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How To Floss Your Teeth with Braces

September 22nd, 2022

A young woman smiling while she flosses with braces

Brushing and flossing your teeth with braces doesn’t need to be hard and, most importantly, it doesn’t need to be uncomfortable. You’ll find that as you follow these tips every day, it will become easier and easier, and you’ll find a lot less discomfort when you floss.

We all know that you’re flossing your teeth (and brushing them) for the same reason that you’re getting braces: you want to have a winning smile. So it makes sense that if you’re already going to the trouble of doing the big thing–getting braces–then the little things like brushing and flossing your teeth should become second nature.

But what’s the best way to floss with braces?

Floss After Every Meal

Yes, we know that it seems like a pain that you have to floss after every meal–can’t it just be left this one time? But the truth is that flossing after every meal is extremely important to making sure that your braces do their job. Food can get stuck in your teeth when you don’t have braces, and it’s much more likely for food to get stuck when you do. So every time you eat, you need to floss.

Fortunately, there are special ways to get in between the teeth and into the braces. These are floss threaders or special orthodontic flosses. These flosses are different from traditional flossing.

With orthodontic floss, you thread the floss behind the braces brackets and wires, and then you grab the end and wrap it around your fingers (as you’d normally do with floss) and slide the floss between each set of teeth. This cleans between teeth to remove food that brushing your teeth can’t get to.

It may sound hard to have to go to this much trouble but trust us: once you get the hang of it after a few weeks, you’ll be a pro at flossing while wearing braces.

The Benefits of Flossing With Braces

The benefits of flossing while you have braces are much the same as the benefits of flossing without braces–only more pronounced. Dental floss cleans food debris from your teeth which can lead to cavities and to gum diseases, and all of that food debris is typically caught just in your teeth. Adding a whole new set of obstacles–all those wires–into the mix is just going to make it easier for food to get stuck and for dental problems to arise.

The good news is that if you use the right type of floss, it doesn’t take much more than a single piece of floss to clean your whole mouth in just a few minutes. Pulling the floss (typically waxed floss) with your index fingers will clear out most of the debris and lead to a boost in overall oral health.

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What Braces Alternatives Are Available?

August 14th, 2022

A woman holding clear aligners.

When you’re looking for orthodontic treatment but want an alternative to traditional metal braces, the good news is that there are a lot of other options to choose from. So, what treatment options are there? There are quite a few, and here are some of the most popular alternatives.

Retainers

A retainer is a removable dental device that is a great option instead of wearing braces. It can be used, in some cases, instead of braces for adults and children. While there are hard plastic and wire retainers for aligner treatments, transparent retainers are also available (these differ from invisible aligners, which we’ll discuss next).

Plastic Aligners

Clear aligners, such as Invisalign, are the most popular alternative to braces for adults in cosmetic dentistry. The benefits of clear aligners are that they are, for one, clear–they do not look immediately like you’re wearing anything. You can also remove them. This makes them a very attractive option for adults who want to avoid the look of metal wire braces, which are often perceived to be a children’s option. 

Clear aligners are also very good at straightening teeth. Straightening your teeth can solve any number of problems, even severe malocclusions. The clear aligners will be made from a mold of your teeth, and you will transition from one aligner to the next progressively as your teeth begin to move. Being virtually invisible, they are highly sought after by adults and teens alike. 

Veneers

Veneers come in a variety of makes and models, but the most lifelike are porcelain veneers. Veneers are not like braces, in that they do not actually adjust the position of your teeth. Instead, veneers are used to mask your existing teeth to make a smile that may have gaps, dips, or chips into a smile that looks picture perfect. 

There are generally two categories of veneers. In the first, the dentist removes a layer of tooth enamel from the tooth and applies the veneer with UV resin. In the second, the enamel is not removed. These are called No Prep Veneers. 

Accelerated Orthodontics

Accelerated orthodontics are a rapid way to make changes to the position of your teeth. Using a process called micro-osteoperforation, the jaw is weakened. This allows the teeth to move more rapidly than with traditional braces. 

Accelerated orthodontics refers to the entire process, which includes the micro-osteoperforation, as well as the retainer or clear aligners which will be used to guide the teeth into the proper position. These are typically considered a good option for people who want to move quickly in terms of straightening their teeth, but don’t want to simply use veneers. They also have good health benefits. 

Lingual Braces

Lingual braces are similar to traditional metal wire braces, except, as the word “lingual” suggests, the wires and braces are on the inside of the teeth–the sides touching the tongue. This makes the braces just as useful as traditional braces, but they are invisible to anyone looking at your mouth. Lingual braces are commonly used by celebrities, but also by adults who don’t want to look like they’re using braces. 

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6 Reasons You Should Choose Invisalign as an Adult

August 2nd, 2022

A woman chooses Invisalign for adults

Are your teeth crooked? If so, it’s never too late to talk to your dentist or orthodontist about straightening them. While this may conjure images of a mouth full of braces, Invisalign is giving adults straighter smiles than ever.

Invisalign is a great option for children and adults, and as long as your teeth and gums are healthy, many orthodontists are recommending Invisalign for adults over 60 too.

Here are just a few reasons that adults might choose Invisalign over braces.

Invisalign is quick

Invisalign provides a quicker straight smile than traditional braces. When used correctly, Invisalign’s clear aligners, made of their patented SmartTrack material, can straighten teeth up to 50% faster than braces.

Invisalign is predictable

One reason that many orthodontists recommend Invisalign over braces for adults is that Invisalign is 75% more predictable than braces. Because Invisalign uses computer modeling to guide the creation of the aligners, it is easy to predict how long it will take teeth to shift into a particular position. You can even preview the virtual results to know what your smile will look like at each point in the process.

Invisalign is discreet

One of the biggest benefits of Invisalign for older adults is that they are discreet. Unlike metal braces, you can confidently straighten your teeth with a series of virtually invisible aligners that snap right onto your teeth. Unless they are looking very closely, your friends, coworkers, and neighbors may not even know you have them on.

Invisalign fits your lifestyle

Braces make eating certain foods difficult. But because Invisalign is removable, you can eat with no food restrictions. You can brush and floss like normal as well, without having to worry about the metal braces and wires mounted to your teeth.

You can even clean your Invisalign aligners at home. Just remove them, lightly brush and rinse, and return them to your teeth. You don’t have to worry about embarrassing stains or discoloration because you get a new aligner each week.

Invisalign is less painful

Most patients report that Invisalign hurts less than braces. Because they are made of a smooth, flexible, and comfortable material, Invisalign causes less discomfort than metal braces. There are no wires, brackets, or rubber bands to pinch, poke, or pull. According to Healthline, “Even if you experience pain at the start of your new trays every couple of weeks, the entire Invisalign process doesn’t take as long as metal braces — 12 to 18 months versus up to 5 years”

Invisalign is convenient

Traditional braces need to be adjusted regularly, demanding frequent trips to the orthodontist. With Invisalign. Our office recommends that you begin wearing a new set of aligners every week and schedule checkups every six weeks or so. This schedule makes Invisalign perfect for adults on the go.

To find out more about Invisalign, and about how Bergen Orthodontics can help get you on the way to straighter teeth today, Visit us here.

What is the Average Cost of Braces?

July 19th, 2022

The average cost of braces can vary a lot depending on several factors, but the biggest are the condition of your teeth (how much work needs to be done) and the type of braces you want to get.

Some peoples’ teeth just need a slight tweaking, whereas others need some intensive intervention to get that smile back to where it needs to be. We want you to leave the orthodontist with the biggest smile on your face–a smile with perfectly straight teeth, that will draw the eye and provide you with a lifetime of good dental health. 

What Are the Types of Braces and What Do They Cost

Traditional metal braces are the least expensive, and they cost somewhere between $3000 to $7000. The next are ceramic braces, which will run $4,000 to $8,000, followed by lingual braces, which are $8,000 to $10,000. Invisalign is a different type of braces, and they’ll typically cost in the $4,000 to $7,000 range. 

When you pay for braces, you very rarely will pay the entire amount upfront or in a lump sum. Payment plans are available for your convenience. You can also look into your dental insurance coverage. Some companies help with the total cost of braces. 

What Ways Are there to Save Money with the Cost of Braces?

Aside from getting your insurance plan to help cover the cost, many people find that using a flexible spending plan helps save a lot of money. A flexible spending account lets you set aside money from your paycheck at the beginning of a calendar year, money that will not be taxed, and which you can only spend on medical bills. From then on, you’ll make monthly payments.

If Insurance Doesn’t Cover Braces, Can I Deduct the Cost From My Taxes?

If the braces are medically necessary (which most are, unlike something like teeth whitening), then yes it can be deducted from your taxes as a medical expense. The cost must cross a certain threshold before it can count (7.5% of line 37 on your 1040.) Make sure you keep track of all the small expenses that come from wearing braces and the treatment plan, including co-pays, cleanings, check-ups, etc. 

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jersey choice dentist
Russell M. Sandman DMD, MS
500 Piermont Rd
Closter, NJ 07624
(201) 768-4121