There are not a lot of teenagers out in the world that are actively looking forward to the prospect of getting braces, and frankly, it’s been that way for years. More than anything, teens hate the aesthetics of a metal mouthpiece dominating their smile at a time when their appearance is an all-encompassing concern. One option for these teens in need of a straighter smile would be Invisalign, and here in San Francisco, clear braces have been a tremendous boon for reasons beyond just the way it looks.

The following are six benefits of Invisalign for teens here at Dr. Robert M. Walley’s office:

#1 Improved Self-Confidence

The biggest problem with braces is that they can really take a chunk out of a young person’s self-confidence. While metal braces accomplish their intended purpose of straightening crooked teeth over time, they also create an apperance that many teens just do not like. Frankly, that can seriously affect their self-confidence, so going with a clear option allows them to smile more freely and feel less self-conscious about their smile.

#2 Fewer Orthodontic Malfunctions

Another benefit of Invisalign for teens is that it doesn’t break or malfunction as often as braces do. With all the rules about what sorts of foods teens can eat with braces—many of which they don’t follow, anyway—it is not uncommon for orthodontic emergencies to pop up more often than parents would like. Put simply, these types of emergencies just aren’t as likely with Invisalign.

#3 Fewer Visits to the Orthodontist

Not only are there fewer trips to the dentist or orthodontist due to emergencies, Invisalin requires fewer checkups. Furthermore, the appointments themselves are less frequent when they do happen.

#4 Ideal for Student-Athletes

Braces can be a huge hassle for student-athletes, especially those that play contact sports. Invisalign doesn’t generate the same types of mouth injuries in athletes, but even students in activities like Marching Band have better success with an implement that gives their mouth more freedom to work the way it’s supposed to with an instrument.

#5 More Hygienic

All kinds of food can get stuck in between the wires and brackets of braces, but Invisalign is much easier to keep clean since food simply doesn’t get stuck in the removable tray. That’s better for the teeth you’re trying to make look nicer in the first place. What’s the point if you end up with extra cavities because of the process?

#6 Better Photographs

Finally, any school pictures taken during the teeth-straightening era of a teen’s life won’t be marred by the presence of sparkling metal in the photographer’s lens. Your school photos from that time will look great with clear implements instead of traditional braces.

Schedule an Appointment

If you are interested in getting more information about Invisalign, either for yourself or for the teenager in your life, contact the office of Dr. Walley so we can start the process of providing you an estimate for the costs and a fitting for the appliance itself. Clear braces in San Francisco are increasingly popular among adolescents, and it’s these benefits that have helped make this desirable option available to more young people in need of braces.


Most people considering having their wisdom teeth removed understand that going through with the procedure is no minor ordeal. It is a legitimate surgery, which is more than enough to scare people into putting it off for as long as possible. However, there are so many benefits to getting wisdom teeth removed closer to sooner than later, as well as some scary downsides to waiting too long.

Dr. Robert M. Walley wants to help you with your wisdom teeth when the time comes for them to be removed, and it is important not to wait too long for the following reasons:

Eliminate the Pain

The reason wisdom teeth are removed in the first place is because they can get impacted in your gums and lead to some pretty serious problems under the surface, not the least of which is significant pain. While the procedure involved with removing wisdom teeth isn’t entirely painless, it pales in comparison to the pain some patients feel after having left them alone too long in hopes of avoiding surgery. In some cases, it is just easier to get the procedure.

Lower the Chance of Infection

Another problem is infection, which occurs when wisdom teeth break through only partially, creating small flaps of gum tissue that can trap food and debris and generate bacteria that can transform into a nasty infection. Left untreated, these infections can bring cysts and abscesses on the gums that may have to be surgically removed anyway. It easier just to have the wisdom teeth causing the problem removed.

Keep Your Smile Straight

Impacted teeth can shift an entire row of teeth, which not only can make a smile crooked but also can affect the quality of your bite as teeth move around. Removing wisdom teeth proactively can remove the risk of shifting a full row of teeth.

The Procedure is More Complicated for Older Patients

When a patient is in their late teens or early 20s, the adult teeth have been in the mouth for less time, which means wisdom teeth will have done less damage and will have had less time to cement themselves into the gums and jawbone. Removing them at this point in a patient’s life rather than in their 30s or 40s is a much easier procedure.

Finding Recovery Time is Easier for Younger Patients

Recovery is easier for younger patients, too, not only in terms of bouncing back from the surgery more quickly, but also in terms of finding time for recovery. High school and college-age students have the full summer to work in a few weeks of recovery time, where adults may have a harder time taking those days off of work.

It’s Not as Scary as You Think!

Most importantly, Dr. Walley makes sure the wisdom teeth procedure is as quick and painless as possible. Entirely too many people are afraid of the surgery, but it really isn’t as bad as some make it out to be. More importantly, the benefits to ensuring it gets handled at a younger age seriously outweigh the anxiety that inspires patients to put it off for as long as possible.

If you would like to schedule your wisdom teeth removal, call the office of Dr. Robert M. Walley today!



Dental Care for Every Age


Everybody knows that visiting the dentist is important, but dental needs change over the course of a person’s life. Dr. Robert M. Walley suggests paying attention to recommendations for dental health at every stage of life, including the following tips for everything from pregnancy to advanced age.

Pregnant Women

A pregnant woman’s oral health habits can affect the health of her baby, especially since so much bacteria enters the body through the mouth. Keeping clean teeth is essential for the proper development of the baby’s teeth, which start growing around the third month of pregnancy. In other words, women can start taking care of their babies’ teeth before they even leave the womb.

Infant Oral Care

Babies can begin teething at any time, but most start somewhere between three and nine months of age. As soon as those babies start sprouting teeth, it is important to start taking care of them, which means investing in a baby toothbrush even though you shouldn’t be using toothpaste until they are a little older. You don’t need to see the dentist yet (that comes a little later), but you will want to communicate with your pediatrician as more teeth sprout.

Children’s Oral Care

Dr. Robert M. Walley suggests that all children see the dentist for the first time by their first birthday. This may seem early, but there has been an uptick in cavities among preschool-age children the last several years, and children who get cavities are more likely to get them as adults.

Children should start brushing with toothpaste (a pea-sized amount) when they are around two years old, but make sure it’s fluoride-free since kids tend to swallow it at this young an age.

Also, getting to a dentist early is essential to help ensure your own children are taking proper care of their teeth. Throughout their childhood, they should visit twice a year for regular cleanings, just like an adult would.

Teen Oral Care

With adolescence comes braces, third molars, and hormonal changes that can affect teenagers’ dental health, so it’s as important as ever to encourage responsibility with brushing and flossing. Increased junk food and peer pressure to try smoking also create new potential problems for teens’ teeth, so keep them visiting the dentist and encourage them to continue brushing as they always have.

Adult Oral Care

By adulthood, people should have settled into healthy dental routines, including brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and flossing twice a day to remove plaque from teeth. Also, adults should be able to avoid sugary and starchy foods, since those create more bacteria and acid that can be damaging to teeth. Of course, adults should visit their dentists regularly for professional cleanings and checkups, as well.

Senior Oral Care

According to the Washington Dental Service Foundation, around 75 percent of adults over the age of 60 no longer have all their adult teeth, while 23 percent of all seniors suffer from some sort of gum disease. Osteoporosis also is more common among seniors, especially women, which can mean loose teeth. Each of these issues means dental visits still are necessary, and proper dental care is more important than ever.

Dr. Walley would love to help you take care of your teeth, no matter your age. If it’s time for a dental checkup and cleaning, or you have any pressing dental needs, give us a call and set up an appointment at your friendly dental office in San Francisco, CA today!



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