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Invisalign’s 3D Technology

Invisalign & iTero’s 3D Scanner

Orthodontic services are benefiting from recent technological development. Invisalign retainers can be created using 3D technology based on 3D images; making the process of being fitted for your aligners quicker, easier and more precise than ever before. This technology also enables replacement aligners to be made immediately in the event of one being lost or broken so your treatment time isn’t extended. Comfortable, invisible and removable, no wonder Invisalign is a favourite amongst patients and orthodontists.

Patients like to see a projection of what their smile will look like after they have finished their orthodontic treatment and with Invisalign, this is possible. We can create a digitised graphic of the journey your teeth will take and their end position, so you can see the goal we are all working towards at the start of your treatment with us. This is just one of the great advantages of Invisalign and its digital technology which supports you and your orthodontist throughout the process.

Each Invisalign aligner, of which patients receive 12 to 48, depending on their treatment, is worn for approximately two weeks as it gently coaxes the teeth into their new position. With Invisalign, it is not necessary to sit for hours with uncomfortable and unpleasant-tasting moulding in your mouth to create these aligners. Instead, they are crafted by 3D technology based on 3D images of your mouth. The custom-made aligners are sculpted from a material designed by Invisalign called SmartTrack which is smooth and comfortable to wear. The scanners are also able to create multiple aligners at once so you don’t have to return to your orthodontist more than once every two months. We will give you several sets of Invisalign with instructions on how often to change over the aligners for a hassle-free treatment style.

Invisalign sets can be removed by the patient; a real selling point for this product. Take them out to eat, play sports and brush your teeth so your lifestyle needn’t be impacted by your orthodontic treatment style. However, it is inevitable that removed aligners are occasionally lost or damaged. In the event of this happening, iSmile will replace your aligners quickly and free of charge. We don’t want your treatment time to be lengthened because of a simple mistake. Thanks to Invisalign’s 3D technology, new aligners are quick and easy to make so your teeth won’t have a chance to move back.

Interested in Invisalign? Make an appointment with iSmile Orthodontics today and find out if this technologically superior style of braces is suitable for you. Our orthodontists offer Invisalign through our customised, interest-free payment plans too so they’re affordable for all patients seeking to achieve their perfect smile. Call today to book your free consult in one of our three Melbourne clinics.

What Not To Eat With Braces

If you’ve recently had braces fitted, you may be struggling to eat comfortably. As well as your mouth feeling tender at first and after tightening sessions, it is important to consider carefully the impact hard or sticky food will have on your mouth hardware. Orthodontists throughout Melbourne will recommend types of food to eat and those to avoid with braces. Here’s a list of foodstuffs we really advise you steer clear from whilst wearing braces. Remember, it will be all worth it for the perfect smile.

Firstly, let’s explain why it’s important to be careful about what you eat when you have braces on your teeth. Although sturdy, we don’t recommend you test the strength of your braces by biting into hard food. Similarly, sticky food can cause strain to your braces and all Melbourne orthodontists would recommend avoiding these sorts of treats. This food can get stuck in between your braces and teeth and make cleaning a real challenge. Also, if your braces are of the traditional ‘train track’ variety, the risk of staining to your teeth due to poor dental hygiene is higher. Remember to always clean away any trapped food from around the brace itself to ensure your end result really is a perfect smile. Now let’s take a look at what food Melbourne orthodontists and those all over Australia recommend avoiding:

  • Popcorn – always high on the list because the hulls are a real nightmare for brace-wearers when they get trapped in the wires or between teeth
  • Ice – bad for your teeth enamel and your braces, ice is very hard and can cause some serious damage to your mouth if munched on
  • Gum – really, it’s not worth the clean-up task afterwards
  • Hard food – biting into something hard can damage the metal and dislodge parts of the brace frame, forcing an unscheduled trip back to your orthodontist. Specifically avoid:

– Cookies
– Crackers
– Chocolate
– Lollies
– Whole raw vegetables (carrots and corn on the cob, in particular)
– Corn chips, taco shells and pretzels – the starchy nature of this food has a habit of burrowing its way into the brace frame and making cleaning very difficult
– Nuts

  • Crusty bread and pizza – again, it can damage the braces and can become lodged in the wires. In order to still enjoy this food, cut it up into smaller pieces instead of biting down with your front teeth
  • Sticky food – as mentioned above, food which has sticky qualities can be incredibly harmful to the braces and even disconnect the wires from the brackets. Specifically avoid:

– Caramel
– Gooey chocolates
– Chunky peanut butter
– Chewy lollies (no more gummy bears …)

All Melbourne orthodontists understand the frustration and difficulties which comes with braces but we also know how important it is for our patients to adhere to these rules if they truly want to achieve a perfect smile by the end of the treatment. It can take some getting used to but you need to adapt your diet towards softer foods and ensure you regularly brush and floss between your teeth to minimise chances of decay and any plaque build up. As a general rule, steer clear of all food which requires too much chewing and we can guarantee when you are ready to have your braces removed, you will have the perfect smile you always wanted.

Good Oral Hygiene with Braces

Once you have had your braces fitted, it is very important you listen to your orthodontist’s instructions in relation to maintaining good oral hygiene. With fixed brace types such as metal braces, ceramic braces and even some forms of permanent retainers, cleaning your teeth becomes more difficult and, at the same time, more important. Here are some tips from iSmile Orthodontics to help you keep your teeth clean and your mouth healthy throughout your orthodontic treatment.

  • Brush your teeth twice a day – your teeth may become more sensitive and prone to cavities or sores during your orthodontic treatment. Keeping them clean is the best way to minimise this risk. Additionally, if you do require dental treatment, this may prolong the time you need to wear your braces. We recommend you use a soft-bristled brush because your teeth and gums are particularly sensitive at this time. Make sure you clean not only above the line of the braces but also the narrow strip between the brackets and your gums. This can be neglected because of the awkward angle but make sure you are vigilant.
  • Use an inter-dental brush – this will be provided to you by your orthodontist and is a small brush specifically designed to clean around the brackets and wires of braces and fixed retainers. Use it to dislodge all large particles of food before you commence your regular flossing and tooth brushing habits.
  • Floss once a day – the braces do make this a little more awkward than usual but flossing is important for anyone wanting to maintain good oral hygiene. Make sure there is no food lodged between your teeth, especially common if you are undergoing your orthodontic treatment to fix gaps.
  • Rinse – use an antiseptic dental mouthwash to rinse your mouth out after you have finished brushing your teeth. This will help clean the braces and kill any residual bacteria as well as soothing any sores caused by the metal wires and brackets. It is also advisable to rinse your mouth with water after every meal to quickly dislodge any food.
  • Look in the mirror – always keep an eye on your teeth and smile. You can often catch sight of pieces of food or even inflamed gums by looking in a mirror. It can also allow you to note whether your teeth are experiencing any discolouration. If you notice something unusual, speak to your orthodontist.
  • Have a professional cleaning every six months – return to your regular dentist in order for them to not only check on the teeth but also clean them. Although orthodontists are fully qualified dentists, it is unnecessary to return to iSmile for this simple procedure. It is also good for your regular dentist to see you throughout the orthodontic treatment process.
  • Avoid food and drink which can stain teeth enamel – as the brackets of your braces are glued onto your teeth, this covered portion of each tooth does not get exposed to staining food such as coffee, red wine and berries. Excessive consumption throughout your orthodontic treatment, regardless of how often you brush, can lead to a noticeable different in the shade of your enamel once the braces are removed.

People with braces are more susceptible to oral health problem such as gum disease. It is therefore more important than ever that you brush your teeth twice a day, use mouthwash and follow all other advice your orthodontist gives you. That way, when your braces are removed, you will have a perfect, healthy smile to show for your time undergoing orthodontic treatment. To find out more and for specific advice relating to your braces, ask your orthodontist at your next appointment.

Looking After Braces

Have you just got your braces fitted at iSmile? Here’s a handy guide to looking after your braces and making sure your treatment is not delayed as a result of breakages or poor dental hygiene. The best piece of advice we can give you is to establish a comprehensive brushing routine from day one.

Traditional Braces

  • Brush your teeth after every meal to dislodge any food – tip: rinse your mouth with water before you brush to get rid of the biggest food particles
  • You should use a soft-bristled brush or electric toothbrush – make sure you brush your gums, below the brackets and above the brackets
  • Do not eat sticky food, popcorn or bite into hard food like whole carrots or apples
  • Floss once a day – this includes between the braces and under the wires. Try using an orthodontic flosser or floss threader to make this easier
  • Rinse using mouthwash to kill residual bacteria
  • Wear an orthodontic mouthguard when playing sports – this protects both the braces and your mouth in the event of contact
  • Carry around a mirror to check for any food particles after you’ve eaten so you can dislodge it and minimise the risk of plaque build-up
  • Place dental wax on any sharp parts of your braces until you can return to the orthodontist to stop your mouth becoming irritated

Retainers

  • Retainers are really easy to look after because they can be removed
  • Every day in the evening you should clean your retainer with a mild toothpaste on a soft toothbrush and dry it thoroughly
  • Maintain your usual oral hygiene practices and brush, floss and use mouthwash twice a day throughout your treatment
  • When you take your retainer out, always place it in a holder so you don’t lose it – many retainers are placed on napkins and then thrown away!

Remember, if you don’t practice good oral hygiene, you may develop cavities and tooth decay. When this happens we often have to stop our orthodontic work for you to receive dental treatment. This will postpone your treatment program with iSmile and can be costly. To avoid delays, make sure you brush your teeth very carefully and thoroughly when you’re wearing your braces. This will also minimise the risk of your teeth staining and discolouring which may lead to the need for teeth whitening in the future. For more information, ask your orthodontist at your next appointment.

Invisalign Vs Braces

iSmile Orthodontics offers a wide range of orthodontic treatment to our patients. There is much to consider when deciding what form of treatment suits you, your teeth and your lifestyle which is why we want to provide you with a comprehensive overview of our three most common treatment methods. Traditional metal braces, ceramic braces and Invisalign. Here is an introduction and pro and con list for each treatment style to help you make an informed decision.

Traditional Metal Braces

Sometimes referred to as train tracks, metal braces are a very common option for those seeking orthodontic treatment. Metal cages are glued onto each individual tooth and a wire connecting them is put in place and routinely tightened. This tightening encourages the teeth to move into the correct alignment according to the treatment plan your orthodontist will have outlined.

Pros

  • Can move teeth further and therefore correct more extreme, complicated problems
  • Treatment is usually the cheapest option, depending on its length
  • Colours of the brackets can be changed
  • Can move teeth more quickly
  • Patients can’t remove the braces themselves so treatment is consistent
  • The most versatile option in terms of treatment possibilities

Cons

  • Visually obvious
  • Cannot be removed
  • Need ongoing visits to the orthodontist to have the wires tightened
  • Maintaining good oral hygiene is a priority
  • A retainer is needed after the braces are removed
  • Limited diet
  • Must wear a mouth guard if playing contact sports
  • Can be uncomfortable and painful

Ceramic Braces

Much like their metal cousins, ceramic braces work by fitting a bracket to each tooth and having a training wire running between them. However, the brackets are made from either clear or enamel coloured material and are therefore barely noticeable in your mouth. Just like metal braces, you need to visit your orthodontist every month to get the wires tightened.

Pros

  • Less obvious
  • Can move teeth further and therefore correct more extreme, complicated problems
  • Treatment can be cheaper, depending on its length
  • Can move teeth more quickly
  • Patients can’t remove the braces themselves so treatment is consistent

Cons

  • Cannot be removed
  • Need ongoing visits to the orthodontist to have the wires tightened
  • Maintaining good oral hygiene is a priority
  • A retainer is needed after the braces are removed
  • More brittle than metal braces and cannot withstand such extreme treatments
  • Limited diet
  • Must wear a mouth guard if playing contact sports
  • Can be uncomfortable and painful
  • Not always useable on bottom teeth
  • More expensive than metal braces

Invisalign

The development of Invisalign almost two decades ago revolutionised orthodontic treatment because it gave patients who were self-conscious an alternative. Invisalign works using a series of retainers or trays which are created using 3D x-rays of your teeth. These trays will be changed every couple of weeks to gently move the teeth into place. Your orthodontist will tell you how often to change the trays and give you several sets at a time between appointments.

Pros

  • Barely noticeable – they’re effectively invisible and therefore great for self-conscious patients
  • Removable
  • Easy to maintain good oral hygiene throughout the treatment
  • Comfortable to wear
  • Won’t get food trapped in them
  • Fewer trips to the orthodontist

Cons

  • More expensive
  • Only some orthodontists are licensed to fit them – here at iSmile we have fully qualified Invisalign certified orthodontists
  • Cannot address severe malocclusion or bite problems
      • – Back bites
      • – Bridgework
      • – Canines or premolar rotations
      – Move teeth vertically
  • A retainer is needed after the braces are removed
  • Work more slowly
  • Requires discipline from the wearer
  • Must remove every time you want to eat or drink (asides from water)
  • Need to be regularly brushed to stop the Invisalign mould from staining
  • Can lose the trays

It is important to consider not only the time you are going to wear your braces but the end result you wish to achieve from your orthodontic treatment. A sacrifice for a year or two should be worth it for your perfect smile. Our experienced orthodontists are happy to recommend the most efficient and practical form of treatment for your mouth. While it is ultimately your decision, impartial and professional advice is always valuable. Make an appointment today to meet with an iSmile orthodontist and begin your orthodontic treatment the way you want.

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