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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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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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