Invisalign® Vs SureSmile®: Which Clear Aligner Should You Get?

Adjusting your smile for a straighter appearance is easier than ever. With today’s advanced orthodontic options that don’t require long periods of wear or special dietary restrictions, anyone can get a straighter smile in a hurry. But when you’re shopping around for smile improvements from your dentist, consider which clear aligner is best. Invisalign® and SureSmile® clear aligners are two of the most popular products on the market today. You’ll need to get both types of these clear aligners at the dentist’s office, so consider the differences between SureSmile® and Invisalign® we have to offer for your smile improvement needs.

Which Addresses Greater Problems?

Invisalign® has been around longer, with decades of real-world usage to back up its benefits. SureSmile® is not a brand-new technology but a newer technique for adjusting your smile. SureSmile® is also a completely different orthodontic process than Invisalign® in some cases. While clear retainers are available through both systems, it’s the only type of treatment available with Invisalign® clear aligners. SureSmile® treatment often begins with a set of invisible braces relying on traditional brackets and custom-shaped archwires. This allows for far more advanced changes in the alignment of the teeth than with retainers alone. If you only need minor adjustments, the custom clear aligners from either SureSmile® or Invisalign® will work well.

The technology behind the scans used for forming the retainers also varies between these two products. SureSmile® relies on a system called Orascanner, which creates a 3D model of the upper and lower teeth in need of alignment changes. Invisalign® also scans the mouth for 3D modeling, but it uses itero digital scanning which is considered to provide a higher quality result. If you need more advanced adjustment, you may need SureSmile® treatment rather than Invisalign® due to the option for more traditional orthodontics at the start of the process.

How To Straighten Teeth Fast?

Both SureSmile® and Invisalign® can straighten teeth faster than traditional braces. However, this largely depends on how much adjustment is needed from the beginning. It may take anywhere from six months to multiple years to use Invisalign®. Patients using SureSmile® may see improvements in the straightness of their teeth within three to six months, with most treatments wrapped up within two to three years. Only the dentist can tell you which system will give you faster results because it depends on the type of alignment changes you need.

How Many Aligners Are Included?

One big difference between SureSmile® clear aligners and the Invisalign® system is the number of included aligners. Since you’ll need new custom retainers every few months to keep adjusting your smile, both options include a few years of unlimited aligners. SureSmile® covers 3 years’ worth of aligners, while Invisalign® covers 5 years of custom aligners. If you still need more improvement after three years on the SureSmile® system, you’ll pay out of pocket for the additional orders. Most patients are done with the treatment long before three or five years, but a few patients may want to choose Invisalign® just because of the extended window of coverage.

Retainer Material Considerations

Both types of aligners are clear and nearly invisible. However, they’re not made of the same materials despite their similar appearance. The Invisalign® aligner is made from a plastic known as smarttrack that offers both comfort and predictable movement. SureSmile® relies on a plastic material known as essix ace. It’s not considered quite as precise, but it tends to be just as comfortable as the Invisalign® material. If you need very small adjustments to your smile, Invisalign® will provide greater control over the finished placement.

Is SureSmile® Cheaper Than Invisalign®?

When asking how much does Invisalign® cost, consider the difference in coverage listed above. Invisalign® tends to cost more simply because it includes five years of unlimited aligners. If you’re likely only to need one to two years of treatment, choosing SureSmile® can save you money.

Is Invisalign® The Best Clear Aligner?

Both SureSmile® and Invisalign® can be considered the best clear aligner because they’re slightly different. One works better for advanced changes, while the other offers extra control over small adjustments. If you’re still not sure which is right for you, let us help guide you with a consultation here at Orange Grove Family Dentistry.


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What Issues Can Invisalign® Fix?

Is Invisalign® Right for You? Unveiling the Pros and Cons of Clear Aligners

The Invisalign® Revolution: Straightening Smiles Discreetly

  • Ditch the Metal: Say goodbye to the stigma of traditional braces.
  • Comfort & Confidence: Enjoy a pain-free, aesthetically pleasing treatment.
  • Improved Oral Health: Aligned teeth mean easier cleaning and reduced dental issues.

Beyond Looks: Conditions Invisalign® Effectively Treats

  • Crooked Teeth: Aligns misaligned teeth for a confident, radiant smile.
  • Overbite & Underbite: Corrects jaw alignment for improved bite and aesthetics.
  • Crossbite: Positions teeth correctly for optimal chewing and oral health.
  • Gaps & Crowded Teeth: Closes unsightly gaps and creates harmonious spacing.

When Braces Take the Lead: Understanding Invisalign® Limitations

  • Severe Orthodontic Issues: Complex alignment problems may require stronger forces.
  • Intrusion & Extrusion: Braces offer greater control for specific tooth movements.
  • Constant Wear Commitment: Success relies on wearing aligners 22+ hours per day.

Evolving Technology: Invisalign® Gets Better Every Day

  • Constant Innovation: Treating more complex cases than ever before.
  • Enhanced Precision: Improved aligner fit and control for optimal results.

Ready to Discover Your Ideal Smile? Consult Dr. Kyle Today!

  • Schedule a Consultation: Get personalized advice on your best orthodontic path.
  • Expert Guidance: Dr. Kyle helps you make informed decisions for your oral health.
  • Contact Us: Call 714-771-1204 to unlock your perfect smile.


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Are Root Canals Painful?

Root canals have long been feared and misunderstood and are often associated with images of excruciating pain and discomfort. However, it’s time to set the record straight and debunk the myth that root canals are extremely painful. Modern dental techniques and anesthesia advancements have transformed the root canal procedure into a relatively painless and effective solution for saving damaged teeth.

Dispelling the Myth

The idea that root canals are painful procedures can be traced back to outdated practices and anecdotal experiences. In the past, the procedure might have been associated with discomfort due to limited anesthetic options and less precise techniques. However, dental science has come a long way since then.

Today’s dental professionals are equipped with an array of advanced technologies and improved anesthetic methods, ensuring that patients experience minimal pain during the procedure. Local anesthesia effectively numbs the area around the tooth, making the process virtually painless. Many patients report feeling no more discomfort than they would during a routine filling.

Understanding the Root Canal Procedure

A root canal is a dental procedure performed to treat an infected or damaged tooth pulp. The process involves removing the infected pulp, cleaning and disinfecting the root canal, and sealing it to prevent further infection. The misconception about pain often arises from the initial discomfort caused by the infection rather than the procedure to treat it.

When Should I Get a Root Canal? 

Delaying or avoiding a necessary root canal due to fear of pain can actually lead to more severe pain and complications in the long run. Untreated dental infections can spread, causing abscesses, bone loss, and systemic health issues. Patients can alleviate pain and maintain their oral health by addressing the problem early with a root canal.

It’s crucial to dispel the myth that root canals are extremely painful. With modern techniques, advancements in anesthesia, and the expertise of dental professionals, the procedure is generally no more uncomfortable than a routine dental filling. If you’re experiencing tooth pain, promptly consulting a dentist can help determine the appropriate course of action and alleviate unnecessary anxiety. Remember, maintaining good oral health through regular check-ups and timely treatments remains the best way to prevent dental discomfort.

Handling Dental Emergencies: A Guide to Quick Relief

Dental emergencies can occur unexpectedly and often require immediate attention to alleviate pain, prevent further damage, and ensure oral health. If you believe you are experiencing a dental emergency, call Orange Grove Family Dentistry at 714-771-1204

What’s Considered a Dental Emergency?

Dental emergencies are critical dental issues that demand prompt professional assistance, such as severe toothaches, knocked-out or broken teeth, lost fillings or crowns, or broken braces.

How to Handle a Dental Emergency:

When confronted with a dental emergency, staying calm and taking immediate steps to mitigate pain and prevent further damage is essential. Here are some actions you can take:

  • Toothache:
    Rinse your mouth with warm water, floss gently to remove any food particles, and apply a cold compress to the affected area for temporary relief.
  • Knocked-Out Tooth:
    If a tooth is completely knocked out, keep the tooth moist in milk or a tooth preservation kit and seek dental help immediately.
  • Fractured Tooth:
    Rinse your mouth with warm water, apply a cold compress to reduce swelling, and visit a dentist as soon as possible.
  • Lost Filling or Crown:
    Use dental cement, which can be purchased at a local pharmacy, to temporarily cover the exposed area until you can visit a dentist.

When to Seek Emergency Dental Care:

While the initial steps mentioned above provide temporary relief, scheduling an appointment with a dentist promptly is essential. Dental professionals are trained to handle emergencies and can provide the necessary treatment to alleviate pain, prevent infection, and restore oral health. Delaying professional care can lead to more significant problems and complications down the line.

Prevention and Preparedness:

Although dental emergencies are unexpected, you can take preventive measures to minimize the risk. Maintain good oral hygiene practices, such as regular brushing and flossing, and visit a dentist for routine check-ups. Additionally, wearing mouth guards during physical activities and avoiding chewing on hard objects can help reduce the likelihood of dental injuries.

Dental emergencies can be distressing, but knowing how to handle them can protect your oral health. By understanding common dental emergencies, taking immediate steps to alleviate pain, seeking professional care promptly, and practicing preventive measures, you can minimize the impact of these situations. Remember, in any dental emergency, always consult a dentist for the best course of action. Stay prepared, stay calm, and prioritize your dental well-being. 

Contact us for a same-day appointment if you’re experiencing a dental emergency.

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Same-Day Crowns: What You Need To Know

Dental crowns are a standard procedure that involves placing a cap over a damaged or decayed tooth to restore its shape, size, and strength. Traditional crowns typically require multiple appointments and a waiting period of several weeks, during which a temporary crown protects the tooth. However, with advances in dental technology, same-day dental crowns are becoming increasingly popular.

What are Same-Day Dental Crowns?

Same-day dental crowns, also known as same-day or single-visit crowns, can be designed, fabricated, and placed in a single appointment at the dental office. This is made possible by computer-aided design and manufacturing (CAD/CAM) technology, which allows dentists to create custom-fitted crowns quickly and accurately.

The process begins with a digital scan of the patient’s teeth using a specialized camera, which produces a 3D image of the tooth and surrounding area. This image is used to design a virtual crown that precisely fits the patient’s tooth. The design is then sent to a milling machine, which carves the crown out of a block of porcelain or other dental material. Once the crown is finished, it can be immediately placed over the prepared tooth, eliminating the need for a temporary crown and a second appointment.

Benefits of Same-Day Dental Crowns

There are several benefits to choosing same-day dental crowns over traditional crowns:

  1. Convenience: Patients can have their damaged or decayed teeth restored in a single visit with same-day crowns, eliminating the need for multiple appointments and time-consuming waiting periods.
  2. Accuracy: The CAD/CAM technology that creates same-day crowns produces highly accurate results, ensuring a precise fit and comfortable bite.
  3. Aesthetics: Same-day crowns are made from high-quality dental materials that closely resemble natural teeth, providing a seamless and natural-looking restoration.
  4. Comfort: Traditional crowns often require multiple injections of local anesthesia and may cause discomfort or sensitivity during the waiting period. Same-day crowns minimize the patient’s time in the dental chair, reducing pain and improving the overall experience.
  5. Durability: Same-day crowns are made from high-quality materials designed to last, providing a long-lasting restoration that can withstand normal wear and tear.

Are Same-Day Dental Crowns Right for You?

If you have a damaged or decayed tooth requiring a crown, same-day dental crowns may be an excellent option. However, not all patients are candidates for same-day crowns, and your dentist will need to evaluate your specific situation to determine if this procedure is correct for you. Same-day crowns are best suited for patients with a healthy tooth structure and minimal damage or decay.

Same-day dental crowns are an innovative and convenient solution for patients who require crown restoration. With their advanced technology and accurate results, same-day crowns offer several benefits over traditional crowns, including convenience, accuracy, aesthetics, comfort, and durability. If you think same-day crowns may suit you, call our office to learn more about this cutting-edge dental procedure.

Debunking 5 Common Dental Myths

The tooth fairy isn’t the only fable about dentistry —there are countless fairytales when it comes to dental health. Our dentist at Orange Grove Family Dentistry hears many of these dental myths every day, and we do our best to clear up any misunderstandings our patients may have when it comes to keeping their teeth and gums healthy. Now we’d like to share the truth about five common dental myths.

5 Common Myths About Teeth, Gums, and Dental Health

1. Oral health doesn’t affect the rest of the body

The health of your teeth and gums —and your oral hygiene— have a significant effect on the rest of your body. The bacteria in your mouth and inflammation associated with severe gum disease may play a role in the development of other diseases, such as:

  • Infection of the inner lining of the heart, known as endocarditis
  • Cardiovascular disease heart disease, clogged arteries, and stroke
  • Pregnancy and birth complications, such as low birth weight and premature birth
  • Pneumonia, caused when bacteria in the mouth is pulled into your lungs

2. Diet soda is okay because it doesn’t have sugar in it

Diet soda may be good for your waistline and blood sugar levels, but it can still lead to tooth decay. Diet sodas are highly acidic, and the bacteria that cause cavities love acid. The acid in diet soda also eats away at your enamel to cause tooth sensitivity. Other acidic drinks include orange juice and citrus juice.

3. My teeth are unhealthy because I’m getting older, so there’s nothing I can do about it

With proper care, your teeth can last lifetime. In fact, a recent study found that 14 to 21 percent of people ages 50 and older still have all their teeth. Proper brushing and flossing, routine trips to the dentist, and a healthy lifestyle all contribute to the longevity of healthy teeth and gums.

Older adults do have more dental problems, though, especially gum disease and tooth decay that can often be prevented with good oral hygiene and regular trips to the dentist.

4. It’s only a baby tooth

While baby teeth are small, they perform big jobs. Baby teeth work like permanent teeth to bite and chew healthy foods that children need to grow and thrive, for example. These tiny teeth help a child speak clearly and smile brightly, which is important for social development and self-confidence.. There temporary teeth also hold the space for permanent teeth that are growing beneath the gum line.

Your child’s first dental visit

You should take your child to the dentist within 6 months of the first tooth coming in or their first birthday, whichever comes first. During this visit, the dentist will examine the child’s gums and jaw, count and examine any teeth that have emerged (erupted), check the child’s bite, and may include a gentle cleaning.

The dentist will also check for signs of tooth decay or other issues. Baby teeth have a thinner layer of protective enamel, so they are more vulnerable to tooth decay.

5. You only need to go to the dentist when your teeth hurt

As they say, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” and this old saying is especially true in dentistry. Many dental problems begin silently, which means they don’t cause symptoms until the problem have already advanced to a serious stage and has caused damage to your teeth or gums. As tooth and gum diseases advance, they become more difficult and expensive to treat – advanced tooth and gum diseases are also painful.

Are bleeding gums normal?

No! Bleeding gums are a sign that you may have or may soon develop gum disease.

How often should you visit the dentist?

That depends largely on the health of your teeth and gums, and other factors. Most people with healthy teeth and gums benefit from having a professional dental cleaning twice a year and a dental checkup once a year, but many need dental care twice a year or even more often. If you have gum disease or want to straighten your teeth, undergo professional teeth whitening, or have other dental work done, you may visit your dentist even more frequently.

Dental visit importance

Regular dental visits to Orange Grove Family Dentistry give your dentist an opportunity to spot and address problems early, while they are easiest to treat.

But I have dental anxiety!

Dental anxiety and dental phobia are common and manageable — today’s dentistry is much more comfortable and much less stressful. Thanks to advances in sedation dentistry, you can even sleep through some dental procedures.

Our dentist at Orange Grove Family Dentistry has advanced training, skills, and technology to detect, diagnose and treat a wide variety of dental problems. We also offer teeth whitening, dental veneers, Invisalign®, and other cosmetic dental treatments to keep your smiles looking it’s best.

5 Reasons Dental Visits Are Essential

It’s easy to forget when to go to the dentist. Or even, why is it necessary at all. Your teeth seem to be in perfect condition, they’re not bothering you, and you have no discernable reason to get a cleaning or have your pearly whites checked on. Or so it may seem.

The reality is that your oral health really isn’t that simple. There are many serious reasons to schedule and follow through on a dental visit. We’re going to look at a few essential things to know about dental check ups.

1. Damage Isn’t Always Visible

The first thing to note is that your teeth aren’t always going to let you know that something bad is happening. Sure, you’ll start to experience painful symptoms after the significant damage has set it, but things might be relatively smooth before that point.

You can’t see the plaque in your gums or the infection that could come as a result. Those things require a closer look. Bacteria in our mouths will eventually work its way into our gums, enamel, pulp, and worse. That movement leads to costly, painful, and time-consuming dental work that you don’t want.

The look of your teeth could be affected, your smile will take a hit, and your confidence might not remain intact. It’s truly a slippery slope, and the best way to start defending against those things is to schedule a dental visit.

2. They Improve Your Personal Oral Routine

Your personal routine is the most important contributor to your oral health. If you have a solid oral hygiene routine, you’re going to defend against a lot of the plaque and tartar that lead to gum disease.

That said, many people don’t follow a strict or effective routine. Some of us brush our teeth once at night (or every other night) and call it a day. That’s simply not enough. Visiting a dentist will show you just how effective your oral routine is. You could get the green light with a clean bill of health or you might find that there’s a lot more tartar lurking in the depths than you’d previously imagined.

In any case, you can get feedback from your dentist. They’ll know what you’re doing right, and they’ll have insightful tips on what you could be doing better. At the end of the day, you’ll leave the office with a more informed idea of how to take care of your teeth.

3. Your Teeth Will Get Fully Cleaned and Examined

There are a couple of reasons that you go to the dentist on a regular basis. Even if you’re not experiencing any trouble with your teeth, the best practice is to schedule visits for check ups and cleanings.

These are two separate events, and they both provide your dentist with the chance to do damage control or notice significant issues. The check up is intended to do just that. You might get an X-ray, examine the inside of your gums, take a look at problem teeth, and address any issues that are causing you pain.

It’s essential to have regular check ups because, as we mentioned, those issues don’t always float to the surface of our minds. They tend to develop gradually and express themselves when it’s too late to use preventative measures.

The cleaning is another instance where dentists can spot serious issues. The point of that visit, though, is to effectively “reset” your teeth back to their clean and neutral state. Dentists will clean the gum line very well, scrub the teeth, and let you walk out of the office with a whiter smile and significantly better breath in some cases. That’s just a maintenance thing, but it does a lot to boost your confidence and reassure you that you’re in good health.

4. Disease Prevention

The most common type of oral disease is gingivitis, which is also generally referred to as gum disease.

Gingivitis can be very severe or relatively mild, depending on the case. It’s nearly impossible to diagnose yourself with gum disease and find effective ways to treat it, though. There are other aspects of oral health that reflect different diseases as well. Dentists might be the first ones to spot severe signs of oral cancers, for example. They could notice warning signs in areas that don’t get covered in your regular physical with a doctor.

Your dentists might also notice signs of vitamin deficiencies, early signs of mental health issues that could be emerging, eating disorders, substance abuse signs, and much more. The teeth are a window into your behaviors and other issues that might be emerging elsewhere in your body and mind.

5. You’ll Receive Oral Health Tips

You might have a few lifestyle habits that are seriously affecting your teeth. Things like smoking and drug use are classic examples, but there are a lot more seemingly harmless things that might be doing a serious number on your oral health.

For example, eating a lot of sticky and chewy foods might be wearing down on your enamel. Those foods happen to be very sugary, so stickiness and sugar could be creating a combination of weak enamel and plaque. That’s a perfect recipe for gum disease.  Your dentist might also provide general education on things you can do to improve habits and create a healthier oral situation.

Ready to Schedule an Exam?

Contact us for more information and to schedule a visit with Dr. Kyle Nishimura here at Orange Grove Family Dentistry. While you’re here, our dedicated team will start by carefully evaluating your overall oral health & wellness. As a new patient, you will receive advanced digital X-rays, a professional oral health assessment and exam, and a comprehensive cleaning. Along the way, we’ll get to know you, your special treatment preferences, and your hopes for a beautifully healthy smile.


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Professional Teeth Whitening vs. Over-The-Counter

The first thing people notice when you smile is your teeth. Yellow or discolored teeth are unpleasant and may lead you to conceal them, causing feelings of humiliation when you try to smile. That can ultimately be a big blow to your confidence and self-esteem. But you can achieve a bright, sparkling smile with some effort.

The good news is there are many ways to clean up the stubborn stains on your teeth. You have probably seen or heard of teeth whitening products. They offer an affordable and convenient way to achieve our cosmetic goals.

Many over-the-counter (OTC) options are available to whiten teeth, and it can be overwhelming to choose that one magic product that will give you that smile you desire. Unfortunately, many of these options do not produce the results most people expect out of them.

By contrast, a teeth whitening procedure in a dental office is a far superior alternative to teeth whitening at home. A dentist will conduct an intensive examination of the teeth and choose the right method specifically customized for your needs.

Many arguments exist about the best teeth whitening procedure, and people hold different opinions. To help make the decision easier for you, let’s discuss some facts about professional teeth whitening and over-the-counter whitening products.

Professional Teeth Whitening

In-house or in-office teeth cleaning procedure usually takes about an hour and a half. The two whitening agents used in the process are hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide. Earlier, professional teeth cleaning would require soaking your teeth in a hydrogen peroxide solution for hours to remove discoloration, but they would only remove surface stains. The familiarity with the technology has made the procedure more durable and faster.

In-house methods like Zoom teeth whitening have become fairly popular. The dentist uses 25 percent hydrogen peroxide in the form of a gel. With the help of a syringe, they apply the gel to your teeth. The dentist then uses a plasma light that activates the bleaching agents to start the process.

Many people have reservations about professionals using the light because of the possible side effects. Fortunately, the side effects are usually temporary and transient.

What Happens During a Professional Teeth Whitening Procedure?

Many people are nervous about sitting in a chair for an in-house teeth cleaning. However, it is not as unsettling as it sounds; it is painless and harmless. The dentist will show you the tooth shade chart to help you choose the color you want for the clean-up process.

To start the cleaning procedure, the dentist will carry out the following steps:

  • With the help of a tool, your dentist will remove the plaque hiding in your teeth.
  • The dentist covers your gums, tongue, and cheeks with tools and barriers to keep them safe from contact with the whitening agents.
  • The whitening agent is then rubbed on your teeth for about an hour. In the meantime, light is also used to make the procedure effective.
  • Lastly, your dentist will use fluoride paste to regulate the sensitivity issue that the patient experiences after the procedure.

Knowing that the detailed cleaning procedure can only be performed in a dental office, the next concern might be the total cost. The in-house method is comparatively more costly than over-the-counter products, but it has numerous other benefits that offset the extra cost.

Benefits of Professional Teeth Whitening

The following are some of the reasons why professional teeth whitening is a much more effective option than buying store-bought whitening kits:

  1. Better Results
    Ask yourself, will you be able to carry out the process of teeth whitening like a professional at home? Unfortunately, you can only remove surface stains like those from coffee and tea. A dentist uses stronger bleaching gels to clean up stains on a molecular level. The higher concentration of the cleaning solution penetrates deeper below the teeth’s surface, giving you fast and effective results that no at-home kit can deliver.As a result, you get the best teeth whitening results, a more long-lasting, pearly white smile that you may not have been able to achieve otherwise.
  2. Supervision by a Professional
    When you visit a dentist for teeth whitening, they will thoroughly examine your mouth and administer the entire treatment under close supervision. They may discuss your flossing and brushing habits and guide you on several matters, from choosing whitening shades to after-process precautions. The dentist will administer the treatment under their professional guidance, helping you get the desired results safely and effectively, which you can hardly achieve with home teeth whitening products.
  3. Reduced Gum and Tooth Sensitivity
    Earlier, gum and tooth sensitivity were the biggest concerns of patients. As dental technology evolved, it has become easier for dentists to manage sensitivity issues. Teeth whitening kits bought from a store will not address tooth sensitivity issues, and you may not be aware of potential side effects. On the other hand, a professional will carefully prevent and reduce sensitivity issues with the appropriate precautions and the help of different tools.
  4. Customized Procedure
    Another benefit only possible in a professional teeth whitening process is that your dentist provides a highly customized experience. Unlike generic whitening trays available in stores, a dentist will give you custom-made trays specifically designed for your mouth and teeth after an intensive assessment. That results in the whitening gel working evenly across all your teeth and producing optimal results.

Over-the-Counter Products

Many products on the market promise to whiten your teeth. They come in the form of crest whitening strips, charcoal powder, or whitening toothpaste with abrasive ingredients. They are easy to follow, affordable, and give instant results. After reading their fancy taglines and tall claims, you may consider these kits the best way to whiten teeth and be tempted to add them to your cart.

On the downside, they typically give sub-optimal results, while some may lead to tooth sensitivity or gum irritation.

While they may be affordable and give quicker results than your dentist’s procedure, OTC products found at your local drugstore are not customized according to your unique teeth and smile. A dentist provides you with customized trays to take home with you that he sets up according to the alignment and shape of your teeth.

Moreover, home whitening products do not remove intrinsic stains on the inner portion of your tooth due to illness or another underlying health issue. For intrinsic discoloration, professional teeth whitening is a more appropriate choice.

Professional Teeth Whitening at Orange Grove Family Dentistry

Our teeth-whitening dentists offer professional teeth-whitening services and other aesthetic procedures to give you the smile you deserve. Our team of highly experienced dental professionals, led by Dr. Kyle Nishimura, will help you understand oral health and customize the process according to your unique needs. Book an appointment and learn more about our personalized treatment plans!


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How Oral Health Affects Your Overall Health

Taking diligent care of your teeth and gums daily may seem like a tedious task. After all, it involves brushing and flossing your teeth at least twice daily and rinsing with an antiseptic mouthwash. On top of that, you should see your dentist for routine dental exams and cleanings every six months, as recommended by the American Dental Association (ADA). These oral health routines have many benefits besides clean, fresh breath and a brighter smile. Better overall health is one big advantage that is often overlooked. You might find it surprising, but there is a link between poor oral hygiene and systemic (whole-body) health. This article details the mouth-body connection and tips for reducing the risk of diseases caused by poor oral hygiene.

Why Is Good Oral Hygiene Important?

Practicing good oral care from childhood through adulthood helps protect your teeth, gum, and overall health. Following daily oral cleansing habits and getting regular dental checkups reduces your risk of gum infection and gum disease (periodontal disease).

Poor oral habits cause plaque and tartar to build up on the tooth surface and along the gumline. Plaque is a creamy, sticky film that develops when bacteria mix with food particles, sugar, and saliva in the mouth.

If not removed, plaque hardens into tartar (calculus) within 24-72 hours. Tartar can only be safely removed through professional dental cleanings. Otherwise, bacteria in tartar will produce acids that gradually destroy the tooth enamel. This may lead to oral diseases or other conditions such as:

  • Tooth decay
  • Gingivitis
  • Dental abscess
  • Gum disease
  • Gum tissue and bone damage
  • Tooth loss
  • Oral bite problems

How are the Mouth and Body Connected?

The oral cavity is a breeding ground for all kinds of harmful bacteria. The mouth is also the doorway to your body. Medical and dental professionals can detect nutritional deficiencies or general infection through oral exams. For example, mouth lesions can signal oral cancer. Similarly, chronic gum inflammation (gingivitis) may indicate the presence of diseases that affect the whole body (systemic disease).

At the same time, caring for your dental health can prevent gingivitis, gum disease, cavities, and the development of chronic medical conditions. Regular dental exams also help with the early detection and treatment of oral cancer, a life-threatening disease.

Oral cancer is primarily caused by excessive tobacco and alcohol use and poor nutrition. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that oral conditions and chronic health conditions are “…actually interrelated” although they are seen as separate. In fact, researchers in a study done on 5900 participants aged 15-75 found that periodontal disease was a risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD).

More on the Link Between Gum Disease and Your Health

Gum disease, also called periodontitis and periodontal disease, is a chronic inflammatory disease. According to the CDC, it affects 47.2% of adults aged 30 years and older. Aging increases the risk of chronic diseases as well as periodontal disease. The CDC also reported that 70.1% of adults 65 years and older have periodontitis.

The percentages are high although the disease can be prevented with good oral hygiene throughout life. Another significant observation is that many people are unaware of the mouth-body connection and the health consequences of oral disease.

Gum Disease Symptoms

  • Red or swollen gums
  • Persistent bad breath
  • Gums that bleed when you brush
  • Sensitive or loose tooth
  • Tooth loss
  • Spaces between the teeth and gum tissue at the gumline
  • Difficulty or pain when chewing
  • Receding gums

Periodontal disease starts as gingivitis and goes through different stages. While it can affect your overall health at any given time, the risk appears to increase in the advanced stages. Routine six-month dental visits can protect your dental health and prevent long-term health complications.

Medical Conditions Linked to Periodontal Disease

In an article, Oral-Systemic Health, the ADA noted that bacteria in the mouth can contribute to disease in other parts of your body. According to health experts, bacteria from periodontal disease can travel through the bloodstream into the body and affect the immune system.

More significantly, researchers found that the following diseases were linked to inflammation markers associated with infectious oral bacteria:

  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Pneumonia

Gum disease during pregnancy may also contribute to preterm labor, low–birth weight in babies, and tooth loss among moms. Hormonal changes caused by pregnancy can make your gums more prone to plaque and gingivitis (gum inflammation and bleeding). Other risk factors for the disease include smoking and diabetes.

Likewise, diseases such as diabetes, HIV infection, and AIDS can hinder the immune system’s ability to fight off infection, thereby making gum disease worse.

Tips for Protecting Oral and Overall Health

Health experts believe oral health is so important that it should be considered an essential part of general health and well-being. As such, preventing oral diseases using the following tips can help protect you from diseases caused by poor oral hygiene.

  • Practice brushing, flossing, and rinsing at least twice a day
  • Talk to your dentist if you suspect you have periodontal disease
  • Get early treatment for infections such as gingivitis
  • Screen for oral cancer
  • Make lifestyle adjustments, such as eating healthier and quitting smoking

Periodontal Disease Treatment

Seeking treatment for the disease in the early stages can prevent it from progressing or resulting in systemic diseases caused by poor oral hygiene. There is no cure for gum disease once it reaches the advanced stage. At this point, non-surgical or surgical treatment may be recommended to keep it under control.

Non-surgical treatments include:

  • Antibiotics (to reduce inflammation)
  • Routine cleanings
  • Root scaling and planing (deep cleaning)

Surgical treatments include:

  • Flap surgery (pocket reduction surgery)
  • Soft tissue grafts
  • Bone grafts
  • Guided tissue regeneration

Healthier Mouth Healthier You

Everyone forgets to brush between meals or goes to bed without brushing from time to time. Others skip their 6-month dental checkup for various reasons. That’s being human. Sometimes life responsibilities and challenges get in the way. But now that you know the mouth-body connection, you can intentionally take steps to improve your dental care routines and overall health.

How To Make Invisalign® Work Faster

Invisalign® is a clear aligner therapy used as an alternative to metal braces to straighten teeth. It is a welcome alternative for many patients. Getting the most out of your Invisalign clear aligners —when it comes to teeth straightening— can be achieved with the following 10 Invisalign tips. Read on to learn more:

1: Wear Them Regularly

This tip might seem like common sense, but it’s amazing how many people fail to follow this one simple rule. To get the most out of your aligners, you must wear them! In most cases, this means wearing them at least 22 hours a day. If you don’t do this, your treatment time will likely take longer than expected.

 2: Keep Them Cleaned

You also need to keep your aligners clean. You can use toothpaste to clean your aligners or use specialty cleaners designed for just such a purpose. You can also use antibacterial soap and warm water. If you don’t clean them, your “invisible” aligners will soon lose their clarity. You can even get food stuck in them, and they can become stained.

3: Maintain Proper Oral Health

It’s also important to keep your teeth under your aligners clean with good oral health to prevent food particles from becoming trapped. If you don’t keep your teeth clean and brush and floss regularly, especially after meals, you might experience a build of plaque and bacteria beneath your aligners. This can increase your chances of decay.

4: Keep Your Case on Hand

Make sure that you keep your case with you. When you take your aligners out of your mouth to eat, putting them in the case will ensure that they are protected and you don’t accidentally throw them away.

5: Monitor Your Diet

Make sure that you don’t become overly weak because you have to eat less due to wearing an Invisalign. In many cases, since you will have limited time when your Invisalign clear retainers need to be off, you will begin skipping snacks and eat less overall. Make sure what you are eating is healthy and nutritious to maintain your health.

6: Change Your Aligners on Time and In Order

When it’s time to change your aligners, it’s important to listen to the instructions you are given. If you don’t maintain the proper schedule for changing your aligners, it can obstruct and hinder your treatment and make the whole process take longer.  When answering the question “Does Invisalign work?”, it’s important to note that the way you follow instructions and maintain your aligner order will go a long way towards a successful experience.

7: Drink Plenty of Water

While it’s always beneficial to drink lots of water, when wearing the aligners, it’s that much more important. This is because your ability to produce saliva can be impacted by wearing aligners. Therefore, you will have to compensate by drinking more water than you might have previously. This is important because this will function like saliva, sweeping away acids and bits of food. Water is also the only drink you can consume with your aligners in your mouth.

8: Wear Attachments if Needed

If your orthodontist suggested attachments or buttons as part of your treatment process, make sure that you adhere to their recommendation. In many cases, these attachments can act like anchors, which in turn provide a better grip keeping your aligners from slipping and providing a more secure fit.

9: Try Aligner Chewies

Another way to encourage a better fit and a more effective treatment is to use chewies. These are small, spongy cushions that are designed to close air gaps that might exist between your teeth and aligners. They are constructed with a soft-plastic material, Styrene Copolymer, and come in a variety of flavors and colors. All you have to do to use them is bite down on them for between five and 10 minutes daily. This simple act will help your aligner sit more securely against your teeth.

10: Follow up With Retainer

Last but certainly not least, when getting Invisalign, it’s important to follow up your treatment by wearing a retainer. Your newly aligned teeth will take time to settle into the jawbone and soft tissue that houses them. This means that you will need extra help to keep them from shifting back to their pretreatment condition. Your orthodontist will instruct you to wear your custom-made retainers either all day and night or just at night, depending on your treatment plan.

Following the 10 tips listed above will help you get the most out of your Invisalign treatment. Follow them all and ask your orthodontist for additional tips to ensure a positive experience and help you answer yes to the question is Invisalign effective?


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