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Posts for: November, 2016

By Joseph R. Hendrick, Jr., DDS, PA
November 15, 2016
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral hygiene   braces  

If you or a family member wears braces, you're used to visiting your orthodontist for adjustments and progress monitoring. But it's just as important that you continue regular visits with your family dentist, especially if you begin noticing abnormalities with your teeth and gums.

We need to be on alert for dental health because risks for disease increase during orthodontic treatment. Most oral infections arise from plaque, a thin film of bacteria and food particles on tooth surfaces. You avoid plaque buildup by brushing and flossing at least once a day and undergoing semi-annual office cleanings for any remaining plaque and calculus (hardened plaque deposits).

Braces, however, can complicate hygiene. It's harder to get into areas blocked by the brackets and wires with your brush or floss. This can quickly give rise to gingivitis, a form of periodontal (gum) disease characterized by gum swelling. If not treated, gum disease could eventually cause the gums to detach from the teeth and lead to bone and tooth loss.

The brackets and wires can also irritate the gums and cause them to swell or overgrow, a condition called hyperplasia. This further complicates proper hygiene, which then increases the risk for infection even more.

It takes more time and effort to brush and floss effectively while wearing braces. But it's necessary to prevent these problems. Interproximal brushes (which fit in the spaces between teeth) can help, as well as special floss threaders. You might also consider a water flosser, which use a high-pressured water spray to remove plaque between teeth.

And, don't neglect seeing us on a regular basis. If you notice gum swelling, redness or bleeding, contact us as soon as possible.

If the swelling is due to hyperplasia, treatment could wait until after the braces come off, as long as there doesn't appear to be any gum detachment from the teeth. If there is, though, you may need to see a periodontist (a gum specialist) for further evaluation. It may be necessary in advanced cases to remove the braces to treat the underlying gum condition.

It pays to keep a close eye on your teeth and gums while wearing braces. Catching problems before they become too serious will help ensure your new smile is just as healthy as it is attractive.

If you would like more information on dental care while undergoing orthodontic treatment, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Gum Swelling during Orthodontics.”

By Joseph R. Hendrick, Jr., DDS, PA
November 07, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: orthodontics   braces   invisalign  

It’s easy to show off your best smile with Invisalign, the modern teeth straightening alternative to traditional metal braces. Invisalign uses invisalignbarely visible clear trays to straighten the teeth. It is a great option for teens and adults who want a straighter smile, but don’t like the look of regular braces. The dental office of Dr. Joseph R. Hendrick, Jr. offers patients Invisalign in Shelby, NC.


Invisalign is a teeth straightening alternative to traditional metal braces. Invisalign uses clear aligner trays that fit over the teeth and help reposition and straighten them just as the brackets and wires of metal braces do. The primary differences between Invisalign and braces are that the trays are both clear and removable. The trays are also custom fit to each patient’s mouth and patients usually receive a new set of aligner trays every few weeks to accommodate their repositioned teeth. In Shelby, NC, Invisalign is an excellent option for achieving a straighter smile.

Advantages of Invisalign

There are several advantages to getting Invisalign for straightening your teeth. Unlike traditional metal braces, Invisalign’s clear aligners are not the first thing people see when you smile. They are designed to be practically invisible. Invisalign aligners are also more comfortable than metal braces; the trays are made from a soft plastic material that sits comfortably over the teeth. There are no hard brackets or wires to poke the mouth like metal braces.

Another advantage of Invisalign is that, since the aligner trays are removable, they can be temporarily taken out for eating, drinking, brushing and flossing. Being able to remove the aligners when eating prevents food particles from getting trapped, as is the case with metal braces. Plus, it is easier to clean the teeth more thoroughly when the aligner trays are removed.

Invisalign can help you show off your best smile. To learn more about Invisalign in Shelby, NC, schedule an appointment with Dr. Hendrick by calling his office at (704) 484-0077 or (704) 482-8336.

Dentist in Shelby, NC
Joseph R. Hendrick, Jr., DDS, PA
511 N. Morgan Street
Shelby, NC 28150
(704) 484-0077
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