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Famous for her self-deprecating humor and quotes, Phyllis Diller once said, “A smile is a curve that sets everything straight.

While there is truth to it, you will find it hard to confidently smile with crowded or crooked teeth. So, when it comes to straightening misaligned teeth, you have two main choices: Traditional Metal Braces or Invisalign Clear Aligners.

Teeth straightening is usually given to those who have misaligned or crooked teeth. But, it can also help resolve other dental problems such as overbite and crowding. In the US, about 20% of adults do not have a perfect bite.

In a survey conducted last 2016, results showed how straightening one’s teeth can put a positive impact on an individual’s confidence, success and happiness. Survey showed that 92% of adults claimed that having straight teeth gives them higher levels of confidence.

That is why more people undergo dental treatments to have their teeth straightened. More than 70% of the adults who participated in the survey declared that having their teeth straightened was one of the most significant dental treatments they had.

What are Braces and Invisalign?

There are many types of orthodontic treatments to correct or straighten misaligned, crowded, or crooked teeth. The most common are the traditional metal braces and the clear aligners or more popularly known as Invisalign.

While booth attain similar results, the process is not the same. Braces and Invisalign can straighten teeth to improve the overlook of your teeth and at the same time improve function.

Braces are made up of metal brackets bonded to your teeth and supported by metal wires and small rubber bands. While braces are completely visible and can cause discomfort, some people try to live with it and opt to make a fashion statement instead by using various colored bands.   

Invisalign clear aligners are completely different. As the name suggests, Invisalign is “almost” invisible. These clear aligners are made up of plastics that are totally BPA-free. They have been carefully molded based on the impressions taken from the user’s mouth. This is a good match for those who are self-conscious and worry about the way they look while undergoing this particular dental treatment.

invisalign teen charlotte

Which One is Better: Braces or Invisalign?

While both provide teeth straightening, choosing one over the other is a matter of preference and personal choice. However, there are cases that your dentist may recommend one over the other.

To understand more on how they work and which option is best for you, we have listed some pros and cons to help you understand which one is a better treatment for you.

Braces – Pros

  • Generally offered by most orthodontists and widely available
  • Has a solid and vast success history
  • Non-removable so you can expect continuous straightening of your teeth all throughout the course of your treatment
  • Customizable – If you cannot do away with the metal being visible, why not make a fashion statement out of it instead. You can use a different color for the bands each time you visit your orthodontist.
  • For more complex cases, braces can provide better treatment
  • Follow-up visits takes place every month

Braces – Cons

  • You may experience discomfort with the wires attached to your teeth. There might be some pain or sores caused by the tooth movement or the brackets.
  • You may have difficulty eating certain types of food such as hard and sticky foods
  • Highly visible – although this may depend on the person wearing the braces
  • Not suitable for patients with gum problems
  • Possibility of tooth discoloration

Invisalign – Pros

  • Designed to be “invisible”, your teeth will appear normal and will not change the way you look
  • No restriction on food types
  • Although there can also be pain when the teeth move, there’s no discomfort from wires and brackets
  • Removable – you can easily remove the trays for brushing, eating or when you want to floss your teeth
  • Maintenance is easier – no looping through brackets required

Invisalign – Cons

  • Removable – although it is already an advantage against braces, Invisalign is not suitable for people who cannot comply. Since it is removable, there’s a tendency to forget to wear them as often as needed.
  • High probability of loss since it can be removed – can be costlier with frequent replacements
  • Severe cases of misalignment or crooked teeth may not be good candidates for Invisalign
  • Requires brushing after each meal to avoid stains on teeth

Indeed, choosing between braces and Invisalign is not easy. They are almost equal in pros and cons. So, it all boils down to preference and personal choice.

At Friendly Dental, we can discuss with you both options and assess your condition so you can easily decide which treatment to take. Contact us today for more information.


6 Tips to Brush Your Teeth the Right Way

As they say, your smile is the prettiest thing you can wear. You are never fully dressed without it.

But how can you maintain a perfect smile?

In recent years, we have seen an explosion of interest when it comes to oral health. So many cosmetic and restorative dental techniques have been introduced into the market to promote a healthier, lovelier smile.

But nothing comes close to brushing your teeth. If you do it properly, you don’t have to worry about getting cosmetic or restorative dental treatment just to have a beautiful smile.

Statistics show that 23% of Americans can go on without brushing their teeth for two or more days. That is alarming as poor oral health can greatly affect one’s overall health condition. So, the importance of regular brushing and learning the proper ways of brushing your teeth are valuable to promote hygiene and overall wellness.

So, how do you brush your teeth the right way?

Most people think it is easy because it is common and have acquired the habit since childhood.

But did you know that improperly brushing your teeth can do more harm than good?

Here are 6 tips to brushing teeth the right way:

1. Use a Good Toothbrush

picking a good toothbrush

Although it will be hard to see with your naked eye, it is best to use toothbrushes with rounded bristles.

This means that these brushes are safer to use and will not scrape away important parts of your teeth such as enamel and dentin. Since you cannot see those bristles just by looking at them while grocery shopping, it is highly recommended that you throw it away before it wears out and becomes unsafe.

We advise that if you brush your teeth twice a day, it is best to change your toothbrush every four weeks. In general, changing your toothbrush every 3 months will do.

It is also best to buy a toothbrush with soft bristles. Harder bristles are like jagged knives ready to puncture and scrape your teeth – causing more damage than getting your teeth clean.

2. Do Not Over Brush

Do Not Over Brush

Over brushing is not about how many times you brush each day. There are people who would be concerned about too much brushing if they brushed their teeth after every meal.

So, if they eat more than three times a day, that would mean brushing their teeth more than three times a day. But that does not constitute over brushing.

Studies show that approximately 80% of people are over brushing. It is directly related to the way you brush your teeth. Generally, people brush their teeth until it feels smooth and squeaky clean. It is like scrubbing dirt from your bathroom tiles. Stop this mistake!

3. Massage Not Scrub

Brushing your teeth should be like a massage to protect your teeth’s dentin and enamel. Going back and forth is like scrubbing and this can be harmful to your teeth.

Like a massage, you should brush your teeth in a circular motion with up and down strokes towards the gum line.

4. Get the Angle

It is best to position your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to be able to reach the gum line. Normally, most people are focused on brushing their teeth and they forget their gums.

Bacteria builds up more on gums, particularly the area between your teeth and your gums. This area is often ignored.

5. Timing

Yes, brushing your teeth properly means proper timing. This means that you need to wait for at least 15 minutes after a meal to brush your teeth.

The goal is to let your saliva work its way to remove the acid from your mouth. If you’re in a hurry, wash the acid in your mouth with water before brushing your teeth.

6. Numbers Matter

brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes

We recommend brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes – no more, no less. On average, 70% Americans brush their teeth twice a day – one in the morning and one before going to bed.

Staying too long in the bathroom brushing your teeth means you are adding minutes on damaging your teeth. Stop the habit of listening to your favorite music every time you brush your teeth.

Brushing your teeth is the most basic and fundamental means of caring for your oral health. Do not wait until you experience bleeding gums or tooth decay before you start caring for your teeth.

Remember, your oral health is just as important as keeping your physical body in good condition. Your oral health reflects your total well-being.

If you need proper dental instructions or care, don’t hesitate to contact any of our Friendly Dental Group locations!



When was the last time you visited a dentist?

For a checkup, a tooth filling or any other dental procedure, it is about time you started thinking about visiting your local dentist.

2016 as we know it, is winding down. The holidays are fast approaching and the new year is closer than you think.

Take Advantage of Your Benefits

Dental insurance plans will have different benefits for each person. How well do you know what your dental insurance benefits cover?

Unfortunately, whatever benefits you have left to use for your dental plan, they can only be used for the remainder of this year and cannot be rolled over into 2017.

It is super important for you to take advantage of your dental benefits as soon as possible. Take charge, call us today (1-866-764-5387) or schedule an appointment and let us give you the best experience while uncovering the benefits of your dental insurance plan.

Get the Most of Your Benefits or Double What You Pay

dental insurance benefits wasted
Why pay for dental insurance coverage if you are not going to use it?

If you paid for it, you deserve to make the most of it! Be smart, don’t double the amount you would have to pay by not using your dental benefits by the end of the year.

Most dental insurance plans have at least 2 free teeth cleaning sessions per year. We can start there. Book an appointment and come get yours for free.

Our team is dedicated to giving you the best dental care and experience. At Friendly Dental Group, our primary focus is your dental health. In addition to fixing your current problems, we are also interested in the prevention of future ones. Haven’t you heard?

Prevention is the best cure, and with insurance, it is even easier. It only gets better for those who take advantage of their dental benefits.

Save More with your Dental Coverage

The math here is really simple. Here is a hypothetical scenario! Depending on your insurance plan, for a procedure such as a tooth filling that could cost you $100, you will only have to pay $25, and the rest which is 75% will be covered by your dental insurance.

Getting this dental procedure done before the end of this year, as opposed to doing it say in January next year (2017), will save you more money than you think. This is because if you do it this year, you will not be required to pay any more deductible fees.

Waiting to do it next year will require that you pay deductible fees and why would you want to do that? Why pay more when you can save? But as we all know, it is your choice.

Don’t Wait To Pay More, Call Us Today!

No matter where you are, we have got you covered with 22 locations widespread across North and South Carolina. Book your appointment today with the Friendly Dental Group before it’s too late.

Don’t wait until we are all booked up from those who understand how important it is to use their dental benefits before the end of the year and not let them go to waste! Contact Us TODAY at 1-866-764-5387, schedule an appointment, or find a Friendly Dental Group location near you!

About Us

The Friendly Dental Group is one of the largest and fastest-growing dental practices in the Carolinas, providing a wide range of dental care services, including; teeth whitening, extractions, braces and Invisalign, dentures, tooth fillings, and many other dental care procedures.

Our dentists and staff members are committed to providing our patients throughout North and South Carolina with high-quality customer service! At Friendly Dental Group, we strive to meet and exceed every patient's needs and expectations.

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