1224 McFarland Blvd. NE
Tuscaloosa, AL. 35406
Orthodontic care has and continues to change all the time! We’ve gone from intimidating headgear to practically invisible clear aligners! Treatment can even be completed in as little as six months!
These exciting updates have made orthodontic care more efficient and comfortable than ever before. Our team at Cowan & Whitaker wants you to have a safe, pleasant, and enjoyable experience in our office and at home throughout the duration of your treatment. Let’s look at some products that enhance your experience and help you achieve the best results.
If you wear an orthodontic appliance, chances are you will have irritation on the inside of the cheek from friction at some point. Ask your orthodontist about orthodontic wax! The removable wax protects the skin by covering up those pesky areas to prevent rubbing and pinching. Patients of most treatment types can use this product.
The iTero Digital Scanner is the newest way to create a model of the mouth. Previously, orthodontists could only get teeth impressions using traditional bite molds that were uncomfortable for many patients and had a higher probability of inaccuracies. The iTero scanner uses a small wand to take multiple detailed images of the teeth and gums, then combines the images into a singular, interactive 3D model. It detects more information than previous mold types, allowing an orthodontist to look for potential complications or health concerns before starting treatment. Orthodontists can also use this technology to plan individualized care programs with a slim margin of error. Invisalign patients can even see their predicted final smile at the start of treatment! It’s a fantastic tool to provide excellent quality care and help get you excited about the journey to come and its results.
Before, during, and after treatment, you must maintain a good, consistent oral hygiene routine to keep your mouth healthy and your overall treatment duration minimal. Removing bacteria, plaque, and germs from the teeth and gums lowers your risk of tooth decay, gum disease, bad breath, and more.
It can be difficult to fully clean the teeth and gums when you’re an orthodontic patient, especially if you have fixed orthodontic appliances. In addition to brushing and thread flossing, we encourage you to add a water flosser to your routine. Water flossers use jets of water to rid the mouth of stubborn residue in hard-to-reach places. They are also beneficial if you have removable appliances or have completed orthodontic care by keeping the breath fresh and removing residue left behind by brushing and flossing.
Cleaning your removable orthodontic appliances is essential to oral health, fresh breath, and eliminating odors on the devices.
There are many home mixture “recipes” are available online and store-bought products on the market for cleaning clear aligners and retainers, such as white vinegar (used as a stand-alone or mixed with baking soda), unscented antibacterial soap, denture cleaners, retainer cleaners, and brand-specific clear aligner cleaning products. When cleaning your orthodontic equipment, follow the instructions very carefully! Your equipment is durable but not invincible! Improper cleaning could break or warp them.
Be sure to ask your orthodontist if a product is safe before using it. Many manufacturers use different materials, and what might be safe for one appliance might not be safe for another.
Beginning an orthodontic journey can be intimidating, and brushing your teeth can become a chore while you get used to your new devices. It might feel like something you’ve done every day for years is changing, and suddenly feeling like you don’t know how to do something can be frustrating. Luckily, there’s a way to ease that negative emotion when it’s time to brush.
When you shop for a water flosser, we urge you to upgrade your toothbrush, too! A “fancy” toothbrush with features like a pressure sensor to tell you when you’re brushing too hard and an automatic timer can help you improve your brushing technique. It’s easy to under- or overbrush, and these electric toothbrushes eliminate the guesswork! Some even have a GPS/pressure tracker system to monitor exactly how you brush your teeth. Then, they’ll communicate with you via an app on your phone to provide personalized advice on refining your brushing method.
It can seem frivolous, and you might even feel silly at first when using a timer or app to brush your teeth, but once you notice the results, you’ll be glad you made the switch!
Interproximal brushes remove food, plaque, and bacteria from the mouth by cleaning between the wires of braces. Their portable size makes them perfect for when you are unable to use your water flosser, such as at school, work, or a restaurant.
As previously mentioned, orthodontic care is continuously transforming and evolving. New technology and tools come out all the time! These are just some of the wonderful products or tools that can help you during your orthodontic treatment, so ask your orthodontist for the latest suggestions and recommendations!
At Cowan & Whitaker, we strive to stay up-to-date on the latest techniques, procedures, and technology to provide you with comfortable, quality care and stunning results.
Contact us to schedule an appointment with our passionate, dedicated team to learn more about the above and discover new products!
We can’t wait to help you improve your smile!
February 20, 2023