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Azita Naghavi Khan, D.D.S.

Sabeeh Khan, D.D.S.

New Year and New Braces

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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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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What Braces Are Like at First

What Braces Are Like at First

Getting braces can feel like an intimidating step to take, but it might help to know that you’re not alone in your anxiety. Lots of people feel nervous about getting braces so it’s totally normal. That also means that the challenges you may face with braces are not uncommon, lots of people are in the same boat! To help ease your nerves and make things go more smoothly, let’s discuss what braces are like at first and how to overcome some of the challenges that come with them.

Eating and Drinking

Your first week with braces will likely be the most challenging, they are a lot to get used to! Stocking up on foods that don’t require a lot of chewing like yogurts, soups, puddings, smoothies and soft pastas can help to make the transition easier while your mouth adjusts.

Once you’re adjusted to braces, it’ll feel more comfortable to eat and drink what you normally do, but it’s still a good idea to steer clear of very sticky or crunchy foods, extra chewy foods or foods you need to bite into, like corn on the cob, to protect your braces from damage.

Talking with Braces

Talking with braces at the beginning can feel like you’re trying to talk with, well, a mouthful of metal wires and brackets! The easiest way to get used to what braces are like at first is to take it easy. Don’t expect too much from yourself for the first week or two. Take a well-deserved rest and marathon that TV show you’ve been wanting to catch up on or that book your favorite book list recommended. Soon, braces will feel normal, but for now there’s no rush to adjust to something when it simply takes a bit of time for your body to get used to it.

Dealing with Discomfort

What braces are like at first can make you wonder about being stuck with them for months, but they will get more comfortable in just a short time! In the meantime, if you’re experiencing any discomfort, don’t hesitate to call your orthodontist and ask questions. Your orthodontist has probably worked with lots of people experiencing exactly what you’re feeling and most likely has several tips and solutions on hand to make things easier and more comfortable for you. They may recommend dental wax to cover any brackets causing irritation or a mild over the counter numbing gel or pain reliever to help those first few days go a bit easier.

Your New Smile!

All the anxiety about what braces are like at first can cloud the thought of what it will be like to enjoy your new smile at the end of your orthodontic treatment journey. It will all feel worth it, though, so hang in there! You’re doing great, you got this!

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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What’s the Difference Between a Dentist and an Orthodontist?

What’s the Difference Between a Dentist and an Orthodontist

If you care a lot about your smile, you want to take the best possible care of it. So, what do all these different kinds of dentists do? And how do you know which one to see and when? Here is what you need to know about the difference between a dentist and an orthodontist and when may it be helpful to see each of them.

What’s the Difference?

The difference between a dentist and an orthodontist may not be obvious at first because they both deal with issues involving the mouth. But the difference between a dentist and an orthodontist has to do with how and what they treat in the mouth.

Dentists’ specialty is caring for the health of the teeth, gums and jaw. A dentist should typically be seen about every 6 months for an exam and x-rays to check on the health of the different parts of your teeth as well as your gums. A dentist’s office is also where you’ll get professional cleanings done to help keep your smile healthy and bright.

An orthodontist is who you’ll see if you want a specialist that can help with straightening your teeth or correcting your bite. There’s no set age or timing when someone should see an orthodontist for the first time. For children, some don’t see an orthodontist until age 12 or 13, while some go as young as age 5 or 6. It’s usually a good idea to take your child to the orthodontist when their adult or permanent teeth begin to come in, typically around age 7. For adults, any time is a good time to see an orthodontist if you have questions or concerns about the alignment of your teeth or bite or want to improve the appearance of your smile.

Which One is Right for You?

Seeing an orthodontist doesn’t mean you won’t need to see a dentist, and vice versa. The difference between a dentist and an orthodontist may mean that being seen by one may not necessarily take care of the same needs as the other.

Orthodontists and dentists have very different specialties and work together to help their patients achieve the healthy and beautiful smiles they deserve. If you begin orthodontic treatment, it’s actually more important than ever to continue to see your dentist for regular exams and cleanings to ensure that your teeth remain healthy, clean and strong to achieve the greatest results possible. And likewise, if you’re seeing a dentist regularly, it is a good idea to talk to an orthodontist about how addressing any overcrowding or bite issues can make it easier to care for your teeth and improve the overall health of your mouth.

Make an Appointment Today

If you’re unsure about whether you need orthodontic treatment or not, it’s a great first step to call an orthodontist and schedule a consultation. An orthodontist can examine your teeth and jaw and talk with you to help you decide if orthodontic treatment is necessary or right for you and what that treatment will look like. Your best smile is in your future and both your dentist and orthodontist are here for you to help make it possible.

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 to Care for Your Braces

How to Care for Your Braces

Getting braces is an exciting step and a great way to improve your smile, but it’s important to know that it can take a little extra time and effort to care for your teeth while you have braces. Maintaining good oral hygiene throughout the duration of your orthodontic treatment is crucial, though, because it can help prevent damage to your teeth and braces and ensure that you see your best end result. Taking proper care of your braces may also help prevent unnecessary delays that could prolong your orthodontic treatment. If you’re wondering how to care for your braces, here are some ways that you can care for them, and tools that might make things easier.

What’s New

Caring for your teeth with braces is a lot like caring for your teeth before braces, except that braces add a lot of new surfaces to clean. The addition of braces also means the addition of many tiny new places where plaque can accumulate or food can become stuck which can lead to tooth decay. It’s important to focus extra attention on these new and sometimes difficult areas in order to avoid permanent staining or other serious problems in your future.

Brush, Floss and Mouthwash

Just like without braces, the basics of how to care for your braces is to brush 3 times a day or after each meal, floss and use mouthwash daily. The tools you may need to use, however, might change.

Your dentist may provide you with a special brush with bristles that are indented to better fit around your braces and reach the surfaces of your teeth when you brush. Or you might want to try an electric toothbrush to help with dislodging food or plaque that may hide in the hard to reach crevices between your teeth and around your new braces. Make sure to check with your dentist to ensure that whichever toothbrush you choose is safe for use with your braces and any other orthodontic appliances you might have.

It may also be helpful to use a small tool called a threader for your floss to help you more easily thread the floss under your braces and in between your teeth. You may also find floss with a built in threader at one end of each pre-cut strand or a dental pick which looks like a small pointed brush that can reach small places that a regular-sized toothbrush can not.

Choose Foods That Are Safe

When talking about how to care for your braces, it’s also important to consider what you eat because certain foods can potentially damage your braces which can require an extra visit for repair and prolonged treatment times. Foods to avoid include sticky, crunchy or chewy foods, especially if you need to bite into them like corn on the cob or whole fruit.

Call if You Need Help!

It might sound complicated and difficult to learn how to care for your braces, but don’t feel discouraged. You’ll soon get the hang of it, and it will be well worth your effort when you get them off and see the finished result! And remember, you can always call your orthodontist to ask questions or make an appointment and ask your orthodontist to demonstrate how to care for your braces if you’re unsure of something. Your orthodontist is here for you to help you achieve your best and healthiest smile!

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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