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All Posts in Category: Dental Care

Reinforcing Your Immune System in a Pandemic

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With the coronavirus wreaking havoc in every corner of the globe, we’re forced to remain isolated at home and brace for the worst case scenario. Until a vaccine is developed, our only internal line of defense against COVID-19 is our immune systems. The degree of symptoms vary from person to person with the most common symptoms being a fever, cough, and shortness of breath. It’s good to prepare your immune system just in case you’re infected, so here are a few tips on ensuring your immune system is pandemic battle ready:

1. Reduce Stress

We understand it’s hard not to stress out as we’re forced into social isolation, the economy has entered a recession, and none of us have a timeline of when things will go back to normal. However, stress releases hormones that affect your immune system and can make it less effective should you get infected. There are many ways to reduce stress: try meditation, exercise regularly, and take breaks to clear your mind.

2. Reduce inflammation

There are many foods that can cause inflammation in your body, such as sugar, processed meat, and alcohol. It’s good to avoid these foods so that your immune system’s resources can be diverted to fighting disease rather than food-related inflammation.

3. Exercise

Exercising three times a week can do wonders for boosting the immune system. Spending 30 minutes jogging at a moderate pace is a good approach. If you go too hard during each workout, then this can stress the body and have a negative effect, so keep exercise moderate and not strenuous.

4. Avoid toxins

Toxins such as mycotoxin from mold are brutal on the immune system. Other toxins can also be found in pesticides, chlorinated water, aromatic air fresheners, and general air pollution. Try and avoid these as much as possible so that they don’t heavily tax your immune system.

5. Rest

Finally, get adequate rest. Nothing hinders an immune system more than poor sleep and exhaustion. Times are stressful, but try to keep work-life balance in check as you work from home, and sleep on a consistent eight hour schedule.

Following these tips can ensure your immune system is in the best position to withstand any infection, including the current coronavirus. Stay healthy and safe.

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Keeping Your Smile Healthy for 2020

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It’s a new year! With 2020, there is this newfound excitement of working on yourself and living a healthier and happier life. While doing so, you can’t ignore having the perfect smile for all the memories you’ll make this year. In order to keep your smile healthy for 2020, you’ll need to follow a few simple steps:

1. Keep Brushing And Flossing

One of the most important steps that you need to implement to ensure a strict and effective home regimen for your oral health. This includes brushing and flossing your teeth two times a day, every day for at least two minutes per session. You also need to be aware of the right technique for home oral health.

  • Brush all the teeth every time, and be consistent when brushing across each tooth.
  • Hold the brush at a 45-degree angle gently against the gum line.
  • Brush from the base of the tooth up to the chewing surface.
  • Use short, round strokes for the front and the back of teeth.
  • Use short, sweeping strokes for the chewing surfaces.
  • Brush the tongue and roof of the mouth from back to front.
  • Replace toothbrushes every few months, or after any illness.
  • Floss every night before bed. 

2. Visit A Dentist Regularly

For this new year, make sure you’re visiting a dentist on a regular basis. Remember that preventive dentistry is much better (and less painful) than corrective dentistry. The best part is that you only need to see your dentist twice a year. If you wish to visit them more, you are free to do so. By visiting your cosmetic dentist regularly, you will be able to prevent any major dental conditions and your dentist will be able to maintain the required hygiene standards. If there are any existing conditions, your dentist will be able to identify them on time and help with the steps ahead.

3. Focus On A Healthy Diet

Diet is often ignored when it comes to oral health. However, food plays a crucial role in giving you the perfect smile for 2020. Food items like milk and other dairy products provide calcium that strengthens your teeth while whole grains and portions of pasta provide abundant nutrients to keep teeth and gums healthy. By maintaining a balanced and healthy diet, you are ensuring 360-degree wellness for your body and even your oral health.

By following these simple steps, you’ll keep your smile intact and healthy well into 2020.

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Why Professional Teeth Whitening Works Over OTC Options

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Pearly whites are highly sought after when it comes to having a picture-perfect smile. For may reasons, teeth often don’t have the whiteness or the luster. The cause of this ranges from tobacco use, coffee and wine stains, bad oral hygiene, etc. 

While yellow teeth aren’t harmful, they can affect one’s self-confidence and self-esteem. For those who want to do something about it, teeth whitening is a safe and effective option. There are two ways one can approach the treatment, either through a professional or with OTC teeth cleaning kits. While both of these methods are safe and effective, there’s a good reason to prefer a professional treatment over using OTC products.

1. It’s personalized

When opting for a professional treatment, dentists have the ability to analyze the severity (or lack thereof) of the discoloration. This allows them to recommend the right treatment and methods to get the best results possible. Everyone is different and their requirements differ too. Over the counter kits are standardized kits that are mass-marketed and thus won’t be able to cater to an individual’s needs and requirements.

2. It’s much safer

Dental bleaching although effective can have its side effects, especially if one has conditions that they aren’t aware of. While at-home kits are generally safe to use, they are also done in an unregulated environment. A small misstep can cause damage to the teeth. 

When done professionally, teeth whitening is done in a controlled environment by professionals that have years of experience under their belt. This makes the procedure safer. There are also various safety measures that are put into place to protect sensitive areas such as gums from the process.

3. The results are better

The biggest disadvantage of an at-home kit is that the results are highly unpredictable. The results often differ from person to person. Even with regular use, the shade change is not fixed and can vary. With professional treatments, there is a lack of a surprise element. The tools, equipment, and procedure used during the process guarantee a particular level of increase in the shade of the teeth. 

In Conclusion

Teeth whitening is a way to feel happy and confident and everyone deserves to experience this. Professional teeth cleaning is a way to assure that one receives the best of care, treatment and advice before, during and after the procedure, thus making the experience a lot safer and more effective in the long run.

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Recognizing Signs that You Have Periodontal Disease

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Recognizing Signs that You Have Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease is basically gum disease. 

Before the inflammation of the gum tissues surrounding the teeth morphs into periodontal disease, it’s known as gingivitis. 

However, not all cases of gingivitis progress to periodontal disease.

Signs of periodontal disease

  • Swollen gums
  • Red or purplish gums
  • Gums recede when pulled back
  • The gums are tender to the touch and bleed easily
  • Loose teeth because of the gums
  • Misaligned bite because teeth don’t fit together properly
  • Pus between the teeth

The above symptoms are typical for the three types of periodontal disease, with a few variations.

Chronic periodontal disease

This type of gum disease is prevalent in adults and is caused by the buildup of plaque. 

The disease permeates the gums progressively with the above symptoms occurring in phases over long periods of time. This type of periodontal disease is primarily as a result of poor oral hygiene.

Aggressive periodontal disease

When gum disease starts in childhood or puberty, it’s usually a hereditary condition that runs in the family. 

Unfortunately, aggressive periodontitis progresses rapidly and the time between the onset of the symptoms and actual tooth loss is very short and can have adverse effects when left untreated. 

This aggressive form of gum disease affects a small population.

Necrotizing periodontal disease

This gum disease is the most devastating form of the condition according to periodontists

The effects of necrotizing periodontitis include the death of the tissues, ligaments, and destruction of the bones around the teeth. 

These effects are caused by a lack of blood supply to the tooth, which results in very severe infection. This type of infection occurs in people with a suppressed immune system like people undergoing chemotherapy, HIV infected patients, and even severely malnourished individuals.

Periodontal disease can be avoided most of the time by focusing on sound oral health and having regular dental check-ups.

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How Sleep Apnea Can Be Affecting Your Health

How Sleep Apnea Can Be Affecting Your Health

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How Sleep Apnea Can Be Affecting Your Health

Sleep apnea is when your body stops breathing intermittently while you sleep.

Each time this happens, you’ll wake up to help resume breathing.

Waking up randomly throughout the night means poor quality of sleep, which in turn is not going to make the day feel any better.

It’s not just feeling tired during the day and poor sleep that’s the effects of sleep apnea. If untreated, sleep apnea can lead to more serious ailments such as diabetes, heart disease, liver disease, and many other chronic conditions.

How does it happen?

Sleep apnea occurs when airways become blocked or collapse while you sleep. This restricts airflow and your body wakes up to correct the blockage. A loud snore or snort usually happens when you wake up and start breathing again.

This brief interruption in breathing has a myriad of immediate and long-term effects on the body.

Let’s explore a few of them below:

Worsen existing breathing conditions

When sleep apnea occurs, it’s depriving your body of oxygen that can worsen existing conditions you have such asthma or any chronic pulmonary diseases. Moreover, over the long-term, it can affect your cardiovascular health resulting in you being short of breath more often and having trouble doing strenuous activities such as sports or exercising.

Develop insulin resistance

Sleep apnea also increases the chances of developing insulin resistance.

Insulin resistance is when your body’s cells stop responding to the hormone insulin. This means your blood sugar levels aren’t regulated and you’re a type 2 diabetic. This condition can also trigger further issues such as being more prone to conditions such as high cholesterol.

Digestive issues

Sleep apnea can also result in issues developing related to your digestive system. You’re at more risk to develop conditions such as fatty liver disease and liver scarring.

You’ll also face heartburn and acid reflux. All of these are chronic conditions that’ll deteriorate your quality of life.

Cardiovascular issues

Sleep apnea does no wonders for your heart either. It’s been linked to obesity and higher blood pressure, which in turn leads to various cardiovascular conditions such as arrhythmia, tachycardia, and abormal heart rhythm. It also increases your chance of facing a stroke and heart failure.

Nervous system

A specific type of sleep apnea known as central sleep apnea has been known to affect the nervous system. It interrupts brain signals that help regulate breathing and can result in symptoms in other parts of the body such as numbness or tingling.

Daily issues

In addition to these more serious long-term effects on your health. There are many daily issues that develop due to sleep apnea. You’ll experience more headaches, lack focus and be more irritable.

Sleep apnea does a lot more than just ruin a good night’s sleep. It can affect your health drastically and in multiple areas. Using treatments such as CPAP and other appliances, the condition is manageable and can reduce your risk of developing any long-term serious health conditions.

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Sedation Dentistry from Los Angeles Dentist Can Treat Adults with Autism

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Treating patients with Autism

It can be very difficult to find good dental care for patients with autism. Many dentists do not have the proper training or experience to handle autistic patients. Depending on the severity of the condition, the patient may be unable to cooperate with treatment or communicate effectively.

Because it is difficult for autistic individuals to get treatment, they are at high risk for dental disease. According to a 2012 study in the Journal of the American Dental Association, 32% of patients with developmental disorders had untreated cavities, and 80% had serious gum infections.

Often, sedation is the only way that an autistic patient can sit still during a dental appointment. Fortunately, some dentists do offer this option, such as Dr. Shervin M. Louie.

Shervin M. Louie, Dentist to the Stars

Dr. Louie has been practicing in Los Angeles since 1996, and is known as the “Dentist to the Stars” for his high volume of celebrity patients. His practice offers sedation dentistry for general patients, and for adults with autism.

Dr. Louie’s credentials include over twenty years of experience. From 1996-2006, he taught at the University of Southern California School of Dentistry. He is particularly recognized for his exceptional work in cosmetic and implant reconstruction dentistry.

Sedation Dentistry for Autistic Patients

Sedation is most often used for patients with a phobia of visiting the dentist. For autistic patients, this phobia can be magnified. The combination of unfamiliar surroundings, the noise from dental tools, and the dental work itself can make autistic patients agitated and stressed.

A responsible dentist such as Dr. Louie will always recommend the minimum amount of sedation necessary for each patient. In the case of autistic patients, Dr. Louie will take into account their age, motor ability, communicative skills, physical health, and emotional state.

Sedation is administered through several means. Inhaled sedation involves breathing nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, through a mask placed over the patient’s face. For oral sedation, the patient takes a pill that makes them groggy. Finally, IV sedation is administered directly into a vein, so it takes effect more quickly.

Visit Dr. Louie for Sedation Dentistry in Los Angeles

Dr. Louie does not perform pediatric dentistry at his practice. However, all adults are welcome, including those with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

A loved one should always be present to assist an autistic patient. There are many ways that parents, spouses, and caregivers can make an autistic patient more comfortable, such as taking them on a tour of the office before the appointment and bringing a familiar item such as a book or memento.

Dr. Louie is proud to offer dental care to this vulnerable portion of the population. Autistic patients have access to the dental care they need at the office of Shervin M. Louie, DDS.

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Chipped Tooth

Ugly Smile? Top 5 Reasons You Need a Smile Makeover

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Chipped Tooth

Are you tired of seeing discolored, chipped, or misaligned teeth whenever you look into the mirror? 

Perhaps you love your coffee and/or wine a tad more than everyone else. Or, maybe you were just dealt a bad genetic hand.

Whatever your reasons, you don’t have to put up with bad teeth. A smile makeover can enhance your teeth’s appearance and give you the confidence to unleash one of the most powerful social assets – a genuine grin.

What is a smile makeover?

A smile makeover is a form of cosmetic dentistry that combines multiple treatments to address the unique aesthetic needs of a particular patient. Depending on your needs, a smile makeover may include: 

  • Teeth whitening
  • Getting porcelain veneers
  • Dental bonding 
  • Gingival contouring 
  • Getting new dental crowns
  • Orthodontia
  • Dental implantation

Your dentist will advise you on the best dental procedures for your teeth. 

Why get a smile makeover?

A dental makeover comes with several perks, including: 

1. Improved self-confidence

Bad teeth can ruin your self-esteem and make it hard to socialize with your peers. When you feel self-conscious about your teeth or gums, you’ll find it difficult to smile, speak, laugh, or even eat around others.

Getting a smile makeover will restore your confidence in your smile and alleviate feelings of nervousness or self-consciousness around other people. As a result, your self-esteem will improve – and so will your overall wellbeing.

2. Restore damaged teeth

It’s no secret that poor oral hygiene can do a number on your teeth. Worse still, old tooth restoration procedures can adversely affect how your teeth age. For instance, amalgam silver fillings expand and contract according to the temperature in your mouth. This can crack your teeth and predispose them to decay and bacterial infections.

Fortunately, a dental makeover can be an effective fix. Teeth whitening procedures can remove all discoloration, while porcelain crowns can repair and protect damaged teeth. 

3. Career boost

Do you feel like your abilities go unnoticed at your workplace? Are you constantly overlooked when promotions arise? Do you miss out on new job opportunities even though you have all the qualifications?  

Believe it or not – an unsightly smile could be holding you back!

In the corporate world, first impressions matter. Thus, if you’re not smiling or speaking up enough because of your crooked teeth, then you’ll appear timid. And since corporates want to work with confident professionals, they might overlook your qualifications.

A genuine, good-looking smile can be a powerful addition to your resume; and a smile makeover is the best way to get it.

4. Spruce up your love life

Bad teeth can put a lasting dent on your love life. Whether it’s hiding your teeth with “serious-face” photos online or being less inviting in person; unsightly teeth can make it hard to connect with a potential partner.

Getting a smile makeover will improve your self-esteem and appearance, making it easier to meet and connect with new people. 

5. It won’t hurt

Let’s face it; many people dread a visit to the dentist’s office. And while some of that fear is justified, getting a dental makeover is a welcome exception.

Most of the treatments involved when getting a smile makeover have little to no pain. Furthermore, you can always ask your dentist about oral sedation and other practices that’ll make the procedures more comfortable for you. 

A smile makeover will change your life!

Don’t let unsightly teeth hold you back. With a dental makeover, you can correct your imperfections and unlock limitless potential in all aspects of your life. Schedule for a smile makeover today!

 

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Do Whole Grains Benefit Your Smile?

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Cosmetic contouring los angeles

Whole grains are an important source of minerals that keep your teeth healthy.

Research conducted at McMaster University in Canada has indicated that individuals who eat at least three servings of whole grains a day have longer-lasting teeth than those who eat processed foods.

Whole grains are rich in nutrients, including vitamins and minerals, as well as dietary fiber.

The dietary fiber from whole grains can help reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and obesity while also lowering blood cholesterol levels. 

Dietary fiber obtained from whole grains also reduces diverticulosis and constipation. Whole grains contain the entire grain kernel: bran, germ, and endosperm.

Several studies have shown that individuals who eat enough whole grains will experience dental benefits in the form of a lower risk of gum inflammation and periodontal disease. 

This is because the consumption of whole grains improves the body’s ability to process blood sugar.

The fact that whole grains can lower the risk of periodontitis follows a very simple mechanism. Whole grains improve glucose metabolism, which leads to lower levels of blood glucose. 

Diabetics have a reduced risk of periodontitis when they include whole grains in their healthy diet. 

Non-diabetics also benefit from the dental benefits introduced by whole grains.

Consuming three to four servings of whole grains, equivalent to three or four slices of whole wheat or whole grain bread, is necessary to reduce the risk of tooth-loosening gum inflammation or periodontitis.

Best Sources of Whole Grain

Eating enough whole grains doesn’t need to be difficult, and you don’t need to give up delicious foods as some people think. In fact, making small changes can go a long way in helping you and your family get your daily dose of whole grains.

  • Swap your morning cereal for a whole grain option
  • Use whole grain bread or wraps for sandwiches
  • Try a dinner loaded with whole grains by buying whole grain pasta
  • Instead of a side of potatoes, eat brown rice
  • Choose whole wheat hamburger or hot dog buns instead of white bread

When shopping for foods high in whole grains, look for the gold and black Whole Grain Stamp.

Recommended Daily Whole Grain Servings

The table below shows the recommended daily servings by age range and gender according to the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

Age Female Male
1-3 2 2
4-8 2.5 2.5
9-13 3 3.5
14-18 3.5 4
19-30 3.5 4.5
31+ 3 4

 

Whole grain intake improves glucose metabolism, resulting in lower levels of blood glucose. 

Although a diet rich in whole grains can help reduce the odds of developing dental problems, oral hygiene and regular dental visits must also be part of the process. 

Individuals need to brush twice a day and floss daily to remove excess dental plaque and follow up their due diligence with regular dental exams and checkups.

To make sure your teeth are strong and healthy, visit Shervin M. Louie DDS. Our practice offers everything from porcelain veneers to dental fillings to TMJ pain treatment.

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How Effective Teeth Whitening Can Be

This One Incredible Photo Shows How Effective Teeth Whitening Can Be

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How Effective Teeth Whitening Can Be

Stained and yellow teeth are a real bummer. They can affect your entire appearance and make you feel self-conscious about smiling.

Nobody should ever have to feel bad about showing their smile.

Fortunately, you can get amazing results from professional teeth whitening, just like in this photo!

Whitening treatments applied at a dentist’s office have higher concentrations of whitening agents than at-home whitening kits. That means you’ll get even more dazzling and long-lasting results.

Here’s what to know about professional teeth whitening…

Better results than over-the-counter whiteners

Although over-the-counter whitening products, like strips and gels, can provide results, professional teeth whitening delivers the best results possible. And it doesn’t take much time at all. In fact, you can get it done in a single 60 to 90 minute visit to a dentist.

Getting your teeth whitened professionally is also safer than using products at home. A dentist trained in teeth whitening knows how to protect your lips, gums, cheeks, and tongue from the whitening agents.

How teeth whitening works

Professional teeth whitening is a fairly simple dental procedure. The first step is for the dentist to examine the current shade of your teeth and show you about the shade you can expect when the procedure is complete.

Before applying any whitening agents, your teeth will then be cleaned to remove surface plaque. Gauze and dental retractors may be placed in your mouth to kto keep the whitening agent away from soft tissue areas like the cheeks, lips, and tongue.

eep the teeth dry and They will also place a barrier along your gums to protect them from exposure to the whitening agent.

Then, the whitening solution is applied and left on your teeth for 30 to 60 minutes. The dentist may use a curing light to activate the solution. Finally, the teeth are rinsed off, and the dentist may apply fluoride to reduce sensitivity after the treatment.

What to expect afterward

You may need to schedule additional dental visits until you reach the shade of teeth that you want. How many treatments you will need depends on how stained your teeth are to begin with.

For the first 24 hours after a teeth whitening treatment, you should avoid foods that are known to cause stains:

  •       Coffee
  •       Tea
  •       Tomato sauce
  •       Mustard
  •       Beets
  •       Candy
  •       Red wine

It’s also best to avoid smoking or chewing tobacco, which can tarnish the results. The longer you can avoid these, the more lasting your whitening results will be.

In addition to avoiding foods and products that could restain your teeth, it’s a good idea to avoid extremely hot or cold foods for the first day after the procedure. This is to avoid the pain associated with tooth sensitivity, which is common after bleaching.

Alternatives if professional teeth bleaching is not for you

If your previous dental work or poor gum health prevents you from receiving teeth bleaching treatments, there are some other things you can do:

  •       Get regular dental cleanings done at a dental office to remove plaque and stains.
  •       Get veneers or bonding to improve the appearance of teeth with restorative work.
  •       Use a whitening toothpaste.

Taking steps to whiten your teeth really can make a difference in how you look and feel. Talk to a dentist about your options.

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Advantages of Getting Invisalign

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Los angeles ca dentist

The advantages of using the Invisalign system are greater than simply achieving a beautiful smile. With Invisalign’s clear, comfortable, and removable devices, you can expect to see significant and lasting results as well as a variety of oral health benefits.

What is Invisalign?

Invisalign is a highly effective teeth alignment program that provides a welcomed alternative to traditional wire braces—in less time. Invisalign corrects any tooth abnormality, including over-bites, under-bites, cross-bites, overcrowded, gapped and protruding teeth. But that’s not all. Here are some of the added benefits of using Invisalign:

Overall health

In addition to fixing crooked, crowded and gapped teeth, Invisalign also corrects abnormal bite functions: for example, when the upper and lower jaws fail to align properly when your mouth is closed. If bite issues are left unmanaged, they can lead to further oral health problems, like cavities, tooth loss, gum infections, erosion of tooth enamel and difficulty speaking and/or eating.

Gum disease is a major factor in mouths where teeth are too widely spaced or crowded. Once your teeth are properly aligned, gums fit around them more snugly, providing a stronger defense against infections. The straighter your teeth, the healthier your mouth.

Comfort

Invisalign aligners gradually and gently move teeth into their proper positions, without the unsightly metal brackets that come with traditional braces. Invisalign appliances are made from medical-grade polyurethane resin; their smooth, soft edges provide greater control throughout the teeth-straightening process, shifting your teeth slightly, vertically and horizontally. They are virtually indestructible, invisible and best of all, comfortable—and, also unlike metal braces, Invisalign aligners are removable, allowing you to brush and floss your teeth as normal while maintaining a greater level of oral hygiene.

Convenience

Another benefit to choosing Invisalign is that you get to spend more time doing what you love, and less time in a dentist’s chair. Unlike conventional fixed braces, typical Invisalign treatment plans last about 12 months, with the aligners worn roughly 22 hours per day. That means fewer in-person check-ups!

Invisalign also grants you the freedom to continue enjoying the foods you love. Simply remove your aligner and tuck into corn on the cob, whole apples, and other previously tricky solids that wreaked havoc on wire braces and allowed for trapped debris, thus leading to tooth decay and gum disease.

Boost in confidence

Invisalign can drastically boost your self-confidence by allowing you to show off your beautiful smile—with the added knowledge that your oral health is in top condition.

Teens and young adults

Protruding, crooked or even missing teeth can have a detrimental effect on the self-esteem of teenagers and young adults, resulting in feelings of unattractiveness. Teens who experience low levels of self-confidence during their formative years are vulnerable to negative influences and are more likely to become depressed. Fortunately, teens are now opting for the Invisalign treatment over conventional braces due to the former’s discreet and unnoticeable fit.

If you still have questions about Invisalign, our experts at Shervin M. Louie, DDS are always available to help. Call today!

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