Posts for tag: orthodontics
Sometimes it seems that appearances count for everything—especially in Hollywood. But just recently, Lonnie Chaviz, the 10-year-old actor who plays young Randall on the hit TV show This Is Us, delivered a powerful message about accepting differences in body image. And the whole issue was triggered by negative social media comments about his smile.
Lonnie has a noticeable diastema—that is, a gap between his two front teeth; this condition is commonly seen in children, but is less common in adults. There are plenty of celebrities who aren’t bothered by the excess space between their front teeth, such as Michael Strahan, Lauren Hutton and Vanessa Paradis. However, there are also many people who choose to close the gap for cosmetic or functional reasons.
Unfortunately, Lonnie had been on the receiving end of unkind comments about the appearance of his smile. But instead of getting angry, the young actor posted a thoughtful reply via Instagram video, in which he said: “I could get my gap fixed. Braces can fix this, but like, can you fix your heart, though?”
Lonnie is raising an important point: Making fun of how someone looks shows a terrible lack of compassion. Besides, each person’s smile is uniquely their own, and getting it “fixed” is a matter of personal choice. It’s true that in most circumstances, if the gap between the front teeth doesn’t shrink as you age and you decide you want to close it, orthodontic appliances like braces can do the job. Sometimes, a too-big gap can make it more difficult to eat and to pronounce some words. In other situations, it’s simply a question of aesthetics—some like it; others would prefer to live without it.
There’s a flip side to this issue as well. When teeth need to be replaced, many people opt to have their smile restored just the way it was, rather than in some “ideal” manner. That could mean that their dentures are specially fabricated with a space between the front teeth, or the crowns of their dental implants are spaced farther apart than they normally would be. For these folks, the “imperfection” is so much a part of their unique identity that changing it just seems wrong.
So if you’re satisfied with the way your smile looks, all you need to do is keep up with daily brushing and flossing, and come in for regular checkups and cleanings to keep it healthy and bright. If you’re unsatisfied, ask us how we could help make it better. And if you need tooth replacement, be sure to talk to us about all of your options—teeth that are regular and “Hollywood white;” teeth that are natural-looking, with minor variations in color and spacing; and teeth that look just like the smile you’ve always had.
Because when it comes to your smile, we couldn’t agree more with what Lonnie Chaviz said at the end of his video: “Be who you want to be. Do what you want to do. Do you. Be you. Believe in yourself.”
If you have questions about cosmetic dentistry, please contact our office or schedule a consultation. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Beautiful Smiles by Design” and “The Magic of Orthodontics.”
The team at Comprehensive Dental Group in Stamford, CT is happy to offer patients Invisalign, a technologically advanced cosmetic treatment that puts your teeth in perfect alignment. It is a preferred alternative to metal braces because clear plastic trays are used instead of metal hardware. Get familiar with the advantages of Invisalign over braces to decide if this is the orthodontic solution you would like to discuss with your dentist.
Invisible Aligners Instead of Visible Metal Parts
When kids get braces, in most cases they have no choice but to wear metal and wire appliances—sometimes even headgear. Some older teens and adults have the option to choose Invisalign braces, which use removable clear trays instead. When you smile while wearing an Invisalign tray, it's not as conspicuous as the appearance of metal on your white teeth.
Invisalign Doesn't Require Years
Metal braces take two to three years to completely change the position of your teeth. At each checkup appointment, the dentist will have to make uncomfortable adjustments to the brackets and change wires to tighten the braces. Invisalign often takes six months to a year to work. The teeth gently conform to the shape of each tray over the treatment period, and you'll visit your Stamford dentist every few weeks to retrieve a new tray. To keep your smile aligned, you'll wear the last tray each night while sleeping.
You Can Take Invisalign Trays Off
One of the complaints dentists hear from their patients who wear braces is that they are painful and uncomfortable to wear. The brackets and wires can cause damage to the inner soft tissue of the mouth, and it is difficult to enjoy certain solid foods. Invisalign trays are gentler on the soft tissues of the mouth and they can be removed for eating, brushing, and engaging in conversation. You must make a commitment to wearing your trays at least 20 to 22 hours each day for fast results.
Invisalign--The Right Choice
Consult a dentist at Comprehensive Dental Group in Stamford, CT to find out if you're a candidate for Invisalign. Call (203) 359-3296 today to schedule time with Dr. Irina Pogosian or Dr. Thomas Ohlson.
Magician Michael Grandinetti mystifies and astonishes audiences with his sleight of hand and mastery of illusion. But when he initially steps onto the stage, it’s his smile that grabs the attention. “The first thing… that an audience notices is your smile; it’s what really connects you as a person to them,” Michael told an interviewer.
He attributes his audience-pleasing smile to several years of orthodontic treatment as a teenager to straighten misaligned teeth, plus a lifetime of good oral care. “I’m so thankful that I did it,” he said about wearing orthodontic braces. “It was so beneficial. And… looking at the path I’ve chosen, it was life-changing.”
Orthodontics — the dental subspecialty focused on treating malocclusions (literally “bad bites”) — can indeed make life-changing improvements. Properly positioned teeth are integral to the aesthetics of any smile, and a smile that’s pleasing to look at boosts confidence and self-esteem and makes a terrific first impression. Studies have even linked having an attractive smile with greater professional success.
There can also be functional benefits such as improved biting/chewing and speech, and reduced strain on jaw muscles and joints. Additionally, well-aligned teeth are easier to clean and less likely to trap food particles that can lead to decay.
The Science Behind the Magic
There are more options than ever for correcting bites, but all capitalize on the fact that teeth are suspended in individual jawbone sockets by elastic periodontal ligaments that enable them to move. Orthodontic appliances (commonly called braces or clear aligners) place light, controlled forces on teeth in a calculated fashion to move them into their new desired alignment.
The “gold standard” in orthodontic treatment remains the orthodontic band for posterior (back) teeth and the bonded bracket for front teeth. Thin, flexible wires threaded through the brackets create the light forces needed for repositioning. Traditionally the brackets have been made of metal, but for those concerned about the aesthetics, they can also be made out of a clear material. Lingual braces, which are bonded to the back of teeth instead of the front, are another less visible option. The most discrete appliance is the removable clear aligner, which consists of a progression of custom-made clear trays that reposition teeth incrementally.
How’s that for a disappearing act?!
If you would like more information about orthodontic treatment please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about the subject by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “The Magic of Orthodontics.”
Are you ready to find out if you are the perfect candidate for these clear braces?
You could never picture going to work day in and day out while wearing braces; however, you are also tired of your crooked smile. Fortunately, there is still a way to get the smile you want without sporting metal braces. Our Stamford, CT, dentists Dr. Irina Pogosian and Dr. Thomas Ohlson are here to tell you more about Invisalign and whether it might be right for you.
What is Invisalign?
Invisalign is a unique way to straighten teeth without the need for metal, brackets or wires. Instead, Invisalign uses a set of customized aligners that look similar to whitening trays but are thin, flexible and designed to snugly fit over your teeth. Each aligner is specially crafted just for you based on measurements and tooth movements already mapped out by our Stamford, CT, general dentists.
Who is a good candidate for Invisalign?
There are many factors that go into determining who is ideal for Invisalign treatment. While it can certainly help a lot of patients, it isn’t right for everyone, which is why we always have patients come into our office for a consultation. The consultation phase is important because it gives us a chance to get to know you and your treatment goals, as well as examine your smile and make sure that what you want to fix can most efficiently be handled by wearing Invisalign. Some candidacy factors to consider include:
Age: Older teens and adults are the perfect candidates for Invisalign but children and young teens aren’t. Children often respond best to traditional braces, but there are more subtle and discreet orthodontic options that can help make brackets and wires less obvious.
Your dental issues: Malocclusions like overbites, underbites and crossbites, as well as spacing problems and crowding are some of the issues that can be addressed with Invisalign. While it can also handle some minor crookedness as well, those with severe or complex dental issues that require complicated tooth or jaw movements will need to consider more traditional options.
Your dedication: One reason that children aren’t good candidate for Invisalign is that they often cannot comply with the rules of Invisalign. While it’s convenient that you can remove your aligners whenever you eat or need to brush and floss, the rest of the time you should be wearing your aligners. The less time you spend wearing them the longer your treatment will take. That’s why it’s important that you are truly dedicated to wearing Invisalign for about 22 hours out of each day.
Comprehensive Dental Group in Stamford, CT, is ready to help you get the smile you want with Invisalign. Turn to us for a no-risk consultation.
Fans of the primetime TV show The Middle were delighted to see that high school senior Sue, played by Eden Sher, finally got her braces off at the start of Season 6. But since this popular sitcom wouldn’t be complete without some slapstick comedy, this happy event is not without its trials and tribulations: The episode ends with Sue’s whole family diving into a dumpster in search of the teen’s lost retainer. Sue finds it in the garbage and immediately pops it in her mouth. But wait — it doesn’t fit, it’s not even hers!
If you think this scenario is far-fetched, guess again. OK, maybe the part about Sue not washing the retainer upon reclaiming it was just a gag (literally and figuratively), but lost retainers are all too common. Unfortunately, they’re also expensive to replace — so they need to be handled with care. What’s the best way to do that? Retainers should be brushed daily with a soft toothbrush and liquid soap (dish soap works well), and then placed immediately back in your mouth or into the case that came with the retainer. When you are eating a meal at a restaurant, do not wrap your retainer in a napkin and leave it on the table — this is a great way to lose it! Instead, take the case with you, and keep the retainer in it while you’re eating. When you get home, brush your teeth and then put the retainer back in your mouth.
If you do lose your retainer though, let us know right away. Retention is the last step of your orthodontic treatment, and it’s extremely important. You’ve worked hard to get a beautiful smile, and no one wants to see that effort wasted. Yet if you neglect to wear your retainer as instructed, your teeth are likely to shift out of position. Why does this happen?
As you’ve seen firsthand, teeth aren’t rigidly fixed in the jaw — they can be moved in response to light and continuous force. That’s what orthodontic appliances do: apply the right amount of force in a carefully controlled manner. But there are other forces at work on your teeth that can move them in less predictable ways. For example, normal biting and chewing can, over time, cause your teeth to shift position. To get teeth to stay where they’ve been moved orthodontically, new bone needs to form around them and anchor them where they are. That will happen over time, but only if they are held in place with a retainer. That’s why it is so important to wear yours as directed — and notify us immediately if it gets lost.
And if ever you do have to dig your retainer out of a dumpster… be sure to wash it before putting in in your mouth!
If you would like more information on retainers, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “The Importance of Orthodontic Retainers” and “Why Orthodontic Retainers?”