Posts for: December, 2016


Braces can change a person's life — not just their appearance but their dental health as well. To be honest, though, wearing braces are, well, kind of a drag — especially for teenagers.

Braces can be restrictive and confining; you'll also have to give up certain favorite foods for a while. But more than any of that, they're just plain unattractive. Even being able to choose colors for the brackets and elastic bands can't fully ease a teenager's embarrassment when they smile.

There is, however, an alternative to braces: clear aligners. And they could make orthodontic treatment during this difficult phase of their life much easier to handle.

Clear aligners are a set of clear plastic trays that can be taken in and out of the mouth. Each of the custom-designed trays is slightly smaller than the previous one in the series. After wearing the first tray for a couple of weeks (at least 20 to 22 hours a day), the patient switches to the next tray in the series. They repeat this process until they've worn all the trays. The gradual change from tray to tray moves the teeth to the desired position.

Clear aligners have some distinct advantages over braces, especially for younger patients. They can be removed for cleaning or for a rare special event. They don't limit movement as much as braces. And, they're nearly invisible — other people may not even notice them. And newer aligners are now designed with tiny “power ridges” that increase their movement capabilities. This has made them more useful for teenagers with complicated bite problems and other issues.

There are cases, though, where braces may be the better choice: where you need more control over tooth movement or the patient needs jaw surgery to achieve proper tooth alignment. And their removability could be an issue if the patient won't leave them in their mouth for the necessary time each day.

To find out if clear aligners might be a viable option for your teenager, visit us for a complete orthodontic examination. We can then discuss your best option — clear aligners or braces — to achieve the most desirable outcome for your teenager.

If you would like more information on treating bite problems in teenagers with clear aligners, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Clear Aligners for teens.”

By Michael J Morris, DDS
December 14, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: braces   orthodontics   Invisalign  

Find out if this nearly invisible way to straighten smiles could be exactly what you’ve been looking for.

You want to fix that gap between your front teeth and other little alignment issues in your smile but you certainly don’t relish the idea of invisalignwearing a bunch of metal braces in order to do it. Our Spring, TX family dentist Dr. Michael Morris certainly understands, which is why we are offering both teens and adults the opportunity to get a straighter smile with a nearly invisible orthodontic system known as Invisalign.

What is Invisalign?

Invisalign offers a revolutionary way to fix common misalignment issues like gaps between teeth and crowding through the use of clear, flexible plastic aligners that are custom-made to fit over your teeth and gradually shift certain teeth around in order to improve their alignment.

Can people actually see the aligners?

Unless you actually tell people, most people won’t even notice that you have your clear aligners in. Once you get used to wearing them you’ll find that the only person that will know you have Invisalign is you. It’s important to note that sometimes Invisalign comes with tooth-colored attachments to help with your treatment. Sometimes these attachments, though meant to blend in with the rest of your orthodontic system, may be slightly noticeable; however, these small attachments don’t typically bother patients.

How long will you wear Invisalign?

The length of your treatment will depend on the severity of the issue or issues you are looking to treat. Many adults, on average, will wear their aligners for about one year. Of course, it could be longer or shorter depending on your own needs and goals. We will be able to address the length of your treatment once we start designing your treatment plan.

Each day, you will want to wear your aligners for about 20-22 hours. The more often you wear them the better. Naturally, you can remove them to eat, drink, brush or floss.

How often will I need to come in for orthodontic checkups during my treatment?

You will visit your dentist in Spring, TX about every six weeks to check the progress of your treatment and to make any necessary changes to make your treatment more efficient.

Do you think Invisalign is the right option for you and your smile? If so, then let’s see what we can do for you. Call our Spring, TX dental office today to schedule your no-risk consultation and get one step closer to the smile you’ve always wanted.

By Michael J Morris, DDS
December 10, 2016
Category: Oral Health

When is the best time to floss your teeth: Morning? Bedtime? How about: whenever and wherever the moment feels right?

For Cam Newton, award-winning NFL quarterback for the Carolina Panthers, the answer is clearly the latter. During the third quarter of the 2016 season-opener between his team and the Denver Broncos, TV cameras focused on Newton as he sat on the bench. The 2015 MVP was clearly seen stretching a string of dental floss between his index fingers and taking care of some dental hygiene business… and thereby creating a minor storm on the internet.

Inappropriate? We don't think so. As dentists, we're always happy when someone comes along to remind people how important it is to floss. And when that person has a million-dollar smile like Cam Newton's — so much the better.

Of course, there has been a lot of discussion lately about flossing. News outlets have gleefully reported that there's a lack of hard evidence at present to show that flossing is effective. But we would like to point out that, as the saying goes, “Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.” There are a number of reasons why health care organizations like the American Dental Association (ADA) still firmly recommend daily flossing. Here are a few:

  • It's well established that when plaque is allowed to build up on teeth, tooth decay and gum disease are bound to follow.
  • A tooth brush does a good job of cleaning most tooth surfaces, but it can't reach into spaces between teeth.
  • Cleaning between teeth (interdental cleaning) has been shown to remove plaque and food debris from these hard-to-reach spaces.
  • Dental floss isn't the only method for interdental cleaning… but it is recognized by dentists as the best way, and is an excellent method for doing this at home — or anywhere else!

Whether you use dental floss or another type of interdental cleaner is up to you. But the ADA stands by its recommendations for maintaining good oral health: Brush twice a day for two minutes with fluoride toothpaste; visit your dentist regularly for professional cleanings and checkups; and clean between teeth once a day with an interdental cleaner like floss. It doesn't matter if you do it in your own home, or on the sidelines of an NFL game… as long as you do it!

If you would like more information about flossing and oral hygiene, contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.

Louetta and Spring, TX Family Dentist
Michael J Morris, DDS
9318 Louetta Road Suite 600
Spring, TX 77379
(281) 379-6939
Family Dentist in Spring and Louetta, TX Call For Pricing Options



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