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How Long Should You Wear Your Retainer After Braces Removal?

When you are done with braces, you will probably walk out of your orthodontist’s office with a retainer or two. Orthodontists are good about giving directions about retainers, but most people wear retainers for a while and stop.

So, what’s the deal? Should you abandon your retainer after a few months? Should you still be wearing it when you’re 80?

Ideally, you should not stop wearing your retainer. When you had braces, your gums and bone tissue got rearranged. Being held in new position for about a year does not effectively erase the positions your teeth held before braces, and without reinforcements, they will start to ease back to their original positions. This can be frustrating, especially considering the significant financial investment braces are.

Why do people stop wearing their retainers?

Retainers get lost and broken. Even the best cared-for retainers eventually wear out and need to be replaced every 4-5 years. Additionally, many people find the maintenance and wearing of retainers to be something they don’t want to sustain. Finally, though this may seem flimsy, culture plays a large role. Our culture’s idea of being grown up does not involve braces or retainers. Being forty years old and putting in your retainer for the night is something you’d see in a comedy film about a single person. As a result, patients seem to think they have outgrown orthodontia, and they leave their retainers behind.

Does it have to be all or nothing?

Nope. Once you reach a significant distance from braces, it can be helpful to wear your retainer 1-2 nights per week. Your teeth still get reinforced, but you are not putting that retainer in every night of your honeymoon or what have you. Being an adult with a retainer is manageable!

Find a balance – it will benefit you the most in the long run.

Can Invisalign Braces Become Discolored?

Whether you have had your Invisalign clear braces for years or you have been thinking about getting them, it is completely normal to have a few questions. We’ve addressed many common questions about Invisalign in our blog previously, but there is one we will be focusing on today, “Can Invisalign braces become discolored?” This is such a common question because no one wants to pay for orthodontic services in Orland Park only to end up with cloudy, discolored braces! One of the best things about Invisalign is that they are almost invisible! The fact of the matter is that, yes, Invisalign braces can become discolored over time, but if you follow these guidelines from our orthodontist you can keep your aligners clear and beautiful:

#1. Remove Invisalign when you eat or drink.

Eating or drinking with Invisalign is easier than ever because you can take your braces out! If you consistently remove your braces before eating or drinking, you won’t have to worry about any discoloration, just remember to brush your teeth before you put them back in.

#2. Rinse after drinking.

Although you should really only drink water when you have Invisalign in, we know that this isn’t always convenient. If you do end up drinking something besides water when you have Invisalign in, make sure that you rinse and clean thoroughly right after.

#3. Keep them clean!

Don’t let bacteria or food particles get stuck in your Invisalign aligners! Establish a proper cleaning routine and stick to it every day! Want to learn how to properly clean Invisalign? If so, read our previous blog!

Your Guide to Eating and Drinking with Invisalign

One of the biggest reasons why so many people choose Invisalign clear braces over other kinds of braces is the fact that they require relatively small adjustments to your everyday life. Although you won’t have to make too many adjustments, eating and drinking with Invisalign can be a bit of challenge at first. That is why our orthodontist in Orland Park has come up with the following guide for eating and drinking with Invisalign:

Is it okay to eat with Invisalign?

Eating with your aligners in simply isn’t a good idea, and because you can easily remove them, you won’t have to worry about restricting yourself from any specific foods. If you do decide to eat with your aligners in, make sure you thoroughly clean them immediately after eating. It is also a good idea to brush your teeth and floss before putting your aligners back into your mouth after eating.

Is it okay to drink with Invisalign?

It is generally okay to drink with your aligners in place but there are a few things you should keep in mind:

  • Liquid can start to seep between your teeth and your aligners, so it is important to brush them as soon as you can after drinking. If brushing isn’t possible, rinse them with warm water.
  • Red wine, coffee, tea and other colorful drinks can leave stains on your aligners, so your best bet is to remove them before you drink these kinds of things.
  • Hot liquids can cause your aligners to eventually become warped, so again, take them out before you drink any hot liquid.

Preparing Yourself for Braces

Many people think that simply making the decision to get braces is all that they need to do to prepare for them, but you are about to enter into a commitment that could last a couple of years! It is important to think about all aspects of your new life with braces so that you can be prepared for anything! The following is a list of tips from our orthodontist in Orland Park for preparing yourself for traditional braces:

  • Dietary restrictions – If you eat hard foods or take large bites, you could end up dislodging the bands of your braces or even damaging the wires. Prepare yourself for eating softer foods and cutting up harder pieces of fruit into smaller pieces before eating them. It’s also a good idea to cut back on any drinks or foods with lots of sugar.
  • Brushing your teeth with braces – Brushing your teeth with braces will be a little more challenging than brushing without. In order to steer clear of decay or gum disease, we suggest brushing more often throughout the day or after meals and snacks. You can also expect your toothbrush to wear out a lot faster than before you had braces.
  • Discomfort – Your teeth are likely to feel sore within the first couple of days of getting braces, and it could take up to a week for you to get used to wearing them.

If you have any questions or concerns about preparing yourself to wear braces, don’t hesitate to contact us! We are always happy to discuss more about our orthodontic services in Orland Park!

The Benefits of Invisalign

A confident smile can change your life in so many ways, and if you don’t have one, you could actually be holding yourself back! Many people, adults especially, aren’t comfortable with traditional wire braces, and that’s okay! We are lucky enough to live in a time where there are many types of orthodontic services available to you in Orland Park, but one of our favorites is Invisalign. Invisalign clear braces are such a great option, and they come with so many benefits:

  • They are removable – Traditional braces are placed by an orthodontist, and they will stay until they are removed by an orthodontist. With Invisalign, you can remove your trays for short periods of time, which makes eating and brushing your teeth so much easier!
  • They look great – Probably the most popular aspect of Invisalign is that they are clear! While wire braces are very easy to spot, Invisalign braces give confidence, because they are barely noticeable at all!
  • They can get your results faster – With traditional braces, you can expect to wear them for up to five years, but with Invisalign, you could enjoy a beautiful, confident smile in as little as a year and a half!
  • They are safer – As opposed to the sharp edges and protruding metal that come with traditional wire braces, Invisalign aligners are smooth! Also, because you can take your aligners out to brush your teeth, people who use Invisalign are less likely to develop cavities, gum disease and other orthodontic issues.

Is Invisalign the right choice for you? Find out by calling us today to schedule your appointment.

Cleaning Your Invisalign Braces

It is so important to keep the bacteria at bay in our mouths. Improper oral care leads to bad breath, yellow teeth and even infections that could affect your overall health. Proper oral care is especially important when you wear Invisalign clear braces, as well as traditional braces. It is all too easy for food particles and bacteria to get stuck in your braces. The following is a list from our orthodontist in Orland Park of a few ways to keep your Invisalign braces clean:

  • Brushing- Brush your aligners with a soft bristled toothbrush whenever you brush your teeth, so at least twice a day. Keep in mind that you don’t want to use toothpaste to brush your aligners, as toothpaste often contains abrasives that can scratch your braces. A mild dish soap makes a great substitute for washing your aligners!
  • Soaking- There are many incredibly soaking solutions out there available. Note that you should always strictly follow instructions for soaking, and be sure that you rinse your aligners well before putting them back in your mouth.
  • Invisalign’s cleaning system- Invisalign has come out with their own cleaning system! This system is designed to remove plaque and keep your retainers clean and odor-free.

As you can see, there are many options out there when it comes to cleaning your Invisalign clear braces. Proper care of your aligners is of the utmost importance, so find the option that works the best for you and stick to it! If you have any questions or concerns about cleaning your braces, don’t hesitate to contact us!

dreamstime_s_8840514.jpgHow Thumb Sucking Affects Your Child’s Teeth

We all would love to have perfect teeth, but unfortunately that just isn’t possible for everyone. There are many theories out there as to what causes teeth to become crooked. We have heard theories of all sorts, from soft foods to evolution, but there is one theory that keeps coming back to us again and again, thumb sucking. Can your child’s thumb sucking habit really cause them to need orthodontic services later in life? The truth is that it can.

Infant thumb sucking is quite common and perfectly normal. Babies suck their thumbs to give them comfort and happiness before they are even born, and it is safe for them to continue to do so until their permanent teeth start to come in. From an orthodontic perspective, there is absolutely nothing wrong with a small child sucking their thumb, but if your child is still sucking their thumb once their permanent teeth start to come in, it could create problems. If your child’s permanent teeth are about to erupt, and they are still sucking their thumb, give these strategies a try:

  • Positive reinforcement- Rather than scolding your child for sucking on their thumb, praise them when they don’t! Positive reinforcement tends to work much better for small children than negative reinforcement.
  • Identify the cause for their anxiety- Children don’t normally suck their thumb for no reason, it is often the result of anxiety. Identify what is causing them to be anxious, and help to resolve it.
  • Create a barrier- Try putting a bandage on their thumb or a sock on their hand during the times where thumb sucking is most common, at night. This will help to prevent them from sucking their thumb.

A New Year, A New Smile

In just a few days 2014 will be winding down, and the new year will be here at last! New Year’s Day is often the day that many of us make resolutions to eat healthier, save more money, and to start exercising, but unfortunately many of these resolutions end up being unfulfilled. Why not make your resolution something attainable this year? Make yourself into a new you in 2015, starting with your smile! If this sounds like the perfect resolution for you, then it is time to schedule your appointment with our experienced orthodontist in Orland Park.

No matter how old you are, it is never too late to enhance your smile like never before! We offer many different kinds of braces for you to choose from, including Invisalign clear braces, so that we can meet your each and every need! The best part about choosing our team for your new smile is that we are now offering a fabulous new patient special! This special includes a free braces exam and a $50 gift certificate! Why not take advantage of this amazing offer?

2014 is coming to a close, and before we know it, 2015 will be here at last. No matter what this past year was like for you, you can make 2015 the best year yet starting with your smile! Don’t make your resolution something that will be impossible for you to keep! Make 2015 the year that you get a new, confident smile by giving us a call to schedule your appointment. Your consultation is absolutely free, so you have nothing to lose! Give us a call or visit our site today to get started.

Orthodontic Care isn’t Just for Kids Anymore

Did you miss the bus for getting braces as a child? Are you sick of living day after day with a crooked smile that you feel you have to hide from the world? Do you feel like you will look silly or that you will be uncomfortable with braces as an adult? If “yes” is your answer to these questions, then you will be glad to know that with state-of-the-art technology and techniques, orthodontist services are no longer just for kids anymore! You are never too old to get braces, and Dr. Cynthia Wong Orthodontics is here to help.

We are your premier source for orthodontic care in Orland Park, and no one does it quite like we do. With a variety of payment options, financing, and the latest and greatest options, like Invisalign, our office has what it takes to give you the kind of smile that you can be proud of, no matter how old you are! Unlike traditional braces, which can be bulky and distracting, Invisalign clear braces straighten your teeth using clear aligners that are virtually invisible! You can even remove them when you need to! Invisalign is truly a wonderful option for adults everywhere that want a straight, beautiful smile.

Just because you didn’t get braces as a child, doesn’t mean that you have to live with a crooked smile for the rest of your life. Let our orthodontist give you the smile of your dreams! Take the first step to getting straighter teeth by contacting us today for your free consultation.

Why You Should Start Smiling More

There is nothing quite like a bright, confident smile. Unfortunately, if you are embarrassed by your teeth, you may feel like you have to go through life hiding your smile or, even worse, not smiling at all. Luckily with Invisalign clear braces in Orland Park, it is easier than ever to get a beautiful smile. You may be wondering why a straight smile matters. The answer is pretty simple, smiling comes with a ton of incredible benefits, and our orthodontist has come up with a list of the top 5:

  1. Smiling reduces stress- Stress is one of the biggest culprits of a variety of diseases and health issues, and it can be reduced with something as easy as smiling more. Smiling reduces stress because it causes the release of endorphins in the brain, which can combat the stress hormone, cortisol.
  2. Smiling makes a great first impression- Studies have shown that people who smile often, are more likely to be thought of as friendly, professional, trustworthy, and even capable.
  3. Smiling really is the best medicine- When those endorphins are released when you smile, they act as an all natural pain killer!
  4. Smiling makes you happy- You can trick your body into releasing those endorphins that boost your mood, just by smiling more. So the next time you are feeling low, plaster on a smile (even if it’s fake), and soon that smile will start to become genuine.
  5. Smiling keeps you healthy- Studies have shown that smiling stimulates the release of white blood cells, which can help to bolster your immune system to fight off sickness and disease.

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