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Many patient choose Invisalign as their orthodontic treatment option for the unnoticeable and clear look of the aligners. While Invisalign is a great, clear cosmetic option, the Invisalign attachments/buttons glued on to your teeth may get stained. A tooth-colored material is used for the attachments; however, Invisalign attachments can get stained from food or drinks consumed or poor oral hygiene habits. It is normal for the attachments to stain a little bit at some point throughout treatment. This can make the button more noticeable and give a yellowish appearance. At VCO Orthodontics in Arlington, these are some of our tips we share with our patients to help prevent the staining of the Invisalign attachments.

We recommend avoiding eating or drinking anything that naturally stains your teeth. Staining is more common if you drink a lot of dark liquids like coffee, tea, or red wine, or eat foods with a strong pigment like turmeric or curries. Blueberries will also stain Invisalign attachments. For darker beverages, it does help to drink through a straw to avoid the discoloration of the Invisalign attachments. It is also important to avoid drinking or eating with the trays in. It is best to take the trays out when drinking anything with color. The drink can get trapped between the teeth and the aligners, making discoloration occur faster. Smoking habits can also easily cause staining of the attachments.

It is also a good idea to rinse out your mouth with water after eating or drinking anything before placing the Invisalign trays back into your mouth. Failing to clean your teeth properly can also lead to more staining and plaque build-up. It is important to make sure you are brushing twice a day, flossing regularly, and removing all food particles around the attachments completely. Poor oral hygiene leads to quicker discoloration of the Invisalign buttons.

Cleaning the Invisalign trays at least once a day helps keep the teeth and attachments clean too. Taking the trays out to eat or drink anything besides water or sparkling water also helps keep the clear appearance of the trays themselves. We recommend a soft bristle toothbrush and toothpaste and/or antibacterial soap. Do not use anything too abrasive that can ruin the aligners and try to avoid soaking them in mouthwash because they can discolor. It is okay to rinse them in mouthwash, just do not soak them. Another option is using tablets like Retainer Brite to soak your retainers in. Do not use any extreme temperatures like hot or boiling water, the dishwasher, or microwave because it will distort the trays. It is important to use room temperature water while cleaning or rinsing off your aligners.

While the Invisalign attachments may stain over the course of your treatment, they do not cause any type of damage or staining to your teeth themselves. The doctors polish off the attachments at the end of treatment to remove the Invisalign attachments. Sometimes your teeth might have naturally stained from the foods or drinks you were consuming, which would occur with or without the Invisalign buttons present. If this is the case and you feel your teeth are still yellow or stained, you can talk to the doctor about some teeth whitening options at the end of treatment. We do recommend waiting to whiten your teeth until after the attachments are removed.

Sometimes teeth extractions are necessary and can help alleviate crowding, ensure a stable bite, allow the eruption of adult dentition, or speed up treatment. This will be evaluated by the Orthodontist at the initial consultation. Different options may be given and the best course of action will be recommended by the Orthodontist. If you decide to start treatment with VCO Orthodontics in Arlington, Virginia, then Dr. Markova will write you a referral form to take to your general dentist or oral surgeon. She will ensure that the right teeth and the right number of teeth are extracted, if necessary.

The most common reason for extractions is if there is too much crowding and not enough space for the teeth to align properly. The extractions are necessary to create more room to achieve ideal results with orthodontic treatment. When teeth have more space to move into, they tend to move quicker and the results are more ideal. The alternative to not extracting teeth with a lot of crowding can be a longer treatment time and the flaring out of teeth. Protrusion of the upper front teeth (excessive overjet) can also help be corrected by the extraction of teeth. The extraction of teeth can help create space to move the upper front teeth back, creating a more ideal relationship between the upper and lower teeth. A referral might also be written for the extraction of primary or baby teeth. This could be for multiple reasons. Extraction of a baby tooth can allow for faster eruption of the adult tooth and allow for space for the adult tooth to erupt in a more ideal position. It is also important to not extract primary teeth too early because this can lead to space deficiency for the adult teeth in the future. Other reasons can include having supernumerary (or extra) teeth, for symmetry reasons, or midline correction. There are many different reasons for teeth extraction and it is important that you talk to the Orthodontist, feel comfortable, and understand the reasoning before continuing treatment.

A lot of people think the only issue to fix with orthodontic treatment is the straightness of their teeth. However, this is only one component. Even people who have straight teeth might still need orthodontic treatment. Along with crowding and spacing, orthodontic treatment like braces and Invisalign are also necessary to help correct bite issues. It is important to ensure the top and bottom jaws line up correctly. There are different types of bite issues which include an overbite, underbite, open bite, and crossbite.

An overbite is when the top teeth overlap the bottom teeth causing malocclusion. This is called a Class II bite. It is not just a cosmetic issue but can lead to medical problems in adulthood. Overbites are very common and are present in 70% of children, according to the American Dental Association. Overbites can be hereditary or caused by jawbones that are misaligned, or jawbones that do not develop or grow evenly. Overbites are best corrected earlier in life. It is easier to correct while a child is still growing to correct jaw growth and position (around age 11-13 years old).

Overbite and Class II bite of the teeth
Overbite VCO Orthodontics Arlington, VA

An underbite is when the lower teeth are in front of the upper teeth. This is called a Class III bite. This occurs typically when the lower jaw grows more than the upper jaw.

Underbite and class III bite of the teeth
Underbite VCO Orthodontics, Arlington VA

An open bite is when there is a gap between the front teeth, so they do not touch. Open bites can be caused by thumb or pacifier sucking, tongue thrusting, or influenced by genetics.

Open bite of teeth. VCO Orthodontics, Arlington VA
Open Bite, VCO Orthodontics, Arlington VA

A crossbite is when the upper teeth fit inside of the lower teeth. This misalignment can affect a single tooth or groups of teeth, involving the front teeth (anterior crossbite), back teeth (posterior), or both. The most common way of treating a crossbite is the use of a palatal expander, which is best done around age 7 years old.

Crossbite bite and narrow palate. Spacer. VCO Orthodontics, Arlington VA
Crossbite bite in child VCO Orthodontics, Arlington VA

Bite issues can lead to enamel wear, tooth chipping or fracturing, and gum or bone loss over time if not corrected. The tension from misaligned teeth can also lead to jaw pain and even headaches. The teeth are not in an ideal position, and it is important to have the bite corrected. All of these bite issues can be fixed with braces and Invisalign.

As an adult, it is more difficult to correct bite issues completely. It is possible to get improvement, but sometimes to fully correct the bite in adults, or in more severe cases, jaw surgery is necessary since it is a jaw and skeletal issue. Even as a child, if cases are more severe, jaw surgery is the only option to fully correct the bite.

It is necessary to see an orthodontist to evaluate your bite to ensure it is in a healthy, stable position. If you are unsure of your bite and whether braces or Invisalign would work for you, book a free consultation today at VCO Orthodontics in Arlington so we can check out your bite!

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