Our Blog

What are the benefits of Invisalign®?

February 24th, 2021

A popular option for straightening teeth at Dyras Dental, Invisalign can be a great method for improving your smile, and can help patients with crowded teeth, crossbites, overbites, underbites, and more.

Invisalign, which is different from traditional braces, works by applying a series of clear, retainer-like aligners in order to eventually move your teeth into their ideal positions. Patients typically swap aligners approximately every couple of weeks.

At Dyras Dental, we have lots of experience using this technology to give our patients the beautiful and healthy smile they’ve always wanted. During your initial visit at our Lansing office, the first thing we do is take an impression of your teeth as they are now and digitize it. Using special software, we look at the current positioning of your teeth and compare it to the way your teeth should look.

Not only are the aligners invisible, they are also removable, so you can eat and drink what you want, and brushing and flossing are easier. Invisalign’s aligners are also comfortable, with no metal to cause mouth abrasions during your treatment. And, no metal and wires usually means you spend less time at our office getting adjustments. With Invisalign, you can view your own virtual treatment plan when you start, so you can see how your straight teeth will look when your treatment is complete!

Depending on the severity of the problem, Invisalign treatment may take anywhere from three to 18 months to complete. You should be aware that Invisalign is not as effective as traditional braces in treating bite problems, teeth that are lower or higher than others, or severely overcrowded teeth. Both teens and adults are now great candidates for Invisalign, so we invite you to contact our Lansing office to set up an initial consultation and learn more on how Invisalign can give you the smile you’ve always wanted!

National Children’s Dental Health Month

February 23rd, 2021

Happy February from Dyras Dental! February is National Children’s Dental Health Month and a perfect time for the team at Dyras Dental to review some of the important steps in keeping not only your child’s smile healthy but also your own! Join us on today’s blog to discover dental health tips for the whole family. 

Dental health looks slightly different at each stage of a child’s development. For infants, parents should swab the mouth after feeding times to keep the gums clean. With toddlers, it's important that parents brush for them (with the child's help of course!). This is a great time to instruct and role-play what a dental care routine should look like every day. Older children are typically ready to brush on their own when they are able to tie their shoes.

Struggling with implementing a good dental health routine for your child? Here are a few helpful suggestions to try out:

  • Use a timer when your child brushes their teeth, this can ensure they are brushing for a full two minutes. 
  • You could also try singing songs or using an electric toothbrush that plays music while your child brushes -- the key is to make brushing teeth an exciting time.  
  • Another great idea is using dental disclosing solution or tablets! These products turn the bacteria different colors, helping your child see where they have plaque before they start to brush and make the areas they've missed after brushing more visible. Remember, Toddlers and children only need a small amount of toothpaste, about the size of a grain of rice. 
  • Another way to ensure your child’s dental health is by offering them a balanced diet. We recommend crunchy fruits and veggies such as apples and carrots-- did you know these foods can clean teeth because of their crunchiness?  A balanced diet is an important step to keeping both the mouth and body strong. 

Regular visits to our office for cleanings is another important step in a good dental care routine. Parents should bring their child in for their first dental appointment when they turn 1 year old or they get their first tooth, whichever comes first.  Once the child turns 3 years old, parents should bring them in every 6 months for appointments. 

The first visit can cause a little bit of anxiety sometimes so prepare your child beforehand by letting them know what to expect. We also encourage children to ask questions during their appointment and we talk to them throughout the process letting them know exactly what we are doing and teaching them about the tools we use and why dental health is important. 

If you have any questions or concerns, our team is always happy to discuss them with you—any time of year! We can’t wait to see you and your family in our office again soon. We look forward to seeing you!

Generic Clear Aligners vs. Invisalign®

February 17th, 2021

You may have a talent for home repairs. You may be able to rebuild your computer. You may even be able to put together a whole room of furniture armed only with flat-box kits and an Allen wrench. But, please—don’t try do-it-yourself orthodontics!

Now that generic clear aligners are available, you might consider giving them a try to save some money. But is straightening your own teeth really a good idea? Before you are tempted, let’s look more closely at the products and the dental science involved.

Invisalign®

  • Invisalign clear aligners are used by orthodontists and dentists with experience in custom treatment for your smile. A 3D image of your teeth will be captured by the iTero Element® scanner. Using special software, your doctor can map out each projected shift in your teeth, and even show you a projection of your finished smile!
  • Your Invisalign aligners will be tailored to fit your teeth precisely using the 3D scan and 3D printing. They are made from SmartTrack® material, a product specifically engineered for a perfect, comfortable fit. Invisalign aligners are even trimmed to fit your individual gumline to prevent irritation.
  • When your first sets of Invisalign aligners arrive at our Lansing office, Dr. Laura Dyras and Dr. Michael Hutcheson will check for fit, answer any questions you might have about use and care, and let you know what to look for and what to expect. Your progress will be monitored with visits every six to eight weeks. (And for parents of teens, Invisalign aligners can offer blue “compliance indicators” to let you know they are being worn the 20-22 hours a day necessary for the best and fastest results.)

Generic Aligners

  • You might be required to make a putty mold of your own upper and lower teeth, which is not the easiest thing to do well, and to take selfies of your teeth.
  • The aligners will be sent to you in the mail. They are generally made of hard plastic with generic gumlines. There will be no one to tell you if the aligners fit properly.
  • They are sometimes less expensive because there is no in-person medical supervision. A dental professional working for the company will look at the model created from molds you submit, and recommend a series of aligners to correct the problems he detects by looking at the model and your selfies. This supervisor will not be able to assess the overall dental health of each patient to make sure teeth and gums are healthy and ready to start treatment, and will not be able to tell if the teeth are moving properly or improperly once the aligners are in use.

Finally, while generic aligners may potentially have some success in minor tooth straightening, they are not created to deal with complex bite issues or malocclusions.  In fact, using generic aligners with no supervision can cause more serious dental problems than a patient started with.

Sure, sometimes a do-it-yourself project turns out well. But your teeth and bones are too important for home improvement. When it comes to creating a beautiful, even smile and balanced, comfortable bite while making sure of your dental health, it’s always best to trust a professional like Dr. Laura Dyras and Dr. Michael Hutcheson to provide you with gentle, tested, and successful care!

Choose Chocolate on Valentine's Day

February 10th, 2021

From a student handing out sweets for her classmates to an older married couple exchanging boxes of candy, Valentine’s Day is the time of year when people like to show affection by gifting sugary treats to their loved ones. Whether you’re on the giving or receiving end of Valentine’s Day candy, you can celebrate the holiday in a healthier way by making dark chocolate your confection of choice.

Contribute to Your Health

According to the Cleveland Clinic, studies have shown that the cocoa beans used to make chocolate contain flavonoids, which can help protect the body against damage from various toxins. Flavonoids may also help lower blood pressure and improve blood flow to the heart and the brain. Dark chocolates typically contain a higher amount of flavonoids than other types, making them a great choice for chocolate lovers. However, you should keep in mind that many companies produce chocolate that is so heavily processed that the flavonoids are largely eliminated. Your best bet is to look for high-quality dark chocolates and cocoa powders that have undergone minimal processing.

Protect Against Cavities

If you think there’s no way candy could ever be beneficial for your teeth, think again. The Texas A&M Health Science Center has reported that the tannins present in cocoa beans may actually help prevent cavities by interfering with bacteria’s harmful interaction with teeth. Just like with flavonoids, tannins have been found to be present more often in dark chocolates, rather than milk chocolates, giving you another great reason to choose the richer, sweet varieties.

Avoid a Sticky Situation

One more benefit of choosing chocolate over other candies is that it is less likely to get stuck in the crevices and spaces between teeth. Gooey sweets like taffy can stay lodged in the mouth for longer periods of time, putting you at a greater risk for developing cavities. When you choose your chocolate, be sure to avoid types that also contain sticky ingredients like caramel or marshmallow, and instead opt for the plain varieties.

Remember that the health benefits you can receive from dark chocolate are largely based on eating the candy in moderation. With that being said, it’s easy to make this delicious and health conscious switch when you’re out shopping for your sweetheart, friends, loved ones, and yourself. Have fun satisfying your sweet tooth this year and Happy Valentine’s Day from all of us at Dyras Dental!