Category Archives: Orthodontics

A gap wider than a river

I don’t know what to do. I have a tooth gap wider than a river. I’ve had it my whole life and it doesn’t bother me, but I have a sneaking suspicion it is keeping me from getting a job.  Options?

Rochelle D. – Missouri


It’s unfortunate that people judge us by our appearance. I love your plucky attitude about things. As far as your options go, you’re more limited because of the size of your gap.

If it were a small one, porcelain veneers or dental bonding would take care of it just fine. However, with a large gap, your best bet is to close it. Braces take forever. Plus, you’re worried about your appearance in order to get a job.

My suggestion would be invisalign. It fixes your teeth in half the time as braces without anyone even knowing.

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Can I get Invisalign when I’ve got braces?

I have braces, but I hate them. They hurt. They cut my mouth. My food gets caught in them. I wanted invisalign, but my mom was afraid I’d lose them, so she made me get braces.  I don’t think I can live with these and am wondering if it’s too late to switch to invisalign?

Mae Anne M. – Michigan

Mae Anne,

If your dentist said you’re a good candidate for Invisalign, then it is possible to switch. That being said, you’ll need to examine whether you’ll be able to keep the aligners in for the duration. If you’re not able to, the treatment won’t be effective.

If you’re able to do that, then you shouldn’t have any problem with the transition.

You’ll probably be happier with Invisalign, so it will be worth it to keep them in. Not only will you not have to worry about your mouth being cut by uncomfortable wires and brackets, but you won’t have food getting trapped in anything. You take the aligners out to eat. Brush and floss, then place the aligners back in.

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Invisalign or Wine…Having a hard time choosing

I’ve been wanting to get my teeth straightened for quite some time. I’ve always been a little uncomfortable with a small gap in my teeth. However, my dentist said I wouldn’t be able to drink wine while I was doing Invisalign. I think I’d rather impale myself then go several months without wine. Is there no wiggle room on this?

Sammie M. – Lawrence, MA


I think you may have misunderstood your doctor…or maybe your doctor is a prohibitionist and he was trying to keep you from drinking. Unlike traditional orthodontics, Invisalign can be removed by the patient. In fact, you’ll remove them every time you eat.  That means there will be no problem with you having a glass of wine with your meal.

He probably meant that you shouldn’t drink wine while your aligners are in. There is a good reason for this. Alcohol is corrosive and if you drink it while your aligner is in, it is likely to pool in the aligners and damage your teeth.

If the only problem with your teeth is a small gap, you have other options. Hopefully, your dentist also mentioned cosmetic dentistry, such as porcelain veneers or dental bonding.  Either of these would fix the gap without the need for orthodontics.

This blog is brought to you by America’s Dental Bookstore.