February 15th, 2019
Birthdays. Valentine’s Day. Halloween. A trip to the movies. There are just some occasions where a sweet treat is on the menu. Now that you are getting braces, does that mean you have to give up desserts completely? Not at all! The trick to finding the right treat is to know which foods are safe for your braces and which should wait until your treatment is complete.
There are some foods which should always be avoided. They fall into three main categories:
- Hard and Crunchy
Hard candies, peanut brittle, popcorn balls, nutty candy bars—anything that is hard to bite into is hard on your braces, and can damage brackets or even break them.
Caramels, taffy, chewy squares and rolls, licorice and other super-chewy candies can break brackets and bend wires. Not to mention, they are really difficult to clean from the surface of teeth and braces.
Soft foods are generally fine, but soft and sticky candies are another thing entirely. Gumdrops, jelly beans, most gum and other sticky treats stick to your braces, making it hard to clean all that sugar from around your brackets. And even soft sticky candies can bend wires or damage your brackets.
As you have probably noticed, almost all candy falls into one of these categories. Of course, while sugary treats shouldn’t be a major part of anyone’s diet, and careful brushing and flossing are always on the menu if you do indulge, wearing braces does not mean giving up on treats entirely. A better alternative when you are craving something sweet is to choose something that avoids crunchy, chewy and sticky hazards, such as soft puddings, cupcakes or cookies. There are even some candy brands that are safe for your braces.
Talk to Dr. Michael Wall the next time you visit our Statesboro, GA office about the dos and don’ts of desserts—we have tasty suggestions that will make those special occasions both sweet for you and safe for your orthodontic work!
February 8th, 2019
Valentine’s Day, also known as Saint Valentine’s Day, has been said to originate with a Catholic priest named Valentine several thousand year ago. Valentine defied the emperor at the time by secretly marrying men and their brides after the emperor had made it illegal to marry. Emperor Claudius II did this because he wanted as many single young men to fight in his war as he could get.
Valentine disobeyed the emperor’s edict by continuing to marry couples until he was sentenced to death. Before his execution, he sent a letter to a secret love and signed it “From your Valentine.” Dr. Michael Wall and our team have come up with some suggestions on how you can celebrate this Valentine’s Day, whether you have a valentine of your own or not.
Valentine's Day Ideas
- Enjoy a tasty treat. There are plenty of options when it comes to cooking and/or baking on Valentine’s Day. Make your significant other his or her favorite meal or sweet treat, or make your own favorite dish to enjoy on this day. Oh, and be sure to make enough for leftovers!
- Make a personalized card. Instead of buying a card from the grocery store, take the time to make your own for a loved one. People love handwritten notes, especially when it’s from someone special. If you’re single this Valentine’s Day, make a card for fellow single friend to brighten the day and remind the person that he or she is also loved.
- Watch a movie. We all know there are plenty of romance movies out there. Put on your favorite romantic comedy, or pick up your significant other’s favorite movie to watch together. Even better, if you’re single, pick up your own favorite movies to watch to pass the time this Valentine’s Day.
- Do nothing! We all know Valentine’s Day can sometimes get a lot of hype. If you’re worried about not making a reservation in time, don’t feel like planning an extravagant night out, or simply not in the holiday mood this year, spend your day sitting back and relaxing.
Valentine’s Day is a time to celebrate love and spend quality hours with the people you care about the most. Whether you’re in a relationship or single, take some time today to appreciate those you love in your life.
We wish you a happy Valentine’s Day celebration and look forward to seeing you at our Statesboro, GA office during your next appointment.
February 1st, 2019
Orthodontic treatment should begin earlier than most parents are apt to assume. According to the American Association of Orthodontists, orthodontic treatment should start at around seven years of age.
Dr. Michael Wall can evaluate your child’s existing and incoming teeth early on to determine whether treatment might be necessary or not.
What is early orthodontic treatment?
Early orthodontic treatment usually begins when a child is eight or nine years old. In stage one, bite problems such as underbites and the jaw’s growth pattern are corrected. It can also help to make room in the mouth for the permanent teeth to take their proper places as they come in, which reduces the chance that the patient will require extractions later, due to overcrowding.
Does your child need early orthodontic treatment?
If you notice any of the following characteristics in your son or daughter, you may want to have a chat with Dr. Michael Wall.
- Early loss of baby teeth (before age five)
- Late loss of baby teeth (after age five or six)
- Your child’s teeth do not meet properly or at all
- Your child is a mouth breather
- Front teeth are crowded (you probably wouldn’t see this until your child is about seven or eight)
- Protruding teeth, typically in the front
- Biting or chewing difficulties
- A speech impediment
- Your child’s jaw shifts when he or she opens or closes the mouth
- Your child is older than five years and still sucks a thumb
What are the benefits of seeking orthodontic treatment early?
There are many benefits to early orthodontic treatment. One of the biggest is that, because a child’s jaw and bones are soft and pliable, corrective procedures such as braces can work much faster than they do for adults.
Treatment at our Statesboro, GA office can enable your child to avoid lengthy procedures, extraction, or surgery in adulthood. Early orthodontic care will give your son or daughter a healthy, stable smile.
January 25th, 2019
Dr. Michael Wall and our team recommend always wearing a protective mouthguard to participate in most physical sports. We especially encourage this if you have braces that can potentially cut your mouth or cause damage to your teeth. You have various choices to consider when you’re looking for a protective mouthguard.
One option is a full facial guard, which is often used for contact sports, such as football or hockey. This type offers full protection of the face from external impact. You should also consider an additional mouthguard to protect yourself from cuts inside your mouth, and avoid possible damage to your braces.
Boil-and-bites are another version of mouthguard that can be used for more physical sports. This type is used just the way its name implies: You warm the mouthguard in water to soften the material, then bite down gently once it’s at the correct temperature to form it into the shape of your mouth. These are fine to use temporarily, but they don’t always provide the best protection if they don’t fit properly.
Another option is to have Dr. Michael Wall make a custom mouthguard for you. The mouthguard will be designed with built-in layers to protect both your teeth and braces when it’s worn. Having Dr. Michael Wall create a custom-fitted mouthguard will ensure optimal protection and a comfortable fit whenever you participate in physical activities.
Protecting your teeth and braces is essential when you compete in sports. Accidents happen, and having a preventive mouthguard can potentially save you from oral pain and damaged braces. Our Statesboro, GA office is happy to assist you in creating a custom-made mouthguard for any sports activities you want to pursue.
If you’ve experienced a mouth injury that has caused damage to your braces, please contact us immediately so we can fix the problem right away. Remember, prevention is key when it comes to your oral health!
January 18th, 2019
It’s not unusual for a patient to be unaware of the range of services that orthodontists can provide for their patients. Knowing which services Dr. Michael Wall and our team perform can help you better understand your options and why we might select a particular method of treatment.
Both orthodontists and dentists care about good oral health, but they approach treatment in differing ways. You know that dentists clean teeth and treat gum disease, tooth decay, toothaches, and other oral health problems.
But what does your orthodontist do besides help straighten teeth with the help of braces? Orthodontists are commonly known to help fix or realign crooked teeth. Many of the patients at Wall Orthodontics come in for appointments that relate to their braces.
Dr. Michael Wall and our team recommend that children be seen around the age of seven to evaluate their potential orthodontic needs. Common problems may include overcrowding of teeth, large gaps or spaces, and overbites or underbites, among other things.
In order to address these common problems, we offer several methods of treatment besides standard braces and retainers:
- Space maintainers can be used to fill the spaces left by missing baby teeth so other teeth don’t shift and occupy the adult tooth’s location.
- Jaw repositioning appliances, sometimes known as splints, are used to reposition the upper and lower jaw bones correctly.
- Lip and cheek bumpers can also be used to avoid having to pull teeth. These bumpers are placed in the mouth so the patient’s lips or cheeks don’t put pressure on specific teeth.
- A more common appliance that orthodontists use is expanders. If your mouth is crowded, expanders will be placed on the curve of the upper and/or lower jaw(s) in order to make room for teeth to be properly aligned.
- As a last resort, an orthodontist may turn to headgear. This is normally provided to slow down the growth of the jaw. It must be worn a number of hours each day.
When you visit our Statesboro, GA office, we will go over these options with you and pick the best course of treatment, depending on the current state of your oral health.
No matter which oral appliances you end up with, Dr. Michael Wall and our team will go over all the available options with you to give you a beautiful smile. If you have questions regarding your treatment method, don’t hesitate to call our office and we can provide you with some insight.
Understanding the different options your orthodontist can provide should make matters less confusing if you should need to select a method of treatment.
January 11th, 2019
We know that being a teen is hard, and we know that adding braces to the mix can often elicit a less-than-enthusiastic response. Luckily, teens can now have straighter teeth without the hassle, discomfort, and embarrassment of metal braces!
Dr. Michael Wall proudly offer Invisalign Teen clear aligners to our adolescent patients.
One of the main benefits of Invisalign Teen aligners is that they are virtually invisible. They are also removable, which means teen patients are free to eat anything they choose. The aligners are also easily replaceable, should they ever get lost! The best part? They make it easy to keep up with a healthy brushing and flossing routine.
The aligners are made from a lightweight, plastic material that fits precisely on the teeth. Invisalign Teen treatment has become a popular treatment here at Statesboro, GA because it helps our younger patients achieve a straight, beautiful smile without undergoing the dreaded metal-mouth.
For more information on Invisalign Teen clear aligners, please feel free to give us a call at our Dr. Michael Wall office today!
January 4th, 2019
If you were to put your toothbrush bristles under a high-powered microscope, what you would see might give you nightmares: millions of bacteria, busily crawling up and down your toothbrush bristles, consuming proteins that came from your mouth, and still clinging to the bristles even after you’ve rinsed them with water.
Rinsing your toothbrush after brushing removes some of those ferociously hungry bacteria, but not all. The American Dental Association says that bacterial infestations develop on toothbrushes within a month of daily use. The ADA also states that unless a toothbrush is sterilized before being packaged, it’s going to come with bacteria – free of charge!
Germs and Frayed Bristles: the Demise of a Toothbrush
Dr. Michael Wall and our staff recommend that you toss your old toothbrush in the trash and purchase a new one every three months. Children tend to bite on their toothbrushes, which makes the bristles degrade and fray faster. Chances are kids may need to have their toothbrushes changed more frequently.
Where do they hide?
Bacteria are tenacious little germs that head for those concealed areas between toothbrush bristles. They are highly adaptable and exist in every type of extreme environment. Some people actually go so far as to put their toothbrush in a microwave for a few seconds to kill germs, but this doesn't always work either. In fact, you may only end up with a toothbrush that’s as bendable as a Gumby doll – and still covered with germs.
Feed a Cold, Starve a Fever, and Get Rid of Your Toothbrush
When you have a head cold, your mouth is teeming with bacteria gleefully roaming around, and gobbling mucus and dead skin cells. If you brush your teeth while suffering a sinus condition, the brush will act like a magnet for ravenous bacteria. Use your old toothbrush while you are sick, but as soon as you feel better, throw it away and get a new one. Otherwise you could possibly re-infect yourself with the same cold germs!
December 28th, 2018
We’ve been celebrating the new year for a really, really long time. It goes way back, but it started formally in 1582, when Pope George XIII made January 1st the official holiday for ushering in the new year. The idea was to yell, cheer, and blow horns to scare away all the evil spirits of the previous year with the hope that the new one would be filled with happiness and opportunity.
While scaring away evil spirits isn’t what’s on our mind these days, we still ring in the New Year by cheering and hollering with friends and family. It’s a time to set new goals, refocus on old ones, and look forward to all the surprises the coming year will bring.
Whether you’re saying hello to the New Year snuggled up at home on your couch in the Statesboro, GA area or by gathering your friends for a social celebration, here are some tips to help ensure you welcome this new chapter with a smile.
Tips for a great New Year’s Eve celebration from Wall Orthodontics
- Stay safe. This one’s vital, because nothing puts a damper on your party like an emergency trip to the hospital. Stay responsible and try to plan ahead, whether that means taking a taxi, staying with a friend, or recruiting a designated driver. Do what you have to do to keep yourself and everyone around you safe.
- Spend time with the people you love most. The way we see it, the whole point of the holiday season is to cherish your family and friends. Regardless of what you’re doing, make sure there’s something for everyone. It’s essential to do something the whole group will enjoy!
- Smile! Whether you get all dressed to go out or have a quiet gathering with family and friends, make sure you accessorize with a smile. There’s always something to smile about!
We can all agree that change can be scary sometimes, but ringing in the New Year is an observance we all welcome with open arms. We hope you’ll enjoy this transitional holiday in a fun, healthy, and safe way. You have endless possibilities ahead of you!
From Dr. Michael Wall, have a fantastic New Year!
December 21st, 2018
These days, it’s become more common to see adults at our office getting their teeth straightened with Invisalign clear aligners . . . that is, if you can see them! Whether they are seeking to overcome the stigma that “braces are just for kids,” or simply want straighter teeth without a mouth full of metal, Invisalign is an effective and easy solution.
According to the American Association of Orthodontists, from 1994 to 2010 the number of adults 18 and older who request braces increased by 58 percent: from 680,000 to 1.1 million a year. Many adults enjoy how discreet the aligners are and that the user doesn’t need to avoid any foods or make dietary changes the way you would with traditional braces. Also, each treatment is unique to the patient.
With an Invisalign treatment, you can expect to enjoy the following benefits over traditional braces:
- The total treatment time is more precise with Invisalign because your treatment is modeled by a computer. Traditional braces depend more on an estimate and aren’t as exact.
- You’ll make fewer trips to our Statesboro, GA office, since you’re able to change your trays on your own every few weeks or whatever is prescribed.
- Without brackets to place over your teeth, there’s less risk to the health of your tooth enamel.
- Invisalign aligners are clear and practically invisible, so most people won’t even know you’re wearing them!
If you’re interested in Invisalign as a treatment option, please let Dr. Michael Wall know. We’d be happy to help you on your journey to a straighter, healthier smile!
December 14th, 2018
Not many people look forward to going to the dentist, especially if you already know that you need dental work done. A small amount of anxiety is one thing, but dental phobia, or odontophobia, is something else entirely. It is an irrational fear of going to the dentist. If you have it, you might be unable to force yourself to go to the dentist, even if you are suffering from bad tooth pain. The effects of dental phobia can be serious, but there are ways to overcome your fear of the dentist to help you achieve and maintain good oral health.
Causes of Dental Phobia
You can develop dental phobia for a variety of reasons, including the following.
- Fear of pain, which you might acquire based on others’ horror stories of their trips to the dentist.
- Fear of needles, such as those used to provide anesthesia.
- A previous bad experience, when something went wrong and pain was intolerable.
- Lack of control from not knowing what is happening or how uncomfortable a procedure might be.
Consequences of Dental Phobia
Avoiding the dentist can have long-term consequences. When caught early, tooth decay is easily stopped with a minor filling. If you let the decay go, you can end up losing your tooth and have chronic pain. A dentist can also check for early signs of gum disease, which, if left untreated, could lead to losing one or more teeth.
Even if you do not have a particular problem, going to a dentist for regular cleanings is a good idea because the hygienist can point out where you need to brush better and remove the plaque from your teeth.
Getting Over Fear of the Dentist
Most patients with dental phobia can get over their condition. These are some approaches that Dr. Michael Wall and our team recommend:
- Explain each step of the process
- Let you know that you can stop the procedure at any time
- Encourage you to come with a family member or friend
- Help you with deep breathing techniques
December 7th, 2018
We probably all remember sitting through history lessons during our schooling years. Revolutionary war heroes, English royals, and pop-culture icons filled the pages of our textbooks. Although you may recall a detail or two about their historical significance, how much do you know about their teeth?
Picture England in the mid 1500s. People wore frilly clothes as they hustled along the street, and talked about the latest import from the Indies: sugar. Wealthy Brits did not hesitate to indulge their sweet tooth, and it was no different for the monarch, Queen Elizabeth I.
The queen was especially fond of sweets, but not so fond of the dentist. Her teeth rotted; they turned black and gave off a foul odor. Eventually, Elizabeth lost so many teeth that people found it difficult to understand her when she spoke.
Flash forward to the Revolutionary-era colonies in the 1770s and we encounter the famous dentures of George Washington. They were not made of wood, but rather a combination of ivory and human teeth, some of which were his own pulled teeth and some he purchased from slaves.
Washington did not practice proper dental hygiene throughout his life. He began to suffer dental problems as early as age 24, when he had his first tooth pulled. By the time he was inaugurated in as the first president in 1789, he had only one tooth remaining in his mouth, which was pulled in 1796.
Washington’s dentures were made too wide and never quite fit his mouth properly. He complained that they were painful to wear and caused his jaw to protrude visibly outward.
If you’ve heard of Doc Holliday, you know him as the gun-toting, mustached criminal that ran the Wild West in the late 1800s. You might be surprised to learn that John Henry “Doc” Holliday actually had a career as a dentist.
He graduated from dental school in 1872 and began to practice in Griffin, Georgia. Holliday was later diagnosed with tuberculosis and his violent coughing fits during exams drove patients away. Jobless, he packed his bags for Texas and spent the rest of his days running from town to town as a criminal.
The Beatles brought pop music and British culture to their fans, as well as … teeth? In the mid-1960s, John Lennon had a molar removed that he presented as a gift to his housekeeper, Dorothy. Dorothy’s daughter was a huge fan of the Beatles and he thought she might like to a keepsake. Her family held onto the tooth until 2011, when they auctioned it off to a Canadian dentist for $31,000.
These historical figures had very different experiences with their teeth, but it’s safe to say a bit of extra brushing and flossing could’ve saved them a lot of trouble. Whether you’re queen, president, or an average citizen, it’s up to you to practice good dental hygiene!
Ask a member of our team at our Statesboro, GA office if you have any questions about how to keep your teeth in top shape!
November 30th, 2018
When patients ask Dr. Michael Wall about who benefits from Invisalign clear aligners, the simple answer is this: almost everyone. Unlike conventional braces, they are removable, which makes eating and cleaning your teeth much easier.
They are molded to fit each patient’s mouth and are practically invisible. Because aligners apply less force in straightening teeth than metal braces, the risk of harm to your teeth is reduced.
Benefits to adults
Traditional braces are associated with children and teenagers. Many adults want to have their teeth straightened but hesitate to wear metal braces. They also worry about having to change their diet and not be able to eat the foods they normally enjoy.
If you are an adult who’s considering braces, our team at Wall Orthodontics will tell you Invisalign aligners is a great option for discreet teeth straightening. Your teeth will be straightened with virtually invisible braces.
The aligners are easily removable when you eat, so you can enjoy any food you normally would consume. You simply clean your teeth normally after eating and you won’t have to worry about getting food stuck in your braces.
If there is a special occasion during which you do not want to have any braces in your mouth at all, you can remove the aligners for up to four hours without causing any damage.
Benefits to teenagers
Dr. Michael Wall and our team know that teenagers are often involved in sports and other after-school activities, and generally lead pretty busy lives. If your teen plays a musical instrument, you may be concerned that having metal in his or her mouth will interfere with ability to play. Invisalign aligners avoid the damage that can happen with traditional metal braces.
For sports that require players to wear mouthguards, the expense of specially constructed mouthguards to fit over braces is also eliminated. The aligners can be removed during sports activities and teens can easily wear a mouthguard. Teenagers who play musical instruments simply remove the aligners while practicing or playing in the band or orchestra.
Teenagers routinely have trouble flossing teeth between the wires and brackets of traditional braces, but Invisalign allows for easy dental cleaning. Since Invisalign aligners are removable, brushing and flossing are simpler and more likely to be performed.
For more information about Invisalign or Invisalign Teen® treatment, or to schedule an initial consultation with Dr. Michael Wall, please give us a call at our convenient Statesboro, GA office!
November 23rd, 2018
You might be surprised to see one of your second grader’s friends with a dental appliance. Isn’t orthodontic work just for teenagers? And, if not, should your seven-year-old be sporting braces right now? The answer to both of those questions is “Not necessarily.” Two-phase treatment is a process designed to correct issues that arise during different times in your child’s life.
First Phase Treatment
We recommend that every child have an orthodontic evaluation around the age of seven to determine if there is a problem that would benefit from early treatment. First phase orthodontics is not the same as orthodontics for older patients. The focus here is on the developing bone and muscle structures which form your child’s bite and provide space for the permanent teeth when they arrive.
There are some clear-cut orthodontic goals that are much easier to attain when children’s bones are still growing.
- Reducing Crowding
If your child’s mouth is small, the permanent teeth will have little room to fit in when they arrive. We may recommend gently enlarging the upper dental arch with the use of a palatal expander. This device will provide room for the adult teeth, and could potentially shorten second phase treatment time. Sometimes the extractions necessary to create more room for permanent teeth in later years can be avoided, as well as the possibility of an impacted tooth—one which doesn’t erupt because it is blocked by other teeth.
- Dealing with Jaw and Bite Concerns
Bones and muscles do not always develop properly, leading to problems with jaw and facial structure. Your younger child still has growing bones, so this is a great time to gently re-form the jaw into a healthy shape. Problems caused by crossbites, underbites, open bites, and other malocclusions can be reduced with early treatment.
- Protecting Teeth
If your child has protruding front teeth, these teeth are more likely to be damaged in falls, at play, or while participating in sports. We can gently reposition them.
Second Phase Treatment
Second phase treatment is designed for your older child. After a resting period, when the permanent teeth finish erupting, we should see your child to evaluate any further orthodontic needs. This is the time to finish the process of straightening the teeth and making sure that each tooth fits together properly for a comfortable and healthy bite. This phase usually makes use of braces or aligners, and can take approximately 12-24 months.
Two-phase treatment is not necessary for every child. But there are some unique reasons that early orthodontics might be recommended for your child, even if it’s clear that more orthodontic work will be needed later. Make an appointment with Dr. Michael Wall at our Statesboro, GA office, and let’s evaluate your child’s orthodontic needs, whether now or in the future, for a lifetime of beautiful smiles.
November 16th, 2018
Many teens want straighter teeth but dread a mouth full of metal. Because of that, Invisalign Teen treatment has become a popular choice among teens. It produces great results without the hassle of traditional braces.
If you’re like most teens at our Statesboro, GA office, you love hanging out with your friends, and you don’t want to look different or have to watch what you eat. If you’re unsure about the benefits of Invisalign Teen clear aligners, we’re here to explain some of the perks.
You can eat what your friends eat
Invisalign Teen aligners can be removed easily for meals and snacks, so you can eat just like you normally would. You don’t need to worry about food getting stuck in your braces or a bracket popping off. Unlike with braces, you can enjoy the following foods with your friends during Invisalign Teen straightening treatment:
- Popcorn at the movies
- Trail mix with dried fruit ribs and chicken wings
- A peanut butter sandwich, apples, and carrot sticks
You can take care of your teeth more easily
Since Invisalign Teen aligners are removable, you won’t have to worry about finding tooth decay once your braces are removed. You can brush and floss your teeth as you normally would, just by taking the trays out of your mouth.
People won’t know you’re wearing them
We’ve saved the best for last: Invisalign Teen aligners are nearly invisible. Chances are, the only people who will know you’re getting your teeth straightened are the people you tell yourself!
Getting straighter teeth can be a massive confidence-booster in the long run. With Invisalign Teen clear aligners, the treatment isn’t that bad! Learn more at our Statesboro, GA office.
November 9th, 2018
Brushing your teeth regularly is one of the most crucial parts of maintaining good oral health, and perhaps the most fundamental, however, there are also other elements involved. Flossing, for instance, is also vital; some experts would say, and Dr. Michael Wall and our team would agree, that it holds just as much importance as brushing your teeth. To give you a better idea of why, here are some reasons that flossing is so vital to your oral health.
Getting in-between the Teeth
While brushing your teeth effectively cleans all of the areas of your teeth that are visible, or otherwise not touching, flossing is vital because it reaches all of the areas between your teeth that you cannot see, and subsequently cannot clean using a toothbrush. These areas are among the most sensitive and vulnerable parts of your mouth because they are most susceptible to plaque and tartar buildup.
Reducing Bad Breath
It is not uncommon for someone who brushes their teeth once or twice a day to still have bad breath. The reason being is that bad breath is often created by smelly bacteria that lives in between your teeth, as well as other areas of your mouth that are not accessible using a toothbrush. And that is why flossing is one of the best ways to reduce or eliminate bad breath. Still skeptical? Try flossing your teeth with unscented floss, then smell it after, that awful scent is the source of your bad breath. Coupled with frequent brushing of your teeth, you will find that flossing can really help that stinky breath.
Brushing your teeth twice a day is hard enough, add flossing on top and it can be difficult to establish a regular habit. However, doing so is totally worth it; just look at the aforementioned reasons why. Use these for motivation the next time you don’t feel like flossing, and let us know if it worked at your next visit to our Statesboro, GA office.
November 2nd, 2018
You went through a lot of effort and work to achieve your perfect smile. You wore your Invisalign aligner trays, brushed and flossed diligently, and now your treatment is done! What happens now?
In order to keep your teeth healthy and beautiful, you should keep several practices in play.
Although everyone’s needs are different, many patients require a retainer after Invisalign treatment. If a retainer is recommended by Dr. Michael Wall, use it as directed. Not wearing retainers could result in shifting teeth and potentially ruin your results.
It’s also recommended that you avoid hard, crunchy foods for the first few weeks as your teeth adjust. For younger patients, retainers are normally worn until the wisdom teeth come in or are extracted.
Brushing and Flossing
It should come as no surprise that flossing should still be done every day to remove plaque, which can develop into tartar or calculus. The build-up can lead to gingivitis and gum disease.
Your gums may be more sensitive for a week or two after your orthodontic work is completed. A warm saltwater rinse may relieve discomfort.
Because your teeth have been protected by your Invisalign aligners and are now fully exposed, they may be more sensitive the first few weeks after treatment. If that’s the case, we can recommend a sensitive toothpaste to relieve your discomfort. If your teeth are stained, a professional whitening treatment may be considered.
Regular Dental Checkups
Regular dental exams ensure your teeth stay healthy for life. Professional cleanings, X-rays, and cavity treatment can be addressed by staying on top of your routine checkups.
If you have any questions about how to care for your teeth after your Invisalign program, please ask our Statesboro, GA team. We want you to keep your healthy smile and enjoy the results of your Invisalign treatment.
October 26th, 2018
Halloween is a time to enjoy delicious candies you might avoid the rest of the year. Youngsters who get to dress up and ask for sweet treats out trick-or-treating cherish this holiday.
If you have braces on, Dr. Michael Wall would like you still to have fun and celebrate Halloween this year!
It’s easy to get carried away on Halloween by eating too much candy at once. Most parents try to prevent the all-too-common sugar high their kids experience on Halloween night. While there are certain candies that should be avoided, not all candy will cause problems for kids with braces. After trick-or-treating, you could trade unsafe candies with siblings and/or friends so they don’t miss out on the sugar buzz.
Dr. Michael Wall and our team have come up with a list of teeth-friendly treats that should keep you from worrying about breaking your braces. We also came up with a list of candies to avoid, so as to save you a trip to our Statesboro, GA office. Remember to be extra careful when you indulge this Halloween!
- Solid chocolate: Milk, white, or dark
- Nougat-filled candy bars: Three Musketeers
- Powdery candy: Sweet Tarts, Pixie Stix
- Mint-flavored candy
- Malted milk balls
- Soft cookies
- Peanut butter crackers
Avoid These Treats
- Sticky candy: Starbursts, toffee, Tootsie Rolls
- Hard candy: Suckers, Jolly Ranchers
- Fruit chews
- Caramel apples
When in doubt, ask Dr. Michael Wall if a particular candy is safe to eat when you have braces. We hope you enjoy your Halloween sweets, and look forward to seeing you at your next appointment! Happy Halloween!
October 19th, 2018
Your feedback is very important to us at Wall Orthodontics. We always want to make sure that our practice is meeting its full potential, so whether you’ve visited Dr. Michael Wall once or been a loyal patient throughout the years, we encourage you to share your thoughts about your experience with us!
You can do this easily by giving us a review on our Facebook page or writing down your comments below. If you feel more comfortable, you’re always welcome to give our Statesboro, GA office a call, too! We feel fortunate to have you all as patients and look forward to reading all your feedback!
October 12th, 2018
Perhaps you are already planning for the years when your teenager will need orthodontic work. But hearing that your seven-year-old would benefit from orthodontic treatment? That might come as a complete surprise! It’s a recommendation with real benefits, though—early intervention can save children from tooth and bite problems now, and even simplify their future orthodontic care.
Treating young children for orthodontic problems is called “interceptive orthodontics.” When the permanent teeth start arriving, there might be problems with spacing, bite or protruding teeth. Often, treatment while the bones are still growing is the best way to prevent more serious problems later.
We recommend that your child have an orthodontic consultation with Dr. Michael Wall around the age of seven. This exam is especially important for children who may have been thumb suckers or used a pacifier after the age of three, or if you notice obvious teeth, speech or bite issues.
- Crowding and Spacing Issues
Teeth are arranged in two crescent shapes called arches. When the arch of your child’s mouth is small, the permanent teeth can become very crowded as they erupt. Formerly, teeth were removed to make more room. Now, early use of a palatal expander can enlarge the upper dental arch in order to help the permanent teeth come in without crowding. The need for future tooth extraction is reduced, and there is a better chance for correct spacing and alignment with early treatment.
On the other hand, when a child loses a tooth too soon, too much space left between baby teeth can also be a problem. The remaining teeth can shift, leaving the wrong place open for the adult tooth to come in. We might recommend a space maintainer so that there is no shifting of the teeth and there is room for the proper adult tooth to erupt in its proper spot.
- Malocclusions (Bite Problems)
Some malocclusions, like a crossbite, can be caused by problems with jaw and facial structure. Again, we might recommend a palatal expander to help the upper arch of the teeth to fit properly with the lower jaw. Problems with overbite, open bite and other bite issues can also be addressed at this age if necessary. Early care can discourage TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorders, reduce speech problems, and improve facial symmetry.
- Protruding Front Teeth
Teeth that protrude are much more likely to be damaged when playing or after a fall. Methods such as braces or appliances can reposition them and protect them from breaking or fracturing.
Many children will not need early intervention, and many can wait until they are older for orthodontic work. But if your young child has orthodontic problems that should be addressed, early intervention can do more than set the stage for successful orthodontics in the teen years. Talk to our Statesboro, GA team about what we can do for your child. Interceptive orthodontics can protect teeth, guide jaw and speech development, modify harmful oral habits and help to adjust bite problems before they become serious—when it comes to your child’s dental health, the best solutions are early ones!
October 5th, 2018
If this is your child’s first holiday season with braces, here are some tips on how to help children get the most enjoyment from these celebrations without compromising their braces or leaving them feeling left out of the festivities.
When you think dental health, “Halloween” is not usually the first thing that comes to mind. Halloween can be tricky, but with some planning and intervention, you can make sure your child doesn’t miss out on the treats that make the holiday a favorite.
Braces present other challenges besides dealing with the scary amount of sugar in every trick-or-treat bag. Certain treats can be a challenge to clean from braces, and can even cause broken brackets and wires. How to avoid these frightful results?
- Go through your child’s treat bag when you get home after neighborhood trick-or-treating. Anything which can damage braces, such as regular gum, candy with nuts or caramel, or hard or chewy candies should be discarded. Perhaps you and your child can choose a selection of soft candy such as plain chocolate and peanut butter cups to trade for those tricky treats. Your child’s favorite soft fruits, cupcakes, and cookies could also be safe substitutes.
- Party time? Candy apples, bowls of candy corn, and popcorn balls are favorite treats at Halloween parties, but very bad for braces. Help your child recognize what should be avoided before attending, and suggest safe options like soft cupcakes.
- Finally, even safe treats will leave more sugar than normal in your child’s mouth and therefore more potential for plaque build-up. Brush and floss more often, if needed, and rinse regularly with water.
Talk candy guidelines over in advance with your child. If you’d like, Dr. Michael Wall can recommend safe alternatives. With your help, Halloween won’t be a fearsome experience for you or your trick-or-treater.
Now, this is a holiday to be thankful for! Almost all of your traditional favorites are perfect for family members with braces.
- Appetizers: Offer soft food options such as silky cheeses and deviled eggs instead of crunchy vegetables, chips, and nuts.
- Dinner: Turkey is a required dish on many tables, and no need to miss out! Just make sure pieces are bite-size and off the bone. Creamy mashed potatoes and gravy and jellied cranberry sauce are also braces-friendly traditions. Any cooked vegetable should be fine, but do cut the corn from the cob first. Dressing is a great side dish if your child avoids any crunchy tops and edges, as are soft, nut-free rolls and muffins.
- Dessert: Pumpkin pie, cheesecake, and apple pie with ice cream are all safe (and delicious) choices. Leave the pecan pie, caramel sauce, and anything nutty or chewy off your child’s menu. And remember to brush and floss carefully after the feast!
If you are concerned that following the usual food guidelines might be a little more difficult during this time of year, talk to us. Dr. Michael Wall and our team are happy to suggest ways to make your child’s first holidays with braces memorable for all the right reasons. The last thing you’ll want is an emergency visit to our Statesboro, GA office!
September 28th, 2018
You’ve selected the Invisalign system because of the many benefits Invisalign offers: comfort, convenience, appearance, and even potentially shorter treatment time! And to add to the good news, caring for your Invisalign aligners is easy and uncomplicated. Follow these simple tips to keep your aligners in the best possible shape as you move through the stages of your treatment.
- Always brush and floss your teeth before using your aligners so that bacteria and food particles will not have a chance to collect around your teeth while you wear them.
- When you brush your teeth, be sure to brush your aligners with a separate soft toothbrush and lukewarm water as well.
- Rinse your aligners whenever you remove them during the day.
- Soak your aligners as recommended. Use the Invisalign Cleaning System or ask our Statesboro, GA team for other suggestions to keep your aligners free from odor and bacteria.
One of the reasons you chose Invisalign is for an almost invisible appearance. Why take a chance on discoloration or scratches that will make the appliance more noticeable? Here are some common mistakes that can affect the color of your aligners:
- If your aligner has white spots, that might mean plaque build-up. Always rinse your aligner after you remove it and clean it thoroughly night and morning.
- Brushing with anything other than a soft brush and brushing too hard can cause scratches in the material which might be noticeable. A gentle touch will work to clean and protect your aligners.
- Eating with Invisalign aligners can cause staining. More important, it can cause the retention of food particles in the appliance, which can lead to dental problems. Finally, aligners are not meant for chewing—they might be damaged or lose their ideal shape even with soft foods. If you are going to be eating or drinking, take your aligners out, give them a rinse, and brush before you replace them. Or stick with water! Water will have no ill effects on teeth or aligners.
- Only soak aligners in an appropriate solution. Harsh chemicals, colored mouthwashes, and even some toothpastes can dim or discolor the clear plastic.
Talk to Dr. Michael Wall about the best products to use and the best methods for taking care of your aligners. After all, making the process of improving your smile as easy and effective as possible is yet another benefit of choosing Invisalign!
September 21st, 2018
Taking care of your oral health involves a daily regimen of brushing, flossing, and rinsing to prevent tooth decay and bacterial infections. Though you may have asked us which toothbrush to use, few patients at Wall Orthodontics ask about mouthwash.
However, different mouthwashes you might choose will have varying effects on your oral health. So which type is best for you?
Antiseptic mouthwashes are designed to reduce the majority of bacteria on and near the gum line. Using an antiseptic mouthwash can help decrease your chances of developing gingivitis. If possible, look for a mouthwash with antibacterial or antimicrobial ingredients.
Fluoride is beneficial for oral health and can help prevent tooth decay. If you drink a lot of bottled water without fluoride, we may recommend that you purchase a rinse with fluoride in it.
Although mouthwash is designed to prevent bacterial build-up within the mouth, many people use it to combat bad breath. Most mouthwashes will help eliminate the bacteria that cause bad breath, and some are specifically designed to do so.
However, if bad breath is a chronic problem that requires daily treatment with a mouth rinse, contact Wall Orthodontics to discuss your symptoms.
American Dental Association Approval
The ADA reviews mouth rinses for safety and effectiveness. A mouthwash with the ADA Seal of Approval will meet strict criteria, and will have scientific evidence or clinical studies that support the claims of the manufacturer. If possible, select a mouthwash that bears the ADA Seal of Approval to ensure you are using a quality rinse.
If you are unsure as to which mouthwash is right for you, contact our Statesboro, GA office or ask Dr. Michael Wall during your next visit. Also, be sure to keep mouthwash out of the reach of children, as it contains alcohol and other substances that could be harmful to them. Avoid letting children under age six use a mouth rinse, and discontinue use if you experience a burning sensation in the soft tissues of your mouth.
September 14th, 2018
Parents want the best for their teens and often ask us about the perks of Invisalign Teen clear aligners compared to traditional braces. Invisalign treatment is a style of braces that skips the usual metal and wires, and uses a clear, thermoplastic material to create removable aligners instead.
Aligners are custom-made for each patient and replaced every two weeks to attain gradually straighter teeth.
Is Invisalign treatment as effective?
As long as your child wears the aligners as directed, the answer is yes: they are just as effective as traditional braces. A small blue spot on the back of each aligner will fade after two weeks of proper wear. This enables Dr. Michael Wall to tell whether the child is wearing the aligners.
Can Invisalign aligners be removed?
The recommended amount of time to wear Invisalign aligners is at least 20 hours a day. They can be removed for up to four hours per day to eat, brush teeth, play sports, or play musical instruments. This makes brushing and flossing easier and helps maintain good oral hygiene!
How long does treatment take and what is the cost?
Each patient is different. Dr. Michael Wall can determine how many months your child may expect to wear the series of aligners after a consultation.
Typically, your teen will wear Invisalign clear aligners about as long as traditional braces The cost is also similar to that of other traditional braces; however, there is no set fee. The cost will depend on your child’s unique orthodontic needs.
Invisalign Teen treatment has had remarkable success, and patients love having straighter teeth without the embarrassment of metal braces. As your son or daughter becomes more confident, the patient will actually be more likely to keep up with the treatment and complete it sooner.
Speak with Dr. Michael Wall today to learn more about the benefits of Invisalign Teen treatment. Give our Statesboro, GA office a call!
September 7th, 2018
School can present a few issues when it comes to caring for your braces and mouth, since you won't have the luxury of the time and tools you have at your disposal while you're at home. But if you head to school prepared, you shouldn't have any trouble keeping your braces and mouth in great shape. Below is a list of helpful tips to care for your braces throughout the entire school year.
- Bring a kit that includes all of your oral health care items. This is a seriously smart thing to do and probably the most important of all the tips. Pack things like a toothbrush, floss, wax, retainer case (if needed), a mirror, a small cup for rinsing, a small bottle of water (if you don't already have some water with you), and some OTC pain medicine or a natural pain remedy. Keep the kit in your locker or backpack. Having all these items on hand will save you a lot of trouble and discomfort, and also ensure you don't have anything unsightly stuck in your braces or teeth!
- Take advantage of breaks and lunchtime. After eating lunch is a great time to pop into the restroom and give your braces and teeth a once over to make sure you don't have any food debris caught in them and to tend to any sore spots. If you've just had your braces adjusted, you may have soreness on your gums or cheeks. This is where the wax you packed will come in handy.
- Eat the right food for your braces. Avoid all the foods that wreak havoc on your braces like gum, candy, popcorn, hard chips, apples which aren't cut into wedges, nuts, beef jerky, ice, etc. You know the foods we're talking about; you've heard it enough already. Steering clear of these foods will help you prevent any possible mishaps with your braces, like breaking a bracket or wire, which is the last thing you want happening at school.
If you follow these tips and also keep up on your oral health routine at home, you'll be maximizing the effectiveness of your braces and making them as comfortable as possible. Do you have questions about caring for your braces during the school day? Ask Dr. Michael Wall or anyone in our Statesboro, GA office and we'll gladly help you out!
August 31st, 2018
Now that you are working hard to improve your dental health and appearance with your braces, it might seem like a logical time to whiten your teeth as well. But should you go ahead with home kits or a professional whitening? The answer might be yes, but not quite yet!
The easiest way to whiten teeth is regular use of a whitening toothpaste. But these do not make a major difference in tooth color and may also contain abrasives which can damage ceramic brackets and make them more likely to stain. And, whether you have metal or ceramic braces, the brackets used are bonded to your teeth. Any part of your tooth covered by a bracket will not be affected by the whitening paste. Ask our office if you are thinking of using one of these products. We will be happy to recommend the best toothpastes to use while your braces are in place.
Whitening Strips and Trays
Whiteners can be applied at home with strips or tray kits. Strips are coated with a whitening gel and then pressed around your teeth. Tray kits provide a mouthguard-like appliance, which is filled with whitening gel. But neither strips nor tray solutions will whiten any area covered by brackets. When your braces come off, there might be noticeable differences in color on each tooth. Strips are difficult to apply with braces, and trays need to be custom-designed to fit your braces and make sure they don’t disturb your orthodontic work. One size most definitely does not fit all! Finally, these whitening agents can cause tooth and gum sensitivity, especially around the time of adjustments. Many manufacturers do not recommend using their products while you have braces. Please talk to us if you are thinking of using them.
A dental professional can whiten your teeth in office for the best possible results. The most effective treatments for your unique teeth are combined with protective care of your gums and mouth. Whether this treatment is appropriate while you have braces is something we are happy to discuss.
The best way to keep your teeth bright is to keep up your regular dental routine! Brushing and flossing are more important than ever now, because plaque builds up around brackets. Avoid foods that stain teeth and rinse or brush after every meal and snack. Dr. Michael Wall will show you the best way to take care of your teeth while your braces are on—and that includes the best way to keep them white and bright. Talk to us about the perfect time to whiten your beautiful smile during your next visit to our Statesboro, GA office. And if you have to wait a few extra days for the smile you’ve been working toward, truly, the wait will be worth it!
August 24th, 2018
For centuries, many have believed in messages written in the stars and constellations. Some people look to their astrological sign to understand their personalities and preferences better, and even to foresee their destiny.
Whether you’re a firm believer in astrology or just read your horoscope for fun now and then, your perfect band color according to the zodiac awaits below.
Aries – Red
You’re passionate, enthusiastic, and full of energy the world needs. You have an ability to light an inspirational flame in yourself and others.
Taurus – Green
You value growth and are filled with earth energy. Close relationships with family and friends are the foundation of your life.
Gemini – Orange
Orange is the color of diversity and inspiration. You have a knack for readily socializing with other people and value a close-knit community.
Cancer – Violet
Cancers have the ability to look deep within themselves for guidance and inspiration. Your thoughts dwell in the realm of dreams and emotion, and fill you with a deep understanding of those around you.
Leo – Yellow
Your humor, intelligence, and courage light up your surroundings like the sun. Use your charisma and positivity to help you achieve great things.
Virgo – Blue
Blue reflects your calm and peaceful personality. People come to you when they need guidance and your caring instinct for others runs strong.
Libra – Green
Your personality is both enchanting and delightful. Your ability to find a solution and heal is uplifting to those around you.
Scorpio – Red
You are full of passion and knowledge. You know your true value, and feeling accepted is important to keep your flame ignited.
Sagittarius – Violet
Violet reflects your electric enthusiasm for life. With your wisdom and passion for truth, you are always striving to reach your next goal.
Capricorn – Blue
Your perception is unmatched, and you’re able to see through the confusion to identify what truly matters. Your confidence and clarity will help you accomplish what you need to do.
Aquarius – Violet
Aquarians are sensitive, creative, and love to share their understanding with the world. You find joy in art, music, and writing to show others your special view of things.
Pisces – Indigo
You have powerful perception and your instincts are often correct. Your ability to understand emotions helps those around you to stay connected and present in the moment.
Next time you visit our Statesboro, GA office, ask Dr. Michael Wall for the band color that goes with your sign!
August 17th, 2018
These days, fewer and fewer braces show up in school yearbook photos. Invisalign clear aligners have become a popular choice for our adolescent patients because it enables them to display metal-free smiles while straightening their teeth!
Dr. Michael Wall can help you determine whether Invisalign treatment is right for you, but below are a few reasons why so many teens are choosing it today.
More Free Time
Invisalign Teen aligners require fewer appointments, which is pretty important to teens who value their free time. Invisalign treatment gives you straight teeth without having to miss activities or skip hanging out with your friends. It’s a win-win!
Eat, Brush, and Floss Easily
Traditional braces can make eating, brushing, and flossing both difficult and tedious. Invisalign aligners are easily removable for all these important activities, and give you freedom to live your life as usual.
Possibly the best perk of Invisalign aligners is that you can’t see them! The Invisalign system uses a clear plastic device that fits directly over the teeth. This means no metal parts to mar the appearance of your smile, so your Invisalign aligners will straighten while allowing your pearly whites to shine through. People don’t even have to know you’re straightening your teeth with Invisalign aligners.
To learn more about Invisalign Teen treatment, feel free to reach out to our Statesboro, GA office!
August 10th, 2018
According to the American Association of Orthodontists, orthodontic treatment for children should start at around age seven. Dr. Michael Wall can evaluate your child’s orthodontic needs early on to see if orthodontic treatment is recommended for your son or daughter.
Below, we answer common questions parents may have about the benefits of early childhood orthodontics.
What does early orthodontic treatment mean?
Early orthodontic treatment usually begins when a child is eight or nine years old. Typically known as Phase One, the goal here is to correct bite problems such as an underbite, as well as guide the jaw’s growth pattern. This phase also helps make room in the mouth for teeth to grow properly, with the aim of preventing teeth crowding and extractions later on.
Does your child need early orthodontic treatment?
The characteristics and behavior below can help determine whether your little one needs early treatment.
- Early loss of baby teeth (before age five)
- Late loss of baby teeth (after age five or six)
- The child’s teeth do not meet properly or at all
- The child is a mouth breather
- Front teeth are crowded (you won’t see this until the child is about seven or eight)
- Protruding teeth, typically in the front
- Biting or chewing difficulties
- A speech impediment
- The jaw shifts when the child opens or closes the mouth
- The child is older than five years and still sucks a thumb
What are the benefits of seeking orthodontic treatment early?
Jaw bones do not harden until children reach their late teens. Because children’s bones are still pliable, corrective procedures such as braces are easier and often faster than they would be for adults.
Early treatment at our Statesboro, GA office can enable your child to avoid lengthy procedures, extraction, and surgery in adulthood. Talk with Dr. Michael Wall today to see if your child should receive early orthodontic treatment.
August 3rd, 2018
A vital step in your oral health routine is flossing. We hope our patients at Wall Orthodontics maintain good oral hygiene, including daily flossing between each visit to our Statesboro, GA office. A toothbrush is not always enough to get to the hard-to-reach areas of your mouth. When food remains between your teeth, bacteria starts to grow and will break down your enamel. This is where flossing comes in!
Should you floss before or after brushing?
Whatever your personal preference, you may floss before or after you brush your teeth. When you floss first, you can brush away any leftover dislodged food debris from your teeth. On the other hand, when you brush first, you will loosen the plaque between your teeth, which makes flossing more effective.
The essential aspect is that you floss thoroughly by using a fresh strand of floss and make sure to get between every tooth. Even if your teeth look and feel clean, don’t skip flossing or plaque will begin to build up on your teeth.
When is the best time to floss?
Although you should brush your teeth at least twice a day, Dr. Michael Wall and our team recommend flossing your teeth thoroughly once a day. Many people prefer to floss before bed, so that plaque doesn’t sit between their teeth all night.
What kind of floss should I use?
You may choose between interdental cleaning picks or flexible floss strands to perform your daily flossing routine. If you have permanent oral appliances or restorations, be sure to follow the flossing instructions provided to you.
Do you need help flossing?
If you’re having trouble flossing or have questions about which floss is best for your teeth, contact our Statesboro, GA office and we can provide you with support. Be sure to keep up with your daily flossing routine, and we will see you at your next appointment!
July 27th, 2018
Nobody likes bad breath, and although it can sometimes be difficult to tell if you have it, it is always better to practice good oral health than risk having a smelly mouth. There are many ways to reduce or eliminate bad breath, some are definitely more effective and longer lasting than others. Check out ways to do so below.
As difficult as it can be to remember to floss regularly, when it comes to bad breath, flossing is one of the easiest and most cost effective ways to freshen your mouth. See, flossing reduces the plaque and bacteria found in areas of your mouth that a toothbrush simply can't reach, and in turn, it rids your mouth of the smell associated with that bacteria. While flossing may not eliminate bad breath on its own, if you do it along with other health oral hygiene habits like brushing, then you may just develop a fresher smelling mouth.
Using some sort of mouthwash can really freshen up your breath, especially if you find it still smells after brushing and flossing. There is a wide variety of mouthwash products on the market, however, you can also create your own by simply using baking soda mixed with water.
Always Brush after You Sleep
Whether after taking a nap, or having a full night of sleep, you will want to brush your teeth in order to reduce bad breath. The truth is, bacteria accumulates in your mouth while you are sleeping (even during a short nap) and that is ultimately the source of bad breath. So next time you wake from a good slumber, give your mouth some brushing and you will find it makes a big difference in the freshness of your breath.
There are many ways to freshen your breath beyond just using gum or mints, the above mentioned are just a few for you to try. Test them out and you will likely find your bad breath problem is solved, or at least considerably reduced. Of course, you can always ask Dr. Michael Wall at your next visit to our Statesboro, GA office.
July 20th, 2018
All over the Internet you'll find videos and articles showing how you can close the gap between teeth or space them out. There is a plethora of DIY orthodontic techniques out there — you can even mail order your own impressions to get clear aligners, without even seeing a dentist or orthodontist. Following the instructions laid out in these videos and articles (by people who have zero training in orthodontics) is about the worst decision you can make for your overall oral health.
Performing DIY or at-home orthodontia can lead to or cause:
- Loss of teeth
- Cavities or infections that are missed or undiagnosed
- Gum damage
Dr. Christina Carter, president of the Northeastern Society of Orthodontists, says that DIY orthodontics can have terrible consequences. She spoke to TODAY about closing gaps between teeth using rubber bands or elastics:
"The teeth are connected to the gums and the blood supply and there is a risk of infection, of tearing the gums which might not heal properly, and a risk of damaging the attachment between the tooth and gums so the tooth no longer gets the support it needs." She also noted, "A simple rubber band can actually slide up the tooth and cut all the attachments to it and you can actually lose a tooth."
One of the worst parts about DIY orthodontics is that you never consult with a trained orthodontist, so you're really operating on a dangerous lack of information. It's best not to risk damage to your teeth or infection. Let Dr. Michael Wall know what you want to accomplish with your teeth and we will help you find the safest and most cost-effective way to achieve it.
Dr. Michael Wall want you to be informed and practical about your oral health. Should you have any questions about orthodontic treatment options, please do not hesitate to give us a call at our convenient Statesboro, GA office.
July 13th, 2018
The electronic toothbrush has undergone several technological advances since the 1960s. Everything from design and bristle motions to rotation, oscillation, and sonic vibration has led to dramatic changes in this necessary tool over time.
Rotation oscillation happens when the head of the toothbrush rotates from one direction to the other. The benefit of powered toothbrushes is that they can produce 50,000 strokes per minute, compared to 300 strokes with a manual toothbrush.
When you’re thinking about brush head size, smaller brush heads are best for hard-to-reach areas and small mouths. Brush heads should be replaced every three to six months as needed. A good way to save money is to designate a brush head for each family member which can be taken on and off a shared base motor.
Having a base motor or rechargeable toothbrush can deliver enough power on a full charge for a week of brushing, which makes it convenient for travel or when life gets busy. Some toothbrushes include audible signals that let you know when to switch the area of your mouth you’re brushing or when a full two minutes has gone by.
Do you have sensitive teeth? Studies have indicated that people tend to apply more pressure on their teeth when they use a manual toothbrush. This makes an electric toothbrush a preferable option if you’re having issues with sensitive teeth or gums.
There are even electric models with pressure sensors that will stop the brush from spinning when you press too hard against your teeth!
Everyone can benefit from having an electric toothbrush. A large handle size can be taken into consideration if a member of the household is young, or has a physical disability or arthritis. They’re even recommended for children in order to maintain good oral hygiene from a young age.
Biofilm is a term used for plaque or debris that builds up in your mouth. If not properly addressed, this can cause serious bacterial infections to your gums and teeth. If you want to remove biofilm in the most efficient way, an automatic toothbrush is the way to go.
When you're ready to make your decision, make sure to consult with Dr. Michael Wall at our Statesboro, GA office to decide which electric toothbrush is right for you!
July 6th, 2018
Most people think braces are all about their teeth. While it is true orthodontics is meant to move your teeth into proper position, there's more to it than that. To safely move your teeth with braces, you're going to need healthy and stable gums (or periodontium—the tissues that support your teeth).
For this reason it's critical to have your periodontal health evaluated prior to getting braces. This applies particularly to adults, since a 2013 study by the Center For Disease Control found that an estimated 47.2% of adults 30 years of age and older had periodontitis (gum disease). If you do have periodontitis, moving your teeth with braces will only make things worse.
Conversely, there is also risk for periodontal disease if you don't get orthodontic treatment. Malocclusion, as well as crooked and spaced teeth, can all contribute to periodontal disease. In these situations your teeth and gums are more difficult to clean and become breeding grounds for disease causing bacteria. Bad oral hygiene combined with these traits can greatly contribute to the development of periodontitis.
So, periodontics and braces have a tricky relationship. On one hand, you shouldn't get braces if you show signs of developing or have periodontitis, while on the other hand, braces can help prevent the possibility of developing periodontitis by correcting the bite and straightening the teeth.
If you are 30 years of age or older and are considering getting braces, it would be wise to first:
- Let Dr. Michael Wall know about your desire to get braces
- Get an exam to make sure you're in good periodontal health and a good candidate for braces
- If you are a good candidate, keep an eye on your teeth and gums and get regular dental checkups throughout your entire course of treatment.
If you are in any doubt about the status of your teeth and gums, it's always best to get them checked before embarking with braces treatment. For more information or to have your periodontal health assessed for braces treatment, please contact our Statesboro, GA office.
June 29th, 2018
If you’ve visited Wall Orthodontics, then there’s a good chance you’re looking to perfect your smile by straightening your teeth with braces. At some point during your treatment, you may need to use elastics, otherwise known as rubber bands, for a certain period. These are used to apply additional pressure that will move your teeth in the right direction.
Placement of the elastics is specific to each patient’s teeth. These small rubber bands stretch over the tiny loops on both the top and bottom brackets. At first, Dr. Michael Wall may recommend you wear the elastics both day and night for an extended time.
You may be told to switch only to nighttime wear once the teeth are set in the correct position. By consistently wearing the elastics, you can shorten the overall time your braces will have to be on.
The elastics are made from medical-grade latex. If you have an allergy to latex, make sure to let Dr. Michael Wall know, so you can be given an alternate material. We will show you how to take elastics on and off when they’re given to you at your appointment.
You should remove them when you eat so they don’t become overstretched or break. It’s important not to overstretch the bands, and always to replace them if they break. Eventually it will become a familiar habit to carry the bands around with you for times when this might happen.
The Do’s and the Don’ts
- DO … always wash your hands before removing or replacing the rubber bands.
- DO … call us if you run out of elastics.
- DO … get in the habit of carrying around extra rubber bands as replacements.
- DON’T … double up on elastics because this can exert too much pressure on your teeth and could actually harm the roots.
- DON’T … overstretch the rubber bands or they will lose strength and become ineffective.
If you were recently given elastics as well as your braces, feel free to ask any questions during your appointment, or call our Statesboro, GA office any time. Using elastics correctly is one more step in your journey to a perfect smile!
June 22nd, 2018
While it’s normal to feel self-conscious, there is no reason to avoid photos just because you wear braces. Many people wear braces and you do not need to be embarrassed about them. There are also ways you can enjoy your photos without hiding your smile.
Make it Fun
Dr. Michael Wall and our staff offer rubber bands for braces in a wide range of colors. Choose your favorite color and wear it with pride. You can mix and match your colors too. For Valentine’s Day, try alternating red and pink bands. For the Fourth of July, use red, white, and blue!
Bands are also available in neon colors and glow-in-the-dark designs. Your imagination is the only thing holding you back. You might want to avoid using dark green bands, though. It makes it look as though you have broccoli stuck in your teeth. Gross!
Make them Disappear
If your braces still really bother you in photos, technology can quickly solve the problem. A photo-editing program, or even a simple paint program, can easily erase your braces. Zoom in on your teeth, pick your natural tooth color with the dropper, and paint your braces away.
If you have a significant amount of metal in your braces, try to avoid close-ups with flash. The flash can reflect off the metal. The important thing to remember is how good your teeth will look and feel once your orthodontic work is complete. Dr. Michael Wall and our staff can also show you options for braces that are not as visible as the traditional style.
June 15th, 2018
If you participate in sports or other physical activities, it’s wise to consider getting a mouthguard. Also known as mouth protectors, mouthguards are a device worn over the teeth to lessen the impact of a blow to the face.
This reduces the chance that you might lose teeth or sustain other serious oral injuries. We recommend that all patients involved in a contact sport such as wrestling, football, or hockey wear a mouthguard because of the high risk of such injuries.
However, anyone involved in a physically demanding sport or activity should wear a mouthguard as well.
Can you imagine what it would be like to lose a few of your front teeth? The way you talk, eat, and smile would all change. Potential injuries when you don’t wear a mouthguard include chipped and broken teeth, fractured jaws, root damage, damage to crowns and bridgework, concussions, and/or injury to the lips, cheeks, or gums.
Types of Mouthguards
There are three different types of mouthguards — typically made of a soft plastic material or laminate. You can decide which works best for you in terms of budget, fit, and comfort.
- Stock mouthguards are prefabricated to a standard size. They offer adequate protection, but you need to make sure you find one that fits properly and comfortably. Stock mouthguards are readily available at department stores, sporting goods stores, and online.
- Boil-and-bite mouthguards are placed in boiling water to soften them, then into the mouth so they can conform to the shape of the teeth. Boil-and-bite mouthguards are more expensive, but offer a more customized fit than stock ones. You can find these in department stores, pharmacies, sporting goods stores, and online.
- Custom-made mouthguards are created just for you by Dr. Michael Wall. These offer the best fit and comfort of all the options, but they are also the most expensive. Ask a member of our Statesboro, GA team for more information.
The American Dental Association says a good mouthguard should be easy to clean, fit properly, be comfortable, and resist tearing or damage. It shouldn’t restrict speech or breathing.
Still not sure if you need a mouthguard or which kind is right for you? Ask Dr. Michael Wall or one of our staff members for more information.
June 8th, 2018
Dry mouth, also medically known as xerostomia, is the condition of not having enough saliva, or spit, to keep your mouth wet. There are many ways to keep dry mouth at bay, including:
- Brushing your teeth after every meal with a fluoride toothpaste
- Flossing every day after a meal
- Avoiding tobacco, as well as drinks containing alcohol or caffeine
- Avoiding dry foods, as well as foods containing high salt, acid, spice, or sugar levels
- Drinking water frequently or sucking on ice chips
- Using a humidifier at night
Please call our convenient Statesboro, GA dental office to learn more about dry mouth, or ask us during your next visit!
June 1st, 2018
If you are wearing braces and are planning a vacation, our team at Wall Orthodontics would suggest that you be prepared. We put together a list of items that will be handy to have with you at all times while you are out of town. They include:
- Toothpick, flosspick, or other interdental cleaners
- Travel toothbrush
- A water bottle or a mini bottle of mouth rinse
- Orthodontic wax to help with discomfort from protruding wires
- A small mirror for examining any possible issues in your mouth
Putting these items together in a “braces/oral hygiene kit” may be wise. You may even buy pre-made braces kits. Please ask us for more information.
If you happen to be on vacation and experience problems reaching our office, we suggest going online and searching for orthodontic practices in your area. Most orthodontists will lend a helping hand to another orthodontic patient and get him or her out of pain or discomfort.
We also suggest avoiding the following foods to prevent broken brackets and/or wire distortion while you are on vacation:
- Chewy, sticky, or gummy food
- Apples, pears, and other whole fruits (cut fruit into wedges before consuming)
- Bagels and hard rolls
- Corn on the cob
- Hard candies
- Hard cookies or pretzels
- All varieties of nuts, including peanuts, almonds, and cashews
Finally, if you are wearing clear aligners and happen to lose your tray, don’t worry! Simply put in either the previous tray or the next tray and contact us as soon as you get home!
Follow these tips and you can have a worry-free vacation! Please give us a call if you have any questions!
May 25th, 2018
Here is some surprising yet worthwhile advice you might be hearing for the first time: Brushing after a meal can be incredibly bad for your teeth if you do it after eating certain foods.
Enamel is an extremely hard mineral on the exterior of each of your teeth. It’s actually the hardest substance in the human body: It’s even stronger than your bones! Its only weakness is that acids in the food we eat can easily destroy enamel.
Healthy teeth thrive in an environment that has the proper pH balance. That ensures your mouth doesn’t start the process of demineralization. That’s what happens when alkaline turns into acid, which attacks and softens the enamel on the surface of your teeth. Pores and fissures form, and that’s when the harmful bacteria go to work.
Our mouth’s pH level fluctuates depending on what we eat throughout the day. Examples of the most common highly acidic foods include citrus fruits, soda, and sugary foods. Highly acidic foods tip the balance of pH in your mouth from a healthy alkaline to a dangerous acid.
Can brushing your teeth immediately after a meal lead to even more damage? The answer is yes!
Eating highly acidic foods causes your teeth to be more susceptible. If you brush your teeth when they have been weakened by acids, even more destruction can happen to your enamel. Your toothbrush’s bristles will actually wear away some of your enamel. So it’s healthier to wait at least an hour after eating or snacking to brush.
Good preventive measures to take instead of brushing after you eat include:
- Rinsing or drinking water
- Chewing sugarless gum
- Consuming dairy or non-acidic foods to conclude your meal
These practices help produce saliva, which in turn restores a healthy pH level in your mouth and coats the teeth with minerals they need.
Once you’ve allowed time for your mouth to be restored to a healthy pH level, you may brush your teeth as you normally would. Keep in mind that acidic foods can weaken the enamel on your teeth and take the right measures to prevent spiking pH levels.
Most important, don’t forget to wait to brush at least one hour after you eat!
Still have questions? Call our Statesboro, GA office and schedule an appointment with Dr. Michael Wall.
May 18th, 2018
Many patients underestimate the importance of wearing their retainers after their braces come off, but it is one of the most critical post care practices to keep your teeth in alignment. Why spend all that time, energy, and money to straighten your teeth when you don't plan to keep them straightened after treatment?
What is a retainer?
As the name implies, a retainer keeps teeth from moving back to the positions in which they started before treatment was administered; they "retain" your smile and bite. There are many different types of retainers—some are removable and some are permanent. Some retainers are made of plastic and metal (known as Hawley retainers) and others are all plastic or all metal. Some retainers can even be bonded to the back of your teeth!
How long do I need to wear it?
If you've been given a removable retainer by Dr. Michael Wall, you may be wondering how long you need to wear it. It takes time for the tissues and bones around your teeth to reorganize and set into place after braces treatment.
The amount of time you’ll need to wear your retainer depends on your unique situation, but typically, retainers should be worn at least as long as the time you spent in braces. You might need to wear them full-time for a while, and then transition to wearing them only at night. Dr. Michael Wall will have a treatment plan especially for you, and if you stick to it, you'll always have a straight smile.
Nothing is forever (at least without retainers!)
Research has shown that there is no “permanent” position for your teeth to remain in. In fact, some studies say upward of 70% of patients will see a change to their bite and tooth alignment as they get older. This applies to people who have had orthodontic treatment and those who have not. Of course, some people's teeth never seem to shift—you can consider them the lucky ones, as most people's teeth do.
And this is precisely where retainers come in. The only way to ensure your teeth stay in alignment long-term is by wearing your retainers. If you have any questions about retainers or your treatment plan, please ask any member of our Statesboro, GA staff.
May 11th, 2018
Did you know that the most common oral health diseases are tooth decay and gum disease? Not so coincidentally, they are also the easiest to prevent. As much as we would like for the brushing and flossing to do all the work for us, in reality, we really are what we eat — and a healthy diet is just as important for dental health as it is for the rest of the body.
Eating well boosts your immune system, and makes you less susceptible to gum disease and tooth decay. When you maintain a balanced diet, you provide your body with all the nutrients it needs to succeed. So what does a healthy, balanced diet entail? It’s really quite simple. Here are some tips:
- Focus on lean meats, veggies, whole grains, and healthy fats.
- Limit your intake of sugary drinks like energy drinks and soda.
- Keep your sweet tooth in check.
- Beware of acidic meals and snacks that are high in salt and sodium.
- Drink lots of water.
Unfortunately, there’s no “one size fits all,” magic diet that will automatically improve your oral health, but following the five guidelines above as best you can is a great way to start. Food and drinks that are high in sugar or acidity weaken your enamel, stain your teeth, and make you more likely to develop a cavity or gum disease.
At Wall Orthodontics, we like to encourage our patients to drink a lot of water during the day. Doing so not only keeps you hydrated, but also helps rinse out the sugar and acid from various things you’ve consumed during the day.
If you think your diet might be affecting your smile, come pay Dr. Michael Wall a visit or give our Statesboro, GA office a call! We’re always happy to answer your questions.
May 4th, 2018
If you’re like most adults, you aren't enthused about the idea of having to get traditional metal braces. The look, feel, and cost keep many people from getting the smile they want.
However, many options are available at our Statesboro, GA office if you’re looking for a cost-effective and more discreet way to straighten your teeth.
Choosing the right kind of cosmetic braces depends on the severity of your situation. Some cosmetic braces, such as clear aligners, are best suited for mild to moderate spacing or crowding of the teeth, and minimal bite alignment issues. But there are options for people who need more intense treatment.
Below is a list of some of the most popular options available today.
Invisalign® involves multiple clear aligner trays that you wear in a predetermined order to achieve the desired treatment result. Most people won’t even know you’re wearing them, and they offer solid results. Clear aligners might not be suitable for all cases; they are mainly for those with mild to moderate spacing or crowding of the teeth and minimal bite alignment issues.
Ceramic braces are similar to traditional braces, but less visible due to translucent ceramic brackets and/or wires. They are not quite as discreet as clear aligners such as Invisalign, but they are more subtle than traditional braces and can be used for most cases.
Lingual braces are attached to the back of your teeth instead of the front. They are highly discreet but effective at moving teeth and correcting bite issues. Their cost is higher due to the materials involved, and the additional time and effort required to place them accurately.
Self-ligating braces are similar to traditional metal braces, but no elastics (ligatures) are required on the bracket because they have built-in clips to hold the wire against your teeth. People will perceive you’re wearing them, but they don’t need as many adjustments from Dr. Michael Wall, so you’ll require fewer appointments and undergo a shorter treatment time.
It’s only natural to have questions before you embark on a course of braces treatment. Speak with Dr. Michael Wall or any of our staff members at our Statesboro, GA office about your goals, budget, and timeframe, and we’ll help you find the right fit!
April 27th, 2018
We hear this question a lot at Wall Orthodontics, and we don’t mind when patients who are eager to complete their orthodontic treatment ask us. After all, we know there is no better feeling than getting your braces off!
During your initial consultation with Dr. Michael Wall, we will map out a specific treatment for you and will try our hardest to give you a timeline of when we expect you to wrap up treatment.
Having said that, we know every patient is different. People have different biological responses to orthodontic treatment and some people’s teeth may move faster than others.
Luckily, there are things you can do to ensure your treatment wraps up in a timely manner. By following these suggestions, you can avoid any setbacks during your treatment.
- Make sure to keep your adjustment appointments. Postponing or cancelling will delay treatment!
- Be sure to show up on time to your appointments. This will give Dr. Michael Wall and our team time to do everything we planned during your adjustment visit.
- When prescribed, make sure you are diligent about wearing rubber bands or other appliances.
- Avoid damage to your braces and teeth by wearing a mouth guard during sports activities.
- Make sure to brush and floss regularly! Gum disease or other dental work can delay orthodontic treatment.
If you remember to follow these guidelines, you’ll be on your way to having the dazzling, healthy smile you’ve always wanted. As for us, our team at Wall Orthodontics will do our part to move your orthodontic treatment along efficiently. If you have any questions about your treatment time, please give us a call at our Statesboro, GA office or ask us during your next visit!
April 20th, 2018
Wearing braces during your treatment at Wall Orthodontics presents some unique challenges in the types of food you can safely eat. The wrong items can be difficult to remove from between your teeth and the appliance. Other foods may even break or loosen your braces.
Dinner recipe ideas
Lasagna is a great dinner choice because it provides you with several food groups in one easy dish.
- 1 ½ pounds ground hamburger
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 tsp. basil
- 1 pound diced tomatoes — canned is fine
- 12 oz. tomato paste
- 1 package of dry spaghetti sauce mix for seasoning
- 10 oz. box dry lasagna
- 3 cups ricotta or cottage cheese or 1 ½ cups each mixed
- ½-cup Parmesan cheese
- 2 eggs
- 1 pound sliced or shredded Mozzarella cheese
Brown and drain your hamburger meat. Dice the garlic and simmer the hamburger, garlic, basil, diced tomatoes, tomato paste and powdered sauce mix for ½ hour.
Cook the lasagna noodles as directed on the package and drain.
Beat the eggs and combine them with your ricotta or cottage cheese.
Layer ½ of the noodles in a 13 x 9 pan. Spread ½ of your cottage cheese mix on top of the noodles, then layer ½ of the mozzarella on top. Finish this layer with ½ of your hamburger mix. Repeat the layering with the other half of your ingredients. Bake at 350 F for 30 minutes.
You can enjoy ribs and chicken wings as long as you cut the meat from the bone before you eat. The same rule applies to turkey legs; do not gnaw on bones, because this can damage your braces.
Vegetables and fruits
You still need to include fruits and vegetables in your daily meals. Skip corn on the bob, whole apples, and raw carrots. Broccoli is soft but particles can become stuck in your braces, so be sure to brush and floss after your meal.
Avoid caramel, taffy, and hard candies for dessert. Pudding and ice cream are fine, but low-sugar versions are best.
Remember that your mouth will be sore after adjustments with Dr. Michael Wall. Stick to softer foods until the sensitivity is reduced. Please do not hesitate to ask our team for recipe and meal ideas. We will be happy to take the time to explain which foods items are the best choices and why.
If you have any questions about these recipes, or if you have any questions about eating with braces, please give us a call at our Statesboro, GA office!
April 13th, 2018
There are so many adults and teens in our Statesboro, GA office who would love to have their teeth straightened but that are unwilling to go through the long and unsightly process of traditional metal braces. Well, that's where Invisalign® and Invisalign Teen® come to the rescue; the most advanced clear aligner systems in the world!
There are several reasons why, if you're considering getting braces, you should consider Invisalign too. Here are some of them:
- You can eat whatever food you'd like, without worrying about it getting caught in wires or breaking brackets.
- Most people won't even know you're wearing them!
- If you need to, you can remove your aligners at any time.
- The removable aligners let you brush and floss as you normally would, making for better overall oral health.
- Since they are made of a smooth BPA-free plastic, Invisalign aligners are simply more comfortable to wear than traditional braces. No metal means no more roughed up gums or irritated tongue!
- You'll need to visit our Statesboro, GA office less often — only once every six weeks or so.
- With Invisalign Teen, you’ll receive up to six replacements for lost or broken aligners.
Before you get started with treatment, you’ll have a consultation with Dr. Michael Wall to see if Invisalign or Invisalign Teen is right for you. If your case is a good fit, then you’ll have X-rays, pictures, and impressions of your teeth taken. That information will be used to make the 3D models of your teeth that let Dr. Michael Wall see how they will move throughout the entire treatment and approximately how long it will take.
After that, you’ll receive your aligners based on the treatment plan we recommend. You’ll get a new set of aligners every two weeks. Then all you need to do is wear your aligners 22 hours a day and you’ll be on your way to a straighter healthier smile. Don’t hesitate to a member of our Statesboro, GA team for more information about Invisalign!
April 6th, 2018
Parents usually have numerous questions about orthodontic treatment for their children. According to the American Association of Orthodontists, orthodontic treatment for children should start at around seven years of age. This allows Dr. Michael Wall to evaluate the child’s existing and incoming teeth to determine whether or not early treatment might be necessary.
What is early orthodontic treatment?
Early orthodontic treatment, known as Phase One, usually begins when the child is eight or nine years old. The goal is to correct bite problems such as an underbite as well as guide the jaw’s growth pattern. It also helps to make room in the mouth for the permanent teeth to be properly placed as they come in. This will greatly reduce the risk of the child needing extractions later in life due to his or her teeth getting crowded.
Does your child need early orthodontic treatment?
There are several ways that you can determine whether your child needs early treatment. If you observe any of these characteristics or behaviors, you should talk to Dr. Michael Wall.
- Early loss of baby teeth (before age five)
- Late loss of baby teeth (after age five or six)
- The child’s teeth do not meet properly or at all
- The child is a mouth breather
- Front teeth are crowded (you won’t see this until the child is about seven or eight)
- Protruding teeth, typically in the front
- Biting or chewing difficulties
- A speech impediment
- The child’s jaw shifts when he or she opens or closes the mouth
- The child is older than five years and still sucks a thumb
What are the benefits of seeking orthodontic treatment early?
Early orthodontic treatment is begun while the child’s jaw bones are still soft. They do not harden until the children reach their late teens. Because the bones are still pliable, corrective procedures such as braces work faster than they do for adults.
In short, early treatment at our Statesboro, GA office often allows your child to avoid lengthy procedures, extraction, and surgery in adulthood. Early treatment is an effective preventive measure that lays the foundation for a healthy, stable mouth in adulthood.
March 30th, 2018
X-rays have been a function of dental healthcare for a long time. That in and of itself should be good news, because it means we've had plenty of time to improve them. While there is always some risk in exposure to radiation, dental X-ray exposure has decreased significantly due to all the advances in technology. So there’s risk, but X-rays are quite safe.
Think of X-rays as you would about a car. Automobiles these days have all kinds of technology to make them as safe as possible. There's still a chance that you’ll suffer an accident. Would you stop using a car because of that risk? When it comes to dental X-rays, Dr. Michael Wall and our team believe the positives clearly outweigh the negatives.
X-rays can be done digitally or with film. For film, X-rays require different exposures at different speeds to produce the image. Digital X-rays have software that automatically adjusts the exposure and produces the X-ray in a digital file. Since they substantially reduce your exposure to radiation, digital X-rays are the current standard in dental offices.
In addition to digital X-rays, lead aprons are an essential piece of X-ray safety. They help protect internal organs from X-rays by acting as a shield. They usually come with a thyroid collar as well, since that is one of the most vulnerable areas to X-rays in the body. Lead aprons can absorb up to 95% of any scatter rays that result from an X-ray. Not bad, right?
Although dental X-rays involve some radiation exposure (not all of it can be eliminated), so does everyday life. Getting too much sun, for example, can be dangerous. The truth is, we accumulate radiation in our bodies over a lifetime, so it’s worthwhile to be aware and avoid as much unnecessary exposure as possible. When it comes to your dental health, though, getting an X-ray — especially when your doctor says you need it — offers more benefits than risks.
Ask us about the type of dental X-rays we use during your next visit to our Statesboro, GA office!
March 23rd, 2018
A solid oral health routine begins with daily brushing, flossing, and rinsing. Without a consistent oral health regimen, you may begin to experience tooth decay and bacterial infections. Few patients ask Dr. Michael Wall about different mouthwash options, so we’ve put together a list of the conditions that mouthwashes can treat. This should help you decide which oral rinse would be best for you.
Antiseptic mouthwashes reduce large amounts of bacteria on and near the gum line and generally help to decrease your chances of developing gingivitis. The key ingredients of antiseptic mouthwashes are antibacterial and antimicrobial items. Antiseptic mouthwash is a preferable option if you are concerned about the general gum health of your mouth.
Fluoride is a great tool for preventive tooth decay treatment. It prevents tooth decay and is great for oral health in general because it kills germs that can live in your mouth. Fluoride also builds stronger teeth. If you’re a bottled water drinker, Dr. Michael Wall may recommend that you purchase a simple fluoride rinse to use after brushing.
Fluoride mouthwash can be used to fight any bad breath issues you may be facing. It’s designed to combat any bacteria that might be building up in your mouth. Most mouthwashes will help eliminate bad breath, but some are specifically designed to address this difficult problem. If you feel as though this might be turning into a chronic problem, please contact Dr. Michael Wall to discuss other options that would be effective for treating your symptoms.
American Dental Association (ADA Approval)
The ADA reviews all mouth rinses for safety measures and to prove effectiveness. Any mouthwash approved by the ADA has met strict guidelines according to whether the manufacturer’s claims are supported with scientific evidence. If you’re looking for a quality mouthwash, look for one that has the ADA seal of approval to ensure you have a great rinse for your mouth.
When you’re trying to decide which mouthwash to pick, contact our Statesboro, GA or ask Dr. Michael Wall during your next appointment. If you experience a burning sensation in the soft tissues of your mouth, be sure to discontinue use immediately. Avoid letting children under age six use a mouth rinse, and be sure to keep all mouthwashes out of the reach of children, because they contain alcohol and other substances that could be harmful.
March 16th, 2018
Braces can be painful, but if you are a teen who loves being social, the worst part about them can be their look. They show up in your photos, and you will not be able to take braces-free photos for several months, or even years. The time will pass, though, and your teeth will be the better for it. In the meantime, consider the other people who have survived braces.
Plenty of People Get Braces
There are many reasons for getting braces:
- Correct an overbite or underbite
- Straighten teeth
- Fix poorly-spaced teeth
With so many possible ways to get braces, it’s no surprise that they are so common.
Find Out Who Had Braces
The long lists of celebrities who had braces as teenagers or even adults can give you the comfort of knowing you are in good company. Even better, these lists provide visible proof that there is life on the other side of braces. Actors and actresses on the Cosby Show, Scrubs, and Ugly Betty, as well as tennis star Martina Hingis and Miss America 1975, Shirley Cothran, had braces. Ask your parents. If they didn’t have braces, there is a good chance that some of their siblings did.
Benefits of Braces
Wearing braces can make your life a lot better in the future. Your teeth will be more attractive, and your smile will shine through in photos of you. Straight teeth are not just about looks, though. They can prevent a variety of health problems, such as caries, gum disease, speech impairments, and trouble chewing. Be patient, and the benefits of braces will come.
March 9th, 2018
Water picks, sometimes called “oral irrigators,” make an excellent addition to your regular home care regimen of brushing and flossing. Especially helpful to those who suffer from periodontal disease and those patients of ours undergoing orthodontic treatment with full-bracketed braces, water picks use powerful tiny bursts of water to dislodge food scraps, bacteria, and other debris nestled in the crevices of your mouth. Children undergoing orthodontic treatment may find using a water pick is beneficial if their toothbrush bristles tend to get caught on their wires or brackets.
When you use a water pick, you’re not only dislodging any particles or debris and bacteria you might have missed when brushing, you are also gently massaging the gums, which helps promote blood flow in the gums and keeps them healthy. While water picks are an excellent addition to your daily fight against gingivitis and other periodontal diseases, they are incapable of fully removing plaque, which is why Dr. Michael Wall and our team at Wall Orthodontics want to remind you to keep brushing and flossing every day.
If you have sensitive teeth or gums and find it uncomfortable to floss daily, water picks are a good alternative to reduce discomfort while effectively cleaning between teeth. Diabetics sometimes prefer water picks to flossing because they don't cause bleeding of the gums, which can be a problem with floss. If you have a permanent bridge, crowns, or other dental restoration, you may find that a water pick helps you keep the area around the restorations clean.
So how do you choose the right water pick?
Water picks are available for home or portable use. The home versions tend to be larger and use standard electrical outlets, while portable models use batteries. Aside from the size difference, they work in the same manner, both using pulsating water streams. A more crucial difference between water picks is the ability to adjust the pressure. Most home models will let you choose from several pressure settings, depending on how sensitive your teeth and gums are. Most portable models have only one pressure setting. If you want to use mouthwash or a dental rinse in your water pick, check the label first; some models suggest using water only.
Please give us a call at our Statesboro, GA office if you have any questions about water picks, or ask Dr. Michael Wall during your next visit!
March 2nd, 2018
It’s vital to understand the difference between an orthodontic emergency and minor orthodontic issues. Minor issues can be handled the next day, or at your next scheduled appointment. When a real orthodontic emergency occurs, however, you will need to see a doctor immediately.
Emergencies can include injuries to your teeth, jaw, mouth, or face. Whether you have braces or oral appliances in your mouth at the time or not, it’s crucial to fix the problem before it gets worse. If you have an injury that affects an orthodontic appliance, that may need to be replaced or adjusted, depending on the extent of the injury.
You can watch for and address some common minor issues on your own, or wait to have them fixed at your next appointment with Dr. Michael Wall:
- Poking wire
- Loose bracket
- Loose elastic band
- Loose wire
- Loose appliance
- Headgear does not fit
- Lost or broken elastic band
- General soreness
These minor issues may arise if you eat hard or sticky foods that damage your braces or other orthodontic appliances. Make sure to be extra careful, and avoid brushing your teeth too aggressively to avoid causing damage.
These problems should not be treated as emergencies unless they begin to cause prolonged pain and discomfort. If you notice this happening, contact our Statesboro, GA office and we can provide a solution.
Some at-home remedies you can try can include covering loose brackets or wires with wax. Wax can prevent canker sores from forming by covering sharp metal pieces that poke into your gums. If you have wires that have poked out into your gums, you can use tweezers to push the wires gently away from the direction of the sore area. Always make sure you use alcohol to sterilize anything you intend to put into your mouth.
When you get braces initially, you may notice some soreness of the jaw or small abrasions from your mouth getting accustomed to foreign materials. You should not worry too much about this temporary pain.
A warm salt-water solution can be used to alleviate any swelling or discomfort you’re experiencing. Many drug stores have ointment for canker sores that will numb the area if they continue to bother you. If you notice that your pain or swelling doesn’t get better, schedule an appointment with a medical professional as soon as you can.
When in doubt, contact our Statesboro, GA office if you are unsure or still have questions about an orthodontic problem you’re facing. If the situation becomes an emergency, don’t hesitate to make an appointment with our team, so we can help provide you with a solution.
Orthodontic emergencies should be taken care of promptly whenever they arise.
February 23rd, 2018
Crooked or crowded teeth aren’t always just a cosmetic issue; they also are more difficult to clean, which can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. Likewise, if your teeth don’t align properly when you bite (known as malocclusion), this can cause chewing, swallowing, and speaking problems.
You can put these risks to rest and look amazing, however, with well-thought-out orthodontic treatment from Dr. Michael Wall. More and more adults are opting for orthodontic treatment and changing their lives in the process.
Childhood is of course the ideal time to get treatment, since the mouth and jaws are still growing, but many adults still can get beautiful and lasting results which can be achieved discreetly and effectively with modern orthodontic appliances and technologies.
Traditional braces used to be the only thing going, and many adults understandably don’t like the way they look. There are so many other options for braces these days that it’s possible for almost any patient to be treated effectively and efficiently — usually in one to two years.
Here are some of the technologies being implemented in our modern Statesboro, GA orthodontic office:
- Clear aligners: Practically invisible clear plastic aligners are great for less severe cases.
- Lingual braces: These are placed on the back of your teeth instead of the front, and can handle anything that traditional braces can.
- Ceramic braces: Translucent ceramic brackets make for effective and more discreet treatment.
- Self-ligating braces: These require less manipulation by the orthodontist, which means fewer appointments and quicker results.
It should also be noted that the goal of orthodontic treatment (especially in adults) isn’t always limited to straightening teeth and/or correcting a bite. Teeth provide support for the lips and cheeks and help define your face.
The relationship between the jaws, teeth, face, soft tissues, and underlying skeleton of the face are important, and an orthodontist takes this into account when designing a smile.
In short, getting orthodontic treatment won’t just give you a good-looking and healthy smile; it can help define and enhance the entire appearance of your face. Knowing just how crucial your teeth are in determining how you look and live will help you age positively and confidently.
February 16th, 2018
Halitosis is the fancy, scientific word for “bad breath.” Dr. Michael Wall and our team know there are several reasons why you may have halitosis; let’s look at a few:
- Gum disease (also known as periodontal disease) – There are five main types of gum disease, and each one can range from mild to severe. For example the most common one is gingivitis; it is caused by bacteria in the plaque that has been allowed to build up, usually as a result of poor oral hygiene. A more serious and uncommon type of gum disease is called necrotizing periodontal disease. It is most common in people who have a suppressed immune system.
- Dry Mouth – This can be caused by something as simple as a medication you take.
- Food – Of course, if you eat something that is potent like garlic, it is going to give you bad breath.
- Diseases of the Body – Some diseases such as sinus infections and diabetes, among a few other types of infections, can also cause you to have halitosis.
How to Get Rid of Halitosis
The most obvious answer to how to get rid of halitosis is to practice good oral hygiene, although, depending on the cause of halitosis it may not be that simple. If you have an infection that is causing the halitosis then you may need an antibiotic to clear up the infection and then the bad breath will go away. Here are more tips:
- Brush your teeth after every meal and before bed.
- Floss your teeth. The more plaque you get out of your teeth, the better chance you have of not getting cavities or bad breath.
- Address any medical conditions that are not related to your teeth that can be causing the halitosis.
- Ask Dr. Michael Wall for a prescription mouthwash that kills bacteria.
Halitosis (bad breath) can be an embarrassing condition to live with, but there are plenty of ways to get rid of it permanently. Start by talking to a member of our team at our Statesboro, GA office.
February 9th, 2018
When we think of Valentine’s Day, we think of cards, flowers, and chocolates. We think of girlfriends celebrating being single together and couples celebrating their relationship. We think of all things pink and red taking over every pharmacy and grocery store imaginable. But what Dr. Michael Wall and our team would like to think of is when and how this joyous, love-filled day began.
Several martyrs’ stories are associated with the origins of Valentine’s Day. One of the most widely known suggests that Valentine was a Roman priest who went against the law at a time when marriage had been banned for young men. He continued to perform marriage ceremonies for young lovers in secret and when he was discovered, he was sentenced to death.
Another tale claims that Valentine was killed for helping Christians escape from Roman prisons. Yet another says that Valentine himself sent the first valentine when he fell in love with a girl and sent her a letter and signed it, “From your Valentine.”
Other claims suggest that it all began when Geoffrey Chaucer, an Englishman often referred to as the father of English literature, wrote a poem that was the first to connect St. Valentine to romance. From there, it evolved into a day when lovers would express their feelings for each other. Cue the flowers, sweets, and cards!
Regardless of where the holiday came from, these stories all have one thing in common: They celebrate the love we are capable of as human beings. And though that’s largely in a romantic spirit these days, it doesn’t have to be. You could celebrate love for a sister, a friend, a parent, even a pet.
We hope all our patients know how much we love them! Wishing you all a very happy Valentine’s Day from the team at Wall Orthodontics!
February 2nd, 2018
Having braces can be frustrating when you have to be cautious about eating certain foods or having to avoid them altogether. Making sure your braces don’t bend or break is vital when you’re trying to straighten your teeth quickly and properly. Dr. Michael Wall and our team have come up with a list of foods to avoid, and which foods you can enjoy while you have braces.
No matter how careful you are, excessive chewing of hard-to-eat foods will eventually cause problems for you and your braces. Knowing what you can and cannot eat at a meal may be helpful when you first get your braces on.
Some foods are too hard for braces, because they can break wires or create damage that will have to be fixed by Dr. Michael Wall. Avoiding the following snacks will prevent this from occurring:
- Hard candies
- Some hard raw vegetables or fruits (carrots, apples)
There are plenty of safe options for breakfast. They include eggs, yogurt, pancakes, oatmeal, soft toast, bananas, and even bacon.
For lunch, avoid hard or abrasive foods, undercooked vegetables, or apples. Safer options include a delicious stew, soft-breaded deli sandwich, or a mixed salad. Always be careful when biting into foods, and try to cut solid meal items into small chewable portions whenever possible.
A healthy braces-friendly dinner can come in many forms. Soft, steamed vegetables paired with a lean protein make a great option. The addition of rice or quinoa can complete the meal. Just remember to brush and floss after, because these small grains are likely to get stuck between braces and teeth.
During your treatment, Dr. Michael Wall will tighten your braces at each checkup. Braces tightening can sometimes leave your teeth feeling sore afterward. During this time, we recommend picking soft food options until the pain goes away, such as:
- Mashed potatoes
- Ice cream
- Cottage cheese
It’s also essential to pay close attention to your oral health routine. When food is stuck between braces, you’re more likely to experience plaque and decay buildup. If you want to keep your teeth from appearing discolored when your braces come off, keep up with brushing and flossing after every meal!
If you notice your braces are damaged after you’ve eaten a meal, contact our Statesboro, GA office to schedule an appointment right away. Our team is here to help with any issues that come up while you are in braces, and to answer any questions you may have about which foods you can and cannot eat.
January 26th, 2018
Most kids love candy; actually, most people in general love candy. So when it comes time for you to get braces there can often be a natural conflict between candy consumption and maintaining the integrity of your braces. For that reason, Dr. Michael Wall and our team know that it’s good to know which types of candy are not good for your braces. To better illustrate, here are some candies that you will want to avoid.
Caramel is a sweet and often exceedingly sticky and chewy type of candy that just does not mix well with braces. Caramel can cause a mess in regular teeth, but teeth with braces are a whole other story. The sticky candy can very easily get lodged and stuck between the teeth, gums, and braces, making for a difficult task of cleaning your mouth. And if your teeth don't get cleaned properly, cavities can easily form. If you get cavities while you have braces, that could mean additional appointments at our Statesboro, GA office and an extended treatment time.
Salt Water Taffy
Another sticky and chewy candy to avoid with braces is salt water taffy. For many of the same reasons as caramel, it is best to avoid taffy until you get your braces removed. It may be a long wait, but when it comes to the health of your teeth, and the purpose of your braces, it really is best to avoid taffy.
Popcorn of any kind is best to avoid when you have braces. The kernels can easily do damage to the braces as you chomp on them, and they can get stuck between your teeth and the braces causing discomfort and further complications. In this sense it does not matter which flavor of candy popcorn you eat, all popcorn is bad news until you get your braces off.
Generally speaking, any candy that is chewy, crunchy, or sticky is not a good idea to eat with braces in your mouth. These types of candy will make life wearing braces much more difficult than if you were to just wait until your braces come off. With a little patience you will be back to eating all your favorite candy again, and with straightened teeth at that.
January 19th, 2018
When you get your braces, Dr. Michael Wall and our staff will also give you a list of foods you should not eat and things you should not do. Pay particular attention to these items to keep your teeth and braces safe.
Charms belong on bracelets. While you can decorate your braces with colored bands, hanging a charm off them is a bad idea. If you bite down on the charm, you could damage your braces or your teeth. You could also swallow your jewelry.
Never use your teeth as a bottle opener. This is just as important when you are wearing braces. While braces straighten your teeth, your teeth are moving in the process. That makes them weaker, and the metal in the braces does not make them invincible. Invest in a bottle opener; you can buy one for a few dollars, which is much less expensive than having to replace your braces.
Contrary to what you might think, your braces are not designed to work as a radio. There are tales of people who have picked up radio signals from dental fillings or braces. While this is remotely possible, attaching an antenna to your mouth is just not a good idea. You will get better quality music from a radio.
On the other hand, you can still kiss someone while wearing braces. In fact, even if both of you wear braces, the chances of your getting locked together are almost negligible. However, to avoid cutting your partner’s lips, kiss with caution.
If you have any questions about taking care of your braces, please ask Dr. Michael Wall and our staff. We want you to get the best results from your treatment without needless delays.
January 12th, 2018
The Wall Orthodontics team knows that oral hygiene is important, whether you have braces on your teeth or not. But if you are a person who wears braces, caring for your teeth and gums can become somewhat challenging. Without daily oral hygiene practices, you may become prone to cavities and tooth decay during your time in braces.
Naturally, you know that brushing your teeth each morning and night, as well as after you eat, will help keep your mouth healthy and clean during the months you wear braces. But flossing is also an important part of your hygiene routine. Flossing with braces can be tricky, but it’s not impossible. Dr. Michael Wall, your general dentist, or your dental hygienist can help you become more comfortable and adept at flossing your teeth during the months you wear braces.
Flossing Tips for Those with Braces
- Use Tools Provided by Our Office. A floss threader is a small, plastic needle that will help you floss between the wires and your teeth. Thread a 12-to-18-inch piece of floss onto the needle, and use the needle to get the floss easily behind the wires.
- Flossing Under the Wires. Once the floss is behind the wires, use your hands to manipulate the floss. Move it up and down along the wires to remove food particles.
- Flossing Between Your Teeth. Floss between your teeth as you normally would without braces. Move the floss up and down between your teeth, using a clean section of floss for each tooth.
- After You Finish Flossing. Your orthodontist may have suggested that you use a water pik or proxy brush after you finish brushing. Either of these tools will help remove any loosened food particles to ensure that your teeth and braces are clean.
Continue Good Oral Hygiene Habits
Good oral hygiene habits you use while wearing braces will help you achieve the beautiful smile you and the Wall Orthodontics team have been working toward. Once your braces are off, it may be tempting to slack off on the brushing and flossing. Don’t let yourself fall into any habits that will have a negative impact on your oral health or the attractive smile you waited for throughout the months you wore braces. See your general dentist for regular cleanings, and continue to brush and floss your teeth each day.
January 5th, 2018
It’s possible to develop tooth decay even when you take great care of your teeth. Brushing and flossing may not be enough to keep your teeth healthy, depending on your diet. Cavities, discoloration, and decay are still possible when certain foods feature in your daily intake. Keep an eye out for foods that will damage your enamel and cause the very issues you’ve been trying to avoid.
What causes enamel damage?
Tooth enamel is the hard outer layer of your teeth that is made of various minerals. Tooth decay results when the acids in your food react with the minerals in your enamel. Strongly pigmented foods may also cause unsightly discoloration on the surface of your teeth. Avoid wreaking havoc on your beautiful smile by identifying the foods that can harm your enamel.
Acidic food is your teeth’s worst nightmare! This is the greatest cause of enamel damage, even if you brush and floss regularly. To avoid damaging your teeth, make sure you can determine whether a food is acidic or not.
The pH levels are a way to determine acidity on a one-to-seven scale. This defines the relative acidity or alkalinity of a food or substance. Foods with high pH levels are not as likely to harm your enamel.
It’s wise to avoid or minimize foods that are high in acids. Highly acidic food can include fruits such as lemons, grapefruit, strawberries, grapes, and apples. Moderately acid foods may surprise you; they include tomatoes, maple syrup, pickles, and honey.
Not surprisingly, eggs and dairy products such as milk and cheese contain the least amount of acid. Red wine and coffee can also discolor your enamel if they’re drunk in excessive amounts.
What can I do to prevent enamel damage?
There are plenty of ways to avoid discoloration and decay of your enamel. The best thing to do is limit the amount of high-acid foods, including sugary juices and soda, in your diet.
Another way is to brush and floss regularly, an hour after each meal. If you can’t make time to brush, an easy solution is to swish your mouth with water or mouthwash to rinse away any leftover acidic particles.
Damaged tooth enamel may be common, but is avoidable when you know which foods to stay away from and the steps to take after you do eat highly acidic foods. Take our advice and you’ll be sure to slow down any future discoloration and decay that happens in your mouth.
For more advice on protecting your enamel, give our Statesboro, GA a call to learn more!
December 29th, 2017
It’s no secret that New Year’s Eve is one of the most widely celebrated holidays in the world. Dr. Michael Wall and our team love it too. It’s a fresh start, another year of surviving the crazy world we live in, a time to refocus on the things we want for ourselves, a celebration with those we love … the list goes on.
Dozens of countries welcome the New Year with over-the-top parties and celebrations. Because it’s a public holiday, many offices, businesses, and schools close for the day. As you think about your plans for this holiday, here are some fun facts about New Year’s that might surprise you!
Can you guess what the most common New Year’s resolutions are? You may already have one or two of these on your own personal list. The top five New Year’s resolutions are: to quit smoking, get a new job, lose weight, increase personal savings, and return to school. Just remember that coming up with a concrete plan to reach your goals is the surest way to achieve your resolutions!
About one million people brave the cold to watch the New Year’s Eve ball drop in New York City’s Times Square in person. Yes, that’s one million! This event is one of the most iconic celebrations in the world. People travel from all over just to experience it, but you can watch from the warmth and comfort of your living room.
If you’re not a fan of cabbage, collard greens, black-eyed peas, or ham hocks, you might want to revise your tastes. All these foods are all regarded as lucky fare on New Year’s Day. Unless you’re allergic, of course!
For many people in Mexico and Latin America, eating 12 grapes at midnight is a tradition that brings good luck in the 12 coming months. Most people even make a wish per grape!
Whether you’re celebrating in Statesboro, GA or traveling elsewhere to observe the holiday, New Year’s Eve is a time to enjoy the company of your friends and family. Don’t forget to send warm wishes to your loved ones, and snag a midnight kiss with that special someone if you can!
December 22nd, 2017
You can learn just about anything on the Internet these days. You can also order just about anything on the Internet these days.
But would you order your braces on the Internet? There’s a new trend involving websites that claim to offer a solution for straightening teeth, without your ever seeing a dentist or orthodontist in person.
These companies usually have patients take an impression of their teeth using putty and a tray. Then you mail the impressions back to the company where a dentist reportedly examines them and suggests a course of treatment using 3D modeling software.
A series of clear aligners are made, to be worn by the patient in order to attain the desired result. Although this form of orthodontic treatment may cost less than seeing an orthodontist in person, there are several reasons why you should avoid it:
- Potential health hazards are missed: If your oral health is not up to par (e.g., you have cavities, gingivitis, chipped teeth, etc.), an orthodontist would not suggest orthodontic treatment. Only after these issues are addressed would treatment be considered as an option. Whether this is the case with a person can’t be known when all the doctor sees is a set of impressions.
- Lack of information about the patient: Before you receive any orthodontic treatment, an orthodontist will have X-rays taken to make sure you are a good candidate. If the bones or teeth do not look like they would align properly with treatment, another course of care may be suggested, even necessary. None of this background is available to over-the-net orthodontic providers.
- No regular checkups: The purpose of regular checkups with Dr. Michael Wall is to ensure that everything is moving properly, on schedule, and most important, safely. This lack of hands-on care with Internet orthodontics could be a hazard for you as a patient and has the potential to do more harm than good.
It’s not worth the risk of getting orthodontic treatment over the net just to save some money. Our Statesboro, GA office is committed to working with you, whatever your financial situation may be.
Let’s work together to give you the smile you deserve!
December 15th, 2017
As we all know, or should by now, the key to maintaining great oral health is keeping up with a daily plan of flossing, brushing, and using mouthwash. These three practices in combination will help you avoid tooth decay and keep bacterial infections at bay.
At Wall Orthodontics, we’ve noticed that it’s usually not the toothbrush or floss that people have trouble picking, but the mouthwash.
Depending on the ingredients, different mouthwashes will have different effects on your oral health. Here are some ideas to take under consideration when you’re trying to decide which type of mouthwash will best fit your needs.
- If gum health is your concern, antiseptic mouthwashes are designed to reduce bacteria near the gum line.
- If you drink a lot of bottled water, you may want to consider a fluoride rinse to make sure your teeth develop the level of strength they need.
- Generally, any mouthwash will combat bad breath, but some are especially designed to do so.
- Opt for products that are ADA approved, to ensure you aren’t exposing your teeth to harmful chemicals.
- If you experience an uncomfortable, burning sensation when you use a wash, stop it and try another!
Still have questions about mouthwash? Feel free to ask Dr. Michael Wall during your next visit to our Statesboro, GA office! We’re always happy to answer your questions. Happy rinsing!
December 8th, 2017
The iTero® Intraoral Scanner has revolutionized the way orthodontic impressions are taken. Now there's no need for messy, uncomfortable molds. Getting high-quality and accurate impressions has never been easier or more reliable.
When a patient comes to our Statesboro, GA office for a consultation, Dr. Michael Wall will need to take records of the person’s teeth and bite. Having a replica of a patient’s teeth and bite enables the orthodontist to plan out and visualize the most effective and timely treatment plan.
Traditionally, this was achieved by creating a plaster mold or cast. Putting the impression material and trays onto the teeth can be an uncomfortable process for many patients, especially those who have a sensitive gag reflex.
All that is history with iTero digital impressions. Our patients and team members alike love the speed and accuracy of the iTero Intraoral Scanner. We simply move the wand around your teeth and gums, and within seconds, you get a high-quality, accurate, and color digital impression. That’s all there is to it!
Here’s what patients love about iTero:
- There are no messy and gag-inducing molds involved.
- It’s quick, so the process doesn’t interfere with your busy schedule.
- It’s painless and can be used on even the most pain-sensitive patients.
- Impressions are saved in a digital format, so there’s no risk of molds breaking or needing to be recast.
- Cutting-edge accuracy makes for more timely, comfortable, and effective orthodontic treatment.
Our Statesboro, GA office is equipped with the latest iTero technology to make your office visit a breeze. So many aspects of our lives have been digitized and simplified, why should your orthodontic treatment be any different?
If you’re thinking about getting braces or clear aligners, iTero will optimize the experience and help ensure you get the best treatment you possibly can!
December 1st, 2017
You may have noticed that kids seem to be getting braces and other orthodontic care a lot earlier these days. There was a time, only a decade or two ago, when braces were mainly seen on teenagers, but that is beginning to change. If you’re wondering when to bring your child to our Statesboro, GA office for an orthodontic evaluation, the answer actually has several parts.
The Telltale Signs
If your child has a very crowded set of adult teeth coming in, or if the permanent front teeth came in very early, these are signs that your child should see Dr. Michael Wall, regardless of age.
The Dental Age
Barring signs of trouble or early adult teeth as mentioned above, the time that your child needs to be seen for initial orthodontic evaluation depends not so much upon your child’s actual age, but on what is known as a “dental age.”
The dental age of the patient might be entirely different from his or her actual chronological age; for example, an eight-year-old could have a dental age of 13. It is part of Dr. Michael Wall and our staff’s job to determine the dental age and then make appropriate recommendations for the resolution of orthodontic issues if they are emerging.
The Official Recommended Age
The American Association of Orthodontists officially recommends that kids should see an orthodontist for the first time between the ages of seven and nine. Even if the child does not have all his or her permanent teeth, the teeth growth pattern can usually be predicted quite effectively by an orthodontist.
This allows for a proactive response to emerging problems, and this is the reason that some younger children are now getting orthodontic devices earlier in life. If a young child has serious orthodontic issues emerging, Dr. Michael Wall can usually address the problems immediately and then follow up with another round of treatment when the child has all the adult teeth.
November 24th, 2017
Many people who are careful about brushing and flossing their teeth wonder how they still end up with cavities or tooth decay. Several factors affect wear and tear on tooth enamel. Diet is a major factor, with certain foods increasing the likelihood that your enamel will become discolored or decayed. Pay close attention to the foods you eat to keep your pearly whites looking healthy and clean.
What causes enamel damage?
Tooth enamel refers to the hard, semi-translucent, whitish part of the tooth that shows above your gums. The enamel is primarily composed of minerals that are strong but susceptible to highly acidic foods. When acid reacts with the minerals in enamel, it results in tooth decay. Strongly pigmented foods can also damage enamel by discoloring the surface of the tooth.
Foods that harm enamel
Acidic foods are the greatest source of enamel damage. To determine whether a food is acidic, look up its pH. Scientists use pH, on a one-to-seven scale, to define the relative acidity or alkalinity of a substance. Foods with low pH levels, between a one and three, are high in acidity and may damage your enamel. Foods with high pH levels, such as a six or seven, are far less likely to cause enamel harm.
So which foods should you avoid? Many fruits are high in acidity, including lemons, grapefruit, strawberries, grapes, and apples. The high sugar and acid content in soda makes it another huge contributor to enamel decay. Moderately acidic foods include pineapple, oranges, tomatoes, cottage cheese, maple syrup, yogurt, raisins, pickles, and honey. The foods that are least likely to cause enamel damage include milk, most cheeses, eggs, and water.
Beverages such as red wine and coffee also damage the enamel by discoloring it. Although stains do not necessarily undermine the integrity of your teeth, they can be unsightly.
What can I do to prevent enamel damage?
Fortunately, there are several measures you can take to prevent your enamel from discoloring or decaying. The easiest way to avoid decay is to steer clear of high-acidity foods. This may not always be possible, but eliminating sugary fruit juices and soda from your diet is a good start. Brushing your teeth after each meal and flossing frequently also preserves your enamel. Another good idea is to rinse your mouth with water or mouthwash after eating to wash away high-acidity particles.
Although enamel damage is common, it does not have to be an inevitable occurrence. Knowing the foods that harm your teeth gives you the tools to prevent discoloration and decay. With some easy preventive measures, your teeth will stay strong and white for years to come! Give us a call at Wall Orthodontics to learn more!
November 17th, 2017
Temporomandibular dysfunction (TMD) refers to a diverse range of disorders that relate to muscular function in the jaw and face — the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). That could mean difficulty opening your mouth, pain in the jaw or face, or any sort of problem with the jaw joint.
TMD can be difficult to diagnose because of the varied causes. Whatever the case, an accurate diagnosis from Dr. Michael Wall helps make treatment as successful as possible.
Most often, jaw problems will resolve themselves within several weeks or months. Surgeries like arthrocentesis, arthroscopy, and open-joint surgery should be a last resort. More conservative and reversible treatments should come first and are in fact the most critical step in the treatment of TMD.
Less invasive treatments like acupuncture and splints can be helpful, but that will depend on your particular case. It’s worth your while to speak with Dr. Michael Wall at our Statesboro, GA office to learn about solutions that could work for you.
A combination of treatments will most often produce the greatest relief for TMJ patients. It’s a good idea to avoid activities that overuse the jaws, such as chewing gum or clenching your jaws.
You can be proactive in finding relief for TMD by trying the following remedies at home:
- Eat soft food: When you eat soft and/or blended food, your jaw gets an opportunity to rest. Avoid chewy and crunchy food, and food that requires you to open your mouth wide, like apples or corn on the cob.
- Apply moist heat: A hot water bottle wrapped in a moist towel can help reduce symptoms.
- Apply ice: Applying an ice pack wrapped in a cloth or towel for no longer than 15 minutes may also reduce pain and promote healing.
- Do jaw exercises: A physical therapist can help identify the exercises that will work for you. Jaw exercises have been shown to be an effective treatment method that can be performed at home.
- Relaxation: Actively try to relax the muscles of the face and lips, and let your teeth come apart. Many find meditation, yoga, and slow, deep breathing to be helpful for reducing stress and tension.
- Avoid wide yawns: Keep your fist under your jaw when you feel a yawn coming on, to keep your jaw from opening too widely.
November 10th, 2017
Patients have so many choices for straightening their teeth nowadays — clear aligners, ceramic braces, lingual braces, self-ligating braces — but who is best suited to guide them through orthodontic treatment? Well, an orthodontist like Dr. Michael Wall in Statesboro, GA of course!
This may seem obvious, but there’s misinformation circulating with regard to the roles dentists and orthodontists play in treating patients’ oral health.
Dentists are trained to clean teeth, fill cavities, perform certain dental surgeries, and examine overall oral health. Many dentists now offer braces to their patients, but according to the American Association of Orthodontists, it’s better to consult an orthodontist if you need to straighten teeth or fix a bite.
Why an orthodontist? Because they are...
- Specialists in straightening teeth and aligning jaws, even advanced cases
- Required to study an additional two to three years after dental school
- Trained to choose the correct treatment option because they have worked with all the available options
- Trained to recognize the potential pitfalls with certain treatments and cases, which means there’s less chance of problems after treatment has started or been completed
- Familiar with emerging treatments and technologies so they can make the best choice for a patient’s case
Some dentists claim to have taken enough continuing education or additional training to offer braces to their patients. But this can't compare to the advanced training an orthodontist receives during his or her education.
Ideally, dentists and orthodontists work hand in hand to make sure oral health and the alignment of teeth and jaws are the best they can be. Think of a dentist as the one who is there for a lifetime, to make sure teeth and gums are healthy.
In contrast, an orthodontist is the highly skilled teammate who helps the dentist by straightening teeth and aligning the jaws over the course of a few years. Instead of one replacing the other, they work together for the health and benefit of their patients.
November 3rd, 2017
Dental floss is similar to a lot of products that depend mainly on the consumer’s preference. Fact is, floss comes in a wide variety of flavors, coatings, and other variations, but all types of floss essentially do the same thing. After all, that is what is most important: that the dental floss you buy is functional—cleaning the areas in between your teeth. If you want to know what the best dental floss is, the answer is the kind that enables you to successfully and regularly clean those areas. So to help you find the right type of floss for you, here are some options.
Flavored Dental Floss
Many people that floss prefer a flavored dental floss because it freshens their breath even more than unscented floss. The latter can also take on the smells associated with bacteria in your mouth. And we all know how bad that can be. So, if flavored dental floss is what you prefer, and it allows you to floss your teeth regularly, then it is automatically best for your mouth.
There are also products on the market called flossers, which usually consist of a plastic instrument with strung floss and a pick on the opposite end. This option can be both effective at cleaning the areas in between your teeth and scraping off plaque. These flossers also come flavored in mint and various other varieties.
Gentle Dental Floss
Some people find that typical dental floss is too harsh on their gums. For that reason some companies make floss with soft coatings that are less abrasive on the gums. For the most part these types of floss are just as effective as regular floss, and for those people that require a more sensitive approach to flossing, especially when just starting out, this is the best option.
Of the aforementioned options, it is difficult to name an absolute best type of floss. However, Dr. Michael Wall and our team say that the type of floss that works best for you, giving you the greatest chance of succeeding at regular flossing, is the best. For more information on floss, contact our Statesboro, GA office.
October 27th, 2017
Having teeth encased in braces can be discouraging during Halloween. If you or your child has braces, there are certain candies to avoid this holiday season—and in general—while you have braces. Candy can be tempting, especially for children.
But don’t worry; other sweet treat options can readily take their place. Take a look at the American Association of Orthodontists’ tips on how to keep your braces safe.
Treats to avoid because they can cause damage to your braces include:
- Hard candies
- Chewy candies
- Jelly beans
- Hard pretzels
These goodies should be avoided because they have the potential to bend or break your braces. Broken brackets and loose wires can waste time and money.
Switch out hard, chewy, and sticky candies for these options in the mean time:
- Soft chocolate
- Peanut butter cups
- Gelatin treats
- Ice cream
- Root beer floats
- Apple cider
Encouraging your child to stay with alternative, braces-friendly treats may prevent her from trying to eat candies that could break or damage braces. Halloween can still be fun, especially if your youngster (or you) don’t have to visit our Statesboro, GA office get braces fixed.
Make sure to remind your child to avoid harmful candies, and encourage him to exchange treats with friends to make it more fun. Only passing out candies that children can eat safely, such as soft chocolates, can make them feel included.
Dr. Michael Wall and our team hope you enjoy your Halloween season, regardless of whether you are wearing braces.
October 20th, 2017
Sometimes food that’s good for your body isn’t necessarily the best for your teeth. Dr. Michael Wall and our team want you to know which healthy foods can harm your teeth and gums, and what steps you can take to continue enjoying these foods, even when you’re dieting.
When you begin to substitute empty calories with whole foods, make sure you also remember to focus on your dental health. The majority of people tend to switch out sugary foods in favor of fruits and vegetables when they diet.
It’s worth knowing that most fruits are highly acidic and composed of natural sugars. Some of the highly acidic fruits to watch out for include apples, grapes, strawberries, pineapples, blueberries, oranges, and grapefruit. Moderation is key here, as with all other things. Fruits can be a great source of energy to help you through your day, but try not to overdo them.
Often, people also incorporate more leafy greens into their diets, which mean plenty of salads. Salad dressing is another item you’ll want to watch out for. Many dressings are filled with vinegars and sweeteners that include harmful acids, which change the pH of your mouth. When your mouth shifts from alkaline to acidic, your smile also turns to a higher risk for erosion and decay.
Rather than get rid of these foods altogether, simply change what you do after you eat them. Rinse your mouth out with water, brush your teeth, or eat alkalizing foods after consuming these acidic foods. Healthy alkalizing foods include dairy products such as eggs and yogurt, or any type of vegetable.
If you have questions regarding your current diet and its effect on your oral health, please contact our Statesboro, GA office and speak with a member of our staff. If you’ve begun to make changes in your diet toward a healthier lifestyle, we hope these tips can help your make positive changes to your oral health. Our team at Wall Orthodontics wants a healthy lifestyle to be a top priority in your life.
October 13th, 2017
Braces aren’t just for kids. Many grownups are taking advantage of orthodontic treatment and having their teeth straightened at a later age.
Sometimes, patients include adults who already had braces in the past, but their teeth shifted over time once they stopped wearing their retainers. In other cases, adults who have never had braces are tired of having crooked teeth and ready to invest in a beautiful smile.
Whatever the case may be, if you’re looking to straighten your teeth with braces, Dr. Michael Wall would love to help you with this process. Having a dazzling smile can increase your confidence in all areas of your life!
Depending on what you’re willing to spend and how quickly you would like to complete the process, you have various options for getting braces. We all know what traditional metal braces look like. This is a less-expensive route for individuals who have severely crooked or displaced teeth. However, many adults avoid option because the braces are noticeable or distracting in a professional atmosphere.
For people concerned about aesthetics, clear ceramic braces may be a preferable option. This type can still fix extremely crooked teeth or jaw alignment issues. It may be slightly more expensive than traditional metal braces. Patients who choose this treatment route need to be careful not to stain the clear adhesives by drinking too much coffee, red wine, soda, or other beverages that can discolor teeth.
Another great option for adults who don’t want to have visible braces is a clear aligner treatment known as Invisalign®. This popular option differs from traditional braces by featuring a series of clear aligners that are each custom-made for your teeth.
The entire process can take anywhere from three to 18 months to straighten your teeth completely. This may not be the best choice for patients who have an overcrowded mouth or extreme bite issues. Invisalign is often the most expensive option, but it’s great if you’re concerned about your appearance while your teeth are being straightened.
If you’ve been thinking about straightening your teeth with the help of braces, don’t hesitate to contact our Statesboro, GA office to set up a consultation. From there, Dr. Michael Wall can figure out the best course of treatment, depending on your budget and overall needs.
Adult braces can be a great way to boost your confidence and finally give you the smile you’ve always wanted.
October 6th, 2017
Xylitol is a naturally occurring sweetener found in tree bark, plants, fruits, and vegetables. The human body also produces it in small amounts. It looks and tastes like sugar, so as part of a health regimen, most people require no willpower to use it.
Xylitol is safe (approved by the World Health Organization) because only a small amount is needed for health benefits. With a glycemic index of seven, it is safe for diabetics. It has less than three calories per gram and 40% fewer calories than other carbohydrates. If eaten in extremely large amounts too quickly, it has a laxative effect in humans.
Tooth decay happens when bacteria in your mouth consume the sugars you eat. When you eat food that contains ordinary sugar, it gives energy to the bacteria on your teeth, allowing them to multiply and start making acids that destroy the enamel on the teeth.
Since xylitol is a natural sweetener derived from the fibrous parts of plants, it does not break down like sugar, so it helps maintain a neutral pH level in the mouth. Xylitol also prevents bacteria from sticking to the teeth because they are unable to digest it. That is how it protects the teeth from cavities.
With xylitol, the acid attack is diminished. With less bacteria and acid, your teeth stay healthier. The frequency of xylitol ingestion is important: aim for five grams a day, or one gram every three hours.
Studies of xylitol use as either a sugar substitute or a small dietary addition have demonstrated a dramatic reduction in new cavities. It has also stopped and even reversed some existing cavities. This effect is long lasting and possibly permanent. Low cavity rates persist even years after the trials have been completed.
Xylitol needs to be one of the first ingredients in a product to be effective. It is convenient and easy to use. You can find it in health food stores and specialty grocery stores. Xylitol can be delivered to your teeth in chewing gum, tablets, or even candy and mints.
It also comes in toothpaste, mouth rinse, baby oral wipes, gel and pacifiers, nasal wash, dry mouth spray, a granulated form for cooking, granulated packets to add to drinks, and commercially prepared foods. It can replace sugar on a one-to-one ratio.
Sweet rewards in xylitol are good for the body and the teeth! If you have specific questions please feel free to contact Wall Orthodontics. We look forward to seeing you soon!
September 29th, 2017
The average age of individuals who get braces is between nine and 14, although it is appropriate for younger children to visit Wall Orthodontics for a consultation with Dr. Michael Wall. While parents may be concerned about the efficacy of early orthodontics, research suggests that early intervention can prevent greater dental health problems later in life.
What types of conditions require early intervention?
According to the American Association of Orthodontists, 3.7 million children under the age of 17 receive orthodontic treatment each year. Early intervention may be appropriate for younger children with crooked teeth, jaw misalignment, and other common issues. Early orthodontic treatment may be of use for several types of problems:
- Class I malocclusion. This condition is very common. It features crooked teeth or those that protrude at abnormal angles. In general, early treatment for Class I malocclusion occurs in two phases, each two years long.
- Class III malocclusion. Known as an underbite, in which the lower jaw is too big or the upper jaw too small, Class III malocclusion requires early intervention. Because treatment involves changing growth patterns, starting as early as age seven is a smart choice for this dental problem.
- Crossbite. Crossbite occurs when the upper and lower jaws are not properly aligned. An orthodontic device called a palatal expander widens the upper jaw, allowing teeth to align properly. Research suggests that early treatment may be beneficial in crossbite cases, especially when the jaw must shift laterally to correct the problem.
- Tooth extraction. That mouthful of crooked baby teeth can cause problems when your child’s permanent teeth erupt. For kids with especially full mouths, extracting baby teeth and even permanent premolars can help adult teeth grow in straight.
Considerations when thinking about early intervention
Early intervention isn’t helpful for all conditions. For example, research suggests that there is little benefit to early orthodontics for Class II malocclusion (commonly known as an overbite). Instead, your child should wait until adolescence to begin treatment. Scheduling a visit to our Statesboro, GA office when your child is around age seven is a smart way to create an individualized treatment plan that addresses unique orthodontic needs.
September 22nd, 2017
Wearing braces limits some of the snacks you can eat. However, you still have plenty of choices for fun and healthy foods that will not harm your braces. You can even enjoy a few crunchy treats as long as you choose them carefully.
Puddings provide a sweet and safe snack while you are wearing braces. You can even select flavored puddings such as caramel to satisfy the urge for items you should not eat. They can be purchased already made or whipped up at home. You can even select low-sugar varieties that still taste good. Ice cream and yogurt are also choices; just avoid products with nuts.
Fruits are excellent for a healthy snack. You just need to avoid biting into hard fruits such as whole apples. You can avoid the problem with fruit cocktails packed in water. Cocktails still have the nutritional benefits and flavor, but contain softer pieces. Avoid fruits packed in heavy syrup, though; these tend to have too much sugar.
Crunchy or Salty Snacks
Not all crunchy foods are bad; you just need to limit the crunch. Walnuts are a softer nut that can normally be eaten safely. Small cheese crackers satisfy the need for crunchy and salty. You can also allow pieces to dissolve slightly in your mouth before chewing, to reduce any risk.
Soft granola bars are also an option. Check the granola ingredients to ensure there are no large nut pieces, and brush your teeth afterwards. Otherwise pieces can become stuck in your dental work.
If you have any questions about safe snacks, do not hesitate to ask Dr. Michael Wall and our staff.
September 15th, 2017
When most patients ask Dr. Michael Wall this question, they're thinking strictly about sugar content — cut out the bacteria-feeding sugar that's present in regular soda by opting for a diet soda and it will be better for your teeth. That seems logical, right? Well, there's a bit more to it than that. Let's take a closer look at how any kind of soda can affect your dental health.
Diet Soda – Why it can also lead to tooth decay
The main culprit in these drinks that leads to decay is the acid content. Diet sodas and other sugar-free drinks are usually highly acidic, which weakens the enamel on your teeth and makes them more susceptible to cavities and dental erosion. The level of phosphoric acid, citric acid, and/or tartaric acid is usually high in sugar-free drinks so it's best to avoid them.
Some patients also enjoy drinking orange juice or other citrus juices. These drinks are high in citric acid and have the same effect on the enamel of your teeth.
So what about regular soda?
We know the acidity of diet sodas and sugar-free drinks contributes to tooth decay, so what about regular soda? Like we alluded to earlier, regular soda is high in sugar — a 12 ounce can contains roughly ten teaspoons of sugar — and sugar feeds the decay-causing bacteria in the mouth. This also includes sports drinks and energy drinks, which are highly acidic and loaded with sugar too. So these drinks are a double-whammy of sugar and acidity your teeth and body simply don't need.
The problems caused by both diet and regular soda is exacerbated when you sip on them throughout the day. If you drink it all in one sitting, you won't be washing sugar and/or acids over your teeth all day long and your saliva will have a chance to neutralize the pH in your mouth.
The best beverages to drink and how to drink them
Drinking beverages that are lower in acid is a good step to take to keep your enamel strong. According to a study conducted by Matthew M. Rodgers and J. Anthony von Fraunhofer at the University of Michigan, your best bets are plain water, black tea or coffee, and if you opt for a soda, root beer. These drinks dissolved the least amount of enamel when measured 14 days after consumption of the beverage.
If you still choose to drink soda, diet soda, sugar-free drinks, or juices here are some other tips to lessen tooth decay:
- Drink your soda or acidic beverages through a straw to minimize contact with teeth
- Rinse with water immediately after consumption of the beverage
- Avoid brushing your teeth between 30 minutes to an hour after drinking the beverage as this has been shown to spread the acids before your saliva can bring your mouth back to a neutral pH
- Avoid drinks that have acids listed on the ingredients label
Still have questions about soda, sugar, and acid? Give our Statesboro, GA office a call and we’d be happy to help!
September 8th, 2017
If your teeth don't line up like they used to any more, you may be suffering from temporomandibular joint disorder, often called TMD. This is a term that can actually be applied to any condition that occurs because the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is inflamed.
The temporomandibular joint is essentially the hinge that holds your lower jaw to your skull, and when it is inflamed or damaged in any way, it can be extremely painful. You have two temporomandibular joint, one on each side of your jaw, and it is typical to experience TMD in both sides at the same time.
Shifting of the Teeth
The reason that your teeth may not line up as they once did is that the ball and socket joints are often out of alignment and, as mentioned above, often very inflamed as a result. In order to correct the problem, Dr. Michael Wall may prescribe dental orthotics such as a lower jaw splint.
Sometimes, the wisdom teeth can play a role in the shifting of the teeth as well. If shifting wisdom teeth is combined with TMD, it may be necessary to have your wisdom teeth removed. Dental splints may follow if your teeth don't shift back to their proper positions on their own.
TMD is certainly a difficult thing to deal with, so if you experience your teeth shifting, scheduling an appointment at our Statesboro, GA office is the smartest course. We want to help you get your smile back, so give us a call anytime.
September 1st, 2017
It's the end of summer, and fall is just around the corner. Soon the temperatures will cool down, the leaves will start to change, and Dr. Michael Wall and our team at Wall Orthodontics are sure that you’ll soon be thinking about Halloween costumes and Thanksgiving plans in no time. But wait! First, we want to know about your favorite parts of the summer! Did you go on a wonderful family trip? Did you pick up a new hobby? Did you try to spend as much time outside and in the sun as possible?
Share your favorite memories, stories, or photos with us by leaving a comment below or on our Facebook page.
August 25th, 2017
Between the huge number of toothpaste brands on the market today, the different flavors, and claims from most to do different things, it isn’t surprising that people feel so confused when it comes to something that should be as simple as buying a tube of toothpaste. This guide will help you identify the common ingredients in toothpaste, and help you understand the important factors to consider before buying toothpaste again.
Toothpaste comes in gel, paste, and powdered forms. When it comes to the type of toothpaste, the choice is more a matter of preference.
- Abrasive Agents – Abrasive agents are the scratchy substances added to toothpastes to help in the removal of food particles, bacteria, and minor stains. Calcium carbonate is one of many abrasive materials, and arguably the most common.
- Flavor – When toothpastes are flavored, they almost always have artificial sweeteners to enhance the flavor of the toothpaste and increase the likelihood that you’ll use it. Flavors run the gamut from traditional mint to cinnamon that may appeal to adults, and bubble gum or lemon lime – flavors to target children.
- Humectants – Humectants are moisturizing agents that keep paste and gel toothpastes from drying out. Glycerol is commonly used as a humectant.
- Thickeners – Thickeners are used to give toothpaste its distinctive consistency, and to make it maintain a uniform consistency and come out of the tube easily.
- Detergents – Sodium lauryl sulfate is the most common detergent used in products that foam up, like toothpaste does in your mouth.
What to Look For in Toothpaste
Fluoride is naturally occurring mineral. It is the most important ingredient to look for in a toothpaste. Although there are people who argue against using fluoride toothpaste, dental professionals like Dr. Michael Wall emphasize that the fact that the incidence of tooth decay has decreased so significantly in the past 50 years is because of fluoridated toothpaste.
The suggestion that fluoridated water gives you enough fluoride to protect your teeth is wrong. Fluoride toothpaste is the best cavity protection there is. In addition to strengthening tooth enamel and protecting teeth from acid erosion (from acidic foods and drinks,) it remineralizes the surfaces of teeth that are suffering from early acid damage and may prevent developing tooth decay from worsening.
Tartar is the result of hardened plaque buildup on the teeth. Good oral hygiene and in between twice yearly cleanings from a dental hygienist are the best defense against plaque buildup. Plaque turns to tartar when people neglect their oral hygiene. Over time, tartar can build up on teeth and under the gums, increasing the risk of gum disease.
Your best bet is to use a toothpaste that has a combination of anti-plaque agents. Products containing more than one plaque reducer may be more effective than products that only one. Common ingredients to look for are zinc citrate or pyrophosphates. Triclosan is an antibiotic that is believed to kill bacteria in the mouth, and it can be found in some anti-plaque toothpaste.
Look for toothpaste that bears the seal of the American Dental Association. That seal is an endorsement of the ADA – and it means that many dentists agree that that particular toothpaste does what toothpaste is designed to do. We can also recommend toothpaste to meet your specific oral health concerns at your next visit to our Statesboro, GA office.
August 18th, 2017
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Proper oral hygiene techniques are always worthwhile, but they are especially crucial when you’re wearing orthodontic appliances such as braces. When you don’t maintain an effective oral hygiene routine, you can be more susceptible to gum disease as well as tooth decay, cavities, decalcification, discoloration, and/or staining of the teeth.
Braces themselves don’t cause these issues, but since they create spaces that are difficult to clean, they provide extra sources of food (dental plaque and food debris) for the bacteria that do. Bacteria create a biofilm on the surface of a tooth that can spread if not addressed. That bacteria food can only be removed by a mechanical action: brushing and flossing your teeth!
Here’s a list of smart hygiene steps to follow for the duration of your braces treatment:
Proper tooth brushing technique: Make sure to brush your teeth thoroughly (for a total of about two minutes), but not too hard. Point the head of the toothbrush at the gum line and brush just hard enough so that you feel slight pressure against the gums. Use a soft, small-headed toothbrush or an electric toothbrush if you’d like. Try your best always to clean on and around every tooth, bracket, and wire in your mouth!
Flossing: Braces can make flossing a chore, but it’s an essential adjunct to proper tooth brushing. Make sure to floss between all your teeth and brackets. Dr. Michael Wall can provide you with braces floss threaders and interproximal toothbrushes (small brushes used to clean areas under wires and between brackets) to make the task easier. You might also consider purchasing an oral irrigator that uses a stream of water to blast food particles and debris from between teeth and gums.
Rinse with water: This may sound slight, but it’s a good idea, especially if you aren’t able to brush. Rinsing your mouth with water throughout the day helps to dislodge the decay-causing food particles that become lodged in braces.
Hygiene away from home: It’s a good idea to have a kit with a toothbrush, floss, floss threaders, mirror, and small water cup on hand at school or work. That way, you’ll be sure to have all the tools you need to keep your mouth clean.
Regular professional cleanings: As always, it’s best to visit your dentist regularly to verify everything in your mouth is in order and your oral hygiene routine is effective. Twice a year is sufficient, unless the dentist recommends more frequent visits.
It's vital to keep your teeth and gums clean during your braces treatment, and that requires your care and attention. If feel like you need help with any of the techniques above, a member of our Statesboro, GA team can demonstrate them for you!
August 11th, 2017
It’s useful to know some of the common problems that can arise when you get braces. Even if you take great care of your braces and teeth, you might not be able to avoid certain issues or side effects that accompany braces. But don’t worry: These are all common problems that can be taken care of by following some simple advice.
If you just had your braces put on, you may notice some general soreness in your mouth. Your teeth are starting to adjust to having to shift, so they may ache, and your jaw might feel tender at first. This will subside once your mouth becomes used to the new appliance in residence.
You may experience soreness on your tongue or mouth, which may be a sign of a canker sore. Canker sores are common when braces rub against your mouth. You can use ointments to relieve pain and numb the area that’s been irritated. Canker sores are commonly caused by broken wires or loose bands on your braces.
- Loose brackets: Apply a small amount of orthodontic wax to the bracket. You might also apply a little between the braces and the soft tissue of your mouth.
- Loose bands: These must be secured in place by Dr. Michael Wall. Try to save the band for repair.
- Protruding or broken wires: Use the eraser end of a pencil to push the wire carefully to a less painful spot. If you are unable to move it, apply orthodontic wax to the tip. If a mouth sore develops, clean your mouth with warm salt water or antiseptic rinse.
- Loose spacers: These will need to be repositioned by Dr. Michael Wall and possibly replaced.
You should avoid certain foods that could cause major damage to your braces. No matter what you eat, make the effort to cut your food into small pieces that can be chewed easily. This will prevent chunks of it from getting lodged between brackets.
Avoiding hard and chewy foods is also wise. Some foods can break your hardware: for example, popcorn, nuts, apples, gum, taffy, and hard candies. Avoiding any foods that easily got stuck in your teeth when you didn’t have braces is a good rule to follow.
The appliances in your mouth are bound to attract food particles and make it easier for plaque to build up. By making sure you brush and floss carefully every day, you can prevent stains and cavities from developing over time. Dr. Michael Wall and our team recommend brushing and making sure that food isn’t lodged between your braces after every meal.
Having braces can be very exciting, but it can also be challenging at first. Watching for these common issues during your first few weeks can prevent problems down the road. If you experience a lot of pain from your braces, contact our Statesboro, GA office and we can try to resolve any issues.
Braces can sometimes be a pain, but they’re well worth it once your new smile gets revealed!
August 4th, 2017
The stereotypical braces wearer – in middle school, with a mouth full of metal brackets – has led to numerous myths about orthodontics that discourage many people from getting the dental care they need. Dr. Michael Wall and our staff would like to put some of these myths to rest.
Myth 1: Orthodontic treatment is for kids. Although teenagers often visit the orthodontist to get braces, adults represent a growing proportion of orthodontic patients. Whether you’re eight or 80, a consultation with an orthodontist can identify problems with your teeth, jaws, or bite that can be corrected by orthodontic interventions.
Myth 2: Traditional, metal braces are my only option. Advances in orthodontic technology have rendered improved braces and other orthodontic appliances that are much less noticeable than the braces of yesteryear. Ask Dr. Michael Wall about Invisalign® braces and other options that make sense for your situation.
Myth 3: Orthodontic treatment is only helpful for crooked teeth. Sure, a crooked smile is a common reason that patients seek orthodontic care. However, orthodontic interventions help with a range of dental health problems. From missing teeth to overbite to jaw misalignment, your orthodontist can help with many problems associated with the teeth, gums, and jaws.
Myth 4: Orthodontic treatment is too expensive. As with any medical procedure, orthodontics can be pricey. However, our Statesboro, GA team works with patients to find payment plans, insurance coverage, or other payment options that reduce the financial burden.
July 28th, 2017
Dr. Michael Wall and our team correct the alignment of your teeth and jaws so that you can speak clearly, chew food effectively, and look attractive when you smile. We do this by putting sophisticated gadgets in your mouth. While many of these dental devices look similar, we use a wide variety of orthodontic appliances to straighten your teeth and repair jaw problems.
Orthodontic appliances are devices that move your teeth, change the position of your jaw, or hold your teeth in their finished positions after your braces are removed. These devices may be attached to your teeth or removable.
Braces straighten your teeth. Brackets, bands, and wires characterize traditional braces. Braces are attached to the teeth, so they are not easily removable.
Spacers are small plastic rings fitted between your back teeth before your braces are placed by Dr. Michael Wall. These spacers create space between your teeth to optimize the alignment your braces provide.
Retainers hold teeth in their finished position after your braces come off. A Hawley retainer is the most common type of retainer; it features an acrylic plate that rests against the roof of your mouth and a wire crossing in front of your teeth. Essex retainers are quite popular, as they are durable and nearly invisible.
Bite plates correct a deep bite, where the upper front teeth come down too far over the lower front teeth to cause bite problems.
Holding arches prevent the back teeth from moving forward to crowd the front teeth. A lower lingual holding arch prevents your permanent molars from migrating forward. The Nance holding arch maintains space between teeth after you lose baby teeth and before the permanent teeth come in.
A palatal expander widens your upper jaw by separating the bones of your palate. This appliance helps your top and bottom teeth fit together better. The Quad Helix widens your jaws to create more room for crowded teeth.
Contact our Statesboro, GA office today to learn more about the ways we can improve the appeal and function of your smile.
July 21st, 2017
Most of us aren’t born with a red carpet smile. And if you’ve thought about straightening your teeth but are apprehensive about doing so with traditional orthodontic treatment, Dr. Michael Wall and our team at Wall Orthodontics want you to know there is another option – Invisalign®!
Invisalign is an ideal solution for most adults looking for a less noticeable way to achieve a better smile. In fact, Invisalign has increasingly become a very popular choice for adults looking for a more comfortable, convenient and cosmetically-appealing treatment for straightening their teeth.
Our team at Wall Orthodontics is proud to offer Invisalign, which uses a series of invisible, removable and comfortable aligners that no one can tell you’re wearing, which allows you to smile more during treatment, as well as after. Not only are the aligners invisible, they are also removable, so you can eat and drink what you want; brushing and flossing is easier with Invisalign than with traditional braces.
Invisalign’s aligners are also comfortable, with no metal to cause mouth abrasions during your treatment. And no metal and wires usually means you spend less time at our office getting adjustments. Invisalign also allows you to view your own virtual treatment plan when you start, so you can see how your straight teeth will look when your treatment is complete!
A consultation with Dr. Michael Wall can determine if Invisalign is right for you. We encourage you to give us a call at our friendly Statesboro, GA office if you’re interested in learning more about Invisalign or if you are ready to visit us for an initial consultation! We look forward to seeing you!
July 14th, 2017
Did you know that more than four million children throughout the US and Canada have braces? At Wall Orthodontics, Dr. Michael Wall and our staff know that kids can be picky and meticulous eaters. If cooking for children without braces is difficult, preparing meals for children with braces is especially daunting.
“Comfort food takes on a whole new meaning when cooking for children with braces,” says Pamela Waterman, author of The Braces Cookbook: Recipes You and Your Orthodontist Will Love. “Whether you have new brackets, elastics, headgear, or more, there are great foods you can eat; it just takes some thought.”
These five braces-friendly dinner recipes will be sure to keep your kids smiling!
- Macaroni and cheese is the ultimate comfort food. Pasta is soft, so it’s easy for children with braces to eat. The warm, gooey cheese melts in the mouth and doesn’t get stuck in the braces like hard or sticky foods. Chances are good that even the pickiest eater has a soft spot for this homespun classic.
- The key to braces-friendly cooking is to replace hard, crunchy foods with softer substitutes. In other words, burritos are a better option than tacos, and lasagna is a better choice than pizza. At the same time, if you have the culinary skills to whip up a pizza with a soft crust, you’re going to win the Best Mom (or Dad) of the Year award.
- Your child may not like fruits and vegetables. In fact, he or she may even try to convince you that with new braces, fruits and vegetables are off limits. Nice try, kids. While your child is wearing braces, prepare meals with cooked vegetables instead of raw vegetables. A vegetable stir-fry is a healthy and soft dinner choice for kids with braces.
- Whether it’s beef or chicken, meat is a good source of protein. However, meat, even when it’s carefully taken off the bone (kids with braces should never eat meat from a bone), can easily get caught in braces. Sloppy Joes are a good alternative. The beef is softened by the addition of the sauce and less likely to get strung in the wires and brackets of the braces. Serve the Sloppy Joes with a side of mashed potatoes.
- Ask any child and he or she will tell you that the best part of dinner is dessert. While hard candy, licorice, taffy, caramel, popcorn, and all other chewy candies should be avoided, ice cream and cake are braces-friendly treats that keep kids smiling.
Need more braces-friendly food ideas? Feel free to ask any member of our team.
July 7th, 2017
The dog days of summer are upon us, and what better time for Dr. Michael Wall and our team to ask our patients about their summer!
Whether you visited our nation’s capital, went on a camping trip, or just stayed in Statesboro, GA and relaxed, we want to know how you’re all spending your summer! Please feel free to share your summer plans and experiences with us below or on our Facebook page as summer rolls on!
June 30th, 2017
The goal of orthodontic treatment at Wall Orthodontics, which may include the use of braces, retainers, and aligners, is to straighten your teeth. Treatment often starts in the pre-teen or teenage years, but adults may also need orthodontic treatment. The treatment can feel like a chore that lasts for several months or a couple of years, but it can fix important problems. These include:
- Crowded teeth spaced too close together
- Gaps between your teeth
- Crooked teeth
- Overbite or underbite
- Upper and lower teeth that do not meet
Straight Teeth are More Attractive
You are more likely to be proud of your smile when your teeth are straight and evenly spaced. Pride in your appearance can give you more confidence and encourage you to try new things. This can be particularly important for adolescents. In addition, people often judge others based on first impressions. A smile that shows straight teeth is more attractive.
Better Oral Health is Easier
Brushing and flossing your teeth are two basic components of an oral health routine to protect your teeth from conditions such as tooth decay, gingivitis, and plaque build-up. As Dr. Michael Wall and our staff know, caring for your mouth is easier when your teeth are straight. The American Dental Association says the following conditions are less likely to occur if you have the proper orthodontic treatment.
- Dental caries
- Gum disease or gingivitis
- Tooth loss
- Impaired speech
- Worn tooth enamel
Orthodontic Treatment Improves Nutrition
Poorly aligned teeth can reduce your ability to chew properly or make certain foods more difficult to eat. Many of these more challenging foods are healthy, and avoiding them can cause you to limit your diet to softer, often less-nutritious foods, such as ice cream and canned soup. Straighter teeth and a better ability to chew let you eat crunchy foods, such as apples and carrots; stringy foods, such as asparagus and chicken; and chewy foods, such as raisins.
June 23rd, 2017
These days it's becoming more and more common to see adults at our Statesboro, GA office getting their teeth straightened with Invisalign clear aligners — that is, if you can see them! Treatment with Invisalign is effective and aesthetically pleasing for all ages, but adults have certainly taken to them.
For some it may be to overcome the stigma that "braces are just for kids," but for others it may be the displeasing appearance and discomfort of traditional braces. According to the American Association of Orthodontics, from 1994 to 2010 the number of adults 18 and older getting braces increased by 58 percent, from 680,000 to 1.1 million annually. Many of these adults opt for Invisalign because of how discreet they are and since they don't need to avoid any foods or make dietary changes like you do with traditional braces.
The benefits of getting your teeth into proper alignment are many, and so are the advantages of Invisalign. By following your individual course of Invisalign treatment, you can expect to enjoy the following benefits over traditional braces:
- The total treatment time is more precise with Invisalign since your treatment is modeled by a computer, as compared to traditional braces where it is really just an estimate.
- You'll need to make fewer trips to our Statesboro, GA office since you can change your trays on your own every few weeks or as prescribed.
- There's less risk to the health of your tooth enamel since there is no need to place brackets on your teeth.
- Invisalign aligners are clear and practically invisible, so most people won't even know you're wearing them!
If you're interested in Invisalign treatment, please let Dr. Michael Wall know. We'd be happy to help you on your journey to a straighter, healthier smile!
June 16th, 2017
Your first few days with braces will feel rather odd, awkward, and even painful. The day you get your braces you will probably just feel weird, like you have something in your mouth – because you do. You are most likely to feel pain and soreness during the second and third days. After that, you should be fine. If you experience any pain with your braces, there are a few things you can do to get some relief.
Rinsing your mouth with warm salt water will soothe it and promote healing. Rinse several times a day or when your mouth, particularly mouth sores, are hurting. You can also take some Tylenol every four hours. Dr. Michael Wall and our team advise against products that contain ibuprofen because it slows down the movement of your teeth.
You can also eat cold foods like ice cream or yogurt. The cold of the food will help dull the pain. Ice packs applied to your mouth help as well. You can also swish ice water around your mouth, but DO NOT eat ice!
Products for canker sores can be applied to the mouth sores you develop from your braces. There are also various rinses you can use that act as a shield or barrier in your mouth, and protect your mouth sores from further irritation.
Dr. Michael Wall and our team may have given you some dental wax to put on the abrasive areas of your braces to protect your mouth. Putting dental wax on the brackets creates a barrier that keeps your mouth from getting scraped and sore.
Bite wafers are another great pain relief too. When you bite down on the wafer, it increases circulation in your gums, which can ease the pain a bit. Just a little pressure will work; you don’t want to bite too hard. And they usually come in cool colors, too!
The pain won’t last forever. One day you will wake up and you won’t have any pain. In fact, you probably won’t even notice the braces in your mouth at all!
June 9th, 2017
Two-phase orthodontic treatment involves two separate and distinct periods that your child receives orthodontic treatment. It allows your son or daughter to begin early treatment of bite and jaw problems, in order to reduce the dental issues he or she experiences later on.
Two-phase orthodontic treatment with Dr. Michael Wall can improve how well the second phase of the treatment works and helps to make room for permanent teeth. Overall, two-phase treatment helps to position the teeth and the jaw for an attractive profile. Our team at Wall Orthodontics recommends that you bring your child to our Statesboro, GA office at the age of seven or eight, so that Dr. Michael Wall can determine if early (Phase-One) treatment is necessary.
Phase-One orthodontic treatment is known as early treatment. It begins shortly after your child’s first orthodontic examination, usually around age eight or nine. The main goal of Phase-One orthodontic treatment is to help make room for permanent teeth, which reduces crooked teeth as a result of overcrowding. It treats the jaw and bite growth, and issues like crossbite or underbite. This can reduce the need for your child to undergo extractions.
Phase-Two orthodontic treatment is when braces are placed on the upper and/or lower teeth. The purpose is not just to correct spaces or misaligned teeth, but also to correct overbite or underbite concerns. Phase-Two usually begins around age 11 or 12, and the braces are worn for an average of two to three years, depending on your child’s unique needs. Some children have fewer issues and wear braces for little more than a year, while others need them for up to four years.
Signs your child needs two-phase orthodontic treatment
If your child exhibits the following signs, he or she may be a good candidate for two-phase orthodontic treatment:
- Losing baby teeth early, before five years of age
- Problems with biting or chewing
- Sucking the thumb after age five
- Evidence of a crossbite, where the teeth don’t come together when opening or closing of the mouth
- Teeth are crowded at age seven or eight
- Protruding teeth on the top or bottom
Not all children need to have early treatment, but if your child shows any of these signs, you should bring him or her to us for an evaluation at Wall Orthodontics.
June 2nd, 2017
As we start our summer, our team at Wall Orthodontics wants to remind our patients who have completed treatment that it is very important to wear your retainer as prescribed even while away for vacations and summer camps.
If you are away from home and only wearing your retainer at night, here is a helpful tip: after removing and brushing your retainer in the morning, place it back in the case and then put it with your PJ’s or on your pillow. That way you have a reminder to put your retainer back in at night.
Remember, retainers should be worn every night, not just some nights.
We wish you safe travels and adventures this summer!
May 26th, 2017
So you’re about to get braces. Congratulations! You are taking a very smart step to improve the health of your teeth as well as get that killer smile in shape. But, as with anything that is good for you, there are a few things you will have to avoid while you “do your time.”
Some foods don’t do so great with braces. The foods listed below should be avoided while you are wearing your braces because they can pop the brackets and bend the wires. In other words, these foods can really ruin your day, and send you back to Wall Orthodontics to get your braces repaired.
So before you hit the chair, hit the grocery and candy store – one last time – for:
- Beef jerky
- Raw carrots
- Pizza crust
- Bagels and other crusty bread
- Hard candy
- Nuts and seeds
Dr. Michael Wall and our staff will give you more information about eating with braces. Some foods, such as apples, are okay as long as you cut them in pieces first. Others, like pudding and pasta, are fine just as they are. But then there is “the list”: the foods that are a big no-no and should be avoided. It won’t be forever, so hang in there.
Your braces time will pass before you know it and you can resume more normal eating. But before the braces go on, enjoy these tasty treats. Go ahead and indulge!
May 19th, 2017
At Wall Orthodontics, we aren’t just concerned with straightening your teeth and giving you the beautiful smile you’ve always wanted. We are also committed improving the oral health and the well-being of all our patients. Dr. Michael Wall and our team strive to serve our patients by educating them about their treatments, as well as making them feel as comfortable as possible during their initial consultations up until the day they complete their treatments.
Making our patients more comfortable with taking care of their braces in between visits increases the likelihood that they will complete their treatments successfully. We want you to know that if you should ever have any questions about your orthodontic treatment, whether it’s during your adjustment appointment or after hours, we are always here for you and your family.
Please do not hesitate to give us a call at our Statesboro, GA office or ask us any questions you may have on our Facebook page! We can’t wait to hear from you!
May 12th, 2017
There's something special about customizing the elastics on your braces to fit your unique personality. Once you embrace your braces (no pun intended) you'll realize how many color options and combinations there are to choose from. Although you'll have a fantastic smile afterward, you won't have this level of customizability once your braces come off, that's for sure!
Adding flair to your braces isn't what all patients are looking to do (like those opting for clear aligners or ceramic braces), but it's part of the fun of traditional metal braces! Many of our patients ask Dr. Michael Wall to have their elastics match the colors of their favorite sports teams or their school, but how about changing your elastics to match holiday colors?
Here are some options to consider:
- Valentine’s Day – Red and pink
- Easter – Pink, blue, and violet
- Halloween – Orange and black
- Christmas – Red, green, and white
- Saint Patrick’s Day – Green and white
There are a few colors that some people choose to avoid. But if you’re trying to make your teeth stand out in a crowd, the following suggestions need not apply!
- Brown or Green – can be mistaken for food being stuck in your teeth
- Black – might look like a rotten tooth if someone isn't looking hard enough
- White – Some patients think it will make their teeth look whiter, but in fact it can make your teeth appear yellower than they actually are. White elastics can also stain easily.
- Yellow – accentuates the yellowness of your enamel
Since changing the color of your elastics has no effect on the actual orthodontic treatment process, the idea is to have fun and add a personal touch. So, next time you get your elastics changed at our Statesboro, GA office, why not wear your braces boldly and opt for something festive?
May 5th, 2017
The merry month of May also happens to be National Fitness and Sports Month, so take advantage of the warmer days to get outside and exercise! Bringing a friend, family member, or coworker with you when you go for a brisk walk during a lunch break can provide an opportunity to socialize as well as health benefits. If you need a little more motivation, here are some good reasons to stay active and fit.
- Improved stamina and energy as well as toned muscles and bone strength and density
- Improved circulation and breathing for a healthier heart and lungs
- Reduced risk for Type 2 diabetes and certain forms of cancer
- For older adults, regular exercise may help improve balance and reduce the risk of falls as well as improved cognitive abilities
Children and Teens
Children and teenagers spend long hours at their desks in school, on the computer, watching television, and involved in other sedentary activities that result in obesity and poor health later in life. Getting them engaged in school or community sports teams can help them form good life-long exercise habits. One important note: If they are participating in contact sports, Dr. Michael Wall and our team at Wall Orthodontics recommend your kids wear an approved mouthguard to protect those valuable teeth from injury! Ask us for a proper fitting of your safety appliance during your next visit!
A gym membership is nice but not necessary to stay fit; try these easy ways to work some exercise into your daily routine.
- Take a friend along for company on a walk through your neighborhood.
- Pursue gardening or other yard work, including mowing or raking.
- Take your kids on a bike ride or have them push a baby stroller around the block.
Couch potatoes take note: simply moving from the sofa to the floor for some sit-ups, leg-lifts, or push-ups while you’re watching television can help you get in better shape in no time.
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
- Take exercise breaks for walks around the building or parking lot.
- Walk or ride a bike to work.
So what are you waiting for? Get moving!
For more information on exercise techniques, or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Michael Wall, please give us a call at our convenient Statesboro, GA office!
April 28th, 2017
Temporomandibular joint disorders (TMD) describe a set of conditions that involve trouble with your jaw and face muscles. They result from a problem in the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), which is a hinge that connects the temporal bones, in your skull in front of each ear, to your jaw. The joint enables you to talk, yawn, and chew by letting your mouth move.
TMD can be very painful and interfere with functions such as eating and speaking. This what to watch for and how to try to prevent TMD.
Risk Factors for TMD
You are at higher risk for TMD if you are a women than if you are male. The disorder is most common among adults between the ages of 20 and 40 years. Other risk factors for TMJ disorders include the following.
- Arthritis in the area, making movement more difficult
- Excessive tooth grinding, because it increases stress on the joint
- General stress, which can lead you to clench your teeth and strain facial muscles
Symptoms of TMD
Symptoms of TMD can last for just a short while, or for several years. Seeing Dr. Michael Wall is important if your symptoms make it impossible for you to eat regularly or if you have unbearable pain or discomfort. The following symptoms can occur on both or one side of your face.
- Aching or very tired facial muscles
- Jaws that are fixed open or shut without you being able to unlock them
- Grating or popping sounds when you chew or close or open your mouth
- Pain in the entire area, including the mouth, jaw, neck, or shoulders, that comes on when you chew or yawn
You can try to prevent TMD by focusing on reducing risk factors. If you grind your teeth at night, ask Dr. Michael Wall about wearing a mouthguard. If you are overly stressed, look into ways to better manage your stress and relax your muscles. Another strategy for trying to prevent the development of TMD is to avoid chewing gum, since that puts stress on your jaw.
If you have questions about TMD, don’t hesitate to contact our Statesboro, GA office.
April 21st, 2017
Some foods are just terrible for your teeth — think cookies and candy bars — but there are certain foods that are beneficial to your oral health. Below, Dr. Michael Wall and our team have covered five of the top foods to keep your teeth and gums healthy!
1. Crispy, low-acid fruits and vegetables: Fruits like apples and vegetables such as carrots and celery act like “natural toothbrushes,” helping to clear plaque from your teeth and freshen your breath.
2. Kiwis: These little green superstars are packed with vitamin C which is essential for gum health. The collagen in your gums is strengthened when you consume foods that are high in vitamin C, like kiwis, thus helping to prevent periodontal problems.
3. Raw onions: Onions have long been studied for their antimicrobial, antibacterial, and antioxidant properties. Proliferation of bacteria is what leads to tooth decay and cavities. By including raw onions in your diet, you'll be doing your part to wipe out those little microbes before they can multiply!
4. Shiitake Mushrooms: A specific compound in shiitake mushrooms, lentinan, has been shown to have antibacterial properties that target the microbes that cause cavities while leaving other beneficial bacteria alone. It may also help prevent gingivitis, or inflammation of the gums.
5. Green Tea: Often lauded for its high antioxidant content and many health benefits, it turns out green tea also benefits your oral health! A Japanese study found men who drank green tea on a regular basis had a lower occurrence of periodontal disease compared to men who drank green tea infrequently. It's believed this is due to the catechins in green tea, a type of flavonoid that may help protect you from free radical damage, but more research needs to be done. Either way, drink up for your overall health, as well as your teeth!
If you have any questions about your oral health, or are looking for even more oral health tips, contact our Statesboro, GA office!
April 14th, 2017
Great question! Tooth movement is your body’s natural response to light pressure applied by braces over a period of time (usually two years). Braces work by using brackets that are glued onto your teeth; these brackets have small slots, and that is where Dr. Michael Wall and our team insert orthodontic wires. These wires are held in place by small elastic ties that fit around the brackets. As time passes during your treatment, these wires apply pressure on your teeth, which sets in motion the movement of your teeth into their desired positions. Each of your teeth has a different size and shape to them, as do the brackets. Each bracket is custom-made for the particular tooth on which it’s supposed to fit.
Not long ago, orthodontists had stainless steel wires and that was about it. Today, however, we have a number of different high-tech wires at our disposal to move your teeth faster and more comfortably.
When you first get your braces on, the first wire or two will typically be very flexible, but still strong enough to apply a constant force on your teeth. As your teeth straighten out over time, however, Dr. Michael Wall will use progressively thicker and firmer wires to help move your teeth in place for an ideal bite.
Every time you visit our office for an adjustment, we will swap out the wires in order to keep putting pressure on your teeth, which is why it’s so important for you to keep your adjustment visits during your treatment. Most adjustment appointments are scheduled four to eight weeks apart to give your teeth time to move.
As for rubber bands and elastics, most of our patients will need to wear elastics or rubber bands at some point during their treatments. These elastics typically go from one or more of the upper braces to one or more of the lower braces, and pull on your teeth to move them in the direction they need to move in order to achieve an optimal bite.
If you have any questions about wires, brackets, or elastics, or have any general questions about your treatment, please give us a call at our Statesboro, GA office.
April 7th, 2017
Straighter teeth is something many people desire. A nice smile is one of the most attractive things about a person. However, wearing a mouth full of braces for two, three, or more years can be a major pain, both literally and figuratively.
Luckily, there is another option. Invisalign is an alternative to traditional braces. Learn more about the benefits Invisalign offers and why you should consider this exciting method of straightening teeth.
- When you have straight teeth, your mouth is healthier in general and there is less chance of tooth decay and gum disease. Invisalign makes it possible for more people to straighten their teeth.
- Invisalign is essentially invisible. You can straighten your teeth without unsightly metal in your mouth.
- The average cost is similar to that of traditional braces, which makes it affordable for many families.
- With Invisalign, the aligner trays are smooth and comfortable to wear. Traditional metal braces can be uncomfortable and cause irritation to the mouth.
- Invisalign is removable, so you do not have to wear the system during special occasions, or when you’re eating. With normal metal braces, you are stuck with them for the entire straightening process.
- Brushing and flossing are simple. Since the system is removable, you can brush and floss just like normal.
As you can see, Invisalign is an exciting option we provide at Wall Orthodontics for those who want straighter teeth. If this is something that sounds interesting to you, talk to Dr. Michael Wall and find out if it would work for your particular situation. Get started today, and before you know it you will be enjoying your straighter teeth.
For more information about Invisalign, or to schedule an initial consultation with Dr. Michael Wall, please give us a call at our convenient Statesboro, GA office today!
March 31st, 2017
While mouthwash goes a long way in improving your oral care, it is not a substitute for flossing. Mouthwashes and flossing provide different benefits that you should understand.
Mouthwash comes in two categories. Some are considered cosmetic. This type of rinse provides temporary relief from bad breath and has a pleasant taste. These do not actually kill any bacteria.
Therapeutic mouthwashes provide the healthier benefits. These may contain different ingredients including fluoride or antimicrobial agents. This type is used to remove plaque buildup and reduce the potential for calculus formation. Therapeutic rinses can also help prevent cavities, bad breath, and gingivitis. In addition, Dr. Michael Wall can prescribe special rinses to assist patients after periodontal surgery or other procedures.
Flossing is what removes the plaque formation before it can harden and become calculus. While a rinse reduces buildup, only flossing will fully remove plaque, especially between teeth. The bristles on a toothbrush do not get between teeth completely. If plaque is not removed, it hardens into tartar or calculus. When this builds below the gum line, gum disease can start.
Types of Floss
Floss is available in a thin string form or a tape. It can be waxed or unwaxed. If you find flossing difficult, you might want to try a different type of floss. You can buy bulk floss in containers or purchase the disposable type with a plastic handle attached. This style can be easier for many individuals to use. Interdental picks are available for bridgework or other situations where regular floss cannot be used.
If you have questions regarding the best mouthwash or floss, or need tips for easier flossing, please ask our Statesboro, GA team for advice. We will be glad to give you solutions to help keep your mouth clean and healthy.
March 24th, 2017
Sometimes real life is stranger and more interesting that any made-up story. These weird and interesting facts about braces will amuse you … and make you glad you didn’t have to get braces “way back when.”
Mummies with braces: Archaeologists have discovered mummies with crude bands of metal wrapped around their teeth. The metal was wrapped around each individual tooth, and it is believed that ancient dentists used catgut to guide the teeth and close the gaps.
First “official” braces: The first official braces were constructed in 1728 by Pierre Fauchard. They consisted of flat strips of metal. String was used to connect the metal to the teeth.
Early rubber bands: In 1850, Tucker began making rubber bands out of rubber tubing.
Brackets are better: Brackets were invented by Edward Angle in 1915. They were not bonded to the teeth directly, but instead were attached to bands that went around the teeth.
Wiring by NASA: As braces have become more modern, the technology has improved by leaps and bounds. You may know that some braces wire contains nickel titanium. What you may not know is that this metal was developed by NASA and has special shape memory that is activated by pressure or body heat.
Over 60 with braces: Actress Faye Dunaway got braces at the age of 61, which shows you are never too old to look more fabulous!
Oh, and one more thing that didn’t quite make our list, but is interesting all the same. Did you know that almost 25 percent of patients who get braces have to get them again because they wouldn’t wear their retainers? So suck it up, buttercup, and use that retainer!
March 17th, 2017
“St. Patrick's Day is an enchanted time -- a day to begin transforming winter's dreams into summer's magic.” Adrienne Cook
Lucky green shamrocks, leprechauns, and pots of gold – it must be St. Patrick’s Day! If you’re not Irish, how do you go about celebrating St. Patrick’s Day? It’s easy: You just put on one of those tall leprechauns hats, dress in green from head to toe, and wear one of those carefree pins that say “Kiss Me, I’m Irish”. On St. Patrick’s Day, everyone is Irish, and that is the universal beauty of the holiday. Celtic pride does not discriminate.
Wondering what our team at Wall Orthodontics is doing to celebrate March 17th? Well, we’ve thought about doing everything from handing out lucky gold coins (you know, the fake ones that are made of chocolate) to shamrock stickers. Maybe we’ll even give away green toothbrushes and floss! You’ll never know unless you come in to see Dr. Michael Wall !
All kidding aside, St. Patrick’s Day is an important cultural and religious holiday. There are lavish parades and church services across Ireland on March 17th. Over time, however, the holiday has developed into a day to observe Irish culture in general. In places like England and the United States, where there is a large Irish Diaspora, the holiday has greater significance than other countries. From the streets of Boston to St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York, it is a day of celebration, and many Americans of Irish descent will cook up a traditional meal of corned beef and cabbage.
So, to all of you with Irish ancestry, and to all of you who have decided to be Irish for the day, our office wishes you a Happy St. Patrick’s Day. Good luck looking for a pot of leprechaun gold, which is said to exist at the end of the rainbow. However, keep away from those sugary Lucky Charms; sweet cereals might taste good, but your kids’ teeth might not be feeling too lucky if they eat it for breakfast every day. Have a great St. Paddy’s Day!
March 10th, 2017
A lot of patients ask us why Dr. Michael Wall and our team at Wall Orthodontics work tirelessly to give our patients straight teeth. Of course it’s nice to have a smile full of evenly-aligned teeth, but did you know that straightening your teeth can keep them healthier as well? Straight teeth lead to better oral hygiene, increasing your chances of keeping your own natural teeth for a lifetime!
Straight teeth are also less prone to decay, because they collect less plaque, that sticky colorless substance that forms on our teeth. When you visit Wall Orthodontics for your initial consultation, Dr. Michael Wall will examine all aspects of your teeth, face, smile, and jaw.
If you’re wondering whether your teeth might cause problems because they are out of alignment, please give us a call to set up an initial orthodontic consultation at our convenient Statesboro, GA office. Dr. Michael Wall can help you decide whether or not you will benefit from orthodontic treatment.
Questions? Give us a call, ask us below or on our Facebook page!
March 3rd, 2017
It's a habit many people have and not only can it be annoying to the people around you, it can be detrimental to your dental health. Chewing ice is so common that it even has its own name, pagophagia. We're not talking about a slushy or shaved ice (although those artificially sugary treats should be avoided too!) but more like the hunks of ice rattling around in the bottom of your glass.
Ice chewing can be a sign of emotional problems like stress or obsessive-compulsive disorder, but it can also be a marker for iron deficiency anemia and other physical problems. Then again, some people just like to have something to chew on. For whatever reason you find yourself chewing on it, it's a habit you need to break.
Chewing on ice can cause:
- Chipped and cracked teeth
- Damaged enamel
- Sore jaw muscles
- Damage to dental work such as crowns, fillings, or other appliances
If chewing on ice is becoming a problem in your life, don’t hesitate to speak with Dr. Michael Wall about it. But if you find yourself still wanting to chew on something, here are a few alternatives to ice:
- Baby carrots
- Celery sticks
- Sugar-free (xylitol) gum
We know you need to chill sometimes, but chomping down your entire glass of ice is not the way to do it. If you have any other questions on the topic, feel free to talk with a member of our Statesboro, GA team. It may be beneficial in solving the issue and helping to remediate any damage to your teeth.
February 24th, 2017
At Wall Orthodontics, Dr. Michael Wall and our staff have found that patients who like their smiles have better self-esteem. People who don’t like their smiles are often skittish about talking to other people. According to the National Women’s Health Resource Center, when women are asked about what they’d most like to change about themselves, many point to their smile. Despite wanting to change their smiles, quite a few of the people who are unhappy about that part of themselves won’t consider getting braces.
Most Americans Don’t Have Straight Teeth
The American Association of Orthodontics estimates that 4.5 million Americans wear braces or other orthodontic equipment to straighten their teeth and to get a healthier mouth. One in five of those braces wearers are women. The organization’s statistics also show that about 75 percent of the population doesn’t have straight teeth, and those people would benefit from getting braces.
While the main benefit of braces is straight teeth, and to improve the look of your smile, there are other benefits that make braces even more useful, including:
- Straighter teeth help people chew better.
- Straighter teeth give people a proper bite.
- People speak better when they have straighter teeth.
- When people have straight teeth, they have better overall gum and mouth health. A healthier mouth means flossing and brushing are easier, and that means your entire mouth stays healthy.
- A healthy mouth is also linked to a healthy body.
When you feel proud of those pearly whites, you feel better about your smile, and that contributes to a better self-image and improved self-esteem. Ultimately, that can lead to greater career success and a more fulfilling social life.
February 17th, 2017
At Wall Orthodontics, Dr. Michael Wall and our staff know that eating with braces can be tricky. You want to avoid damaging the bands, brackets, and wires, since any damage can delay the progress of your treatment. After adjustments, your mouth may also feel sore, which will make eating more of a chore than a pleasure.
The good news is you do not have to avoid all of your favorite foods; there are ways you can still enjoy them. Try some of these ideas and recipes for great snacks that are friendly to your braces.
Fruits and Vegetables
You still need to eat fruits and vegetable for the healthy nutrients. The trick is to cut harder items into small pieces that you can chew easily with your back teeth. Canned fruits are also a great choice, but select fruits packed in water to avoid the heavy, sugary syrups. It’s a good idea to avoid excess sugar with braces, since sugar build-up around your braces can lead to plaque formation.
Single-serving packages are available to make your snack portable and convenient. Enjoy vegetables with a small amount of a healthy dip. Hummus or yogurt can be used for flavor without adding unnecessary fat or calories.
Banana and Honey Smoothie
Smoothies are a healthy treat, and you can create these drinks with your favorite ingredients. You can use a variety of yogurt types for your smoothie: regular, low or non-fat, and Greek are all great choices. Here’s one of our favorite smoothie recipes:
- 6 ounces of your choice of yogurt
- 1 or 2 teaspoons of honey
- 1 ripe banana
- 6 ounces milk
Chop the banana into smaller pieces and put all your ingredients into a blender. Blend on low until everything is mixed and then blend on high for about 20 seconds to make your smoothie fluffy.
The great thing about this recipe is that you can substitute just about any small or cut-up fruit for the banana. Try blackberries, raspberries, or peaches for variety. Try to avoid fruits with small seeds; strawberries can leave bits stuck in your braces. You can even make a smoothie with peanut butter and jelly!
Please ask our team if you have any concerns regarding the foods you can safely eat while wearing braces.
February 10th, 2017
However you may feel about having to wear braces, choosing the color of your rubber bands is sure to bring a smile to your face. Whether you want to express your creativity, coordinate your braces with your outfits, or show some serious school spirit, decorating your mouth with colorful bands takes some of the stress and self-consciousness out of wearing braces. So what do your rubber band colors say about you? Look no further than our rubber band horoscope.
Red. You’re intense and forward thinking, and that you won’t back down no matter how big the challenge. Red is also the color of the heart, so red rubber bands indicate that you’re a caring, loving person.
Blue. Blue means you’re chill – as cool as a cucumber. You’re one cool customer, as the saying goes. You’re relaxed and calm, even when your mom says you can’t chew any gum or eat popcorn because of your braces.
Green. Look at a traffic light and green means go, right? So you’re the type of person who’s always on the move. Go, go, go! It also means you’re generous and kind. Green is the color of nature and spring, so it says you love Mother Earth. Perhaps you even recycle. Green is the color of good luck.
Orange. You’re daring and wild, flamboyant and fun. Orange may indicate you’re an artist or a drama student. It says you have a big personality and that you don’t care what other people think about you. However, orange is also the color of balance and energy. And being flamboyant and fun takes a lot of energy!
Purple. You’re the creative type, for sure. You beat to a different drummer and think outside the box. It says you're mysterious. Purple is the color of royalty, and when you wear your purple rubber bands you are royally cool.
What if you can’t choose just one color? Well, you can decorate your teeth with alternating colors. You can choose the colors of your favorite sports team or holiday colors like red and green. If you’re still stumped as to what colors to choose, ask Dr. Michael Wall or a member of our team. We can let you in on all the trends our other patents are sporting at our Statesboro, GA office!
February 3rd, 2017
Clear aligners like Invisalign® have become increasingly popular over the past several years and rightly so. They’re removable, easier to clean than braces, and hardly anyone knows you're wearing them. They are great in treating many cases, but they aren't for everyone.
Below, Dr. Michael Wall and our team cover some of the instances where clear aligners just aren't the answer:
- If drastic tooth movement is required – Fixed appliances deliver much more significant tooth movement. So if your case is a drastic one, clear aligners may not be the best choice.
- If you need to move molars – Molars have much stronger roots than your other teeth and would require significantly longer to move with clear aligners. A fixed appliance is the best choice in this instance, especially if you have a substantial overbite or underbite that needs to be dealt with.
- If you're the type who often forgets or loses things –If you would forget to wear your aligners for the prescribed amount of time (usually at least 22 hours per day), clear aligners are probably not the best choice for you. Forgetting to wear them can delay treatment and even make it so you need to regress to the previous set of aligners to be able to move forward with treatment. And let's face it, if you're not careful, removable aligners are easy to lose. Losing aligners delays treatment and is expensive since you need to buy replacements to stay on course. Replacing a lost set of aligners usually takes between seven and ten days—a definite setback in treatment.
- If you're looking for the fastest treatment possible – Clear aligners usually can't move teeth as quickly as fixed appliances. So if you're looking for the fastest way to achieve your desired result, clear aligners may not be the best bet.
Feel free to talk with Dr. Michael Wall about your options regarding braces and clear aligners. We know there are pros and cons to both, so let’s find the option that works best in your life and for your specific needs in terms of treatment. Schedule an appointment at our Statesboro, GA office today!
January 27th, 2017
Bad breath, or halitosis, is probably not a matter of life or death. But it can make you feel self-conscious and have a negative impact on your life. The majority of people suffering from bad breath are dealing with oral bacterial. However, there are other causes of this embarrassing problem. Learning more can help you fight this solvable problem.
Five Causes of Embarrassingly Bad Breath
- Dry Mouth. A decrease in saliva flow can be caused by several things. Most often, medication or mouth breathing are the culprits. As saliva helps wash away food particles from your mouth, it prevents bad breath. Dry mouth can be dealt with by stimulating salivation.
- Gum Disease and Poor Oral Hygiene. Not brushing and flossing well enough or with enough frequency can lead to gum disease, which leads to bad breath. Halitosis can be a sign that plaque is present on your teeth.
- Food-Related Bad Breath. Food particles that aren't brushed or flossed away attract bacteria that leads to bad breath. It's especially important to brush after eating strong-smelling foods, such as garlic or onions.
- Smoking and Tobacco. Tobacco is bad for your health, and that includes your oral health. Smoking or chewing tobacco can contribute toward the development of gum disease, as well as oral cancer.
- Mouth Infections and Other Medical Problems. A mouth infection, sinus infection or even the common cold can cause you to temporarily have bad breath. Even conditions such as diabetes and reflux can cause halitosis. It's always wise to see Dr. Michael Wall to help determine the cause.
We are Your Ally
Even if you maintain good oral hygiene, it's important to see Dr. Michael Wall at our Statesboro, GA office to deal with or avoid problems with bad breath. We can help you uncover the cause of halitosis, while also providing solutions that allow you to enjoy fresh breath without relying on mints and breath fresheners. As is the case with all things related to oral health, we are your number-one ally when it comes to eliminating the problem of bad breath.
January 20th, 2017
Braces can straighten your teeth to give you a more attractive smile for life. The process can take 18 months to two years or more, and this amount of time can seem unending when you first get your braces. Counting down your brace time can help the time pass more quickly and build the excitement for when you finally get your braces removed.
Make a Wall Calendar
Crossing out each day on a calendar is a standard way of counting down time. You can make this more personal by designing your own calendar to help you count down. Use an online customization service to upload photos or designs for each month. Each month’s picture can also display the number of months remaining until you expect your braces to come off.
When you receive regular rewards for continuing to wear your braces, they can seem less burdensome. Plan to buy yourself a reward every month that you wear your braces for the duration of the treatment. The time will pass much faster when you feel you are earning rewards for your patience.
Lengthen a Paper Chain
Use strips of paper to make the links of your chain, and add a new link each week to lengthen the chain. Before sealing each new strip of paper into a circle, write on it a reason why you are getting your teeth straightened, or an event in the future when you will appreciate your straight teeth as you smile.
Use a Wall Hanging
Purchase a large pad of blank white paper. Write a “0” on the bottom sheet and a “1” on the next, and continue until you reach the number of days remaining in your treatment. Rip off the top sheet each day to see how many days are left and remind yourself of the progress you are making.
Find a Buddy
If any of your friends get braces around the same time as you, share the experience. Make a pact to celebrate each trip to Wall Orthodontics when one of you receives news about your progress.
January 13th, 2017
Just hearing the word “braces” can take many of us back to junior high — that painful era when we wore unattractive glasses, endured unflattering haircuts, and carried a mouthful of braces to complete the awkward adolescent look. Despite the common assumption that braces are for kids, more and more adults are choosing to pursue orthodontics to correct their smiles.
Braces for Adults
Perhaps you never had braces as a kid and you are embarrassed by your crooked teeth. Or you went through a round of braces a decade ago and stopped wearing your retainer, which allowed your teeth to shift. Whatever your personal history, wearing braces in adulthood is an excellent way to create the straight, beautiful smile you deserve.
What are my options?
With recent advances in orthodontic medicine, there are numerous options for adults who need braces. The basic option is traditional metal braces. These are best for individuals who have severely crooked teeth or a significant bite problem, or require other major orthodontic changes. Metal braces are typically the least expensive option. The greatest drawback to wearing metal braces as an adult is aesthetics. Many people find them unattractive and distracting.
If you are a professional who is worried about your personal appearance, clear ceramic braces may be a better choice. Clear braces are capable of handling very crooked teeth or bite issues, but they cost more than metal braces. You also have to be careful about smoking or drinking red wine, soda, and other dark beverages while wearing clear braces. These items may stain the adhesive that binds the brackets to your teeth.
Another popular option for adults who need braces is a clear aligner treatment, such as Invisalign®. This system works in a different way from traditional braces by applying a series of clear, retainer-like aligners. The series is custom made for your teeth, which makes this option more expensive than either metal or ceramic braces. In general, the Invisalign process takes anywhere from three to 18 months to complete. You should be aware that Invisalign is not as effective as traditional braces in treating bite problems, teeth that are lower or higher than others, or severely overcrowded teeth.
Although you may be nervous about the prospect of getting braces as an adult, you should not let your fears stop you from talking with Dr. Michael Wall. A consultation at our Statesboro, GA office will address your concerns and provide information about the best course of treatment for you. No matter what your personal situation, adult braces can be a great way to boost your confidence and create the smile you’ve always dreamed of.
January 6th, 2017
Teeth erupt crookedly for a number of reasons that range from genetics to mouth deformities and serious oral diseases. When extra teeth or abnormally large teeth create a malocclusion (crookedness or misplacement of teeth), the culprit is usually genetic in nature. Other inherited traits involve jaws that are too small to accommodate a full set of teeth and misaligned jaws that did not form properly in the womb.
Can crooked teeth be prevented?
In most cases, underbites, overbites, and crooked teeth are genetically derived and can’t be avoided. Orthodontic treatment with braces will be necessary to correct the condition once the child is old enough to wear them. However, certain early childhood behaviors may also contribute to the development of crooked teeth that can be avoided. These include:
- Thumb sucking and tongue thrusting
- Losing baby teeth to decay before permanent teeth have naturally pushed them out of their sockets
- Allowing pacifier use to continue after front teeth have erupted
Permanent teeth underneath baby teeth are directly affected by the health of baby teeth. If baby teeth are prematurely lost due to decay or trauma, permanent teeth will shift when they start moving upward. Baby teeth are like anchors for permanent teeth that help guide them as they erupt through the gums.
In addition, excellent care of baby teeth is vital to having healthy permanent teeth free of discoloration or decay. Harmful oral bacteria can spread into the gums and reach permanent teeth still buried in the gums. Once attached to a tooth’s enamel, bacteria will begin eroding the tooth even before it has a chance to take its first bite!
When to Start Orthodontic Treatment for Crooked Teeth
Dr. Michael Wall and our staff suggest that parents bring your child to Wall Orthodontics around age seven to rule out potential issues with permanent teeth eruption. If problems are discovered, it is not unusual to begin orthodontic treatment at that age. In fact, specific conditions such as crowding and gaps between teeth are easier to correct at an early age.
Early treatment also benefits from the growth process of the jaw, which helps move teeth to normal positions.
December 30th, 2016
Adult patients who seek orthodontic treatment usually fall into one of two camps: those who did not undergo orthodontic treatment as a child or those who had braces at one point but stopped wearing retainers for one reason or another.
At Wall Orthodontics, we are happy to offer a variety of treatment options to straighten our patients’ teeth. Dr. Michael Wall and our team believe you’re never too old to straighten your teeth. And we have many adult patients who are currently undergoing treatment. In fact, did you know that roughly 30 percent of all orthodontic patients these days are adults?
Invisalign® is a great treatment option for adults. The Invisalign aligners are easy to wear and are not visible to most people. Plus, Invisalign's clear aligners are removable, so there are no restrictions on what you can eat during treatment. When considering Invisalign, we tell adults to determine if they can be diligent about wearing the aligners at all times and make them part of their lifestyle for the duration of treatment.
If you have been thinking about obtaining a beautiful smile, please give us a call at our convenient Statesboro, GA office for an initial consultation. Dr. Michael Wall and our team welcome children, teens, and adults alike. Call us today for an appointment!
December 23rd, 2016
Do you ever find yourself gnawing at your nails? Nail-biting is a very common and difficult to break habit which usually has its beginnings in childhood. It can leave your fingers and nail beds red and swollen. But if you think that your nails are the only ones getting roughed up by nail-biting you'd be mistaken—so are your teeth!
According to a study by the Academy of General Dentistry, those who bite their nails, clench their teeth, or chew on pencils are at much higher risk to develop bruxism (unintentional grinding of the teeth). Bruxism can lead to tooth sensitivity, tooth loss, receding gums, headaches, and general facial pain.
Those are some nasty sounding side effects from chewing on your nails. Most nail-biting is a sign of stress or anxiety and its something you should deal with. So what steps can you take if you have a nail-biting habit?
There are several things you can do to ease up on nail-biting:
- Trim your nails shorter and/or get regular manicures – Trimming your nails shorter is an effective remedy. In so doing, they'll be less tempting and more difficult to bite on. If you also get regular manicures, you’ll be less likely to ruin the investment you’ve made in your hands and fingernails!
- Find a different kind of stress reduction – Try meditation, deep breathing, practicing qigong or yoga, or doing something that will keep your hands occupied like squeezing a stress ball or playing with a yo-yo.
- Wear a bitter-tasting nail polish – When your nails taste awful, you won't bite them! Clear or colored, it doesn't matter. This is also a helpful technique for helping children get over the habit.
- Figure out what triggers your nail-biting – Sometimes it's triggered by stress or anxiety and other times it can be a physical stressor, like having hang nails. Knowing what situations cause you to bite your nails will help you to avoid them and break the habit.
- Wear gloves or bandages on your fingers – If you've tried the steps above and they aren't working, this technique can prove effective since your fingernails won't be accessible to bite.
If you're still having trouble with nail-biting after trying these self-help steps, it's best to consult your doctor, dermatologist, or Dr. Michael Wall. For some, it may also be the sign of a deeper psychological or emotional problem.
Whatever the cause, nail-biting is a habit you need to break for your physical and emotional well-being. If you have any questions about the effects it can have on your oral health, please don't hesitate to ask Dr. Michael Wall during your next visit to our Statesboro, GA office.
December 16th, 2016
Many smokers believe that chewing tobacco is a safer alternative to smoking cigarettes. This simply isn't the case! In fact, smokeless tobacco can cause serious health concerns.
Smokeless tobacco comes in many forms and goes by many names: dip, snuff, snus, or simply chewing tobacco. Use of these products usually involves sucking or chewing on shredded or loose tobacco leaves, sometimes flavored, for a prolonged period. There are even products that emulate a dissolvable candy-like consistency which are made of compressed tobacco powder.
What are risks and smokeless tobacco?
Whichever form a tobacco product takes, the dangers of using or consuming them is very real. According to a 2007 study by the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer, there are upwards of 28 cancer-causing chemicals in smokeless tobacco that are known to cause cancer. And these products are habit-forming just like any other tobacco product that contains nicotine. Using them will increase your risk for many serious diseases including but not limited to: cancer (especially oral and esophageal), gum and heart disease, cavities, and pre-cancerous mouth lesions.
At the end of the day, long-term use of smokeless tobacco can cause serious health issues. These products really take a toll on both your oral and overall health. They put a strain on your immune system and make it less capable of warding off infection and disease.
Dr. Michael Wall and our team strongly advise you to stop using smokeless tobacco—or any kind of tobacco product—and not to pick up the habit if you aren't. There is no safe level of tobacco use, smokeless or otherwise.
Need to quit smoking or using smokeless tobacco products?
You can and should always talk to your doctor, healthcare practitioner, or Dr. Michael Wall for help quitting. But there are many other resources available today for those who'd like to quit. The National Cancer Institute offers information, support (local and online), and tools to help smokers and smokeless tobacco users quit. They offer live online chat with cessation counselors Monday through Friday and even have a smartphone application available to help people who are serious about quitting.
You can take a look at their website at smokefree.gov or call them toll-free at 1–877–44U–QUIT (1-877-448-7848). There is also help available from your state's quit line at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669).
Make the best choice for your health and well-being; avoid the bad habit of tobacco products. If you have any questions about how tobacco related products affect your oral health and hygiene, please don't hesitate to ask one of our Statesboro, GA staff members.
December 9th, 2016
Our office strives to bring you the latest and greatest in orthodontic techniques and technologies. Being on the cutting edge of the industry is important—it ensures you, as our patient, are getting the best orthodontic treatment you possibly can while keeping costs down!
The goal of a high-tech office is three fold: to have effective treatment, to have efficient treatment, and to make the whole process easy, painless, and cost-effective for you.
Here are some of the technologies being implemented by Dr. Michael Wall to do just that:
3D oral scanners: If you've ever experienced getting impressions the traditional way, it isn't very fun! Having a gag reflex is common and it takes several minutes on both the top and bottom of the mouth to get a successful impression.
With 3D oral scanners, we create a perfect digital scan of your teeth without radiation. We then use the results of the scan to create accurate braces, retainers, and other appliances for your unique teeth and mouth.
Digital Imaging: New digital imaging provides us with accurate, panoramic, and cephalometric views of your teeth and their supporting structures. This lets us plan and implement treatment with the utmost precision.
Not only does this kind of imaging expose patients to far less radiation than traditional X-rays but it also gives us immediate access to the images, whereas X-rays had to be developed. This expedites treatment time and means fewer trips to our Statesboro, GA office for you.
New, high-tech braces options: There are so many more choices when it comes to braces these days! Advances in the industry like Invisalign®, self-ligating braces, and lingual braces, allow patients to not only get highly accurate and precise treatment, but do so discreetly without anyone else even knowing.
Digital scanning and imaging takes the guesswork out of braces. Instead of the orthodontist estimating tooth movement and treatment progression, these days it's all computer modeled with exacting detail. The result? Your braces do exactly what they're intended to do in less time with a picture-perfect outcome.
These are just some of the advances in the orthodontic industry. Needless to say, they all make the entire process that much easier and effective for you. If you have any questions or are interested in treatment, please don't hesitate to contact our Statesboro, GA office!
December 2nd, 2016
The purpose of braces and other forms of orthodontic treatment at Wall Orthodontics is to correct malocclusion, also known as crooked or crowded teeth, or “bad bites.” Past orthodontic practice dictated that wisdom teeth be removed, especially in cases of crowding.
The wisdom teeth are the last teeth to come in, and are officially known as the third molars. The teeth typically erupt, or break the surface of the skin, in young people between the ages of 13 and 20.
Sometimes, wisdom teeth are impacted. That means they cannot break through the gum tissue. This typically happens when the mouth or jaw is too small to accommodate the teeth. Impacted wisdom teeth can become infected, and some dentists and orthodontists may want to remove them as prophylaxis to prevent possible future infection.
Justification for removing wisdom teeth
Dr. Michael Wall will tell you that in some cases, wisdom teeth attempt to come in the wrong way, either tilting in the jaw, or sideways. If the mouth is too small to accommodate these additional teeth, they inevitably become impacted. Swelling or infection of the gum flap above an impacted wisdom tooth may cause pain. The greatest danger is pericoronitis, a potentially dangerous infection that can occur in the gum area around an impacted wisdom tooth, or around a wisdom tooth that has erupted.
Orthodontists base their decision to remove wisdom teeth on each patient's individual circumstances. To learn more about the impact wisdom teeth have on orthodontic treatment, or to schedule a visit with Dr. Michael Wall, please give us a call at our convenient Statesboro, GA office!
November 25th, 2016
Is it possible to straighten the teeth without braces? Yes, it is. Welcome to the world of Invisalign aligners. Invisalign aligners are made from a clear, thermoplastic material that is custom made to fit your teeth. Unlike conventional braces, Invisalign aligners are removable. More importantly, the clear thermoplastic material makes the aligners invisible, which is ideal if the thought of metal braces and elastics make you self-conscious. For the best results, proper handling and care of your Invisalign aligners is important. Follow these steps to take care of your aligners:
1. Do not eat or drink hot beverages while wearing aligners. It's a good idea to get in the practice of removing the aligners before eating and drinking. Because the aligners are made of plastic resin, heat can distort and damage them. Also, eating while wearing the aligners will cause sugar and other food particles to stay on your teeth, which contributes to plaque and tooth decay.
2. Clean the aligner trays regularly. Invisalign aligners are exposed to the same bacteria and plaque that your mouth is, so you need to clean them as regularly as you clean your teeth. However, avoid cleaning the aligners with harsh chemicals. We recommend using a cleaning kit or some other type of specific solution. When it comes to cleaning Invisalign aligners, carefully follow the instructions given by Dr. Michael Wall.
3. Store aligners in a cool, dry, safe place. When you’re not wearing the aligners, store them in the case provided by our office. If you don’t use the case, they can easily be lost. Keeping them out of reach of small children and pets is also a good idea. The last thing you want is for Fido to think your Invisalign aligners are chew toys.
4. Don’t chew gum while wearing aligners. There’s one thing that conventional braces and Invisalign aligners have in common: chewing gum damages both of them.
5. Don’t soak aligners in mouthwash. Many popular mouthwashes contain a color pigment. It’s possible that soaking Invisalign aligners in mouthwash will tint or stain them.
For more tips and tricks for a successful Invisalign experience, contact our Statesboro, GA office!
November 18th, 2016
At Wall Orthodontics, we love to celebrate the holidays with vigor! Dr. Michael Wall would love to share some unique ways of celebrating Thanksgiving from beyond the Statesboro, GA area to the national level!
When Americans sit down to dinner on the last Thursday of November, the day that Abraham Lincoln designated as the day on which Thanksgiving would be celebrated, they do so thinking that the first Thanksgiving feast was held at Plymouth in 1621. According to National Geographic, the Spanish explorer Francisco Vásquez Coronado and his men celebrated a feast of Thanksgiving in Texas in 1541, giving Texas the distinction of being the first place where Thanksgiving was celebrated.
Different Types of Celebrations
Native Americans had rituals around which they celebrated in hopes of ensuring a bountiful harvest. The Cherokees had a Green Corn Dance that they did for this very purpose. The Pilgrims (not to be confused with the Puritans,) rejected any type of public religious display. They held a three-day long non-religious Thanksgiving feast. Although they said grace, the focus of their celebration was on feasting, drinking alcohol (they did have beer,) and playing games.
The Pilgrims at the Plymouth Plantation celebrated a different day of Thanksgiving in 1623. Plagued by a crop-destroying drought, the settlers prayed for relief. They even fasted. A few days later, they got the rain they so desperately needed. Soon thereafter, they received another blessing when Captain Miles Standish came with staples they couldn't otherwise get. He also told them that a Dutch supply ship was en route. In gratitude for the abundance of good fortune, the Plymouth settlers celebrated a day of prayer and Thanksgiving on June 30, 1623.
The Story of Squanto
No discussion of Thanksgiving is complete without a discussion of Squanto, or Tisquantum, as he was known among his people, the Patuxet Indians. It is believed that he was born sometime around 1580. As he returned to his village after a long journey, he and several other Native Americans were kidnapped by Jamestown colonist, Thomas Hunt. Hunt put them on a ship heading to Spain where they were to be sold into slavery.
As fate would have it, some local friars rescued him and many of the other kidnapped natives. Squanto was educated by the friars. Eventually, after asking for freedom so he could return to North America, he ended up in London where he spent time working as a ship builder. By 1619, he was finally able to get passage on a ship headed to New England with other Pilgrims.
Upon arriving at Plymouth Rock, he learned that his entire tribe was wiped out by diseases that accompanied earlier settlers from Europe. In gratitude for passage on their ship, he helped them set up a settlement on the very land where his people once lived. They called the settlement Plymouth. Since they knew nothing about how to survive, let alone how to find food, Squanto taught them everything, from how to plant corn and other crops, how to fertilize them, how and where to get fish and eels and much more.
After a devastating winter during which many settlers died, thanks to Squanto's teaching, they had an abundant harvest. After that harvest, they honored him with a feast. It is this feast of 1621 which was celebrated between the Pilgrims and Wampanoag Indians that is widely considered the first Thanksgiving celebration.
About the Meal of the Plymouth Settlers
Surviving journals of Edward Winslow that are housed at Plymouth Plantation indicate that the first Thanksgiving feast was nothing like what Americans eat today. The meal consisted of venison, various types of wild fowl (including wild turkey,) and Indian corn. There were no cranberries, stuffing, pumpkin pie, potatoes, or any of the other “traditional” foods that appear on modern menus.
Today, Thanksgiving is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November, the day that Abraham Lincoln designated as the holiday. It is still a day of feasting, and for some, a day of prayer and thanksgiving. For others, it is a celebration of gathering, especially for families. Still others may celebrate in entirely different ways, including watching college football bowl games, or by playing family games.
If you ever wonder why you're so tired after the Thanksgiving meal, it's because turkey contains an amino acid, tryptophan, and it sets off chemicals whose chain reaction combine to make people sleepy.
November 11th, 2016
A great smile can go a long way. Scientific research suggests that people who smile are perceived as more attractive and confident than those who don’t flash their pearly whites. When it comes time to invest in orthodontics to improve your beautiful smile, choosing the best option can be daunting. Comparing Invisalign to traditional braces is a great way to determine what orthodontics make most sense for your unique smile.
How is Invisalign different?
Unlike traditional braces, in which brackets are affixed onto each tooth and connected by wires Invisalign corrects orthodontic problems using a set of clear trays. These trays are specially formed to fit your teeth, allowing you to wear them 24/7.
One of the primary advantages of Invisalign is that the clear trays are nearly invisible. Particularly for adults self-conscious about appearing professional with traditional braces, Invisalign can correct orthodontic issues without capturing the notice of others. Their nearly invisible appearance is one of the topmost reasons that orthodontic patients choose Invisalign.
Complexity of the Orthodontic Problem
Invisalign works well for people who have relatively minor problems, such as crooked teeth or small gaps between teeth. For more complex problems, particularly issues with bite or vertical problems (i.e., one tooth being significantly higher than another), traditional braces may be better at pulling teeth into alignment.
Eating and Drinking
Invisalign trays are removable, meaning that you cannot eat or drink while wearing them. Unlike traditional braces, however, you are not limited in the foods you may eat. Chewy, sticky, or hard foods may be eaten, provided that you brush your teeth before reinserting the Invisalign trays.
In the end, only you can weigh the pros and cons of Invisalign versus traditional braces. Consult with Dr. Michael Wall to understand how these orthodontic interventions may work for your unique situation.
November 4th, 2016
A clean mouth is a happy mouth. And when Dr. Michael Wall and our staff see you have a clean mouth, we are happy too. Of course, all of this should make you happy because you’re the one preventing sneaky little food bits from getting trapped under the wires of your braces.
Still, you need to be thorough with your brushing. When you have braces, you’re playing a game of hide-and-go-seek with everything you eat. Here are five tips to keep your mouth (and us) happy.
- How is brushing with braces like geometry? It’s all about the angles. Brush the tops of your teeth and braces with your brush angled down. Brush the bottom of your teeth with the brush angled up. Pointy brushes, aka interproximal brushes, are good for reaching the tiny spots around braces.
- Brush after every meal. If those sneaky little food bits hide in your mouth for very long, they’ll turn into plaque. And plaque is a sign of a very unhappy mouth.
- Brush one tooth at a time for at least ten seconds, and pay close attention to the spots where your braces touch your teeth.
- Fluoride is your new BFF. Make sure your toothpaste and mouthwash contain this cavity-fighting ingredient.
- Braces are no excuse not to floss. In fact, saying you can’t floss because you have braces is like saying the dog ate your homework. Dr. Michael Wall and our staff, like your geometry teacher, aren’t going to buy it. Be sure to floss after every meal.
October 28th, 2016
By now, everyone knows that smoking is bad for you. But the truth is its broad-reaching health effects are not all known by everyone. This is especially true of oral health. Smoking can have serious repercussions in this regard. To give you a better idea of how smoking can affect your oral health, Dr. Michael Wall and our team have listed some issues that can arise.
Oral cancer can have steep ramifications for anyone that gets it. Surgery can be required to eliminate the cancer before it spreads to more vital parts of your body. Any type of cancer is about the worst health effect you can get, and this especially holds true to the affects that smoking has on your mouth. The type of mouth surgery required with oral cancer can leave your face deconstructed in certain areas, and it is all due to smoking or use of other tobacco products.
Tooth Discoloration and Bad Breath
At the very least, it is fair to say that as a smoker you will often have bad breath, and while you may try to cover it up with gum or mints, tooth discoloration is a whole other story. The chemicals and substances in cigarettes stick to your teeth staining them brown and yellow colors that are increasingly difficult to disguise.
Gum Disease and Loss of Bone
Another effect of smoking is the increased risk of gum disease. Your gums may start to recede, which can eventually lead to the loss of teeth. Smoking can also increase bone loss and density in your jaw which is vital to the health of your mouth. Gum disease and bone loss are two signs that smoking is definitely bad for your mouth.
When it comes to the health of your mouth, the question is not whether smoking affects your health, it's how does it affect your health and to what degree. If for no other reason than because smoking involves your mouth as its entry point, it is safe to say that it can have long-lasting and detrimental consequences on your oral health.
To learn more about smoking and your oral health, contact our Statesboro, GA office to schedule an appointment with Dr. Michael Wall.
October 21st, 2016
You and your braces will become good friends over the coming months or years, so it’s important to get your relationship off to a good start. Consider the following recommendations to prevent rocky times ahead:
- Floss, floss, floss. Yes, it’s a pain to floss around your braces, but it's the best way to prevent gum disease and other oral health problems. Ask Dr. Michael Wall and our staff for floss threaders to make the chore easier. Just a few minutes per day will ensure that you don’t face significant dental health issues when the braces come off.
- Avoid sticky or hard foods. It’s tough to forgo toffee, caramel, gum, and other favorite sticky treats, but your braces will thank you. Sticky or hard foods can break a bracket or wire, so it’s best to avoid them altogether.
- Chew with your back teeth. If you’re used to taking large bites with your front teeth, it might be time to switch your eating habits. Taking a large bite of food with your front teeth can leave your braces vulnerable to damage. Instead, cut large foods into pieces and use your back teeth to chew. This is especially important with corn on the cob, which should always be cut from the cob.
- Wear rubber bands and headgear. Rubber bands, headgear, and other orthodontic appliances may seem annoying, but failing to comply with wearing them can increase the length of your treatment by months. Wear them now to avoid problems in the future.
October 14th, 2016
Orthognathic surgery is surgery to correct a wide variety of abnormalities of our patients' jaw and teeth. The surgery is often done in conjunction with orthodontic treatment. While the patient’s appearance may be significantly improved as a result, the primary purpose of the surgery is to correct functional problems including but not limited to:
- Unbalanced facial appearance
- Protruding jaw
- Open bite (upper and lower teeth don’t overlap properly
- Excessive wearing down of the teeth
- Difficulty with chewing or biting
- Chronic mouth breathing
- Sleeping problems such as sleep apnea
- TMJ pain (jaw joint pain)
- Restoring facial injuries
Knowing when to start the orthodontic treatment in preparation for orthognathic surgery can also be tricky if our team at Wall Orthodontics is treating a teenager. It is important to know when to get started. If orthodontic treatment is initiated too soon and the teenager is still growing, the patient will either need to hold in braces until his or her growth is complete and they are ready for surgery or the braces will have to be removed and then placed again when growth is complete. Neither of these options is attractive since it requires longer time in treatment, which is something all our patients want to avoid. Our team at Wall Orthodontics strives to get all patients finished with treatment as quickly as possible because it is healthier for the teeth and gums and gives them a beautiful smile to enjoy for a lifetime.
If you are considering orthognathic surgery or you have been told that you need jaw surgery, give us a call to schedule your initial consultation today. Dr. Michael Wall and our team at Wall Orthodontics will explain our treatment plan in a way you will understand and we will keep you informed every step of the way.
October 7th, 2016
Now that October is upon us, Dr. Michael Wall and our team at Wall Orthodontics wanted to send you a friendly reminder to schedule your orthodontic appointment prior to the end of the year to take full advantage of any flex spend, health savings, or insurance benefits that you may have.
The end of the year is always a busy time so make your appointment now so you don’t lose your available benefits! Give us a call today!
September 30th, 2016
The term malocclusion refers to misalignment of teeth. You may have been born with malocclusion, so your teeth simply grew in crooked, or the misalignment and crowding of your teeth occurred over a period of time. Either way, not only can malocclusion pose cosmetic issues, but it can have a negative effect on your speaking and eating abilities as well.
Types of Malocclusion
Malocclusion encompasses multiple types and classifications of misalignment issues, including twisting or rotation of the teeth and molars that do not meet when you bite down. In some cases, the top front teeth are pushed outward in an upper protrusion.
In other cases, a misplaced midline results when the front top teeth don’t meet with the front bottom teeth. Transposition occurs when teeth protrude through the gums in a position where another tooth is supposed to be.
Practically any type of crowding or spacing issues, rotation or twisting of the teeth, or bite problem – including overbite, underbite, open bite, or crossbite – is included under the umbrella of malocclusion.
There are three classifications of bite or misalignment problem.
- Class 1 malocclusion: While the bite may be normal, the upper teeth overlap the lower teeth slightly. This is the most common type.
- Class 2 malocclusion: Known as overbite or retrognathism, class 2 involves a severe overlap of the upper teeth and jaw over the bottom teeth and jaw.
- Class 3 malocclusion: Known as underbite or prognathism, class 3 occurs when the lower teeth and jaw overlap the upper teeth and jaw. Thus, the lower jaw juts forward.
Causes of Malocclusion
The most common cause of malocclusion is genetics. However, there may be other causes, including the development of abnormally-shaped teeth, lost teeth, or impacted teeth; thumb sucking or overuse of a pacifier as a small child; having fillings or crowns that do not fit correctly; a serious injury that causes misalignment of the jaw; or developing a tumor of the mouth or jaw.
Orthodontic care at Wall Orthodontics with Dr. Michael Wall is the main treatment available for malocclusion, which includes getting braces, Invisalign, or other corrective treatments. Treatment is ideal not just to have your smile improved, but because it makes the teeth easier to clean and maintain, lowers the risk of gum disease and tooth decay, and can even take pressure off the jaw and teeth.
Think about orthodontic treatment if you (or your child) display any signs of malocclusion. Early treatment of malocclusion during childhood can lessen expensive treatment later on.
September 23rd, 2016
Although adolescence is a common time to get braces, there’s no reason for adults of any age to have to deal with crooked teeth, overbite, underbite, or other dental issues. In fact, the American Association of Orthodontists notes that demand for orthodontic treatment in adults continues to grow, with adults representing 20% of new patients.
You’re never too old for braces or other orthodontic appliances, but it’s important to consider the following:
- Braces don’t have to be as noticeable as the metal brackets of the past. Many adults opt for ceramic or plastic braces, which are bone-colored or clear, respectively. Another option is a lingual appliance, which attaches to the back side of your teeth. These so-called “invisible” braces are much less noticeable than traditional options.
- By adulthood, bone growth has stopped. This means that certain structural changes can only be achieved by surgery. Although this typically affects people with significant crowding, bite, or jaw problems, Dr. Michael Wall can provide an individualized treatment plan that addresses your unique issues.
- Treatment may take a bit longer. The length of orthodontic treatment tends to be slightly longer for adults than adolescents. Exact estimates vary by individual, but the average length of time for adult braces wearers is two years, according to the Harvard Medical School.
- Outcomes are just as good for adults! Many adults worry that it’s too late to treat their orthodontic problems. However, treatment satisfaction tends to be very high, which is a testament to how effective braces can be in middle-aged and older adults.
September 16th, 2016
Getting your braces off is exciting. You’ve been working on your new smile for months or years, and it’s time for the trips to our Statesboro, GA office to pay off. Can you imagine how bad it would be to discover that your teeth are straight, but that there’s decay?
Caring for your smile while wearing Invisalign goes beyond just waiting for your teeth to get straighter. It involves cleaning your teeth regularly and thoroughly to prevent tooth decay. That way, your smile will be more beautiful than ever when you’re done with your Invisalign treatment.
Take Your Trays Out
The first difference you may notice between Invisalign and traditional metal braces is that Invisalign aligners are invisible, but there’s another important distinction as well. Invisalign braces are removable. You can take the trays out, and you should. Remove the trays while you’re eating so you don’t get food stuck in them. Also, remove them while you’re cleaning your teeth so that you can have full access to all the nooks and crannies in your mouth.
The guidelines for brushing your teeth with Invisalign don’t change compared to braces. Brush your teeth at least twice a day using a soft toothbrush and a fluoride toothpaste, being sure to get all surfaces of your teeth. If possible, brush after each meal.
If you can’t, be sure to drink some water and swish it around in your mouth when you’re done eating to get rid of the extra food on your teeth. Leaving carbohydrates, such as sugar and starch, on your teeth opens the door to tooth decay.
Floss and Wash
Flossing your teeth gets out the bits and pieces stuck between them. It’s a time-consuming task when you need to navigate the wires of traditional metal braces, but thanks to Invisalign’s removable design, flossing is no problem. Rinsing your mouth with a fluoride antibacterial mouthwash also helps clean your teeth because it gets into all of the spaces. Floss and rinse one or two times daily.
Cleaning Your Trays
Cleaning your Invisalign trays keeps them from getting riddled with bacteria, and it helps keep your teeth free from excess food. You can use the Invisalign cleaning system, which involves placing the trays in a tub with cleaning crystals. The plastic trays are clean after 15 minutes. You can also ask Dr. Michael Wall for other ways to clean your trays.
September 9th, 2016
Not everyone is born with a million-dollar smile, not even some celebrities. The following stars have all had their moments as a “brace face,” either as a child, teenager, or adult. You might be surprised to learn about stars who had braces (including Gwen Stefani, who got braces just because she could!).
Take a look at some famous faces who sported braces!
Emma Watson: Emma admits to going through a rather awkward stage that included “terrible skin,” fluctuating weight, and braces. But look at the swan that emerged!
Tom Cruise: Who would have thought that one of the world’s most famous smiles could use an overhaul? Well, Mr. Cruise pulled it off … and most people didn’t even know. He wore “invisible” braces that had ceramic brackets for a few months just after his 40th birthday. And the results were pretty WOW!
Dakota Fanning: This lovely young actress had some troublesome teeth when she was younger. However, braces and dental work gave her that stunning star-quality smile we see now. Props to her, though, for staying real. She sported her headgear during an appearance on The Tonight Show and didn’t bat an eye.
Gwyneth Paltrow: The stunning Ms. Paltrow, who, in 2013 was named the Most Beautiful Woman by People Magazine, wore braces in high school. And she probably carried it off with the poise and grace for which she is so famous today.
Niall Horan: This member of One Direction, the boy band that’s currently tearing it up (and breaking some hearts along the way) wore his braces for several months. He got them removed in April 2013.
Other notable celebs who have had braces include Faye Dunaway, who got hers at the age of 61! Ryan Seacrest, Miley Cyrus, Justin Bieber, and Drew Barrymore also belonged to the metal mouth club at one time or another.
What is comes down to is this: It isn’t whether you wear braces that are fully hidden, ceramic brackets, or have the traditional metal train tracks running across your teeth. Nope, it’s all about how you work it!
September 2nd, 2016
Going back to school is already an exciting (and sometimes nerve-racking) time so we don't want your braces adding to that. Our Statesboro, GA team has compiled some helpful tips to make the process as easy and fun as possible.
1. Make sure you pack or purchase braces-friendly lunches
Try to avoid overly crunchy foods (think carrots, celery, hard crackers) especially if your teeth are sore from having your braces tightened. But you shouldn't stop eating healthful foods that fall in this category. For instance apples can be sliced into wedges or carrots can be cut into coins.
You should also avoid sticky foods like candy or gum that can and will stick in your braces like glue! Softer foods are easier on your teeth and braces, so aim to make a good portion of your lunch on the softer side.
2. Have a braces kit in your backpack or locker
Having some useful items on hand at school when you need them is one of the most helpful things you can do. Pack some wax for sores or tenderness, floss and/or flossing tools made for braces, a toothbrush and toothpaste, a small cup for rinsing, a small mirror to check for trapped food, and some lip balm if your lips tend to chap. With these tools on hand, you'll avoid most if not all braces-related nuisances!
3. Know that you're not alone
If you're feeling self-conscious about your braces, don't. Be proud of them! There are many other people your age who have braces, and if they don't have them now, they probably will in the future. Relax and know that you're on the path to a straighter and healthier smile.
If you have any questions about making your transition into "braceshood," just ask Dr. Michael Wall or any member of our Statesboro, GA team! We're here to help make your braces experience (and your smile) the best it can be.
August 26th, 2016
A bright, beautiful smile is often achieved with braces. The time you spend wearing braces is an investment in the good health and appearance of your smile. However, Dr. Michael Wall and our staff know that having braces on your teeth can pose challenges. Many of these challenges are commonly faced by all who wear braces, such as flossing, getting food stuck in your braces, and bad breath.
Today, let’s address bad breath and what to do about it. There’s no reason you have to shy away from conversation for fear that you’ve got bad breath.
Fresh Breath Tips for Braces Wearers
- Eat a Healthy Diet. Unhealthy foods that are laden with sugar can contribute to bad breath. Stick with healthy produce, protein, grains, and dairy found on the list of foods your orthodontist says are safe to eat with braces.
- Drink Non-Sugary Beverages. Likewise, steer clear of sugary sodas and juices for the same reason. They contribute to bad breath.
- Stay Hydrated. A mouth that’s continually dry can lead to bad breath by inhibiting your production of saliva. Regular production of saliva removes bacteria and excess food from your mouth, both of which cause bad breath.
- Brush Often. Brush your teeth and tongue first thing in the morning, after each meal and snack, and before you go to bed, to remove food particles and bacteria that cause bad breath.
- Don’t Forget to Floss. Flossing with braces might seem tricky, but it is a necessity. Ask Dr. Michael Wall to show you the best way to floss effectively with braces.
- Mouthwash Use. Use the mouthwash recommended by Dr. Michael Wall. For the best results, swish the mouthwash around in your mouth for 30 seconds.
- Get Regular Cleanings. Regular dental exams and cleanings are more important when you have braces. Cavities can delay your treatment progress, so be sure to visit your dentist every six months.
Practice Good Hygiene Daily
Good oral hygiene practices are important every day, whether you wear braces or not. But they become even more important during the months you wear braces. In addition to your regular orthodontic checkups, see your general dentist for cleanings and exams.
Together, you and our Statesboro, GA team will keep your mouth healthy and fresh during and after your orthodontic treatment.
August 19th, 2016
At Wall Orthodontics, there are a few things we want to remind you of when you're on vacation, so that a day with friends and family won’t be spent dealing with an orthodontic emergency. Firstly, we are here for you whether you are in town or out of town on vacation. Give us a call and we may be able to address the problem over the phone. Second, if we are unable to help you fix the problem over the phone, we will help you find an orthodontic practice in your vacation area that can help you.
If you experience problems reaching our office, we suggest going online and searching for orthodontic practices in your area. Most orthodontists will lend a helping hand to another orthodontic patient and get them out of pain or discomfort.
If you have braces, whether they are metal, ceramic, or lingual, Dr. Michael Wall and our team suggest steering clear of the following foods to avoid broken brackets and/or wire distortion while you are on vacation:
- Chewy, sticky, or gummy food
- Apples, pears and other whole fruits (cut fruit into thin wedges before consuming)
- Bagels and hard rolls
- Bubble gum
- Corn on the cob
- Hard candies
- Hard cookies
- All varieties of nuts, including peanuts, almonds, and cashews
Finally, if you have clear aligners and you lose your tray, don’t worry! Simply put in either the previous tray or the next tray and contact us as soon as you get home!
Follow these tips and you can have a worry-free vacation!
August 12th, 2016
Your teeth are precious. Once your permanent teeth come in, they need to last you a lifetime. Extensive tooth decay can lead to dental caries and the need for fillings, crowns, bridges, and dentures.
While these fixes can go a long way toward maintaining your quality of life, they cannot compare to your natural teeth. Getting braces is no excuse to let up on your thorough oral health routine: You need to take good care of your teeth before, during, and after braces to benefit completely from the gains you get from newly straightened teeth.
Why You Should Maintain Good Oral Health for Life
Begin a complete oral health regimen as early as possible in life, and maintain this routine throughout your life. Keeping your (or your child’s baby) teeth clean establishes a routine. It preserves healthy baby teeth whose function is to save space for the permanent teeth when they are ready to come in. Care of your permanent teeth helps preserve the enamel and prevent decay.
Take Special Care with Braces
It is important to pay attention to oral health when you have braces. If you do not take special care of your teeth during the months or years that you have braces, you risk irreversible damage to your teeth. Care is more difficult with braces because food can easily get stuck. In addition to brushing twice daily and flossing each day, Dr. Michael Wall and our staff suggest avoiding sticky foods.
August 5th, 2016
Straightening your teeth can have a world of benefits. It can give you more confidence in your smile, make it easier to keep your teeth clean, and improve the alignment of your front and back teeth so that chewing is easier.
ClearCorrect treatment can straighten your teeth without needing traditional metal braces that can be unsightly and inconvenient for eating. Teenagers and adults of all ages can wear the invisible trays to get their teeth straighter. ClearCorrect treatment can take over a year, so you need to know how to care for your smile during that time.
Maintain Your Regular Good Dental Hygiene
A significant benefit of ClearCorrect treatment compared to metal braces is that ClearCorrect aligners are removable. That means you can follow your regular routine when it comes to dental hygiene. Brush your teeth twice a day using a fluoride-containing toothpaste, and floss at least once a day. Use a mouthwash daily to kill germs.
Clean Your Aligners Regularly
Soak your aligners in warm water and brush them gently with a toothbrush. Don’t use mouthwash or denture cleaner, because these products can be too rough. Dr. Michael Wall may suggest using just warm water, or you might be directed to use toothpaste or another solution.
Eat a Mouth-Healthy Diet
Remove your ClearCorrect aligners when you eat so you don’t destroy them or let food build up on them. Limit sweets and sugar-sweetened beverages, such as soft drinks and fruit drinks, to avoid having sugar on your teeth and increasing your risk of tooth decay. Unlike with metal braces, you don’t need to avoid certain foods with ClearCorrect because they are too gummy or likely to get stuck in your braces.
ClearCorrect treatment or not, eating sticky, sugary foods is never healthy because they increase your risk of developing tooth decay. Instead, opt for nutritious choices such as fruits and vegetables, dairy products, and lean proteins.
ClearCorrect treatment can give you a better smile and the benefits that come with it. Make sure you take full advantage of your treatment by keeping your mouth clean so that your smile is white and gleaming when you’re done with your treatment.
July 29th, 2016
Today, Dr. Michael Wall and our team thought we would offer a few tips for our patients currently undergoing orthodontic treatment. For those of you wearing braces, it’s important to be even more dedicated to good oral hygiene than those not currently in treatment.
After getting your braces, it is important to know how to take care of your teeth in order to ensure that your braces stay intact and do their job so that your teeth are in top-notch condition after you complete your orthodontic treatment.
Braces are known to trap food, which contributes to plaque formation. If it is not carefully removed from the teeth and gums, plaque will develop into decay or gum disease, leading to costly delays during your treatment. It is important to practice good oral hygiene by following instructions from Dr. Michael Wall during your treatment.
We are proud to offer supplies to help fight plaque, such as a proxabrush, dental floss, and floss threaders. The use of an electric toothbrush and or a water pick can also be helpful in combating cavities and decay. And, of course, our team at Wall Orthodontics suggests brushing at least twice a day.
We hope that helps! If you have any questions, please give us a call at our Statesboro, GA office or ask us during your next adjustment appointment!
July 22nd, 2016
Many teens want to improve their smile without the pain and embarrassment of having to wear metal braces. Just like metal braces, Invisalign works by gently moving teeth into position. Metal braces are worn continuously, however, and need to be adjusted by Dr. Michael Wall regularly in order to move the teeth into proper position.
Invisalign uses a series of clear trays to move teeth into position. When you are done with one tray, simply pop in the next! Invisalign Teen straightens teeth just as well as traditional metal braces, but has several advantages.
You’ve probably figured out the most obvious advantage already: the aligners are nearly invisible. Invisalign works by using a series of clear aligners that should be worn 20 to 22 hours a day. Invisalign trays are almost undetectable when you wear them, so you can smile with confidence — even while you are straightening your teeth.
One of the best things about Invisalign Teen is that the trays are removable. This means you can remove your tray to eat, brush, and floss your teeth, or even to play sports. While Dr. Michael Wall and our team at Wall Orthodontics require you to wear the trays for most of the day, having the ability to remove your straightening trays means you have practically none of the dietary restrictions that metal brace wearers have to observe.
Teens that play contact sports often experience difficulties with metal braces. Invisalign Teen allows the flexibility to wear a mouthguard, and no metal wires or brackets means less risk of cuts or other injuries while playing a game. Musicians also benefit from being able to remove their trays during rehearsals and performances. You can even remove your tray for your school photo or to snap a quick selfie!
Finally, because you can remove your aligners, you can easily keep your teeth clean through normal brushing and flossing. You can also clean your trays by brushing and rinsing them in warm water. Brushing and flossing with metal braces can be frustrating and time-consuming. Invisalign Teen treatment at Wall Orthodontics helps you keep your smile white and shiny with very little change to your normal routine.
To learn more about Invisalign Teen, or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Michael Wall, please give us a call at our convenient Statesboro, GA office!
July 15th, 2016
Dr. Michael Wall and our team know most of our patients at Wall Orthodontics would probably welcome the idea of speeding up the time they wear braces. And now they can, thanks to AcceleDent, a treatment option that has been shown to increase tooth alignment by 106 percent and reduce the time you spend wearing braces, anywhere from 38 to 50 percent.
By using this pain-free, simple appliance for 20 minutes a day, you will accelerate your orthodontic treatment time using patented technology that gently vibrates the teeth and surrounding bone, allowing teeth to move more freely and creating an ideal bite faster than with braces alone.
AcceleDent is championed as a safe and comfortable option for patients of all ages. When you first begin wearing the light appliance, you may experience a small tingling sensation, much like that of an electric toothbrush, but it should diminish after you become accustomed to wearing it. You may even forget you’re wearing the appliance!
To learn if the AcceleDent system can help you achieve the dazzling smile you’ve always wanted, please give us a call at our Statesboro, GA office to schedule an appointment with Dr. Michael Wall.
July 8th, 2016
Dr. Michael Wall and our team at Wall Orthodontics are excited to announce that we offer the AcceleDent System! AcceleDent, the first and only orthodontic micropulse device of its kind, can actually reduce the time you spend wearing braces, 38 to 50 percent faster than with traditional orthodontics alone.
Orthopedic doctors have been using micropulse technology for years, but it just recently became available for orthodontic treatment. The AcceleDent System consists of a light, comfortable, hands-free appliance that patients use for 20 minutes per day. Its gentle microvibrations help stimulate bone movement, resulting in the beautiful smile you’ve always wanted in less time than ever before.
To learn if AcceleDent is right for you, please give us a call at our convenient Statesboro, GA office to schedule an initial appointment with Dr. Michael Wall.
July 1st, 2016
Every year, Americans all over the world celebrate the birth of the country and its independence on the Fourth of July. There are countless ways that people celebrate and they range from community parades and large scale gatherings to concerts, fireworks displays, and smaller scale celebrations among family and friends. For some people, July 4th is synonymous with baseball, while for others it is all about the beach of barbecues. However you celebrate, you can be sure that red, white, and blue is visible everywhere throughout the area.
The Beginnings of Fourth of July Celebrations
Although it wasn't officially designated as a federal holiday until 1941, the actual tradition of celebrating Independence Day goes back to the time of the American Revolution (1775 – 1783). At the time of the American Revolution, representatives from the 13 colonies penned the resolution that ultimately declared their independence from Great Britain. The continental congress voted to adopt the Declaration of Independence on July 2nd of 1776. Two days later, Thomas Jefferson's famous document that is now known as the Declaration of Independence, was adopted by delegates representing the 13 colonies.
First States to Recognize the Fourth of July
In 1781, Massachusetts became the first state (or commonwealth) whose legislature resolved to designate July 4th as the date on which to celebrate the country's independence. Two years later, Boston became the first city to make an official designation to honor the country's birth with a holiday on July 4th. In that same year, North Carolina's governor, Alexander Martin, became the first governor to issue an official state order stipulating that July 4th was the day on which North Carolinians would celebrate the country's independence.
Fun Facts About the Fourth of July
- The reason the stars on the original flag were arranged in a circle is because it was believed that would indicate that all of the colonies were equal.
- Americans eat over 150 million hot dogs on July 4th.
- Imports of fireworks each year totals over $211 million.
- The first “official” Fourth of July party took place at the White House in 1801.
- Benjamin Franklin didn't want the national bird to be the bald eagle. He believed that the turkey was better suited to the coveted distinction. John Adams and Thomas Jefferson disagreed with him, and he was outvoted, so the bald eagle became the official bird of the United States.
For many, the tradition is something entirely different. Along the coastal areas of the United States, people may haul out huge pots to have lobster or other types of seafood boils. Others may spend the day in the bleachers at a baseball game, or at a park, cooking a great traditional meal over an open fire. No matter how or where you celebrate, one thing is certain: all Americans celebrate July 4th as the birth and independence of our country.
Dr. Michael Wall and our team at Wall Orthodontics wish you a safe and happy Fourth of July!
June 24th, 2016
Straightening your teeth with traditional braces used to be something of a public affair. While traditional teeth-straightening methods yielded high-quality results, it was also essentially impossible to wear them undetected as you went about your day. The visibility of braces could be especially troubling to teens in the high-stress environment of high school and even during the early years of college.
With Invisalign Teen, Dr. Michael Wall and our team at Wall Orthodontics will tell you that many of those concerns are no longer as relevant as they once were. Because Invisalign Teen aligners are constructed out of a plastic that is both smooth and clear, in all likelihood friends and family members won’t even realize the teen is wearing them. The smooth and clear plastic also makes the aligners much more comfortable than traditional braces, which means the teenaged user won’t have to deal with something large and obstructive in his or her mouth.
Additionally, the Invisalign Teen aligners are specifically made to be removable when the need arises. Your son or daughter won’t have to worry about getting food stuck in the alignment trays because they can be pulled out before a meal and popped back in afterwards. Invisalign Teen wearers can remove the aligners before brushing, which allows them to make sure their teeth are free and clear of all obstructions.
Invisalign Teen aligners also allow wearers to keep doing all the activities they have previously enjoyed. If your teen plays sports, for example, he or she won't have to worry about a mouth filled with metal brackets getting injured during play. If your teen plays an instrument, he or she won’t have to worry about traditional braces affecting normal playing techniques. The aligners will remain both comfortable and convenient during all of those activities and more.
If your teen is concerned about physical appearance and worried that braces will adversely affect his or her life for a year or more, Invisalign Teen treatment with Dr. Michael Wall is definitely the right choice. Teens don’t have to be shy about their smile, won’t have to change any of the activities they normally do, and will still get all the benefits of straight teeth when the process is completed.
For more information about Invisalign Teen, or to schedule an initial consultation with Dr. Michael Wall, please give us a call at our convenient Statesboro, GA office today!
June 17th, 2016
Invisalign is gaining traction as a sought-after solution for orthodontic problems. Unlike traditional braces, which require the placement of brackets on teeth and the connection of unsightly wires, Invisalign works nearly invisibly (as its name suggests). Particularly for those who do not wish to draw attention to their orthodontic work, Invisalign provides an attractive solution.
Consultation with a Treatment Provider
Our practice has received specialized training to work with Invisalign. During your consultation appointment, Dr. Michael Wall will assess your smile needs. In some cases, the type of problem may not lend itself to correction through Invisalign, and we may offer an alternative solution.
Creation of a Custom Treatment Plan
Invisalign works using a series of customized clear trays that fit almost perfectly over the teeth. To create these trays, Dr. Michael Wall will take X-rays and impressions of your teeth. These are submitted to a specialized laboratory that makes a 3D image of your smile. This is used to create a specialized treatment plan that provides an estimate of how long treatment will take.
Arrival of Custom Trays
Once your customized trays have arrived, the treatment begins. For Invisalign to work properly, you must wear the aligners 20 to 22 hours per day, removing them only to eat, drink, and brush your teeth. The trays gently draw your teeth into proper alignment, correcting your orthodontic problems as you go about your everyday life.
In general, you will replace your aligners with a new set every two weeks. This is to encourage your teeth to continue moving throughout the treatment process. You’ll need to check in with our Statesboro, GA office every six weeks or so to ensure treatment progresses smoothly.
Beautiful Smile: Complete!
Once you complete your individualized treatment plan, you’ll have the smile you’ve always dreamed of. Like with traditional braces, Dr. Michael Wall may recommend that you wear a retainer to ensure that your teeth remain in their new positions.
June 10th, 2016
More than one patient has come into our office and asked, “What can I do to help my teeth when wearing Invisalign?”
While everyone’s teeth and dental needs are different, there are certain things everyone can do to make wearing their Invisalign aligners a more rewarding experience. Always follow the list of instructions and tips from Dr. Michael Wall, and add the following advice to your daily routine.
Always ask us about teeth whitening. Our team at Wall Orthodontics knows how important it is for you to keep your teeth white and stain-free from the foods and drinks you consume daily. If you have attachments to your teeth, they will not whiten properly. Ask our office about teeth whitening when wearing your aligners; it might be best to wait until your treatment is complete.
Continue flossing every day. You should be flossing in any case. But it can be easy to assume that Invisalign will protect your teeth from bacteria. This is not true. Bacteria can get behind the aligners and affect the health of your teeth and gums, so keep up with your flossing schedule.
Follow the 48-hour rule when wearing your aligners. When you insert every new set of aligners, you should leave them in as much as possible during the first 48 hours. Your teeth will move more during this timeframe, and the aligners do the most good during this time.
You may experience slight discomfort while wearing your Invisalign aligners. You can take a pain reliever to help with the discomfort, but if you experience too much pain, please give us a call at our convenient Statesboro, GA office to schedule an appointment!
June 3rd, 2016
The community health awareness group Oral Health America has reported that 82 percent of adults are unaware of the role that infectious bacteria can play in tooth decay or cavities, and almost three out of five children aged 12 to 19 have tooth decay. Since June is National Smile Month, Dr. Michael Wall and our team at Wall Orthodontics thought we’d remind our patients about the importance of good oral hygiene visits between office visits.
To keep your family’s smiles healthy and beautiful for years to come, be sure to:
- Brush at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste
- Floss every day to clean between your teeth
- Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet
- Reduce your intake of sugary foods and drinks
- Visit Dr. Michael Wall for scheduled appointments
If you want to know more about healthy home care habits, feel free to ask our team at your next appointment, or ask us on Facebook!
May 27th, 2016
Memorial Day didn't become an official holiday until 1971, but Americans started gathering annually in the spring to remember those who lost their lives in war during the 1860s, right after the Civil War. Celebrated on the last Monday in May, people still decorate the grave sites of war veterans and hold memorial services, but Memorial Day has also evolved into a day that signifies the beginning of summer.
During the summer months, many people take road trips to visit family members. Some head off to the airport to enjoy a long-awaited vacation far away, while others look forward to spending time with friends and family at home. However you spend Memorial Day and the subsequent summer months, there are a few things you can take care of to ensure your summertime is enjoyable.
Checklist for an Enjoyable Summer
- Have the AC Checked. During the hottest days of summer, many families find themselves sweating it out due to a broken air conditioning system. Be proactive so you can avoid waiting for hours or days because the HVAC repair person is booked solid. Have your air conditioning system checked before or around Memorial Day each year.
- Ensure Security While You're Away. When you leave for vacation, the last thing you should have to worry about is the security of your home. Install a home security system, if possible, and put a timer on your lights so they go on and off at normal hours. You can also alert your local police department that you'll be gone, and ask them to drive by your house once in a while to make sure everything is okay.
- Visit Dr. Michael Wall Before Vacation. Many people put off exams until after summer vacation. Avoid the crowds and make sure your physical and oral health are in top shape prior to vacation time so there are no unpleasant surprises.
Our team at Wall Orthodontics wants you to look forward to Memorial Day and the days of summer by preparing to spend the time safely and comfortably. As you plan ahead, take care of your health and secure your home, you can place your focus on creating memories with family members and friends while enjoying your favorite Memorial Day traditions.
May 20th, 2016
Those challenging teenage years are some of the most self-conscious ones of your life, and concern for your appearance definitely plays a large part. Invisalign is becoming a very popular choice for adolescent patients today, but is it the best choice?
The results from teenage Invisalign users indicate that Invisalign is both effective for teeth straightening and for satisfying that urge to avoid the dreaded “metal mouth.” Dr. Michael Wall can help you determine if Invisalign is right for you, but this article will explain why so many people are calling Invisalign the best choice for teens today.
Invisalign is a clear plastic device that fits directly over the teeth. There are no metal parts to mar the look of your smile, and your Invisalign aligners can straighten while allowing your pearly whites to shine through. Any teen will be the first to tell you that appearance is a top concern, so this is an excellent choice. People don’t even need to know you’re straightening your teeth with Invisalign.
Eat, Brush, and Floss Easily
Another particularly attractive aspect of Invisalign for most teenagers is the freedom it allows. While traditional metal braces can make eating, brushing, and flossing difficult, this is not the case with Invisalign. The aligners are easily removable for these activities, which gives teens the freedom they desire to live life as usual.
More Free Time
Invisalign Teen aligners need to be checked and adjusted at Wall Orthodontics less frequently than traditional braces. This allows for fewer appointments, something that is really important to teens. Having your teeth straightened is no reason to forgo activities or make room in your schedule for constant office visits when you choose Invisalign.
Learn more about Invisalign Teen at our Statesboro, GA office!
May 13th, 2016
Patients who need to get orthodontic treatment are often concerned about how long they will wear their braces. Dr. Michael Wall will tell you the good news is, is there is a solution for any patient who wants to minimize the time he or she needs to wear braces. AcceleDent is a device that uses micropulse technology to reduce how long your orthodontic treatment takes. Small vibrations go through your teeth, enabling them to move into their correct positions faster. The device needs to be worn only for a few minutes a day, and is a non-invasive and non-surgical way to make orthodontics more efficient.
How AcceleDent Works
The AcceleDent appliance is a custom mouthpiece that fits comfortably around your braces. It works with traditional braces, clear braces, and even Invisalign®. The mouthpiece is inserted once a day, an activator is turned on, and the mouthpiece is worn for just 20 minutes. You only need to bite the mouthpiece hard enough to hold it in place. You can participate in any activities you like while wearing it. The mouthpiece comes with an online usage history as well, so you can see how many times you have used it to make sure you are wearing it as intended.
Benefits of AcceleDent
Besides being hands-free, lightweight, and comfortable, you can benefit in a number of significant ways by using AcceleDent orthodontic treatment:
- It speeds up orthodontic treatment by up to 52 percent.
- AcceleDent® is only worn for 20 minutes a day.
- It is approved by the FDA.
- It is non-invasive and non-surgical.
- It helps with dental hygiene by minimizing the amount of time needed for orthodontic treatment.
Most of our patients at Wall Orthodontics welcome the opportunity to reduce their orthodontic treatment time, and that’s just what AcceleDent offers. Contact our Statesboro, GA office or ask our team at your next appointment to see if AcceleDent is right for your smile!
May 6th, 2016
"Motherhood: All love begins and ends there." - Robert Browning
We would like to take this moment to thank all the great moms out there for being so great during their child’s visits to Wall Orthodontics. Whether it’s driving their kids to regularly scheduled appointments or for “being there” while their child is treatment, the moms who come to our office are all stellar individuals, so Dr. Michael Wall and our entire staff would like you to know that we appreciate you all!
Happy Mother’s Day and enjoy your special day!
April 29th, 2016
You want to straighten your teeth because you know it’ll make your smile more appealing, be more comfortable, and improve your dental health. However, eating can be a big barrier to getting braces because of all the foods you need to give up for the months or years that treatment lasts. ClearCorrect is an alternative tooth-straightening option that doesn’t make you dread your new diet while you straighten your teeth. Here’s what you need to know about eating and ClearCorrect.
Eat What You Want
All kinds of foods are forbidden when you have metal braces because they can get stuck in the wires or cause brackets to pop off. That’s not a problem with ClearCorrect because you remove your clear aligners whenever you eat a meal or snack. That way, you can eat anything you want. You don’t need to avoid the following foods the way you do when you have metal braces.
- Peanuts, nuts, and seeds
- Meat on the bone, such as chicken wings and ribs
- Sticky foods, such as toffee and raisins
- Crunchy foods, such as apples and carrots
- Stringy foods, such as celery and pineapple
Since you can eat whatever you want, you don’t need to avoid your friends and coworkers because of your ClearCorrect aligners. You can hang out with friends and go to business lunches without worrying about embarrassment.
Maintain Healthy Eating Habits
You can eat whatever you want without fear of wrecking your ClearCorrect aligners, but that doesn’t mean you should toss out your healthy eating habits. Dr. Michael Wall and our team recommend that you:
- Eat high-calcium foods, such as low-fat yogurt and cheese, to support strong teeth.
- Rinse your mouth with water after eating to get rid of excess carbohydrates on your teeth.
- Limit consumption of sugary beverages and foods, such as candy, to keep sugar from settling on your teeth and feeding bacteria.
ClearCorrect treatment can straighten your teeth without making you give up your favorite foods or become a social outcast. Just take the aligners out of your mouth for meals and snacks and select healthy foods whenever possible, and you can enjoy yourself while your teeth get straighter.
April 22nd, 2016
Brace-ism: believe it or not, it’s a concept. The Urban Dictionary defines brace-ism as “acting mean to people who have braces on their teeth.” Phrases like metal mouth, brace face, and train tracks are common jokes uttered by gap-toothed fools who like to make fun of people with braces.
While ignoring these comments and taking the high road is the best thing to do, there’s nothing wrong with having a few clever retorts and quick-witted comebacks up your sleeve.
- The next time someone calls you train tracks, break into an obnoxious train imitation, with lots of toot-toot and chuga-chuga-chuga. Finish off your crazy locomotive impersonation with some sort of deafening train horn. That’ll keep the bullies at bay.
- “It’s better to be a brace face than a space case.”
- Counter with a ridiculously childish joke that makes the schoolyard tormentor feel even smaller than he already is. “Oh. Yeah. Why did the deer need braces? Because he had buck teeth. Hahaha.” Top it off with an exaggerated eye roll.
- “Yeah, my brother tells that joke. He’s six. You guys should hang out.” That’ll stop the haters dead in their tracks. Or would that be train tracks?
- Here’s one from the sarcasm grab bag. “Well, I’m just glad there’s a way to fix what’s wrong with my face.”
- “I can’t wait to discuss this formative moment at our ten-year class reunion, when my teeth are razor-straight and you’re wearing adult braces.”
April 15th, 2016
Dr. Michael Wall and our team know it is natural for you to feel some concern when you need to wear any type of dental device to correct a problem with your teeth. Both braces and Invisalign can produce good results in giving you the smile you’ve always wanted. Both methods can straighten your teeth and alleviate such issues as crowding, spacing, cross bite, overbite, and underbite. Both methods of treatment have a similar cost.
You can take a cross-country road trip in a ten-year-old economy car or you can make the trip in a brand-new luxury sedan. Both will get you to your destination, but you will be far more comfortable traveling in the luxury sedan. Similarly, your journey to a great smile is much more comfortable and convenient with Invisalign as opposed to braces.
Some of the discomfort you may experience with braces is greatly reduced with Invisalign. Because Invisalign is custom-fit to your mouth and made of plastic, you will feel less pain, irritation, and soreness. Unlike braces, there are no food restrictions; you can eat anything that is on your diet.
Brushing and flossing
Of course you will want to brush and floss your teeth to prevent plaque buildup, tooth discoloration, and dental decay. If you wear braces, these simple tasks can become quite a challenge. Invisalign aligners are very easy to remove and replace, so you can brush or floss like normal without having to work your way around any metallic framework covering your teeth.
You do not have to be embarrassed to show your teeth when you are using the Invisalign system. Since the aligners are practically invisible, no one will even notice you are wearing them! Whether you are a teenager or an older adult, you can live your life normally.
If you want to learn more about Invisalign, or are wondering what your treatment options are at Wall Orthodontics, feel free to give us a call at our convenient Statesboro, GA office!
April 8th, 2016
Millions of patients around the world are currently undergoing or have already completed orthodontic treatment. On average, traditional braces can take up to two years or more to straighten the teeth, a time that is filled with periodic orthodontic visits at Wall Orthodontics for Dr. Michael Wall to monitor progress and tighten the braces. Though the outcome is always worth the duration of treatment, many patients would prefer to shed their braces faster than traditional treatment allows.
Shorter treatment times with AcceleDent
AcceleDent is changing the way orthodontic patients achieve a straighter smile. This revolutionary technology makes it possible to shorten treatment time by up to 50 percent, compared to traditional braces without AcceleDent. Since 2009, thousands of people around the world have benefited from the AcceleDent rapid-correction technology, and the numbers are growing day by day!
AcceleDent is a daily-use device that includes a fitted mouthpiece and an activator. This activator delivers gentle, pain-free pulses that encourage your teeth to move more quickly in the direction of your orthodontic device. When used for 20 minutes each day as prescribed by our office, AcceleDent can cut a two-year treatment in half!
Of course, any daily commitment requires convenience and portability. AcceleDent was designed for versatility, with a lightweight, compact design and a convenient storage case. The device easily charges via its USB port, which also doubles as a computer connection to track your history of use.
Is AcceleDent right for you?
You may be a candidate for AcceleDent if you are undergoing or preparing to undergo orthodontic treatment and are interested in a shorter treatment time. AcceleDent is available by prescription only, so you must consult with our Statesboro, GA office if you think this technology could be right for you.
April 1st, 2016
It’s estimated that up to four million people at any one time are wearing braces in the United States and Canada. But Dr. Michael Wall and our team at Wall Orthodontics know that braces have come a long way from the early days of orthodontics, so much so that these days, options are available that are not visible to onlookers. The most popular of these “invisible” braces is Invisalign. Here’s a list of FAQs regarding Invisalign:
Are they really invisible?
Yes, the clear liners are virtually invisible, so they enable patients to feel good about themselves and their appearance, while getting the orthodontic treatment they need.
Are there wires, rubber bands, and brackets with Invisalign?
Nope. Invisalign is truly an alternative to conventional braces. The treatment consists of clear liners that can easily be removed and cleaned throughout the day. There are no wires, so there’s less poking and mouth irritation compared to braces. There’s also no wire tightening at adjustment appointments, so patients don’t have to worry about a sore mouth in the days that follow in-office visits.
I’ve heard that if I get braces, I won’t be able to eat certain foods like popcorn and hard candy. Is this true with Invisalign too?
No. With Invisalign, there are no food restrictions. You simply remove your aligners when you’re eating, and replace them after you’ve finished and brushed any leftover food particles away.
Does Invisalign cost more than braces?
While overall cost varies on a patient-by-patient basis and is based largely on the level of treatment, Invisalign costs about the same as traditional braces, which makes this treatment option a truly affordable alternative.
How does brushing compare with conventional braces?
Brushing your teeth while wearing conventional braces takes some getting used to. Patients have to brush around the metal brackets and floss with a specialty tool to get into the hard-to-reach areas of the mouth. By contrast, Invisalign can be removed at any time to permit regular brushing and flossing.
Every patient is different and Invisalign might not be the best course of orthodontic treatment for everyone, but it's an option that's gaining more and more popularity, and it's an orthodontic alternative that doesn't sacrifice comfort and convenience for results. For more information, or to schedule a consultation, please give us a call at our convenient Statesboro, GA office!
March 25th, 2016
Although teeth seem to be solidly fixed in their sockets (at least they don’t wobble when we chew!), all teeth can easily be moved if Dr. Michael Wall and our staff attach brackets and wires to them called braces. In the past, all braces were made of stainless steel, but today’s advanced dental technology gives people the option of wearing transparent, acrylic mouth trays called Invisalign®, or relying on traditional metal braces for correcting malocclusions.
Brackets, Slots, and Arch Wires – Oh My!
When light pressure is consistently exerted on teeth, they will gradually move in the direction of the force. For example, affixing brackets to front teeth and threading a flexible, metal wire through tiny slots on the front of the brackets allows the orthodontist to tighten this arch wire enough to initiate desired movement of teeth. Generally, orthodontic patients visit Wall Orthodontics once a month to have this wire tightened to keep teeth moving in the desired direction.
Tissues surrounding the teeth that experience pressure from arch wires will slowly (and, for the most part, painlessly) stretch, and allow the socket to enlarge so the tooth and its root become looser temporarily. This allows the root to move without causing bleeding or pain. Once Dr. Michael Wall and our staff are satisfied with the repositioning of teeth, we will remove the braces and let bone material fill in the socket so that teeth are solidified into their new (and straighter) positions.
Clear Braces vs. Traditional Braces
Both types of orthodontic corrective devices move teeth in the same manner: by applying a continual force against teeth. Clear aligners, like Invisalign, are mouth trays made of hard acrylic material that people wear for at least 23 hours a day. Unlike metal braces, Invisalign can be removed for eating and brushing purposes and the aligners are nearly invisible because of their transparency.
Invisalign aligners are usually reserved for people with gaps between their teeth or whose teeth are only slightly crooked. Traditional metal braces are often necessary when severe malocclusion exists and requires more pressure than Invisalign offers.
March 18th, 2016
ClearCorrect treatment has become a very popular treatment for teens as well as adults in the past few years. There are many reasons why they are rated as one of the number-one options for realigning teeth, but some of the options may stand out more than others.
ClearCorrect is custom made with modern 3D technology to ensure the perfect fit. This means that each aligner that is provided to you by Dr. Michael Wall has been specifically made for you based on impressions and X-rays of your teeth. The aligners are conveniently replaced every few weeks to keep your teeth adjusting correctly.
Although traditional metal braces do the job they aren’t always comfortable. They have to be adjusted every month and can cause some soreness for several days after. The rubber bands and brackets can also be an aggravation while eating, not to mention the rubber bands have been known to come off and be swallowed while eating.
ClearCorrect are clear, hence the name. They are literally unnoticeable and have a very smooth surface. Traditional braces are very obvious and usually metal colored. The option of having a clear or invisible form of treatment helps teens stay self-confident.
Convenience of Each Type of Treatment
Unlike traditional braces ClearCorrect is easily removable to be able to eat, drink as well as to brush and floss teeth. This helps greatly with oral hygiene.
Clear Correct also causes less soreness after changing to new aligners versus getting the traditional braces adjusted. There is also no mouth irritation due to not having wires or brackets to deal with.
Overall, ClearCorrect is more desired because of the many options as well as the convenience. Make an appointment at our Statesboro, GA office today to see if ClearCorrect will work for your individual orthodontic needs.
March 11th, 2016
On March 17, everyone has a little Irish in them. St. Patrick’s Day is a joyous celebration of Irish heritage. The holiday originated as a commemoration of Saint Patrick, who brought Christianity to Ireland. The saint arrived in Ireland in 432 and earned the reputation of a champion of Irish Christianity. March 17th, the day of St. Patrick’s death, has been commemorated by the Irish for over 1,000 years. St. Patrick’s Day is still observed as a religious feast day by several Christian denominations, but it is better known in the public imagination as a rich celebration of Irish culture.
St. Patrick’s Day has been an official public holiday in Ireland since 1903. Each year, the Irish celebrate with a several-day festival that includes theater performances, music, fireworks, and festive parades. The celebration is also a public holiday in Northern Ireland, Montserrat, and Newfoundland and Labrador. In other parts of the world with heavy Irish populations, it is an unofficial celebration of Irish heritage. Parts of Great Britain, Canada, Argentina, South Korea, Switzerland, New Zealand, the United States, and Australia commemorate the holiday each year. Typical celebrations in these countries include drinking green beer, wearing green, eating traditional Irish foods, parades, and shamrock decorations.
Many people, Irish and non-Irish alike, take part in the “wearing of the green” on St. Patrick’s Day. In fact, the color originally associated with Saint Patrick was blue. His use of shamrocks to explain the Holy Trinity to the Irish made the green clover emblematic of the holiday, leading to the traditional green attire worn by thousands on St. Patrick’s Day. Other little-known facts about St. Patrick’s Day include the following:
- Each year, the United States and Ireland face off in a rugby competition called the “St. Patrick’s Day Test.”
- Montreal celebrates the holiday with an annual parade, which has been held each year since 1824. The Montreal city flag even features a shamrock in its corner, as a nod to its Irish heritage.
- The Guinness World Records named St. Patrick’s Day the “Friendliest Day of the Year.”
- Along with Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day is one of the most widely celebrated saint’s day in the world.
No matter your cultural heritage, St. Patrick’s Day is a great time to let loose and celebrate your inner Irish-ness! Don your greenest attire and exclaim “Erin go Bragh!” (Ireland forever!) to everyone you meet. From Dr. Michael Wall - have a great St. Paddy’s day!
March 8th, 2016
After patients complete their ClearCorrect treatment at our Statesboro, GA office, many will be given retainers to wear at night to prevent their teeth from moving. This is done after all treatment with any type of braces. There are two types of retainers available from Dr. Michael Wall: removable and permanent.
If you are given the option of having a clear removable retainer to use, it will most likely only need to be worn at bedtime. They are the easiest and most preferred and are able to be removed to brush your teeth, floss, eat, and drink.
If you are not a good candidate for a clear removable retainer you will be given the option of having a permanent metal retainer placed behind your teeth. Permanent retainers are made from a thin metal wire that is attached to your teeth. This type of retainer is the perfect option for those who will not be disciplined enough to wear their removable retainer or keep track of where it is. Once this retainer is placed in the mouth it will provide protection from your teeth shifting for years.
In order to retain the alignment of your teeth and protect all of the orthodontic work you have had completed, speak with Dr. Michael Wall about which form of retainer would be best for your individual dental needs.
March 8th, 2016
One of the greatest advantages to using Invisalign is that it provides maximum results with minimal impact on your everyday life. Invisalign is comfortable, easy to insert, and simple to remove. Because you can remove Invisalign aligners, you can enjoy all your favorite foods and beverages without worries about getting food stuck in the wires and brackets of traditional braces.
Eating and Invisalign
While the aligner is durable and strong, you should remove it before you eat or drink beverages, as the chewing action inside your mouth can break, crack, or distort the aligner. Even minute damage to the Invisalign tray will prevent it from aligning your teeth properly. Furthermore, eating with Invisalign in your mouth can be quite messy.
Beverages and Invisalign
Repeated exposure to hot liquids may also cause the Invisalign aligner to distort. This distortion changes the shape of your aligner in a way that will affect how it straightens your teeth. Contact our Statesboro, GA office if your Invisalign aligner has distorted after consuming a hot beverage.
Fluids can settle inside the aligner to “bathe” the teeth. Bathing teeth in acidic fluids can be especially problematic, as the acids can wear away tooth enamel. Exposure to acidic fluids is not normally a problem, as saliva neutralizes and buffers the acid then washes it away. Wearing an aligner, however, prevents the saliva from doing those jobs, increasing your risk for tooth decay.
Colored drinks may also change the color of your teeth. Most discoloration is temporary but stubborn stains may occur.
To prevent discoloration and tooth decay, brush your teeth after every meal or beverage before putting in your Invisalign aligners. If you do not have access to clean water, chew sugar-free gum to remove bacteria, acid, and food particles from your teeth. As a last resort, you may leave your aligners out for an hour or two until you can brush and floss properly. Before inserting Invisalign, rinse the aligner in lukewarm water or use the Invisalign cleaning kit.
Contact our Statesboro, GA office for more information about eating and Invisalign.
February 19th, 2016
According to Preferred Consumer, it's estimated that 50 percent of people around the world have teeth that are crooked, not aligned properly, or irregular. Fortunately today, orthodontics has advanced to the point where corrective devices, such as braces and retainers, are less obvious, more comfortable, and can be worn for shorter periods of time.
So, with that being said, how do you know if braces are right for you? Typically your dentist will be able to point out any issues with your teeth at your regular six-month cleanings and recommend you to an orthodontist. But here are some other things to keep in mind when deciding whether or not braces could be in your future:
As children grow, so do their teeth. And more often than not, certain teeth will grow in crooked. This isn't uncommon, as the majority of children will require some sort of teeth correction, whether that’s braces or retainers. Retainers are custom-made devices that either work to hold teeth in place or correct tooth alignment. They're often worn all day, aside from meals, at the start of the treatment period and then eventually are rolled back so they're just worn at night. Braces on the other hand are worn for at least a year and work to help straighten or position teeth.
Overbite or Underbite
The other main oral issue that orthodontics helps correct is uneven alignment, such as an underbite or an overbite. You might hear Dr. Michael Wall refer to this as a "malocclusion," which means "bad bite." Braces can help rearrange your alignment so an overbite or underbite is less of a problem. Typically after the braces come off for this sort of treatment, patients need to wear a retainer from Wall Orthodontics to finish the treatment.
While braces are typically associated with dental issues in children, more adults are wearing the devices as well. About one in every five braces wearers are adults; a sign that it's never too late to correct any oral issues. Part of this is due to the technological advancements in orthodontics. For instance, new braces feel much better and come in a variety of styles — including clear — so they're far less obvious. Plus, the wires on braces are now made from advanced metals, which are stronger and lighter, so they get the job done much more efficiently. With so many people wearing braces these days, nicknames like "metal mouth" and "brace face" are almost a thing of the past. What's more, is that insurance plans are increasingly covering orthodontic treatment, making braces a much more feasible option for families on a budget.
When weighing whether or not braces are in your future, it's important to study all of your options about the styles of braces and what treatment option is best for you. Also be sure to contact your insurance provider to see what is covered and what will have to be paid out of pocket. It might take a few years of treatment, but braces can give you that winning smile for the rest of your life. Call our Statesboro, GA office with any questions you might have!
February 12th, 2016
Valentine’s Day is best known as a celebration of love in all its forms. Pink hearts, red roses, and cute greeting cards adorn every surface you see. What many people don’t realize is that the modern Valentine’s Day celebration arose from a religious holiday.
St. Valentine’s Day was originally celebrated as a religious feast day in honor of early Christian martyrs. Three martyrs named Valentine were honored: a priest in Rome, the persecuted bishop of Interamna (a town in central Italy), and a saint martyred in Africa. This saint’s day was celebrated throughout Christendom, although it was removed from the Roman Catholic Calendar of Saints in 1969.
The origin of Valentine’s Day as a holiday for lovers began with Geoffrey Chaucer in his 1382 poem “Parlement of Foules.” Chaucer wrote, “For this was on Saint Valentine’s Day, when every bird cometh there to choose his mate,” and the modern romantic holiday was born. William Shakespeare and other writers mentioned Valentine’s Day as a day of love.
Valentine’s Day as we know it came about in the early 19th century. In Victorian England, printers began manufacturing small numbers of cards with romantic verses, lace, ribbons, and other frills. Anonymous Valentine’s Day card were a popular way for young lovers to exchange romantic sentiments in an otherwise prudish time. As the 19th century progressed, printers began mass manufacturing Valentine’s Day cards. People in the United States give an estimated 190 million valentines every year, and up to one billion if you count children exchanging cards at school! With the rise of the Internet, Valentine’s Day e-cards have become a popular mode of communication, with millions of e-cards sent each year.
The other items associated with Valentine’s Day include chocolate and flowers. The tradition of giving chocolates has been around for decades, and Richard Cadbury created the first box of Valentine’s Day chocolates nearly 150 years ago. Today, purchases of chocolate total over $1 billion in the United States alone, with 35 million heart-shaped boxes sold each year. Loved ones also exchange flowers, with red roses being associated with Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love. On Valentine’s Day itself, florists sell nearly 200 million stems of roses.
Although many people dismiss Valentine’s Day as a commercialized “Hallmark holiday,” it is beloved to couples and romantics across the United States and other countries. The team at Wall Orthodontics wants to remind all patients that no matter what your celebratory plans, February 14th can be a wonderful day to celebrate the loved ones in your life. Happy Valentine’s Day!
February 5th, 2016
Invisalign Teen is designed with today’s youth in mind. These clear, removable orthodontic aligners can straighten your teeth without the need for metal wires and brackets. Unlike traditional braces, Invisalign Teen aligners are comfortable, nearly invisible, and removable, which allows you to remove them as you eat your favorite foods and brush and floss your teeth. Invisalign Teen motivates teenagers to enjoy life without restrictions while promoting better overall dental care.
Key features of Invisalign Teen
Teenagers are constantly on the move and require special options when it comes to their braces. Invisalign Teen utilizes the same technology as Invisalign for adults; they consist of a series of clear plastic aligners that gradually move the teeth. Extra features designed especially for teens include:
- Blue wear-indicators on the aligners that gradually fade from blue to clear to help you, and our team, gauge wear time
- Aligners designed to compensate for the growth of molars and new teeth
- Customization to fit your mouth correctly and comfortably
- Removable and nearly transparent to ensure you can eat with freedom and smile with confidence
- Six free individual replacement aligners in the event that your aligners become misplaced or lost
Conditions improved by Invisalign Teen
Between 70 and 80 percent of adolescents in the United States require braces, according to the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO). Invisalign Teen uses advanced technology to treat a broad range of orthodontic conditions. These include overbite, underbite, crossbite, widely-spaced teeth, and overly crowded teeth. Injuries and tooth and jaw problems may also require the use of braces to correct jaw and teeth alignment problems.
How does Invisalign Teen work?
Like any orthodontic treatment, Invisalign Teen requires a customized treatment plan created by Dr. Michael Wall. Generally, each set of aligners is worn for approximately two weeks and removed when you brush, floss, eat, and drink. Your teeth will gradually move with the series of aligners, which typically ranges from 18 to 30 aligners in total. You’ll visit our Statesboro, GA office every eight to ten weeks to check your progress and make any needed adjustments.
Invisalign Teen introduces a whole new way to make your smile straight without the unappealing look and hassle of traditional metal braces. This revolutionary method of correcting smiles is being used by teens everywhere, including right here at Wall Orthodontics, to straighten their teeth with confidence.
January 29th, 2016
When you think of orthodontic treatment, you may automatically assume that it only relates to older children and teens with alignment and spacing issues. But this isn’t the case: Orthodontic treatment at Wall Orthodontics offers many benefits when applied at a young age.
By considering orthodontic treatment at a younger age, Dr. Michael Wall and our staff are able to identify your child’s alignment issues early on, and are able to intervene in order to provide treatment as the teeth begin to develop. It is important to start dental care early, not only for proper dental health and the cosmetic benefits, but to improve a child’s overall health as well.
The Benefits of Straighter Teeth
Besides the cosmetic benefits, there are multiple advantages to starting orthodontic treatment at a young age:
- It can reduce the extent of orthodontic treatment needed later.
- With early treatment, the pediatric dentist helps guide the teeth into their right position to prevent the removal of teeth and improve an overbite, underbite, or crossbite.
- Straighter teeth are easier to clean and better for preventing tooth decay.
- As a benefit to you, the parent, your child’s orthodontic expenses will be much lower with early treatment.
- Lastly, much early treatment is covered by dental insurance.
Stages of Orthodontic Treatment
Multiple stages are included in early orthodontic treatment, with three stages in all:
The first stage is early treatment that starts around age two or three, and continues until the child is around six years old. This stage deals with preventive measures, such as avoiding bad habits that lead to crooked teeth and creating a plan for the future based on how the teeth are growing in.
During stage two, when the child is six to 12 years old, the first permanent teeth erupt and the dentist looks at possible early treatment for misalignment or bite issues.
Finally, stage three occurs during adolescence to correct any further problems with permanent teeth.
Dr. Michael Wall and our staff are able to see how the teeth first erupt and know right away whether or not your child will need to have braces later on. Early treatment means fewer procedures, cleaner teeth, and less expense.
January 22nd, 2016
Sports are great for children for a variety of reasons. Children can develop their motor skills, learn how to solve conflicts and work together, and develop their work ethics. As a parent, you may recognize the benefits of sports, but also naturally worry about your child’s health and safety. Your job goes beyond providing a water bottle and making sure your child follows the rules of the game.
Although you may not think of your child’s teeth first when you think about sports, accidents can happen that affect your children’s teeth. A stray hockey stick, an errant basketball, or a misguided dive after a volleyball are examples of ways a child could lose a tooth. In fact, studies show that young athletes lose more than three million teeth each year.
Becoming a Better Athlete to Protect Teeth
Becoming a better athlete involves refining skills, learning the rules of the game, and being a good sport. These components are not just about winning. They are also about safety. Young athletes who are better ball-handlers and who are careful to avoid fouls and penalties are less likely to have harmful contact with the ball, teammates, or opponents. Children who are better roller-bladers are less likely to take a face plant into the blacktop, and more likely to save their teeth. Being a good sport and avoiding unnecessary contact is one way to protect teeth.
Proper Protective Equipment for Teeth
If your child is in a sport that poses a high threat to teeth, it is essential for your child to wear a mouthguard. Mouthguards fit your child’s mouth and consist of soft plastic. Dr. Michael Wall can custom fit a mouthguard if generic ones are uncomfortable. While children may resist wearing a mouthguard initially, your persistence in insisting that they wear it should be enough to convince them. A helmet or face mask provides additional protection.
While prevention is best, rapid treatment can improve the situation if your child does happen to lose a tooth during sports. Rapid implantation can work in about ten percent of cases. To learn about ways to save a lost tooth, contact our Statesboro, GA office.
January 15th, 2016
A popular option for straightening teeth at Wall Orthodontics, Invisalign can be a great method for improving your smile, and can help patients with crowded teeth, crossbites, overbites, underbites, and more.
Invisalign, which is different from traditional braces, works by applying a series of clear, retainer-like aligners in order to eventually move your teeth into their ideal positions. Patients typically swap aligners approximately every couple of weeks.
At Wall Orthodontics, we have lots of experience using this technology to give our patients the beautiful and healthy smile they’ve always wanted. During your initial visit at our Statesboro, GA office, the first thing we do is take an impression of your teeth as they are now and digitize it. Using special software, we look at the current positioning of your teeth and compare it to the way your teeth should look.
Not only are the aligners invisible, they are also removable, so you can eat and drink what you want, and brushing and flossing are easier. Invisalign’s aligners are also comfortable, with no metal to cause mouth abrasions during your treatment. And, no metal and wires usually means you spend less time at our office getting adjustments. With Invisalign, you can view your own virtual treatment plan when you start, so you can see how your straight teeth will look when your treatment is complete!
Depending on the severity of the problem, Invisalign treatment may take anywhere from three to 18 months to complete. You should be aware that Invisalign is not as effective as traditional braces in treating bite problems, teeth that are lower or higher than others, or severely overcrowded teeth. Both teens and adults are now great candidates for Invisalign, so we invite you to contact our Statesboro, GA office to set up an initial consultation and learn more on how Invisalign can give you the smile you’ve always wanted!
January 8th, 2016
Our team at Wall Orthodontics knows that there are many ways you can protect your pearly whites throughout your orthodontic treatment. If you follow the rules and brush your teeth twice a day, floss often, and protect your appliances from damage, you should have a successful treatment.
But did you know there’s another way to keep your teeth sparkling and healthy during your time wearing braces?
Fluoride, the mineral that helps you prevent cavities and tooth decay, can also help keep your teeth strong. Fluoride comes in two varieties: topical and systemic. Depending on your oral health or the recommendation of Dr. Michael Wall, you may be required to have a fluoride treatment every three, six, or 12 months. We may also prescribe a fluoride product such as a mouthwash, gel, or antibacterial rinse for at-home treatment to keep your teeth happy in between visits.
If you have any other questions about fluoride or your treatment, please don’t hesitate to give us a call!
January 1st, 2016
Watching the clock tick down the final seconds until midnight, many of us- Wall Orthodontics included- feel nostalgic about the passing year and hopeful about the new one to come. New Year’s Eve is one of the most widely celebrated holidays in the world, with over-the-top celebrations taking place in dozens of countries. The Gregorian calendar, which is widely used in Western nations and around the world, was implemented in 1582. Since that time, December 31st has marked the final day of the year, with midnight heralding the beginning of a brand new year. In the United States, New Year’s Day is a public holiday; government offices, schools, public organizations, and many businesses are closed for the day. Ponder the following fun facts as you think about your plans for the holiday:
- Approximately one billion people watch the New Year’s Eve ball drop in Times Square, New York City. This televised event is one of the most iconic New Year’s celebrations in the world. For many years, watching the ball drop meant tuning in to Dick Clark’s Rockin’ New Year’s Eve, an iconic television special dear to the hearts of many viewers.
- The idea for the New Year’s Eve ball came about because of a citywide ban on fireworks. Before 1907, when fireworks became illegal in New York City, celebrations included an elaborate fireworks show. The large, glittering, illuminated ball was developed as an alternative. Although the first ball was heavy at 700 pounds, the modern New Year’s Eve ball is made of Waterford crystal and tips the scale at six tons!
- The top five New Year’s resolutions are: to lose weight, quit smoking, get a new job, return to school, or increase personal savings. However, approximately 88% of New Year’s resolutions fail. But don’t let that discourage you! Resolutions are most likely to succeed when they are clear, achievable goals. Setting out a concrete plan to achieve your resolution also boosts your chances of success.
- Eating black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day is said to bring good fortune in the new year. Collard greens, cabbage, and ham hocks are also considered lucky foods to enjoy. Just steer clear of the chicken or turkey dinners; eating poultry is a bad omen for the year to come.
Whether you plan to stay in Statesboro, GA, or head out into the crowds to watch the ball drop in Times Square, New Year’s Eve is a time to enjoy friends and family. Send your loved ones well wishes for the New Year, and look for that special someone to share a midnight kiss with for good luck!
December 25th, 2015
Getting your child excited about braces is a lot like: A) convincing a grumpy toddler that it’s time to take a nap? B) convincing a teenager to stop texting during dinner? C) convincing your husband to eat his peas? The answer, obviously, is all of the above.
And that’s why you may need a few thoughtful ways to get your child on board with braces.
- Throw a pre-braces party. It can’t be just any party, however, but a Willy Wonka celebration of candy, chips, gum, and all the sticky and sweet foods your child won’t be able to indulge in during the time he or she is wearing braces. Promise a post-braces celebration, too, and watch as your child’s eyes widen at the thought of an all-you-can-eat junk food buffet.
- Encouraging phrases like “braces aren’t eternal, but your straight smile will be” can go a long way.
- If your daughter is worried about getting picked on because of braces, then name-drop some A-list celebrities who have worn them. The list includes Cameron Diaz, Kelly Clarkson, Dakota Fanning, and Gwen Stefani.
- Emphasize that braces today aren’t the same as they were in the Stone Age. From clear ceramic braces to different-colored braces, more options are available. Braces can be cool accessories to express a personal style.
- To get your child to embrace braces, you need to sing the praises of beautiful teeth, even if that means pointing out how crooked your teeth are because you never got braces.
December 18th, 2015
Invisalign Teen is one the newer styles of braces, and perfect for those who do not like the standard metal braces. They are available in a clear material that is practically invisible called aligners that are replaced every two weeks. The aligners are custom made for each patient and gradually straighten teeth without all of the metal and rubber bands that come with traditional braces.
Is Invisalign as effective?
If your child will wear them as directed to, then the answer is yes, they are as effective as traditional metal braces. However, to make sure the child is actually wearing them correctly you will notice a small blue spot on the back of each aligner. This is called an indicator and if worn correctly will fade over a period of two weeks. Dr. Michael Wall will be able to tell if the patient is not wearing them correctly.
Can Invisalign be removed?
Parents should be aware that the Invisalign aligners can be removed for up to four hours per day to eat, brush teeth, play sports, or play musical instruments. With the option of removing them it actually makes brushing and flossing easier and helps oral hygiene. The recommended time to wear them is at least 20 hours per day.
How long does treatment take and what is the cost?
Your teen will wear Invisalign as long as traditional braces. However, each patient is different so you should speak with Dr. Michael Wall to determine how many months your child can expect to wear them.
The cost is also very similar to other traditional braces; however there is no set fee. The cost will depend on your child’s unique orthodontic need.
Invisalign Teen has had remarkable success because patients are happy to have the option of having clear aligners for treatment. With the child more confident they are actually more prone to keep up with their treatment and many do complete their treatment sooner. You should speak with Dr. Michael Wall as soon as possible to learn about the benefits of Invisalign Teen.
December 11th, 2015
Taking care of your ClearCorrect aligners is very easy. It’s actually one of the reasons ClearCorrect has quickly become of the most desired treatments for those who need braces at our Statesboro, GA office. There are some simple guidelines for caring for them, and as long as you go by them you will have no complaints.
- Don’t eat or drink while wearing your aligners. The aligners are made out of a thin plastic material and eating can damage them. If they are damaged it can affect your treatment as well as cost additional money to get replacement aligners. The food can also accumulate in the aligners and cause cavities.
- Don’t chew gum because it will stick to the aligners and can be an aggravation to remove.
- After eating always brush your teeth before putting your aligners back in.
- Brush your aligners with a toothbrush every day to keep them clean and to make sure that the inside that is against your teeth all day are clean as well. Rinse them with warm water.
Patients love the fact that their aligners are able to be removed to care for them, and this is a big plus for orthodontic treatment. It reduces the time to get ready and go to bed each day, and is less annoying than dealing with traditional braces because there are no rubber bands and brackets to deal with.
For best results while using ClearCorrect always keep your appointments with Dr. Michael Wall. Call our Statesboro, GA office today to see if you are a good candidate for this type of treatment. You will not be disappointed!
December 4th, 2015
When it comes to straightening your smile, our team at Wall Orthodontics knows that having a mouth full of metal braces may not be your idea of fun. Luckily for you, Dr. Michael Wall can offer a cosmetic alternative: Invisalign!
Using a series of clear, comfortable, and completely customized aligners, you can get the smile you’ve always wanted without traditional braces.
Since Invisalign aligners are discreet, they’re hardly noticeable when you speak and smile, and because they’re removable, you can eat and drink whatever you want. Just remember to brush and floss before putting your aligners back in! Treatment with Invisalign is just as effective as with metal braces, and the results are just as amazing!
If you want to know more about Invisalign, contact our Statesboro, GA office to schedule an appointment.
November 27th, 2015
ClearCorrect has become a preferred and favorite treatment for those that have to wear braces. ClearCorrect offers patients the opportunity to straighten teeth with clear aligners instead of metal braces. The clear aligners will be replaced about every two weeks until your teeth have reached the desired goal set by Dr. Michael Wall.
How to Start
You can start this process by having Dr. Michael Wall look at your teeth and see if you will be good candidate for this type of treatment. If you are a good match then a set of impressions will be taken right away of your teeth as well as photos and X-rays. These will all be sent off to have your first set of aligners made.
ClearCorrect is able to create 3D designs of your teeth on a computer system to create the exact fit of your specific aligners. The whole treatment plan is completed with this modern technology so that you are able to have the best possible treatment available.
Why choose ClearCorrect?
- ClearCorrect is now one of the most desired treatment plans available. Most patients become self-conscience while wearing braces, but since these are offered in clear aligner’s patients can smile proudly because they are virtually invisible.
- They also offer the convenience of being able to remove the aligners while eating, brushing and flossing as well as playing sports. For teens this is a big plus because it takes away the chance of the braces hurting the mouth if they are hit in the face.
- They can speed up the treatment time if worn as directed, and are usually comparable to the cost of traditional braces as well other treatment options.
With all the benefits that ClearCorrect offers to patients they are quickly becoming one of the most sought after treatments. Patients enjoy the option of removing them to eat as well as when they brush and floss. It’s definitely worth a visit to our Statesboro, GA office to see if you are a good candidate for this treatment.
November 20th, 2015
At Wall Orthodontics we love learning trivia and interesting facts about Thanksgiving! This year, Dr. Michael Wall wanted to share some trivia that might help you feel a bit smarter at the holiday dinner table and help create some great conversation with friends and family.
There is no historical evidence that turkey was eaten at the first Thanksgiving dinner. It was a three-day party shared by the Wamponoag Indians and the pilgrims in 1621. Historians say they likely ate venison and seafood.
According to National Geographic, the dinner at the Plymouth colony was in October and included about 50 English colonists and 90 American Indian men. The first Thanksgiving dinner could have included corn, geese, and pumpkin.
Today, turkey is the meat of choice. According to the National Turkey Association, about 690 million pounds of turkey are consumed during Thanksgiving, or about 46 million turkeys.
The Side Dishes
The green bean casserole became popular about 50 years ago. Created by the Campbell Soup Company, it remains a popular side dish. According to Campbell’s, it was developed when the company was creating an annual holiday cookbook. The company now sells about $20 million worth of cream of mushroom soup each year, which is a major part of the recipe.
While there were likely plenty of cranberries for the pilgrims and Indians to enjoy, sugar was a luxury. What we know today as cranberry sauce was not around in those early Thanksgiving days. About 750 million pounds of cranberries are produced each year in the US, with about 30 percent consumed on Thanksgiving.
Since Thanksgiving did not become a national holiday until Lincoln declared it in 1863, the annual parades were not yearly events until much later. The biggest parade that continues to draw crowds is the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Beginning in 1924 with about 400 employees, they marched from Convent Avenue to 145th Street in New York City. Famous for the huge hot-air balloons today, it was actually live animals borrowed from the Central Park Zoo that were the stars of the show then.
However you choose to spend your Thanksgiving holiday, we wish you a safe, happy and healthy holiday with those you love.
November 13th, 2015
The alarm sounds in the morning, you wake up and realize "I forgot to wear my retainer!"
If this only happened once, don't panic. Missing one night with a retainer is unlikely to cause significant teeth movement. However, if it has happened often, give our Statesboro, GA office a call to make sure your teeth haven’t shifted position.
Here are some tips from Dr. Michael Wall to help you remember your retainer:
1. Write down the instructions we give you for wearing the retainer, whether you should wear it all day or at night, or just a few times a week. Writing things out like this helps set the schedule in your memory.
2. Clean the retainer when you take it out each time. If you don’t you may not have time when you’re rushing to get to work or school to clean it properly and may be tempted not to wear it.
3. Put a note on your mirror or in your purse or wallet reminding you to wear your retainer.
4. Set an alarm on your mobile phone to remind you when it’s time to put the retainer in. If you have email with a calendar you can set up daily reminders, too.
5. Always put the retainer in its case when you take it out to eat or sleep. You’ll reduce your risk for losing it or accidentally throwing it away.
6. If you don’t have to wear the retainer every day, you can use some recurring events to help you remember. With this system for example, watching your favorite weekly TV show, laundry day, or family pizza night can all serve as reminders that you should put in your retainer.
7. Don’t be shy about asking for help if you’re forgetful. Assure your spouse, parents, siblings, or roommates that you won’t consider if nagging if they remind you to wear your retainer.
8. Surf online for examples of how teeth can shift when retainers are not properly used. Those stories can serve as timely warning not to let the same thing happen to you!
Remember, you can always call our Statesboro, GA office if you feel your retainer is uncomfortable or painful. We'll work with you to protect your smile!
November 6th, 2015
Nobody likes a dry mouth. It is an uncomfortable and sometimes oddly unexplainable sensation that most people like to avoid. It is not a condition that automatically sends you into a panic about your health, however, a dry mouth can be a bother and something you certainly want to change if possible. So, if you find yourself in the unpleasant position of having a dry mouth, here is what you can do.
Chew Sugar-free Gum: Chewing sugar-free gum will stimulate saliva in your mouth. The chewing motion of your jaw and teeth should take care of at least some of your dry mouth problem.
Suck on Sugar-free Candy: Similarly to chewing sugar free gum, if you suck on sugar free candy it should create more saliva in your mouth and moisturize it in the process.
Cut out the Caffeine:Caffeine can contribute to a dry mouth so by limiting, or eliminating your intake all together, you may find that your dry mouth is no more.
Stop Using Tobacco Products: Tobacco is another cause of dry mouth. Whether it is smokeless tobacco products or cigarettes, if you stop using them your dry mouth will likely improve. And not to forget, these products are exceedingly bad for your oral health to begin with, so you will be doing your mouth a favor even more so.
Drink Lots of Water: It may seem obvious, but drinking lots of water will likely improve your dry mouth. This is because dry mouth is usually a sign of dehydration, so plenty of fluids will surely help.
Dry mouth can be unpleasant, but it is often easily solved by either drinking more water, or trying one of the previously mentioned techniques. If the problem still persists you can always visit our Statesboro, GA office to see Dr. Michael Wall. More often than not, doing one of the above will leave your mouth more moisturized than it was previously, and hopefully it will be long-lasting as well.
October 30th, 2015
Halloween is fast approaching, and Dr. Michael Wall wanted to be sure to wish our patients a happy day, no matter how you might celebrate this holiday. The Halloween that is familiar to most people today bears little resemblance to the original Halloween; back in the "old days" it wasn't even called Halloween!
Festival of the Dead
Halloween started out as a Celtic festival of the dead that honored departed loved ones and signified a change in the cycle of the seasons. The Celtic people viewed Halloween, then called "Samhain," as a very special day – almost like our New Years day in fact, as their new calendar year began on November 1st. Samhain was the last day of autumn, so it was the time to harvest the last of the season's crops, store food away for winter, and situate livestock comfortably for the upcoming cold weather. The Celts believed that during this day, the last day of winter, the veil between this world and the spirit world is the thinnest, and that the living could communicate with departed loved ones most effectively on Samhain due to this.
Halloween as we know it today started because Christian missionaries were working to convert the Celtic people to Christianity. The Celts believed in religious concepts that were not supported by the Christian church, and these practices, which stemmed from Druidism, were perceived by the Christian church as being "devil worship" and dangerous.
When Pope Gregory the First instructed his missionaries to work at converting the Pagan people, he told them to try to incorporate some of the Pagan practices into Christian practices in a limited way. This meant that November 1st became "All Saints Day," which allowed Pagan people to still celebrate a beloved holiday without violating Christian beliefs.
Today, Halloween has evolved into a day devoted purely to fun, candy, and kids. What a change from its origins! We encourage all of our patients to have fun during the holiday, but be safe with the treats. Consider giving apples or fruit roll-ups to the kids instead of candy that is potentially damaging to the teeth and gums.
Remind kids to limit their candy and brush after eating it! Sweets can cause major tooth decay and aggrivate gum disease, so to avoid extra visits to our Statesboro, GA office, make your Halloween a safe one!
October 23rd, 2015
If you are undergoing orthodontic treatment with Dr. Michael Wall, we bet you would probably welcome any innovation that could reduce the time you spend wearing braces.
Our team at Wall Orthodontics is proud to offer our patients AcceleDent, an innovative device designed to increase your rate of tooth movement as well as potentially decrease your overall treatment time.
AcceleDent is a comfortable, lightweight, hands-free device that is held between your teeth for 20 minutes a day while you undergo treatment with Dr. Michael Wall. Using microvibrations that help stimulate bone movement, AcceleDent complements the controlled force braces provide to help bring your teeth into ideal alignment.
AcceleDent, which is easy to use and clean, is compatible with both teen and adult patients, and allows patients to enjoy everyday activities during the 20 minutes each day. Simply press the removable mouthpiece into the activator, bite down firmly enough to hold the device in place, and turn on AcceleDent.
A study has indicated that AcceleDent is an effective treatment in safely speeding bone movement, and can even reduce the time you spend wearing braces 38 to 50 percent faster than usual.
To learn if AcceleDent is right for you, please give us a call at our convenient Statesboro, GA office to schedule an initial appointment with Dr. Michael Wall.
October 16th, 2015
You have done a lot of work to get the perfect smile. You wore your Invisalign aligner trays and cared for your teeth, and now your treatment is done. You still need to take care of your teeth to keep your beautiful smile. Keeps these things in mind when you think about your oral care routine.
Many patients do require a retainer after Invisalign treatment. This will be based on your unique situation. If a retainer is recommended by Dr. Michael Wall, use it as directed. Retainers prevent your teeth from shifting back into their original position. You should also avoid hard, crunchy foods for the first couple of weeks as your teeth adjust. For younger patients, retainers are normally used until the wisdom teeth come in or are extracted.
Brushing and Flossing
Brushing and flossing must be part of your daily oral care. Flossing helps remove the plaque, which becomes tartar or calculus. This build up can lead to gingivitis and gum disease. Your gums may be more sensitive for a week or two after your orthodontic work is completed. A warm salt water rinse may relieve discomfort.
Your teeth may be slightly sensitive for a short time. They have been protected by your Invisalign aligner trays and now are fully exposed. You might want to try a sensitive toothpaste to get through the transition. Just ask; we will be glad to recommend the best type for your needs. If your teeth are stained, a professional whitening treatment can be considered.
Regular Dental Checkups
You still need to have regular dental exams. Professional cleanings and X-rays make sure that both your teeth and gums stay healthy so you can keep your teeth for life. If cavities or other problems are found, they can be taken care of quickly.
If you have any questions about how to care for your teeth after your Invisalign program, please ask our Statesboro, GA team. We want you to keep your healthy smile and enjoy the results of your Invisalign treatment.
October 9th, 2015
Invisalign, which we happily provide at Wall Orthodontics, is a great alternative to traditional orthodontic treatment if you've been apprehensive about the thought of metal braces. During your initial visit, the first thing we do is take an impression of your teeth as they are now and digitize it. Using special software, we look at the current positioning of your teeth and compare it to the way your teeth should look.
Invisalign treatment, which consists of a series of aligners that you switch out approximately every couple of weeks, can help patients with crowded teeth, crossbites, overbites, underbites and more. Invisalign gradually shifts your teeth into place, creating the dazzling smile you’ve always wanted. During treatment with Dr. Michael Wall, patients wear the aligners all day and night, except for during meals and when they’re brushing and flossing; cleaning your teeth and eating are a snap since you can easily remove your aligners! And because they’re clear, no one will know that your teeth are steadily straightening!
To find out if you are the right candidate for Invisalign treatment, we invite you to give us a call at our convenient Statesboro, GA office and schedule a consultation.
October 2nd, 2015
What does the month of October mean to you? For people in the northern hemisphere, October is when the weather starts to get a little chilly: heavy jackets might come out of storage and the summer clothing gets packed away. You might start making plans for the upcoming holidays or looking at the beautiful and changing autumn scenery. October means something a little different to our team at Wall Orthodontics because this is National Orthodontic Health Month. During October, orthodontic clinics all over the country work together to promote their services and inform the community about the important work we do.
National Orthodontic Health Month is an awareness campaign created cooperatively by orthodontists and other dental health professionals. During this month, we make a special effort to promote dental health and orthodontic health in particular. This is a great time to get your questions answered by dental professionals in your community and to learn more about exactly what an orthodontist can do for you and your family. Events held in connection with National Orthodontic Health Month are also an opportunity for us orthodontists to come out and meet community members. If you have never been to an orthodontist before, you might not know what to expect. Meeting one of us in person before your checkup is a great way to find out what kind of person you’ll be seeing during your appointment.
Meeting Dr. Michael Wall in a relaxed “meet and greet” atmosphere can be especially helpful for any young orthodontic patients in your family. Kids of all ages–and their parents!–can feel anxiety about going to the dentist. Getting to know the person you have an appointment with can make the experience a lot less stressful for everyone. We don't want anyone to avoid seeing a dental professional for regular checkups just because they don't know who we are. Just meeting and talking with the orthodontist you'll be seeing may be enough to make you feel more comfortable about your upcoming appointment.
Dental health is something that affects everyone; healthy teeth and gums contribute to a healthy smile and a lifetime of comfort and well-being. Orthodontists are just one of the various dental practitioners you could visit at some point in your life, so taking a little time to learn who we are and what we do is certain to be a helpful experience. We look forward to seeing you and your family this October at our Statesboro, GA location!
September 25th, 2015
You can probably see how teeth straightening can make your smile more attractive, but you might be wary of how Invisalign Teen treatment works. If you’re like most teens at our Statesboro, GA office, you love hanging out with your friends, and you don’t want to be different, watch what you eat, or worry about how you look. Invisalign Teen has several benefits over traditional metal braces that can make your treatment easier.
People won’t know you’re wearing them.
Invisalign Teen consists of clear trays that are virtual impossible for others to see. Chances are, the only people who know that you are getting your teeth straightened will be your family and any of your friends whom you choose to tell. You won’t need to answer to “Tinsel Teeth” and “Metal Mouth” as some of your classmates with metal braces do.
You can eat what your friends eat.
You take your Invisalign Teen aligners out of your mouth for meals and snacks, so you can eat just like you normally would. You don’t need to worry about food getting stuck in your braces or leading to a bracket popping off. Unlike with braces, you can enjoy the following foods with your friends during Invisalign Teen straightening treatment:
- Popcorn at the movies
- Trail mix with dried fruit when you’re hanging out together
- Ribs and chicken wings at a party
- Eating a peanut butter sandwich, apple, and carrot sticks for lunch
You can take care of your teeth more easily.
It would be a shame if you took the trouble to straighten your teeth and then found out that you had developed tooth decay while wearing braces. This is less of a problem with Invisalign Teen aligners because they are removable. You can brush and floss your teeth as normal just by taking the trays out of your mouth.
Getting straighter teeth can be a serious confidence-booster in the long run, and with Invisalign Teen, the treatment isn’t that bad. You can wear these clear aligners without letting people know that you’re straightening your teeth, and they won’t interfere with your diet or dental hygiene.
September 18th, 2015
The best way to avoid orthodontic emergencies is to know how to take care of your braces properly throughout your entire treatment. However, emergencies are … well, emergencies, and sometimes no matter how cautious you are or how well you take care of your braces, the wires loosen, the bands pop, or you experience orthodontic discomfort.
Common orthodontic emergencies include broken braces, poking wires, lost or broken retainers, mouth sores, and mouth injuries sustained playing sports, which often happens when you don’t wear a mouthguard to protect your teeth and appliance.
It’s important to avoid foods that can damage your braces. Most people wear braces for about two years. All chewy, sticky, crunchy, and hard foods should be avoided during that time. While this may seem like a long time to go without popcorn or bubble gum, hard foods can break the brackets of your braces and sticky foods can bend the wires. If you have a loose wire, don’t try to fix it yourself. Call Wall Orthodontics. In the meantime, if a wire is poking into your cheek or lip and causing irritation, put wax or a wet cotton ball over it to dull the sharp edge.
Pain and Discomfort
Some discomfort is a normal part of orthodontic treatment, especially in the hours after the braces are placed on your teeth or after a recent tightening or adjustment. However, if the pain doesn’t subside in three to five days, it’s a good idea to schedule an appointment at Wall Orthodontics. Until then, try dissolving a teaspoon of salt in an eight-ounce glass of water and gargling with the solution. Over-the-counter pain medication will relieve discomfort, too.
Just because you wear braces doesn’t mean you can’t play sports. You just need to take some extra precautions. Sports-related injuries to the mouth and jaw are common. The best way to protect your mouth and your appliance is to wear a mouthguard. There are several different types of mouthguards available, so be sure to ask Dr. Michael Wall what’s best for you.
Brushing and Flossing
In order to keep your braces in good condition and avoid orthodontic emergencies, it’s important to brush and floss thoroughly after every meal. It’s easy for small particles of food to get trapped in your braces, and if the food isn’t removed, it gets wedged between the teeth and gums and causes plaque.
Need more tips on how to avoid orthodontic emergencies? Just ask any member of our Statesboro, GA team.
September 11th, 2015
Dr. Michael Wall and our team are excited to offer Invisalign Teen, a clear alternative to braces that’s just for teens! With Invisalign Teen, we are able to straighten your teen’s teeth without the hassle, discomfort, and embarrassment of traditional braces.
Invisalign Teen’s clear aligners are virtually invisible. What's more, they are removable, which means your child is free to eat anything they choose, as well as brush and floss with ease! And best of all, Invisalign Teen uses no wires or metal to straighten your teen's teeth.
Invisalign Teen aligners are made from a lightweight plastic material and fit precisely on the teeth. Invisalign Teen has become a popular treatment here at Wall Orthodontics because it helps our younger patients achieve a straight, beautiful smile without their friends noticing.
Our team at Wall Orthodontics is aware that most teens today have a busy lifestyle, and sometimes, they tend to lose things, including their retainers or aligners. But with Invisalign Teen, if your child happens to lose an aligner, let Dr. Michael Wall and our team know as soon as possible and we will have the aligner replaced.
For more information on Invisalign Teen, please give us a call at our convenient Statesboro, GA office today!
September 4th, 2015
Labor Day honors the contributions that workers have made to this country, and for many Americans, the holiday is a great time to relax at home with family and friends. But there are quite a few people who celebrate the holiday by getting out of town, with an estimated 33 million people traveling more than 50 miles over Labor Day weekend each year. If you’re dreaming of a great Labor Day escape but you’re not quite sure where to go, here are a few ideas from our team at Wall Orthodontics to give you some travel inspiration.
Explore a National Park
On a national holiday like Labor Day, it’s only fitting to experience the beauty of America’s landscapes by heading to the nearest national park. If you’re confined to an office most days of the year, national parks can provide a relaxing and scenic escape, whether you’re by yourself, traveling with a group of friends, or bringing the whole family along. Depending on how close you live to the nearest park, you can stay for an afternoon or for longer than a week. With 58 parks located in 27 states, there are plenty of beautiful areas to choose from.
Chow Down in a BBQ Haven
Barbecuing is a popular Labor Day activity, but instead of sweating over your own grill or oven, try visiting one of the country’s BBQ capitals. U.S. News and World Report names Memphis as the top BBQ destination, with more than 80 BBQ restaurants in the city, most notably Corky’s BBQ and Central BBQ. Kansas City is also known for the sweet taste of its sauces, while central Texas is said to have perfected the technique of smoking tender and flavorful brisket.
Relax on the Beach
Many people think of Labor Day as the unofficial start of fall, which brings cooler temperatures, more rain, and for many people, an end to lazy days at the beach. End your beach days with a bang by taking a trip to one of the coasts or to a lakeside beach. For an added dose of festivity, find a city or town that celebrates the occasion with a fireworks display over the water.
Whether you’re looking to turn your getaway into a full week affair or you simply want to experience a quick escape, make the most of your holiday by changing your surrounding scenery. Happy Labor Day from the orthodontic practice of Dr. Michael Wall!
August 28th, 2015
Orthodontic braces are used to straighten the teeth, which not only creates a more pleasing appearance, but also helps prevent tooth decay and other oral health problems. Braces are only effective when they are properly cared for, however. Certain foods, for example, are better suited for individuals who have braces, as opposed to hard and sticky foods that can cause damage. So, what types of foods should you or your kids eat to protect dental appliances?
The best foods to eat with braces are those that are not high in sugar and do not require excessive chewing. For breakfast, try eggs, yogurt, bacon, wheat toast, or oatmeal. Lunch may steer toward a banana rather than an apple, a salad without nuts, and a glass of water. If you are looking for some after-school snacks for your kids, consider baked tortilla chips with salsa and guacamole, or try string cheese with fruit.
A healthy dinner can include most types of vegetables, so long as they are cooked to an appropriate softness. Pair that with a lean protein, such as fish or chicken, and follow up with dessert. Just be sure to brush afterward!
As braces begin to adjust the alignment of the teeth, our team at Wall Orthodontics will periodically tighten them to continue the alignment process. After tightening occurs, the teeth may be sore and sensitive to certain foods. During this time, it is best to eat soft foods. Examples include:
- Mashed potatoes
- Ice cream
- Cottage cheese
Foods to Avoid
Anyone who wears braces – whether fixed or removable – should avoid excessive snacking and should aim to eat a healthy and balanced diet. It is also important to avoid foods that could cause damage to the braces, such as:
- Hard candies
- Certain raw vegetables (for example, carrots)
Regardless of what types of foods you eat with braces, it is important to keep the crevices between the teeth and around the braces very clean. That means brushing and flossing after meals to prevent the build-up of plaque and decay. Not only can failing to do so damage the teeth, but it can also cause discoloration.
Have more questions about orthodontic treatment? The Wall Orthodontics staff is always ready to answer all of your questions and help you get the most out of the treatment plan prescribed for you by Dr. Michael Wall!