Tuesday, January 31, 2012

MCO Markham Orthodontist Discusses Orthodontic Emergency Care

Your Markham and Stouffville Orthodontist knows that on occasion, there can be some orthodontic emergencies that occur.  However, as a general rule, there are few true emergencies that cannot wait until the clinic has an appointment available for you.  Common issues include broken appliances, poking or sharpness from brackets and wires, and general soreness.
If something occurs, you should call the office or email us to let us know about your issue.  After hours, in an extreme emergency, you can contact Dr. Tam directly.

The following solutions may help you relieve discomfort:
  • General soreness: When you get your braces on, it is very common for you to feel general soreness in your mouth, and teeth may be tender to biting pressures for three to five days. This can be relieved by rinsing your mouth with a warm salt water mouthwash. Dissolve one teaspoonful of salt in 8 ounces of warm water, and rinse your mouth vigorously. If the tenderness is severe, take over the counter aspirin or other headache/pain relief medication.  The use of Tylenol is advised over Advil/Ibuprofen.
  • Poking wire: Placing wax on the poking edge of the wire is a great way to alleviate the discomfort.  You can also use the wire cutter provided to you in your care kit.
  • Loose bracket or band: If your bracket or band is still attached to the wire, you should leave it in place and put wax on it. If the wire comes out entirely, wrap the bracket in a tissue, and call our office immediately. Remember, after alleviating your discomfort, it is still very important that you call our office as soon as possible to schedule a time to repair the problem.
  • Broken or lost retainers:  It is important to let the office know as soon as possible so that you can have your retainer repaired or replaced.  Teeth will shift very rapidly out of alignment without retainers in as little as a few days.
As per our office policies, comfort visits will be booked whenever we have an opening.  It may not always be possible to book you a visit after work/school/Saturday since most visits are booked up 8 weeks in advance.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Toronto Invisalign Express 5

There is a new product available for orthodontic relapse patients beginning January 30th..  It is called Invisalign Express 5, used for very minor crowding and spacing.  There is one case of up to 5 aligners, plus one refinement of up to 5 aligners.  Note that the refinement is not included in the cost of the original lab fee.

There will be a ClinCheck that can be modified, and there are SmartForce attachments and aligner features available as well.

Example of a treatment with 5 aligners

Please be aware that at MCO Orthodontics, there are very few patients who qualify for treatment with regular Invisalign Express (5 months) and there are likely extremely few patients who will qualify for Express 5 (2.5 months).  Still this is a viable option for those who have some minor issues that they want to take care of without braces, and would like to use the top brand in clear aligner treatment.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Toronto Invisalign Advice- What can I eat with Invisalign? Only water?

At MCO Orthodontics, over 100 happy Invisalign patients complete treatment with us every year.  Their satisfaction with treatment comes from being well-prepared for what to expect with treatment, as well as their amazing results.  Much of this information can be found at our website about Invisalign in Toronto, Ontario.

One of the common questions with Invisalign is about changes in lifestyle.  Many patients are looking to this clear braces technique in order to have minimal disruption to their social and professional lives.  However, it is important to know that there are changes that must be made to ensure proper and healthy treatment.

Aligners should be worn for 22 hours per day and they should only be removed for eating and brushing.  Water is the only thing that should be consumed with the aligners in.  Otherwise, sugars and acids from food will be trapped in the aligners against your teeth.  This is a quick way to cavities.  Stains will also accumulate more quickly, but these can be removed with regular dental cleanings.

Some orthodontists ask their patients to eat with aligners in as an exercise to stimulate blood flow and encourage seating of aligners.  However, the patients must clean the aligners and their teeth immediately after eating.  The aligners become more difficult to clean, and it basically nullifies any convenience of eating with them in.  We have our patients use aligner chewies  instead.

The Invisalign website is somewhat contradictory since in one section, it says “you’re required to remove your aligners to eat and drink.”  With regards to alcohol, they say “a moderate amount would be fine to consume, as long as care is taken to clean the teeth and the aligners soon after so as not to trap sugar between them.”  The issue is that “soon after” is not quantifiable.

Having worn Invisalign, we understand the social implications of wearing the aligners.  Our preference for as orthodontic professionals, as well as for our patients is to remove aligners just before having a drink, and then to make up any lost time if required.  Needing to wear aligners for a longer period of time is the lesser of two evils when compared to the potential for cavity formation.

While there are accounts of people online who have not had problems while "cheating" their oral hygiene with their aligners, there are also many people who have developed problems.  Some of these problems may also not surface immediately and may be issues that come later down the road.  If you do decide to "cheat", then understand that you are running the risk of permanent damage to your teeth.

Overall, it is important to make sure you understand all aspects of your care before you begin your treatment.  You should not be surprised by Invisalign attachments, IPR, extractions, or lifestyle changes as it starts treatment in a bad spot.  Remember that Invisalign treatment does require a commitment to wearing aligners and oral hygiene, and that ultimately the experience of your doctor is what will determine the outcome of your orthodontic care!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Dr. Tam Gives Back to his High School, University of Toronto Schools (UTS)

MCO Orthodontics has provided TeamMCO with a fantastic place to work with our amazing patients.  Dr. Tam attributes much of their success to the solid foundation he obtained while in high school at the University of Toronto Schools (UTS).

Located at the corner of Bloor and Spadina, this school has had the reputation as one of the top high schools in Canada since opening in 1910.  UTS is renowned for educating generations of outstanding graduates, including two Nobel Laureates, 20 Rhodes Scholars and numerous leaders in commerce, industry, academics, the arts, sports, government, and public service.  What makes UTS different is that it is a merit-based school.  Money cannot buy your way in.  As such, there are students spanning a large geographic area as well as a large socioeconomic spectrum.  Many of the students rely on alumni awards and bursaries to be to study at UTS.

In appreciation of what UTS has done for him, Dr. Tam began to look for a way to give back.  In conjunction with the 100 year celebration of UTS in 2010, Dr. Tam met with Alumni Directors to put together an award for students at the school.  The MCO Orthodontics UTS Community Builder Award was established, recognizing 4 students annually for excellence in a combination of academics, extra-curricular activities, and leadership within the community.  Dr. Tam was happy to present the recipients of the inaugural award last October.

Dr. Tam also got a chance to congratulate a former patient, Anoop M., who was recognized with the highest overall level of achievement in his grade.  This is a formidable achievement in a school with so many talented and gifted students.  Congratulations!

UTS has recently been given 10 years to move by the University of Toronto.  Read more here.  With the hard work of Alumni Directors, school administration, Alumni, and current students, there is hope that generations of students will continue to benefit from the excellent education unique to UTS.