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Taking Care of Your Retainer

September 13th, 2018

Wrapping up your orthodontic treatment? Congratulations! You put a lot of effort into reaching this important milestone. To make sure your beautiful new smile lasts a lifetime, you are ready to embark on the next stage of your treatment – and maybe most its important: wearing retainers.

Retainers are amazing little devices that hold your teeth in their new positions while bone tissue rebuilds around them, stabilizing them. It’s a process that takes time. Even after new bone has solidified, you may need to wear retainers for a long time.

Teeth can move because the bone that holds them in place continually breaks down and rebuilds. During “active” orthodontic treatment, when teeth are being moved, the orthodontist uses braces or aligners to deliver gentle, controlled forces to guide teeth into their proper places. But forces are continually at work in the mouth that can move teeth when you bite, chew, swallow and speak. To counteract these naturally-generated forces, continued retainer wear may be advised. Nothing can prevent 100% of tooth movement, but when retainers are worn as prescribed, they are the best tool available to minimize movement.

The most important thing to know about retainers is that they can only do their jobs when they are in your mouth.

There’s More Than One Kind of Retainer?

Depending on the kind of orthodontic problem you had, Dr. Penny may suggest removable or permanent retainers, or a combination of the two.

Removable retainers are the kind you put in and take out. Traditional Hawley retainers are made of wire and a hard, plastic-like material. The part of the retainer that covers the roof of the mouth or goes behind your lower front teeth can be standard-issue pink (like the inside of your mouth), or can be personalized with colors or graphics to make a fun fashion statement. Nearly-invisible removable Essix retainers are available, too. They are molded from your teeth and are made of a transparent, plastic-like material. They resemble clear aligners that are used to move teeth.

Permanent retainers (“fixed”) are placed and removed by your orthodontist. Each is a custom-fitted wire that is bonded to the tongue-side of your teeth.

You and your orthodontist can discuss what’s right for you.

You’ll get a “prescription” for retainer wear – that is, when to wear them, and for how long. Follow your prescription for best results.

If you don’t wear your retainers as prescribed, not only may your teeth move, they may move so much that your retainers won’t fit. If that should happen, contact your orthodontist right away.

A Few Words of Advice

When your removable retainer is not in your mouth, put it in its case.

  • Always carry a retainer case with you.
  • Avoid dropping your retainer into a pocket or purse – the retainer can be damaged.
  • Never wrap your retainer in a napkin – it’s too easy to throw away.
  • Keep your retainer out of the reach of pets – dogs in particular seem to be attracted to retainers, and can quickly chew them into a state of uselessness.
  • Avoid heat – your retainer can become deformed if it’s left on a heater, a hot stove, or in a hot car.

Keep your retainer clean.

  • Your orthodontist will give you instructions for cleaning removable retainers, which could include brushing with toothpaste before you put them in and after they are removed, and/or the use of an effervescent cleanser.
  • Permanent retainers can be brushed and flossed; interproximal brushes may also be helpful.

If you have removable retainers, ask your orthodontist if they should be removed before you eat.

If you have an Essix retainer, you may be advised to avoid drinking liquids (except water) when the retainers are in place. Liquids can seep into the retainer, and the liquid is held against the teeth until the retainer is removed. Liquids with color (coffee, tea, red wine, etc.) can stain teeth. Liquids with sugar and/or acids, such as regular and diet soft drinks, can cause tooth decay.

If you have a problem with your retainer – it’s lost, broken, warped, too loose, too tight, etc. – contact your orthodontist.

Unless it’s lost, bring your retainer with you when you visit your orthodontist.

Now It’s Up to You

Keeping your smile healthy and beautiful is in your hands. Keep up with home hygiene and see your dentist regularly. To preserve the great results you got from wearing braces or aligners, wear your retainers as instructed by your orthodontist. Contact Cade Orthodontics any time you have a question or concern about your retainers or the alignment of your teeth.

When you choose Dr. Penny and Cade Orthodontics for orthodontic treatment, you can be assured that you have selected a specialist orthodontist, an expert in orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics who possesses the skills and experience to give you your best smile.Call today 407-656-0990 or visit us on the web at Cade Orthodontics.

 

 

 

 

The Dog Ate My Retainers

September 6th, 2018

Protect Your Retainers

This is a true story. While cleaning house, the mom of a teenage boy, who had a set of removable retainers after recently getting his braces off, found an oddly mangled “something” on the steps leading to the home’s second floor. The item appeared to be made of plastic and wire, and something about the blob seemed familiar. The light bulb goes off, and mom realized the “something” was her son’s retainers. They had been left unattended in an area accessible by the family’s pet dog, Sydney. The dog chewed the boy’s retainers into a useless mass.

This happens with surprising frequency. The working theory is that dogs are attracted by the smell of the materials from which retainers are made, as well saliva. With their powerful jaws, dogs can render retainers useless in no time. Retainers also meet an unfortunate demise when they are sat upon, stepped on, fall out of a purse or pocket, or are accidentally thrown away with a lunch tray or in a napkin. The game of “dumpster diving for retainers” is no one’s idea of fun.

Retainers are truly amazing little devices that help hold teeth in their new positions following “active” orthodontic treatment. Wearing them as prescribed by Dr. Penny is the most reliable way to preserve the placement of teeth that the patient and Dr. Penny worked so hard to achieve. Replacing lost or damaged retainers carries a cost. But they should be replaced as soon as possible to prevent any unwanted movement of the teeth.

Be Careful with Retainers

There are two places for removable retainers: in the mouth or in their case. When taken out of the mouth, retainers should be placed in their case. When taken out of their case, the retainers should be placed in the mouth.

Do not wrap retainers in a napkin – they can easily be thrown away with the trash. Do not place retainers in your pocket unless they are in their protective case. Without the case, retainers that are loose in your pocket can be broken.

Contact Cade Orthodontics immediately if your retainer is lost or broken, if it is not fitting properly, or if eaten by your dog. Remember – you need to wear your retainers, not your dog.

Call today to schedule your complimentary consultation 407-656-0990.

 

Six Must-Haves for Cleaning Teeth with Braces or Aligners When You’re on the Go

August 30th, 2018

Patients with any type of orthodontic appliance should be cleaning their teeth multiple times a day. Situations inevitably come up when you’re on the go and need to freshen up. Do your teeth a favor and be prepared. Stash portable items in a backpack, purse, school locker or briefcase. You’ll be rewarded with a healthy and beautiful smile when treatment wraps up. Here are six must-haves for cleaning teeth when you’re out and about.

1. Water.

It’s your friend. And it’s readily available at bathroom sinks. After eating, or after drinking a sugary and/or acidic beverage, if you realize your toothbrush is nowhere to be found, give your mouth a thorough rinse with plain water. Swish it around to get rid of food particles or traces of beverages. Water even helps to decrease the decay-causing acidity of your mouth. A water rinse is not as good as brushing, but it’s much better than allowing materials to remain on, and in between, teeth.

2. A toothbrush.

Even without toothpaste, brushing removes food and plaque and will help you keep your teeth healthy. A travel toothbrush takes up about half the space of a regular toothbrush. But if you prefer a full-sized toothbrush, we won’t argue with you.

3. An interproximal brush.

This is a remarkable little tool. It’s small and very easy to carry along. Use it to get at food that’s stuck around brackets, between the archwire and teeth, and in between teeth. It’s effective at attacking plaque, too. You may develop such a great appreciation for your interproximal brush that you continue using it after you complete your orthodontic treatment!

4. Floss.

Dr. Penny, also recommends floss for cleaning between teeth, the space between the archwire and the teeth, and especially under the gumline. If you have braces, be sure a floss threader is stowed with your floss. That is, unless you are using “pre-threaded” floss, pre-cut to length and with an aglet tip (like a shoelace). Some brands come in single-use packets, which take up next-to-no space. Those with aligners may be able to use a flosser, if that’s the tool you prefer. A bonus: minty floss freshens breath, too.

5. A mirror.

A pocket mirror can be handy when you brush. A post-brush check will reveal whether anything unwanted is still there. An alternative: use the selfie camera in your smart phone.

6. Toothpaste.

Travel-sized tubes are convenient.

Consider these “nice-to-haves,” too:

  • Orthodontic wax – if a bracket or wire rubs a sore spot, wax quickly puts a stop to the irritation.
  • Over-the-counter pain relievers like acetaminophen or ibuprofen – great to have on hand. Students may be required to leave such medicines with the school nurse.

A little extra effort at home and away pays big dividends in shaping your new smile!

When you choose Cade Orthodontics for your orthodontic treatment, you can be assured that you have selected a specialist orthodontist, an expert in orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics who possesses the skills and experience to give you your best smile. Stop by the office to schedule your complimentary consultation today or call 407-656-0990.  Visit us at Cade Orthodontics to schedule your appointment.

If my front teeth are straight, why should I be concerned about how my teeth fit together?

August 23rd, 2018

 

Looks Can Be Deceiving

Things are not always as they appear. We all know people who from the outside look healthy, but who internally are battling a chronic illness. Likewise, you may be interested to learn that even if your front teeth are straight, there can be a problem with how all your teeth fit together – a problem that can be bad for your overall oral health.

When the Bite’s Not Right

Think about gears. Their “teeth” are engineered to fit together in a specific way to perform a specific task. If they don’t fit together in the right way, the gears can’t do their jobs. It’s the same with your teeth. Upper and lower teeth are meant to fit in a certain way with their counterparts in the opposite jaw. If the fit is off, the bite is not right – even if the front teeth look straight. If the bad bite is not corrected, the stage is being set for potential problems.

The Goal of Orthodontic Treatment

The true goal of Dr. Penny is to create a healthy bite so you can bite and chew food efficiently and comfortably. Teeth that work better tend to look better too. The beautiful smile is a pleasant side effect of treatment.

A healthy bite is achieved by re positioning teeth within the jaw bones, and ensuring they meet as intended to allow for biting and chewing.

The following bite problems can be difficult to see because often times the front teeth are straight:

  • An underbite (or anterior crossbite) - when the top teeth are positioned behind the bottom teeth
  • An open bite – when the back teeth are closed, but the front teeth don’t meet, or when the front teeth meet, but the back teeth don’t touch
  • A deep bite – when top teeth completely cover the bottom teeth
  • A crossbite – when the bottom teeth are outside of the top teeth

If an improper bite is not treated, problems develop. Premature wear of teeth and chipping of teeth is a very common problem. Jaw joint problems can develop. There is a higher risk of cavities. All of this can make it difficult to eat and talk.

The good news is there is a way to check your bite and ensure none of this happens to you. Having a healthy bite applies to all of your teeth, not just the few front teeth people see when you smile. Check your bite, or your child’s, by consulting with us at Cade Orthodontics . More good news – Dr. Penny offers free consultations.

When you choose Dr. Penny for your orthodontic treatment, you can be assured that you have selected a specialist orthodontist, an expert in orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics who possesses the skills and experience to give you your best smile. Call today 407-656-0990.

 

source: https://www.aaoinfo.org/blog/post/if-my-front-teeth-are-straight-why-should-i-be-concerned-about-how-my-teeth-fit-together

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