magic of Orthodontics.”
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 way 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.
If you have gapped, misaligned or crowded teeth, you can achieve a straighter smile without metal braces. Invisalign is an innovative alternative 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.
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.”
We all know Madonna, Seal, David Letterman, Anna Paquin and Michael Strahan (of the talk show Kelly and Michael). What do all of these celebrities have in common? Each has a “signature gap” between their front teeth. Given that they have been in the public eye for quite some time, it's not likely that these famous faces will choose to change their well-known smile. In fact, Michael Strahan has publically stated that he will never close his gap.
However, it is not uncommon for people to desire to fix a small gap in their teeth, particularly in advance of important events, such as weddings. Often times, fixing this small gap requires relatively simple orthodontic movements or tooth straightening. Since the teeth don't have to be moved very far, we can usually use simple appliances to correct the issue within a few months.
In order for us to determine your course of treatment, you'll need to make an appointment with our office for a thorough examination. When we examine you, we'll be looking for a number of items that will affect our treatment recommendation:
- Is there enough room to close the space without creating other bite problems?
- Are the roots of the teeth in reasonably good position to allow for minor tooth movement to close the space? X-rays will be required to make a proper assessment.
- Is there an involuntary tongue habit that has pushed the teeth forward and created the gap? If so, this could be difficult to fix quickly.
- Are the surrounding gum tissues and bone healthy?
Based on our assessment and your individual needs, we may recommend one of the following options:
- Clear retainers, a computer-generated series of clear retainers customized for your bite to move the teeth
- Removable orthodontic retainers to which we will attach small springs or elastics to facilitate the minor tooth movement
- Traditional fixed orthodontic appliances (most commonly known as braces), small metal or clear brackets bonded to your teeth through which tiny wires are used to move the teeth
Regardless of the method we choose, once your teeth have moved into the new position, it is important for you to remember that they must be kept in this position until the bone stabilizes around the teeth. We may therefore advise you to wear a retainer for a few months to a few years, depending on your situation.
If you would like more information about orthodontic treatments, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Minor Tooth Movement.”