Different Types of Braces Available from a Vancouver Orthodontist

older gentleman wearing bracesMany people would love to have straight teeth, but are not sure what types of braces are best for them personally. There are a few different options for braces that are common, effective and safe. Each type can be the best choice for someone, while not ideal for someone else. Talk to your Vancouver orthodontist about your options and what will be best for you.

Bracket Braces

Metal bracket braces are the type of braces most people are familiar with. They attach to each tooth with stainless steel brackets, connected by wiring. They’re lightweight and reasonably comfortable.

Gold braces are an alternative of the same kind of braces, which have been treated with a gold coloring for a different look.

Ceramic braces are also bracket braces, but they are much less visible on the teeth. Ceramic braces are clear in color and are often used on adult patients who want to have less noticeable braces. Ceramic is very strong, but also brittle. It’s easier to break ceramic, so wearers have to be a bit more careful with them.

Lingual braces are a lot like other bracket braces, but are on the inside of the teeth, so are less visible. They’re also molded to fit the wearer’s teeth, so they can be comfortable.

Invisible Orthodontic Appliances

Invisible orthodontic appliances straighten the teeth using a series of invisible and removable aligners that look like a clear retainer. One common brand is Invisalign. These are very popular because they’re so subtle. Plus, they can be removed for eating and brushing teeth. However, the wearer is responsible for wearing them at least 22 hours per day.

Self-Ligating Braces

Self-ligating braces are similar to bracket braces, but use different materials and are designed to fit the mouth of the patient. They’re one of the most technologically advanced options, but tend to come with a price-tag to match.

Call us today to schedule your free orthodontist consultation in our Vancouver office and see how PacificWest Dental Group can help you get the straight teeth you’ve always wanted.  We’ll help you choose the braces that are right for you.

Benefits of TruDenta

Headache sufferer who could benefit from TrudentaTruDenta is a system for diagnosing, treating, and managing force imbalances in the mouth. That is the technical definition. You probably want to know what kind of benefits you will receive if TruDenta corrects your force imbalance. Benefits fall into two categories. First, you have quality of life benefits, and second, you have cosmetic benefits.

Quality of Life Benefits

TruDenta improves patients’ quality of life by alleviating:

  • Headaches, including migraines
  • Neck pain
  • Sore muscles
  • Vertigo
  • TMJ/D
  • Tinnitus
  • Shoulder pain
  • Snoring

If you suffer from any of these ailments, you know how devastating they can be to your quality of life. For instance, if you suffer from chronic headaches, it can be difficult to make plans, since you never know when a headache will come on. If you are out and you do end up with a headache, it is impossible to enjoy your friends and family. Getting rid of the headaches would help you improve your quality of life. The same is true for the other symptoms. Once they are gone, you can begin enjoying life again.

Cosmetic Benefits

TruDenta also reduces, or in some cases eliminates, clenching and grinding. People who clench and grind their teeth often have chipped, worn down teeth. That can affect your smile and your confidence. Once you stop the grinding and clenching, you will have more confidence. That means you will enjoy smiling again. You will also have more free time since you won’t have to go to the dentist every time you chip a tooth.

At one time, people thought they had to live with and suffer through their symptoms. Now, people are realizing that isn’t the case. Whether they suffer from headaches, neck pain, snoring or another symptom, they can benefit from the TruDenta process. Then, they can get their lives back on track and look great in the process.

A Friendly, International Orthodontic Practice Can Cater to Your Needs

International-Orthodontic-PracticeVancouver is an increasingly multi-cultural place. As more people from other countries come to Vancouver and the demographics become more and more varied, you can be sure that the number of languages you hear spoken rises and our city will benefit from the variety of cultural traditions that are shared and in evidence. Why does it matter when it comes to visiting an orthodontist? If English isn’t your first language and you’re not sure about what your they are talking about, you aren’t getting the best care possible.

Dental Language is Also a Foreign Language

While individuals who have grown up going to English speaking dentists will understand the terminology, it’s not automatically easy to understand what dentists and orthodontists are talking about. And when you learn English as a foreign language, you don’t necessarily get a lesson in how to talk to the orthodontist. If you’re not sure what the orthodontist is talking about, you may not be able to best care for your oral health or get the right care.

Cultural Considerations

In addition to language considerations, there are also cultural considerations to take into account. Not everyone wants to have their mouth examined and for some refugees or newly arrived immigrants, having a dentist poke around in their mouth can be embarrassing and confusing. Women may not want a male orthodontist to look in their mouths. There are things that not everyone will consider, unless they understand the cultural background of their patients.

If you’re new to Vancouver and looking for an orthodontist, it’s a great idea to find someone who can cater to your cultural needs and can even speak your language. That way you’ll know that you’re getting the right dental care and you’ll understand what’s going on at all times. At PacificWest Dental Group we are pleased to offer that kind of personalized and insightful care for our patients.

The Importance of Wearing Your Retainer after Orthodontic Treatment

Wear Your Retainer After BracesAt the point when you’re required to wear a retainer, the success of your orthodontic treatment is at it’s most vulnerable. Retainers are removable, and that means that if they’re uncomfortable or if the patient doesn’t make a habit of wearing it, it’s easy for time to pass and all that hard work creating a great smile will be for nothing. Don’t risk having to go back for more work or have the results of your orthodontic treatment be a less than perfect smile. Use your retainer consistently and just as your dentist or orthodontist instructs you to.

The Role of a Retainer

 It may seem obvious, but a retainer’s role is not that different from braces. A retainer can be made of formed plastic that is shaped to the soft palette, finished with metal wires that hold the teeth in place. A retainer can also be more like a mouth guard, but much thinner and almost invisible. Retainers are personalized and customized so that they fit your mouth and encourage your teeth to move or stay in place as you want them to.

Inconsistency will Cause Problems

 If you don’t use your retainer as instructed by your dentist or orthodontist, you risk losing the smile you’re hoping for. Our teeth are not firmly set in place, which should be obvious based on the way that an orthodontist can help move them so they look the way you want them to. But just because you’ve moved them in the direction you’d like them to go, doesn’t mean they’re going to stay there just yet.

This is why retainers are used. Your dentist or orthodontist has determined that you need to wear a retainer in order to get that perfect smile. Be consistent and wear it as directed and you’ll get there.

Benefits of the Patient Reward Program from PacificWest Dental Group

Dentist-Shots-4-Laurie-02Have you ever heard of a dentist that offers a rewards program? At PacificWest Dental Group, we’re glad to offer something that most other dentists don’t: opportunities to incentivize the maintenance of your dental health. Our reward program is designed to keep all of our patients happy, even those patients who are afraid of the dentist and our younger patients.

Joining the Patient Rewards Program is great for adults and kids alike. Here are a few of the benefits.

Earn Points Towards Rewards

Maybe the idea is obvious, but we want to reward our patients for taking good care of their teeth. When you sign up for the program, you’ll automatically get points. Each time you complete certain tasks – like taking a trip to the dentist for cleanings and check-ups – you’ll accumulate more points.

What You Get

For our adult patients, the best rewards come in the form of prizes. You can redeem points for prizes and gift cards from many major brands including McDonald’s, Subway, Sports Authority, Apple, Old Navy, and Starbucks, among many others.

We also offer access to many fun games online, as well as contests for even more prizes! Many of the games are fun for adults, but we also have a selection of games just for kids. Our kids games help encourage little ones to get excited about going to the dentist. By getting your kids involved in the Rewards Program, you’ll be teaching them to feel good about regular dental visits, something that will benefit them for the rest of their lives.

Find Out More

The PacificWest Dental Patient Reward Program was designed to help everyone stay on top of their dental health. It’s easy to get busy and to skip dental visits when you’re not experiencing dental pain. But those regular visits are all about avoiding bigger problems. You can make it a bit more fun and benefit from taking good care of your teeth by joining the Patient Reward Program.

Proper Care and Cleaning of Braces

Dentist-Shots-4-Laurie-01 Taking care of your braces isn’t just a good idea for dental hygiene reasons. It’s also important for your comfort. Food stuck in braces can cause pain or discomfort, not to mention increase the likelihood of decay. Of course brushing and flossing is much harder with braces than without. You may not always have a toothbrush handy after a meal. But it is critical that you learn how to properly care for your braces and your teeth so that when those braces come off, you’ll have the straight, pearly whites you were hoping for!

Tips for Brushing with Braces

If you don’t have a toothbrush after a meal, rinse thoroughly with water. Soft bristles are best and you should brush after every meal if possible. The hardest thing about brushing with braces is that it’s going to take some time if you do a thorough job. Once you get into the habit of brushing thoroughly, it’ll get easier. Remember these pointers:

  • Don’t use a lot of toothpaste
  • Don’t wet the brush
  • Carefully brush each arch separately and spend about 10 seconds on each tooth
  • On lower teeth, brush upwards
  • On upper teeth, brush downwards
  • For hard-to-reach places you can purchase special brushes to get between tight spots

Tips for Flossing with Braces

When you have braces, it may seem like flossing will be impossible. But that is not the case, and flossing is still very important. You’ll need to floss between teeth and around your braces. If you have the time, it’s not a big deal, so make sure you give yourself enough time for a thorough job.

  • Use unwaxed floss
  • Pull the floss under the wire that is strung between the two braces on the teeth, so you have access to the space between your teeth
  • Floss around the braces on either side
  • Floss around the gums

For more information about cleaning braces, get in touch with PacificWest Dental in Vancouver and Surrey, BC.

Top 3 Reasons People Delay Getting Braces


Some of the myths that have been built up about braces can be extremely unrealistic. If you’re putting off getting braces for any of these reasons, stop delaying now. These are the three common excuses that people make all the time and there’s simply nothing to them.

My Child is Too Young for Braces

Orthodontic care for kids between the ages of 7 and 10 is quite common. Early treatment can help an orthodontist correct skeletal and non-skeletal issues like jaw and tooth alignment, as well as help create a favourable growth pattern for permanent teeth. If your orthodontist is seeing signs of overbite, open bites, missing teeth or excess teeth, cross bites or overcrowding, starting you off early with braces will save you time on treatments, as well as cost.

Im Too Old for Braces

It’s never too late for braces. Properly aligned teeth can help you live longer. With gleaming, well aligned, healthy teeth, there’s a lower risk of periodontal disease and gum disease. Plus you’ll be able to chew food with gusto even as you age, reducing gastrointestinal problems.

Everyones Going to Call Me Brace Face or Metal Mouth

If you decide to get braces, you’ll be joining the ranks of Tom Cruise, Faith Hill and Emma Watson, all huge, A-list celebrities who wore braces! If you’re wondering how you missed this, then you haven’t been keeping up with braces technology. Today’s braces have come a long way in the last fifteen years. Brackets are smaller, bands don’t wrap all the way around your teeth, and you can wear them without anyone even noticing they’re there.

Get an orthodontic consultation today, don’t delay! Pacific West Dental Group in Surrey and Vancouver will give you the smile you’ve always dreamed of. We’re here for you!

Why should I choose PacificWest Dental for Invisalign Aligners?

Dr. Wang is an expert on Invisalign® and will get you the results you need as quickly as possible with Invisalign® clear aligners.


Dr. C Lun WangDr. Wang has provided Invisalign® for more than 15 years as an early supporter of the clear aligners.  In fact, Dr. Wang himself was his own first patient in using the Invisalign system.  By using himself as a guinea pig, Dr. Wang gained valuable experience and refined his technique in working with Invisalign.  Invisalign’s success is determined by the experience and expertise of the provider, and Dr. Wang provides high quality care in Surrey and Vancouver.

invisalign-logoInvisalign® aligners are clear and removable, making straight teeth easier to obtain and as discreet as possible! You hardly notice the aligners when they are in, making Invisalign® a favourite option for adult patients. You also have no eating restrictions when wearing Invisalign® because the aligners are removable, making it easy to brush and floss teeth as you normally would. Because the aligners are not metal, they are comfortable and do not cause abrasions in your mouth as regular braces often do.

Just as any tool that we use, they all have their advantages and limitations.  Invisalign aligners are removable, they can be lost or broken when they are out of your mouth; and If they are not worn properly or enough of the time during the day, then your teeth will not move properly or at all.  Therefore, patient cooperation can be an issue.  Success with Invisalign treatment begins with proper diagnosis of a patient’s problem.  Dr. Wang will be able to give you a proper diagnosis when you come in for a complimentary consultation.

Invisalign® also typically requires less frequent visits to PacificWest Dental Group because there isn’t a need to tighten wires as in traditional braces. Invisalign® patients wear a set of aligners for 2 weeks and remove them only to eat, drink, brush and floss. Every two weeks, you will move to the next set of aligners in the series until your teeth reach the correct position. Treatment typically lasts 9 to 15 months, but can last slightly shorter or longer depending on your specific case. Visit us for a free consultation to determine if Invisalign® is right for you.

How to Choose an Orthodontist

Orthodontist with PatientWith all the new advances in Orthodontics, there is no reason you and your family can’t achieve the straight teeth you’ve always wanted. Whether you are noticing your child’s teeth coming in crooked, are suffering from misaligned bite issues or have always wanted to feel more comfortable with your smile, your local orthodontist can help you find the option that will work best for you and your family. So how do you choose an orthodontist?

Ask Around
When choosing an orthodontist, often the best place to start is word of mouth. You can ask your family dentist, friends, co-workers and of course family members. If that doesn’t yield results, use the Internet, being sure to read online reviews to see what previous patients have to say. Because this is a long term commitment, you want to be sure it will be a positive experience.

Straight teeth are a result of more than just traditional braces. You want to find an orthodontist that has experience in the field and can identify the techniques best suited to your needs. This may include a variety of methods and hardware. An examination and consultation will help your orthodontist create your personalized treatment plan, based on their years of experience.

Initial Consultation
Your potential orthodontist should provide you with an initial consultation – many offer these free of charge – where they outline your options, length of treatment, expected outcome and total cost. When you are meeting your orthodontist, be sure to also check out the office and talk with the staff. With a longer course of treatment and multiple visits, you want to ensure you will feel comfortable and be treated well at your visits.

Really an Orthodontist
While most general dentists might be willing to treat minor orthodontic issues, you want to make sure you are working with a certified orthodontist. They would have completed additional years of school with specialized study in orthodontics.

Location, Location, Location
Due to the number of visits, adjustments, etc required for orthodontic treatment, you want to be sure your orthodontist’s office is conveniently located. This makes keeping on track with your visits more manageable.

With a bit of research and due diligence, you will find an orthodontist that is the right fit for you and your family.

Good Oral Hygiene is the foundation to Straightening your teeth

Good Oral Hygiene is the foundation to Straightening your teeth


Dr. C Lun WangI have been treating myself with both lingual(tongue side) and labial(lip side) braces for almost a year now.  Initially, the biggest adjustment was to the braces poking or rubbing against my lips or my tongue.  The constant irritation gave me raw spots on the mucosa of my mouth.  This skin irritation was an annoyance that was minor and lasted only for the first month.


Further to that, I had to learn to eat with the braces, since if I chewed hard on foods, I would hit some of the braces too hard, and broke them off.  It is amazing how your body adapts to these needs, since you cannot remove the braces, I was able to adjust the pressure to which I applied with each bite, so that I would not bite too hard to break my braces, but hard enough to chew my food.  The proprioceptive(pressure sensing) receptors built into my teeth gave instant feedback to my bite pressure, and by training, my muscles developed the proper muscle memory so that during each subsequent bite, the pressure is just right.


The next adjustment I went through was the fact that I frequently bit on my lip when I chewed.  This was a much more painful experience and one that took me longer to get over.  During your chewing cycle, your lips, cheeks and tongue have been trained to move the bolus of food that is in your mouth around and on to the biting surface of your teeth.  Your lips have to provide an additional function, that is they also have to keep your food, and especially the liquids in your mouth from being squeezed out of your mouth, on to your chin and your clothes.  Your eating partners especially appreciate this function, since seeing your food coming out of your mouth is hardly neither appealing nor appetizing.  My problem with my lips is that they frequently got caught on my lower braces during chewing and made cuts on my lips that are very painful.  Luckily, wounds in your mouth heal much faster than on your skin, and after a few months, my lip muscles also adapted to their new functional parameters.


935972_586677598030630_1493679419_nThe last and most lasting difficulty is one that is probably most important and has long term ramifications; that is my ability to keep my teeth clean.  With braces on, there are much more nooks and crannies for food to get stuck in.  Normal cleaning regimen does not do a thorough job.  Even with proper tools and good dexterity, the cleaning process is tedious and took a long time.  That is why in our clinic, we stress good oral hygiene practice from day one of your orthodontic treatment.  On the day of getting your braces, we spend time teaching you how to clean your teeth properly.  We also provide tools that will help speed up the cleaning time.  One of those tools is an electric tooth brush.  I have always told my patients that if brushing is done properly, a manual tooth brush is as good as an electric tooth brush.  However, it does take better coordination and more diligence to achieve a proper cleaning with manual tooth brush.  So we provide an electric tooth brush with your orthodontic treatment help you with this important task.  The following is a scientific study that demonstrates the advantage of using an electric tooth brush in most people.



Good oral hygiene is a challenge for orthodontic patients because food readily becomes trapped around the brackets and under the archwires, and appliances are an obstruction to mechanical brushing. The purpose of this study was to compare plaque removal efficacy of 3 toothbrush treatments in orthodontic subjects.


This was a replicate-use, single-brushing, 3-treatment, examiner-blind, randomized, 6-period crossover study with washout periods of approximately 24 hours between visits. Forty-six adolescent and young adult patients with fixed orthodontics from a university clinic in Germany were randomized, based on computer-generated randomization, to 1 of 3 treatments: (1) oscillating-rotating electric toothbrush with a specially designed orthodontic brush head (Oral-B Triumph, OD17; Procter & Gamble, Cincinnati, Ohio); (2) the same electric toothbrush handle with a regular brush head (EB25; Procter & Gamble); and (3) a regular manual toothbrush (American Dental Association, Chicago, Ill). The primary outcome was the plaque score change from baseline, which we determined using digital plaque image analysis.


Forty-five subjects completed the study. The differences in mean plaque removal (95% confidence interval) between the electric toothbrush with an orthodontic brush head (6% [4.4%-7.6%]) or a regular brush head (3.8% [2.2%-5.3%]) and the manual toothbrush were significant (P <0.001). Plaque removal with the electric toothbrush with the orthodontic brush head was superior (2.2%; P = 0.007) to the regular brush head. No adverse events were seen.


The electric toothbrush, with either brush head, demonstrated significantly greater plaque removal over the manual brush. The orthodontic brush head was superior to the regular head.

This study and other similar helpful articles can be found on the American Association of Orthodontists’ website.  Proper care for you teeth will not only help you with good healthy teeth and gums during your orthodontic treatment, but will also promote good oral hygiene habits that will last a life time.  After all, with your orthodontic treatment, you will be rewarded with straight teeth and a great smile, why not keep that picture perfect smile for a life time?  Every time you visit your orthodontist, they will check your teeth for proper cleaning, but you will still need to visit your family dentist regularly for professional cleaning and check up to avoid unwanted decay or disease to your teeth and gums.