Am I Too Old For Braces?

Woman smiling with bracesIn a perfect world, people would be born with straight teeth – teeth that line up similar to that of the keys on a piano. However, we do not live in a perfect world and many often worry about having crowded smiles, crooked teeth and/or misaligned bites. Such cases, though, aren’t solely an aesthetic problem.

For example, crowded and crooked teeth are difficult to clean and are more prone to tooth decay and gum disease. Meanwhile, bad bites or malocclusions can cause problems with speaking, chewing and swelling, as well as put additional strain on the chewing muscles, which may eventually lead to facial pain.

Although most dental care professionals would recommend that such problems be treated while patients are still young, they aren’t exactly against those who opt for orthodontic treatment well into their adult years.

Special Considerations

If you’re already an adult and you’re considering orthodontic treatment for your teeth, you may want to keep in mind a few things.

For starters, because your bones have already stopped growing, your orthodontist may recommend that you undergo surgery to accomplish the necessary structural changes in your teeth. Also, the treatment for adults may take as long as two years, if not longer.

Your orthodontist may also recommend that you have your teeth and gums checked by a general dentist and/or a periodontist first. This is to minimize the risks for complication resulting from gum disease.

How Treatment Works

To put simply, what orthodontic treatment does is place pressure on the teeth, slowly “pushing” them to their ideal position. Orthodontists accomplish this by attaching mechanical devices or appliances to the teeth.

There are many types of orthodontic appliances used to straighten teeth, but braces are, by far, the most common. This is because these dental appliances are extremely versatile and are able to move plenty of teeth in a variety of directions.

The typical treatment takes around one to two hours, after which you’ll have to visit the dentist every few weeks or months for adjustments.

Choosing The Right Type of Braces 

Adults and working professionals who’re looking for orthodontic treatment for their crooked, misaligned and crowded smiles don’t have to worry much anymore about unnecessarily standing out because of their braces.

Besides the traditional metal braces, there are other options today, including ceramic braces, invisible lingual braces and even invisible and removable braces known as Invisalign.

Of course, metal braces are still the cheapest and considered the “go-to” treatment of choice for a variety of cases. However, if you only need to have your upper teeth fixed, you can opt for ceramic tooth-colored braces and not have to feel as self-conscious whenever you smile.

Lingual braces are also another option and they work similarly to metal braces. Though, instead of being fitted in the front, lingual braces are custom-fitted to the back and hidden from plain sight. The problem with lingual braces, however, is that they cost significantly more than traditional braces and are much harder to clean.

Invisalign is also another alternative and is considered the best looking out of all the braces. The treatment straightens teeth using invisible aligners that you can also remove at any time, preferably when eating or brushing. The downside is that the treatment is costly and is not suitable for cases of severe crowding and malocclusion.

In any case, regardless of which type of orthodontic appliance is used to straighten your teeth, the results will still be the same and you’ll still end up with a better-looking smile.

If you are interested in straightening your teeth with the help of orthodontics, contact Dr. James Yankowskas with Tyngsboro Cosmetic Dentistry at 987-649-7773 to schedule a consultation today. Or visit for additional information about braces.

Dr. James Yankowskas proudly accepts patients from Lowell, Nashua, Dracut, Chelmsford, Dunstable and surrounding areas.

What Is A Water Flosser?

flossingRegardless of how often dentists have reminded us over the years about the importance of flossing, most of us refuse to listen. Whether we admit it or not, we’re not exactly avid fans of flossing – it’s tedious, awkward, difficult and just downright messy.

If you’re looking for a way to enjoy the benefits of flossing, but don’t want to use a manual or string floss, you can use water instead of string via a water flosser.

How Does It Work?

A water flosser is a dental appliance designed to be used at home as an alternative to manual flossing. They vary in sizes and features, but most are likely to include a motor with a pump, a water reservoir and a special water flosser tip.

Water flossers work similar to jet washers in that the motor and pump causes a stream of pressurized water to flow directly from its own reservoir through the tips. Though, the only difference is that water flossers aren’t as powerful and are meant to be used orally.

The main use for this targeted stream of water is to remove plaque, food particles and bacteria that’s regular brushing alone can’t take care of. Also, when compared to the use of a traditional string floss, water flossers are more effective, less awkward and generally, easier to use. Better yet, is that the water helps stimulate the gum tissues, which also carries additional health benefits.

Why You Should Use A Water Flosser

Ideally, the main reason as to why you should opt for a water flosser over a traditional string floss is that they’re just easier to use. That, however, isn’t all that there is to water flossers.

Many of those who’ve made the switch to water flossers report a more pleasant experience, and as a result, they floss more often than when they still used a traditional string floss.

Another reason why you’d want to invest in a water flosser is to prevent gum disease and treat it. These dental appliances are clinically proven to help remove plaque, improve gum health and most important of all, reduce gingivitis.

Those with braces and other types of orthodontic appliances are the ones who will benefit best from the use of water flossers. The same goes for those with bridges, crowns, dental implants, as well as those whose medical conditions prevent them from flossing properly, such as those with arthritis.

A Much Needed Addition To Your Oral Care Routine

As has been mentioned throughout the post, using a water flosser is just much more convenient compared to using a traditional string floss. Also, with water flossers, you don’t even have to worry about looking at yourself in the mirror while you floss, nor hold your mouth wide open all throughout.

You simply place the flosser tip in your mouth, close your lips, turn the power on and floss along your gum line and in between your teeth until the water empties from your mouth right onto the kitchen or bathroom sink.

The use of water flossers, along with brushing teeth twice a day for two minutes each time will go a long way in keeping your mouth clean and healthy.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding your oral health, contact Dr. James Yankowskas with Tyngsboro Cosmetic Dentistry at 987-649-7773 to schedule an appointment today. Or visit for additional information regarding oral health.

Dr. James Yankowskas proudly accepts patients from Lowell, Nashua, Dracut, Chelmsford, Dunstable and surrounding areas.