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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What are Space Maintainers?

What are Space Maintainers?
If your child loses a tooth early, for whatever reason, they may need a space maintainer. It is important to understand the benefits of a space maintainer and how they can help to support your child’s oral health.

What is a space maintainer?

A space maintainer is an oral appliance custom-made by orthodontists or dentists made of metal or acrylic. Similar to a retainer, a space maintainer helps to keep the surrounding teeth from moving and preserves the space for the permanent tooth to grow and develop properly. Not all children who lose their baby teeth early will require a space maintainer, but it is recommended that you seek a professional opinion to determine if treatment is needed.

Why are they important to my child’s oral health?

A space maintainer is important because they help to keep your child’s teeth in the right positions. When you lose a tooth, the surrounding teeth may shift towards the empty space. If this happens before your child’s permanent tooth erupts, it can cause issues with your child’s oral development and may lead to future orthodontic treatment.

Types

Space maintainers can be removable (similar to retainers) or they can be fixed and cemented to your child’s mouth. There are four kinds of fixed space maintainers:
Unilateral – Unilateral space maintainers are often used to maintain the space of a single tooth. One side is wrapped around the tooth to secure it from shifting and the other side has a metal loop to maintain the necessary space.
Crown and loop – The crown and loop space maintainers are similar to unilateral ones, except the metal loop is affixed onto a crown to ensure there is enough space for new teeth.
Distal shoe – A distal shoe space maintainer is made of metal and often used for slow-growing molars. This maintainer is more complex and often inserted into the gum line to hold the space.
Lingual – Lingual space maintainers are often used when multiple teeth are missing, especially in the front of the mouth. This device is fixed to both sides of the mouth and attached to the molars.

Treatment

Your child may experience some discomfort during the beginning of the treatment period as it may take a while for your child to adjust to the space maintainer. Once inserted, your dentist will explain how to care for your space maintainer as well as foods you should avoid. Similar to other orthodontic appliances, sticky, chewy goods can loosen or become stuck on your space maintainer and should be avoided.

It is important that children maintain good oral hygiene practices even with a space maintainer. Regular check-ups will be scheduled to monitor the progress of treatment, but your child should also continue to visit the dentist every six months for professional cleanings and routine examinations of their oral health.

For more information on space maintainers or schedule an appointment, please contact Bracify 3D Orthodontics today.

Orthodontic Treatment and Your Health

Orthodontic Treatment and Your HealthA smile is one of the first things you notice about someone. In terms of orthodontic treatment, the most notable and noticeable benefit from orthodontic treatment is the improvement of your smile. A bright smile is not just a symbol of confidence, but it can also be a sign of good health. In addition to improving your smile and boosting your emotional and psychological wellbeing, orthodontic treatment can optimize your oral health and improve your overall quality of life.

5 Benefits of Orthodontic Treatment

1. Orthodontic treatment can alleviate speech impediments.
Your teeth and jaw play an essential role in your ability to speak clearly. Misaligned teeth can affect your speech pattern. Orthodontic treatment can reposition your teeth to allow for clearer, more precise speech. This can improve self-confidence, interpersonal relationships, and overall quality of life.

2. Orthodontic treatment can decrease your risk of oral disease.
An uneven smile with misaligned teeth can be difficult to clean, brush, and floss properly due to deep crevices between teeth. These hard-to-reach places can allow harmful bacteria to build up and turn into tartar and plaque leading to the development of cavities, tooth decay, and periodontal disease. If left untreated, these conditions can lead to bone loss within the jaw and possibly the loss of teeth. Straightening your teeth through orthodontic treatment helps enable you to clean them properly and can considerably lower your risk for oral health conditions.

3. Orthodontic treatment can improve jaw function.
Sometimes orthodontic treatment can be used to correct a bad bite or malocclusion. Ensuring your bite fits together is important as misaligned teeth can place additional stress on the jaw and supporting structures of the mouth. This pressure can lead to abnormal wear-and-tear causing discomfort or pain and affecting your ability to chew, bite, and even speak.

After orthodontic treatment, your jaw can return to its natural position reducing pain, improving function, and relieving other symptoms of jaw dysfunction such as migraines, neck pain, and facial pain.

4. Orthodontic treatment can lower your risk of oral injury.
A malocclusion or misaligned teeth can weaken your teeth and their supporting structure making your teeth more susceptible to chipping and breaking up. This can be especially true for patients who often engage in high-contact activities such as sports. This can lead to infection and the need for extraction in severe cases.

5. Orthodontic treatment promotes a healthy body.
A healthy mouth promotes a healthy body. Your teeth and jaw work to break down your food effectively before it reaches your stomach. Misaligned teeth or malocclusions can cause large bites to not be broken down correctly increases the risk of reflux. This can affect your stomach lining and possibly tooth enamel. This poor digestion can even impact your body’s ability to absorb nutrients properly. There is also some medical evidence that supports oral health in connection to a variety of health issues beyond the mouth such as an increased risk of diabetes, stroke, and heart disease. Harmful bacteria can enter from the mouth and make its way to the bloodstream, lungs, and gut affecting the entire immune system. Orthodontic treatment can help to decrease your risk of these health conditions by promoting good oral health to limit your exposure.

Orthodontic treatment can benefit patients of any age. Early treatment, especially in children, can help to create beautiful smiles that last a lifetime saving many patients time and money in the long run. The length of treatment will vary depending on each patient’s condition and overall goal. For more information on the benefits of orthodontic treatment or to schedule an appointment, contact Bracify 3D Orthodontics office.

5 Common Oral Surgeries and What to Expect

5 Common Oral Surgeries and What to ExpectMany times when a dentist mentions oral surgery, it can be met with panic and fear. However, what many patients don’t realize is that oral surgery is more common than they think. Oral surgery covers a wide range of procedures that address common conditions with which patients may struggle. It is typically considered an outpatient procedure allowing patients to return to normal activities within a few days.

If you’ve never had more than a filling, the thought of oral surgery may feel daunting, but knowing what to expect for surgical procedures can give you more confidence. To remove some worry and help you arrive better prepared, we’ve decided to share a few facts about the most common procedures we perform.

Wisdom Teeth

The wisdom teeth, also known as the third molars, are the last teeth to develop. Though they may not cause issues every time, the average mouth does not have enough room to support the extra teeth. This can cause your teeth to become impacted between the gums and jawbone, causing swelling, pain, and infection affecting the health of surrounding teeth.

After a dentist has seen your x-ray, they can determine whether or not you should have your wisdom teeth removed. During this procedure, the teeth are removed through a surgical incision and stitched closed to aid in healing. Wisdom tooth extraction is an outpatient procedure that takes a few days to fully recover.

Root Canal

Root canals are widely regarded as the most common type of oral surgery with millions of teeth being treated every year. Underneath the surface of your teeth is a soft core known as dental pulp which contains blood vessels, nerve endings, and tissue. When a tooth starts to decay and is left untreated, bacteria can enter the tooth and begin to infect the pulp. This infection will cause pain, swelling, and sensitivity.

During a root canal, the decayed part of the tooth is removed and the infected pulp extracted. Once the tooth is thoroughly clean, it is then sealed. The final step is to restore your tooth using a crown or larger filling to protect it from damage and restore your tooth to full functionality. Root canals are typically outpatient procedures that may be broken up into smaller parts to ensure proper treatment and may take a few days to fully recover.

Dental Implants

If you have lost a tooth due to injury or infection, a dental implant can help fill the gap. Dental implants replace the root or roots of a tooth. They are used to secure crowns to the jawbone using a metal post made of titanium or titanium alloy. These metals are lightweight and biocompatible meaning they are less likely to be rejected by the body.

Dental implants are a longer type of dental surgery as it takes time for the bone to properly fuse around the implant before the artificial tooth can be placed. The procedure is typically broken into two procedures. First, the mounting system will be installed. After approximately two months and the site is healed, the artificial replacement tooth will be attached. You may use a temporary cosmetic tooth during the healing process which will conceal the gap in your teeth.

Dental implants can significantly improve your quality of life as they restore functionality and confidence in your smile.

Surgery

Accidents can happen and cause facial trauma that may affect your oral health. Reconstructive surgery can help you regain function and correct any injuries that may have occurred. Though the patient’s condition will determine the best treatment option, reconstructive surgery is generally broken into two types: soft tissue injuries and fractures.

Soft tissue injuries include damage to the gums, tongue, cheeks, or palate. Fractures refer to damage directly to the jawbone, teeth, and any bone tissue within the mouth.

Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a condition that involves pauses in breathing during sleep which can be caused by a variety of conditions. If conservative treatments do not reduce symptoms of sleep apnea, surgical intervention may be the solution.

During this procedure, excess tissue from the lower jaw or back of the throat is removed to alleviate and reduce symptoms. Laser surgery may also be used to tighten the palate to prevent soft tissues from collapsing on the airway during sleep.

We hope that with this new knowledge you have a better understanding of these common oral surgeries. Whatever your oral needs may be, we are here to assist you every step of the way by addressing any worries and concerns about procedures and ensuring your needs and comfort come first.

For more information on these common oral surgeries or to schedule an appointment, please contact Bracify 3D Orthodontics today.

Announcing Our Prosper Location

Bracify 3D Orthodontics

2361 E University Dr. Suite #30
Prosper, TX 75078

Phone: (972) 525-5500

Business Hours
Monday & Tuesday: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Wednesday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Thursday: 8:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Friday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Saturday: By Appointment Only
Sunday: Closed

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