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The average American laughs 8 times a day.

In hard times, laughter can improve our moods and help us bond with others. But what if you’re self-conscious about your smile?

More than half of Americans deal with insecurities about their teeth. This can lead to covering your mouth when you laugh or only smiling with a closed mouth.

If this sounds like you, there is hope.

With dental veneers, your dentist can create your dream smile. Keep reading to learn more about the different types of dental veneers and how they can change your life. 

What Are Dental Veneers?

If you still have natural teeth but are looking to improve their appearance, dental veneers might be right for you.

Dental veneers are essentially shells made of porcelain or resin that are attached to the front of your own teeth. The material used is thin and colored to resemble natural teeth.

Veneers can fix cosmetic concerns and improve the appearance of your teeth. Common examples of concerns treated with veneers include:

  • Chipped teeth
  • Broken teeth
  • Discoloration
  • Teeth that are too small

Veneers can be applied to a single tooth or to multiple teeth, depending on your needs. If you have a single tooth that is chipped or broken, you may only need one veneer. But many people get veneers across the top of their front teeth.

Most commonly, six to eight veneers are used to create the perfect smile. 

Types of Dental Veneers

There are a few different options when it comes to types of dental veneers. Most veneers are made of porcelain or composite resin. However, preparing them takes a lot of work.

Traditional veneers like those made of resin or porcelain require grinding down or removing some of your natural tooth, sometimes even through the enamel. While this allows for optimal placement of the veneer, it can be an uncomfortable procedure that requires a local anesthetic.

The part of your tooth that is removed will be gone forever. But there’s no need to panic. If your dentist decides that tooth reduction is the best choice for your smile, they can order a wax model that will show you how veneers will look on your teeth.

If you decide not to go the traditional route, you can opt for no-prep veneers. These still may require some preparations but the alteration to your tooth will be minimal.

Now, let’s take a look at the different types of dental veneers in more detail.


If you opt for porcelain veneers, your dentist may start by grinding down your teeth and making an impression of your smile to create a mold. This mold will then be sent to a lab where the porcelain veneer is made. While you wait for the veneer to be made, your dentist may offer you a temporary veneer.

Once the permanent veneers come back from the lab, your dentist will place them on the teeth that were previously prepared and cement them in place.

Some dentists have the technology to create veneers right there in the office. This can be done using CAD/CAM technology. 

Composite Resin Veneers

You may also consider composite resin veneers. This type of veneer is also referred to as dental bonding.

With this type of dental veneer, your dentist will prepare your teeth and apply a thin layer of the material. It may take multiple layers of composite material to achieve your desired look.

After application, your dentist will cure and harden the veneer with a special light. 

No-Prep Veneers

While porcelain and composite veneers are common and traditional types of veneers, there is another option.

No-prep veneers are made by specific brands such as Vivaneers or Lumineers. This type of dental veneer is easier to apply and requires the least preparation.

It isn’t necessary to remove layers of the natural teeth underneath the enamel. No-prep veneers only affect the enamel of the natural tooth. If you go this route, you usually won’t need temporary veneers or local anesthetics. 

Choosing the Best Veneers

The best dental veneers for your case depend on a number of factors including:

  • How much you’re willing to spend
  • How long they take to install
  • How you want them to look
  • How long you want them to last
  • What your dentist recommends 

If you’re looking for longevity and durability, you can’t go wrong with porcelain veneers. While this type of dental veneer requires more investment upfront, your smile will last longer and be less susceptible to stains and other damage.

If you’re looking for a minimally invasive option or less intensive correction, you might choose composite resin or dental bonding

Getting Dental Veneers

What should you expect throughout the process of getting dental veneers? At Webster Family Dental, we offer porcelain veneers and dental bonding that can be placed easily and quickly.

If you choose porcelain veneers, you can expect your dentist to lightly buff the area of your teeth that will be covered by veneers. We will then make an impression of your teeth so that our local lab can create the smile of your dreams.

Our porcelain veneer process ensures that your new smile will stand up to the test of time. You can expect your veneers to last at least a decade if you keep up with proper care and dental hygiene

If you choose dental bonding, you can expect an even easier process. Dental bonding can be done quickly in the office and required no waiting period. 

Are You Ready for a New Smile?

If you’re one of the many Americans who aren’t happy with your smile, we can help!

Life is too short not to laugh and enjoy yourself. If you find yourself smiling with your mouth closed or covering your teeth because you aren’t confident in your smile, we are here to change that.

We use custom dental veneers and dental bonding to create the smile of your dreams. With your new veneers, you can feel confident to smile bigger and laugh harder.

Click here to contact us today to learn more about whether dental veneers are right for you or request an appointment.

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Roughly 4 million people under the age of 18 are wearing braces. 4 out of every 5 people who are wearing braces are minor children. While many may be in the traditional metal braces, more and more are opting for Invisalign aligners to fix their orthodontic issues. 

Have you wondered about how Invisalign aligners work? Are they a better choice for you or your kids than traditional braces? You might even wonder if Invisalign would actually work for your particular orthodontic needs. 

It’s likely you won’t be surprised why so many people are choosing to use Invisalign over regular metal braces once you know more. Read on to learn more and get 7 of your Invisalign questions answered. 

1. How Will Invisalign Aligners Fix My Mouth Issues?

Invisalign aligners are custom for every mouth. These thin, clear molds fit over your teeth and help to move your teeth and mouth to the end desired result. 

The Invisalign aligners help to move your mouth in little bits over time by applying gentle amounts of pressure to your teeth and mouth. As the pressure is placed on the teeth they will slowly move to the desired location. Once the teeth move, then new Invisalign are created to keep the movement going. 

Remember, the Invisalign is a custom fit for every mouth. As there is movement in your mouth, a new set of aligners is created.

Users should wear their Invisalign braces between 20 and 22 hours a day. If they do this, then they will need new aligners around every 7 to 10 days.

2. How Long Does a Patient Need to Wear Invisalign?

This is the magic question of every braces wearer, how long do you need to wear them? No dental professional can answer that question exactly. 

First, how a patient’s teeth respond can vary greatly from patient to patient. Also, the significance of how much work needs to be done can vary the treatment time. 

Overall though, many patients find their time with Invisalign is slightly less than traditional braces. The average wearer will be in Invisalign between 12 and 18 months. Some users will start to see results of movement within the first few weeks of wearing the Invisalign.

3. What Issues in the Mouth Can Invisalign Treat?

Invisalign can treat most of the same issues that traditional orthodontic treatments can treat. Invisalign is used to treat many types of malocclusions, including an underbite and an overbite. 

Often Invisalign is used for treating small imperfections in the mouth. This might include slightly crooked teeth or small gaps in the mouth.

If you have significant issues with the jaw and teeth, your dentist is best equipped to decide if Invisalign is a good fit for you or if you should use more traditional braces. 

4. What Will My Post Invisalign Treatment Be?

Before you begin treatment with Invisalign, it makes sense to look at your entire treatment plan. This should include what happens once your teeth are where they’re supposed to be. 

Rarely does any orthodontic treatment mean once your braces are off, you’re finished completely. The movement you just achieved with braces can go in reverse if the mouth doesn’t know to stay in place. 

Like with traditional metal braces, almost always, it will be necessary to wear a retainer after you complete your Invisalign treatments. This helps to hold the teeth in their finished placement from Invisalign. 

When you’re done with Invisalign, your dentist will fit you for the retainers you’ll need to wear.

5. Will Invisalign Impact My Diet or Daily Activities?

The great feature of Invisalign is its ability to be popped out of your mouth as needed. Of course, you want to keep them in as much as possible, but if needed, they can be removed. 

You can drink water while wearing them with no problem. For other food and drink, it makes sense to pop them out of your mouth. If you try to eat with them in your mouth, you could crack or break the Invisalign aligners while chewing. Once you eat, it’s smart to make sure you brush your teeth before you put the Invisalign aligners back in. You don’t want food stuck on your teeth with the aligners in place. 

It’s also advised if you’re involved in activities that have contact, like contact sports, that your remove the aligners first. Again, if you get accidentally hit in the mouth, the aligners could crack or break.

6. How Much Does Invisalign Cost?

Like time with Invisalign, the cost is dependent on what needs to be done with your teeth and how long you’ll need to wear the aligners. Your individual needs will impact the length of treatment, which impacts cost. 

Many dental insurance programs will contribute to orthodontic care, including Invisalign. Your dental provider can create an estimate for the cost of treatment.  Many providers offer payment plans for orthodontic care too. 

You also want to consider if you don’t have your teeth fixed, will other dental issues arise later that could be even more costly. This is something your dentist can help you decide. 

7. Is Invisalign Safe?

Invisalign is safe for patients of all ages. In fact, many patients feel like it’s a less invasive treatment plan than traditional braces because you can take the aligners in and out. 

As mentioned previously, you shouldn’t participate in contact activities with the Invisalign in your mouth. The Invisalign aligners can’t replace a mouthguard. If you’re involved in a contact sport, you want to remove your aligners and insert a mouthguard instead. 

Invisalign Aligners to Get Your Teeth Straight

Invisalign aligners have become a popular and successful alternative to traditional braces. Many patients appreciate that they are clear and less noticeable on the teeth compared to metal braces. 

If you’re interested in more information about Invisalign, we can help. Contact us today to get more information or to set up an evaluation appointment.

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Back in the day we weren’t exactly spoiled for choice when it came to teeth straightening options. In fact, your only choice up until recent years (1999, to be exact) was metal braces. Nowadays, we have the freedom of choice.

Should you choose Invisalign over braces? Well, that really is up to you, the timeframe you’d like to straighten your teeth in, and your budget, of course. 

If you’re looking to straighten your teeth, correct a crowded mouth, or bite abnormalities, Invisalign could be just right for you. To learn more about why Invisalign could be a better option than traditional braces, keep on reading. 

Why Should You Straighten Your Teeth Anyway? 

Aside from creating a beautiful smile, teeth straightening has a number of oral health benefits — it’s not all cosmetic. Correcting a crossbite, overbite, or an underbite, for one, can help to eliminate jaw problems and pain. 

By evening out overcrowded teeth, you can also benefit from improved dental health as it makes it easier to brush and floss teeth thoroughly. This keeps gum disease and tooth decay at bay. 

Teeth straightening can also help with speech issues, such as lisp impediments caused by overcrowded teeth or jaw problems. 

Why Choose Invisalign Over Braces? 

Invisalign made its way onto the market about 22 years ago. Since then, it has revolutionized the type of orthodontic care offered to patients across the globe. With its patented technology, Invisalign has become the teeth straightening method of choice for both children and adults alike. 

Here are some of the standout benefits and why you might want to choose Invisalign over metal braces

1. Invisalign Is Removable 

Why is this a big deal? Simply because metal braces are completely fixed to your teeth with dental cement and a network of wires. This puts a limit on the types of foods you can eat, and also makes them difficult to clean. 

Yes, you have to wear your aligners for an average of 22 hours per day. But the upside is that you can remove them at any time. This means you have the freedom to eat and drink whatever you want. If you’re feeling self-conscious or uncomfortable you can pop them out at any time. 

The only thing you must remember to do is brush your teeth after you eat and rinse your aligners before putting them back in. Invisalign is also very easy to clean. You can start with just rinsing them throughout the day. Then soak them in a cleaning solution and gently scrub them with a toothbrush at night. 

All in all, Invisalign decreases your risk of developing tooth decay or gum infection because of how hygienic they are. 

2. Invisalign Is Comfortable 

The clear aligners are made from polyurethane plastic resin, so this means you won’t have a mouth full of metal to contend with. The efficient, patented material was designed with mouthfeel and comfort in mind. 

Not only is this material 100 percent safe to use, but it moves with the teeth in a precision-like fashion, without excessive amounts of tooth pain or sensitivity.

Your dentist will take a mold of your mouth and ensure the clear aligners match your specific diagnosis. They fit snugly around your teeth so you won’t have to worry about them digging into your gums or falling out, either. 

3. It’s Discreet, Subtle, and Professional 

There’s a reason why Invisalign has become so popular with young adults and professionals today. The aligners are almost invisible and make for a completely discreet and subtle means of teeth straightening when compared to braces. 

Basically, you can wear your Invisalign throughout your workday and not worry about them. They are ideal for all types of career professionals. They are also a great choice for teens who may be self-conscious about their smiles, too. 

Today, there is the option of choosing Invisalign Teen which is specifically designed to suit the growing mouths of children.

4. It’s Effective and Offers Proven Results 

The Invisalign design team has invested years of research into product development. So, it’s not likely that you’ll find a more reliable orthodontic tool on the market today. Not-to-mention, millions of dollars on product adjustment to ensure Invisalign offers proven, efficient results. 

Invisalign utilizes a specific type of technology known as SmartTrack™ plastic, as well as SmartForce™ attachments. As a result, these clear aligners offer faster tooth movement than any other clear aligner brand today.  

Yes, braces are an effective tool for treating a huge variety of teeth conditions. But Invisalign may be even more effective in treating specific conditions, such as open bites, for example. However, this depends on the advice of your orthodontist. 

5. You Won’t Need to Visit Your Orthodontist as Often

When you opt for Invisalign treatment your orthodontist will set out a predicted timeline and follow a series of custom-made aligners. Each set of aligners is swapped out every two weeks for the next set in the series. 

Most of the time you’ll receive a few sets in advance as well as instructions on when to swap out your aligners. All in all, this means you can maintain your Invisalign treatment from home and won’t need to physically go into your orthodontist’s office that often. 

You will only need to visit your orthodontist every 3 months or so to collect your next series of aligners. Whereas with braces, you might need to visit your orthodontist every month!  

6. You Can Whiten and Straighten Your Teeth Simultaneously 

This is yet another brilliant perk of Invisalign. The clear aligner trays can double as teeth whitening trays while you wear them throughout the night during your sleep. 

You simply apply a specialized and orthodontist-approved teeth whitening gel to the inside of your aligner trays. Then pop them in for a quick and efficient tooth whitening treatment overnight. 

7. The Entire Treatment Process Is Shorter 

As a general rule of thumb, most people have to wear braces for a period of 18 months to 2 years for full and effective treatment. The great thing about Invisalign is that the entire treatment process takes half, if not a quarter of the time. 

Due to their specialized design and technology, you can complete an entire Invisalign treatment from start to end in as little as 6 months. However, this does depend on your unique case, and how often you wear your aligners, too. 

8. It’s Not as Expensive as You Think 

Many people are under the impression that Invisalign is just not affordable, or that it’s far more expensive than braces. But the reality is that an entire Invisalign treatment costs almost the same as the extent of metal braces. 

To add to this, if your insurance offers orthodontic coverage, it should cover the cost or partial cost of Invisalign, much the same as it would with traditional braces. 

Looking for a Family Dentist You Can Rely On? 

So, should you choose Invisalign over braces? At the end of the day, this choice is highly personal. But if the above benefits were enough to sway you, then it’s best to get started with your Invisalign journey sooner, rather than later. 

At Webster Family Dentistry your oral health is our priority. Whether you’re looking for cosmetic, restorative, or preventative dentistry, we’d love to meet you! 

Get in touch with our practice if you’re based in the Webster Groves region and we’d be happy to schedule your next visit. 

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Whether or not you’re among the 26% of American adults with unrelated tooth decay, it’s important that you make visiting the dentist a priority. After all, dentistry isn’t just for those who have problems- it’s for anyone who wants to keep their teeth healthy and prevent issues from arising later.

You need to know how to choose dental insurance to get the most affordable plan possible. Here, we’re going to talk about how to make caring for your teeth easy and inexpensive to prevent holes in both your teeth and your pockets.

1. Look at Your Work Insurance Plan

68% of the US population is offered health insurance through their employer. If this describes you, it’s important that you comb through your plan’s fine print and see whether or not any level of dental care coverage is present. If so, you may not even need to invest in a 3rd party dental insurance plan.

Even so, you might want to get some supplemental insurance, but It’s best to know where you stand insurance-wise anyway. You can then only look into plans that are the most relevant for you and your family.

2. Consider the Types of Dental Plans

There are three basic types of dental plans.

Indemnity plans do not have provider networks and therefore offer the maximum amount of flexibility possible. This is beneficial to those who want the ability to visit any dentist rather than just those pre-approved by a plan. However, these plans are generally much more expensive than alternatives.

Most people opt for managed-care plans. These let them choose from a network of dental providers that have agreed to discount services to cardholders. They can be PPO or HMO plans depending on your needs.

Finally, discount dental plans are not actual insurance. Instead, they give you a discount when you see dentists that are included within your plan. They aren’t insurance because they don’t pay for any of your treatment- you still need to pay 100% of the fees, just at the discount rate.

3. Do Meticulous Research

Once you decide which type of plan is right for you, it’s time to begin researching the many plans that are out there. You can start this research simply by Googling, say, ‘best managed-care dental plans in 2021’. This will give you a shortlist of some plans that you can look over.

After narrowing your options down to 3-5 plans, look through them very carefully. Consider which provides the most comprehensive coverage and which one will best meet the needs of each of your family members.

4. Think About Your Family’s Needs

But how can you determine which plan is right for your family? It’s actually much easier than it sounds.

First, consider whether any family members have pre-existing dental conditions. If your spouse has gingivitis, for example, you need a plan that will cover treatment for gum disease. If you have a child with early TMJ, you will want coverage for TMJ-related visits.

Next, consider the ages of people in your family and the conditions that they’re most likely to develop based on age.

Children will almost always require fluoride treatments, sealants, and braces. Young adults and those in their middle age may need root canals, fillings, crowns, bridges, and wisdom teeth removals. Seniors may need dentures and full-mouth reconstruction treatments. Plan accordingly.

5. Learn Which Treatments Are Covered in Different Plans

Remember your list of 3-5 plans that you combed through earlier? Do an in-depth review of their website. Make sure that you read every aspect and condition of coverage to make sure that you don’t miss something vital before purchasing a plan.

When in doubt, call those insurance providers on the phone or shoot them an email. Ask them whether they cover certain things that you know you and your family can’t do without.

If you don’t need a lot of coverage and have no preexisting oral health issues in the family, you may even get away with ACA dental insurance. Keep this in mind as you search so that you can get the best care at the most affordable price.

6. Talk to Dental Professionals Near You

The next step is to look into the dental providers closest to you and see what insurance plans they accept. It’s unreasonable to get a plan that requires you to drive for hours to find the nearest provider. Check out your local dentist’s insurance options and compare them.

If you have any questions, reach out to the dentists that you trust. Ask any questions that are relevant to your choice in a plan. Gathering the best information can help you to narrow your 3-5 options down to 1 or 2.

7. Consider Every Relevant Cost

Many people comparing family insurance plans only look at the premium monthly cost. However, this might come back to bite you in the long run (no pun intended). You need to look at deductibles- the amount of money that you’ll need to pay out-of-pocket before your insurance coverage starts.

You also should look at the maximum yearly limit for coverage. Many plans have a cap on the number of dental treatments they’ll cover per year. You don’t want to wind up in a bind where you reach your limit and need to pay a lot of money for ongoing treatments.

Beyond How to Choose Dental Insurance

Now that you know how to choose dental insurance, it’s time to make sure your teeth are as healthy as possible. Request an appointment with our oral health professionals for a routine cleaning or for restorative or cosmetic dentistry.

You can also ask whether or not we accept the insurance plan that you’re considering and get more insurance plan options if we do not. We’re excited to help keep your smile shining, so don’t hesitate to reach out!

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Sure, you brush your teeth every day, but what about the other half of your dental regime? Flossing is an essential part of dental care; however, a recent study has shown that only 30% of people floss daily, and 32% do not floss at all. We want to change those numbers with this simple guide! 

We will show you how to floss your teeth and answer some other questions along the way. Let’s get started!

Why You Should Floss 

First things first, let’s get into why flossing needs to be apart of your daily routine. Flossing helps to remove food particles that are stuck between your teeth that your toothbrush cannot get. If your teeth do not get flossed, then the food can accumulate bacteria, leading to plaque. 

Plaque can become problematic as it builds up in your mouth. It can cause issues from cavities to tooth decay and more. Flossing also helps reduce Gingivitis’s chances, which is a disease of the gums that can cause complications down the line. 

When You Should Floss

As we said, flossing helps to loosen the food debris between your teeth, so considering that you are eating each day you will want to make sure you are flossing as well! It is recommended that you brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss at least once. It is better to floss first and then follow up by brushing your teeth. 

If you are only going to floss once per day, consider making it a part of your nightly routine after eating your last meal of the day. 

Types of Floss

Not all floss is created equally! There are a wide variety of brands and types of floss available on the market.

The first type of floss is called Dental Tape. This type of floss is flat and ribbon-like in appearance. This floss’s broad design makes it easy to use and ideal for people with larger spaces between their teeth and those with braces.

Standard Floss is the more common type of floss on the market. It is made from nylon and is much thinner than Dental Tape. This type of floss has various options such as flavored floss and waxed and unwaxed options.

Waxed Floss is a better choice for anyone with tight or crowded teeth. Standard Floss is not always the best choice for anyone with braces though. 

Finally, Super Floss is a type of floss that is heavy-duty. It is ideal for people with dental work such as fixed bridges or braces because its design has three components. There is a stiffened end, a sponge-like section, and then regular floss. This type of floss can clean the gums and braces with ease.

Other Flossing Equipment 

Toothpicks with a flossing attachment are another option for flossing. They are equipped with a toothpick on one end and then a small line of floss secured by two plastic pieces at the other end. They are ideal for reaching teeth far back in the mouth, and they are convenient for on-the-go flossing after a meal. 

Water flossing tools are another option for a deeper clean. This type of flosser uses pressurized water to eliminate plaque and food debris from the teeth and gum line.  

How to Floss Your Teeth

So you know the tools that you will need, and when you need to do it, now let’s talk about how to do it! Here are the steps:

  1. Spool off around 18 inches of the dental floss of your liking.
  2. Wrap the floss around your middle fingers until only around 2 inches is left between them.
  3. While firmly holding the floss with your index finger and thumb, start to gently move the floss in a C-Shape up and around each tooth avoiding flossing the gum in a back and forth motion.
  4. Repeat the process on all of your teeth, using a clean section of floss each time.

When you reach your gum line, you should be gently working the floss between the delicate area between your tooth and gum. Avoid using any sawing motions as you could damage your gums. Once you have finished flossing, either brush your teeth or use an antibacterial mouthwash. 

Always make sure to floss your teeth in front of a mirror. This will help you better visualize the area you are flossing, which could help prevent any injury to your teeth or gums.


When it comes to buying floss, you should do your best not to skimp on the floss’ quality. Cheaper flosses are made with lower quality materials, and they could easily fray. When the floss frays, it can get stuck in between your teeth and cause injury to your gum, so save yourself the trouble and buy a reputable brand.

When to Visit a Dentist

If you are new to flossing, you will most likely see a little blood when you first start getting into a new routine. This can be due to any number of things, from vitamin deficiency to Anemia; however, more often than not, it is due to the fact that you have a mild build-up of plaque or mild Gingivitis.

Aggressive or incorrect flossing can also cause bleeding, so make sure you follow this guide! The more you floss, the healthier your mouth will become, and the bleeding should stop. With that being said, if you have excessive or prolonged bleeding, it could be a sign of a more serious health issue like Periodontal Disease, which would require immediate attention from your dentist

Keeping Your Mouth Healthy

Now that you know how to floss your teeth, you can be on your way to a happier and healthier smile! This simple guide will help you find the right floss and utilize the right technique with ease. 

Good overall health starts in your mouth! Our team is here to help you achieve optimum dental health, from helping you get back your pearly smile to managing routine check-ups. Visit us today to get your next appointment on the books!

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Invisalign and braces are two methods used to treat crooked teeth. They offer a straighter, more beautiful smile and can improve overall oral hygiene. The similarities between these methods, though, can make it hard to decide: Invisalign or braces?

Braces are a more traditional approach to straightening a smile. An orthodontist attaches metal brackets to your teeth, each of which is connected with a series of strong wires. The dentist tightens these wires to encourage teeth toward the desired result.

Meanwhile, Invisalign is a relatively new method for fixing crooked teeth. Instead of metal brackets and wires, dentists use clear plastic trays, similar to retainers. With a new tray every two weeks, Invisalign gently encourages teeth into a more desirable alignment.

Are you finally ready to get the straight smile of your dreams? Then you need to know your options. We’re guiding you through the pros and cons of Invisalign and braces next, so check it out. 

The Pros and Cons of Invisalign

Invented in the 1990s, Invisalign is a significant step up from traditional metal braces. Yet, Invisalign isn’t for everyone. Invisalign isn’t ideal for:

  • People with bridgework
  • People whose teeth don’t meet in the back when biting down
  • People who need to move teeth up or down 

Another thing to consider is that you must be disciplined enough to leave Invisalign in for 22 or more hours every day. If you’re forgetful or tend to travel a lot, removable trays may not be for you. 

Still with us? If so, here are the top pros and cons of wearing Invisalign clear aligners over traditional metal braces to help you with your decision.

Invisalign Is Discreet

Because Invisalign trays are clear, it’s hard to tell when someone is wearing them. If you’re concerned about the stigma of wearing braces, Invisalign is the choice for you.

Invisalign Takes Less Time

Compared to traditional metal braces, Invisalign can straighten teeth in less time. Of course, the exact timeline depends on your unique smile needs. Most people only wear clear aligners for 6 to 18 months. 

Invisalign Is Foolproof to Clean

Invisalign clear aligner trays come with the proprietary Invisalign cleaning system. If you prefer to DIY it, you can also simply brush and rinse trays in warm water.

Cleaning Invisalign trays is much easier, less time-consuming, and more effective than trying to brush and floss around metal braces. In fact, studies have shown that people at risk of gingivitis are better off with clear aligners than traditional braces. 

Invisalign Is Removable

Hate the idea of not seeing your teeth for months as you wait for them to move into place? Then you may prefer Invisalign. Invisalign trays can be removed for up to 2 hours per day to allow your teeth to breathe.

Invisalign Doesn’t Require Painful Tightening

When it’s time to move onto the next step of straightening, your dentist won’t have to tighten any wires. Instead, you just pick up a new sized tray and use it for two weeks.

Invisalign May Not Work for Severe Oral Issues  

If you need your teeth to move vertically or have canines or molars that aren’t facing front, Invisalign probably isn’t for you. Invisalign also isn’t for people who need to fix certain kinds of open bites. 

The Pros and Cons of Braces

Compared to Invisalign, braces are a tried and true method for straightening teeth. They’ve been around in some form or another since the beginning of the 1900s. In 1970, metal braces became what they are today. 

One major draw to traditional braces is that there are almost no limitations to who can wear them. Dentists typically only recommend another method of straightening teeth for people who are prone to dental injuries, such as those who play rough contact sports.

Despite this, traditional braces do come with some pros and cons worth considering before going all-in with this teeth-straightening method. Check them out below. 

Braces Aren’t Discreet

Braces are made up of metal brackets, wire, and rubber bands to hold them all together. Some dentists offer more natural color rubber banks these days. Still, even the most natural-looking braces aren’t nearly as discreet as Invisalign clear aligners.

Braces Can Be Less Expensive

Depending on your unique needs, braces can often cost less than Invisalign. Traditional braces can be more than half the price of braces. That’s why traditional metal braces are perfect for someone wanting to straighten their smile on a budget.

Cleaning Braces Is Difficult

Though cleaning braces has fewer steps than cleaning clear trays, it can be infinitely more tedious. You have to ensure you’re brushing your teeth as best as possible while also making sure you’re cleaning the brackets. You may need extra tools like water picks and other devices to keep your teeth clean and free of ulcers and germs.

You’ll Never Forget to Pack Your Braces

The good news about braces is you never have to worry about forgetting to put them on. Braces aren’t removable, which may be perfect for forgetful people or people who are unlikely to wear their Invisalign trays.

Getting Braces Tightened Is Painful

Once per month, you have to visit your orthodontist to get your braces tightened. This procedure can be excruciating and cause headaches. If that sounds like a nightmare, traditional braces are probably not for you.

Braces Can Cause Tooth Discoloration

If a bracket breaks, you wear braces for a longer time, or if you have trouble cleaning your braces, tooth discoloration can result. Unfortunately, the discoloration usually happens around the bracket. That means you’ll have an unsightly white blemish where the bracket was while the tooth around it is darker in color.

Get a Perfect Smile With Invisalign or Braces

When it comes to the question of Invisalign or braces, you’ve got to consider the pros and cons. Only then can you find the method that fits with your smile needs and your lifestyle. 

Are you ready to get the smile of your dreams? At Webster Family Dental, we want you to put your best smile forward. Get in touch with us today to find out how we can do it for you!

Did you know that around 91% of adults have some degree of tooth decay?

Even if you’re someone who flosses and brushes every day, there are plenty of other things you could be doing that are sabotaging your oral health.

Do you want to know how you can prevent tooth decay and other oral health problems? Keep reading to learn about 10 habits you should avoid that can lead to brittle teeth.

1. Eating Too Much Sugar (Especially Sticky Foods)

We all know that eating too much sugar can lead to horrible teeth problems, but some types of sugars are more damaging than others. Chewy foods like gummies or dried fruit get stuck between your teeth and create the perfect environment for tooth decay. Although you don’t have to avoid bad foods altogether, being mindful of their risks can help you drink more water and brush your teeth to remove the food particles. 

2. Drinking Soda

Soda is a guilty pleasure for many people because we know how unhealthy it is for our teeth and our overall health. Not only is soda loaded with sugar that causes weak teeth, but it’s also highly acidic. These two factors combined make soda one of the worst drinks on the market for your teeth.

3. Acidic Foods

In addition to limiting your consumption of sweets, you also have to be careful about exposing your teeth to acid. Acid weakens tooth enamel and can even lead to demineralization.

Some acidic foods to avoid include citrus fruits, tomato sauce, and vinegar. While it’s fine to enjoy some lemonade or pizza from time to time, make sure you drink lots of water to help clean your mouth and lower the acidity.

4. Brushing Your Teeth Too Hard or Immediately After Eating

Most people worry about not brushing or flossing enough throughout the day, but did you know that you can actually be doing these activities the wrong way? If you brush or floss too vigorously, you can cause weak enamel. Enamel is our strongest defense against bacteria, so make sure you buy a soft-bristled toothbrush and wait at least 30 minutes after eating so your enamel has the chance to harden again.

5. Clenching or Grinding Your Teeth

One bad habit plenty of us do is clench our teeth when we’re stressed. When your jaw is carrying so much unnecessary tension, your teeth are more likely to crack. Grinding your teeth while you sleep can also cause a lot of damage, so you may need to wear a mouthguard if the problem persists.

6. Biting Things That Aren’t Food

Nothing is more frustrating than trying to open a plastic container when you don’t have scissors around. If you can’t use your muscles to rip the packing, you probably switch to using your teeth instead. While our teeth are impressive and powerful tools, using them to do anything other than chew food can cause chipping and other issues.

Another activity you should try to avoid is crunching on ice. Ice may be made of water, but its hardness puts too much strain on our teeth to break down. Nail biters should also be wary since this habit can also weaken teeth and introduce unhealthy bacteria into the mouth that’s been lingering under the fingernail.

7. Having a Tongue Piercing

Tongue piercings may look stylish, but the hard metal can wreak havoc on your teeth over time. When you move your tongue to speak, the piercing can collide with your teeth and lead to chipping. Lots of people with tongue piercings also entertain themselves by flicking the piercing around mindlessly throughout the day, which leads to more rough contact with the teeth.

8. Snacking Throughout the Day

Did you know that our mouths become highly acidic whenever we eat? Although there’s nothing we can do to stop this natural process, we can limit the amount of times we eat throughout the day. If you’re a grazer, condensing your snacking and meal times into smaller windows can limit the amount of acid your teeth are exposed to.

9. Smoking and Drinking

Have you ever noticed how thirsty you feel after drinking alcohol? That’s because alcohol is a diuretic that causes dehydration. When our bodies are dehydrated, our mouths can’t produce enough saliva that helps flush out unhealthy bacteria throughout the day.

Smoking is another bad habit that can lead to staining, gum disease, and even increase your risk of oral cancer.

10. Using Teeth Whitening Strips

If you want to get whiter teeth, you should never use store-bought whitening strips. Since there is no one-size-fits-all whitening treatment, most people wind up causing more harm than good by the time they’re finished whitening with bleach and other chemicals.

Visiting a dentist is the best way to brighten your smile since they’ll be able to create the perfect whitening solution that isn’t too harsh for your mouth. They can also target darker areas to create an even tone.

Do You Want to Avoid Developing Brittle Teeth?

Maintaining a healthy smile all your life can feel like a daunting chore, but the results are always worth the effort. Since oral health has a strong link to total-body health, preventing brittle teeth can help you in many other ways.

The best way you can take care of your teeth is to visit your dentist at least twice a year for regular cleanings and a checkup. If they notice the early signs of tooth decay, they can help you pinpoint the cause and help you correct the issue.

If you’re looking for excellent dental care near Webster Groves, MO, Webster Family Dental would love to help you achieve the smile of your dreams. Contact us to learn more about our services and to schedule your appointment.

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A key part of good oral and dental care is making sure you’re using the proper tooth brushing techniques. Without the right methods in place, you could be missing out on the benefits of having a squeaky clean mouth.

Even if you think you’re brushing your teeth the right way, there are a few techniques you might not be aware of that can improve your daily routine.

Read on for a list of seven tooth brushing techniques that will give you perfect results every time you pick up your toothbrush.

1. Be Gentle

You might think that the harder you brush your teeth, the more plaque and debris you’ll remove. However, using a “hard” bristled toothbrush or scrubbing too vigorously can do more harm than good.

Switch out your current toothbrush with one that uses soft bristles. Use a gentle motion as you brush your teeth and avoid scrubbing too rough on the teeth and gums.

Take your time when you brush your teeth and make sure you’re covering the entire mouth from back to front. When you go gentle, it’s much easier on the tender gum tissue and more effective than rigorous scrubbing.

2. Develop a Tooth Brushing Routine

It can be easy to skip oral care, especially if you’re living a busy lifestyle. Make time to brush your teeth twice per day, and floss at least once each day.

When you brush your teeth, you should do so for at least two full minutes or more. Use a timer to help you count the seconds, and continue brushing at least until you reach the two-minute mark.

Bring a spare tube of toothpaste and toothbrush with you to work and keep it inside your desk drawer if you’re worried about time constraints. Once you develop a regular routine, it’s easy to make brushing your teeth part of your daily and nightly rituals.

3. Consider Switching to Electric

For years, a regular or manual toothbrush was considered the standard, but today’s electric toothbrushes are far superior. Make the switch from manual to electric so you can experience an amazing difference in the way your mouth looks and feels.

If you’re concerned about price, there are several manufacturers who sell electric toothbrushes at a reasonable price. These dental tools do an amazing job of thoroughly scrubbing plaque away from the teeth and along the gumline.

Electric toothbrushes take some getting used to, but they’re well worth the investment. Just make sure you change the brush head on a regular basis for hygiene reasons and because they can be less effective over time as they wear out.

4. Follow Simple Flossing Tips

Flossing is a great way to remove excess plaque and food from in-between your teeth. Ideally, you should floss once per day using a high-quality coated floss.

When you use dental floss, be very gentle and use a back-and-forth motion. Use a new section of the floss whenever you start to go between a new tooth.

After you’re done flossing, follow up with a good oral rinse. Avoid mouthwashes that contain alcohol since they can cause dry mouth which results in bad breath and a feeling of being dehydrated. If you don’t have mouthwash, rinsing with water will do.

5. Pay Attention to Your Entire Mouth

It’s easy to just put the focus on the front teeth when you brush since they’re the ones you can see. However, neglecting your molars and back teeth can result in cavities and other oral health issues.

Start your tooth brushing from the back and slowly work your way toward the front. This will ensure that you’re getting every single tooth and not neglecting the all-important back teeth.

Another great way to remember to brush each tooth is to start the process in sections. Spend time brushing the back quadrants of your mouth, then graduate toward the front quadrants. Use a timer to make sure you’re brushing each section of your mouth equally.

6. Use the Correct Angle

A common tooth brushing mistake is that people tend to brush directly on the teeth with the toothbrush placed flat on the teeth’s surface. Instead, use a 45-degree angle whenever you brush and start at the gumline.

As you move the brush, go back and forth in short strokes across each tooth. Brush your outer, inner, and chewing surfaces to make sure you’ve covered every surface.

When you focus on the inside surfaces of your front teeth, make sure you tilt the brush vertically. Use several up-and-down strokes to get this difficult spot clean. When you use the proper angle as you brush, it makes a big difference in how effective your tooth brushing is.

7. Remember the Tongue and Cheeks

Your tongue can be a safe harbor for germs and food particles to sit, which can promote tooth decay. Use a tongue scraper to gently remove any excess “gunk” that could be left on your tongue.

Another way to clean your mouth better is to also brush the inside of your cheeks. This isn’t something that many people think about, but it can make your entire mouth feel cleaner.

Focus on the tongue and inside of your cheeks at least once a day if you can. When you scrape away the excess “stuff,” your entire mouth will feel better.

Brush Wisely

Now that you know some effective tooth brushing tips, you can enjoy a cleaner, healthier mouth. Make time to brush and floss daily and try an electric toothbrush for a more effective clean.

Be gentle with your teeth and gums with a soft-bristled brush. Practice other good habits like flossing, scraping your tongue and brushing for two minutes.

For more on dental care or to schedule an appointment, visit our website today.

Did you know that 20 percent of children from the ages of 2 to 11 have at least one cavity that hasn’t even been treated?

After a kid loses their baby teeth, they’re stuck with the same teeth for life. This is why it’s important for children to develop effective and healthy habits related to oral hygiene.

After their seventh Halloween celebration involving massive amounts of candy, the last thing they’ll want to hear is that 90 percent of their teeth have cavities. A child should be able to smile confidently far into late adulthood without worrying about the difficulties involved with getting premature dentures. Fortunately, there are many teeth brushing apps out there to help your kid get into the habit of caring for their teeth on a regular basis.

Keep reading to learn all about 5 teeth brushing apps for kids.

1. Brush Your Teeth App

Made by Concappt Media, this teeth brushing app is a wonderful tool for children to get in the habit of brushing two times a day. What’s particularly great about this app is that your child can pick one of several different animals that can brush their teeth alongside them.

Whether it’s a goofy horse or a cute and furry dog, everything is more fun when you can do it with a friend. It’s often best to learn a new skill by teaching it to someone else, which is why the app allows your child to choose what their favorite animal has eaten and then squeeze toothpaste onto the bristles of their toothbrush.

After your child has helped their animal friend, then they can do it too and brush together.

2. Disney Magic Timer App

If your child loves Disney characters more than they love animals, then they’ll go wild for the Disney Magic Timer tooth brushing app. Disney has a wealth of characters that come from all the movies and TV shows that have been made, such as Disney princesses, Marvel superheroes, and even Star Wars Jedi Masters.

Your kid can pick from some of these iconic characters and then brush their teeth with them. The longer your kids use the app, the more characters they can unlock, which will give them an incentive to use it regularly.

Best of all, the app uses a timer so that kids can know how long they’re brushing their teeth for during each session. Both children and adults should brush their teeth for 2 minutes to ensure that every tooth is properly cleaned.

Keep in mind that because this app was made in conjunction with Oral-B and Crest, you’ll have to own their brand of toothbrush in order to use the app.

3. Luca Lashes eBook App

If your child simply adores storytelling and reading, then they may have already heard about the Luca Lashes eBook series which teaches children healthy brushing habits.

If not, this teeth cleaning app is a great way to enhance their brushing experience so that they can get excited about getting their pearly whites squeaky clean. The story involves Luca Lashes as he learns to brush his teeth, so your child won’t feel alone when they have to learn to brush their teeth as well.

Stories can speak to children and adults in profound ways. With this in mind, downloading the Luca Lashes eBook app can make your child feel like they are part of the narrative each time they brush their teeth.

4. Brusheez: Little Monsters Toothbrush App

Perhaps your child doesn’t care so much about Disney princesses, superheroes, and animals, then they might enjoy an app that features cartoon monsters. Your little sci-fi buff in the making will love brushing their teeth with weird, animated monsters.

Another thing that makes this tooth brushing timer app uniques is that the kids can customize their monster. By changing the cartoon monster’s hair and clothes, your child can have a monster that is uniquely theirs rather than something that is simply predesigned.

An added bonus is that the children are able to play with their monsters for a short while before they actually get into the business of brushing their teeth. Once they do begin the brushing, their unique little monster will guide them step by step while also singing to them and timing them for the recommended 2 minutes each session.

5. Brush DJ App

When it comes to teeth brushing apps for kids, you can’t go wrong with the Brush DJ app. Maybe your kid wants to be a dancer or singer when they grow up. Perhaps they simply love music.

The wonderful concept of the Brush DJ app is that it can connect to your iPad, iPhone, or another device so that your kid can dance in the morning and evening as they practice their oral hygiene routine.

Whatever their favorite song is, as long as you have it on your device, you can play it for them during the dentist-suggested time frame of 2 minutes of brushing. Additionally, you make a playlist with them so they can be entertained by multiple songs rather than the same one again and again.

Additionally, the app will keep your child informed about when its time to replace their toothbrush and even remind them of upcoming dental appointments.

Are You Ready to Use One of These Teeth Brushing Apps?

Now that you know all about 5 teeth brushing apps for kids, you can help your child develop the best oral hygiene habits so they can always have a shiny and healthy smile.

With regular cleanings and checkups, the experienced dentists at Webster Family Dental can ensure that you and your kid’s teeth are as healthy as can be. From cosmetic dentistry to emergency dentistry and more, we take pride in giving families confident and radiant smiles. Feel free to contact us if you have questions about our highly-rated services.

Couple giving two young children piggyback rides smiling

Do you get tired of brushing your teeth? Do you take time to floss or use mouth wash? Does it really seem that important?

According to the Oral Health Surveillance Report 20199 in 10 adults had dental cavities. In addition, 1 in 4 adults had untreated tooth decay. Do these numbers surprise you?

Your family may not have emphasized oral hygiene when you were growing up. They may not have had dental insurance for regular checkups. Even if this is true, your teeth and gums are not a lost cause.

Have you ever wondered, “Are Your Brushing Habits Harming Your Teeth And Gums?” If so, keep reading. This article will answer questions about good habits and why they are important.

Risks Associated with Poor Oral Hygiene

Many people believe that brushing your teeth is only important for white teeth. In fact, your oral health status can serve as a window to your general health.

Did you know that your mouth is full of bacteria? The bacteria start the process of digestion by helping breakdown the food. It also helps to fight germs that enter your mouth when you breathe.

Practicing regular cleaning of your mouth keeps the bacteria under control. Bacteria left in the mouth can harm your teeth and gums.

Several situations or conditions can increase your risk of mouth disease. For example, taking medications such as decongestants, antihistamines, diuretics, antidepressants, and pain relievers. These medications can decrease the flow of saliva which washes food away.

When bacteria mixes with sugar it creates acid. Each time they meet, your teeth experience a 20-minute acid attack. Saliva helps to neutralize this acid and protect your teeth.

When gums become red, swollen, and tender, you have gingivitis. If the bacterial infection and swelling continue, you can develop periodontitis. This is a severe gum disease that can lead to general health problems.

General Health Conditions Associated with Oral Health

Once an infection begins in your gums, your risk of several diseases increases. These include:

Endocarditis is an infection on the inside of the heart chambers and valves. This occurs when the bacteria in your mouth gets into your bloodstream. It can travel to your heart causing this serious infection.

Cardiovascular disease describes damage that occurs in the heart and the blood vessels. Bacteria can enter the bloodstream from the mouth.

The result may be infection and swelling in the heart and blood vessels. This can lead to heart attacks and strokes.

Premature birth and low birth rates are linked to periodontitis.

Pneumonia can occur when specific bacteria enter your lungs through your mouth.

Several diseases can also reduce your body’s ability to fight infection or interfere with good oral hygiene. Examples include diabetes, HIV/AIDS, osteoporosis, and Alzheimer’s Disease.

Other conditions linked to poor oral health include eating disorders, rheumatoid arthritis, immune system disorders, and some cancers. Be sure to keep your dentist updated on any changes in your medical condition.

Are Your Brushing Habits Harming Your Teeth And Gums?

You have now read about the myriad of problems that can result from poor oral hygiene. Let’s turn our focus to good habits.

Brush Your Teeth with a Fluoride Toothpaste Twice a Day

Brushing your teeth twice daily decreases cavities, gum recession, and periodontitis. Using fluoride toothpaste also decreases the development of cavities. If you brush your teeth for 2 minutes you will have less plaque than only brushing for 1 minute.

Clean Between Your Teeth Once a Day

Toothbrushing alone does not remove food particles that get caught between teeth. This creates a big source of plaque and tartar build-up that can go below the gum line. When this goes untreated, gingivitis and periodontitis can occur.

The answer is interdental cleaning. You can do this using dental floss, interdental brushes, oral irrigators, or woodsticks. Yes, using floss is not the only way to clean between your teeth.

If you don’t like using floss, explore these other options. But, at the end of the day, be sure to spend time cleaning between your teeth.

Eat Healthy Foods and Limit Sugary Drinks and Snacks

Eating a healthy diet leads to increased general health and resistance to infection. Your intake of sugar can greatly affect your teeth and gums. Remember, each time sugar enters your mouth, an acid attack starts and lasts for 20 minutes.

Sipping sugared coffee or soda subjects your teeth to almost non-stop acid attacks. The acid damages the enamel of your teeth. This can lead to holes in the enamel that develop into cavities.

The answer is to drink not sip. Drink your beverage in a limited time. Drinking with a straw allows the fluid to enter the back of your mouth decreasing the teeth’s exposure.

Drink lots of water between meals, snacks, and sugary beverages.

Visit Your Dentist Every 6 Months

Most people have heard that you need to see a dentist every six months. Some individuals think this is only important for children. While it’s important to begin this practice in childhood, it must also continue the rest of your life.

It’s never too late to get on track. Even if you have never had a dental cleaning, all is not lost. The dental staff can begin working to improve your oral health and help prevent disease.

You may wonder what a dental cleaning involves. Professional cleanings remove plaque and tartar that you can’t remove with a toothbrush. They use special tools to gently and effectively clean your teeth.

The dental hygienist looks for and measures any pockets between your teeth and gums. Pockets can indicate gum diseases such as gingivitis or periodontitis.

If found, treatment starts immediately. This helps to stop disease progression and restore healthy gums.

Removal of plaque and tartar decreases gum discomfort and bad breath. Routine dental cleanings also decrease your risk of tooth loss.

Do You Need to Improve Your Brushing Habits?

Many people develop poor dental hygiene practices over time. This can lead to problems with your teeth, gum, and serious disease processes. This article asked, “Are Your Brushing Habits Harming Your Teeth And Gums?”

If you need to improve your dental habits, begin by visiting a dentist for a cleaning and checkup. Webster Family Dental is here to meet all your dental health needs. We offer cosmetic, restorative, preventative, and emergency dental services.

Contact us today to ask questions and learn more about our services.