Posts for tag: braces

By Ken Yasuhara, DDS - Aesthetic and Restorative Dentistry
April 14, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: braces   orthodontics   Invisalign  

Correcting the misalignments in your smile or your bite issues with orthodontics can seem like a big undertaking and commitment. invisalignFortunately, you can ease the transition into wearing orthodontic devices like braces with Invisalign. Unlike traditional metal braces, these clear orthodontic aligners are virtually invisible to other people and allow you to straighten your teeth without compromising your look. Find out more about Invisalign with Dr. Ken Yasuhara in Honolulu, HI.

What can Invisalign do for me? 
Though Invisalign uses a different method than metal braces, the foundation of the procedure stays the same, using carefully applied pressure to move the teeth into their final positions. Invisalign treats the same problems as traditional braces, including:

  • overlapping teeth (overcrowding)
  • gapped teeth (under crowding)
  • misaligned teeth
  • uneven teeth
  • overbite
  • underbite
  • cross bite
  • open bite

The Benefits of Invisalign
Thanks to its revolutionary design, Invisalign is discreet and removable, allowing you to straighten your smile without compromising your style or daily routine. Simply remove Invisalign when you perform your oral care routine and rinse your trays before replacing them. You should also remove the trays before eating. While patients should wear their trays for at least 22 hours a day, their design allows them to be comfortable and easy to wear. Invisalign also gives you the freedom to remove it for special events like the prom, an important speech, or even just a quick photo.

Invisalign Treatment in Honolulu, HI 
Invisalign treatment depends on patients wearing their trays the recommended amount of time each day. Failing to do so can result in lengthened treatment times. Additionally, patients need to keep their teeth free of tooth decay and gum disease. If one of these conditions occurs during treatment, it could also delay the completion of the treatment and require you to wear your aligner trays for a longer period of time. Most patients switch their trays for the next set in the series about once every two weeks and see their doctor every six weeks for a checkup.

For more information on Invisalign, please contact Dr. Ken Yasuhara at his practice in Honolulu, HI. Call (808) 947-8900 to schedule your consultation for Invisalign with Dr. Yasuhara today!

By Ken Yasuhara, DDS - Aesthetic and Restorative Dentistry
December 23, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: braces   orthodontics   Invisalign  

Very few people have perfect, straight teeth; most people have at least a small gap or overlap that they'd like to correct. Whether you invisalignhave major or minor flaws in the alignment of your teeth, Invisalign can give you the smile you've always wanted. Dr. Ken Yasuhara, your dentist in Honolulu, HI, is proud to offer this orthodontic treatment to his patients. He explains the benefits of using Invisalign here:

What is Invisalign?

Invisalign is a revolutionary alternative to traditional metal braces. If you're familiar with the molded plastic trays used for teeth whitening, you'll have a good idea of what Invisalign braces look like. These lightweight and flexible aligners are custom-made for you, using measurements taken by your Honolulu dentist, and fit flush against your teeth. They work in the same way as traditional braces: gentle pressure moves your teeth into the proper place. The difference is that instead of returning to Dr. Yasuhara's Honolulu dental office every month to have your braces adjusted, you switch out your aligner for the next in a series that reflect the subtle changes in your teeth over time.

What are the advantages of Invisalign?

As your Honolulu dentist will tell you, Invisalign has many benefits. The Invisalign system is:

  • Inconspicuous. The clear plastic blends in so well with your teeth, people may be surprised when they find out you're wearing braces!
  • Comfortable. There are no sharp wires or blunt brackets to deal with, just smooth plastic!
  • Convenient. Although the aligners should be worn between 20 and 22 hours a day, they can easily be removed and stored in a carrying case.
  • Accommodating. While certain foods have to be avoided with traditional braces, you can comfortably eat what you want just by removing your aligners.

Are you interested in learning more about Invisalign from your Honolulu dentist Dr. Yasuhara? Please contact our office to schedule a consultation today!

By Ken Yasuhara, DDS - Aesthetic and Restorative Dentistry
October 11, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
EdenSherandtheLostRetainer

Fans of the primetime TV show The Middle were delighted to see that high school senior Sue, played by Eden Sher, finally got her braces off at the start of Season 6. But since this popular sitcom wouldn’t be complete without some slapstick comedy, this happy event is not without its trials and tribulations: The episode ends with Sue’s whole family diving into a dumpster in search of the teen’s lost retainer. Sue finds it in the garbage and immediately pops it in her mouth. But wait — it doesn’t fit, it’s not even hers!

If you think this scenario is far-fetched, guess again. OK, maybe the part about Sue not washing the retainer upon reclaiming it was just a gag (literally and figuratively), but lost retainers are all too common. Unfortunately, they’re also expensive to replace — so they need to be handled with care. What’s the best way to do that? Retainers should be brushed daily with a soft toothbrush and liquid soap (dish soap works well), and then placed immediately back in your mouth or into the case that came with the retainer. When you are eating a meal at a restaurant, do not wrap your retainer in a napkin and leave it on the table — this is a great way to lose it! Instead, take the case with you, and keep the retainer in it while you’re eating. When you get home, brush your teeth and then put the retainer back in your mouth.

If you do lose your retainer though, let us know right away. Retention is the last step of your orthodontic treatment, and it’s extremely important. You’ve worked hard to get a beautiful smile, and no one wants to see that effort wasted. Yet if you neglect to wear your retainer as instructed, your teeth are likely to shift out of position. Why does this happen?

As you’ve seen firsthand, teeth aren’t rigidly fixed in the jaw — they can be moved in response to light and continuous force. That’s what orthodontic appliances do: apply the right amount of force in a carefully controlled manner. But there are other forces at work on your teeth that can move them in less predictable ways. For example, normal biting and chewing can, over time, cause your teeth to shift position. To get teeth to stay where they’ve been moved orthodontically, new bone needs to form around them and anchor them where they are. That will happen over time, but only if they are held in place with a retainer. That’s why it is so important to wear yours as directed — and notify us immediately if it gets lost.

And if ever you do have to dig your retainer out of a dumpster… be sure to wash it before putting in in your mouth!

If you would like more information on retainers, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “The Importance of Orthodontic Retainers” and “Why Orthodontic Retainers?

By Ken Yasuhara, DDS - Aesthetic and Restorative Dentistry
May 09, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: celebrity smiles   braces  
DwightHowardABrightNBAStarWithaSmiletoMatch

Have you started orthodontic treatment recently? Are you having a little trouble getting used to your braces? If so, you are not alone: Everybody goes through an adjustment period during which they momentarily wonder if they’ll really ever get used to this. Don’t worry — you will! And we’ve never heard anyone say, on the day their braces come off and their new smile is revealed, that they aren’t glad they went the distance. Just ask Houston Rockets all-star center Dwight Howard, who discussed his own orthodontic treatment in a recent interview.

“I’m sure I was no different than anyone else who has ever had braces,” he told Mediaplanet. “At first I hated them so much… That changed once I got used to them and I actually grew to love them.” What’s Howard’s advice? “Do exactly what your orthodontist says and know that the outcome is well worth it in the end.” We couldn’t agree more! Here are some tips for wearing braces comfortably:

  • Hard & Chewy Foods: If you love fresh fruits and vegetables, that’s great; there’s no reason to give them up, just the really hard ones. You don’t want to bite into an apple or carrot or any other hard foods like bagels and pizza that have any “size” to them. Small pieces may be ok as long as they can’t bend your wires. Chewy, sticky candy should really be avoided completely. Same with soda, sports drinks and so-called energy drinks because they contain acids that promote tooth decay and can cause a lot of damage around the braces.
  • Effective Oral Hygiene: Keeping your teeth clean is more important than ever, but also more challenging than ever. It’s easy for food to get stuck under wires and around brackets, but failing to remove it can cause tooth decay, gum irritation and soreness. Therefore, the cleaner your teeth and your braces are, the healthier you will be. Use interdental cleaning brushes and/or a floss-threader to get behind your wires. A mouthrinse can also help strengthen teeth and keep bacteria in check. If you have any questions about how to clean between your teeth, please ask for a demonstration at your next visit.
  • Pain Relief: Some soreness at the beginning of orthodontic treatment is normal. To relieve it, you can use an over-the-counter pain reliever and/or a warm washcloth or heating pad placed on the outside of the jaw. If brackets or wires are rubbing against the inside of your cheeks or lips, try applying wax to these areas of your braces. If this does not offer enough relief, we may be able to trim the end of a poking wire. Call us if you need help with this.

Our goal is to make your orthodontic treatment as comfortable as possible on the way to achieving your all-star smile. If you have questions about adjusting to braces, contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Caring for Teeth During Orthodontic Treatment.”

By Ken Yasuhara, DDS - Aesthetic and Restorative Dentistry
November 19, 2014
Category: Dental Procedures
FixingAdultTeethIsNoMissionImpossible-JustAskTomCruise

It's no surprise that plenty of teenagers go in for an orthodontic evaluation and come out wearing braces. But sometimes, an observant orthodontist may notice that an adult's smile could use a little bit of improvement, too. Even an adult like — Tom Cruise?

That's exactly what happened to the star of Top Gun, Rain Man and the Mission Impossible franchise. Cruise, then 39, was taking one of his children for orthodontic work when it was pointed out that the leading man's teeth were also out of alignment. So he opted for braces too.

“Yes, Tom Cruise has braces,” said his publicist when the star appeared, sporting his new orthodontic appliances. “To him, it's no big deal.” Cruise chose to get the relatively inconspicuous ceramic type, with only a thin wire visible in front of his teeth. He wore them for about a year and a half, having them temporarily removed when it was time to make a movie.

Ceramic braces are a popular choice among adult orthodontic patients, many of whom find that less noticeable orthodontic appliances fit in better with their personal or professional lifestyle. Clear aligners also provide a virtually invisible option. We can help you decide which appliance would best meet your needs. But the first step is a thorough evaluation of your periodontal health.

Is it Risky Business to get braces as an older adult? Not usually — but if you do show signs of periodontal disease, which is more prevalent in adults than teens, it's important to bring it under control before beginning your orthodontic treatment. There are also a few medical conditions, such as heart-valve disease, severe uncontrolled diabetes, and leukemia, which might preclude treatment.

For most people, however, orthodontics offers a great way to improve your appearance and boost your self-confidence — even if you're not a movie star. It is estimated that three-quarters of adults have some form of orthodontic problem; and studies have shown that orthodontic treatment can enhance an adult's career opportunities and social life.

So, if you're looking for a better smile at any age, don't hesitate to contact us or schedule an appointment to discuss your treatment options. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine article “Orthodontics For The Older Adult.”