Johansen Dental Blog

Posts for tag: braces

By Johansen Dental
March 09, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
LadyGagaWasntBornThisWay

Sometimes, looking at old pictures can really bring memories back to life. Just ask Stefani Germanotta—the pop diva better known as Lady Gaga. In one scene from the recent documentary Five Foot Two, as family members sort through headshots from her teen years, her father proclaims: "Here, this proves she had braces!"

"If I had kept that gap, then I would have even more problems with Madonna," Lady Gaga replies, referencing an ongoing feud between the two musical celebrities.

The photos of Gaga's teenage smile reveal that the singer of hits like "Born This Way" once had a noticeable gap (which dentists call a diastema) between her front teeth. This condition is common in children, but often becomes less conspicuous with age. It isn't necessarily a problem: Lots of well-known people have extra space in their smiles, including ex-football player and TV host Michael Strahan, actress Anna Paquin…and fellow pop superstar Madonna. It hasn't hurt any of their careers.

Yet others would prefer a smile without the gap. Fortunately, diastema in children is generally not difficult to fix. One of the easiest ways to do so is with traditional braces or clear aligners. These orthodontic appliances, usually worn for a period of months, can actually move the teeth into positions that look more pleasing in the smile and function better in the bite. For many people, orthodontic treatment is a part of their emergence from adolescence into adulthood.

Braces and aligners, along with other specialized orthodontic appliances, can also remedy many bite problems besides diastema. They can correct misaligned teeth and spacing irregularities, fix overbites and underbites, and take care of numerous other types of malocclusions (bite problems).

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that kids get screened for orthodontic problems at age 7. Even if an issue is found, most won't get treatment at this age—but in some instances, it's possible that early intervention can save a great deal of time, money and effort later. For example, while the jaw is still developing, its growth can be guided with special appliances that can make future orthodontic treatment go quicker and easier.

Yet orthodontics isn't just for children—adults can wear braces too! As long as teeth and gums are healthy, there's no upper age limit on orthodontic treatment. Instead of traditional silver braces, many adults choose tooth-colored braces or clear aligners to complement their more professional appearance.

So if your child is at the age where screening is recommended—or if you're unhappy with your own smile—ask us whether orthodontics could help. But if you get into a rivalry with Madonna…you're on your own.

If you have questions about orthodontic treatment, please contact our office or schedule a consultation. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “The Magic of Orthodontics” and “Orthodontics For The Older Adult.”

WhyemBigBangTheoryemActressMayimBialikCouldntHaveBraces

Mayim Bialik has spent a good part of her life in front of TV cameras: first as the child star of the hit comedy series Blossom, and more recently as Sheldon Cooper’s love interest — a nerdy neuroscientist — on The Big Bang Theory. (In between, she actually earned a PhD in neuroscience from UCLA…but that’s another story.) As a child, Bialik had a serious overbite — but with all her time on camera, braces were just not an option.

“I never had braces,” she recently told Dear Doctor – Dentistry & Oral Health magazine. “I was on TV at the time, and there weren’t a lot of creative solutions for kids who were on TV.” Instead, her orthodontist managed to straighten her teeth using retainers and headgear worn only at night.

Today, there are several virtually invisible options available to fix orthodontic issues — and you don’t have to be a child star to take advantage of them. In fact, both children and adults can benefit from these unobtrusive appliances.

Tooth colored braces are just like traditional metal braces, with one big difference: The brackets attached to teeth are made from a ceramic material that blends in with the natural color of teeth. All that’s visible is the thin archwire that runs horizontally across the teeth — and from a distance it’s hard to notice. Celebs like Tom Cruise and Faith Hill opted for this type of appliance.

Clear aligners are custom-made plastic trays that fit over the teeth. Each one, worn for about two weeks, moves the teeth just a bit; after several months, you’ll see a big change for the better in your smile. Best of all, clear aligners are virtually impossible to notice while you’re wearing them — which you’ll need to do for 22 hours each day. But you can remove them to eat, or for special occasions. Zac Efron and Katherine Heigl, among others, chose to wear clear aligners.

Lingual braces really are invisible. That’s because they go behind your teeth (on the tongue side), where they can’t be seen; otherwise they are similar to traditional metal braces. Lingual braces are placed on teeth differently, and wearing them often takes some getting used to at first. But those trade-offs are worth it for plenty of people. Which celebs wore lingual braces? Rumor has it that the list includes some top models, a well-known pop singer, and at least one British royal.

So what’s the best way to straighten your teeth and keep the orthodontic appliances unnoticeable? Just ask us! We’d be happy to help you choose the option that’s just right for you. You’ll get an individualized evaluation, a solution that fits your lifestyle — and a great-looking smile!

For more information about hard-to-see (or truly invisible) orthodontics, please contact our office or schedule a consultation. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Orthodontics for the Older Adult” and “Clear Aligners for Teenagers.”

BeontheAlertforGumDiseaseWhileWearingBraces

On your way to a more attractive smile, you’ll have to deal with some inconveniences while wearing braces like avoiding certain foods or habits or dealing with possible embarrassment about your new “metal smile.” But there’s one consequence of wearing braces that could dramatically affect your dental health: the difficulty they pose for keeping your teeth clean of dental plaque.

Dental plaque is a thin film of bacteria and food particles that if allowed to build up on tooth surfaces could trigger tooth decay or periodontal (gum) disease. Brushing and flossing thoroughly every day helps prevent this buildup.

Unfortunately, metal brackets and wires can get in the way and cause you to miss areas while performing these hygiene tasks. This could cause plaque buildup in those isolated areas that could trigger an infection. And if you (or someone you love) are also a teenager, the natural adolescent surge in hormones can increase your infection risk.

If while wearing braces you notice your gums are reddened, swollen or bleeding when you brush, these are all signs of infection and the body’s inflammatory response to it. The longer the infection continues, the weaker the tissues become, causing them to gradually detach from the teeth. Along with bone deterioration (another effect of the disease), this can ultimately lead to tooth loss.

To prevent this from happening, you’ll need to be as thorough as possible with daily brushing and flossing. To help make it easier, you can use special tools like an interproximal brush that can maneuver around the braces better than a regular brush. For flossing you can use a floss threader to more readily guide floss between teeth or a water flosser that uses a pressurized stream of water rather than floss thread to remove plaque.

This extra cleaning effort while wearing braces can greatly reduce your disease risk. But you’ll still need to keep an eye out for any symptoms like swollen or bleeding gums, and see your dentist as soon as possible. If the symptoms become severe you may need your braces removed until the disease can be brought under control. The health and future vitality of your teeth and gums is what’s of primary importance.

If you would like more information on dental care while wearing braces, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Gum Swelling During Orthodontics.”

By JOHANSEN DENTAL
April 11, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: orthodontics   braces   invisalign  

If you could straighten your smile with no one noticing, would you do it? Many adults and teens have done just that with Invisalign clear invisalignaligners, the modern, comfortable and quick way to correct many orthodontic issues. At Johansen Dental in Chandler, AZ, Dr. Grant Johansen offers this inventive and practically invisible system of customized aligners as a great alternative to metal braces. They may be best for your smile, too.

What are Invisalign aligners?

Custom-made according to a three-dimensional digital scan, Invisalign appliances cover top and bottom teeth completely but are so thin and transparent they are virtually unnoticeable. Additionally, the aligners are smooth, causing no oral irritation, and they are completely removable.

Just like conventional braces, the 18 to 30 pairs of aligners move teeth into better functioning and better-looking positions. However, unlike traditional orthodontics, the Invisalign system takes just about a year on average rather than the two to two and a half years (or more) that metal braces normally take to complete treatment.

In the end, an Invisalign smile is healthy because it is easy to clean, and of course, because treatment resolves a wide variety of bite and misalignment issues.

Who can get Invisalign?

Many people, from older teens to elder adults, qualify. Dr. Grant will examine your teeth and gums to devise a treatment plan just right for your particular case. Of course, complex problems may still require more traditional orthodontics; however, Invisalign works for many mild to moderate smile issues such as:

  • Gaps
  • Crowding
  • Overbite
  • Underbite
  • Open bite
  • Crossbite
  • Tooth rotation and tooth tipping

Best of all, Invisalign is great for people who want ease of oral hygiene (just take the aligners out and brush and floss), no dietary limitations and the option to remove their appliances for events such as proms, weddings, and professional presentations. For treatment to move forward as planned, patients wear their appliances for a minimum of 20 to 22 hours daily, and they check in with Dr. Grant every month or so.

Get a new look

And, it'll happen discreetly. Find out more about today's most innovative clear aligner system. Contact Johansen Dental in Chandler, AZ today for your personalized Invisalign consultation with Dr. Grant. Our office team can be reached at (480) 345-0530.

By JOHANSEN DENTAL
December 02, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: orthodontics   braces   invisalign  

Learn more about how Invisalign can straighten your smile.

Many people put off straightening their teeth because they don't like the way metal braces look. Luckily, the Invisalign brace system can invisalignrealign your teeth without any metal. Dr. Kent Johansen and Dr. Grant Johansen of Johansen Dental in Chandler, AZ explain how Invisalign can improve your smile.

The clear solution

No wires or brackets are needed with Invisalign. The system uses a series of removable aligner trays custom designed to fit your upper and lower teeth. Tightening the wires controls the movement of teeth when you wear metal braces, but Invisalign wearers only need to open a new set of aligner trays to shift the position of their teeth. Every two weeks, you'll begin wearing a new set. Since the aligners are clear, it won't obvious that you're straightening your teeth.

Popcorn is no problem

Popcorn, gum, apples and other foods can damage brace wires or get stuck in them. In fact, people who wear metal braces receive an entire list of foods they must avoid for the next several years. You won't have that problem if you choose Invisalign. Since you'll remove your aligners to eat, you can continue to enjoy all of your favorite foods while you straighten your teeth.

Temporary breaks are okay

Once you receive traditional braces, they don't come off your teeth until your treatment is completed, which can make attending special events or playing sports more challenging. Because your Invisalign aligner trays are removable, you can take them out occasionally for a few hours without affecting your progress. Whether you plan to play in a big game or want to attend a dance or gala completely brace-less, you'll appreciate this option. Your aligners should typically be worn about 20 hours per day.

Treatment may be shorter in some cases

If you're an adult, you may only need to wear your Invisalign aligners for about a year. Children and teenagers must usually wear the aligners for the same amount of time that they would wear traditional braces.

Invisalign offers a better way to straighten your teeth! Call Dr. Kent Johansen and Dr. Grant Johansen of Johansen Dental in Chandler, AZ at (480) 345-0530 to schedule your appointment.