Invisible Healing: How Invisalign Aligners Work

By Dr. Allen Garai

If you need to straighten your teeth, you have other options besides traditional metal brackets and wires. Many dentists recommend Invisalign, a clear aligner worn over the teeth.

Metal braces remain in place for several years and slowly move your teeth into the correct positions. However, Invisalign aligners work similarly to retainers: you wear the aligner for two weeks, then visit your dentist to remove it and receive a new one. During each two-week period, the aligners adjust your teeth gradually.

Invisalign aligners come with many benefits over traditional braces. They are transparent, so only those who look closely will notice them. Additionally, your dentist will mold your aligner to fit your mouth, resulting in a product so smooth and comfortable that you might forget you’re wearing it. You can also remove aligners when you eat, brush, and floss, making them easier to maintain than metal brackets that catch bits of food.

Talk to your dentist to learn more about Invisalign aligners.

About the Author

For almost 18 years, Dr. Allen Garai has outfitted adults and children with braces at his Vienna, Virginia-based practice. Alongside many types of braces, he offers Invisalign braces as an alternative to brackets and wires. He also sees patients for general oral hygiene matters.

3 Oral Hygiene Tools for People with Braces By Dr. Allen Garai

There are a number of products that people who wear braces can use to improve their oral hygiene. Here are some examples:

1. The interdental toothbrush: Unlike a normal toothbrush, the interdental toothbrush is designed to get between the teeth as well as under and around braces and wires.

2. Antibacterial mouthwash: This product can prevent infection and irritation that may develop from braces. It also can assist with irritation caused by canker sores and cheek bites.

3. Fluoride: This is especially crucial for people with braces, because it prevents tooth decay by killing bacteria and restoring minerals in the enamel. Fluoride can be applied directly to the teeth in gel form, or it can be used as a mouthrinse.

About the Author

Dr. Garai is an orthodontist practicing in Vienna, Virginia. He offers several types of braces to his patients, including standard metal braces and more modern invisible braces.

Common Problems Requiring Orthodontic Attention By Dr. Allen Garai

Most people associate orthodontists with braces and teeth straightening, which are major parts of any orthodontic practice. However, orthodontists also correct jaw relationship disproportion and irregularities. These are some of the more common problems:

1. Upper front teeth protrusion: This occurs when the upper teeth extend too far forward or the lower teeth do not extend forward enough. These issues can affect the appearance and function of the teeth negatively.

2. Overbite: The upper front teeth extend so far over the lower teeth that the lower teeth sometimes bite into the roof of the mouth.

3. Crossbite: When the upper teeth sit inside the bottom teeth, this can lead to misaligned jaw growth.

4. Openbite: The upper and lower front teeth do not overlap, potentially leading to the development of habits such as tongue thrusting.

5. Crowding: This is what happens when teeth do not have enough room to emerge from the gums.

About the Author

Based in Vienna, Virginia, Dr. Garai offers orthodontic services to clients at Garai Orthodontic Specialists.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome Symptoms and Treatments: Dr. Allen Garai

A private practice orthodontist in Vienna, Virginia, Dr. Allen Garai offers orthodontic and presurgical management of obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS). Here, Dr. Garai provides an overview of the condition’s symptoms and treatments.

Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome is a condition in which breathing becomes blocked during sleep. Depending on the severity of the condition, airway obstruction can happen from five to 50 times an hour. Nighttime symptoms include snoring, choking sensations, insomnia, and restless sleep, while excessive and debilitating sleepiness is the primary daytime symptom.

Despite its important associations with a variety of health problems, including depression, diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease, OSAS remains undiagnosed in an estimated 80 percent of patients with the condition. Once diagnosed, OSAS can be treated with continuous positive airway pressure, a device that keeps the airway open during sleep, or through lifestyle changes including weight loss and smoking cessation. When surgery is required, preoperative orthodontic treatments such as those offered by Dr. Garai can lead to 95 to 100 percent positive sleep results.

Dr. Allen Garai and Lingual Orthodontics

Recently recognized by The Washingtonian magazine as one of the leaders in lingual orthodontics in the Washington area, Dr. Garai offers a full range of treatments for teenagers and adults.

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A popular and effective alternative to traditional braces, lingual orthodontics refers to braces placed behind the teeth. Lingual braces include brackets custom-made to fit each patient’s teeth; they encourage teeth to straighten by applying steady, light pressure.

While relying on the same orthodontic principles of traditional braces, lingual braces have one key cosmetic advantage: no metal brackets are placed on the front of the teeth. In addition to their aesthetic benefits, lingual braces are a great choice for patients who play contact sports or wind instruments, where traditional braces can interfere with everyday activities. Lingual options are also attractive for patients with sensitivities to plastic that make other invisible braces options unviable.

Dr. Garai has been treating patients with lingual braces for more than 15 years, and he has taught at Children’s National Medical Center and the Washington Hospital Center Department of Orthodontics since 1998.

Dr. Allen Garai on the Mission of the Rotary Club of Vienna, Virginia

With 33,000 clubs in more than 200 countries, Rotary is a global organization that promotes peace and understanding through humanitarian service and leadership. The organization unites businesses, professionals, and community leaders, and Rotarians around the world encourage ethical behavior, good citizenship, and cultural understanding.

The organization holds no political or religious affiliations; membership is open to anyone interested in humanitarian projects. Members attend informative weekly meetings, experience fellowship and friendship within their local chapters, and take pride in being part of a prestigious group with 1.2 million worldwide members. In addition, members enjoy the benefits of a vast network of Rotary International professionals. In 2012, the Rotary Club of Vienna, Virginia awarded nearly $150,000 in grants.

About Dr. Garai: In addition to operating a successful orthodontic practice, Dr. Garai practices corporate responsibility, supporting his community through organizations such as Toys for Tots, local Virginia PTAs, and the Rotary Club of Vienna.

“How to Become a Member of the World Federation of Orthodontists,” by Dr. Garai

The World Federation of Orthodontists (WFO) promotes high standards of orthodontics around the world. Founded in 1995, it has more than 8,400 members and fellows who enjoy the organization’s multiple benefits.

The first step in submitting for WFO membership determining whether to apply as a fellow or a member. The fellow classification will interest those who are current members of a regional or national association of orthodontists affiliated with WFO. The member classification will interest students and non-orthodontists engaged in studying or researching orthodontics in an accredited school or institution. In addition, retired orthodontists may apply for entry to the member category.

Next, prospective members should visit the official WFO website, www.wfo.org, and apply for membership using the online form. Accepted members receive free subscriptions to the Journal of the World Federation of Orthodontists and the WFO Gazette, lower rates at many orthodontic conferences, and a free listing in the WFO online membership directory.

Meet the Author: A member of the World Federation of Orthodontists, Dr. Garai has practiced orthodontics for over 15 years.