People of all ages may decide that their teeth are in serious need of Invisalign, but Dr. Robert M. Walley often works with teenagers because, for many reasons, tackling crooked teeth at a younger age often makes the entire process much easier.


This isn’t to say that adults can’t also get Invisalign if the need for it arises, but for a handful of reasons, knocking out orthodontic care earlier on in a person’s life is the simpler, more convenient option.

Why Orthodontic Care Works Best in Adolescents


Teens can receive all the same benefits of Invisalign as adults, but there are a few extra advantages for adolescents, including:


Teenagers’ Mouths Are More Malleable


The simplest reason to undergo Invisalign (or any orthodontic care) as a teenager is because that is the ideal time to do so from a biological standpoint. By the age of 11-to-13, most people have lost all of their baby teeth and the majority of the permanent teeth have come in. That gives orthodontists a clean slate to work with in terms of correcting bad bites, improper tooth spacing, or poor alignment.


These types of issues will not simply get better on their own as the patient ages, but they will become more difficult to deal with as the teeth grow used to their permanent locations and plant themselves in the gums. Since adolescent bodies are still growing, their mouths are more malleable, which allows Invisalign devices to do their job more easily.


The Process Doesn’t Take as Long


Because the mouth is more malleable at that age, the process of getting Invisalign often does not take as long to complete. Teeth in the mouths of adults—especially older adults—are more stubborn and therefore take longer to move permanently. If worn properly, the process should take about 12 months for teens, but it certainly can take a little longer for adults. As is the case with all orthodontics, no one wants to drag out the process.


There’s Less of a Stigma at a Younger Age


No one thinks twice about a teenager with braces or Invisalign because it’s a perfectly normal thing to see in people that age. In fact, some would argue that going through orthodontic care is a rite of passage, but for adults the same isn’t necessarily true. Some adults that get Invisalign grow insecure about wearing implements most often associated with teenagers, meaning if they could be worn during the teen years, that social stigma would never have to be a consideration. In fact, we’ve even heard stories of adolescents making friends because they were wearing orthodontic implements like Invisalign. It can be a bonding experience at that age where it typically is not for adults.

Schedule an Appointment With an Experienced Orthodontist

None of this is to say that adults should not get Invisalign if they feel they need it. As your San Francisco dentist, Dr. Walley wants to help everybody that feels their bite needs an aesthetic overhaul, no matter their age. Still, much of the process is easier if tackled during the teen years, and in our experience, people want their orthodontic care to come as easy as possible.

When you’re faced with dental damage, you want to seek treatment as soon as possible. Generally speaking, treating dental issues is easier, more comfortable, more convenient, and less expensive the earlier it is completed.

Today, our San Francisco dentists are here with some information that will help you spot dental irregularities before they become severe. Keep reading to learn more!

Perhaps the easiest changes to notice are those visible changes to your smile:

  • Dark spots on your dental enamel (some types of discoloration are purely cosmetic, while others occur because bacteria have infiltrated the tooth)
  • Especially red or swollen gum tissue
  • Frequent blood when you brush or floss your teeth (this can indicate gum disease that is worsening into periodontal disease)
  • Cracks or chips in the dental enamel

Additionally, you may find that your mouth feels different than usual:

  • Your teeth may feel rough or grimy, rather than smooth, when you run your tongue over your dental enamel (this rough coating occurs due to bacterial plaque and tartar building up on the natural tooth structure)
  • You might find that your breath is stale or malodorous; this occurs due to a proliferation of oral bacteria in the mouth
  • If you experience increased sensitivity, either on a tooth or around your gum tissue, this may indicate an ongoing infection. Please do not ignore this type of discomfort, or over-medicate it with numbing agents; over time the damage will compound.

Staying aware of any changes to your smile, and your mouth in general, will help you take control of your dental health and make strong decisions for your oral health. Our San Francisco dentists can give you additional information and guidance; please feel free to give us a call, or use the Contact Us page on our website to reach out to our team.

There’s no question that certain foods are worse for your teeth than others. Delicious treats like soda and citrus and even bread can damage your teeth over time, but none of those are likely to cause immediate, painful damage that would qualify as a dental emergency. Dr. Robert Walley and his staff treat people with chipped or cracked teeth all the time, and these emergency appointments often occur as a result of some food that unleashed unexpected mayhem.

Obviously, bread and soda and oranges aren’t the type of thing causing that immediate damage, but which foods create the biggest risk for dental emergencies? We have compiled a list of the most common culprits, not necessarily to steer clear of them, but to consume them carefully to hopefully avoid having to visit your emergency dentist in the first place.

#1 Hard Candy

Anybody who ever had braces knows that hard candies are off-limits because of the damage they can do to brackets, but they’re just as bad for your teeth. Yes, the sugar is bad for you long-term, but crunching down onto one of these sweets can chip or crack a tooth. Suck on these candies, and don’t crunch into them until absolutely necessary.

#2 Caramel

While caramel is anything but “hard,” it’s a candy that can cause some problems, too. The soft, chewy morsels seem harmless, but the candies can wedge themselves between your teeth and loosen any dental work or restorations you’ve had done. They’re probably not going to pull out a natural tooth, but pulling loose a crown can be just as painful and problematic.

#3 Popcorn

America’s favorite movie treat can leave shards from the husks in between teeth or even underneath your gums, which could cause a painful abscess that requires emergency treatment. Worse, a kernel that didn’t pop all the way is hard enough to crack a tooth, so chew slowly while enjoying your film.

#4 Almonds

Nuts are a great source of healthy protein, but almonds are the hardest nuts of the batch. Believe it or not, they cause a lot of chips and cracks in teeth. Eating sliced almonds are softer and easier to chew than full almonds, so consider consuming the same snack, but in a different way.

#5 Ice Cubes

While ice cubes are not technically a “food,” some people love chomping down on them as a guilt-free way to keep their mouths busy rather than eating salty or sugary snacks. From a practical standpoint, chewing ice is not that different from chewing on rocks, which means it can crack and break the enamel of teeth, leading to a dental emergency.

If one of these foods cracks or damages your tooth, it is important to contact your San Francisco dentist immediately to get yourself in for any necessary repairs. Remember, the sooner you get into see your emergency dentist, the better chance there is you’ll be able to save the tooth. The aforementioned foods and treats are delicious, but eat with caution! If any problems do arise, call Dr. Robert M. Walley right away so he can fix whatever went wrong.



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