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The Top Reasons Why You Should Only Seek Invisalign Treatment with an Orthodontist

July 11th, 2017

It seems that there are many options for straightening teeth these days and there’s no question that Invisalign is a terrific choice for many patients.  Invisalign allows you to experience virtually invisible teeth-straightening while continuing to eat the foods you enjoy, brush and floss your teeth normally for better oral health and minimize office visits. It is often the clear choice for Adults and Teens!

However, you might wonder is it necessary to see an orthodontist for your Invisalign treatment or can your general dentist do this?   Here are the top reasons why only an orthodontist should treat you or your teen:

  • Orthodontists are specialists.

All orthodontists are dentists. We go through the four years of dental school after college to become dentists.  After dental school, orthodontists devote an additional 2-3 years to orthodontics—the study of moving teeth.   Once certified, we practice orthodontics exclusively.  We focus our continuing education on orthodontics and use the latest technology and research to provide custom treatment plans to best serve our patients. This unique knowledge and skill ensures that our patients get the best possible result.

  • Orthodontists identify the cause of the problem.

Invisalign is not a “one size fixes all” treatment. It is an orthodontic tool just like metal braces, and it requires specialized skill and training to achieve an excellent result. You may see crooked or gapped teeth. We see the cause of the problem. Orthodontists use their education, experience, and expertise to delve deep to discover the root of the issue and solve it in a way that is healthy and sustainable, providing our patients with an attractive smile and a lasting result.

  • Orthodontics goes beyond your teeth.

Orthodontists study facial aesthetics and understand how tooth movement can change your facial profile, smile line, and general appearance. We understand how it relates to the face and future growth changes, and we take a holistic approach to your treatment so that your overall appearance is considered along with your smile.

  • You want it done right.

Orthodontists don’t just “Do” Invisalign; we use our specialized skill and knowledge to move teeth using clear plastic aligners. We carefully listen to our patient’s treatment goals and desires and we are best prepared to advise and treat the patient to ensure that the teeth, upper and lower jaws, gums, and facial muscles are positioned so that you can bite, chew and speak well. Without taking these components into consideration, problems can arise.  Some consequences of less expert treatment include issues with the jaw joint (TMJ), headaches, excessive wearing or chipping of the teeth, premature tooth loss and gum problems.

Entrust your family’s care to a professional. Even conditions that seem simple to fix can have underling consequences that require special knowledge to control and correct. Just like a set of gulf clubs used by the weekend golfer are more effective and accurate when used by a professional, the same goes for Invisalign.  The general dentist that occasionally “does” some Invisalign, will find it difficult to match the success of an orthodontists.

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For more information about how Invisalign can give you the healthy smile you’ve always wanted, or to schedule an appointment with Dr. James Lupi, please give us a call at our convenient Stafford, VA office at (540)720-4178 or book a consultation by clicking here.

Periodontics and Braces Treatment

June 21st, 2017

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. James Lupi 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 Stafford, VA office.

Curing the Nail-Biting Habit

June 14th, 2017

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. James Lupi. 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. James Lupi during your next visit to our Stafford, VA office.

Tips to Help You Beat the Heat This Summer

June 7th, 2017

The dog days of summer are upon us, and with the temperatures soaring, our team at Lupi Orthodontics wants you to be extra careful about sun safety when you’re out and about. Check out this incredibly helpful article on the Ten Summer Safety Tips for Kids, courtesy of Discovery.

Dr. James Lupi and our team also encourage you to always have a bottle of water handy when heading out into the sun.

We hope you’re having a great summer! Let us know what you're up to below or on our Facebook page!