Author Archives: Town & Country Family Dentistry

Does Tooth Decay Run In The Family?

Does Tooth Decay Run In The Family?

You may be one of the many people who feel frustrated when they hear they have cavities, even though you brush twice a day and floss regularly. I know I know, you do exactly what the experts say should be done to avoid tooth decay, so what gives?

Genetics and how they effect oral hygiene

Yep, it’s very possible that your great great grandfather had a disposition towards tooth decay and passed it right on down to you. Nature is a mad scientist, so don’t feel bad, you could have inherited a tendency towards something much, much worse. The good news is you can still battle your genetic trait; it just takes a little more effort.

Before we get into the prevention techniques, let’s talk about the different factors that could lead to your unfortunate genetic inheritance.

1. Teeth are not all the same

The simple truth is that everybody has different teeth. In fact, teeth can be used as a unique identifier to your person, because no two sets of teeth are the same. Unfortunately, some teeth can have defects in their enamel that are prone to bacteria invasion, and some have deep crevices and grooves that trap bacteria.

2. Crooked need love too

Crooked or crowded teeth can sometimes be hard to clean properly, even with the most rigorous brushing. You may not even realize you’re not cleaning it as well as it needs, causing a bacterial build-up. Regular flossing is key to reaching those difficult places. Did you know that without flossing you miss cleaning about 35% of your tooth? Gross right?

3. Saliva, what a pal!

Saliva not only aids in the consumption and digestion of foods, it helps keep your teeth clean too! Those who are prone to dry mouth are at higher risk for cavities. Dry mouth can occur due to stress, medications, illness, or simply old age. Chewing gum (preferably sugar free) is encouraged because chewing stimulates saliva flow.

What now?

In short, if you think you may have some weak genes, that genetic disposition to tooth decay can still be combatted by following these guidelines.

  • Floss twice a day
  • Ask Dr. Mandefro about fluoride treatments
  • Chew sugar free gum to encourage saliva flow
  • Drink plenty of water, especially after meals
  • Use mouthwash
  • Maintain routine check-ups at Town and Country Family Dentistry

Invisalign vs. Braces

Invisalign and Braces are both methods that are designed to straighten your teeth while improving your smile, but are also quite different in the way they do it. If you are thinking about straightening your teeth, but aren’t sure which method to go with, hopefully understanding the difference between the two can help you make your decision.

What are they?

Braces utilize metal brackets that are glued to your teeth and tied together by wires and small rubber bands. You can either get brackets that closely match your tooth color, making them more desecrate, or you can have some fun and choose colored, or even multicolored brackets!

Invisalign consists of aligner trays that are designed to be invisible. These trays are made of smooth, comfortable, and BPA-free clear plastic that is worn over your teeth to gradually and gently move them to more perfect positions.

Which will work best for me?

In order to help you determine this, lets do a small comparison of braces vs Invisalign:

  • APPEARANCE: Braces are typically silver, but you can pay extra for colored or tooth colored brackets, while Invisalign uses trays that are clear/invisible.
  • TREATMENT TIME: The averaged treatment time for braces is 2 years and the brackets must be work 24/7, while Invisalign consists of removable trays and only averages a treatment time of 6-18 months.
  • COST: The average cost of braces is between $1,800 and $5,500, when the average cost of Invisalign is $5,000.
  • DENTIST VISITS: You must have a follow up visit with your dentist every month when you have braces. With Invisalign, you change the aligner trays every 2 weeks and must follow up with dental visits every 4-6 weeks.
  • ONGOING TREATMENT: Both braces and Invisalign will likely call for ongoing treatment, such as a retainer, maybe only at night.

What are the pros and cons of each treatment?

Now that we have the facts, lets go over some pros and cons of each method:

Braces Pros

  • Braces tend to be more effective for more complex issues
  • There is no temptation to leave braces out of your mouth since that is not an option, therefore, they require less discipline for success.
  • Braces require less cleaning steps aside from your normal brushing routine.

Braces Cons:

  • Braces may cause some pain, sores, or discomfort because of the metal wires they use.
  • Braces can sometimes cause tooth discoloration or breakage.
  • Braces can sometimes make it difficult to eat sticky or hard foods.
  • Braces are not ideal for rough contact sports.

Invisalign Pros

  • Invisalign uses practically invisible, removable trays.
  • With Invisalign, you don’t have to worry about food getting caught in brackets.
  • You will have less difficulty eating with the aligner trays.
  • Invisalign tends to be more comfortable than the metal wires and brackets that braces require.

Invisalign Cons:

  • Invisalign can still cause some discomfort from teeth movement.
  • You must remove your aligner trays before eating or drinking anything aside from water.
  • You must brush after every meal while using Invisalign to avoid staining.
  • Invisalign is not ideal for patients with bridgework, back tooth bite issues, or patients who need to rotate canines or premolars.
  • Invisalign requires you to be disciplined enough to keep the trays in for at least 22 hours daily.

Now that we have outlined the basic function of braces vs Invisalign as well as the pros and cons to each treatment, hopefully you will be able to more easily determine which method works best for you and your lifestyle. Getting a smile that you love is important, and the way you get there is completely up to you! Call today for more information or to setup a consultation.