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Favorite Find Friday: Fresh Guard by Efferdent

Written on April 25, 2014 at 12:48 pm , by

There’s nothing more beautiful than a gorgeous smile. So to get mine to that level, I endured dozens of whitening treatments, floss nightly and had braces—not once, but twice! (You can read more about that here) Kind of crazy, I know, but since I went through all of that, I know how important it is to properly maintain my teeth with good brushing habits, even more flossing and most importantly—wearing my retainers (possibly the least sexiest thing on the planet, I know). But after my second round of braces, I swore to myself I would never let my teeth shift again, so I wear them every night like a good patient. Because of this, my orthodontist (shout out to Dr. Schulhof!) discovered I was grinding my teeth like a maniac at night. I actually ground holes in my retainers! (Maybe from all the stress of trying to have perfect teeth? Who knows?) So now I wear an additional grind guard as well. I basically look like a football player before bed and I have no idea why my boyfriend still thinks I’m cute. But I digress—the whole point of this is to say that I realized how insanely hard it is to clean a dental device. Each morning, I’d pop my retainers and guard out, and if you know anything about morning breath, then you can imagine what they smell like. I asked my orthodontist how to clean them and he suggested brushing with my toothbrush like you do your teeth. That seemed annoying so I suggested soaking them in mouthwash, but he informed me that doing so would actually dye my retainers, which are clear, so that was out of the question. So I diligently brushed my retainers each morning after my own teeth, but it takes up a lot of extra time. So, based on what you now know about my weird obsession with teeth, I’m sure you can imagine how ecstatic I was when Fresh Guard by Efferdent ($6, drugstores) came across my desk. Like, I was literally squealing. It’s like the Efferdent you always knew of for dentures but made specifically for dental devices like Invisalign, grind guards, retainers or even mouth guards for sports. They come in small Crystal-Light-like packets. You just fill a glass with warm water, pour in the packet and let them sit for five minutes. It contains a special formula that prevents the buildup of icky mouth film, reduces yellowing, helps remove stains and kills 99.9 percent of odor-causing bacteria—aka, my dream come true. As they soak, I brush my teeth, wash my face, put in my contacts and they’re clean! The water goes from blue and bubbly to clear so you know it’s time to take them out. Plus they’re also available in a wipe form, which is super-convenient for traveling or after meals when you’re on the go. I stash these in my purse and suitcase. And the wipes leave behind a fresh mint flavor so, to sum it up—this is one “find” that has put one big smile on my face!

Score a Perfect Smile (Without Anyone Else Knowing!)

Written on November 6, 2012 at 12:23 pm , by

For as long as I can remember, I’ve secretly obsessed over my teeth. I had braces when I was younger and as a result, my smile looked beautiful for a few years. But then I had my wisdom teeth removed and kept forgetting to wear my retainers (is there anything less sexy than a retainer?) and the next thing I knew, I was spending an unacceptable amount of time stressing over my crowded teeth. Once I started expressing my concern to friends and colleagues, I found out that I wasn’t the only one unhappy with my smile.

Placement of Incognito braces behind your teeth.

I researched options but knew that a second round of traditional braces was not right for me. Now that I was older with a career and an active social life, I felt embarrassed by the prospect of having braces again. But then I discovered Incognito Hidden Braces. I met with Dr. Schulhof of The Schulhof Center for Cosmetic Orthodontics and he explained to me how Incognito braces are just like the traditional version, but they are placed behind your teeth, making them invisible to others. Unlike other options out there designed to “secretly” fix your smile, every bracket and wire of Incognito is 100 percent customized to your teeth for accuracy, which can lead to fewer appointments and increased comfort. That means less time spent with the braces on (and at your orthodontist’s office) and more time getting on with your life.

Another bonus of Incognito is that they are actually safer to the health of your mouth for anyone with an active lifestyle. Since the brackets are safely hidden on the inside of your teeth, if you sustain an injury to the mouth (like a misdirected punch in kickboxing class or falling off your bike), you’ll avoid a painful busted lip. Many athletes have opted for this treatment as opposed to others since they can accomplish desired results faster and safer. Plus, Dr. Schulhof pointed out that for people who exercise often, many don’t hydrate enough and end up with dry mouth. Dry mouth and brackets that rub up against the inside of your cheeks and mouth don’t go well together and can even ruin a good workout due to discomfort.

If you don’t want to commit to a full set of braces or if you’re looking to straighten out just the front, most-visible portion of your smile, you can opt for Incognito Lite. This version works the same way as the full set, but they are applied to just the front six or eight teeth, which are seen the most when you talk or smile. The process is a lot quicker than that of regular braces and within a few months, you could be flaunting a gorgeous smile.

If you are eligible to be treated with regular braces, then you can be treated with Incognito. If you are in the greater New York City area, head to The Schulhof Center for Cosmetic Orthodontics to learn more or make an appointment with Dr. Schulhof. If not, visit hiddenbraces.com to find an Incognito-certified Orthodontist near you.