Protecting your dental enamel can go a long way toward preserving the health and appearance of your smile. Unfortunately, acid erosion will weaken and thin dental enamel over time; that is why it is so important to pay attention to what you are eating and drinking, as well as how they are cleaning their smiles. Our San Francisco dentists are here with some useful information about how acid effects oral health.

Acid exposure can be environmental, meaning that an acidic substance is introduced into mouth. Some commonly consumed acidic substances include:

  • Citrus fruits
  • Fruit juices
  • Soda
  • Coffee
  • Wine

Additionally, when the oral bacteria that live in your mouth feed on sugars (which they use to grow and multiply) they release acids as a byproduct. In order to minimize the effects of acid on your teeth you want to:

  • Get into the habit of rinsing your mouth with water after eating or drinking
  • Consume plenty of water so that your body can produce saliva—there is a reason that dehydration and dry mouth are connected to hard-to-treat bad breath
  • Use an appropriately soft-bristled toothbrush to clean while protecting enamel thickness. Talk to your dentist if you aren’t sure what type of brush is right for you
  • Wait to brush your smile for 20 to 30 minutes after consuming something acidic (this gives your enamel time to re-mineralize)
  • Seek prompt treatment for bruxism—chronic tooth grinding and jaw clenching. The enamel-to-enamel pressure that results from bruxism will quickly wear down weakened enamel

It is impossible to totally avoid dental aging and tooth wear. However, there are things that you can do to protect your smile as much as possible. Our San Francisco family dentists are here to answer any questions that you may have, and to help your whole family smile confidently.  


When we think about what subgroup of human beings most often requires orthodontic treatment, the first image to pop into our collective head is that of a teenager with a mouth of metal, maybe even with one of those embarrassing headsets strapped around their faces like a ring of Saturn. But the truth is that more and more people are investing in Invisalign clear orthodontics, some of whom are not quite teenagers and others who have not been teenagers for decades.


In other words, when Dr. Robert M. Walley is asked whether there is an Invisalign age limit or about the appropriateness of Invisalign for kids, the answer is a lot more promising than you may expect if you are looking to improve a person’s smile. Treatment is more widely available than our patients in San Francisco may realize.


What is the Invisalign Age Limit in San Francisco, CA?

Let’s have a look at both ends of the spectrum: how young is too young for Invisalign, and how old is too old?

Is Invisalign for Kids Possible?

The short answer is that you don’t have to be a teenager to get Invisalign or any other kind of orthodontics. There are plenty of children who get an earlier start with these treatments, especially when it looks like the issues are severe enough to warrant early intervention.


Of course, we should start by saying that there is no universal age for children because children lose baby teeth and welcome adult teeth at different rates. We have had conversations about the need for alignment as young as six years old, and getting to work on the teeth of patients around ten years old is an increasingly common thing.


If you are concerned that your child may need early-intervention orthodontics, just speak with Dr. Walley so he can help you determine the best course of action moving forward.


Can Adults Use Invisalign, Too?


Because of existing stigmas, we see patients all the time who say they never considered orthodontics as an adult because they assumed it was too late. They’ve lived too much of their lives to make the investment worthwhile.


This is the wrong way to look at this. If a 40-year-old has always disliked their crooked smile, why shouldn’t they invest in a process that could change that, especially considering they could live another 40 years or more? This is something that affects the rest of your life, which means there really is no “top age” for getting orthodontics. Frankly, they can help any adult who needs them, regardless of age.


Dr. Robert M. Walley is Your Invisalign Dentist in San Francisco, CA

If you are interested in Invisalign treatments for you or your children, give Dr. Walley’s office a call sometime soon so we can get you or your child set up for a consultation. We can give you a sense of the cost, how long the process may be, and what you can expect by the time it’s all over. We want you to love your smile, no matter your age, and the beautiful thing is that Invisalign can be a great option for just about anybody with adult teeth.

Adequately caring for your smile all starts with nurturing a strong dental foundation. When your gums aren’t strong and healthy, your entire maxillofacial structure can suffer and begin to breakdown. In this short article, our San Francisco dentists are sharing information about the threat of gum disease, and what you can do about it.

How does gum disease develop?

Just as harmful bacteria infect our teeth and cause cavities, they can also infiltrate your oral tissues and lead to gum disease. These bacteria feed on sugars and refined carbohydrates. The more sugars and carbohydrates the consume, the faster they are able to grow and multiply. As you would imagine, as time goes on it gets harder and harder for your immune system to neutralize these bacteria.

What are the symptoms of gum disease?

Gum disease can manifest in a number of ways, depending on the severity of infection. One of the first issues that you may notice is swollen and red gum tissue. Your gums may also be tender to the touch.

Another commonly experienced symptom is gum tissue bleeding. And, of course, hard-to-treat bad breath is a sign that you have an overabundance of icky bacteria in your mouth. Advanced periodontal disease results in your gums pulling away from your teeth and forming “periodontal pockets.”

Pay attention to any changes that you notice with your oral health. You know, for example, what your gum tissue usually looks like. So, if you notice that it is redder than usual, this is a sign that you need to contact your dental team. Over time untreated periodontal disease only becomes more severe; it can eventually cause the connective tissues that hold your teeth in place to loosen.

How do you treat gum disease?

Effective gum disease treatment is all about diminishing the number of bacteria in your mouth, while simultaneously supporting your body’s natural healing ability. Depending on the level of infection with which you are dealing, our team may recommend that you use specific tools or toothpastes and rinses to clean your smile at home. You may also need to undergo professional cleanings more frequently than patients with healthy smiles. 

Our San Francisco gum disease dentists are here to answer your questions, and to get you started on your way to oral health. We look forward to speaking with you! 

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