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Posts for category: Oral Health

By KWONG ORTHODONTICS, P.C.
June 09, 2020
Category: Oral Health

When it comes to straightening misaligned teeth, you have several options. The two most popular choices are traditional braces and Invisalign. Both are unique in their own ways, and Dr. Thomas Kwong, your dentist in Portage, MI, specializes in providing them—read on to learn more.

How Traditional Braces Work

Traditional braces have several components that work together by applying constant pressure to slowly straighten your teeth. A metal or ceramic link is glued to each of the teeth being treated. These are connected to an archwire by ligature bands. There also spacers between the teeth to allow the bands to pass through. It sounds complicated, but traditional braces work well for people who have mild-to-severely misaligned teeth.

Why Invisalign Aligners are Popular

Portage residents have found the following benefits with Invisalign braces:

  • They can be removed: Unlike traditional braces, you can remove Invisalign braces when you eat or brush and floss your teeth. This makes it easier to clean your teeth.
  • You can eat what you like: With traditional braces, you have some restrictions with what you can eat. For example, you should avoid hard or crunchy foods so as not to damages the braces. Because you can take Invisalign brace out before you eat, you can eat the foods you like.
  • They are invisible: Because Invisalign aligners remade from clear, flexible material no one can tell that you’re wearing braces and they’re also more comfortable than traditional braces.

Although Invisalign treatment is a little more expensive than traditional braces, the treatment usually doesn’t take quite so long. Invisalign is also great for adults who feel subconscious about wearing braces and prefer a more discreet solution.

Interested?

If you live in or around Portage and would like to find out more about Invisalign, call Dr. Kwong today at (269) 327 4459 to schedule a consultation.

By Kwong Orthodontics, P.C.
May 11, 2020
Category: Oral Health
Tags: Braces   Oral Hygiene  

Keep your teeth and your gums healthy while you wear braces. At Kwong Orthodontics in Portage, MI, Dr. Thomas Kwong and his capable team encourage all of their patients to practice daily care habits that preserve your smile while it's being remodeled.

The point of orthodontic care

A crooked smile presents many problems, including headaches, worn enamel, less than attractive appearance, tooth decay, and gum disease. Plus, uneven bite, gaps, and crowding make teeth harder to keep clean. So, if your detailed evaluation at Kwong Orthodontics recommends braces, be sure to undergo treatment. Both children and adults benefit from a well-aligned set of teeth.

Types of braces

Most people are familiar with traditional braces—metal, ceramic, and lingual (tongue-side) appliances with their archwires, brackets, and ligaments. Besides these options, Dr. Kwong offers clear braces in his Portage practice. Whatever you qualify for, expect a beautiful smile that optimizes your self-confidence, biting, chewing, speech, and dental/gum health.

Caring for your smile with braces

Whichever orthodontic appliances you use, oral care is a must-have. Careful twice-daily brushing with a soft toothbrush and daily flossing using the product your hygienist recommends removes food particles, avoids gum irritation, and preserves your teeth from decay. Take your time with your oral care as it's an investment in treatment plan success and a great smile.

Also, if you wear conventional braces, avoid very sticky, hard, and sweet dietary choices. Sugary drinks and foods contribute to decay, and tough-textured foods lodge in and between appliances to the point of dislodging and breaking them. As an orthodontic patient, you stay away from:

  • Bagels
  • Pizza crust
  • Nuts
  • Caramel
  • Candy apples
  • Corn on the cob (or other foods you must bite down on)
  • Ice
  • Popcorn

A beneficial addition to your diet is water. It adds fluoride to your enamel and washes teeth and gums clean.

If you do break off part of your appliance, save it to take to Dr. Kwong for repair. If a wire or bracket becomes uncomfortably rough, cover it with a piece of orthodontic wax until you see your dentist.

Finally, the American Dental Association (ADA) recommends you wear an athletic mouth guard to cushion your teeth during any contact sport. Ask Dr. Kwong about custom-made acrylic guards to cover both top and bottom arches.

Find out more

Due to the coronavirus situation, we will be open on a limited basis to see emergency patients indefinitely. If braces are in your future, please make an appointment soon: (269) 327-4459.

By KWONG ORTHODONTICS
April 08, 2020
Category: Oral Health
Tags: Invisalign  

Have you heard of Invisalign clear aligners? They are the thin, clear orthodontic appliances offered by Kwong Orthodontics in Portage, MI. Dr. Thomas Kwong uses them for many patients who desire a comfortable, discreet and effective way to straighten their teeth. Is Invisalign right for you?

Details on Invisalign

Invisalign aligners have straightened smile across the world for more than 20 years. Custom-made from SmartTrack acrylic, the removable appliances fit over the top and bottom arches, shifting teeth into healthier, more aesthetically-pleasing positions.

At Kwong Orthodontics in Portage, your dentist uses a special scanner to image your teeth and bone structure. That information, combined with the results of your oral exam, keeps produces a treatment plan perfect for your mild to moderate alignment problems.

When you wear your 18 to 30 aligner pairs in sequence 20 to 22 hours a day, you'll have your finished smile in six to eighteen months, says the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD).

The issues addressed by Invisalign

Complex cases require treatment with metal braces and other kinds of orthodontic devices. That being said, the Invisalign system is highly versatile, treating adults and older teens whose jaws have finished growing and adults of all ages.

Common problems include:

  • Tooth tipping and rotation
  • Orthodontic relapse (re-treatment when teeth have shifted positions)
  • Gaps
  • Crowding
  • Overbite
  • Overjet (top front teeth protrude)
  • Underbite
  • Crossbite
  • Open bite
  • Small discrepancies in the midline of the smile (a shift to the right or left

In addition, Invisalign just helps people feel better about themselves. As they check in with Dr. Kwong every month or so, they can see how their smiles improve, aligner by aligner. When patients finish their treatment plans, self-confidence soars as their teeth look completely transformed.

Have your best smile

It's not too late. Contact Kwong Orthodontics in Portage, MI, for your one-on-one Invisalign consultation with Dr. Thomas Kwong. He'll work with you to achieve your best oral health and most attractive smile. Call us at (269) 327-4459.

By KWONG ORTHODONTICS
August 01, 2018
Category: Oral Health

What are the criteria for receiving orthodontic treatment? In other words, how do you know you need braces? At Kwong Orthodontics in orthodontic treatmentsPortage, MI, you'll receive the answers to those questions and more when you see Dr. Thomas Kwong for a complete orthodontic evaluation. He and his team address the many situations which warrant correction with braces, clear aligners and TADs (temporary anchorage devices).

The problems with crooked teeth

Orthodontic correction of all kinds and complexities has increased dramatically in recent years. Even adults are pursuing clear aligners (such as Invisalign) and also traditional metal and ceramic braces.

In fact, the American Association of Orthodontists says that 20 percent of patients wearing some type of braces are adults. The same association advises parents take kids to a fully-qualified orthodontist by age 7 to see if braces are in their futures.

Why are these numbers increasing? Frankly, people see the value in beautiful, healthy smiles. Teeth which are poorly aligned, don't occlude (or bite together properly), are harder to keep free of damaging plaque and tartar, and lead to issues with:

  • Speech
  • Efficient biting and chewing
  • Mouth breathing
  • Gum disease
  • Tooth decay
  • Headaches
  • Jaw joint problems (TMJ and arthritis as examples)
  • Ear and facial pain
  • Teeth grinding and clenching (bruxism)

As such, orthodontics in Portage and across the world remains a mainstay of restorative, preventive and cosmetic dentistry, improving smiles, self-confidence, and overall health for the short term and for the long haul as well.

Do you need braces?

At Kwong Orthodontics in Portage, Dr. Kwong and his dedicated team will inspect your teeth and gums, take oral impressions, digital X-rays, photos, and more. All this information helps Dr. Kwong determine if braces are necessary, and if so, what type would work best. He formulates careful treatment plans aimed at optimal aesthetics and oral function.

Depending on the extent of the problem, orthodontic treatment ranges from simple realignment with clear aligners (for older teens and adults), Temporary Anchorage Devices (TADs), removable or bonded-on retainers, metal or ceramic braces, or lingual (tongue-side) braces.

Additionally, Dr. Kwong offers WildSmiles braces for children and teens. These appliances feature custom-designed brackets with special designs to add elements of fun and individuality to wearing braces.

Find the answers

Dr. Kwong is the orthodontist to see for an accurate and honest appraisal of your smile alignment needs. For
a one-on-one consultation for your child or for you, contact Kwong Orthodontics in Portage, MI, at (269) 327-4459.

By KWONG ORTHODONTICS
February 08, 2017
Category: Oral Health
Tags: Braces   Orthodontics  

Braces can change your bite and smile for the better. However, understanding the benefits of orthodontic treatment can be a tricky task. bracesFortunately, your Portage, MI, orthodontist can help you determine if braces are the best treatment for you and your smile. Learn more about orthodontics with Dr. Thomas Kwong at Kwong Orthodontics.

What is orthodontic treatment? 
Orthodontic treatment uses gentle pressure applied to the teeth to move them into new, corrected positions which better benefit your smile’s bite and appearance. An orthodontist, while they have the same training as a dentist initially, has continued education in orthodontics and normally specializes in this branch of dentistry.

How can braces help me? 
Braces can benefit your smile in more ways than one. Straightening your teeth can make your smile look great, boosting confidence and self-esteem. It can also eliminate hard-to-reach areas where teeth overlap or crowd together, helping to decrease the chance of tooth decay. Braces also help correct the mouth’s bite, decreasing the symptoms of conditions like TMJ disorder and making chewing and eating easier or more comfortable.

What are my orthodontic options? 
Orthodontic treatment may bring images of traditional metal braces to mind. However, thanks to modern dentistry and orthodontics, you now have more options than ever. Treatments like Invisalign use plastic aligner trays to move teeth rather than the traditional metal brackets and wires. Additionally, clear braces use ceramic, tooth-colored braces to move the teeth.

Orthodontic Treatment in Portage, MI 
Orthodontics usually require an appointment with your dentist once every four to six weeks for adjustments and general maintenance. These important visits allow your orthodontist to ensure that your progress moves forward according to plan and that you do not have any signs of tooth decay or gum disease during treatment.

For more information on orthodontic treatment or braces, please contact Dr. Kwong at Kwong Orthodontics in Portage, MI. Call (269) 327 4459 to schedule your consultation with Dr. Kwong today!