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Invisalign® vs. Braces

January 17th, 2020

When it comes to orthodontics, there are many options available to give patients the perfect smile that they desire. Each method has its own specific pros and cons, based on the type and desired outcome. There are several factors that can influence a decision when it comes to a straight smile, including appearance, cost, lifestyle, and goals of the treatment. Whether a patient is looking for traditional metal braces, or looking to go the clear and convenient route of Invisalign®, Brinley Orthodontics is the place to go!

Not all patients are alike, so some options for orthodontic treatment are better than others for each specific case. The best way to know which option is the best for you is to seek a professional opinion from a trained orthodontist, like Dr. Brinley. While there are advantages to different types of treatment, there are also differences that can play a major role in the lives of patients. Read on to learn about metal braces and Invisalign® and learn which one is best for you!


Invisalign® clear aligners are a revolutionary breakthrough in orthodontics, which allow patients to enjoy the best of both worlds – freedom and beautiful straightened teeth. Here are some of the major aspects of Invisalign® clear aligners: 

Appearance: Invisalign® provides the same effects of traditional braces without the appearance. These aligners are small, thin, plastic trays that form to your teeth making them virtually invisible. Most people won’t even know you’re going through treatment!


Comfort: Invisalign® clear aligner trays are not only smooth and comfortable to wear, but they’re also removable which allows you to live your life as you regularly would. Aligners are comfortable, fit well, and are easy to put on and take off.


Hygiene: Proper oral care is essential to promote healthy, beautiful teeth with Invisalign®. This includes proper hygiene. Patients will need to keep teeth and gums free of food through frequent brushing and flossing. Teeth should be completely spotless when aligners are placed in the mouth


Eating/Drinking: Invisalign® is completely removable. That means you can continue doing all the things you normally would, from brushing and flossing to eating whatever you like. However, it is recommended to avoid drinking soft drinks, flavored waters or sports drinks of any kind with aligners as they can lead to staining and decay of teeth. 

Traditional Braces 

Traditional braces have been used by orthodontists to treat a variety of orthodontic issues for decades in both children and adults. Here are some of the major aspects of traditional metal braces: 


Appearance: Traditional braces are very visible in a patient’s mouth, with apparent brackets, rubber bands, wires, etc. However, there are a multitude of options to customize braces to fit the style and personality of the patient, including colors, metal types, and even tooth colored brackets. 


Function: With traditional, non-removable braces, the brackets and wires are working constantly to straighten your teeth which can speed up treatment! Typically, treatment lasts between one and three years, depending on the patient’s age, treatment method, and severity of case. 


Comfort: Through the duration of treatment, there may be some slight discomfort associated with braces, especially when they are first installed and following adjustments. There are ways to reduce discomfort with saltwater and wax. Many patients become so used to their braces that they forget they have them on. 


Hygiene: The most important part of wearing braces is proper oral care to promote healthy, beautiful teeth. This includes proper hygiene. Patients will need to keep teeth, gums and braces free of food and drinks through frequent brushing and flossing.


Eating/Drinking: While wearing braces, it is best to avoid hard foods which can break wires as well as sticky foods which may pull wires and brackets out of place. Additionally, it is best to avoid soft drinks and sugary drinks to help promote strong tooth enamel and fight against cavities. 



No matter what method of orthodontic treatment you prefer, the experts at Brinley Orthodontics are here to give you the beautiful smile you deserve! Contact us today to schedule a FREE consultation to see what options are best for you and get started on the path to a more confident life!


5 Smile-Worthy Benefits of Palatal Expanders

December 10th, 2019

A major benefit of receiving orthodontic treatment in childhood is that it's possible to take full advantage of the natural growth process to treat or even prevent future dental issues. A palatal expander is a device designed to help orthodontists do that.

Palatal expanders create more space in a child's mouth by gradually widening the upper jaw. Although this might sound scary, it's really quite painless and easy to manage. Keep reading to find out how palatal expanders could help your child!


1. It widens your jaw to make room for more teeth 

The palatal expander "expands" (or widens) the upper jaw by putting gentle pressure on the upper molars and premolars each time an adjustment is made. This helps reduce crowding because as it widens the jaw, it creates space for new permanent teeth. Down the road, this will help prevent the need for teeth extraction when it comes time for orthodontic work.

2. Helps Alleviate Airway Obstruction     

Expansion of the upper jaw can facilitate breathing through the nose, as it expands the nasal airway. For young children, especially those who breathe heavily through their mouth, this can help with a wide range of common health issues. Palatal expanders have been found to have positive effects on bed wetting, teeth grinding, snoring, & can even reduce the risk of sleep apnea!

3. Correction of Crossbite 

When a child's upper jaw is too narrow to fit correctly with the lower jaw, the back top teeth will bite inside of the lower teeth instead of outside. This can be corrected by widening the upper jaw, which is exactly what palatal expanders are for! Whether your child suffers from a unilateral or bilateral crossbite, expanders can solve the issue & set them up for a smooth experience with orthodontia later down the line.

4. Prevents Teeth Impaction 

Sometimes when a child’s teeth are overcrowded, it doesn’t leave room for new growth to break through. When a tooth that hasn't come in (erupted) yet and is blocked by existing teeth, they become impacted which can be painful & requires oral surgery to fix. Widening the upper jaw allows the teeth to erupt into proper positions on their own.

5. You’ll get that Hollywood smile! 

When the upper jaw is narrow, the fit between the upper and lower back teeth is affected, forcing a child to (subconsciously) pick one preferred chewing side. In so doing, the lower jaw is kept off to the opposite side (which accentuates the crossbite of the teeth) & could result in permanent asymmetry. Expanding the upper jaw early can remove the dental interferences and allow the lower jaw to “center” itself below the upper jaw for an aesthetically pleasing, broad “Hollywood smile”!

When it comes to the oral health of your child, being proactive is always the best course of action. If you’re considering orthodontic care or want to learn more about how palatal expanders could be right for your child, set up your complimentary consultation with Brinley Orthodontics today.

10 Signs It’s Time to See an Orthodontist

December 21st, 2018

Getting braces or Invisalign seems like a right of passage these days. That being said, the only way to really know if you need orthodontia is to get a professional’s opinion. Keep reading for 10 signs that it might be time to make an appointment with an orthodontist.

Overbite or Underbite

An overlap of your top teeth (overbite) can cause dental issues and should be corrected to avoid premature tooth wear. Similarly, tooth wear can happen with an overlap of your lower teeth onto your top (underbite) as well. Both issues are normally treated by aligning your jaws or teeth.


When the top and bottom teeth don’t touch, it’s called an open bite. This can make it difficult to bite or chew foods and, while sometimes genetic, open bites can also be caused by prolonged thumb-sucking or pacifier use as a young child.


If top and bottom teeth don’t line up on the side when the mouth is closed, there is most likely a crossbite. This causes teeth to wear unevenly and can be fixed by aligning the teeth or jaws, depending on where the issue is coming from.

Jaw or Mouth Pain

Some orthodontic issues are more felt than they are seen, but that doesn’t make them any less significant. If you experience jaw or mouth pain on a regular basis, you should see an orthodontist right away to determine the cause of your discomfort.

Speech Issues

There are lots of reasons why someone could have trouble with not being able to speak clearly, one of which is an orthodontic issue. If you have trouble saying certain words, or if you notice your child is struggling, it may be time to schedule an appointment with an orthodontist.

Early Loss of Baby Teeth

If baby teeth have fallen out much earlier than the permanent teeth can replace them, the adult teeth can be affected. When this happens, permanent teeth don’t always have the chance to develop and grow in properly. Alignment issues, gaps, & jaw issues can all stem from these hiccups in the development of permanent teeth.

Crowded Teeth

Crowded teeth are one of the most common signals that it’s time to see an orthodontist. Though most people are concerned about the way this looks, it’s not just a cosmetic problem. Crowded teeth can make it difficult to chew or speak, and can trap food in places difficult to reach using conventional cleaning methods. This can cause decay and gum diseases like periodontitis and gingivitis.

Large Gaps Between Teeth

Gaps between teeth often indicate a habit or mismatch in tooth size. Closing these gaps can not only improve the aesthetic aspect of a smile, but it also can help to fix jaw alignment. Gaps between teeth also leave the gum tissue exposed and at risk for being affected by plaque, inflammation, and infection.

Bad Breath

Frequent or persistent bad breath, even after brushing and flossing, may be a sign that bacteria are being trapped between crooked or crowded teeth.  Pockets or gaps that can lead to infection in the gums might also be present, and could be affecting breath freshness.

Routinely getting food stuck in your teeth can create a haven for bacteria that can cause gum disease and tooth decay. Orthodontics help eliminate gaps or pockets that trap food particles and give you a better chance at fighting off bacteria.

Constantly Getting Food Stuck Between Teeth

Knowing when it’s the right time to talk to an orthodontist about you or your child’s teeth can be difficult, but these 10 tips should set you on the path toward the right answer. To make your hunt even easier, we suggest starting the conversation with Brinley Orthodontics in the bi-state area. Visit Brinley online at www.brinleyortho.com to learn more about orthodontic treatments and schedule a consultation.



Top 10 Things to Look for In An Orthodontist

October 1st, 2018

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100 You deserve a smile that lights up a room — but where do you start? With so many orthodontic treatment options available and updated technology, it can be intimidating to begin your research. We’ve compiled a list to simplify your journey to straight teeth.

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1.) Friendly Staff

Choose a practice with a friendly helpful attitude. The best way to do this? Give them a ring! Listen to your gut - does the receptionist make you feel comfortable?

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2.) Experience/ Education

Your ortho should be well-educated and experienced. Ask about their credentials and past successful treatments. You’ll be glad you did!

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3.) Comfortable Waiting Room

Pick a practice with a comfortable, calm waiting room. Some practices like Brinley Orthondotics go above and beyond - boasting iPad stations, complimentary beverages, and a movie theater!

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4.) Cutting-Edge Technology

A doctor that utilizes updated technology cares about your smile. Companies like Suresmile use 3-D imaging and robots to deliver the best smile to their patients. Ask your ortho if they use this cutting-edge technology!

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5.) Appointment Flexibility

You’re busy enough without stressing over your appointments every few weeks. Find an ortho that offers evening appointments, and ease some of that stress!

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6.) Variety of Treatment Options

A good orthodontist knows that every patient is unique. Your specialized needs could require traditional brackets, aligners, retainers, or a number of other treatments. Your ortho should be prepared for your customized care!

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7.) Free Consultations

Make sure to ask if the practice offers free consultations. If they require an initial payment just to assess your treatment, their main concern could be profits above your teeth!

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8.) Finance Options

If the orthodontist doesn’t offer financing with competitive interest rates, you deserve better! A great ortho like Brinley offers zero percent interest - AND no credit check!

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9.) On-Time Appointment

Your time is valuable, and a good doctor knows that. You should get into your appointment on time and get out efficiently.

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10.) Insurance Options

Don’t let your insurance company hold you back! A great ortho accepts ALL forms of insurance — because everyone should have access to a beautiful smile!

Choosing the right orthodontist for you or your child can be daunting, but with these 10 tips in tow, your search will be a breeze! To make your hunt even easier, we suggest Brinley Orthodontics in the bi-state area. Regardless of the doctor you choose, know you’re in good hands if they provide these 10 attributes



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