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6 Tips for Maintaining Your Clear Aligners and Braces

Maintaining your clear aligners and braces is essential for achieving the best results in orthodontic treatment. Whether you have opted for the subtlety of clear aligners or the reliability of traditional braces, following proper care routines will ensure your treatment progresses smoothly and effectively.

Still not decided on clear aligners or traditional braces? Contact Dr. Wint Tun at Harmony Orthodontics. Our orthodontist helps patients in Tomball, Spring, and The Woodlands, TX, determine the best course of action for their smiles. So, don’t wait – get tailored care by calling (832) 699-3683 now! 

In today’s post, Dr. Tun reveals six tips to help you keep your aligners and braces in top condition.

1. Clean Your Aligners and Braces Regularly

One of the most important aspects of maintaining your clear aligners and braces is keeping them clean. For aligners, you should clean them every time you brush your teeth. Use a soft toothbrush and a mild, clear, unscented liquid soap or a specialized aligner cleaning solution. 

For braces, brush your teeth completely after every meal, and don’t forget to clean close to the brackets and wires to prevent buildup and tooth decay.

2. Be Mindful When Eating and Drinking

Maintaining your clear aligners and braces involves knowing when to take them out. Always remove your aligners when eating or drinking anything other than plain water

For those with braces, stay away from chewy, crunchy, or sticky foods that can damage the brackets and wires. Additionally, cut food into smaller pieces to make chewing easier and reduce the risk of damage.

3. Store Aligners Properly

Whenever you remove your aligners, stow them in their special container to prevent losing or damaging them. Keeping them out in the open increases the risk of exposure to bacteria, which can cause infections or unpleasant odors. Keeping them in the case also helps prevent accidental damage or misplacement.

4. Follow Your Orthodontist’s Instructions

Following Dr. Tun’s instructions is crucial for maintaining your clear aligners and braces. Adhere to the recommended wear time for aligners (which most professionals suggest wearing for 20 to 22 hours daily) to ensure effective treatment. 

For braces, attend all scheduled appointments for adjustments and follow any specific care instructions provided by Dr. Tun. Ignoring these guidelines can prolong your treatment time and lead to complications.

5. Avoid Whitening Products

While maintaining your clear aligners and braces, it’s important to avoid whitening products. Whitening toothpaste and mouthwash can cause uneven coloring on your teeth because the areas covered by the brackets or aligners won’t be exposed to the whitening agents. 

Stick to regular, non-whitening toothpaste and a fluoride mouthwash to keep your teeth healthy and clean during treatment.

6. Address Issues Promptly

Addressing any issues promptly is vital for maintaining your clear aligners and braces. If you notice any cracks, damage, or discomfort with your aligners, contact Dr. Tun immediately to get a replacement or adjustment. 

For braces, if a wire comes loose or a bracket breaks, schedule an appointment as soon as possible to fix the issue and prevent further damage.

Braces and Clear Aligners Near Tomball, TX

Are you ready for a healthier, more harmonious smile? Contact Harmony Orthodontics today to schedule a consultation for braces or clear aligners. Schedule appointments with our Tomball, TX, dentist online, or simply dial (832) 699-3683 for booking and information. 

Orthodontist in Woodlands, TX Offers Invisalign First for Kids

Dr. Tun, your family orthodontist in Woodlands, TX, may recommend that your young child have phase one orthodontics. Phase one is appropriate for kids as young as six years old. The purpose of phase one orthodontics is to make and reserve space for all incoming permanent teeth, to avoid crowding and other misalignment issues. 

How Invisalign First Works

Like adult Invisalign, Invisalign First relies on a series of BPA-free, clear, removable, custom-made aligners. Gentle and consistent pressure applied by the aligners guides teeth into the desired position. The system is ideal for children between the ages of six and 10. 

Treatment may include expanding the upper arch, called palatal expansion, as well as spacers where lost teeth have left an open socket for permanent teeth. 

Traditionally, palatal expanders are cemented in place and come with a key that the parent uses to increase the horizontal expansion of the appliance. In contrast, an Invisalign First palatal expander has no fixed elements. It is completely removable and leaves the upper palate open. This allows the patient to hold his tongue in normal position, against the upper palate (or roof of the mouth).

Benefits of Invisalign First

With Invisalign First for phase one orthodontic therapy, your precious child won’t have to endure the appearance of bulky metal braces and the stigma they can create. Nor will he experience the painful sores that metal brackets cause to soft oral tissues or the uncomfortable tightening appointments required with traditional braces.

Benefits of Invisalign First include:

They’re Discreet: Invisalign aligners are clear, so your child’s orthodontic therapy will be hardly noticeable, if at all. This helps a child maintain high self-confidence in his image.

They’re Comfortable: Flexible acrylic aligners are much more comfortable than metal brackets and wires. Oftentimes, children who wear traditional braces must endure painful oral sores caused by brackets and wires. Additionally, wires can poke the interior cheeks, in the back of the mouth, which causes significant discomfort.

They’re Removable: Because they’re easy to remove and replace, your child can remove his aligners when eating a meal, cleaning his teeth, and for special occasions. Cleaning orthodontic braces can be a challenge, especially in a child’s mouth. With Invisalign, simply remove the aligner and clean your child’s teeth normally, brushing twice a day and flossing before bedtime. Rinse the Invisalign aligner with a fragrance-free soap before replacing it in the mouth. Invisalign should be worn overnight, every night. 

They’re Effective: If worn as often as directed, Invisalign First is as effective as traditional braces for issues like crowding, spacing problems, misalignment, and narrow arch. Your little one will enjoy great oral health and a beautiful smile when therapy is complete.

For more information on Invisalign First, read this technical article. 

Length of Treatment

As an orthodontist in Woodlands, TX, Dr. Tun tells patients that Invisalign First treatment generally lasts six to 18 months. Your child will need to move to a new aligner and discard his current aligner every four to seven days, based on Dr. Tun’s instructions. 

Call Dr. Tun, Your Trusted Orthodontist in Woodlands, TX

If your child is recommended for phase one orthodontics, or if you want to schedule an orthodontic consultation with Dr. Tun, call Harmony Orthodontics today at 832-699-3683. Harmony Orthodontics is located in Tomball, TX. 

Our orthodontic consultation is a no-cost, no-obligation appointment that allows you and your child to meet Dr. Tun, ask questions, and discuss your child’s orthodontic concerns. Dr. Tun will conduct a thorough orthodontic assessment, including X-rays, and explain the preferred treatment options for your child. Mention your interest in Invisalign First if your little one needs phase one treatment. 

Unraveling the Mystery: How are braces made?

When it comes to achieving that picture-perfect smile, braces have been a steadfast solution for decades. They straighten misaligned teeth, correct bite issues, and contribute to overall oral health. But have you ever stopped to wonder: exactly how are braces made?

If you want to learn more about this treatment, contact Dr. Wint Tun at Harmony Orthodontics. Our top-rated orthodontist serves patients living in Tomball, Spring, and The Woodlands, TX. So, don’t wait – reserve a consultation now at (832) 699-3683!

The process of crafting braces involves a fascinating blend of science, technology, and craftsmanship. So, today, Dr. Tun answers the question, “How are braces made?” Here, our team explores the intricate steps behind the creation of these orthodontic marvels to help you understand the process better.

Step 1: Consultation and Assessment

Before Dr. Tun can make a set of braces, you must first attend a thorough consultation and assessment

During this initial phase, Dr. Tun evaluates your dental condition, takes X-rays, and creates a treatment plan tailored to your personal needs. This plan serves as the blueprint for crafting the braces.

Step 2: Impressions

Once Dr. Tun establishes the treatment plan, then our team can begin taking dental impressions. In recent years, digital scanning technology has streamlined this process, offering more accuracy and efficiency.

These impressions capture the precise shape and alignment of your teeth, providing the necessary data our team needs for creating customized braces. 

Step 3: Designing the Braces

Using your unique impressions, Dr. Tun then collaborates with skilled technicians to design your braces. These professionals meticulously plan the positioning of brackets and wires to achieve optimal alignment. This step requires careful consideration of your dental anatomy and treatment goals.

Step 4: Fabrication of Brackets and Wires

Once our team finalizes the design, then the fabrication process begins

Technicians can create brackets (which are affixed to the teeth) from high-quality materials, like stainless steel or ceramic. These materials offer durability and biocompatibility, ensuring the braces effectively exert gentle pressure to shift the teeth over time.

Similarly, technicians custom-make the wires that thread through the brackets, following the exact curve of your dental arch. These wires (often made from nickel-titanium or stainless steel) provide the necessary tension to guide teeth into their desired positions.

Step 5: Assembly and Quality Control

Once fabricated, Dr. Tun carefully bonds each bracket to the surface of the tooth using dental adhesive. Afterward, Dr. Tun inserts the wires into slots on the brackets. This assembly process demands precision and attention to detail to ensure proper functionality.

At every stage of the process, our team implements quality control measures to verify the integrity and accuracy of the braces. Our team inspects each component to detect any defects or inconsistencies that could compromise treatment outcomes.

Step 6: Customization and Final Adjustments

Once assembled, Dr. Tun makes any final adjustments and customizations to accommodate your unique dental anatomy. 

Dr. Tun may alter the positioning of brackets and wires to ensure optimal comfort and effectiveness. This step may involve trimming wires or modifying bracket placement to address specific alignment issues.

Once all changes have been made, you’ll finally be able to begin your journey toward a healthier smile with a new set of braces! 

Traditional and Clear Braces in Tomball, TX

Between the years of 2016 and 2018, data suggest around 60,000 adults took measures to straighten their smiles through orthodontic treatments, like braces. Are you ready to join the leagues of patients aspiring toward their dream smiles? Get started with Dr. Wint Tun at Harmony Orthodontics today. 

Reserve your consultation at our Tomball orthodontic clinic online or at (832) 699-3683.

Ask Our Orthodontist in Woodlands, TX: Can you chew gum with Invisalign®?

For patients and orthodontists alike, Invisalign is a game changer. This remarkable treatment offers patients an effective and virtually invisible way to straighten their pearly whites. Indeed, this innovative teeth-straightening system utilizes clear, removable aligners that slowly reposition teeth over time. Are you ready to explore Invisalign with an orthodontist in Woodlands, TX?

Our orthodontist in Woodlands, TX, can help you determine if this treatment is right for you. So, schedule your Invisalign consultation with Dr. Wint Tun and her friendly team at Harmony Orthodontics today. You can reach our front desk by dialing (832) 699-3683 now.

As with any dental treatment, patients often have questions about their daily habits and how they might be affected during orthodontic treatment. One common query is whether it’s possible to chew gum while undergoing Invisalign treatment.

Understanding Invisalign

Before delving into the gum-chewing dilemma, our orthodontist in Woodlands, TX, takes a closer look at what Invisalign is and how it works

Unlike traditional braces with sharp metal brackets and rough wires, Invisalign employs a series of custom-made, transparent aligners that fit snugly over the teeth. Our orthodontist in Woodlands, TX, crafts these aligner trays using 3D imaging technology, ensuring a precise fit.

Throughout the treatment, the aligner trays gently apply pressure to specific teeth, gradually guiding them into proper alignment. In many cases, patients can improve their smiles up to five months faster with Invisalign compared to conventional metal braces. 

Gum-Chewing and Invisalign: The Real Deal

So, can you chew gum with Invisalign? The simple answer is yes but with some important considerations. Our orthodontist in Woodlands, TX, is here to explore these considerations, which may include:

Remove Aligners

For the best results and to avoid potential damage, Dr. Tun always recommends removing Invisalign aligners before chewing gum. This allows patients to enjoy their gum-chewing experience without compromising the integrity of the aligners.

Chew Sugar-Free Gum 

Chewing gum with sugar can lead to increased plaque and bacteria accumulation, which may undermine the benefits of Invisalign treatment. So, opt for sugar-free gum to avoid potential complications with cavities and tooth decay

Limit Duration

While our orthodontist in Woodlands, TX, often permits sugar-free gum, it’s crucial to limit your gum-chewing sessions. Aim for short, controlled chewing periods to minimize any adverse impact on your Invisalign treatment.

Oral Hygiene Matters 

While many of us rely on gum after meals to keep our smiles clean and fresh, gum is not a replacement for twice-daily brushing and once-daily flossing. Ensure that you brush and floss both your teeth and Invisalign aligners diligently to prevent any residue buildup.

Consult Our Orthodontist in Woodlands, TX, Today

While chewing gum with Invisalign is possible, it requires some thoughtful considerations. Otherwise, this simple chewing habit can affect the effectiveness of Invisalign treatment, significantly compromising the intended results. Always consult with our orthodontist in Woodlands, TX, if you have specific concerns or questions regarding your Invisalign treatment and lifestyle choices. 

Want to learn more about the do’s and don’ts of Invisalign treatment? Contact Dr. Wint Tun at Harmony Orthodontics today. You can request a consultation here, or you may call (832) 699-3683 for more information and appointments.

Ask an Orthodontist in The Woodlands, TX: What is an overbite and how can I treat it?

Dental misalignment can take many forms. Sometimes, only individual teeth are crooked. Other times, your entire bite could be out of alignment, a condition known as malocclusion. Overbites are a type of malocclusion that can cause significant cosmetic issues and even health problems. Fortunately, an orthodontist in The Woodlands, TX, can provide effective treatment with long-lasting results. 

At Harmony Orthodontics, Dr. Wint Tun treats all types of dental misalignment, from minor cosmetic concerns to severe malocclusion. To provide the best possible care, she offers a wide range of treatment options, including traditional and clear braces, as well as Invisalign®

If you are ready to improve your smile and oral health, contact Harmony Orthodontics today.

What is an overbite?

An overbite occurs when the top teeth protrude in front of the bottom teeth. A minor overbite may not require treatment. A severe overbite can affect your facial contours and cause problems with oral function. Studies indicate that this type of malocclusion is quite common and affects about 22% of the population

Symptoms of an Overbite

The most noticeable symptom of an overbite is the effect it can have on your appearance. In severe cases, it could make it difficult to close your mouth all the way. Or your chin could appear to be small or receding. An overbite can also make it difficult to bite down fully. It could also cause breathing difficulties and speech impediments

What causes this type of misalignment?

Genetics are one of the most common causes of an overbite, since genes affect the shape and size of your jaw. Other causes include: 

  • Prolonged thumb sucking or pacifier use: The pressure from non-nutritive sucking can cause adult teeth to emerge at an angle
  • Tongue thrust: This occurs when the tongue presses too far forward when swallowing or speaking. The resulting pressure can push the top teeth outward.
  • Bruxism: Teeth grinding can cause an overbite. Conversely, existing malocclusion increases the risk for bruxism and related problems, such as TMJ Disorder and dental erosion.  

Treatment Options from an Orthodontist in The Woodlands, TX

Braces are the most common treatment for an overbite. Your treatment may take place in two phases. During the first phase, the brackets and wires will straighten crooked teeth. During the second, Dr. Tun may place a small rubber band called an elastic to connect the upper and lower braces. This will cause the top teeth to shift back and the bottom teeth to move forward. However, elastics are not always necessary, which is why Invisalign can sometimes be a great option

In other cases, Dr. Tun may recommend a palatal expander. An expander sits on the roof of the mouth and widens the upper dental arch. Patients of all ages can benefit from expanders, but younger children are often the best candidates, since their jawbones are more malleable. 

In very severe cases, you may require surgery to correct an overbite. Known as orthognathic surgery, this procedure will realign your upper and/or lower jaws. Dr. Tun can refer you to a surgeon for treatment.

Contact Harmony Orthodontics Today

If you struggle with an overbite or any other type of malocclusion, treatment is available!

To schedule a consultation with an orthodontist in The Woodlands, TX, contact us online or call 832-699-3683.