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Azita Naghavi Khan, D.D.S.

Sabeeh Khan, D.D.S.

Are Aligners Right for Me?

Are Aligners Right for Me?

Are Aligners Right for You?

When you’re considering orthodontic treatment, there are several options available. Aligners are a popular alternative to braces. Each option has its own pros and cons. Here’s how to answer the question: “Are aligners right for me?”

What are Aligners?

Aligners, such as Invisalign brand aligners, are an option that is a lot newer than traditional metal braces, but they’ve still been around for over 20 years. Orthodontic aligners are made of a thin, clear, BPA-free plastic that is practically invisible.

The aligners work by fitting snugly on your teeth to help guide them into better alignment. During the course of your treatment, you’ll receive multiple aligners that are progressively straighter, to help guide your teeth each step of the way.

How are Aligners Different from Braces?

Aligners are different from braces in a lot of ways. Unlike braces that are fixed to your teeth with a special dental cement or glue, orthodontic aligners are removable for when you eat or brush and floss your teeth. Aligners can also be more comfortable than traditional braces because there are no brackets or wires.

All of these differences can add up, which is why aligners have become such a popular treatment option for many patients. But if you’re wondering, “Are aligners right for me?” there are also a few downsides. Aligners may not be able to treat all of the conditions that traditional braces can treat.

The removability of orthodontic aligners can also become a problem for patients who may be prone to forgetting to wear them for the necessary amount of time each day or who might misplace and lose them, leading to delays and extra costs during treatment.

Which Option is Right for You?

The best way to find out the answer to the question: “Are aligners right for me?” is by visiting an orthodontist for a consultation and exam. This will give you the opportunity to talk with your orthodontist about your goals, lifestyle, desired timeline, and budget so that they can help you find the best fit for you.

Call our Jericho, Merrick or Maspeth dental offices to make an appointment with a dentist who may be able to help you find out more about this topic, and improve your oral health.

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How Long Do Braces Take?

How Long Do Braces Take?

Getting orthodontic treatment can feel like a big commitment. One of the most popular questions we get asked is: How long do braces take? Many factors determine the length of treatment. Here’s how to find out how long you’ll need braces for so you can know what to expect.

What Conditions Are Being Treated?

Some patients get braces to help align just a few front teeth that are crooked or spaced too far apart. Others obtain orthodontic treatment because of issues like an overbite, underbite, crossbite, or for teeth that are more severely out of alignment. The complexity of the issues you want corrected can determine the length of your treatment. In general, braces typically take between 16 to 18 months, but can sometimes take 24 months or longer to fully achieve the desired results.
When asking the question, “How long do braces take?” it’s important to remember that your orthodontist sees patients every day with issues just like yours. This extensive experience means that they are an expert in treating each condition in the most efficient and effective way possible.

What Other Factors Are There?

Another factor that can affect the answer to the question, “How long do braces take?” is age. The younger you are when you get braces, the quicker your teeth will adapt and shift into their proper places. This is because young people’s jaws are still growing, so their teeth are naturally moving and finding their proper places. As we get older, our teeth become settled and are less prepared to adjust, so things can be a bit slower to shift. However, adults still obtain great results with braces. It simply takes a little longer.

What About Invisalign?

Invisalign aligners are another orthodontic treatment option that you may consider. Invisalign can shorten treatment times to as little as 6 to 12 months. If you’re wanting to see results sooner, talk to your orthodontist to find out if you are a good candidate for invisalign aligners.

Reasons to Start Now

The best and most accurate way to find out how long you’ll need to wear braces is to have an orthodontist examine your teeth and jaw and recommend which conditions should be treated. It’s important to remember that regardless of how long orthodontic treatment will take for you, the sooner you start, the sooner you’ll be finished! There’s no better time than now to get started towards achieving the smile of your dreams.

Call our Jericho, Merrick or Maspeth dental offices to make an appointment with a dentist who may be able to help you find out more about this topic, and improve your oral health.

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Playing Sports with Braces

Many people worry that when they get braces they won’t be able to do all the activities they normally enjoy, like playing sports. The good news is, it is usually possible to continue doing your favorite activities if you take the right precautions. When playing sports with braces it’s important to protect both your teeth and your braces. Here’s what you can do to stay safe while playing hard.

Wear Your Protective Gear

The number one thing to remember in order to stay safe when playing sports with braces is to wear the right protective gear. The gear you’ll need depends on the sport you’ll be playing and its risk of impact through contact with other players, the ball, or falling. Let’s talk about the different types of protective gear that can help to protect your teeth and braces.

Helmet

Wearing a helmet is important when playing contact sports or sports with a risk of falling such as skiing, snowboarding, BMX biking, skateboarding, hockey, football, and many others. Wearing a helmet can help to protect you from head injuries, which is also important for your dental health because many head injuries result in injuries to the jaw as well, due to the force of the impact. Make sure the helmet you wear has all the proper safety certifications and is designed specifically for the sport you’re using it for.

Face Shield

Helmets often come with the option of an added protective shield for the face. If given the choice, it is always a good idea to add a face shield. Not only can it protect your teeth and jaw from getting hit by a ball or puck in sports like football or hockey, but it can also help to protect your jaw, teeth, and other facial features from serious injury if a fall occurs during sports like biking, skiing, or snowboarding where speed is a factor.

Mouthguard

Mouthguards are not always required for playing sports, even when other protective gear like helmets are, but wearing a mouthguard is important if you want to keep your teeth and braces safe. Mouthguards are especially important when playing sports with braces because they provide a protective barrier directly around your teeth and braces that can protect your mouth and lips from being injured by the wires or brackets of your braces during impact.

Talk with Your Orthodontist

If you enjoy playing sports, it’s a good idea to let your orthodontist know which sports you’ll be playing while you have braces so that they can offer safety recommendations specific to your chosen sport. It’s important to stay safe, but also to continue doing what you love, and your orthodontist is here to help.

Call our Jericho, Merrick or Maspeth dental offices to make an appointment with a dentist who may be able to help you find out more about this topic, and improve your oral health.

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New Year and New Braces

The calendar has turned, the holidays are past, and New Year’s resolutions are getting tough to keep. It’s a new year and new braces can change your life in many ways. Here are the top things to know as you look forward to enjoying your new smile.

The New Year’s Resolution You Can Keep

While many New Year’s resolutions often become difficult to maintain long-term, braces have an advantage: a built-in schedule and support system. Your orthodontist will do all the work of planning out the details of your treatment, so all you’ll need to do to make progress towards achieving your goals of a straighter smile is to show up for routine adjustments. It’s a great way to change your smile with guaranteed results.

How Braces Can Change Your Life

Another reason that braces are an awesome New Year’s resolution is because of all the different ways they can change your life. New braces mean a straighter smile, but the changes aren’t only cosmetic.

Benefits of braces can include many health benefits to your teeth, gums, and whole body. As your teeth come into alignment, you may notice that your teeth and gums are easier to keep clean and look and feel healthier. You may also notice higher levels of confidence, which can begin to impact your job performance and relationships in positive ways. The benefits of braces are nearly endless!

Braces Options

So, it’s a new year and new braces can change your life, but which type of braces are right for you? Traditional metal braces? Porcelain? Invisalign aligners? There are so many options to choose from! It can feel overwhelming.

Each have their own advantages and disadvantages and the choice you make may depend on your lifestyle, desired timeline, age, the conditions you want treated, and many other factors. The best way to decide is to make an appointment for a consultation with an orthodontist to find out which option will best help you achieve your desired goals.

Call an Orthodontist Today

If you’re considering orthodontic treatment, but don’t know if it’s the right timing yet due to a busy schedule or financial obligations, call an orthodontist to ask about your options. Many orthodontists offer financing options that can make orthodontic treatment possible sooner than you may think. It’s a new year and new braces can help you achieve the smile of your dreams, so why wait?

Call our Jericho, Merrick or Maspeth dental offices to make an appointment with a dentist who may be able to help you find out more about this topic, and improve your oral health.

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Taking Care of Your Braces While Traveling

Winter vacation is upon us! It’s time for fun with family and friends. Unfortunately, braces don’t take a vacation. Here’s what you need to know about taking care of your braces while traveling to keep your smile healthy so you can focus on the fun.

Packing the Essentials

Taking care of your braces while traveling is a lot easier when you have everything you need. The best way to ensure success is to prepare beforehand. It may be helpful to make a list so that you can check things off as you pack them.

The first things you should pack are your toothbrush and toothpaste. After that, gather everything you typically use to keep your braces in top shape, such as dental picks, floss picks, floss, floss threaders, and mouthwash. You may need to use some of these items in the morning before you leave for your trip so just make sure you write them down on your list if they’ll be staying in your cabinet until you leave.

Finding Braces-Friendly Foods

Eating while on the road or staying in an unfamiliar place can be tough for braces-wearers. It may seem like there are lots of foods to avoid. It may feel a bit more manageable if you keep it simple by remembering the general guidelines. Generally, orthodontists recommend avoiding foods that are sticky, hard, crunchy, chewy, or that you need to bite into.

The great news is, this still leaves you with tons of options! Soft food options that come in travel-ready single-serving containers include yogurts, apple sauce, string cheese, brie cheese, deli meat, bananas, and more. If you’re worried about what may be available on the road, taking care of your braces while traveling can be made simple with a little food prep the night before.

Before You Go

Before you leave for your trip, you can give yourself a head start by scheduling an appointment with your orthodontist. Braces typically need to be adjusted routinely so one of the most important steps to taking care of your braces while traveling is to ensure that you won’t miss any important appointments to keep your orthodontic treatment on track. Having everything planned on schedule will leave you free to enjoy your trip worry-free while ensuring your braces continue to do their job!
Call our Jericho, Merrick or Maspeth dental offices to make an appointment with a dentist who may be able to help you find out more about this topic, and improve your oral health.

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Best and Worst Holiday Foods for Braces

Especially if you’re new to orthodontic treatment, celebrating the holidays with braces can feel a bit daunting. How do you know what’s safe to eat or not? Here are the best and worst holiday foods for braces so you can celebrate without worry.

Foods to Avoid

To start off, it’s important to know which foods to avoid so that you don’t find yourself in a sticky situation (pun intended). Orthodontists typically recommend you avoid foods that are sticky, chewy, crunchy, hard or that need to be bitten into. Some examples you may encounter during the holidays include caramels, hard pretzels or nuts, crunchy raw veggies, large chewy rolls, candied apples and hard candies like candy canes (if you bite or chew them, sucking on them is usually ok).

Now that we’ve covered a brief list of “don’t’s,” let’s talk about all the wonderful safer options to choose from!

Better Options

It may sound like there are a lot of foods to avoid when you have braces, but there are many more things you can still enjoy.

Soft foods like cooked fruits and veggies are easy on your braces. Breads or rolls torn into smaller pieces can also be safe. Fish or meat pre-cut into bite-sized pieces. Soups, pastas and salads without croutons, hard seeds or nuts. Puddings and desserts that melt in your mouth and don’t contain caramel or crunchy ingredients like hard candy or nuts. Most things that are soft, don’t require biting into or lots of chewing are all good options. Examples include dishes like sweet potato casserole, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, cheesy potatoes, green bean casserole, custards and puddings, pumpkin, fruit or cream pies and countless other holiday favorites.

If your family or friends are preparing the meal, it can be helpful to talk with them beforehand about what will be on the menu and share the things you might need to avoid. Lots of people have special food requirements like food sensitivities and allergies, so it’s likely they’ll be understanding and want to adjust the menu so that there will be something you can enjoy.

If they are not able to, sometimes cutting foods into smaller pieces so that they don’t need to be chewed as much can make them safer to eat with braces, but check with your orthodontist before consuming any foods not typically recommended for braces-wearers.

Talk with Your Orthodontist

As the holidays approach, talk to your orthodontist about any specific questions you have about foods you expect will be served during the holidays. Your orthodontist is an expert on the best and worst holiday foods for braces and will be happy to help you figure out how to keep your braces safe while still enjoying the traditions and festivities of the holidays.

Call our Jericho, Merrick or Maspeth dental offices to make an appointment with a dentist who may be able to help you find out more about this topic, and improve your oral health.

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October is National Orthodontic Health Month

Many people think of October as the month of Halloween, with lots of free candy and treats to look forward to. But here in the world of dentistry, October is National Orthodontic Health Month, too, a month to celebrate beautiful and healthy smiles. Let’s talk about some of the amazing benefits of orthodontics.

What Are Orthodontics?

Orthodontics are dental appliances such as braces or plastic aligners that are used to correct the alignment of the teeth and jaw. There are different types for different issues, but they all work to straighten smiles into a healthier and more comfortable alignment.

Who Needs Orthodontics?

People may get braces for many reasons. Some people assume that braces are used mainly for cosmetic reasons since straightening teeth can improve the appearance of a smile, and that’s a totally valid reason to get braces since confidence plays such a big part in our self-image and happiness, but straightening your teeth can also have many other health benefits, too. October is National Orthodontic Health Month because this is an important topic to consider, knowing that the impact of orthodontic care is more than just how a patient looks, but also how to improve their dental health for a lifetime.

If your teeth are crowded, crooked or overlapping, it can make it a lot more difficult to clean and maintain healthy teeth and gums. Or if your bite is out of alignment, for example if you have an overbite or under bite, it can also cause discomfort and jaw problems. Correcting these issues is important because a comfortable and healthy smile is important to your overall health and wellbeing.

It doesn’t matter what age you are, braces, aligners and other orthodontic treatments can improve your health and life in many ways, and we think that’s worth celebrating, which is why the whole month of October is National Orthodontic Health Month.

What Do I Do Next?

If you’re interested in orthodontics and how they can impact your smile, call an orthodontist today to schedule a consultation. They can assess your teeth and bite and show you what orthodontics can do for your beautiful and individual smile. National Orthodontic Health Month is the perfect time to celebrate your smile by learning more about how orthodontics can benefit you.

Call our Jericho, Merrick or Maspeth dental offices to make an appointment with a dentist who may be able to help you find out more about this topic, and improve your oral health.

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How Braces and Invisalign Impact Dental Hygiene

Orthodontic treatment can have a big impact on how you clean your teeth. It’s important to take good care of your teeth, especially while undergoing orthodontic treatment to ensure the best results. Here are the details on how braces and invisalign impact dental hygiene so you can prepare.

Braces or Invisalign?

If you’re trying to decide between braces and invisalign, let’s start by explaining the differences. Braces are typically made of metal, although sometimes they can be made of ceramic. Small brackets are attached to the front of each tooth with a special dental glue. A wire is then wrapped around the whole row of teeth and attached to the brackets on each tooth by small elastic bands. The wire works to straighten the teeth into their correct positions.

Invisalign is quite a bit different from traditional braces. Invisalign aligners are made of thin, clear plastic and designed to fit over your teeth like a mouth guard, but much more compact and less noticeable. In fact, as their name suggests, they are practically invisible. Throughout the course of treatment, you’ll receive new aligners that are progressively straighter to gradually bring your teeth into proper alignment.

How braces and invisalign impact dental hygiene may be a deciding factor in which treatment you prefer to use.

Cleaning Your Teeth with Braces

Cleaning your teeth with braces can be a bit more challenging and time-consuming than it was before. When you brush, you’ll need to brush at more angles around the brackets to ensure that the bristles clean every surface. Flossing will also require more effort to thread the floss under the wire to be able to reach between each tooth. You’ll get used to it all before long so that it will become second nature, but it takes a bit of time to adjust!

Cleaning Your Teeth with Aligners

Cleaning your teeth with Invisalign aligners is a lot less complicated than with braces because they are removable so dental care looks much the same as before orthodontic treatment, with brushing and flossing unobstructed, although it’s important to remember to brush your aligner with toothpaste inside and out, too.

Because invisalign aligners are removable that is a big advantage for cleaning, but make sure to wear them for at least 22 hours a day or the amount of time your orthodontist recommends as their results rely heavily on patient compliance so removing them for longer periods of time could allow your teeth to move back towards their old positions and delay your progress.

Talking to Your Orthodontist

If you’re trying to decide which orthodontic treatment to get, talk to your orthodontist about how braces and invisalign impact dental hygiene. Your orthodontist will be able to perform a thorough exam and let you know which type of treatment is best for the issues you’re wanting to correct. They can also give you tips and recommend special tools to help make dental hygiene easier once you begin orthodontic treatment.

Call our Jericho, Merrick or Maspeth dental offices to make an appointment with a dentist who may be able to help you find out more about this topic, and improve your oral health.

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Braces Options for Metal Allergies

Braces Options for Metal Allergies

Metal allergies can make it tough to find safe options for many items, because common allergens like nickel are used in so many things. The good news is, there are multiple braces options for metal allergies that have been proven safe and effective for many individuals. Continue reading to learn more about several popular options available through most orthodontists.

Plastic Braces

Plastic is often one of the safest and most trouble-free options to replace metal for many items that cause those with metal allergies to suffer reactions. Plastic braces options typically come in the form of braces alternatives such as Invisalign and other similar plastic aligners.

Invisalign aligners are made of thin, clear plastic and fit over your teeth like a mouth guard, but are smaller and nearly invisible, so they are quite a bit different than traditional metal braces. They can be limited from treating certain conditions you may want braces to correct, but they are a successful hypoallergenic option for many patients.

Ceramic Braces

Ceramic braces are another popular option for patients who suffer from metal allergies. Ceramic braces are not made with any metal, so you shouldn’t expect any allergic reaction from them. Like plastic braces, they are also much less visible than metal braces, but they are able to treat a variety of conditions that plastic aligners may not be able to.

Safe Metal Braces

Did you know that metal braces can also be among the safe braces options for metal allergies patients? Today, metal braces can be made from stainless steel, titanium and gold plated stainless steel or full titanium, allowing many patients with metal allergies to find an option that is safe for them. Talk to your orthodontist to find out what options are available to meet your needs and what metals they contain to see if there is a good fit for you.

Talking with Your Orthodontist

When searching for braces options for metal allergies, the best thing you can do is to make an appointment to talk with an orthodontist in person. During a consultation, the orthodontist will be able to assess what conditions may need treatment, as well as your specific metal allergies, and let you know all the options available to fit with your needs so that you can make a well-informed decision that will provide the results you desire along with the safety that is of utmost importance for your health.

Call our Jericho, Merrick or Maspeth dental offices to make an appointment with a dentist who may be able to help you find out more about this topic, and improve your oral health.

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Summer Braces

Summer Braces

Braces are a big commitment, most patients wear them for several months up to a few years. So it’s important to enjoy the time that you have them by making the most of your color options. Braces can be tough, but they can also be fun and creative. Here are some ideas to turn your summer braces into a summer fashion accessory destined to win compliments.

What Options are Available?

In the early days of braces, the color choices were very limited, with sometimes only a handful of options available. Fortunately, many orthodontists now have a full rainbow of color options to choose from, including various shades of many colors, so you can really get creative. Just imagine how much fun you could have by mixing and matching colors!

How do I Choose the Right Braces Colors?

Choosing the right colors for your braces is a lot like picking out an outfit. Which colors are your favorites and may match with favorite clothing items or accessories you like to wear? Which colors bring out the color of your eyes, brighten your teeth, or highlight your freckles, skin tone or hair color? All of these questions can be helpful to lead you to the color option that is right for you, because what’s right for you is what makes you feel your happiest and best.

Thankfully, when you choose braces colors, you aren’t stuck with them for the life of the braces, only until the next adjustment. So don’t be afraid to experiment!

Inspirational Color Ideas

If you’re feeling nervous about mixing and matching braces colors for the first time or simply want to freshen up your style with something new, we’ve got you covered with some inspirational ideas.

If you’re playing a sport or attending a game to support your favorite team, choosing colors to match the team colors can be a great idea to show your commitment to team spirit. Or if you’re headed out on vacation, choosing colors to match the colors of the destination’s flag can be another fun idea. You could even choose colors to show your support for a cause that’s close to your heart.

You may even want to select colors based on the season. For example, if you were invited to a holiday party, selecting holiday colors can also be another festive way to celebrate. Your summer braces don’t have to match your fall or winter braces, so feel free to mix it up!

It may also be helpful to match the colors to your skin tone, just as you would when choosing an outfit. If you don’t like wearing a certain color shirt, you probably won’t like how it looks on your teeth either. If a favorite shirt highlights your skin tone, take note of what color it is and consider using that color next time you choose your braces colors.

Another tip when choosing colors is to consider the shade of your teeth. Most people’s teeth aren’t white, but a shade or two closer to cream color. Darker or more vibrant colors can make your teeth appear brighter and whiter, as opposed to lighter colors.

Your orthodontist may also help you find a new favorite combination by sharing popular color choices that others have come up with so you can build on their creativity and make your own unique signature style for your summer braces.

Call our Jericho, Merrick or Maspeth dental offices to make an appointment with a dentist who may be able to help you find out more about this topic, and improve your oral health.

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