Braces Questions

I had my braces removed six months ago. My teeth shifted, because I haven’t worn my retainers. If I wear them now, will my teeth go back to being straight?
Thank you so much for contacting us. When you have concerns, it is important to let us know as soon as possible. We are always here to help. It is always best to schedule an appointment with us to evaluate the current state of your teeth and answer your questions specific to you. We can evaluate the amount of relapse that has occurred.

It is very important to wear retainers immediately following your orthodontic treatment. Retainers are meant to retain. They are not meant to correct. If there is mild movement, the retainers will improve the alignment. If more correction is required, there are minor retreatment options available such as Invisalign Express. It is very important to wear your retainers indefinitely if you want to keep them where you finished your orthodontic treatment. If you don’t want your teeth straight anymore then stop wearing your retainers!

I wore braces when I was in my teens. The orthodontist gave me a clear retainer that looks like Invisalign. I absolutely loved this retainer, and it kept my teeth perfectly straight for years. When I lost the clear retainer, I went to a new orthodontist who replaced it with a wire one. I noticed that it was not as effective at keeping my teeth straight. What type of retainer is more effective?
Both retainers are effective. They each have their pros and cons. I do have prefer the clear retainers for many of my patients, but the wire retainers have their purpose as well. Clear retainers don’t last as long as metal retainers. For example, a patient who grinds their teeth at night may wear through them. Most patients are more likely to wear the clear retainers more than the wire retainers, because they are more esthetic. I do have patients that prefer the wire ones, because the orthodontist can tighten and modify the wire retainers. Also, the wire retainers help your back teeth “settle” better at the end of treatment. In summary, clear retainers are the more aesthetic option and a great option if you don’t grind your teeth.

What is the difference between Invisalign and braces?
Invisalign can treat most cases as well as regular braces. Invisalign is another tool like braces to align teeth. The most recognized Invisalign advantage is the aesthetics. There are no braces or wires that show on the front of the teeth. Invisalign is a clear plastic that pushes the teeth into position. Sometimes, the teeth may need tooth colored “attachments” for specific movements.
Another advantage to using Invisalign is the ability to have access to the whole tooth for brushing. Aligners are removed when eating, drinking and brushing. Traditional braces are not removed until the treatment is complete. They act as a food trap and make it difficult to clean. Invisalign is a better modality for patients who have moderate to poor oral hygiene or periodontal issues.

Braces still have their place for aligning teeth. Some patients may feel that they don’t have the discipline to wear the aligners. Also, there are some cases where braces are more beneficial or some doctors are more comfortable using braces rather than Invisalign. They may not have enough experience using the Invisalign system.

If you are researching the best options for you, I recommend visiting an Elite or Elite 1% orthodontist. They will gather the necessary information (3D models, photos and x-rays) to develop a treatment plan specific to your needs. Remember, an orthodontist has an extra 2-3 years of training specific to tooth movement and occlusion. In my office, we embrace Invisalign and do our best to make it our treatment of choice for most patients.


Am I a candidate for Invisalign?
Most people are candidates for Invisalign. Invisalign can correct most malocclusions as well as braces. We recommend scheduling a complementary consultation, so we can gather the necessary information and provide you with treatment options that suit your individual needs.

Are Invisalign attachments/buttons necessary?
Invisalign attachments/buttons are used to aid tooth movement. Some movements are better accomplished with them such as bringing a tooth down to align with the others or rotations. Sometimes every tooth needs an attachment and sometimes only a few teeth need attachments. It is important that your doctor knows when, where and what attachments should be placed. It is the experience of the Doctor that produces great results not the Invisalign system itself. You can give a hammer (Invisalign) and nails (attachments) to anyone, but not everyone can build a beautiful structurally sound house.

Why should I choose Jennifer Stachel Orthodontics for my Invisalign treatment?
Dr. Jennifer Stachel has many years of experience and training with Invisalign. She prides herself in providing individualized care by customizing the Invisalign aligners. She spends time building a thorough treatment plan that will produce superior results.

Will the treatment be painful?
Most people experience tooth soreness for a few days after starting each new stage. This is normal. It is a sign that the Invisalign aligners are working, moving your teeth to their final destination. This soreness should gradually go away a couple of days after inserting the new aligner in the series. However, at Jennifer Stachel Orthodontics, at the start of all our Invisalign treatments, we include a session of Cold Laser Therapy that accelerates healing of muscle and joint tissues. The Cold Laser uses non-heat light to send a signal to the muscles to relax and to the nerves resulting in a response to inhibit or stop pain.

How long does Invisalign take?
The length of treatment depends on the severity of your case and can only be determined by your doctor; however, at Jennifer Stachel Orthodontics we offer accelerated orthodontic treatment option which can reduce the duration of YOUR orthodontic treatment by 60%.

Will mouth sores occur because of Invisalign?
Sometimes wearing the aligners, especially at first. The constant rubbing with the lips, tongue or cheeks can give you sores. It is completely normal, as you wear your aligners, your mouth will adapt to something new in the mouth, give it some time. We always recommend our patients to do warm salt water rinse, which helps to heal faster and for the sores to go away quickly.

How do I deal with sharp aligner edges?
Use a nail file to smooth them out. You don’t need to file much at all, but just enough to “round” or smooth the edges.

Will wearing the Invisalign aligners affect my speech?
Like all orthodontic treatments, the aligners may temporarily affect your speech, and you may have a slight lisp for a day or two. However, as your tongue gets used to having aligners in your mouth, any lisp or minor speech impediment caused by your aligners should disappear.

What should I do if my new Invisalign aligner doesn’t snap onto my teeth?
Minor discrepancies between the new aligner and the current tooth position are normal, since the teeth need time to conform to the new aligner position. Remember to use the provided
chewies to help seat the aligners fully. In the event of significant problems with aligner fit, inform your doctor.

Are there restrictions on what I can eat?
Generally no. Unlike traditional orthodontics, you can usually eat and drink whatever you desire because you remove your aligners while eating. Thus, there is no need to restrict your consumption of any of your favorite foods and snacks, unless otherwise instructed by your doctor.

Is it OK to drink hot or cold beverages while wearing Invisalign aligners?
Except for cool water, we recommend that you do not drink while wearing the aligners. This is to avoid formation of cavities and stains, or warping of the aligners with hot drinks and hot water.

Can I chew gum while wearing Invisalign aligners?
NO. Gum will stick to the aligners. We recommend removing your aligners for all snacks and meals.

Will smoking or chewing tobacco stain the aligners?
Tobacco use while wearing aligners will discolor the aligners.

Is it safe to drink liquor while wearing Invisalign?
If you’re asking will alcohol damage the aligner trays, the answer is no. Alcohol sugars trapped inside the trays, next to the teeth, can be converted by bacteria into acids which can damage the teeth. Pigments in the alcohol can temporarily stain teeth. It’s a good idea to rinse your teeth and the trays with plain water after alcohol.

Can I have mints with Invisalign?
Sugar-free mints are fine, as long as you don’t chomp down on them.

Why do some of my aligners have bumps or ridges on them?
Depending on your specific treatment, some of the movements may require either “attachments” or “ridges” to help the aligner grip the teeth. These bumps, or wells, are where the aligner grips the attachment the doctor places on your teeth. The attachments are actually small pieces of composite the doctor affixes to your teeth that are then gripped by bumps on your aligners. The ridges are slim indentations in your aligners. Your doctor will use one or both of these features to attempt to achieve the desired movement.

What happens if I lose or break an attachment?
In the event that an attachment is lost or broken, you should immediately contact your doctor.

What if I lose or break an Invisalign aligner?
In the event that an aligner is lost or broken, you should immediately inform your doctor. Your doctor will probably tell you to start wearing your last set or next set of aligners immediately. He or she will possibly order you a new set of aligners to replace the ones you just lost, which should arrive in a few days.

Accelerated Treatment

Is Acceledent/Propel worth it?
Patients are loving accelerated treatment. They find that it seats their aligners which moves their teeth more effectively allowing them to change their aligners more frequently.

Is Acceledent/Propel easy to use?
Patients find the devices very easy to use. They love the fact that it decreases their discomfort levels. Other features that they love are that they are portable and turn off automatically.

Why should I choose Jennifer Stachel Orthodontics for my accelerated treatment?
We have various accelerated treatment options and will help you choose which one is right for you.

Teeth Whitening

What are the best options to whiten your teeth?
Whitening products can be overwhelming. There are many over-the-counter products and professional products. Over-the-counter products can work if you follow a stain-free diet. If you don’t, you are working against yourself. Although, if you are looking for a touch up before an event, they can be effective. Please follow the product instructions and do not whiten excessively. It can damage the tooth structure. Whitening products are considered cosmetic and are not FDA approved. A safer route is professional “touch up” options. With a professional option, a dentist is monitoring the bleaching process.

Professional teeth whitening options include in office and at home modalities. At home whitening, requires a custom tray to deliver the whitening gel (low concentration of carbamide peroxide) to the teeth. In office systems use heat and light to “activate” the gel. We love Glo and Kor bleaching systems. Call us to find out more about our bleaching options.

What is the most effective teeth whitening system?
For many people, the most effective is deep whitening. It is a combination method consisting of whitening at home and in the office.

How long does the sensitivity last after whitening?
Not everyone experiences sensitivity after whitening. People with gum tissue recession or sensitive teeth in general seem to experience the most discomfort. Sensitivity is frustrating, but it usually dissipates after 24 hours.

Why would I choose Jennifer Stachel Orthodontics for my teeth whitening procedure?
Choosing the right dentist to brighten your smile can be grueling. There are so many different techniques. With so many options available to our patients, we can inform you as to which technique will work best for your teeth.

Why should you choose Jennifer Stachel Orthodontics?

  1. We provide 5-star service and a fabulous swag bag when you start treatment
  2. We pride ourselves on having many aesthetic treatment options including Invisalign, clarity braces, Damon clear braces and Incognito (lingual braces). Metal braces are a thing of the past
  3. We include Propel with treatment to help seat Invisalign aligners and decrease discomfort in general
  4. Accelerated tooth movement options are available as well.
  5. Lower permanent retainers are included with upper and lower removable retainers to prevent relapse.
  6. A take home whitening kit is included at the end of treatment to give your already amazing smile a final touch.
  7. Finally, you are entitled to one yearly complementary retention/maintenance visit to ensure that you will continue to have a beautiful smile

Why wouldn’t you choose Jennifer Stachel Orthodontics to give you the smile that you deserve?