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Flossing with Invisalign

Invisalign and Braces in Honolulu

Fact one: Flossing is more important than brushing your teeth when it comes to preventing gum disease and tooth loss.

Fact two: Your Invisalign treatment becomes pointless if your teeth fall out.

When it comes to hygiene habits, flossing ranks extremely high — yet, a recent study released by the American Dental Association showed that only 50.5 percent of Americans floss daily and 18.5 percent don’t bother to floss at all

Flossing isn’t just about removing visible chunks of food — it’s also about getting rid of plaque, the film of bacteria that forms on teeth. Over time, this bacteria will produce acids that will destroy tooth enamel and develop on the roots under your gums to break down the bone supporting your teeth. So in short — if you don’t floss thoroughly, you can develop periodontitis, gingivitis, halitosis (bad breath) and eventually lose your teeth.

Even more horrifying news — since Invisalign is form fitted, food particles and plaque can get trapped inside your aligners, increasing your overall risk for dental problems down the road.

Ideally, you should floss after every meal to ensure a clean mouth before you place your aligners back in your mouth, but at the very least, floss once a day.

So, how does one properly floss?

  • Start with about 18 inches of floss and wind most of it around each middle finger, leaving an inch or two to work with
  • Hold it taut and slide it gently up and down between your teeth
  • Curve the floss around the base of each tooth, making sure to go beneath the gum line
  • Use clean sections of floss as you move from tooth to tooth

If this isn’t enough to convince you to floss daily to make sure your teeth are gleaming after treatment, then just refer to the ol’ dentist adage:

Only floss the teeth you want to keep.

Is Mouthwash as Effective as Floss?

Invisalign Honolulu - Mouthwash vs Floss

Is mouthwash as effective as floss? To put it plainly — nope.

While a good mouthwash can help in the fight against gum disease, cavities and bad breath, it simply can’t remove plaque as well as floss can. Plaque is sticky and adhesive, like glue, and can’t be removed unless you floss and put some elbow grease into it.

Flossing displaces the destructive colonies of bacteria growing against your teeth and gums. When these bacterial colonies, or plaque, are allowed to grow freely, they eventually cause gum disease and leads to a higher risk of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure and other serious ailments. Flossing disrupts their efforts and prevents them from building a stable home (calculus) in your mouth. And flossing a couple times a week won’t do the job — bacteria works fast and they’ll re-colonize before you know it.

If your gums bleed when you floss, it means your gums are infected. Flossing regularly will eventually stop the bleeding.

Using mouthwash may loosen up the surface of plaque on your teeth and in your gums, so you can use it in conjunction with flossing. However, mouthwash can’t replace regular flossing.

Mouthwash can also be used as a quick refresher, but if you’re dealing with bad breath, the underlying cause is the bacteria lurking between your teeth and on your tongue. The only lasting solution is regular flossing. And don’t forget to brush your tongue — one study found that brushing the tongue reduces the perception of bad breath by 70%.

In fact, in January of 2005, a judge ordered the makers of Listerine to remove the claim that their rinse was “as effective as floss” from the labels of their product. The judge concluded that the clinical studies Listerine used in their findings were based on flawed research and that such a claim posed a risk to public health.

If you’re being treated with Invisalign at the moment, it’s also important to know the fundamentals to flossing with Invisalign.

Traveling with Invisalign

Traveling with Invisalign in Honolulu

Whether it’s a vacation or business trip (we hope it’s a vacation), traveling will definitely alter your Invisalign routine. Here are a few tips to keep top of mind when preparing for your excursion.

Travel Tips

  1. Always take your previous set, your current set and your next set with you. That way, if you lose or break a tray, you can always fall back to the previous set.
  2. Carry your aligners in your purse or carry-on luggage when flying, in case baggage is delayed or lost.
  3. Pack an extra case. If you leave one behind in a hotel or restaurant, you’ll have a spare.
  4. Bring a travel toothbrush and floss picks. (Ask the front desk at your hotel for a travel toothbrush and toothpaste — they’ll usually provide it for free.)
  5. Keep a bottle of water handy. Rinsing your mouth and trays with it when you need to, plus staying hydrated is always a must.
  6. Keep a travel-sized bottle of hand sanitizer on you and use it on your hands before removing or reinserting your aligners.

Airplane Advice

As if catching a flight wasn’t already a stressful task, consider the length of the flight and how comfortable you would letting a stranger watch you take your aligners in and out of your mouth. Make sure to get an aisle seat if you can, since you’ll probably want to head to the restroom before and after meals. You can also eat something before you get on the plane, so that in-flight snacks aren’t too tempting. Don’t forget your case if you’re brushing your teeth in restrooms! At the very least, grab some paper towels to rest your aligners on to reduce the amount of germs that come into contact with your aligners.

Let us know if you have any Invisalign travel tips that we haven’t included and have a safe trip!

For more information or to schedule a consultation, please contact us at (808) 942-8877. Dr. Dino Dee is located in Honolulu, Hawaii and is a preferred Invisalign Provider.

Invisalign vs Braces

Invisalign Honolulu - Invisalign vs Braces

So you’re tired of your crooked smile and/or mismatched jaw, but don’t know what type of orthodontic treatment is right for you? The two top contenders — Invisalign and traditional braces — come with their own set of pros and cons.

Braces

How it works:

Small brackets are strategically placed on each tooth and attached using a type of bonding cement. A wire is run through each bracket and exerts a light force that makes your teeth to move.

Pros:

  • Braces are the all-around handyman. She’ll fix pretty much anything, he’ll do it in one go and he’ll get the job done
  • Braces require very little responsibility from the patient and are virtually impossible to lose
  • They’re often less expensive than other treatments

Cons:

  • Braces are very noticeable, which can make a big impact on your confidence
  • They hurt sometimes. Since you’re adjusting the wires every few weeks, the pressure and pain will become a regular thing (and soup will become a regular part of your diet)
  • The wires poke and the brackets scrape
  • Periodontal health is difficult to maintain because it’s more difficult to brush and floss
  • Food restrictions. No more gum and no more popcorn, among other things

Invisalign

How it works:

A certified Invisalign provider will provide a personal diagnosis and create an individualized plan for you. Your custom aligners are created using advanced 3D computer imaging technology and you wear them for at least 20 to 22 hours a day. Every two weeks, a new set of aligners will be provided until the treatment is done.

Pros:

  • It’s invisible. The comfortable and clear plastic allows you to smile confidently throughout treatment
  • Invisalign is removable, so you can take them out to eat, drink, brush and floss as you normally would
  • It’s convenient and comfortable. Patients have fewer appointments and aligners apply less force on your teeth than traditional braces
  • There’s no bonding cement or impressions — everything is created through digital 3D imaging

Cons:

  • Invisalign’s effectiveness is directly related to your willingness to wear the aligners
  • Invisalign can be a little expensive, especially if patients misplace their trays
  • There’s an increased risk for cavities since sugar gets trapped in the aligners

While both treatments vary in their advantages and disadvantages, the only way you can know which method is best for you is to get a consultation with a doctor.

For more information on Invisalign, or to schedule a consultation, please contact us at  (808) 942-8877. Dr. Dino Dee is located in Honolulu, Hawaii and is a preferred Invisalign provider.

 

7 Ways to Clean Your Invisalign Trays

Invisalign Honolulu Results

If Invisalign trays aren’t cleaned properly, they can become dingy, dull or discolored. To get your gleaming smile at the end of your treatment, you need two things — good oral hygiene and clean aligners. The good oral hygiene part is simple — brush and floss your teeth regularly to avoid cavities and decay. Cleaning your trays and keeping them invisible, while simple in practice, can be a little daunting for new patients. The question looms in every new patient’s mind: “How do I clean my Invisalign aligners?” We’ve broken the methods down for you so you can choose which works best with your daily routine.

  1. Invisalign Cleaning System — The cleaning kit comes with a tub and pack of 50 cleaning crystals and costs $75, with refill packs running at $50 a pop. To use, you combine a crystal with water and soak your aligners for 15 minutes. While easy and efficient, the cleaning system isn’t exactly cost-effective, which brings us to a few cheaper solutions.
  2. Efferdent or Polident — When you’re having a meal, soak your aligners in denture cleaner to keep them fresh and clean. Once they’ve soaked for about 15 minutes, take the trays out and brush off any buildup that might be left with your toothbrush. Some dentists don’t recommend denture cleansers because they say it can make the aligners look cloudy, however many patients swear by this practice.
  3. Retainer Brite — Retainer Brite can be used in the same way as denture cleaners, but differ in that it’s formulated with the proper PH that won’t harshly affect plastic.
  4. Mouthwash — Some patients like to soak their trays in mouthwash to clean them. It’s important to note that Listerine Cool Mint may leave a greenish tint on your trays. Using whitening mouthwash can sidestep this issue since the liquid is clear.
  5. Antibacterial liquid soap (hand or dish) — Brushing your aligners with antibacterial soap is an easy way to get rid of the bacteria that accumulates on your trays. Just make sure to give them a really good rinse before you put them back in your mouth.
  6. Hydrogen peroxide — Hydrogen peroxide is used mainly for its bacteria-killing power — that’s why we put it in our open wounds. Make a solution with half peroxide and half water and let your trays soak for 20 minutes. They’ll work as well as denture cleaners, etc., but is significantly cheaper. You can buy a bottle for 50 cents at a drugstore.
  7. Vinegar — Same thing as hydrogen peroxide. Just make a solution with half vinegar, half warm water and let them soak while you’re having a meal. Take them out, brush and rinse them off and let them dry before you put them back in your mouth. If you’re apprehensive about the taste, don’t worry too much. It’s only temporary.

If you want to keep it simple, a toothbrush and some toothpaste will do the job just fine, as long as you’re consistent with it. Some toothpaste can be abrasive, however, and will dull your trays. Try sensitive toothpaste if it is an issue for you.

For more information on Invisalign, or to schedule a consultation, please contact us at  (808) 942-8877. Dr. Dino Dee is located in Honolulu, Hawaii and is a preferred Invisalign provider.

Manual or Electric Toothbrush?

Brushign with Invisalign in Honolulu

It’s time for a new toothbrush. What to do — take the plunge into the world of rotating, vibrating, oscillating brush heads or stick with the classic, manual toothbrush? To ease your confusion in the toothbrush aisle, we’ve compiled a pros and cons list for each contender.

Classic toothbrush:

  • Simple and cheap
  • Easy to travel with and brush between meals
  • Less pressure on teeth and gums – placing too much pressure can wear away at the tooth enamel
  • Better for vigorous scrubbing when it comes to Invisalign trays

Electric toothbrush:

  • Good for those with limited dexterity – those with limited hand, shoulder or elbow movement would benefit with a larger handle and powered brush
  • Unique features such as:
  • Timer, pressure sensors, digital reminders to replace head, different brushing modes
  • Some research shows an electric toothbrush with rotating-oscillating bristles do a better job of removing plaque and reducing risk of gingivitis

It’s important to note that if you routinely bump the stem of the electric brush on your attachments, the vibrations may damage them.

Regardless of which toothbrush you use, it’s important to keep these tips top of mind when brushing your teeth everyday.

  • Use soft bristles
  • Toothbrushes with small heads are best, since they can reach all areas of your mouth
  • Get a new brush (or brush head) every three months, or when there is visible deterioration
  • Brush for at least two minutes
  • Brush with short, gentle strokes, paying attention to the gum line
  • For fresher breath, brush your tongue

For more information on Invisalign, or to schedule a consultation, please contact us at  (808) 942-8877. Dr. Dino Dee is located in Honolulu, Hawaii and is a preferred Invisalign provider.

 

4 Reasons to Love Our iTero Scanner

The iTero Scanner is a system that allows Dr. Dee to take a 3D digital scan of your malocclusion, aka your teeth and your bite! With the digital scanner, we can make adjustments in real time and even transmit the file wirelessly for processing. It’s clear that we enjoy using it, but here’s 4 reasons why you’ll love our iTero Scanner.

 

 

  • The iTero increases overall impression accuracy. Which means better fitting aligners and more comfort for you.
  • Increased efficiency and faster impressions. We know how much you love us, but we understand you’ve got things to take care of so we’ll have you on your way in no time.
  • No impression material needed. This means you don’t have to worry about messy powder or the gag-inducing impression putty for a better experience.
  • Digital scans are sent directly to the lab. This improves communication so we can get you your aligners sooner.

Still confused about how it works? Come in for a consultation and we’ll use your teeth as a demo so we can determine if Invisalign is the right choice for you!