Thursday, April 14, 2011

Why do I need a retainer? What type should I choose?

When a patient is at the end of their active orthodontic treatment they move into the retention phase of treatment. The purpose of retainers is to maintain the corrected alignment of the teeth. Sometimes the teeth want to relapse back to their original positions. For this reason patients are encouraged to practice loyal and frequent retainer wear.

The length of time a patient wears a retainer varies also. Their are basically three different types of retainers which will be described in more detail in the following paragraphs. Each type has their strengths and weaknesses and the doctor will discuss which type is best for you. The recommended wear for removable retainers is every night in the beginning and then a few nights a week after 6 months.

Removable Hawley Retainer- Hawley retainers consist of a hard acrylic (plastic) that covers the roof of the mouth or the tongue side of the lower arch and is combined with a wire in front of the teeth. This works to hold the teeth in place with light force against the front of the teeth. The acrylic is available in different colors. We sometimes use a variation of this retainer, a spring retainer, to move teeth into position if they have moved slightly. This is done with little springs placed in the acrylic.

Essix or shell retainer- This retainer resembles an Invisalign tray. It is made with clear plastic that covers all the teeth. It is made with a vacuum that sucks the plastic down over a model of the patients teeth. It is an excellent retainer in holding spaces closed and is very esthetic. Due to the thin esthetic plastic this retainer deteriorates at a faster rate than the Hawley and will need to be replaced more frequently.

Fixed or permanent retainer- These are customized wires that have been fitted to the tongue side of your front teeth. They are bonded to the teeth and can make flossing a little more challenging. They are excellent for maintaining the position of the front teeth.

Care and maintainence of all three types is important. Food and bacteria can adhere to any retainer. Please use a toothbrush to remove the debris. Soaking retainers in denture cleaners or a retainer cleaner will also help remove debris. Never boil or microwave any retainer, this will distort the retainer and it will no longer fit properly. Flossing and brushing is the best method to keep fixed retainers clean.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding your retainer, please talk to your doctor, they can always find a solution!!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Even celebrities have worn braces!!!

No matter the age, celebrities have been spotted wearing braces. It is wonderful to see them wearing stainless steel braces and not just clear braces and Invisalign. In an industry where looks are so critical, I'm sure it is difficult to get the okay from the agent to proceed with orthodontics. I mean it is usually a two year committment, but the results are very worth it.

Can you think of any celebrities with orthodontics that we may have missed?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Contest Winners for our Cutest Couple Contest!!!!

Congratulations to our winners of the latest contest!! What a fun contest it was, trying to guess each of the famous couples. Our winners are: Samantha Taylor, Isabella White and Gage Kowalis. They guessed all twenty characters correctly. The answers are as follows: #1-Ron and Hermione, #2-Mickey and Minnie, #3-Troy and Gabriella, #4-Hiccup and Astrid, #5-Edward and Bella, #6-Mikey and Celia, #7-Flynn and Repunzel, #8-Will and Elizabeth, #9-Eric and Ariel, and #10-Popeye and Olive Oyl.

Our next contest involves our staff!! Can you guess each staff members favorite animal? Come in and give it a try!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Definition of Orthodontics

Orthodontics is the specialty in dentistry that is concerned with the treatment and correction of improper bites(malocclusion). Malocclusion can be from tooth irregularity, improper jaw relations or both. Orthodontic treatment entails correcting the alignment of the teeth along with the correction of the jaw alignment. Some orthodontics are done for the purely esthetic purpose of straightening teeth but most include bite corrections as well.

The methods used to achieve the best results are metal wires inserted into brackets(braces), which can be made from stainless steel or porcelain. The wires and brackets work together to move teeth into the desired positions. There are different gauges of wires, treatment is started with a thin, flexible wire and then is gradually changed to thicker and stiffer wires.

Invisalign may also be an option. Invisalign consists of a series of clear trays that allow the Dr. to realign the teeth without braces. It does have limitations to its use.

After active treatment is finished the Dr. will generally use retainers to hold the bite in the correct position. Retainers can include clear plastic shells that resemble Invisalign trays, bonded retainers that are glued to the lingual side of the front teeth or the traditional Hawley retainers which are acrylic with a wire that is placed in the front of the front teeth. Many orthodontists recommend part time retainer wear for many years after treatment is finished.

Please feel free to contact our office if you have any questions or concerns.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

10 top orthodontic myths

We always have patients come in for their consultations full of questions regarding braces and what they have heard. Below are some of the most common myths that we have found.

1. Braces have to hurt to work- Braces have come a long way from the old days. Stiff wires were all that were available and they used heavy forces which caused discomfort for patiens. New technology has brought us low force wires so there is minimal discomfort.

2. The tighter the faster the teeth move-Too much force can cause damage to the tooth, bone, and tissues. The teeth will not move faster by using heavier forces, it has to be a balance of forces.

3. Wires have to be changed at every visit-We start with thin, flexible wires and gradually change to thicker, stiffer wires. We do not use a lot of wires, so there will be times that we are changing the colors only. This is due to several factors. The wires are designed to be active for 10 to 12 weeks and we see our patients every 5-6 weeks. Also, as we progress in wires the doctor is making adjustments in the wire to correct alignment and therefore no new wire is needed.

4. To achieve straight teeth, braces are needed- We do use Invisalign which are clear trays that can align teeth to a degree. There are limitations that may make traditional braces a better option.

5. My teeth will be straight soon after I get braces- Many patients have unrealistic expectations of the time frame of orthodontics. Most cases take 18-24 months to perfect the bite. Teeth can only move a small amount each month without causing damage to the tooth tissues. If they move too quickly there can be root resorption.

6. My teeth will stay straight forever- Retainers are an important part of treatment. They hold the teeth in their corrected position. teeth are surrounded by a ligament that has elasticity that could relapse with out the aid of retainers. We like patients to wear their retainers indefinetly.

7. Wisdom teeth are making my teeth crooked-There is no evidence that wisdom teeth can cause crowding. Teeth can drift over time regardless of whether you have wisdom teeth or not.

8. Overbites of any kind are bad- A mild overbite protects the front teeth from wear. We prefer an overbite of 2-3 millimeters.

9. My braces will come off exactly 24 months from when I had them placed- We can not give precise dates for the lenghth of treatment. There are several factors that add time to treatment, not wearing elastics, poor hygiene, broken brackets, missed appointments. Patient compliance is a huge factor in getting your braces off on time.

10. Changing orthodontists is an easy task- Every orthodontist uses different methods and appliances to reach the end goal. Also financially it is a difficult transition due to insurance as well as appliances. You will probably end up paying more if you switch. Some brackets and wires do not correlate with others, they have different slot sizes and dimensions. In this case the orthodontist may have to change all the brackets to finish the case started elsewhere.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Christmas Contest Winners!!

The holidays are over!  Are we all feeling a little sad or excited for spring?  We had some excited contest winners.  They must have been avid Christmas movie watchers to get all ten movies correct and the characters that matched.  We tried to make a few very hard but these four patients were able to figure them out.  Our winners were Josh Woodbrey, Dylan Woodbrey, Aaron Dudley, and Tyler Liddiard.  They won $25 Visa gift cards! 

Let's challenge the romantics with our new contest, Cutest Couples!!!  Can you name each of the characters in our contest?  I have uploaded the photos so you may enter from here.  Just go to comments at the bottom of this blog entry and give your name and phone number along with your answers.  Good Luck!!
Click to play this Smilebox collage
Create your own collage - Powered by Smilebox
Free photo collage generated with Smilebox

Friday, December 10, 2010

Christmas at the Office!!!

We have had a very busy week!!!  We delivered seventy-five of these beautiful poinsettas to referring dentist offices on Monday and Tuesday.  They were so big that five or six of them filled our whole cars.  It was great seeing the faces of the office staff at each dental practice when we walked in.  Many of them were so excited they immediately knew where they were going to place the poinsettas.  We make deliveries like these every quarter to show our appreciation to those offices.  Its a wonderful way for our staff to meet their staff also.  Thanks again to all those doctors and their staff.

Thursday night, we had our office Christmas party.  We started out by having dinner at Chili's, which was no easy feat with thirty-four people.  The service and food were excellent, they really went above and beyond to make sure we all had our food at the same time and were finished in time for the next phase of our night.  We went to the Hale Center Theatre to see "A Christmas Carol".  What a fantastic production!  If you have the opportunity you should go see it.  They did a fabulous job, even the children.  Its done in the round so every seat is a good one.  The special effects they can create in the small area they have to work in is quite amazing.  We all had a lovely time and thank our doctors immensely for taking us to this marvelous play.

Happy Holidays!!!!