More Myths, Busted

More Myths, Busted

Myth: Braces are bulky and painful

Fact: With continuous developments in orthodontic technology, the size of braces has been greatly reduced. In addition, the smaller size provides better aesthetics and also makes it easier for patients to keep their teeth clean. The wires that are now used give patients a gentle yet effective treatment experience as well. After an adjustment appointment, braces become more comfortable – just like when you buy a new pair of shoes and you have to break them in!


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Myth: Kids should be seen by an orthodontist only after they get all their adult teeth

Fact: The American Association of Orthodontists recommends children to have a consultation with a Certified Orthodontist Specialist by the age of seven. Although most children will grow healthily without the need of early orthodontic intervention, some children experience dental problems that should be addressed at an early age, to prevent the situation from getting worse. These problems may not be obvious and will require an assessment to determine the best course of action.


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Myth: Braces will ruin my lifestyle and prevent me from doing the things I love

Fact: You can do almost anything during orthodontic treatment – sing, play musical instruments, play sports, etc. You may have to adjust to doing these activities with braces such as wearing a mouth guard when playing a sport, but you will be able to still enjoy these activities.


Your Myths, Busted

Your Myths, Busted

Since braces have been around so long, people have developed these preconceived ideas on what they think or think they know about braces. Well, we’re here to get at the truths behind those myths.


Myth: I’m too old for braces, they’re only for kids!

Fact: Actually, one in five orthodontic patients is an adult. Age is not a problem as long as your teeth and gums are healthy. There are also various types of orthodontic appliances that are more aesthetically pleasing than traditional metal braces like Invisalign.



Myth: Only metal braces can straighten teeth!

Fact: There are many types of orthodontic appliances that can straighten teeth besides the traditional metal braces, such as ceramic (clear) braces, Invisalign, and lingual braces (braces that are mounted on the back side of the teeth). All these options are available to patients, and we will review which option is best for you.



Myth: I only have a little bit of crowding, but my smile looks fine. I don’t need braces!

Fact: Besides having a beautiful smile, having straight teeth makes it easier for you to keep your teeth clean. When teeth are crowded and overlapped, there are many crevices where food, plaque, and tartar can be trapped. This can lead to more incidences of cavities and periodontal disease if a person’s oral hygiene regiment is not satisfactory. Straight teeth make it easier to floss and brush, thereby reducing the chance of having bad dental problems. A bad bite can also cause abnormal wear of tooth’s surfaces and cause difficulty in chewing and speaking.


Have more myths or questions about braces? Contact us and we will get those myths busted too!

The Process of Getting Invisalign Braces: An Overview

The Process of Getting Invisalign Braces: An Overview

The process of getting Invisalign is a relatively easy process for patients, but it is an important dental and financial decision for your long-term dental health. To begin the process, you will be given an initial consultation to discuss your needs and to evaluate if the Invisalign treatment is right for your needs. This will also give you a chance to become comfortable with your Invisalign provider, like PacificWest Dental, and to discuss any questions or concerns you may have before starting the treatment.

During the consultation, a specialized scanner will be used to create a precise digital image of your mouth.  Physical impressions may also be taken. From these images, a treatment plan will be mapped out for you, including the movement of your teeth and the expected length of treatment. If you decide to go ahead with treatment, your first set of aligners will be ordered for you.

Once your aligners are ready, you will be instructed to wear them between 20 to 22 hours per day for best results. You will be asked to take the aligners out in order to eat, brush, and floss daily. You will likely be switching to a new set of aligners approximately every week, and will be expected to go in for checkups around every six weeks. Throughout the weeks, your teeth will gradually start to shift into their intended places.

When treated is finished, a retainer may be recommended for you. These retainers are custom made for your mouth using the same technology as the Invisalign aligners.  Upon the finishing of your treatment, your smile will be ready to go out and show to the world!

Braces for Young Adults

Braces for Young Adults

As a young adult, having braces is probably not on your list of high priority items. The thought of getting braces likely hasn’t even crossed your mind. However, more and more adults have been getting braces, and on average 1 in 5 orthodontic patients are adults. While you may think that braces are for teenagers or that you don’t need to look like a brace face right now, do know that the process has become more than just putting metal in your mouth.

For starters, there are various treatment options to suit your budget and needs. If you don’t want the traditional metal braces because of aesthetics, you can choose Invisalign, ceramic brackets, or lingual braces. You’ve likely heard of Invisalign before, and there’s a reason for that. When Invisalign first entered the market, they were revolutionizing the way people experienced braces. The use of removable, customized “invisible” aligners to move your teeth met the needs of people who wanted the process to be subtle. Invisalign continues to be a great option for those who can take on the responsibility of following a schedule and not losing their aligners (they can be expensive to replace)!

Another option is the use of ceramic brackets, which clearish-white and blend in well with your natural teeth colour. You wouldn’t see younger patients with ceramic brackets because they are more delicate, so they are a perfect alternative to metal brackets for young adults. Alternatively, you can choose to have lingual braces, which are metal brackets attached to the inner side of your teeth. This allows you to go through your treatment process without your brackets being visible to anyone!

Even if you opt for the traditional metal braces, you can still accelerate your treatment duration with readily available technology. For example, there’s a device called the Propel Excellerator that stimulates the root of your teeth to encourage faster movement of your teeth. That way, your teeth can become aligned in a shorter amount of time. There’s also the Propel VPro5, a take-home kit that also encourages more movement of your teeth. Studies have also shown these movements help the bones retain the teeth’s new position better than without these technologies.

Whatever approach you take to your braces treatment, remember you should choose what you are most comfortable with. The team at PacificWest Dental will provide you all the information you require to support you in making your decision.

How to Choose the Best Orthodontist For You

How to Choose the Best Orthodontist For You

Everyone has different needs they want addressed when choosing a medical professional. Whether it’s a personality fit or a budget fit, or something else, we get it. That’s why many orthodontists, including PacificWest Dental, offer a free initial consultation so you can get to know us better. Here are some things to consider when choosing the best orthodontist for you:

  1. First impression – What were your thoughts when you first walked into the office? Did you feel welcomed? Trusting your gut instinct applies with many decisions, and is arguably one of the more decisive factors when making a decision
  2. Location – Is the office located somewhere convenient for you? Think about where you will be coming from before an appointment, and where you will need to go afterwards. Is the office location on the way?
  3. Reviews – In the world of unlimited, easy access information, of course you are going to see what other people have to say about orthodontists! Braces are an investment, and we want you to make an informed decision on who you do your treatment with
  4. Hours – Think about whether it will be easy for you to take time off to go to an appointment, or you require weekend or evening appointments to fit around your schedule. Again, choose what is convenient for you!
  5. Professional relationship – When you went to your first consultation, how did you feel about the orthodontist? Did you feel comfortable and able to ask any questions you had? You will be seeing the orthodontist for at least a year, so make sure you are comfortable with him or her!
  6. Budget – At the end of the day, you’re probably looking at your budget and insurance coverage to see what would be most suitable for you. You should also look at the payment options available to you and whether or not it meets your needs
  7. Bonus offers – How does an orthodontic practice go above and beyond what is expected of them? Do they have a rewards program for patients? Or do draws throughout the year? These are offers that may make your treatment just that much more enjoyable for you

We know that braces are an investment and hope you are able to find the orthodontist that is best for you. With over 20 years of experience giving patients a beautiful smile, we believe the team at PacificWest Dental is the right choice for you. Feel free to contact us for your free initial consultation – we look forward to meeting you!

Technology and Its Role in Orthodontics

Technology and Its Role in Orthodontics

When people think about technology, braces is not usually the first thing that comes to mind. Technology has driven many developments in our lifetime so far, from smartphones to augmented reality. But, did you also know technology has been playing a role in improving orthodontic treatments?

Technology plays a role in the braces treatment process right from the beginning during the patient assessment. Traditionally, a physical impression is taken of your teeth to create a mould. This was a process that many patients did not like, as it was uncomfortable and unpleasant. Fortunately, orthodontists can now improve the patient experience with the iTero Scanner. The iTero Scanner has a small camera built in that takes hundreds of pictures of your teeth. The software then produces a digital 3D impression of your mouth and teeth using these pictures, eliminating the need for a mould! This allows orthodontists to more accurately examine your teeth and identify the necessary treatment. More importantly, it creates a stress-free process for patients!

To address the literal pain point of braces, laser therapy has been adapted to minimize the pain that is frequently associated with orthodontic treatment. When your braces get tightened at each appointment, you tend to feel general soreness in your mouth. That’s because your teeth are being moved into a new direction. While this pain is a sign of being closer to perfect alignment, the pain itself is not enjoyable. Painkillers, such as Ibuprofen, are commonly used to manage discomfort, but can also slow down your teeth’s movement and prolong the treatment. A new alternative to pain management is Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT). LLLT has been used in the medical field for decades to reduce pain and promote healing. It uses low emitting lasers that is applied directly onto the area of discomfort, and has no systemic side effect to your body. LLLT can be used in conjunction with the initial appliance placement and regular adjustment appointments throughout the whole braces treatment; a 5-10 minutes sessions is all it takes to effectively reduce the pain and discomfort!

When you take a step back and think about what the goal of braces are, it’s to move teeth into a straight and healthy alignment. We talked about the science behind braces and how the bone changes around your teeth to allow for tooth movement. Building on that, devices like PropelVPro5 and Propel Excellerator have entered the market to offer accelerated orthodontic treatments. These tools work by increasing the blood flow and stimulating the turnover of the bone around your teeth. Studies have proven these procedures can significantly reduce treatment time and encourage certain movements that would otherwise be too difficult to achieve without these tools.

Thanks to these new options, you can think of braces as wearable technology. The treatment process is now more effective and efficient than we ever thought possible, making your braces experience that much better!



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