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Reasons to Feel Confident About Invisalign Clear Braces

Invisalign Battle Creek MIIf doubts about conventional braces have stood in your way of straightening your smile, you are not alone. Fortunately, a different treatment approach known as Invisalign can help you smile with greater confidence, both during your treatment and afterward.

When you work with a dentist who is specially trained to provide this treatment option, you can reach your smile goals in a way that’s a better fit for your lifestyle than standard braces. Be sure to explore this treatment option if you’re interested in realigning your smile.

Invisalign: A Highly Effective Treatment Option

Invisalign repositions the teeth by using the same principles as standard orthodontic appliances: applying forces to the teeth will get them to shift into the proper positions. However, Invisalign achieves this movement through a progressive series of clear, removable plastic trays.

Even patients with fairly complex cases, such as those with severe crowding or malocclusions, can get the desired results from Invisalign, so this treatment can be a good option for a wide range of cases.

However, patients take on more responsibility with Invisalign. It’s essential for you to closely follow the instructions provided by your dentist for wearing the trays and switching to a new tray in order to get the anticipated outcomes.

Smile With Confidence While Straightening Your Teeth

Not only can you have confidence that Invisalign will help you reach your smile goals, you can have that same confidence every time you smile while you are undergoing orthodontic treatment. You won’t have to worry about hiding the unattractive appliances on your teeth.

This is particularly appealing to image-conscious teens who want to blend in with their peers, as well as working adults who want to maintain a professional appearance while straightening their smiles.

Additional Advantages Of Invisalign

Better aesthetics during treatment aren’t the only benefits of Invisalign, either. Others include:

  • Ease of oral hygiene: Invisalign eliminates the need to navigate around appliances while brushing and flossing.
  • Comfort: Invisalign trays have no sharp edges or wires that can break free and injure soft oral tissues.
  • Convenience: Fewer offer visits for adjustments.
  • Better nutrition: You don’t have to cut out your favorite foods, especially healthy ones like fresh fruits and vegetables that can damage traditional orthodontic appliances.

Are you interested in Invisalign and all that it has to offer? Visit the office of Dr. John Morris for a consultation to see if it might be a good fit for you.

Good Oral Hygiene Benefits That May Surprise You

dentist Battle Creek MIYou may recognize that brushing your teeth twice each day and flossing daily as directed by your dentist will keep your smile looking its best. However, there are many other benefits that you get from practicing good oral hygiene habits.

A smile that is in good condition functions properly and protects your health, among other benefits. So talk to your dentist to make sure that you are doing everything in your power to protect it.

Reduced Health Risks from Brushing and Flossing

Oral diseases like gum disease and tooth decay are associated with a wide range of health problems that reach well beyond your mouth. Although the exact mechanism is unclear, poor oral health correlates with an increased risk of:

  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Dementia
  • Stroke
  • Pregnancy complications

By investing just a few minutes of your day in brushing and flossing to minimize the presence of disease-causing oral bacteria and following up for professional teeth cleanings at least twice each year, you can go a long way toward giving your entire body a boost!

Minimize Pain Associated with Oral Diseases

Oral diseases don’t just devastate your smile’s appearance. They can also cause a significant amount of discomfort. For example, receding gums can result in increased tooth sensitivity, as can large cavities. Again, practicing good oral hygiene can help you avoid unnecessary dental pain.

How To Practice Good Oral Hygiene

Are you practicing good oral hygiene habits? A solid routine consists of daily flossing and brushing twice each day. Each brushing session should last for two minutes to make sure you’re cleaning your teeth thoroughly. Make sure that you’re using the right tools, like:

  • A soft-bristled toothbrush that is replaced every three months to avoid excessive wear and tear
  • Toothpaste that features the ADA seal of approval
  • Anti-bacterial mouthwash, which can be especially valuable for patients who tend to accumulate plaque and tartar quickly
  • Floss threaders if you have braces or appliances that are difficult to navigate with floss alone

Technique matters, too. Make sure that you’re angling your brush along the gumline to disrupt plaque formation. Brush all of the surfaces of the teeth thoroughly. Ask your hygienist for other tips at your next cleaning.

If you need advice on how to optimize your oral hygiene routine and get maximum benefits from it, call the office of Dr. John Morris and speak to one of our friendly, knowledgeable staff members.

5 Things You Should Never Do To Your Teeth

family dentistry Battle Creek MIYour teeth are made of enamel, which is the hardest substance in the body. Nonetheless, it’s not indestructible, and you should do everything possible to protect it. Your dentist can give you some tips on how to avoid damaging your teeth.

Of course, the most important steps that you can take to preserve the integrity of your teeth is to practice good daily oral hygiene at home and visit your family dentistry practice twice a year for checkups and cleanings.

Top Five Smile Don’ts That Can Harm Your Teeth

Your dentist will caution you against any actions that can damage your teeth. In particular, patients should avoid:

  • Using teeth as tools
  • Chewing on non-food objects (such as pencils or fingernails)
  • Using tobacco
  • Consuming excessive sugar
  • Using poor oral hygiene techniques

The dangers of these actions can harm the teeth in different ways. For example, using the teeth as tools can increase the risk of breaking them, while tobacco use is associated with inflammation and oral diseases. Harmful cavity-causing oral bacteria can feed on excess sugar residue.

If you want to minimize the care you’ll need from your family dentistry practice for issues like cracked or chipped teeth or tooth decay, it’s important to follow this advice.

Maintaining Your Teeth in Optimal Condition

In addition to avoiding the don’ts listed above, you can take steps to be proactive in safeguarding your oral health, including keeping your teeth in optimal condition. A robust daily oral hygiene routine is the foundation of these efforts and should include:

  • Brushing two times a day, for two minutes each session, using a brush that is no more than three months old
  • Fluoridated toothpaste with an ADA seal of approval
  • Daily flossing, using floss threaders to navigate appliances when necessary

Some patients who are prone to the accumulation of oral bacteria may also want to add an anti-bacterial mouthwash as an extra measure to boost oral health.

Your home oral hygiene habits are only one part of the equation, though. The other is adequate professional care, which includes semiannual cleanings by a dental hygienist at a family dentistry practice, along with exams by a dentist.

Such professional care helps to keep your teeth as clean as possible and gives you the best chance of having any oral diseases diagnosed and treated early before they can do extensive damage. If it’s been more than six months since your last checkup, call the office of Dr. John Morris today to schedule and get back on track.

How do I get started with Invisalign?

Invisalign Battle Creek MIWhen you want to straighten your smile, the process of getting started with treatment can feel exhilarating and overwhelming at the same time. Knowing what to expect can help this part of the treatment process go more smoothly.

Patients who are considering orthodontic treatment options such as Invisalign or traditional braces will benefit from consulting with a dentist who can assess their case and advise them on the recommended treatment approach.

Invisalign: An Overview

Invisalign is a unique orthodontic treatment system that uses clear plastic aligner trays to apply pressure to the teeth in order to move them into the proper position. Those aligner trays can be removed at mealtimes and for oral hygiene purposes.

The patient is provided with a series of aligner trays and a schedule for moving to the next tray. In order to achieve the desired results in the anticipated timeframe, patients must wear the trays for at least 22 hours each day.

While traditional braces require office visits in order to physically adjust the tension of the wires, the patient takes on much of the responsibility for adjustments by switching trays as instructed.

Invisalign will be able to effectively resolve many patients’ concerns about the alignment of their smiles. In some cases, traditional braces may be more effective and appropriate. Therefore, if you are considering Invisalign, it’s important to visit a dentist for an evaluation to determine the best approach.

Your Invisalign Consultation: What to Expect

An Invisalign consultation is quite similar to any other evaluation for specialized oral health treatment, such as getting a crown or pursuing a cosmetic dentistry treatment. At this appointment, your provider will collect all of the data needed to plan your course of treatment, possibly including:

  • Photos
  • X-rays
  • Digital or physical impressions of your smile

That data is then used to create your custom-made Invisalign trays. When your trays are ready, you’ll return to the office to receive them, along with your instructions for their proper use and maintenance.

Do you want to get started on your Invisalign journey to a straighter smile? Call the office of Dr. John Morris today to schedule your initial consultation.

When Is The Best Time To Begin Orthodontic Treatment

orthodontics Battle Creek MIHaving straight teeth and a correct bite is a worthy goal. For many individuals, that is going to require some kind of intervention with orthodontics. Ideally, all children will be evaluated for the need for braces at around the age of seven. While your dentist may just be making recommendations for the future, some patients may benefit from interceptive orthodontics at this younger age.

The Importance of Interceptive Orthodontics 

The need for early treatment may be obvious; teeth may be erupting in an abnormal fashion or there may be obvious bite irregularities. But sometimes there are more subtle issues that may only be identified through this early dental examination.

Often considered as the first phase of treatment, interceptive orthodontics can involve several aspects. The patient is typically seven to eleven years old. The first set of permanent molars have usually erupted; the jaws and gums are much more easily manipulated at this stage allowing for the groundwork to be laid in preparation for upcoming growth.

Young patients may be in this predicament due to thumb sucking, pacifier use, or in some cases, genetics. This is why it is imperative that all children be seen by their dentist starting around the age of twelve months. Over time, with regular dental visits, problems may be identified and preemptive action can be taken.

Orthodontics At Any Age

Wearing braces usually commences in children starting around age ten; the importance of straight teeth and a great smile is paramount for people of all ages. But impressionable teens will be more likely to see their peers in the same situation as they are making orthodontics very commonplace and acceptable.

If interceptive orthodontics is considered phase one, phase two often involves correcting teeth overcrowding and managing a malocclusion. In some cases, one or more teeth may require extraction before braces are applied that will move teeth to their correct placement.

Adults can also benefit from teeth straightening. The reason for straight teeth is more than just a great smile. While aesthetics are important, crooked teeth allow areas for plaque and tartar to build leading to the potential for dental decay and the onset of gum disease.

The final, very important, phase of any orthodontic program involves wearing a retainer allowing teeth and the bones that hold them in place to solidify their new location.

To learn more about your orthodontic treatment options, contact the office of Dr. John Morris today.

How do I care for my dentures?

When you first get dentures, you will want to be sure that you are taking good care of them so that the appliances will stay in excellent condition for as long as possible. This is just one aspect of the process of getting accustomed to wearing dentures.

Tips for Taking Care of Your Dentures

dentures Battle Creek MIIf you want to take good care of your new dentures, here are a few tips that will help you do so.

  • Handle your dentures with care: Your dentures can be damaged if you drop them or handle them carelessly, so be careful with the appliances.
  • Take your dentures out each day to clean them.
  • Use a specially formulated denture cleaner, not toothpaste, to clean your appliances. Toothpaste may be too harsh and damage the appliances.
  • Soak your dentures when you’re not wearing them to keep them from drying out.

There may be other denture care considerations specific to your case, so ask your dentist for complete instructions to maintain your dentures.

Getting Adjusted to Your New Dentures

In addition to having a game plan to take care of your new dentures, you’ll also want to be prepared for the initial adjustment period that happens as you get used to wearing the appliances on a daily basis. Talk to your dentist so that you’ll know what to expect.

The following may be just a few of the recommendations:

  • Start out chewing soft foods: Limiting your diet at first can help you get used to chewing with your dentures and after time you can progress to heartier foods.
  • Exercise your cheek muscles: This will help to strengthen them so that they can help to control the dentures more effectively.
  • Sing! Singing can help you develop fluidity around language and ultimately make it easier to speak with your dentures.
  • Don’t dismiss ongoing discomfort: Yes, your dentures may be slightly uncomfortable at first, but that sensation should eventually fade. If it persists, it may be a sign that the dentures need to be refitted.

We are here to help you throughout the process of getting fitted for and wearing dentures, and that includes working with you to develop a plan to take care of those dentures. Don’t hesitate to check in with us to get any information you may need for that purpose. Call the office of Dr. John Morris today to schedule your consultation.

When can I return to work or school following root canal treatment?

root canal Battle Creek MIWhen preparing for root canal treatment, patients typically have multiple concerns, including the timeline when they can expect to return to work. Fortunately, a root canal doesn’t have to be disruptive to your routine.

In order to minimize your recovery period, you should also closely follow any directions provided by your dentist for caring for the treated tooth after the procedure. Don’t hesitate to ask if you have any questions or need any clarification about these instructions.

What To Expect From The Root Canal Treatment Time Frame

A root canal involves your dentist removing infected pulp material from the center of your tooth, cleaning out the bacteria and filling in the empty chamber with a neutral material to prevent re-infection. Eventually, the tooth is fitted with a dental crown to protect it from breaking.

This process takes place over a number of appointments.

  • First appointment: The root canal is performed, and the infected material is cleaned out of the tooth. An inert rubber-like substance is placed in the empty root canal chamber.
  • Second appointment: The dental crown is placed on the treated tooth.
  • Additional follow-up appointments (if further adjustments are needed)

The first appointment shouldn’t take any more than a couple of hours, and with proper follow-up care, most patients will be able to return to school or sedentary work the next day. Patients may want to abstain from more vigorous activity for a few additional days.

Preventing Complications After the Procedure

Of course, when patients experience complications after the root canal, it can delay their ability to resume their routines. Therefore, the patient’s main objectives after a root canal are:

  • Managing discomfort
  • Preventing infection
  • Minimizing the risk of tooth breakage

We will discuss strategies to help you achieve all of these goals, and we may prescribe painkillers or antibiotics to help in this effort. We will also educate you on the signs of a problem, such as persistent or severe pain, that warrant follow-up with our office.

A root canal shouldn’t derail your day-to-day routine. Most people will be able to go back to work or school the day after their appointment.

Do implant-supported dentures have a lifelike appearance?

implant dentures Battle Creek MIWhile replacing the function and structure of missing teeth is important, patients also want a prosthetic appliance that has a lifelike aesthetic. Custom-designed implant supported dentures achieve this goal and offer the ultimate smile restoration method, both structurally and aesthetically.

Not only are implant supported dentures made of state-of-the-art materials that replicate biological tooth enamel, but they also offer a variety of functional benefits to patients. This is because they are structurally complete, replacing both the roots and crowns of your missing teeth.

Designing an Appliance with Natural Aesthetics

Some people envision dentures as being noticeably artificial, thinking only of the old school appliances that their grandparents wore. Today’s dentures are a dramatic improvement over the dentures of past decades, though.

Modern materials mimic the appearance of natural tooth material rather than having an obvious plastic look. Furthermore, these appliances are tailored to each patient’s specifications of characteristics like shade and shape.

With implant-supported dentures, you can replicate your own unique natural smile – or improve on it if that’s what you’d like.

Other Benefits of Implant-Supported Dentures

A beautifully restored smile isn’t the only benefit that you get from collaborating with an implant dentist, though. There are many others beyond the appearance of the appliance.

Dental implants are unique because they stand in for the roots of missing teeth in addition to supporting an appliance like a denture. This feature allows them to function much more similarly to biological teeth than conventional dentures do.

Some of these advantages include better:

  • Durability: The dental implants secure bone tissue in the jaw. This prevents jawbone atrophy and ensures that the denture retains its fit.
  • Security: Implant supported dentures stay in place more reliably than conventional dentures.
  • Functionality: Dental implants facilitate more effective chewing.
  • Comfort: Structured similarly to natural teeth, implant supported dentures feel more like biological teeth.

Of course, in order to maximize these benefits of dental implants, you must take good care of those implants. Follow all instructions for maintenance of your implant supported dentures provided by your dentist.

To learn more about the many advantages of dental implants and how they enhance your smile, schedule a consultation with our implant dentist.

How To Prevent Dry Mouth While Sleeping

family dentistry Battle Creek MIWaking up with a dry mouth or morning breath is unpleasant, but you can do something to change it. Patients who are experiencing this symptom should visit their family dentistry practice to be evaluated for the causes of dry mouth and possible treatments for the condition.

In fact, if you don’t work with your dentist to address dry mouth, your oral health may suffer consequences as a result of this condition, as sufficient saliva is necessary to keep your mouth clean and wash away harmful oral bacteria.

Potential Causes of Dry Mouth

Dry mouth can result from a number of causes, including:

  • Sleep apnea
  • Other types of snoring
  • Side effects of medical treatments, including medications, chemotherapy and radiation
  • Nerve damage
  • Health conditions, such as Sjogren’s Syndrome
  • Use of drugs or alcohol before bed

Visiting your family dentistry practice for an evaluation is the best way to have the cause of your dry mouth diagnosed and treated. A thorough evaluation will point toward the most effective treatment option in your case.

Interventions and Home Care Practices to Prevent Dry Mouth

The interventions recommended to eliminate dry mouth in your case will depend on the specific factors causing this symptom. For example, if you are suffering from sleep apnea, you may need to wear an oral appliance while you sleep to eliminate this condition.

In other cases, you may not be able to eliminate the dry mouth but instead must focus on managing it. Drinking adequate amounts of water (but not so much that you wake up throughout the night to use the bathroom!) and using artificial saliva products can be helpful.

Dry Mouth: Consequences for Your Oral Health

Regardless of the cause of your dry mouth, it’s important for you to discuss this symptom with your dentist so that it can be treated. Insufficient saliva causes big problems in the mouth. It allows bacteria to proliferate and wreak havoc, causing cavities and gum disease, along with other oral health concerns.

Ultimately, dry mouth is an oral health issue and our dentist can help you to manage or eliminate this symptom. Be sure to ask about this issue at your next checkup, or call the office of John Morris, DDS, to discuss with one of our knowledgeable staff members.

Get The Most Out of Your Dentures With These Tips

Dentures provide a wonderful solution for patients who have suffered from tooth loss. Whether you require a partial or complete denture, your dentist will work with you to help you achieve the best possible outcome as the solution for tooth loss.

Allow Yourself Ample Time to Adjust to New Dentures

dentures Battle Creek MITeeth replacement can feel overwhelming. Give yourself time to:

Speak clearly and comfortably – Until you get used to your dentures, you will likely experience increased saliva production as well as difficulty forming word sounds. The saliva situation should resolve itself within days. Practice conversing with non-judgmental friends and family; or practice speaking in front of a mirror.

Learn how to chew again – You won’t have to eat soft foods forever, but start with them eventually graduating to chewier foods cut into small, manageable bites.

The Importance of the Proper Care and Maintenance for your Dentures 

Dentures are a big investment so you should maximize the life of your dentures by taking the best care of them that you can.

When you’re not wearing your denture, you should store it in an appropriate container with water or an approved denture cleaning solution. This will allow your denture to stay moist and in so doing, will help it to maintain its shape. Rinse thoroughly before inserting.

Never boil your dentures. Even very hot water can result in your dentures warping.

If you are experiencing rubbing or sore spots, do not attempt to make adjustments. Even a small tweak can result in irreparable damage.

If slipping or movement is a problem, you may be tempted to try a denture paste. Before doing so, a visit to your dentist is advised. Changes to your oral condition might be the problem, and may be corrected providing a better solution than a denture adhesive.

Cleaning your dentures is important. Plaque can form on them so they should be cleaned every day. Use the tools designed for this … a regular toothbrush and toothpaste can be too harsh and can scratch your dentures.

Gently brush gum tissue with dentures out to maintain their health.

When cleaning your dentures, do so over a towel or soft surface to prevent breakage if you should drop them.

To learn more about how dentures can restore your smile, contact the office of Dr. John Morris today.