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What's in my mouth? A Rundown of Orthodontic Appliances

May 22nd, 2019

Dr. Harmon and our team correct the alignment of your teeth and jaws so that you can speak clearly, chew food effectively, and look attractive when you smile. We do this by putting sophisticated gadgets in your mouth. While many of these dental devices look similar, we use a wide variety of orthodontic appliances to straighten your teeth and repair jaw problems.

Orthodontic appliances are devices that move your teeth, change the position of your jaw, or hold your teeth in their finished positions after your braces are removed. These devices may be attached to your teeth or removable.

Braces straighten your teeth. Brackets, bands, and wires characterize traditional braces. Braces are attached to the teeth, so they are not easily removable.

Spacers are small plastic rings fitted between your back teeth before your braces are placed by Dr. Harmon. These spacers create space between your teeth to optimize the alignment your braces provide.

Retainers hold teeth in their finished position after your braces come off. A Hawley retainer is the most common type of retainer; it features an acrylic plate that rests against the roof of your mouth and a wire crossing in front of your teeth. Essex retainers are quite popular, as they are durable and nearly invisible.

Bite plates correct a deep bite, where the upper front teeth come down too far over the lower front teeth to cause bite problems.

Holding arches prevent the back teeth from moving forward to crowd the front teeth. A lower lingual holding arch prevents your permanent molars from migrating forward. The Nance holding arch maintains space between teeth after you lose baby teeth and before the permanent teeth come in.

A palatal expander widens your upper jaw by separating the bones of your palate. This appliance helps your top and bottom teeth fit together better. The Quad Helix widens your jaws to create more room for crowded teeth.

Contact our Sugar Land, Texas office today to learn more about the ways we can improve the appeal and function of your smile.

Caring for Your Invisalign® Aligners

May 15th, 2019

You’ve selected the Invisalign system because of the many benefits Invisalign offers: comfort, convenience, appearance, and even potentially shorter treatment time! And to add to the good news, caring for your Invisalign aligners is easy and uncomplicated. Follow these simple tips to keep your aligners in the best possible shape as you move through the stages of your treatment.

Stay Clean

  • Always brush and floss your teeth before using your aligners so that bacteria and food particles will not have a chance to collect around your teeth while you wear them.
  • When you brush your teeth, be sure to brush your aligners with a separate soft toothbrush and lukewarm water as well.
  • Rinse your aligners whenever you remove them during the day.
  • Soak your aligners as recommended. Use the Invisalign Cleaning System or ask our Sugar Land, Texas team for other suggestions to keep your aligners free from odor and bacteria.

Stay Clear

One of the reasons you chose Invisalign is for an almost invisible appearance. Why take a chance on discoloration or scratches that will make the appliance more noticeable? Here are some common mistakes that can affect the color of your aligners:

  • If your aligner has white spots, that might mean plaque build-up. Always rinse your aligner after you remove it and clean it thoroughly night and morning.
  • Brushing with anything other than a soft brush and brushing too hard can cause scratches in the material which might be noticeable. A gentle touch will work to clean and protect your aligners.
  • Eating with Invisalign aligners can cause staining. More important, it can cause the retention of food particles in the appliance, which can lead to dental problems. Finally, aligners are not meant for chewing—they might be damaged or lose their ideal shape even with soft foods. If you are going to be eating or drinking, take your aligners out, give them a rinse, and brush before you replace them. Or stick with water! Water will have no ill effects on teeth or aligners.
  • Only soak aligners in an appropriate solution. Harsh chemicals, colored mouthwashes, and even some toothpastes can dim or discolor the clear plastic.

Talk to Dr. Harmon about the best products to use and the best methods for taking care of your aligners. After all, making the process of improving your smile as easy and effective as possible is yet another benefit of choosing Invisalign!

Helpful Hygiene Tips for Patients Who Wear Braces

May 8th, 2019

Today, Dr. Harmon and our team thought we would offer a few tips for our patients currently undergoing orthodontic treatment. For those of you wearing braces, it’s important to be even more dedicated to good oral hygiene than those not currently in treatment.

After getting your braces, it is important to know how to take care of your teeth in order to ensure that your braces stay intact and do their job so that your teeth are in top-notch condition after you complete your orthodontic treatment.

Braces are known to trap food, which contributes to plaque formation. If it is not carefully removed from the teeth and gums, plaque will develop into decay or gum disease, leading to costly delays during your treatment. It is important to practice good oral hygiene by following instructions from Dr. Harmon during your treatment.

We are proud to offer supplies to help fight plaque, such as a proxabrush, dental floss, and floss threaders. The use of an electric toothbrush and or a water pick can also be helpful in combating cavities and decay. And, of course, our team at Todd Harmon Orthodontics suggests brushing at least twice a day.

We hope that helps! If you have any questions, please give us a call at our Sugar Land, Texas office or ask us during your next adjustment appointment!

Happy Mother’s Day From Todd Harmon Orthodontics

May 7th, 2019

When we think of our mothers we think of a protector, a comforter, a teacher, and our biggest fan. Moms are the other half of life. They give us so much and this Mother’s Day, we want them to know that every sacrifice they make and all of the work they put in makes a difference. To celebrate how much we love our moms, we’re offering a very special spa giveaway for one lucky mom. Feel free to give our office a call or check our Facebook page for more info.

Jennifer, our marketing coordinator, shared that one of her favorite funny memories with her mom was from a road trip she took to Houston with her in her new car.  Jennifer made a wrong turn and ended up getting stuck on railroad tracks. While she was panicking about trying to flag someone down for help, all her mom was concerned about was getting her bags out of the car to keep them safe!

Let’s face it, mothers also have the best advice. One of our favorites is: brokenness can lead to happiness. Everything happens for a reason, and mothers often seem to know that, don’t they? Despite the big, scary world we live in, they always have a way to make us feel like everything is going to be okay.

One of the ways we like to celebrate Mother’s Day is by going to church and then having lunch and spending time with our loved ones. We hope you all get the chance to do the same with your families! And while we know that not all women are called to be mothers, we believe that all women are called to make a difference in our world and carry on life lessons for generations to come.

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