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Veneers, Braces and Invisalign –Which teeth straightening method is best for you?

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Beauty queens, movie stars and fashion models, what do they all have in common? Great smiles and perfect teeth. But of course in reality, most people’s teeth aren’t that perfect. Sometimes teeth can become crowded or crooked. They can also protrude, get out of alignment or have irregular spacing.

It’s a good thing that there are orthodontic treatments that can be used to align and correct your teeth for a more attractive and healthier smile.

In this post we’ll tackle the three most popular ways to straighten your teeth. Take a good, hard look at each one and try to determine which one is best for you.


Veneers are known as Dental Veneers, Porcelain Veneers, or Dental Porcelain Laminates. They are wafer-thin custom-made laminates that are designed to cover the front surface of teeth in order to improve its appearance.  Dental veneers can be made from porcelain or from resin composite materials.  These laminates are customized in terms of color, shape, size or length, and then bonded into the front of the teeth.

Veneers are used to fix teeth that are discoloured, worn down, chipped, broken, misaligned, uneven, or irregularly shaped.


  • They provide a natural tooth appearance
  • Tolerated well by gum tissue
  • Porcelain veneers are stain resistant
  • It can make teeth appear whiter


  • The process is not reversible
  • Veneers are costly
  • They are not reparable if they chip or crack
  • Teeth may become more sensitive to hot or cold foods because enamel has been removed
  • The veneers may not exactly match the color of your teeth, and cannot be altered once in place
  • Not advisable for people who clench or grind their teeth


Dental or Orthodontic braces are used to straighten and align a person’s teeth. It can help position teeth at the correct angle as well as improve dental health. This treatment is most effective with children but it is also popular with a lot of adults who want to correct the defects in their teeth and jaw.

Dental braces typically consist of brackets and arch wires, as well as elastics that are used to hold the arch wires in place. The brackets can be composed of metal, ceramic, composite or a combination of these materials.

Braces work by constantly applying pressure into your teeth in order to move them into the necessary positions. To do this, one has to wear braces for at least 1 to 2 years.


  • Braces have a great track record of working really well
  • Effectively straightens teeth which lasts for many years
  • Very effective for children as it guides their growing teeth into the proper angles


  • High cost
  • Food gets caught in the wires  and it’s hard to eat certain types of foods
  • You need to clean your teeth thoroughly and regularly or else you’ll get a lot of cavities
  • There are cases when pitting happens in the surface of the tooth after the braces are removed
  • The  wire metal can chip or cut your gums
  • You have to wear retainers afterwards
  • Aesthetic appeal- the biggest drawback of braces is that they don’t look easy on the eyes and can be a cause for embarrassment


These types of aligners are virtually invisible and are made of a thermoplastic material that looks similar to teeth. They are also sometimes called, whitening trays. For this treatment, the user must wear the invisalign for at least one year, in order for their teeth to move into the desired position.


  • Almost invisible, at a distance you can’t tell that they’re there
  • Very comfortable to wear
  • Fewer emergencies – no wires poking out or gums getting damaged
  • Easy dental hygiene – because you can remove it before cleaning your teeth
  • You can eat or drink anything because you can remove your invisalign
  • If you wear it religiously, it will definitely work


  • You have to take them out when eating or cleaning your teeth, can be a bit of a hassle
  • If you don’t wear them as directed (22 hours each day), your teeth won’t move
  • Costlier than braces and most orthodontic treatments
  • Transient lisp – in the beginning, the wearer may experience a minor lisp and speech problems as he or she adjusts to wearing the invisalign

Veneers, braces and invisalign treatments all have their pros and cons and it’s up to you to choose which one suits your personality and lifestyle better. In the end, getting straighter teeth is more than just having a great smile. When you have straight and perfectly aligned teeth, it’s easier to brush, floss and clean, which means that you’ll have better chances of avoiding tooth decay and gum disease.


To find out which teeth straightening option is best for you, schedule an appointment today and visit our office at http://www.socalsmiles.net/appointments.





Posted by: SoCal Smiles Dentistry
Posted on: December 19th, 2011

3 Great Sugar-Free Products to Help You Stay Healthy

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Reasons to avoid sugar

Are you a sweet tooth? Does the thought of sugar make you want to jump out of bed in the morning? If you answered yes, then it’s time to re-evaluate your diet. Sugar can be very bad for your health and there are plenty of reasons to avoid it. Here are some of the reasons to cut back on sugar:

Tooth Decay - Sugar is one of the most damaging things to your teeth
• Weight Gain and Obesity
• Raises your blood sugar level
• Diabetes
• Can lead to osteoporosis
• Contributes to Heart Disease
• Can cause Gallstones
• Weakens eyesight
• Can cause arthritis
• Sugar is addictive

And this is just the tip of the iceberg! But instead of focusing on the negative effects of sugar, let’s look at some of the best sugar-free alternatives in the market today.

Great tasting sugar-free alternatives

Zevia soda is sugar free and it tastes great!

1. Zevia Soda
Zevia is a zero-calorie, all-natural soda. Its main ingredient is a herb called Stevia which is a small green plant from the Sunflower family that originated from South America. The Stevia leaf can be 300 times sweeter than sugar, but it has no caloric value or effect on blood sugar levels. It also uses another natural sweetener called Erythritol, a “sugar alcohol” which is a component of fruits and vegetables.

FYI, a can of Coke for example has 155-200 calories and 42 grams of sugar. As for Zevia, each serving adds ZERO sugar and only 13 grams of carbs.

Another good thing about Zevia is that it doesn’t have Aspartame (usually found in diet soda) which is known to have numerous negative effects on the body (brain tumors, birth defects, diabetes, emotional disorders, epilispsy, and carcinogenic effects).

The best thing about Zevia? It tastes great! You’d never think that it was so healthy.

2. Xylitol Sweetener
Xylitol is a natural sugar substitute. This sugar-free sweetener can be used for your morning coffee, cereal or juices, or any of your foods and drinks. It’s a naturally occurring carbohydrate that is found in fibrous fruits and vegetables. In its pure form, Xylitol is a white crystalline substance that looks and taste like sugar.

Another great thing about Xylitol is that it’s known to prevent cavities in your teeth. It helps reduce the development of dental caries, reduces plaque formation, and aids in the repair of damaged tooth enamel.

There are a variety of products that use Xylitol, from toothpastes to chewing gums, mints and nasal sprays.

spry chewing gum tastes awesome and is sugar free

3. Spry Chewing Gum
Spry is a refreshing, sugar-free chewing gum that is sweetened 100% with Xylitol. This great-tasting gum is great for a fresher breath and healthier teeth. Studies have shown that regular use of Xylitol chewing gums like Spry can actually reduce the risk of dental caries. Another great thing about Spry is that it doesn’t have Aspartame or any other dangerous artificial sweeteners.

So there you have it, three of the best sugar-free substitutes that you can add to your grocery shopping list. They can be found in most vitamin shops and health food stores, as well as online.

With these alternatives, you can take care of your teeth and maintain your weight, without sacrificing taste and quality!

For more information about dental health visit our office at http://www.socalsmiles.net/appointments.

Posted by: SoCal Smiles Dentistry
Posted on: December 7th, 2011

Heard of these Sugar-Free Products?

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Posted by: SoCal Smiles Dentistry
Posted on: March 22nd, 2011

Sugar That’s Good For You?

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Posted by: SoCal Smiles Dentistry
Posted on: February 15th, 2011

Five Things You Don’t Know About Bad Breath

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Otherwise known as halitosis, bad breath can ruin a date, bomb a job interview and leave you feeling not so fresh. Everyone knows that staying away from garlic, popping a sugar-free breath mint and maintaining good oral hygiene can improve your chances of people coming near you, but there’s a lot you probably don’t know. To help you discern fact from fiction, here are five things you probably don’t know about bad breath:

  1. Dehydration Is A Major Cause: The less hydrated your mouth is, the more likely your breath is to smell. Your best bet is to drink a glass of water and brush your teeth. If you’re on the go, pop a piece of sugarless gum. This will generate more saliva, making bad breath to take a hike. Overall, make sure that you’re staying away from caffeinated, sugary and alcoholic beverages (all of which can dehydrate you), and replace them with water. You’ll notice a big difference in how close people want to get to you.
  2. Mouthwash Does Not Cure All: Since many mouthwashes contain alcohol, they can often cause your mouth to be dry, which you’ve already learned is a big culprit when it comes to bad breath. Next time you buy mouthwash, look for a formula with chlorine dioxide as the main ingredient, not alcohol.
  3. Hormones Can Effect Bad Breath: Yes ladies, that means that if it’s that time of the month, you’re more likely to be asked to pop a mint. This also means that your bad breath may be caused by something more serious, like a medical condition. Make sure you tell your doctor and dentist if you feel like your bad breath just won’t go away – you could have a more serious problem on your hands.
  4. You Can’t Smell Your Own Bad Breath: People are always cupping their hands and trying to smell their own breath. The problem is that people get used to their own smell. Also, bad breath doesn’t really reach the surface until you talk. Hopefully, you have honest friends and family who will tell you if you smell – because you won’t be able to notice.
  5. Talking Can Cause Bad Breath: It’s a good thing you can’t smell over the phone when a telemarketer calls your house, isn’t it? This goes back to the fact that a dry mouth is a stinky mouth. Whether you’re a salesman, a lawyer or just a chatty Cathy in general, make sure you’re drinking lots of water throughout the day.

Ask your dentist for more information. He/she will be more than happy to help you solve your bad breath issues and tell you if it’s something to be worried about.

Posted by: SoCal Smiles Dentistry
Posted on: October 12th, 2010