Invisalign Teen is a modern, invisible way to straighten teen teeth without the problems that can stem from traditional metal braces. Invisalign helps straighten teeth without the use of wires and brackets. Instead, Invisalign involves using a series of aligners that are custom-made for your mouth and bite. They are clear making them almost invisible. Teens wear them over their teeth and change them out for new aligners about every two weeks. They gradually shift the teeth into the desired position.
Are Invisalign aligners as effective as traditional braces?
The short answer is yes. When aligners are worn according to the recommendations made by your dentist in Saginaw, MI, they can be as effective as traditional braces. Invisalign Teen is effective for mild to severe cases. They are a suitable treatment option for an overbite, underbite, gaps, and overcrowding. In most cases, teens are good candidates for the use of Invisalign aligners to straighten their teeth. To be certain, you can visit with your Saginaw pediatric dentist. After an examination, Dr. Schau can explain if your teen is a good candidate and how beneficial aligners may be in their case.
Practical Advantages of Invisalign Teen
Aligners are custom-made for your teenager’s teeth. They are worn over the teeth and are changed every two weeks. As the teeth move gradually into their correct positions, a new aligner is worn. There are some practical and distinct benefits besides being as effective as traditional braces for straightening teeth. Here are a few of the advantages to using Invisalign Teen.
Aligners are Removable
Unlike traditional braces, aligners are removable. For teens who play sports, this alleviates the concerns about getting hit in the mouth and causing damage to the braces. Teens who play instruments in band can remove the aligner so they can play instruments more comfortably. Also, when wearing traditional braces, there are some restricted foods like popcorn, apples, and carrots. The aligners used with Invisalign teen can be taken out so that enjoyable and healthy foods can be eaten. Since they are removable, brushing and flossing are also much easier.
Teens Feel Less Self-Conscious
Parents understand teens go through a lot of challenges during their teen years, especially when it comes to their self-image. Teens can be very self-conscious about crooked teeth. But they can also be as self-conscious about the solution when it is traditional braces. Invisalign Teen aligners are nearly invisible which can be helpful for reducing anxiety about needing to wear them.
Saves a Lot of Time
Since they don’t need adjustment and there isn’t any hardware to adjust or repair, teens won’t have to spend as much time with a dental professional. Follow-up visits are scheduled for about every four to six weeks to ensure treatment is progressing as it should.
Invisalign is Effective
Invisalign Teen aligners are just as effective as traditional braces as long as teens wear them as recommended by your dentist in Saginaw, MI. Most teens are good candidates for Invisalign. Of course, effective treatment requires responsibility on the part of the teen. Metal braces are more involved since orthodontists often prescribe headgear and elastic bands along with the many visits to their office to tighten and adjust the braces. With Invisalign Teen, teens just have to wear the aligners and take them out for eating, oral hygiene, sports, and playing instruments. They can even take them out for a date or prom if they like, as long as they put them right back in.
Contact Dentist Jennifer Schau
If you are interested in Invisalign Teen aligners for your teenager, please contact our Freeland family dental offices to schedule an exam. Schedule an exam to determine if your teen is a good candidate for aligners.
Dr. Schau and team are continuing to provide dental healthcare during the pandemic. The American Dental Association (ADA) has provided recommendations, and we are following these strictly as we continue to provide emergency and case-by-case dental care providing you do not have symptoms such as a fever, shortness of breath, or a persistent cough.
What safety precautions are being taken by your dental office?
We do have some new check-in processes to ensure the safety of our patients and the community.
- We check temperatures at check-in. Anyone who has an elevated temperature will be rescheduled.
- Adults are asked to come to appointments alone.
- Children can be accompanied by a parent, but please only bring the child who has an appointment scheduled.
- Patients are asked to wait in their vehicles once they are checked in. This limits the number of people in the office at any one time. We will call or text you when the dentist is ready for you.
Frequently Asked Questions About the COVID-19 Pandemic and Dental Care
We understand there may be many questions for your Saginaw, MI dentist. Here are the questions we hear the most from our patients and our community.
Is it safe to go to the dentist during the COVID-19 pandemic?
We assure our patients that your Saginaw, MI dental team is adhering to the recommendations provided by the ADA and the CDC and OSHA as well as the local and federal regulatory bodies to ensure you continue to have safe and compassionate care. We will continue to keep you updated should there be a reason dental care cannot safely continue.
What precautions are Dr. Schau and team taking to prevent the spread of infection?
Prior to Covid-19, our offices followed best practices to ensure the safety of our patients and our staff. We have always followed strict infection control measures provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as the American Dental Association.
- Sanitation Procedures: Our personnel cleans all our public spaces including restrooms, waiting rooms, and treatment areas.
- Disinfectant Spray: We apply medical-grade disinfectant sprays after each patient per the CDC guidelines. This includes high-touch areas like equipment, countertops, and chairs.
- Protective Barriers: We place protective barriers on items such as suction tips, computer keyboards, overhead lights, armrests, and curing lights.
- Sterile Instruments: After each patient, we sterilize our dental instruments. We adhere to the protocols outlined by the CDC pertaining to the proper sterilization of dental instruments.
Are Dr. Schau and her team taking any extra precautions?
- Our staff knows to stay home if they are showing any symptoms such as difficulty breathing, a fever, or coughing.
- Staff members are encouraged to refrain from traveling but if they travel to a region with a large breakout, they are required to self-quarantine prior to returning to work.
- We’ve implemented screening procedures for patients to determine if they have symptoms or have possibly been exposed. The three-point screening process includes when they book an appointment when the appointment is confirmed, and once they reach our offices.
- Time intervals between appointments have been increased.
- We also request patients to stay in their vehicles once they have checked in. We will text or call when the dentist is ready to see them.
Should I reschedule my appointment?
If you have been to a country or region with a large outbreak, or have been exposed to the Coronavirus, you should wait 14 days to see Dr. Jennifer Schau. If you are healthy and have not been exposed to someone who has been diagnosed with the virus, there is no need to change your regular appointment.
If you have more questions about your appointment or Covid-19, please don’t hesitate to call your Saginaw, MI dentist. Thank you for being patient during this time. If you have a dental emergency, please call us. Once we return to normal operations, we suggest you have a routine exam twice a year as part of your preventative dental treatment plan.
Regular checkups, along with daily brushing and flossing help keep your teeth and mouth healthy. Many people who have good oral hygiene habits think they can skip their routine exams since they aren’t in any pain. Skipping those in-between appointments with your Saginaw, MI dentist can put you at high risk for serious conditions. Delaying your dental care means your teeth are not under the watchful eye of dental professionals. It’s just an exam, right? Routine checkups allow dentists to discover early signs of gum disease and decay. Treatment can be quick and effective without being extensive. But for those who choose to delay dental exams and preventive dental care, there can be more serious ramifications.
Dental Problems Won’t Just go Away
Like other health issues, dental problems don’t just go away. Instead of being treated, so they don’t cause further problems, they tend to worsen as time goes by. Small cavities left alone will not improve even if you maintain good oral hygiene habits. Once decay has started, it won’t stop on its own. It will take a dental professional to stop the decay and repair a tooth. Trying to treat a problem tooth with DIY home remedies or homeopathic remedies sometimes give an infection time to get worse. If a cavity or infection isn’t caught in time, you can end up needing more invasive and aggressive treatments. Regular checkups with Dr. Schau and team can reveal problems early on so treatment can be swift and effective.
Can’t I wait Until I’m In Pain to Go to the Dentist?
Another argument for delaying dental care is the absence of pain. No doubt, the pain has a way of getting your attention and making you call the dentist. But the lack of pain doesn’t necessarily mean nothing serious is wrong. In some instances, an abscess can damage the nerve. In severe cases such as this, getting dental care is imperative to your health, even though you are not sensing any pain. Regular exams should be scheduled with your Saginaw, MI dental team, whether you have pain or not. Delaying checkups can create a much worse situation for you. If a small cavity is left untreated, decay can spread, even to other teeth. It’s possible for it to worsen to a point you need a root canal and possibly a crown. Plus, other teeth may need repairs. When dental visits are delayed, the treatment often becomes more extensive and invasive and may take more than one visit to complete.
Delaying Dental Care Can Cost You More
By delaying dental treatment and allowing problems to grow worse, treatment options will likely change. Most insurance will cover fillings even if you have small co-pay. More extensive treatment options may or may not be covered, and required co-pays may be more expensive. Your out-of-pocket costs may increase, and it will certainly cost you more time at the dental office. If you do not have insurance, more complex treatments will likely be more of a strain on your budget. Routine visits can prevent many of these complications. They can save your money, your time, and your teeth.
Contact Your Saginaw, MI Dental Team
Is it time for your routine exam? Dental professionals suggest scheduling a checkup about every six months. Call our offices today to schedule an exam with Dr. Jennifer Schau. Let us help you maintain a healthy mouth!
It’s just been over the last few years that the popularity of e-cigarettes and vaping has grown. Many people make the switch from traditional cigarettes because they think vaping and e-cigs pose fewer health risks. However, most don’t realize there can be some hazards presented to your oral health. Vape juice doesn’t have tar, this is true, but there are some other aspects which can be harmful to your gums and teeth.
What is an E-Cigarette?
E-cigarettes are an electronic device that works by heating a liquid. This vape juice turns into a vapor as it becomes hot. Vape juice is made from a mixture of flavorings, glycerin, water, and propylene glycol. Even though vape juice doesn’t contain tar, most of them do contain some nicotine.
Can Vaping Be Harmful to Your Mouth?
Since there isn’t any tar, one harmful chemical has been removed from vape juice. The research to determine if there are any long-term negative effects caused by other ingredients is still ongoing. Whether they are safe or not is not known. However, your Saginaw, MI dentist does know some of the chemicals are harmful to your dental health. Here are a few of the potential hazards users might face:
Bacteria that settle into the bumpy and uneven areas of your teeth, such as pits and crevices, is often responsible for promoting tooth decay, which ultimately leads to cavities. When users inhale the vapor from an e-cigarette, they also bring bacteria into their mouths. This is just as bad for the teeth as eating sugary candies. Bacteria cause plaque buildup in the mouth. Those who use e-cigarettes may find they are more prone to cavities, especially for those who do not maintain good oral hygiene habits.
Leads to Dry Mouth
Some users experience dry mouth, which is primarily caused by propylene glycol. It may sound annoying, but it can lead to other, more serious oral health problems. The saliva in the mouth is a natural defense against bacteria. Vaping presents heat and chemicals into the environment in the mouth. This removes some of the natural moisture. When there isn’t enough saliva, then it is easier for tooth decay to occur. This can also cause more cavities. In some cases, painful sores develop on the gums or other tissue in the mouth. Also, chronic bad breath can become a problem.
Gum Disease and Vaping
When there are excess bacteria, and the mouth is dry, the gums can be affected negatively. Just vaping may be harmful to your gums. Some people develop sores on their gums or in their mouths, and others are sensitive to the chemicals used in e-cigarettes. They often inflame and irritate the gums. If the case is severe, the gums might develop pockets, bleed, and recede. These are all signs of gum disease.
One of the things that makes vaping popular is the many different flavors you can choose from. Maybe you noticed how sweet the vapor from e-cigarettes can be. The flavorings, however, contain the same properties as sweet drinks and candy. The bad thing is, they also have the same effects on the teeth. That means an increased chance of both cavities and tooth decay.
If You Are Choosing to Vape
Please note that while e-cigarettes may not have exactly the same harmful effects on your health as traditional cigarettes, vaping can affect your oral health. There are some hazards. Your Saginaw, MI dental team wants you to be aware of the potentially harmful effects on your oral and physical health. Here are a few tips to help lessen the dangers if you choose to vape.
- Avoid vape juice that contains nicotine.
- Drink lots of water to replace the moisture vaping removes from the mouth.
- Continue good oral hygiene habits.
- Keep your regular dental checkups and cleanings as scheduled.
Please contact Dr. Schau and the team if you have any questions about the effect of vaping on your oral health. And please schedule your next checkup with Dr. Jennifer Schau. Maintaining good oral health is our priority.
It’s that time of year everyone dreads, cold and flu season. If you or someone in your house gets sick the first objective is to help them feel better as soon as possible. Honestly, it’s probably not your teeth you are worried about. But cold and flu season can present some real problems for your teeth. Your Saginaw, MI dental team has compiled a few tips for oral care to help you protect your teeth and mouth when sickness is rampant.
Time to Toss Your Toothbrush?
Dr. Jennifer Schau suggests you never share a toothbrush with another person. It’s not a good idea and you can end up sharing germs and viruses. You do cover your mouth when you sneeze or cough, right? That’s because it helps protect others from catching a cold or the flu. Not sharing your toothbrush is another way to protect each other. You may also have heard you should toss your toothbrush after being sick. This is not necessarily true. It’s not likely you will get re-infected if you continue to use it. However, it’s better safe than sorry and if it’s been three or more months since you replaced your toothbrush, you might consider tossing it for a new one.
Cough Drops and Oral Care
When you get a cold or the flu, you may use cough drops to help soothe your throat or help clear your sinuses. The problem is they have a lot of sugar in them and that can be bad for the teeth. Sucking on a cough drop gives the bacteria in your mouth just what it needs to survive and thrive. Even though they provide a little bit of relief, it can lead to cavities down the road. Before buying cough drops, read the ingredients listed on the container to see if there is sugar in them. You can purchase cough drops that are sugar-free to help protect your oral health.
Use a Mouth Rinse
Throwing up is not a pleasant experience and talking about it is not fun. However, when you have the flu or a virus it’s a real possibility. When you vomit, your teeth are exposed to stomach acid. Brushing can be detrimental and end up coating your teeth with acid. Rinsing your mouth out with water can help get rid of the acid. You can also make your own mouth rinse using a little baking soda in water. Swish it around and spit it out, and then wait about 30 minutes before brushing your teeth.
Hydration to Protect Your Teeth
Your doctor will probably suggest drinking more liquids when you are sick to prevent dehydration. But when you are well hydrated, it can also protect your teeth. Getting dehydrated can lead to dry mouth which can lead to having cavities. Also, when you take some medications that are used to treat flu-like symptoms, they can dry your mouth out some too. Staying hydrated helps prevent dry mouth. Using sugar-free cough drops can help the mouth produce adequate amounts of saliva which can help prevent dry mouth as well.
Water is the overall best and safest choice for staying hydrated. If your doctor suggests a sports drink to help with electrolyte balance, just drink it for as long as you need to. You can also try sugar-free sports drinks to help protect your teeth.
Contact Your Saginaw, MI Dentist
If you still have questions about these tips for oral care, or how you can protect your oral health during flu and cold season, please contact our offices. Dr. Schau and the team will be happy to answer your questions. If it’s time for your routine exam, please schedule yours today!
It’s never good to lose a tooth, but it does happen sometimes. Fortunately, there are several solutions for tooth replacement. Choices for replacing missing teeth include getting a dental bridge, full or partial dentures, or dental implants. More people have started choosing implants over dentures since they are a more natural solution. Dr. Schau and the team can discuss your situation with you to help you determine if you are a good candidate for implants. They are not removable fixtures like dentures, instead, they are surgically attached to the jawbone. If you are in good health, have healthy gums and a strong jawbone, you may be an ideal candidate.
Will implants look and feel natural?
One of the main reasons people choose dental implants is that they look more natural, but they also feel more natural. The implant will be attached to the jawbone by a surgical procedure. The post won’t be visible, but it looks sort of like a screw. This replaces the root of the tooth that was lost. The post can be made out of titanium, or an alloy so that it is not likely to cause a reaction when it comes in contact with the gum tissue. Once the customized tooth is placed on the post, it will look like your natural teeth. It will function and feel more like your normal teeth too.
What will the procedure be like?
Once your Saginaw, MI dentist determines you are a good candidate for implants, they will discuss the procedure in great detail with you. You’ll be able to ask them any questions you may have at that time. The procedure itself is often done in the dental office. Dr. Jennifer Schau will administer local anesthesia. It will require more than one visit to complete the entire procedure which is usually done in three phases.
- Phase 1 – The first phase in the process will involve surgically placing the implant in the jawbone. It will then grow to the jawbone. It will take a little time for healing to become complete. It can take up to three to six months for it to heal completely.
- Phase 2 – Once the implant has been placed into the jawbone, the metal post will be attached to it. The post provides stability like a root and will anchor the tooth replacement. In some instances, the dentist can do both of these steps at the same time. For others though, it will be done in two steps.
- Phase 3 – In the last phase, once the areas around both the implant and post have healed, the custom made crown will be attached to the post.
What makes implants a good tooth replacement option?
There are several things about dental implants that make them a more popular choice than other tooth replacement options. Some of the main reasons patients choose them include:
- More Like Natural Teeth. Once the implants have been placed and healed, they tend to feel more like your natural teeth. This helps a lot when eating and talking. They are the next best thing to your real teeth.
- Long-Term Options. When it comes to a long term option, implants have the best track record. Bridges have to be replaced from time to time and usually don’t last more than 10 years. However, dental implants can last for your lifetime given proper care.
- Better for Bone Structures. Deterioration of jawbone and facial muscles begins quickly and they can change in shape and diminish in strength over time. Wearing dentures even accelerates the rate of deterioration. Implants, though, help to restore the normal function in the jaw, face, and bones so that bone loss is prevented.
Who Shouldn’t Consider Implants?
There are some instances when the Saginaw, MI dental team may discourage a patient from dental implants. In these cases, other tooth replacement alternatives will be recommended. Pregnant women should not undergo the procedure until after they have had their baby. And those who have either a chronic condition or suffer from immunosuppression shouldn’t have the procedure since they are at risk of developing an infection which could be dangerous for them. Children are not good candidates since their jawbones are still in the developing process. And if you grind your teeth, you may not be a good candidate because it can put too much pressure on the implants.
Please don’t hesitate to contact the Saginaw, MI dental team if you have more questions or concerns. Dr. Schau will be happy to discuss the possibility of dental implants with you and help you determine if you are a good candidate. Call us today!
The enamel is the outer layer on your teeth that helps protect them. When the enamel breaks down, it can lead to serious tooth decay. While it is subject to normal wear and tear, there are some steps you can take to help keep the enamel strong so it can continue protecting your teeth. Here are three things you can do to protect your tooth enamel.
Eating and Drinking to Protect Enamel
Sugary drinks and foods such as soda can damage tooth enamel. Sometimes overly acidic foods and drinks like eating citrus fruits or drinking orange juice can be damaging to tooth enamel. This can, of course, lead to cavities. The best drink when you’re thirsty is plain water. And the best thing you can do for your teeth is to avoid sugary foods.
You’ll also want to eat foods that contain calcium as it can help you maintain healthy, strong teeth. Dairy products have calcium, but so do other foods like almonds, white beans, and broccoli.
Ask Dr. Jennifer Schau about correct brushing techniques. You don’t want to brush too harshly, but you do need to brush every day. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles for brushing and use gentle back and forth strokes. Choose a fluoride toothpaste to help strengthen enamel.
Don’t Grind Your Teeth
Many adults suffer from bruxism at night, which can wear away the surface of the teeth. Dr. Schau and the team can help you find a solution, such as a night mouthguard to protect your teeth.
Talk to Your Dentist
Your Saginaw, MI dental team can help you maintain your healthy smile for life. It’s important to visit Your Saginaw, MI dentist wants to help you maintain a beautiful smile through regular cleanings and exams every six months. In between dental appointments Call us today to schedule your next exam.
It is important for children to wear a mouthguard when they are playing sports. A good mouthguard can protect your child’s mouth from serious injury during sports. It is important to make sure that you are buying the right mouthguard for them to prevent broken teeth or damage to the mouth.
Your child needs a mouth protector just like they need their other safety equipment. It can protect them from a dental emergency. While it’s always best to consult your Saginaw, MI dentist for advice on what mouthguards are best, it still pays to know the differences between the three types of mouthguards available.
Custom-fit mouthguards are made for your child and designed to fit their mouths. A dental professional will make an imprint of your child’s teeth and mouth. It will then be used to make the well-fitted mouthguard. They are more expensive than other types of mouthguards. The advantage of this type is that they almost always offer more protection since they fit better. Dr. Jennifer Schau and her Saginaw, MI dental team can fit your child with a mouthguard that provides the best possible protection.
Stock mouthguards come pre-formed and ready to use. They are relatively inexpensive, but since they aren’t customized to fit your child, they might not fit properly or provide as much protection as a custom-fitted mouthguard.
Boil-and-bite mouthguards can be considered the middle ground between custom-fit mouthguards and stock mouthguards. They can be purchased at most sporting goods stores, and they can adapt to your child’s mouth after they are softened in boiling water.
Want more information on mouthguards?
If your child wears braces or other dental equipment talk to the dentist about the type of mouthguard they should wear. For more information about mouthguards or to find the mouthguard that is best for your child, contact Dr. Jennifer Schau today. Dr. Schau and the team will be happy to answer any questions that you might have.
A cracked tooth may be a serious problem, but it’s one that is easy to overlook. You might be able to see a large crack, but not always. Most cracks are invisible to the naked eye, and some won’t even show up on an x-ray. And yet, they can lead to some serious issues if they aren’t repaired by your Saginaw, MI dentist.
Identifying a Cracked Tooth
The best way to know if you have a cracked tooth is to make an appointment with Dr. Jennifer Schau and her Saginaw, MI dental team. If you have localized pain in one part of your mouth that flares when you bite down on something or expose your teeth to something very hot or very cold, you might have a tooth that needs to be repaired. This can be done with bonding, a crown, or a root canal if the damage has gotten particularly severe.
What Causes a Tooth to Crack?
There are a number of things that can cause a cracked tooth. Forceful trauma to the head or mouth can crack a tooth. You can also accidentally break, chip, or crack a tooth by biting down on a hard piece of candy, a nut, or a piece of ice. If you find yourself grinding your teeth in your sleep, or when you are stressed out, you may be more susceptible to having a cracked tooth. In any case, you should never wait to have a cracked tooth repaired. Contact Dr. Jennifer Schau to set up an appointment as soon as you suspect that you have a problem.
If you have a painful tooth, don’t wait until it gets any worse. Call us today and schedule an exam. Catching problems early is essential for making sure they don’t cause secondary, more complicated problems.
Obesity and Oral Health
Obesity rates around the globe are getting worse. Many governmental agencies are trying to find ways to reduce the rates and help people live healthier lives. But recently, studies have revealed a connection between obesity and oral health. You might not think there’s a connection between these two conditions, but scientists are convinced there is a strong link. Your Saginaw, MI dentist, Dr. Jennifer Schau, is aware of the statistics which make a strong connection between people having a high body mass index above 30, and those who have an increased incidence of periodontal disease and other oral health issues.
The Connecting link
The connection between these two conditions appears to be the diet. Studies have been conducted which show that almost all obese people have a high level of bacteria in their mouths. This bacterium is the same type most closely associated with periodontal disease. This particular type of bacteria come from consuming refined carbohydrates and sugary foods. These are the same type of foods which lead to obesity and are also determined to be bad for oral health. Refined carbohydrates and sugars can help promote cavities and gum disease.
This being the case, your Saginaw, MI dental team recommends that anyone who is significantly overweight adopt a lifestyle change with respect to their diet. By including more of the healthy foods which can help to stave off oral health issues, and also help to manage weight, a person should automatically reduce their intake of carbs, fats, and sugars. Dr. Schau and team are happy to help patients maintain better oral health by adopting healthier eating habits.
Please contact our offices with your questions and concerns about how diet affects your oral health. We are glad to help. Schedule an appointment today to discuss your oral health with a professional.