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Is Invisalign Right for Me?

is invisalign right for meInvisalign is a relatively new advancement in orthodontics that can help patients straighten their teeth without visible metal braces. While this may sound like the best thing since sliced bread, it isn’t always right for every patient.

While Invisalign is a great option for most people, there are some cases where Invisalign is not the best course of treatment. For those in need of severe orthodontic treatment, such as to fix a large overbite, more advanced orthodontic treatment may be necessary. However, if your case is relatively mild, Invisalign has been shown to help correct overbites, underbites, crossbites, gapped teeth, and crowded teeth.

Another factor to consider before choosing Invisalign, or similar treatments, is age. While Invisalign is ok to use in older teenagers and adults, it is not recommended for children and younger teenagers. This is mainly due to the fact that their teeth and mouth are still growing.

Perhaps the most important thing to consider before choosing Invisalign is how dedicated you are to following the rules. Invisalign’s main draw for most people is, that aside from being clear and relatively unnoticeable, Invisalign braces can be removed. This is great if you have a special event to attend, a company dinner or social gathering, however remembering to put them back in and to wear them for the prescribed length of time per day is vital to success. As with traditional metal braces, once your treatment plan is complete, you will need to wear a retainer regularly to prevent your teeth shifting back to their original positions.

If you are unsure if you are a candidate for Invisalign braces, a good place to start is to take Invisalign’s short online smile assessment.  If the online assessment says that you may be a candidate, contact our office to schedule an appointment with Dr. Jay for a thorough evaluation of your case.

Why is thumb sucking harmful for teeth?

Most children suck their thumbs at some point in their life.  While most grow out of the habit around 6 or 7 months of age, most stop on their own before they start preschool. However, a small percentage of children continue sucking their thumbs beyond age four.

For infants, thumb or finger sucking is perfectly normal.  Infants have a natural sucking reflex which can be observed in the womb. This sucking reflex not only helps your infant eat, but it also provides a level of comfort and can help your child feel secure.

why is thumb sucking harmful to teethThe American Dental Association recommends that children stop sucking their thumbs by age four to prevent any long term negative effects to their oral development. Aside from the potential for teasing from classmates and the risk of illness from putting dirty thumbs into their mouths, the dangers of thumb sucking can have long-lasting negative consequences for their dental health. Children who suck their thumbs past the age of four risks affecting the correct development of their mouth and jaw.  This damage can change the future placement of permanent teeth, which can require extensive orthodontic treatment to correct when they are older.

One of the most common consequences of extended thumb sucking is an open bite. An open bite is where the front teeth do not come together. The technical term for this condition is a malocclusion. Malocclusion is when misaligned teeth are visible when the mouth is closed, which is often due to the top and bottom front teeth protruding forward.

Another common complication of thumb sucking is an overbite. Similar to malocclusion, overbite is when the front teeth protrude forward. An overbite is different from an open bite in that an overbite is limited to the top front teeth.

Children who suck their thumbs are also at risk for skin issues. When exposed to moisture from the mouth, skin on the thumbs can become vulnerable to injury and infection. The pressure from sucking on the thumb can cause the thumbnail to become warped, cause ingrowing of the nail or peeling.

Some children who suck their thumbs can also experience speech issues. Thumb sucking can alter the formation of the jaw, palate, and teeth, which can lead to lisping and other speech impediments.

To minimize these issues, the ADA recommends a few tactics to parents to help your child stop sucking their thumb:

•             Praise a child for not sucking, instead of reprimanding for doing it.

•             Because sucking can result from feeling insecure, address the “cause of the anxiety and comfort the child.”

•             Provide rewards when a child avoids sucking.

•             Ask a dentist to help during a regular checkup or special visit by encouraging the child and explaining what may happen to the teeth if the child’s habit continues.

If you have any concerns about your child’s thumb-sucking habit, take them to see a dentist sooner rather than later. Taking infants and young children to the dentist for regular dental check-ups can help get them used to going to the dentist and prevent any anxiety as well as identify any concerns early.

Brushing with Braces

If you’re considering braces or are new to them, you may be wondering the best way to maintain your oral hygiene.  This is probably especially true since wearing braces requires more frequent brushing than before you had them.

Swish to Start

Before you begin brushing, rinse your mouth with water.  This will help loosen food and debris stuck in all the nooks and crevices of your braces and teeth.

Brush, Brush, Brush

Use the same technique you would without braces–angle your brush at a 45-degree angle and start brushing at the gumline.  Once the gumline has been cleaned, move down to the top of the brackets, being sure to angle downward to reach all the way around each bracket.  Once the tops of all the brackets have been brushed, repeat the process for the bottom by angling the brush upward.  Be sure to brush the back of your teeth and the interior surface (facing the tongue).

Between the Teeth

Don’t forget to clean between your teeth, too!  Flossing can be a bit trickier with the braces, so many patients find that using a floss threader makes this process easier.

Swish to Finish

Following the steps of brushing and flossing, use mouthwash to do a final rinse.  This will help sweep away any remaining debris or particles.  Mouthwash will help your whole mouth feel fresher and cleaner.

Contact our office to discuss any questions or concerns you have about your orthodontic care, or to schedule your next visit.  In the meantime, keep up the good hygiene habits!

8 Great Ways to Improve Your Smile

Orthodontist in Lafayette

We all know the importance of making a great first impression. Whether you’re going into a job interview or about to go on your first date with someone new, you want to have the confidence that comes with a great smile. After years of wear and tear however, a lot of people end up with teeth that they’re not completely proud to show off. If you feel unhappy with the way your smile looks, don’t worry; there are plenty of options that can help.

Figuring out the best ways to improve your smile can be a daunting task, but our dental team is here to help, offering a range of services dedicated to helping you look and feel your best.

8 Ways to Improve Your Smile

1.    Teeth Whitening

2.    Dental Crowns

3.    Veneers

4.    Tooth Bonding

5.    Braces or Invisalign®

6.    Dental Implants

7.    Brushing and Flossing

8.    Regular Dental Visits

There are a myriad of ways you can improve your smile. Whether you decide to pursue a more in-depth treatment at our clinic or simply want advice on how to improve your oral health routine at home, our dentists are happy to help. Our highly trained team offers all the state of the art services necessary to help keep your mouth healthy and your smile shining bright.

It’s clear that there are a lot of treatments available for anyone looking to improve their smile. With options for any budget, there’s no reason to wait to begin your journey towards a better smile. To schedule a professional cleaning or to speak with someone about a personalized treatment plan, contact our office today!

4906 Ambassador Caffery, Pkway., Building L, Suite 1200, Lafayette, LA 70508

REFERENCES:

http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/ways-to-improve-smile

https://findadentist.ada.org/

Orthodontist in Lafayette | Say Cheese!

70508 Orthodontist

It has long been known that dairy products contain high amounts of calcium, which is important for developing and maintaining strong teeth and bones. However, not all dairy works in the same ways. Did you know that a recent study has found that cheese can actually help protect teeth against cavities?

How does cheese prevent cavities?

Eating cheese helps stimulate the production of saliva in your child’s mouth, which washes away sugars, acids, and bacteria on their teeth. Additionally, cheese is a great source of both calcium and phosphorous, which can help strengthen tooth enamel. What’s more, the scientists who performed the study found that some of the other compounds found in cheese seem to adhere to tooth enamel, further protecting the teeth from acids in the mouth.

Are all cheeses the same?

No, some cheeses are healthier for your family than others. To get the greatest benefit from your child’s cheese intake, stick with real cheese varieties, rather than processed cheeses. American cheese, cheese dips, and pre-packaged cheese products, such as those found in jars or spray cans, have added sugars to enhance their flavor. These sugars can be harmful to teeth, rather than protecting them. In addition, these types of cheese products contain a significantly reduced amount of actual cheese content. These processed cheeses can even wear down tooth enamel, increasing risk of decay.

What kinds of cheese should I give my child?

There are hundreds of types of real cheese available, which are packed with calcium and great for tooth protection. If your child enjoys aged cheeses, Cheddar, Swiss, Monterey jack are all tasty options. If he or she prefers softer cheeses, Mozzarella, Brie, or Camembert may be a great way to make your child smile. Gorgonzola, Roquefort, and other similar cheeses have much to offer for a child with a more expansive palate.

What if we’re on a low-fat diet?

Good news! The fat content of your cheese choices do not affect its ability to protect your child’s teeth. The low-fat or non-fat versions of your child’s favorite varieties of cheese contain just as much calcium, phosphorous, and other tooth-protecting compounds as the full-fat varieties.

With so many great options to choose from, consider offering your child cheese instead of sugary or starchy options for a snack or end of meal treat. Cheese tastes great and is healthy for your child and their teeth. For more ideas for healthy snacking, contact our pediatric dental office.

Resource: https://www.sciencedaily.com

4906 Ambassador Caffery, Pkway., Building L, Suite 1200, Lafayette, LA 70508

Orthodontist in Lafayette | 3 Ways Gummy Vitamins Can Impact Your Child’s Oral Health

Orthodontist Near Me

Multivitamins are an excellent way to help children and adults receive nutrients that their diet lacks. For parents of picky eaters, this can be especially helpful. However, not all vitamins are created equally. Chewable, gummy vitamins are often marketed to children but carry risks to your child’s oral health. Here are three ways gummy vitamins affect your child’s oral health.

1. Gummy Vitamins Stick to Your Child’s Teeth

Like gummy candy, particles of gummy vitamins can easily stick to your child’s teeth. Bacteria that causes decay feeds on sugars and food matters left on your teeth. Because they can be harder to clean by brushing, the risk of developing decay increases. If your child takes a gummy multivitamin, encourage them to brush their teeth thoroughly shortly after consuming one. Our dentist also suggests scheduling your child’s next visit to ensure a professional and thorough cleaning.

2. Gummy Vitamins Contain Sugar

Compared to pills and harder, chewable multivitamins, gummy vitamins generally contain more sugar. Ingredients such as gelatin and sucrose are often found in gummy vitamins. Sugar feeds bacteria that can contribute to tooth decay.

3. Don’t Confuse Them For Candy

Candy contributes to tooth decay because the sticky, sweet, sugary contents cling to teeth, promoting decay. Gummy vitamins are similar because they share several key ingredients with gummy candies. It is vitally important that your child never confuses a multivitamin for a candy. Consuming more vitamins than the suggested amount can lead to serious health complications.

Multivitamins can help balance a diet that does not include key nutrients. While gummy vitamins are often a great way for children to be excited to take a vitamin, consider the risks they pose to your child’s oral health. If your child does regularly take a gummy multivitamin, have them brush their teeth after taking one. Taking a vitamin before brushing your teeth prior to bedtime is one way to ensure your child’s teeth remain clean.

We advise you to consult your child’s pediatrician for information regarding which multivitamin supplements are best for your child. Children should receive at least two dental examinations per year, with additional visits needed for those with a high risk of developing decay or other oral health complications.

To schedule your next visit to our office, please contact our dental team today.

4906 Ambassador Caffery, Pkway., Building L, Suite 1200
Lafayette, LA 70508
(337) 233-3677

Orthodontist in Abbeville | Are You Using the Right Mouthwash?

Abbeville Orthodontist

While it should never be used as a replacement for brushing and flossing, mouthwash can be a helpful addition to your at-home oral healthcare routine. Here’s what you need to know in order to pick the best mouthwash for your needs. For more information, or for a personalized recommendation on the best mouthwash for you, contact our team today!

Choosing the Right Mouthwash

Though there are plenty of brands and varieties of mouthwash available, most fall into one of two general categories as recognized by the ADA: cosmetic and therapeutic. Cosmetic mouthwashes treat symptoms only, such temporarily masking bad breath. Therapeutic mouthwashes aim to treat the cause of an issue. Fluoridated anti-cavity mouthwashes are designed to help strengthen the enamel of your teeth and prevent cavities. Anti-bacterial and antiseptic mouthwashes kill odor and disease-causing bacteria in your mouth, with antiseptic options typically having a higher alcohol content. We can help you better understand the difference and find the mouthwash that’s right for your particular needs.

Should I Use Mouthwash?

If you maintain a proper oral care routine at home and visit your dentist at least twice yearly, you might not need to use mouthwash. However, depending on the unique needs of your teeth, it might be beneficial to talk to our dentist about working a specialized mouthwash into your routine.

Though mouthwash is not an acceptable substitute for regular brushing and flossing, it can be a helpful tool to keep your mouth fresh and clean throughout the day. Swishing mouthwash after eating can help dislodge any food that might be stuck in your teeth and mask any odor that might be lingering on your breath.

Tips for Your Mouthwash Routine

Generally, you want to use mouthwash after flossing, brushing, and rinsing your mouth. Swish the mouthwash around for 30-60 seconds and avoid rinsing, eating, or drinking for at least 30 minutes afterwards to give the mouthwash time to work.

Side Effects of Mouthwash

When used properly, there are minimal risks associated with mouthwash. Many mouthwashes contain alcohol, which can cause a burning sensation in your mouth. If the sensitivity continues long after use or increases over time, ask our dentist about different alcohol-free options. For children, it is important that you supervise their brushing routine, as swallowing mouthwash can be dangerous.

Mouthwash can be a useful tool for anyone. Whether you’re looking to fight bad breath or help protect your mouth from tooth decay or gum disease, the wide array of mouthwashes available means there’s an option for everyone. Talk to our team during your next visit to learn more about the benefits of working mouthwash into your oral care routine.

For more tips on keeping your mouth healthy or to schedule your next appointment, please contact our dental team today!

2639 North Dr.
Abbeville, LA 70510
(337) 893-2125

70517 Orthodontist | The Downsides of Crooked Teeth

Orthodontist in Breaux Bridge

If you have crooked teeth, you may already be looking into orthodontic solutions to improve your smile. However, did you know straightening your teeth can have benefits beyond increased confidence?

Many people may not realize it, but your oral health plays a large role in your body’s overall health. Poor oral health can put you at a much higher risk of stroke, heart disease, illness, miscarriages, and more. Crooked teeth can impede your ability to take proper care of your mouth, putting you at an increased risk of any number of ailments. Below are some of the most common issues exacerbated by crooked teeth. If you are experiencing any of these issues, contact our office today to see how orthodontic care can offer relief.

Gum Disease

Crooked teeth can often be much harder to properly clean than straight teeth. Without regular brushing and flossing, your chance of developing gum disease increases significantly. An untreated buildup of plaque can lead to gingivitis and periodontal disease, the leading cause of tooth loss among adults. Swollen and irritated gums can open the door for bacteria to enter your blood stream and trigger inflammation elsewhere in your body and increase your risk of stroke, heart disease, and more.

It’s important for everyone to maintain a proper oral care routine and visit their dentist at least twice annually for cleanings and examinations. However, even that may not be enough if your teeth are too crooked to properly clean. We offer a variety of orthodontic solutions to help correct misaligned teeth and make it easier for you to take care of your smile. Visit our office today to learn more!

TMD/TMJ Pain

Crooked teeth or an improper bite may increase your risk of developing temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD). While the most common cause of TMD is the clenching and grinding of teeth, a misaligned bite may be a contributing factor. TMD can cause soreness and discomfort in the jaw, clicking sounds while chewing, headaches, and other facial pain.

If you have been experiencing jaw pain, an evaluation may help you determine if treatment for TMD is necessary. Correcting a misaligned bite can go a long way in alleviating some of the discomfort caused by TMD.

Enamel Erosion

Enamel is the thin, tough shell coating the outside of your teeth that protects them from damage and wear. Though a variety of environmental factors can lead to enamel loss, teeth grinding is another common cause. When your teeth are crooked and your bite does not properly align, the simple acts of speaking and chewing can cause your teeth to grind against each other. When left untreated, this can contribute a degradation in your enamel.

A loss in enamel can lead to tooth discoloration, increased pain and sensitivity, and cracks and chips forming in your teeth. There is a lot you can do at home to protect your enamel, including drinking plenty of water, avoiding excessively acidic or sugary foods, and brushing and flossing regularly. However, your crooked teeth may limit your ability to prevent enamel erosion on your own. Contact our office today to see if orthodontic treatment could be the solution you need.

641 South Belle Circle
Breaux Bridge, LA 70517
(337) 332-5716

Othodontist in Lafayette | The Truth Behind “Natural Whitening” Fads

Lafayette Orthodontist

It seems like there is a new headline nearly every week featuring someone who swears their teeth are whiter and brighter due to their natural home remedy for stain removal. These articles showcase the idea that whitening can be cheap and easy, if in some cases unpleasant. It can be tempting to consider trying for brighter, whiter teeth without investing time and money on in-office or at-home whitening under a dentist’s care. However, before you pin your hopes on one of these “natural whitening” methods, take a look at the truth behind some of the recent fads.

Fad 1: Oil Pulling

Oil pulling has been cropping up in headlines for months with claims of a wide variety of potential health benefits. It is a very old folk remedy in which a person swishes a tablespoon of edible oil, such as coconut, sunflower, olive, etc., in their mouth and between teeth for up to 20 minutes daily.

Despite the number of years this practice has existed and the number of health issues it purports to treat, there is no evidence that oil pulling whitens teeth or improves health.

Fad 2: Fruits

Due to celebrity endorsement, some people have begun to try rubbing mashed strawberries on their teeth to try to achieve a whiter smile. Others are using lemon or orange peels, and still others tout the virtues of eating pineapple or swishing apple cider vinegar.

However, there is no science to support any of these claims. In fact, one recent study found that brushing with a mixture of baking soda (which is known to have whitening effects on teeth) and strawberries did not whiten teeth. Even worse, the citric acids found in all of these fruits and vinegars can actually be harmful to the enamel on your teeth.

Fad 3: Hydrogen Peroxide

While it is true that many forms of in-office and over-the-counter teeth whitening make use of hydrogen peroxide, there is more to consider before opening a bottle. The hydrogen peroxide used in professional teeth whitening, whether in-office or at-home, is mixed with other substances and provided in a form designed for use in teeth whitening.

Simply swishing from a bottle of hydrogen peroxide will have little or no effect on the whiteness of your teeth, but may cause irritation to your gums and mouth and can be dangerous if accidentally ingested.

If you want whiter, brighter teeth, there are safe and effective ways to achieve your goal. Talk with our doctor for a recommendation for what kind of whitening will be best for your needs. For more information about whitening, contact our office.

4906 Ambassador Caffery, Pkway., Building L, Suite 1200
Lafayette, LA 70508
(337) 233-3677

Abbeville Orthodontist | Sleep Could Be Harming Your Teeth

Orthodontist Near Me

Do you grind your teeth while you sleep? Occasional bruxing, or grinding, of the teeth is not a cause for concern. For some patients, however, clenching and grinding are an involuntary and frequent occurrence. In these cases, grinding may be happening almost every night or even while they are awake. This is a far more serious issue known as bruxism.

Bruxism occurs most often during sleep and can have a variety of causes. The most common issues that can lead to bruxism are stress and poor alignment of the teeth and/or jaws.

Because bruxism most frequently happens while the patient is sleeping, it can be challenging to diagnose. However, there are a number of symptoms that may indicate bruxism. Some of these include:

  • Sore teeth
  • Worn, flattened, fractured, or chipped teeth
  • Swollen gums
  • Headache, especially when waking
  • Grinding sounds during sleep
  • Biting/chewing damage to inside of cheek
  • Sensitivity to heat, cold, or brushing
  • Hairline cracks or worn enamel
  • Tense or sore jaw and/or facial muscles

Talk to our dentist about your symptoms. Let us know if a sleeping partner has told you they have heard you grinding your teeth while you are sleeping. We will examine your teeth and jaw for wear and sensitivity. If bruxism is diagnosed, there are multiple treatment options that may be recommended, depending on the probable cause.

Orthodontic treatment may be recommended to treat your bruxism in some cases. This may include the fabrication and use of a night guard or treatment for misalignment.


A night guard is a custom-fabricated oral appliance that is placed between the upper and lower teeth during sleep. This device provides a flexible barrier that prevents wear on your teeth and reduces the pressure caused by grinding, which can alleviate other symptoms.

Treatment for misalignment will generally involve some type of braces or plastic aligners that will gently move teeth into proper positioning within the mouth. This can help relieve symptoms and prevent their recurrence if the bruxism is caused by the misalignment.

Left untreated, bruxism can lead to more serious oral health issues. If you believe you may have bruxism, contact our office for a consultation today.

2639 North Dr.
Abbeville, LA 70510
(337) 893-2125