Dental Care Monthly Updates

Oral Hygiene Tips & More

We do our best to keep you informed on how to maintain a beautiful smile!


AdobeStock_258026937-1200x800.jpeg

If you are dreaming of getting that perfect smile but dread the look of metal braces, you have probably decided on clear aligners being your best option. They give you the opportunity to straighten your teeth without the outward appearance of braces. At Belvedere Family Dentistry and Orthodontics we realize there are a growing number of clear aligner options from you to choose from. We have worked together to provide you with the information below comparing two of the most popular methods, SmileDirect and Invisalign treatments, to achieve your dream smile. 

Invisalign requires that patients physically visit Belvedere’s office for their original consultation and to acquire their treatment. It begins with a face-to-face assessment with your dentist to determine your treatment plan. During this first assessment, bring up any concerns you may have about the treatment and our experienced dentists will answer right away! Your highly-trained dentist will be available throughout your entire Invisalign process, monitoring your progress closely and making it easy to adjust your treatment if necessary. 

Smile Direct is done entirely through virtual communication, which means you will never come in and see a dentist for the length of your treatment process. The treatment begins with a smile assessment online, a teeth scan at a local SmileShop, a remote dental review, and ends with your clear aligners coming in the mail. A general dentist, who can become qualified to prescribe Smile Direct after only three weeks of training, will be available to review your aligners. Although this process sounds more convenient, it is not always the best route to take. 

Since Smile Direct does not have the dental expertise, it is not equipped to handle any major realignment issues. Invisalign can handle complex issues with your teeth, including gaps, overbites, underbites, spacing, crowding and cross-bites. We know many patients are attracted to Smile Direct because of its price tag. However, Invisalign is a more expensive treatment because you are getting face-to-face dental expertise. Invisalign offers long term results that are monitored by your dentist throughout your entire treatment process and even after that!

If you want to achieve your dream smile with the help of Invisalign please reach out to our front desk at 704-927-5499 or schedule online to book your consultation for Invisalign treatment today!


AdobeStock_245603787-1-1200x800.jpeg

Invisalign is a great way to straighten your teeth and get that amazing smile you have always dreamed about without invasive metal wires or rubber bands. Our last blog post talked about the benefits of Invisalign and if you would make a good candidate for the treatment. Now we put our heads together to give you a little more intel into what you should expect over the entire course of your Invisalign treatment.

The first step of your Invisalign journey is to schedule your free consultation with one of our experts at Belvedere Family Dentistry. Your dentist will confirm that you are a good candidate for the treatment. This includes the confirmation that you are willing and able to wear your clear aligners for 20 – 22 hours a day. Once you are clear on the proper guidelines of the treatment, together we will create your perfect treatment plan. This includes x-rays, photographs and impressions of your smile that we will use to create a digital map of your smile transformation. With Invisalign’s advanced technology you will be able to see a sneak peak of your teeth in alignment post treatment. When we, and you, are both satisfied with your new smile renderings, we will order your first set of clear aligners. Once these aligners arrive, you will come in for a second appointment with us where we will further explain the process and ensure the trays are properly molded to your mouth. 

Each aligner is worn for one to two weeks to slowly, deliberately shift your teeth into alignment. You may feel slight pressure or soreness in your jaw each time you begin to wear a new aligner, but this should help you notice your teeth getting straighter and straighter in no time. You must only remove your Invisalign as you need to eat, drink anything besides water or are brushing your teeth. It is imperative that you wear them as much as possible to see the results you want in the timeframe we have quoted.

Every 6 – 8 weeks, you will need to come back in to our office to receive your next set of aligners and allow us to monitor your progress. Once you are through all of the trays, it is possible to have that smile you always wanted! However, sometimes there are a few teeth that still need work. If this is the case, your dentist will order “refinement” trays that will gently move those stubborn teeth still bent a bit out of place. 

Invisalign is a great option to get your dream smile! It should only be chosen if you know you can be responsible for maintaining good oral hygiene, are able to wear the aligners 20 – 22 hours a day, and will not misplace your trays as you take them out. If you have any questions, please call our front desk at 704-927-5499 or schedule online to book your consultation for Invisalign treatment today!


AdobeStock_265352288-1200x800.jpeg

The majority of our patients at Belvedere Family Dentistry & Orthodontics would love to be able to flash a bright, perfectly straight smile everyday, but many do not want to go through an orthodontic journey for aesthetic reasons. We offer an effective, more subtle alternative to traditional braces and metal appliances through Invisalign treatment. But how can you determine if Invisalign is the best solution for your individual needs? Our experts have broken down that answer for you below!

Can Invisalign Successfully Straighten My Teeth?

Invisalign treatment has successfully fixed crooked teeth, mild overbites and underbites, cross bites, wide gaps between teeth and overcrowded teeth in cases across the globe and within this office! It can be used on both baby and permanent teeth to provide desirable results. Through a precise digital scan and personalized treatment plan, these clear, custom-fitted trays gently and gradually shift your teeth into your desired position, not only providing an aesthetically pleasing smile but also improving your overall health.

In some extreme cases, Invisalign is not able to push teeth into place in a safe and efficient manner. If your teeth are severely rotated (defined as more than 20 degrees) or if misalignment roots from a skeletal issue in your jawbone, it is likely that traditional braces or other more serious procedures will be necessary to successfully treat your case. Our dental team in uptown Charlotte is here to help you determine the best path for your individual orthodontic journey.

Am I A Good Candidate For Invisalign Treatment?

The ideal age for Invisalign treatment trends towards older teenagers and adults. Typically within this age range most of your teeth have fully grown in and the bones and muscles have matured to a point that development will not hinder the straightening process. It also takes a good deal of dedication and responsibility to successfully complete your Invisalign treatment, which can be lacking in younger children. We recommend that you wear your clear aligners 22 out of 24 hours every day, removing them to eat and drink anything besides water. You must also be sure to keep your aligners clean and not misplace them as you are removing them for each meal.

Of course, there are many more individual pieces that can be big determining factors for Invisalign or other orthodontic services. Call our front desk at 704-927-5499 or schedule online to book your consultation today and get help determining whether Invisalign treatment is right for you!

 


drink-drinking-female-1458671-1-1200x800.jpg

We all know drinking enough water is good for our health. And when you’re feeling parched, there’s nothing better than a tall drink of ice-cold water to dampen that dry mouth of yours. But what do you do when you find yourself constantly needing to wet your whistle?

There are numerous reasons you could be suffering from dry mouth. Below are the top five.

  1. Physiologic: Sometimes having a dry mouth is just a normal part of life. Temporary anxiety, open-mouthed breathing, mild dehydration, menopause, pregnancy, and decreased saliva due to sleep are all normal causes of dry mouth.
  2. Prescription medication: Sixty-three percent of the top 200 most commonly prescribed drugs in the U.S. are known to cause dry mouth. And the higher the number of medications a person takes, the higher the chance of dry mouth. That’s why as we age, we tend to experience more instances of dry mouth. It’s not necessarily age-related, but our consumption of medication may cause this side effect.
  3. Habitual use of alcohol and tobacco: Use of any of these products will dry out the oral cavity. Please drink in moderation, and make sure to up your water intake when you imbibe. As for tobacco, we always recommend quitting as soon as possible.
  4. Chronic Disease: Diabetes, Sjogren’s disease, Sarcoidosis, Hepatitic C can all cause dry mouth. Psychogenic or Idiopathic When symptoms are present without an identifiable cause (idiopathic), or because of psychological causes (psychogenic), they can be difficult to diagnose.

If you find yourself with a persistent, unidentifiable case of dry mouth, you should make an appointment with our dental professionals at Belvedere Family Dentistry. Figuring out which one is causing your dry mouth is so important because a dry mouth has a big effect on your dental health. Saliva is so important for swishing away bacteria. The dryer the mouth, the more prone you are to cavities, bad breath, and gingivitis. We recommend visiting us in uptown Charlotte or your primary care doctor for a consultation on why you may be experiencing a dry mouth. Call us at 704-927-5499 or use our easy online scheduler HERE.


AdobeStock_67850835-1200x653.jpeg

Some of the most common questions our patients ask at Belvedere Family Dentistry have to do with dental x-rays: Are they safe? Why do I or my kids need them? How often should I get them? These are great questions (and we love how much you prioritize your oral health). The answers can get complex quickly, so we’ll do our best to cover the basics for you in this post.

Let’s start with the most important question—safety. Both the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and the American Dental Association (ADA) test dental x-rays to make sure they’re safe for patients of all ages. These governing bodies revise their guidelines when any advances in science and technology provide new methods to reduce exposure. Thanks to faster film speeds, digital X-rays, and protective aprons and thyroid collars, the dental X-rays we provide today are far superior to those taken even just a few years ago.

This applies to children, too. Today’s X-rays are so safe, in fact, that the amount of radiation a child is exposed to through dental X-rays of their back molars is roughly equivalent to the amount of radiation they are exposed to in the environment on a daily basis.

Why Do You Need X-Rays?

Dental X-rays, also called radiographs, help your dentist spot conditions, like cavities, tooth misalignment, and abscesses, that they can’t see through a visual examination. X-rays are especially important for children because they are generally more susceptible to tooth decay than adults. The benefits of dental X-rays, which include diagnosing decay, pathology, or any abnormalities, far outweigh the risks of exposure to this minimal dose of radiation.

How Often Should I Get Them?

Your dental X-ray schedule depends on a number of factors, including your medical and dental history. Generally, patients without a history of cavities or dental disease are recommended to undergo one set of X-rays every two to three years. The best way to reduce the number of X-rays you need in your visits with us is to continue following a good oral hygiene regimen at home in between your regular, bi-annual appointments.

Wondering When You’re Due for X-Rays?

Call our front office at Belvedere Family Dentistry & Orthodontics today at 704-927-5499 to ask a member of our team about your dental history! We will be happy to help you schedule your next appointment if you are overdue, or if you know you have not had dental x-rays taken in a while you can quickly schedule online with us HERE.


benefits-of-mouthwash-1200x801.jpg

Are There Really Benefits of MouthWash?

Lots of our patients have questions surrounding mouthwash and the real benefits or disadvantages of using it regularly. Here’s our truth: mouthwash makes your breath smell good, but it could never take the place of regular brushing and flossing. We’ve put together all the facts for you to decide whether you want to continue rinsing with your mouthwash.

A lot of brands will claim that their mouthwash cures all kinds of dental issues, and many may actually aid some of your oral hygiene problems, but by themselves they cannot keep your oral health on its A game.

The Benefits of Using Mouthwash

The benefit you receive from using mouthwash depends on the mouthwash’s active ingredient. Some brands include low concentrations of hydrogen peroxide, which can help whiten your teeth with minimal bleaching so your gums will not be harmed. A mouthwash based with alcohol is helpful and very effective in killing germs, helping to fight against plaque build up. One downside to an alcohol base can be abnormal dry mouth. Lastly, fluoride based mouthwash brands can prevent cavities during a full minute rinse (as the label instructs for best effects.)

What Will Happen If You Quit Using Mouthwash?

The most beneficial and important steps you can take to maintain good oral health are thoroughly brushing and flossing your teeth daily as well as attending your regular professional cleanings with us at Belvedere Family Dentistry. Outside of those methods, mouthwash is really important on a case by case basis. If you are prone to cavities or periodontal disease, mouthwash could be a good option for you. Call us today at 704-927-5499 to talk to one of our dental professionals about the best cleaning regimen for your individual oral health! If you would prefer an in person evaluation, please take just one minute to use our easy online appointment scheduler to book your next visit HERE!


face-facial-expression-girl-925387-copy-1200x901.jpg

Imagine it’s still winter … you’re standing at the door, ready to brave the cold. You’re layered-up with three shirts and a sweatshirt, your heavy winter coat, and two layers of socks underneath your waterproof winter boots. Then you’ve got those awesome jeans with the flannel on the inside, your comfy hat, scarf, and gloves. You’re set! But wait. As you step toward the door, you suddenly realize you have an itch … and it’s deep down … buried beneath all those layers. And, try as you may, every attempt to reach that bugger-of-an-itch fails. Defeated, you realize the only relief you’re ever gonna’ get is to remove each one of those layers. Where are we going with this?!

The Tongue

We’re going inside your mouth, of course, to your tongue – this is a dental article, after all! Because whether you know it or not, like you in the wintertime, your tongue is also “all covered up” – buried beneath layers of bacteria, fungi, and food residue that can inhibit your ability to taste, let alone cause your tongue to appear various shades of yellow, white, or green! Remove the bacteria, though, and your food will once again directly interact with those taste buds, and return to its natural hue. So how does one do that? With a tongue scraper, of course!

WHAT is a tongue scraper?

A tongue scraper is a U-shaped device designed to “scrape” the top layer of scum from your tongue. They have been in use since ancient times, and have been made of everything from wood to whalebone. Nowadays, they are made of more hygienic material, and come in a variety of shapes, sizes, designs and colors.

WHY use a tongue scraper?

The residue on your tongue includes things like the cavity-inducing Streptococcus mutans bacterium, fungi, rotting food (that’s not good), and what’s referred to as “volatile sulfur compounds.” In other words, sulfur – that “rotting egg smell.” Talk about ew! So, as you can see, there are several reasons why you’d want to get rid of this gunk in your mouth. Let’s tackle them one by one:

  • Reduce bad breath: ‘nuff said!
  • Reduce your risk of periodontal disease and cavities: Bad bacteria contribute to plaque and tartar on teeth, making them more susceptible to cavities. Bacteria build-up can also lead to inflammation of gum tissue (gingivitis). If left untreated, gingivitis can lead to periodontal disease, which means a more expensive dental visit (plus other unwanted consequences!). Speaking of avoiding an expensive dental visit, when was the last time you came in to see us? Come see us now if it’s been awhile, by calling in at 704-927-5499.
  • Make room for good bacteria
  • Prevent heart disease? While the debate is still up in the air, some studies suggest there could be a correlation between gum disease and heart disease.

HOW does one use a tongue scraper?

In general, make sure to rinse your tongue scraper before and after use. Apply the tongue scraper to the back of your tongue and drag it forward. Then, rinse and repeat. Make sure to get the sides of your tongue as well, not just the center! Make sure not to press too hard or you can cause yourself to bleed. And, if you’re wondering if you should scrape your tongue while recovering from a dental procedure, that’s a good question … ask your dentist for the best advice particular to your situation. Still not sure how this thing really works? The next time you’re in ask Dr. Bansch for a quick tutorial!

WHERE do I buy one?

Tongue scrapers are relatively inexpensive, and can be found at any local drugstore. It doesn’t matter the material, color, or brand – just find the one you like and get scraping!


Heart-Health-Month.png

It’s National Heart Health Month! Did you know that oral health can be directly linked to heart health? Delta Dental has recently provided evidence that gum disease in both moderate and advanced stages puts you at a greater risk for developing heart disease than you be with healthy gums. Regular oral screenings can also help point doctors to a variety of other diseases that may start with warning signs in your mouth.

How Does Your Oral Health Connect to Your Heart?

Every system in your body is connected. Just like consuming food through your mouth makes its way to your stomach, any bacteria or germs that start off in your mouth can fairly easily be spread throughout the rest of your body through your blood stream.Mayo Clinic and theAmerican Heart Association have been able to show that this bacteria can actually attach itself to any already damaged areas when it gets to your heart. The attached bacteria can then lead to further inflammation, which has been linked to clogged arteries and even strokes.

Are You At Risk?

People who suffer from chronic gum diseases like gingivitis or advanced periodontitis are at the highest risk for developing heart disease as a direct cause of poor oral health and dental hygiene. It is important to know that plaque buildup from skipping just one brushing or flossing session a week can easily add up to create issues with your gums.

  • Common Symptoms and Warning Signs
  • Red or swollen gums
  • Soreness and discomfort in your gums
  • Excessive bleeding when your floss or brush your teeth
  • Newfound misalignment or the feeling of teeth moving away from each other
  • Receding gum lines

How To Prevent Heart and Oral Diseases

Keeping up with your regular cleanings and examinations here at Belvedere Family Dentistry & Orthodontics is extremely important in protecting yourself against harmful bacteria and diseases. Call our front desk today at 704-927-5499 to schedule your next appointment with us! If you have any concerns surrounding your oral health, and gum diseases especially, be sure to talk to one of our dentist and explain all of your symptoms.

Read this article by Tracey Sandilands, published for Colgate, to learn more about how your heart and mouth are related and what you should do to prevent disease from growing.


BleedingGums-1200x801.jpg

Seeing some red in the sink after brushing or flossing may raise an eyebrow or two. It may seem like your gums are bleeding for no reason. But before you venture down the rabbit hole of what-ifs, consider these common causes of bleeding gums.

Common Causes of Bleeding Gums

  • Vigorous Toothbrushing: The extra oomph you’ve put into your brushing since your most recent visit may be the first place to look. Instead of brushing with the vigor you’d use while scrubbing a stack of plates after Thanksgiving, aim for gentle and patient: place the bristles along your gums at a 45-degree angle, and gently brush two to three teeth at a time.
  • Inadequate or Forceful Flossing: Changing your flossing routine can also cause your gums to bleed. If you’ve returned to regular flossing after a little hiatus or if you’re flossing more forcefully than usual, bleeding is common. Remember to floss daily and with ease.
  • Medication: Some over-the-counter medications, including aspirin, as well as prescription drugs, like blood thinners, may lead to gum bleeding. Be sure to let us know which medications you’re taking, and keep us in the loop if you and your healthcare provider change your medications.
  • Vitamin Deficiency: A deficiency in vitamins is a common factor in gum bleeding. Vitamin A helps form your teeth and protects your mouth’s membranes; vitamin C helps maintain the health of your teeth and gums; and vitamin K ensures your blood clots. If you’ve upped your hygiene game but still spot blood after brushing, try adding more vitamin-rich foods to your diet.
  • Gingivitis and Periodontitis: Gum bleeding, as well as swelling and tenderness, is a common symptom of gingivitis and periodontitis. Often due to poor oral hygiene, both gingivitis and the more-serious periodontitis do require treatment.

When It’s Time for a Visit

If you do make these suggested changes to your oral health routine but the bleeding doesn’t improve within 10 days, it’s best to come in to Belvedere Family Dentistry for a visit. Give us a call today at 704-927-5499 or schedule your next appointment online now!






Uptown Charlotte Dentistry & Orthodontics

Specializing in Braces, Invisalign, Composite Bonding, Veneers and Crowns.

We do our best to make it easy for you to get the beautiful smile you deserve! Our office accepts nearly all major insurance plans. Even though dental insurance is a private arrangement between you and your company, we will file your claim, handle all the paperwork, and help you get maximum insurance benefits.


NEW PATIENT EXPERIENCE

Download our
new patient forms



ORAL HYGIENE TIPS

Dental hygiene tips, cavities, oral care… we’re blogging about it.



Follow us

Stay Informed

Don’t Miss Out On Dental Tips or Special Discounts.



Copyright 2018. Belvedere Family Dentistry . Charlotte NC Dentists.

Belvedere Dentistry & Orthodontics