How to Take Care of Your Retainer

January 1, 2019

Your orthodontic care does not end when the aligners are removed. Retainers are essential to stabilizing your new tooth arrangement. The braces or aligners force the teeth to return to the mouth, which involves the absorption of bones at the back of the oral cavity. To maintain your new look, you must use the retainers for a period that has been determined by Dr. Bailey, Dr. Smith, or Dr. Johnson. In many cases, patients must use these products for the rest of their lives. Depending on certain factors, the period can even be as short as three months. Retainers are used only intermittently, usually three to five times a week, for those who use them throughout their lives.The care of the retainers is essential to keeping your teeth in their new condition. The care of the retainers can be carried out as follows:

CLEAN YOUR RETAINER REGULARLY
Treat your retainers as your own teeth! Carefully scrub your retainer with a toothbrush and water after each use. Avoid brushing the retainer with toothpaste, as the toothpaste might be abrasive and cause scratches that will make it difficult to clean the keep your retainer clean.

WEAR YOUR RETAINER OFTEN
Use your retainer as often as recommended by your orthodontist. It’s best that you keep your retainer upright, so your smile stays perfect. Remember, retainers only work if you use them!

AVOID HEAT ON YOUR RETAINER
Your retainer will only work if it fits properly! Your doctor will prepare it with the perfect support for your mouth, but it’s up to you to make sure it stays that way. Avoid leaving your retainer in a hot environment, such as a windowsill or a hot car. It will melt or wrap. Never put it in boiling water; you may think that boiling it is a great way to make it as clean as possible, but the heat will ruin it.

KEEP YOUR RETAINER AWAY FROM PETS
Yes, you love your furry best friend, but they have a special ability to snack on retainers. Keep your retainer safe and away from pets at all times.

AVOID PUTTING NAPKINS ON YOUR RETAINER
If you wrap your retainer in a napkin during meals, it may be easy for your waiter or you to throw it in the trash accidentally. To avoid getting into the bin, keep your retainer in its storage box!

SOAK YOUR RETAINER
To add extra cleaning to your retainer, try soaking it. You can buy retainer cleaner, which comes in tablet form, or you can make your own cleaning solution by mixing 1 part of sodium hypochlorite with ten parts of water. Soak for 5-10 minutes, and your retainer will be perfectly clean.

REPLACE YOUR RETAINER WHEN NEEDED
Even a well-made retainer eventually wears out. If you find that your retainer is deteriorating or behaving differently, contact your doctor. Replacing your retainer when due is an important part of maintaining your smile.

CAREFULLY PUT ON AND TAKE OFF YOUR RETAINER
When you put on your stand, make sure it is always on. There should be no gap between the teeth and the support. When removing it, do not twist it with your tongue or pull it to one side. Otherwise, the retainer may get damaged. Loosen your retainer in several places when you remove it and then ease it off. Do not forget to store it in its storage box!

BRUSH YOUR TEETH BEFORE AND AFTER WEARING YOUR RETAINER
Before and after putting on your retainer, brush your teeth. If you put your support on dirty teeth, your support will get dirty much faster, and it is not good for your teeth

KEEP YOUR RETAINER ONE SPOT
It sounds obvious, but do not lose your retainer! Always keep it in the bag when not in use and keep it out of reach of dogs or children. If you lose it, make sure you replace it.

We cannot stress this point, use your support! Your teeth can change throughout your life. Even if you think your teeth are straight and will stay that way, it is essential that you continue to use your retainer! Taking care of your retainer will help to make your teeth look good and make the most of your investment, and do not forget to show off your big smile. For any retainer questions that you might have contact Dr. L’Tanya Joy Bailey, DDS, MS, PLLC in our Old Plank Location or Hickswood Location.

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The Benefits of Early Orthodontic Treatment

The Benefits of Early Orthodontic TreatmentTiming is everything, especially when it comes to your child’s oral health. Orthodontic treatment should begin earlier than most parents realize as certain conditions can become progressively worse if left untreated. Our staff and doctors are happy to help you determine whether or not early orthodontic treatment is necessary for your child.

What is early orthodontic treatment?

Though treatment can be beneficial at any age, early orthodontic treatment can prevent conditions from becoming more severe and leading to extensive treatment later on.

Early orthodontic treatment, also known as an interceptive treatment, refers to orthodontic treatment performed while primary or baby teeth are still present. The goal of this treatment is to intercept and stop the developing problem to guide the proper growth of facial and jawbones as well as provide enough space for incoming teeth.

The American Association of Orthodontics (AAO), recommends that children recieve an orthodontic screening at the age of seven. This is around the time that the back molars have erupted, and we can begin to identify any conditions or problems that may be developing.

Why should I consider early treatment for my child?

There are several advantages to receiving early orthodontic treatment. Early evaluation provides us with both timely detection and a greater opportunity for a more effective treatment. During this time, a child’s mouth and jaw are still developing allowing treatment to easily correct any misalignments. In the long run, this will allow for shorter, less extensive, and less expensive treatment.

Early treatment can correct and prevent several problems including:

  • Excessively spaced teeth
  • Expand upper or lower arches
  • Malocclusions (underbites, crossbites, any misalignment among the upper and lower teeth)
  • Overcrowded teeth
  • Protruding teeth

Is treatment always necessary?

No, not all cases will benefit from early intervention. In some cases, we may monitor your child’s growth before beginning treatment and in other cases, treatment may not be necessary at all. Our staff will conduct a thorough examination to determine the optimal time for treatment.

Will my child need additional treatment later on?

Though treating problems early has the chance of reducing your child’s need for orthodontic treatment later on, your child may still need treatment once all of their permanent teeth have erupted. However, treatment is often shorter in length and less extensive.

Early orthodontic treatment enables your child to avoid lengthy procedures, tooth extractions, and extensive treatment later in life. It also sets a stable foundation for future oral health. For more information on early orthodontic treatment and our services, please contact Bracify 3D Orthodontics today.

Taking Care of Your Smile from Home

Taking Care of Your Smile from HomeDue to COVID-19, many offices closed for patient and staff safety or were open for emergencies only. As our offices begin to reopen, you may be unsure of when you will be able to return for treatment. We understand that part of the success of the orthodontic treatment is showing up for your scheduled appointments, but under these circumstances, it is okay if you need to reschedule for your health. Our staff will work with you when you decide to return to our office to get you back on track with your orthodontic treatment plan.

With limited appointments available, now is the time to take care of your teeth and orthodontic appliance(s) to ensure the best possible result. If you are hesitant to return to our offices as we reopen, here are some steps you can take to handle any potential orthodontic issues and maintain a healthy smile from home.

Tips to keeping your smile healthy

Brush often – Keeping your teeth clean is important no matter the situation. If you can, brush and floss after every meal to keep your appliance clean and to prevent any cavities or other dental health concerns.
Stay on track – Wear your removable appliances such as retainers as prescribed so that you can keep your treatment on track.
Avoid problematic foods and drinks – If you are uncertain of when you will be able to visit us, handle your appliances with care until then. Continue to avoid hard, sticky, or crunchy foods that could potentially damage your appliance.

If you have any questions or concerns, call our office. Even if we aren’t open or if you may not be ready yet to come in for an appointment, we are here for you.

Handling common concerns

It is common to experience some discomfort with orthodontic treatment as your teeth move. Here are some steps you can take to alleviate any discomfort or prevent additional damage to your appliance while staying at home.

We would like to remind you that should any issues or complications arise during your treatment, your orthodontist should be informed immediately.

Supplies

Keep the following items on hand and you will be prepared to handle most orthodontic issues from the comfort of your home.

  • Orthodontic wax
  • Dental floss and flossing aids
  • Interproximal brushes
  • Toothbrushes, toothpaste, and mouthwash
  • Toothpicks
  • Q-Tips
  • Non-prescription pain relievers
  • Topical oral anesthetics such as Ora-gel

and discomfort

Discomfort and irritation are common experiences with orthodontic treatment, but pain should not persist for more than a few days. Rinsing your mouth with warm salt water and using pain relief medication can help alleviate discomfort felt during treatment.

Irritation felt due to your appliance rubbing against your cheek or lips can be soothed by using orthodontic wax. Make a small ball the size of a pea and flatten the ball over the surface causing irritation. If you run out of wax, it can also be purchased at local stores in the pharmacy section.

Some patients are prone to mouth sores during treatment which can be exacerbated by orthodontic appliances. These sores may appear on the cheeks, lips, or tongue. While not an emergency, they can be uncomfortable. Relief can be achieved by using a small amount of topical oral anesthetics such as Orabase or Ora-Gel.

Appliance Complications

Sometimes elastics or wires can become loose during treatment for various reasons. If you experience any appliance malfunction or complication, contact your orthodontist right away so they can advise you on the situation.

If an O-Ring (elastic rubber band) comes off at home, you can put it back in place using disinfected tweezers. If a wire ligature that holds a bracket in place becomes loose, you should remove it with the tweezers. However, if it is sticking out and not loose, to avoid any pain or discomfort, bend the ligature back down.

Occasionally a wire may work itself out of place and begin to irritate the soft tissues of the mouth. Using the tweezers or Q-Tip, push the wire so that it is flat against your teeth. If the wire cannot be bent or moved into a comfortable position, cover it with orthodontic wax for relief until you can visit your orthodontist.

These are just a few steps you can take to keep your treatment on track. Make sure to stay in contact with your orthodontist about how and when they plan to reopen for routine appointments. Keep in mind you may need to reschedule appointments due to limited availability.

For more information on treating issues at home amid COVID-19, please contact Bracify 3D Orthodontics office.

Toothpaste and Orthodontics

Toothpaste and OrthodonticsBetween the thousands of brands, different flavors, and claims it is no surprise that people can have a difficult time when choosing a toothpaste. Even some dental professionals admit that it can take time to differentiate between brands and types. If you are undergoing orthodontic treatment, it can make the decision even more daunting. To help you we’ve compiled the ultimate toothpaste buying guide to keep your smile healthy and happy.

Common Ingredients

Though there are many forms and types of toothpaste on the market, there are some common ingredients shared by most varieties.

  • Abrasive Agents – These are scratchy particles that work to remove food, bacteria, and minimal stains from the surface of your teeth while you brush. Calcium carbonate is the most common abrasive substance used in toothpaste.
  • Flavoring – Artificial sweeteners are added to make toothpaste taste better. Though many of us associate the flavor of toothpaste with mint, there are many other flavor options on the market such as cinnamon, lemon-lime, and bubblegum.
  • Humectants – Moisturizing agents are used to keep pastes and gels from drying out. The most commonly used humectant for toothpaste is glycerol.
  • Thickening Agents – These agents help to give toothpaste that distinctive consistency and texture that we are used to in our toothpaste.
  • Detergent – Detergents are used to create suds or foams while you brush your teeth. The most commonly used agent for detergents in toothpaste is sodium lauryl sulfate.

Types of Toothpaste

Toothpaste comes in gel, paste, and powdered forms. When it comes to selecting the form of your toothpaste, it is a matter of preference. There are many types of toothpaste on the market and while some may target specific oral concerns, others may cover a variety. Some of the common types of toothpaste include:

  • Fluoride- Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that has proven instrumental in reducing tooth decay and preventing cavities dramatically over the last 50 years. Toothpaste that contains fluoride works to strengthen your enamel to prevent acidic damage and also reverses early signs of decay by remineralizing the surface of your teeth. Anti-cavity toothpaste contains higher levels of fluoride than standard options.
  • Tartar-Control- Everyone has bacteria on their teeth known as plaque which can be removed with good oral hygiene habits such as daily brushing and flossing. However, when plaque is left alone, it can harden and form into tartar, which can only be removed by a dental professional during a cleaning. Tartar-control toothpaste is formulated to reduce the number of bacteria in your mouth using chemical compounds such as zinc citrate, thus preventing the buildup of plaque and decreasing the formation of tartar more effectively than other toothpaste.
  • Tooth Sensitivity- Tooth sensitivity occurs when your enamel is damaged and the second layer of your teeth, dentin, is exposed. Specific compounds, such as potassium nitrate or strontium chloride, desensitize nerve endings in your teeth to offer relief and add a protective layer to the exposed areas.
  • Whitening – Having a whiter smile is a common goal for many people. Whitening toothpaste does not typically use bleach but may contain more abrasive particles or chemicals to polish or remove stains from the surface of your teeth. It is important to discuss whitening toothpaste with your dentist as some can do more harm than good as the use of whitening toothpaste can increase your risk for developing tooth sensitivity. Depending on your goals, you may need professional treatment to achieve your desired results.

 

Brushing with Orthodontics

Toothpaste that contains fluoride is recommended for all patients as fluoride works to reduce tooth decay and protect your enamel from erosion.

If you are straightening your teeth with Invisalign, then your oral hygiene routine can stay the same and your options are endless. For patients who have other forms of orthodontic appliances such as braces, you may need to work a little harder to maintain a clean, cavity-free smile. As always, we suggest a fluoride option, but using tartar-control toothpaste can also help to reduce plaque buildup in those hard to reach areas.

We advise our patients to avoid using whitening toothpaste or products while receiving orthodontic treatment, as these products will only whiten visible areas and may leave patients with uneven colored teeth once your braces are removed.

For more information on which toothpaste to select or how your toothpaste can affect your smile with orthodontic treatment, contact Bracify 3D Orthodontics today.

Virtual Consults

Hey guys, please use the link below to schedule a virtual consult or braces check with me!

Looking forward to connecting with you all❣️Dr.Gupta.

Schedule A Virtual Consult →

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