Posts for category: Orthodontic Health

By Dr. Richard Rowan
August 18, 2016
Category: Orthodontic Health
Tags: invisalign  

Invisalign offers a simple way to straighten your teeth, but you may be wondering if the clear brace system is as effective as traditionalinvisalign systems. Dr. Richard Rowan, your Mariposa and Merced, CA orthodontist, explains how Invisalign works.

Invisalign offers a clear advantage

The Invisalign system uses removable aligner trays instead of wires and brackets to move teeth. Because the aligner trays are clear, many people may not even be aware that you are wearing braces. The tray are made of comfortable plastic and are worn for approximately 20 hours every day.

Invisalign is effective at correcting orthodontic issues

When you wear traditional braces, adjustments to the wires are needed to help the teeth move into the proper alignment. There are no adjustments when you use the Invisalign brace system. Although you'll still need to visit your Mariposa and Merced orthodontist periodically, movement will take place gradually, thanks to the series of aligners you'll wear. Every two weeks, you'll begin using a new set of aligners.

Invisalign is a good choice if you have an:

  • Open bite
  • Crossbite
  • Overbite
  • Underbite
  • Crowding
  • Gaps between teeth

Invisalign corrects the same issues as traditional braces and is a good choice if you have mild to moderate orthodontic problems. If your alignment problem is severe, traditional braces may be a better option.

Invisalign offers several benefits

Invisalign offers benefits that traditional benefits can't, including:

More Food Choices: Traditional brace wearers must avoid popcorn, sticky candy and hard foods because these foods can damage wires and brackets or become stuck in them. You won't have to worry about these issues with Invisalign because you'll remove your trays to eat and drink.

A Break: Sometimes it just isn't convenient to wear braces, even if they're clear. When you choose the Invisalign brace system, you can remove the trays when you attend a special event or play sports.

Simple Oral Hygiene Routine: Cleaning wires and brackets can be a time-consuming job. When you wear Invisalign, you can brush and floss as usual without worrying about wires and brackets. Although it's important to keep your aligner trays clean, cleaning only takes a few minute each day.

Ready to find out if Invisalign is a good choice for you. Call Dr. Rowan, your Mariposa and Merced, CA dentist, at (209) 384-3223 to schedule an appointment. Improve your smile with Invisalign!

By Dr. Richard Rowan
February 12, 2015
Category: Orthodontic Health
Tags: Braces  

Though braces are most common in young people, adults are increasingly looking to braces treatments to resolve their tooth alignment problems. If you’re still hesitating to get braces, just remember that wearing them is temporary but the results are long-lasting. If you take care of your teeth and keep up with regular visits at the Merced dentist office of Dr. Richard Rowan, you can bracesenjoy your straighter, more attractive smile for life.

What Types of Braces Are There? 
There are two main types of braces that patients can wear to adjust the positioning of their teeth: 

- Traditional braces (metal braces)
- Invisalign (invisible braces)

Traditional braces are made of metal brackets and wire that is used to gradually move teeth into a desired position. The brackets cannot be removed until the treatment is finished. Invisalign is a braces option that uses “invisible” plastic trays to gently re-position each tooth. The trays are custom-designed based on an impression of your mouth, and can be removed for eating and speaking in public. Your Merced dentist must evaluate your current smile to decide if you’re a candidate for Invisalign braces.

How Long Will You Have to Wear Braces?
The length of time that you will have to wear braces depends on the type you choose and the severity of the orthodontic problem. Traditional braces can take anywhere from one to three years, while invisible braces can do the job in as little as six months. In both cases, your dentist will likely recommend that you continue to wear a retainer after the treatment to ensure that your teeth maintain their new position.

Why Are Monthly Appointments Necessary?
You will have to visit your dentist every month to six weeks to have your braces checked and adjusted. With traditional braces, you will have to have the wires changes and brackets tightened, while with Invisalign, you will receive a new plastic tray at each appointment.

Set Up a Braces Consultation Appointment
If you feel that your smile can benefit from braces, have it confirmed by scheduling a consultation with Dr. Richard Rowan today. He is a Merced orthodontist that patients come to for up-to-date treatments. Call the office at (209) 384-3223 to schedule a time with a friendly receptionist or click the “Appointment Request” button.

braces white teethSome patients make the mistake of neglecting good oral care while wearing braces. Poor dental hygiene habits while wearing braces (and after) can serve to defeat the purpose of getting the braces in the first place. The goal of braces is to create a straight, white, pretty smile that will last for years. Dr. Richard Rowan, Board Certified orthodontist in Merced, makes it one of his priorities to advise patients on how to keep their teeth white, fresh and clean while wearing braces and when they’re finally removed.

Maintaining a White Smile With Braces

At Dr. Rowan’s Merced dental practice, he sees a lot of patients for whitening treatment, especially patients who have braces and aren’t sure how to maintain a white, healthy looking smile. The first tip he offers is to utilize the dental cleaning tools that are given as soon as the braces are applied.

1. Use Proper Dental Tools for Removing Debris

One of the most important tools is the brush that resembles a pipe cleaner that fits in between the brackets and wires of the braces. That helps remove food particles in a way that a standard brush can’t. To maintain whitened teeth, patients are encouraged to brush for at least two minutes per instance with a paste that consists of a teaspoon of baking soda and few drops of hydrogen peroxide.

2. Minimize Consumption of Food and Beverages that Stain Teeth 

Another tip that Dr. Rowan offers is a bit harder for some patients to commit to—they have to avoid overindulging in food and beverage products that are known to stain the teeth, like coffee, dark tea, red wine and blueberries. A lot of staining can be avoided by using a straw when drinking red wine, coffee and other beverages. Finally, flossing after each meal is imperative to good oral hygiene when wearing braces—the dentist provides special flossing tools designed to work around the brackets.

3. Think About a Whitening Treatment in Merced After Braces are Removed

When the braces finally come off, Dr. Rowan can perform a professional whitening to improve the color of the teeth significantly. The finished result leaves many of his patients very happy and excited.
For braces and teeth whitening in Merced, residents have Dr. Rowan in town, right down the road on West 26th Street. Appointment scheduling can be initiated online at or by calling (209) 384-3223 to speak with a friendly receptionist.
By Dr. Richard Rowan
August 29, 2014
Category: Orthodontic Health
Tags: Braces  
metal braces Braces can completely change your smile, but you have to make a few changes first for them to be most effective. One such example is the foods that you eat. Braces are subject to getting foods stuck in your teeth as well as foods that can put great pressures on the teeth, possibly causing the braces to pop out of place.
When you first get your braces, your mouth may feel initially sore and uncomfortable, making eating difficult. At first, you’ll want to eat soft, easy-to-chew foods that help to minimize discomfort. Examples of braces-approved foods after you get your braces include smoothies, mashed potatoes, eggs, soups and yogurts. After a few days, however, you can expect this discomfort to subside.
Once you do get more accustomed to your braces, there are some foods Dr. Rowan, a Merced orthodontist, recommends you avoid. These include chewy or sticky items, such as caramel bars, chunky peanut butter, taffy, chewing gum and gummy bears. Other foods can get easily stuck between your teeth, such as nuts and popcorn. While these foods can be tasty, they are best avoided when you have braces.
Some other foods may require taking some precautions while you eat them or require you to make a few changes before eating them. For example, if you enjoy corn on the cob, you may wish to cut the corn off the cob first as biting into the corn may be difficult. Speaking of cutting things into small pieces, you may also want to cut up apples and carrots. Eating chips and chewy foods such as bagels may require eating small bites at a time to avoid a chewy mess.
Additionally, sugary foods, such as colas and other sugar-containing beverages can contribute to tooth decay because bacteria love to feed off sugar found on the teeth.
You also should avoid using your teeth and braces to chew on non-food items. This includes ice, pens or your fingernails. Doing so can increase your risk for breaking off a braces bracket.
If you have other questions on the how to care for your braces in Merced, contact our office at (209) 384-3223.

Contact Us

Merced, CA Orthodontic Office

544 W 26th StreetMerced, CA 95340
(209) 384-3223

5131 Highway 140Mariposa, CA 95338
(209) 966-4600