Two Surprising Things That Can Stain Your Clear Aligners

Posted by on Mar 1, 2017 in Uncategorized |

If you invest in Invisalign aligners, then you are likely drawn to the clear appearance of the aligners. This is one of the main selling points of the braces. While this is true, the aligners can stain. This is not a problem for some people, since the aligners are usually changed about once every two weeks. However, if you are concerned about the possibility of the aligners staining, then keep reading to learn about two surprising ways you may inadvertently cause a discoloration issue.  Soaking In Mouthwash Clear aligners can smell after being worn for several days. The smell is typically the result of saliva collecting and drying on the surface of the Invisalign braces. Also, bacterial activity and the collection of microorganisms in the small scratches and cracks along the surface of the plastic can cause odors to form too. If you want to try to clean and sanitize the aligners, then you may place them in a small glass with a soaking compound.  Mouthwash is often chosen to soak the aligners. While alcohol-based mouthwashes can kill bacteria and clear away debris, they can do some negative things as well. The rinse can dry out the aligners and cause more cracks to develop. This can create an opaque appearance. Also, the dyes used in the mouthwash can leach into the aligners. This is especially concerning once the plastic becomes dry.  If you want to clean and sanitize your aligners without staining them, then there are a variety of substances you can use. You can soak the aligners in vinegar, or you can use a fluid, powder, or tablet product that is made for cleaning retainers. Some cosmetic dentists and orthodontists also have Invisalign cleaners that can be purchased through them.  Wearing Aligners After Drinking Coffee You probably know that both coffee and tea can stain the teeth. However, you may not understand that the two beverages can also discolor your clear aligners. The beverages are able to cause stains due to the tannins in them. These strong coloring agents can stain anything they touch. If you decide to drink coffee and place your aligners over your teeth afterwards, then the tannins are likely to transfer to them. Your braces are likely to look a dingy yellow color afterwards, just like your teeth. You can work the tannins off the teeth by using a two-pronged approach. You should rinse your mouth with water immediately after drinking the coffee. Right before you go to put your aligners in, rinse with mouthwash and then again with water. The vast majority of the tannins should release from the teeth.  For more information about Invisalign and how to care for your aligners, contact a dental clinic in your area, like Janzen Janzen & Chwa Orthodontics...

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What Causes A Single Tooth To Turn Gray As You Age?

Posted by on Jan 10, 2017 in Uncategorized |

If you value a sparkling white smile as part of your personal appearance, you likely do everything you can to avoid common stains from red wine, cigarettes, and other sources of daily discoloration. However, sometimes no amount of special care for your teeth can completely prevent discoloration, especially when a single tooth begins turning gray. Find out why you’re experiencing a gray coloration so you can make a decision about what to do about it to restore your smile. Tetracycline Antibiotics Tetracycline is a powerful antibiotic that was widely prescribed for both serious and routine infections, such as sinus infections. Unfortunately, many people who took this medication as a child only discovered that it could cause gray discoloration from the inside out once they became adults. The related antibiotics doxycycline and minocycline also have a chance to create this kind of color change in the teeth. In fact, your stains may even be linked to antibiotics taken by your mother while you were in the womb. Color may change in only a single tooth or multiple teeth, while the gray color can lean towards yellow or brown as well. A dentist can determine if your stains are linked to antibiotics with a simple UV light since residue from these medications will glow under a black light. It’s tricky to treat internal staining, but it is possible. Other Medications In most cases, medicine-induced gray tooth discoloration is tied to certain antibiotics. However, there are many other medications that stain teeth, and there’s always a chance the stain will appear gray rather than yellow, brown, or off-white. These medications include: Mouth rinses with chlorhexidine Antihistamines used to treat allergies, such as Benadryl Some medications designed for treating hypertension Many antipsychotic drugs. Of course, most of these medications are important enough that it’s worth the risk of some tooth discoloration that doesn’t affect the overall strength of each tooth. It’s better to treat the discoloration if it occurs than to avoid using a necessary medication out of fear of a gray stain. Not everyone experiences a chance in tooth color after taking these medicines either. It’s unclear why some people have discoloration while others don’t, but it may be linked to genetic susceptibility to certain drug compounds or the total dosage and length of treatment. Injury or Trauma When gray tooth color is isolated to just a single molar or bicuspid, it’s often due to an injury or trauma that left the interior of the tooth partially or completely dying out. As the tissue inside dies and decomposes, the gray color appears from the inside out. However, this tissue damage does not necessarily spread after the tooth heals and stabilizes. Unless the...

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Understanding How Thumb Sucking May And May Not Be Bad For The Teeth

Posted by on Dec 1, 2016 in Uncategorized |

If you have a child who sucks him thumb, then you may be concerned about the way that the behavior affects the teeth. This is a real concern, and your dentist has likely started to discuss the problem with you. However, if your child is still young and still has his baby teeth, then you do not need to worry about the problem just yet. You will need to worry about the issue though once the central incisors begin to erupt at around the age of six. To understand why thumb sucking does not cause an issue with the baby teeth but does with the adult teeth, keep reading. Why Is Thumb Sucking OK For Baby Teeth? Your child will start to develop their baby teeth around the age of six months. The milk teeth begin to develop as your child grows in the womb, and the teeth continue their formation as your child ages. Baby teeth look similar to the adult teeth with a crown and a root. The baby teeth are the place holders for the adult teeth that develop in the jaw after the baby teeth emerge. Milk teeth are typically small and are much weaker than the adult teeth. As each adult tooth starts to move up into the mouth, the adult tooth crown will place direct pressure against the root of the baby tooth. The root dissolves and the biting edge falls out of the mouth. As the roots of the baby teeth start to wear away, then dental crowns become easier to shift. A great deal of pressure is placed on the front teeth when your child sucks his thumb, and this can force the front teeth to migrate a little bit. The migrating teeth will not disrupt the movement of the adult teeth. This means that the position of the baby teeth and their slight movement will have little effect on the adult teeth.  Thumb sucking is a self soothing technique that can help children calm themselves. The habit is beneficial to children and helps them deal with emotions like fear, hunger, boredom, and sleepiness. This means that thumb sucking can have some benefits, and your child should not be completely dissuaded from the habit at a young age. Why Is The Habit Bad For Adult Teeth? Once the adult teeth come into the mouth, thumb sucking is no longer a soothing habit for your child. Thumb sucking can actually start to hurt your child’s oral health. The thumb can push on the adult teeth and move them outward a little bit at a time. As pressure continues, the teeth will force the bone along the jaw to wear away and the...

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4 Ways Anti-Seizure Drugs Can Hurt Your Child’s Teeth And Gums

Posted by on Aug 31, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Children who suffer from seizure disorders are often prescribed anticonvulsants such as phenytoin. While this medication is very effective in reducing the frequency and the intensity of seizures, it can lead to severe side effects such as confusion, lethargy, dizziness, and gastrointestinal problems. Another adverse reaction related to anti-seizure medications is an oral condition known as gum hyperplasia, gingival enlargement, or gum overgrowth. This condition can be especially troublesome for children who wear braces. However, visiting your pediatric orthodontist on a regular basis can help reduce your child’s risk for complications. Here are 4 ways anti-seizure drugs can hurt your child’s teeth and gums and what you can do about them: Gum Proliferation Not only can drug-induced gingival enlargement cause the abnormal overgrowth of gum tissue to proliferate into your child’s braces and in-between the teeth, it can also lead to other problems. According to NCBI, “gingival enlargement produces adverse esthetic challenges, functional impairment and clinical symptoms which includes gingival pain, tenderness, bleeding, speech disturbances, abnormal tooth movement and dental malocclusion.” In addition to this, gum hyperplasia can also lead to dental cavities and heighten the risk for a severe form of gingivitis known as periodontitis. This condition can cause destruction to the bones that support your child’s teeth, and in severe cases, may result in tooth loss. A periodontist can examine your child’s gums and develop an effective treatment plan, which may include oral surgery, to help de-bulk the gum tissue. However, this procedure may need to be postponed until your child’s braces are removed.  Bleeding Gums Gum tissue that grows under your child’s hardware can make the posts poke into sensitive gum tissue, which can lead to bleeding. This bleeding may worsen every time your child brushes and flosses. Sometimes, the bleeding can become so profuse, that it can frighten a child into avoiding oral care altogether. It is imperative that a meticulous regimen of oral hygiene be performed if gum hyperplasia is present, and it is especially crucial when children have braces. If your child’s hardware is damaging the already inflamed gum tissue, your pediatric orthodontist needs to evaluate and treat the problem. In the meantime, warm saltwater rinses can help soothe irritation, and may even help reduce the risk for infection.  Infection Risk Because overgrown gum tissue tends to grow out of control, and in between the spaces of the teeth and under your child’s brackets, effective brushing and flossing may not be enough to eliminate infection-causing oral bacteria. To reduce the risk for an oral infection, your child’s orthodontist may recommend an antimicrobial mouthwash to use a couple of times a day, or after brushing and flossing. This will help eliminate bacteria and other...

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Is It Safe For Your Teen To Pursue Dental Whitening Treatments?

Posted by on Jul 11, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Teens and tweens can be self-conscious about their appearance, particularly those coming of age in a media-saturated generation. With images of beaming models with blindingly white teeth held up as the ideal of beauty, your own teen may feel that his or her teeth aren’t up to par. Although this dip in self-esteem can usually be attributed to hormonal shifts that correct themselves after a few years, there are some situations in which dental whitening may be necessary to restore your teen’s self-image or correct previous discoloration from braces or certain medications. Are these treatments safe for your teen, and how can you decide whether this is a good financial and emotional investment? Read on to learn more about the types of whitening treatments best suited for teens, as well as some factors you’ll want to consider when scheduling your own teen for this procedure. Are there dental whitening treatments that are safe for teens? Although most dental whitening treatments rely on diluted hydrogen peroxide or other relatively harmless whitening agents to remove surface and deep-set discoloration, there are some additional risks for children and young teens who use certain whitening products — so much that the American Academy of Pediatrics does not recommend the use of even over-the-counter, at-home peroxide whitening strips until your teen’s 15th birthday or later. Because these strips are formulated for adult use, they may be too strong for children and teens whose teeth are more porous and whose gums are smaller. In addition, the hormonal changes a teen goes through during puberty can render them especially sensitive to irritation from peroxide and other bleaching agents. In general, those who have dental whitening treatments as children or young teens are much more likely to find themselves dealing with complications from this procedure. However, once your teen has reached age 14 or 15, he or she should be able to safely undergo laser whitening treatments under the supervision of a dentist. You may still want to discourage the use of at-home whitening treatments, simply because it can often be difficult to follow the instructions to the letter while your teen is distracted by other tasks or forms of entertainment at home. Misreading instructions or missing a step can render the treatment ineffective or lead to gum irritation, and performing whitening treatments outside the supervision of a medical professional isn’t usually a great idea. On the other hand, a laser whitening procedure performed by a dentist can provide immediately noticeable, longer-lasting results with a much lower risk of side effects. During this treatment, the dentist will apply a clear paste of peroxide and other bleaching agents to your teen’s teeth, then shine a high-powered laser beam on...

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