Invisalign is a relatively new form of orthodontic treatment that is a good option for many people looking to straighten their smiles. Invisalign is an alternative to traditional braces, which use wires anchored to your teeth to slowly pull teeth into a rounded arch. Instead of braces, Invisalign uses a series of clear plastic aligners to move your teeth.

The Invisalign procedure starts with a digital image of your teeth. The current positions are registered, and then a treatment plan to move your teeth into proper alignment is designed by a computer. This design is used to create a series of clear plastic aligners that gradually move your teeth from their current position.

Your dentist will give you your first aligner, which you will wear for about two weeks. Then you will be given another aligner. You should wear each aligner for about 20 hours a day. You can take it off to eat and clean your teeth, so there are no dietary restrictions and no special cleaning necessary, except you should clean your teeth after eating and before putting the aligners back on.

To learn more about Invisalign, and find out if you are a candidate, please contact Miami Designer Smiles today for a consultation.

The old dental quip, “Only floss the teeth you want to keep,” is based in truth. Flossing is crucial to protecting your teeth because it can remove food particles and bacterial plaque from areas that your toothbrush cannot reach.

If bacteria are allowed safe harborage in your mouth, their colonies will grow. They will attack your teeth in areas that are hard to see and create cavities that are very difficult to fill. The bacteria will not only attack your teeth, they will attack your gums, leading to gum disease. The bacteria create pockets around your teeth to increase their safe havens below your gumline. As these pockets deepen, the bacteria will grow, eventually attacking your bone. Ironically, part of your body’s immune response also leads to a loss of bone material, creating a mutually reinforcing process that eventually causes tooth loss.

Along the way to tooth loss, you will experience bad breath, inflammation, and pain. Bacteria will also sometimes use your gums as an entry point to your bloodstream, where they can cause injury to your heart and liver.

In other words, flossing is crucial to protecting your oral and general health. To learn more about the importance of good oral hygiene, please contact Miami Designer Smiles today to talk to a cosmetic dentist.

Dental implants are the best option for replacing lost teeth. A dental implant replaces your natural tooth root with a safe titanium screw that is placed into your jawbone. Once the implant is in place, it is generally recommended that you wait to allow it to integrate into your jaw before completing the procedure with an aesthetic dental crown.

For most people, the integration of the implant into the bone takes about 6-12 weeks, but most of this time you should be able to enjoy your normal activities. Count on taking a few days off work (less than a week), and having some level of discomfort for about a week. You may have to take special care of the surgery site for up to two weeks after your procedure.

However, every person is different, and your recovery time may be longer. If a bone graft was necessary to support your dental implants, recovery may take months. Another factor that can dramatically lengthen your recovery time is poor oral hygiene. Since gum disease can cause your dental implant to fail it is crucial that you take good care of your mouth both before and after your dental implant procedure.

If you have additional questions about your dental implant procedure, please contact Miami Designer Smiles to have them answered by one of our cosmetic dentists.

Tooth staining is one of the signs of aging. When people look at you and your discolored teeth, they automatically make assumptions about your age and health, as well as some other factors such as your personality, education, and income level.

There are many factors that can cause your teeth to darken. These include:

  • Natural wear of dental enamel with age
  • Stains from foods, beverages, and smoking
  • Injury to the tooth
  • Exposure to certain chemicals during tooth development

The extent and rate of staining depends on your lifestyle and the characteristics of your dental enamel.

The best treatment for tooth darkening also depends on the cause of tooth darkening. If the main reason why your teeth have darkened is staining foods, beverages, and smoking, then teeth whitening works very well. If your enamel is wearing down, porcelain veneers are often the best choice. If you have suffered injury to a tooth causing it to darken, then a dental crown may be the best treatment.

To learn more about restoring the whiteness of your smile, please contact Miami Designer Smiles for an evaluation of your teeth and personalized teeth whitening recommendations.

There are two answers to this question, one wrong and one right.

The wrong answer is that sleep dentistry is when they give you something to help you relax at the dentist’s office. This is properly called “sedation dentistry” because you aren’t truly asleep. You are conscious and able to respond to the dentist’s requests though you may not remember much of the experience.

The right answer is that sleep dentistry is when a dentist uses his expertise to correct snoring and sleep apnea so you and your partner both sleep better at night. Snoring, of course, is an audible nuisance, and most people know if their partner snores. Sleep apnea is subtler, but much more dangerous. Sleep apnea is when your breathing stops at night and oxygen deprivation forces you to awaken partially. You may not know you are waking up, and often the only signs are your snoring and feelings that you’re not getting enough rest, no matter how much sleep you’re getting.

How can a dentist help with these sleep problems? Snoring and the most common form of sleep apnea, obstructive sleep apnea, are caused by the narrowing or collapse of the soft tissue of our airways during sleep. These soft tissues depend on your jaw for support. With the use of a custom-designed mouthguard, your dentist can put your jaw in the right position for holding your airways open at night so you don’t snore or stop breathing.

If you know or suspect that you suffer from snoring or sleep apnea, the sleep dentists at Miami Designer Smiles can help. Please contact us today to schedule an appointment.