Westminster, MD Dentist
Gallagher & Eden Family Dentistry
715 Baltimore Blvd.
Westminster, MD 21157
(410) 848-3866
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Posts for tag: braces

By Dr. Patrick Gallagher, D.D.S.
December 20, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
EdenSherandtheLostRetainer

Fans of the primetime TV show The Middle were delighted to see that high school senior Sue, played by Eden Sher, finally got her braces off at the start of Season 6. But since this popular sitcom wouldn’t be complete without some slapstick comedy, this happy event is not without its trials and tribulations: The episode ends with Sue’s whole family diving into a dumpster in search of the teen’s lost retainer. Sue finds it in the garbage and immediately pops it in her mouth. But wait — it doesn’t fit, it’s not even hers!

If you think this scenario is far-fetched, guess again. OK, maybe the part about Sue not washing the retainer upon reclaiming it was just a gag (literally and figuratively), but lost retainers are all too common. Unfortunately, they’re also expensive to replace — so they need to be handled with care. What’s the best way to do that? Retainers should be brushed daily with a soft toothbrush and liquid soap (dish soap works well), and then placed immediately back in your mouth or into the case that came with the retainer. When you are eating a meal at a restaurant, do not wrap your retainer in a napkin and leave it on the table — this is a great way to lose it! Instead, take the case with you, and keep the retainer in it while you’re eating. When you get home, brush your teeth and then put the retainer back in your mouth.

If you do lose your retainer though, let us know right away. Retention is the last step of your orthodontic treatment, and it’s extremely important. You’ve worked hard to get a beautiful smile, and no one wants to see that effort wasted. Yet if you neglect to wear your retainer as instructed, your teeth are likely to shift out of position. Why does this happen?

As you’ve seen firsthand, teeth aren’t rigidly fixed in the jaw — they can be moved in response to light and continuous force. That’s what orthodontic appliances do: apply the right amount of force in a carefully controlled manner. But there are other forces at work on your teeth that can move them in less predictable ways. For example, normal biting and chewing can, over time, cause your teeth to shift position. To get teeth to stay where they’ve been moved orthodontically, new bone needs to form around them and anchor them where they are. That will happen over time, but only if they are held in place with a retainer. That’s why it is so important to wear yours as directed — and notify us immediately if it gets lost.

And if ever you do have to dig your retainer out of a dumpster… be sure to wash it before putting in in your mouth!

If you would like more information on retainers, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “The Importance of Orthodontic Retainers” and “Why Orthodontic Retainers?

By Dr. Patrick Gallagher, D.D.S.
March 30, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: braces   orthodontics  
3QuestionsYouShouldAskBeforeUndergoingAdultOrthodontics

Think you're too old to have your teeth straightened? While we automatically pair “teenager” with “braces,” at least one in five orthodontic patients are adults. And there's many more that could benefit, as many as three-quarters of adults with a correctable bite problem.

But although orthodontics can be performed at any age, it's not a minor undertaking. It will require time, patience and expense. So, before you decide to undergo orthodontics, here are 3 simple questions to ask first.

Why? Like children and teenagers, adults can benefit cosmetically from correcting a poor bite. But there's another great reason besides a more attractive smile: misaligned teeth are more difficult to care for than normal teeth. Orthodontic treatment is an investment and potential cost-saver in your future dental health.

Why not? Even senior adults can successfully undergo treatment. But braces might be ill-advised if you have either poor oral or general health. Periodontal (gum) disease, for example, can cause bone loss, which makes it difficult to safely and successfully move teeth (and the effort could worsen current disease activity in the gums). Medical conditions like bleeding disorders, leukemia or uncontrollable diabetes could interfere as well. You'll need both a dental and medical examination beforehand.

How? We can use braces — or we might be able to use a newer, more popular option with adults called clear aligners. These are a series of computer-designed clear, plastic trays you wear in sequence until you finish the series. Each tray is slightly smaller than the previous tray, moving the teeth in much the same manner as braces. But unlike braces, you can remove aligners for cleaning or a rare special occasion — and they're much less noticeable than metal braces. Although in some cases braces may still be the best option, it's also possible clear aligners could be the option you've been looking for.

So, are you ready for a new smile and a more maintainable mouth? Visit us for the answers to your questions and see if braces (or clear aligners) can transform your life and health.

If you would like more information on orthodontic treatment for adults, 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 “Orthodontics for the Older Adult.”

By Dr. Patrick Gallagher, D.D.S.
February 28, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: braces   orthodontics   Invisalign  

Considering orthodontic treatment also means considering the time it takes to straighten your smile, the results you want to see, and invisalignchoosing the best treatment for your smile. However, these questions are easy to answer with help from your Westminster, MD dentist. Invisalign can straighten your teeth and renew the appearance of your smile. Find out more about Invisalign with Dr. Patrick Gallagher at Gallagher and Eden Family Dentistry in Westminster, MD.

What is Invisalign? 
Invisalign is an orthodontic treatment. However, unlike traditional metal braces, it uses a new, state-of-the-art approach to straighten the teeth and correct the bite. Instead of metal brackets and wires, Invisalign uses clear plastic aligner trays to get its results. These trays, which come in a series, are worn in the mouth one after another for about two weeks at a time. The gentle pressure the trays place onto the teeth slowly move them into their new places to correct your orthodontic issues.

What can Invisalign do for me? 
Invisalign treats the same orthodontic issues as traditional metal braces. Some common uses for Invisalign include:

  • misaligned teeth
  • uneven teeth
  • overcrowding
  • under crowding
  • overbite
  • underbite
  • crossbite
  • open bite

The Advantages of Invisalign 
Invisalign’s trays are clear, meaning that they can go virtually unnoticed by those around you. This subtle approach to orthodontic care is also removable, allowing patients to remove their trays before eating or caring for their teeth. With Invisalign, there is no need to avoid certain foods or use special dental instruments to clean the teeth. Additionally, Invisalign’s design often allows dentists to decrease treatment time and increase the time between checkups, meaning less time in braces and less time spent at your dentist’s office during your treatment.

What to Expect From Invisalign in Westminster, MD
Your Invisalign journey will begin with a consultation with your dentist to ensure you are a good candidate for this treatment. A 3D model of the mouth allows Invisalign’s dental laboratory to produce a customized video to show you exactly where your teeth will move, including their final positions after treatment ends. After approving the video, the lab creates a customized set of aligner trays. Then, you will wear each tray, one after another, for two weeks each until treatment ends. Sometimes, your dentist may need to use small, tooth-colored bumps called attachments placed onto the teeth to ensure the aligner trays place the correct amount of pressure on the right areas of the mouth.

For more information on Invisalign, please contact Dr. Patrick Gallagher at Gallagher and Eden Family Dentistry in Westminster, MD. Call (410) 848-3866 to schedule your appointment for an Invisalign consultation with Dr. Gallagher!

By Dr. Patrick Gallagher, D.D.S.
September 07, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
ThinkYoureTooOldforOrthodonticsReadThis

You’ve lived most of your life with crooked teeth and an imperfect smile. You feel you should have done something about it years ago, but now you’re approaching your golden years — what would be the point?

Here’s the point: there’s a growing trend of older adults undergoing orthodontic treatment. People are discovering the life-changing benefits of straightening their teeth — even if they’re no longer teenagers.

So, what’s really holding you back?

I’m too old to have my teeth straightened. Not true — teeth can be straightened at any age, not just during childhood or adolescence. If anything would prevent orthodontic treatment it would be the state of your oral and general health, not your age. Your teeth’s supporting bone must be reasonably sound and healthy; likewise, systemic problems like bleeding disorders, leukemia and uncontrolled diabetes can make orthodontics difficult. But if you and your mouth are reasonably healthy, you can have your teeth straightened.

It’s too much to spend just to look better. Yes, orthodontic treatment can transform your smile — but it can also improve your oral health. Misaligned teeth are harder to keep clean, increasing the risks for tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease; they also don’t work well together so chewing is more difficult. By correcting your bite, you can reduce your chances of dental disease and improve overall mouth function.

I’d look silly at my age in braces. Self-consciousness about wearing these traditional appliances is common at any age. It’s understandable — the glint of metal is the first thing people see when you smile. But there’s a good chance you may be able to wear an alternative appliance that’s barely noticeable: clear aligners. These are a series of removable, clear plastic trays that you wear in sequence to gradually move your teeth. Not only are they less noticeable than braces, you can take them out for special occasions.

Don’t let these or other excuses keep you from a more attractive smile and healthy mouth. Visit your dentist for an examination to see if orthodontics can work for you.

If you would like more information on transforming your smile through orthodontics, 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 “Orthodontics for the Older Adult.”

By Dr. Patrick Gallagher, D.D.S.
December 13, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: braces   orthodontics   Invisalign  

A lot of patients mistakenly assume that in order to get a straighter smile they have to get a standard braces treatment and wait years for invisalignresults. The truth of the matter is that you can have that better looking smile in just months with Invisalign. The office of Gallagher & Eden in Westminster, MD offers this revolutionary braces treatment to qualifying patients who are both smile-conscious and concerned about how long it will take to get a more attractive smile.

Wearing Traditional Braces
Although braces are the traditionally trusted solution for straightening smile imperfections, not every patient can tolerate the treatment period. Some patients have to wait two to three years to get the results they want. Patients who have mild to moderate orthodontic problems often prefer to perfect their smile with the help of Invisalign clear aligners.

What Is Invisalign?
Invisalign is a solution that gives patients straighter teeth in a shorter period of time compared to traditional braces. Instead of waiting up to three years, some patients can reveal their new smiles in as little as six months. The treatment utilizes clear plastic trays that are designed to align the teeth in a better position. With each tray prescribed by your Westminster dentist, your smile gets closer and closer to the ideal look.

A No-Hassle Solution
Because Invisalign aligners are removable, you can continue to live a no-hassle lifestyle. If you want to take off the aligners to eat or to have a close one-on-one conversation with someone, you can do that without a problem. There's no pain from metal brackets or no embarrassment when smiling or talking in social settings. 

See if Invisalign Is Your Ideal Solution
If your ultimate goal for your teeth is to have a straighter smile, you may find that that can be easily achieved by getting an Invisalign treatment. Call (410) 848-3866 today to schedule an appointment with a dentist at Gallagher & Eden in Westminster, MD.