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Invisalign helps move your teeth into position for your healthiest, happiest smile. But does that process hurt?

Everyone is Different

During that first week of Invisalign treatment, expect your aligners to be very snug. Your dentist will show you how to take them in and out, but it may be a bit difficult at first. Removing your aligners will become easier over time as the aligners loosen up. Since the aligners are designed to begin actively moving your teeth, you’ll likely feel some discomfort for the first few days.

Because Invisalign forces your teeth into new positions, they have to be hard and durable. Each tray is made of molded plastic. Depending on the type of Invisalign treatment you choose, the trim line of your aligners can vary significantly. The more plastic that is left on your set of trays can create more friction points in your mouth. Patients can deal with these issues using dental wax or filing rough spots, giving them a measure of Invisalign pain relief.

When a tooth is cracked or has a significant cavity, bacteria is able to enter the pulp, and if left untreated, can lead to serious infection, bone loss, or the loss of the tooth itself. A root canal is a dental treatment used to repair a diseased tooth by removing the pulp inside of the tooth and filling the canal to seal the space. This procedure can help save your teeth for a lifetime. Your dentist may recommend a root canal when your tooth shows signs of infection or significant pulpal nerve damage.

Think you might need a root canal? Here are some signs to look for.

Discoloration of Your Gums

Infection at the roots of your teeth can show up as gum discoloration. Your normal shade of gums is probably familiar to you, but if there’s a patch that’s darker than the rest, infection near a tooth’s root may be to blame.

It’s that time of year again when summer comes to a close and kids are back in the classroom. Send them to school with a healthy smile with these tasty foods.


Fruits are easy to pack and full of vitamins and fiber. Remember to choose real fruit instead of fruit leathers or fruit gummies, as these treats stick in the pits of the teeth and cause cavities.


Most veggies are readily portable with very little prep needed. Their crunch helps clean teeth, so try some carrots or celery sticks with hummus to dip in.

Did you know that Americans, on average, drink over two cups of coffee every day? While it’s how many adults kick off their morning, drinking an excessive amount of coffee can affect your mouth, teeth, and gums in negative ways.

Teeth Stains

The surface of your teeth may look smooth, but the layer of enamel covering your teeth contains numerous ridges and cracks. Food particles and pigments from different beverages, such as coffee, will embed in these ridges and cracks, which discolors the surface of your teeth. Without intervention, such as proper brushing, routine cleanings by your dentist, and whitening treatments, the coffee stains will become more difficult to remove.

Researchers estimate 12-31% of adults grind their teeth at night, most of whom are undiagnosed. The most common cause of teeth grinding while you’re awake is stress and anxiety. The most common cause of teeth grinding while sleeping is a sleep disorder like obstructive sleep apnea. Here’s a list of seven common causes of teeth grinding.

1. Sleep Apnea

Many experts agree that the most common underlying causes of nighttime teeth grinding are sleep apnea and sleep-disordered breathing. If you grind your teeth at night, it’s likely your brain signaling you to grind your teeth so you wake up just long enough to start breathing again. Sleep apnea may be caused by poor airway health—when your tongue is too big for your oral cavity, obstructing the upper airway and resulting in halted breathing during sleep.

A mom who cares for herself is also caring for her unborn child—that's especially true when it comes to oral health. When you take care of your teeth and gums, it can potentially make a difference for your baby, both before and after birth.

It's common for a future mom's tooth and gum health to decline during pregnancy. Some causes include:

  • Everyone's tired at the end of the day, but add in a pregnancy, and that leads to a whole new level of exhaustion. As a result, routine nighttime brushing and flossing can get skipped—in addition to regular dental visits.
  • Hormonal changes during pregnancy can endanger the health of mom's gums and cause pregnancy gingivitis. Untreated gingivitis can lead to periodontitis—a more serious form of gum disease that includes bone loss.
  • Eating more often during pregnancy is common, but frequent snacking and grazing puts teeth in constant contact with acid in food. This also leads to increased production of acid-loving bacteria.
  • When choosing a prenatal vitamin, steer clear of chewy or gummy vitamins, especially if you’re eating them after brushing your teeth or before bed. They stick on the teeth and most contain sugar that can damage teeth.

Manual and electric toothbrushes are both great options—as long as you’re brushing at a 45-degree angle on your gums and use a soft bristled brush. However, there are pros and cons of both. We’ve compiled a list to help you make the best decision for your teeth.

Electric Toothbrush: Pros

  • An electric toothbrush is easy to use. Not to mention, electric brushing is an exciting way to clean your teeth.
  • According to a consumer report, electronic toothbrushes remove 21% more plaque than manual brushes.
  • Plaque can build up in hard-to-reach places, such as in your braces. If you’re having a hard time keeping your braces clean, it might be time to make the switch to a brush that has a vibrating feature.
  • Lots of electric toothbrushes have a built-in timer. If you find yourself racing through your dental hygiene routine, an electric toothbrush can help automatically slow things down for you.

Good habits now can help kids avoid problems in the future resulting from poor oral health, including gum disease, cavities, and tooth decay. Some kids don’t like to brush their teeth because they find it boring. Don’t worry, brushing apps can help! Here are five brushing apps to try first.

Disney Magic Timer

As kids brush their teeth, hidden Disney and Marvel characters appear onscreen (twenty-three characters in all). When kids brush longer, they can win prizes for a magic album, which keeps track of their progress on a calendar and gives kids badges for every milestone they reach.

Chomper Chums

This cute app uses three cuddly animal characters to help promote oral health. Colorful animations reward kids when they brush twice a day for two minutes each session.

Ah, the age-old question: Is it better to brush or floss first? (Or does it really matter?) Let’s get to the bottom of things.

In general, you should be in good shape if you do them all consistently, but there are benefits to doing them in a particular order. Here’s a brief look at the most widely recommended order:

1. Floss first

Using the analogy of sweeping a floor before you mop it, flossing gets rid of large particles of food stuck between your teeth, which allows the toothbrush bristles and fluoride in your toothpaste to reach tiny gaps and crevices that would be otherwise blocked. Additionally, if you brush first, you’re more likely to spend time on brushing but rush through flossing. Flossing first ensures you’ll give the task the time and attention it deserves.

People try all sorts of ways to clean their toothbrushes. Some freeze it, boil it or invest in a pricey ultraviolet toothbrush sanitizer. But are these the best ways to disinfect your toothbrush?

Experts say no. Here’s what to do instead.

Use hot water

Forget soaking a toothbrush in mouthwash or denture cleaner or using UV light cleaners. Use some old-fashioned hot water. The reason you use hot water is that you have a natural flora of bacteria living in your mouth that’s necessary for a healthy environment. It’s not important to try to completely remove this bacteria from your toothbrush.

Your teeth and gums require proper nutrition to function at their best. This means getting enough of the right kinds of minerals, which serve as building blocks for your teeth and their protective enamel. By sticking to the right foods, you can ward off cavities and reduce your risk of gum disease.

Green Tea

Research suggests that green tea can boost periodontal health by preventing bone resorption, reducing inflammation and inhibiting the growth of bacteria.


Sticky foods that can get between your teeth are often best to avoid. However, raisins can be an exception. According to a study out of Chicago College of Dentistry, raisins contain powerful phytochemicals that appear to fight off the bacteria that cause cavities and gum disease.