Thursday, December 06, 2012

What Can I Eat with Braces?

Now that you have braces, what can you eat?

The first days in braces are more difficult to eat than normal.  We tell our patients that soft foods are easier to eat and chew than foods that are tough.  There will be a slight discomfort when you first get your braces on, so the action of chewing just makes it more painful.  Here are some GREAT IDEAS for the first three days in braces:
Breakfast foods

Scrambled Eggs
  • Scrambled eggs                    
  • Pancakes
  • Oatmeal
  • Cream of wheat
  • Bananas
  • Toast
Banana Recipe 
Lunch Foods
  • Pudding
  • Jello
  • Spaghetti O's
  • Ravioli's
  • Cheese
  • Grapes
  • Brownies
  • Hummus and Pita Bread
  • Bananas, Sliced Apples, Raisins
  • Breads 
  • Soups

Dinner Foods

Veggie Soup
  • Breakfast for Dinner
  • Pastas
  • Rice
  • Hamburger Helper
  • Soups
  • Grilled Cheese
  • Hamburgers & Fries
  • Chili
  • Cooked Veggies
  • Softer Meats
Desserts & Snacks
  • Pudding
  • Jello
  • Smoothies
  • Milk Shakes 
  • Ice Cream
  • Brownies
  • M&M's (Non-Frozen)
  • Chocolate
  • Popsicle
  • Cinnamon rolls

The first days in braces are always the hardest.  At first some patients have a hard time eating their favorite foods.  We ask patients to chew softly and to remember that they have braces on before they aimlessly bite into anything.  To help keep the brackets on patients need to cut foods into smaller pieces about 1 inch squares.  This helps allow you to get the food to the back teeth so the patient is less likely to break brackets.  After the about 2-3 weeks patients find it easier and easier to eat more foods that they like.
We tell our patients that they can have anything that they want as long as it is not Sticky, Chewy, or Hard!  This means that there are quite a few foods our patients won't be allowed to eat while they are having fixed orthodontic care.

Are you on Pinterest? Here is a link to our Braces friendly foods board on Pinterest.

Things to AVOID:

  • Jolly Ranchers
  • Taffys
  • Caramel
  • Bubble Gum
  • Airheads
  • Now & Laters
  • Skittles
  • Starburst
  • Uncut Apples and Fruit with hard centers
  • Chicken Wings, Ribs and Meat with Bones  
  • All of the above items need to be cut into pieces
  • Pens, Pencils and fingernails should be kept out of your mouth and away from brackets
  • Nuts, Hard Pretzels, Some Chips & other Crunchy foods
  • Frozen candies in Ice Cream
Things that you didn't thing you could eat but CAN:
  • You MAY chew SUGAR-FREE gum (We actually encourage it!)
  • Popcorn (Try to limit popcorn to special occations due to the extra Oral Hygiene needed to remove from braces, teeth and gums)
  • Chips ( You have to break them into smaller pieces)
  • Soda (We ask that you limit soda to mealtimes and always rinse with water after consumption)

Here are just a few ideas to help get you started on the first few days in fixed orthodontic treatment.

Monday, November 26, 2012

RubberBand Reminder App

Do you want to get out of
your braces faster?
If yes, this is the app for you!
Rubber Band Reminder will send you alerts
to remind you to wear your rubber bands.

RubberBand Reminder
Will track you progress and display a graph
and a letter grade that you can show to your parents, friends or your orthodontist.
Do yourself a favor & Download
RubberBand Reminder NOW!

In addition, it has a setting called
That will ask you through out the day whether or not you are wearing your rubberbands. You simply answer “Yes or No”.

If you wear your rubberbands consistently you will get out of braces faster and that decreases cavities, scarring, bad breath and gum disease.

This shows your progress 

RubberBand Reminder App

This app is compatible with:
iphone, ipod touch,
ipad, & Android.
This app is available for around $2.00.

Patients who are struggling to remember to put their rubberbands in after lunch this app is great for you.  Patients that show that they have been doing better with their rubberbands with this app will receive an extra coin when they show the doctor or assistant their progress graph.  Patients will also be able to keep track of their appointments and know how long until their next appointment.  This will help keep them on track so that they don’t miss appointments and slow down treatment.  This app is great for the kids and adults who have a hard time with their bands. 


Alarm Challenger
This app sets alarms to go off when rubberbands are suppose to be replaced. This takes the guess work out of your rubberbands wear.

Sleeper Mode
This will allow you not to be challenged while you are sleeping or during the school day.

We ask that patients download at the chair side.
(Just like our patients forget to wear their bands, they will forget to download the app when they get home)
******This is a pay app so we ask for parent permission before you buy.  

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Checklist Before Leaving the Orthodontist

Got my Braces on! What's Next?

Checklist For Every Appointment

There are routine steps that we ask you to take prior to leaving the office.  These steps will minimize discomfort related to irritation from the braces and ensure an optimal response to treatment.  Please make these steps a part of each office visit prior to leaving:

  • Using your finger and tongue, check that wire ends do not extend into areas that could poke or pinch the cheek or tongue.
  • Make sure you understand what you are to do until your next appointment.  This could include wearing headgear or elastic rubber bands as instructed, activating an expander or following specific hygiene or diet instructions.
  • Make sure you have an adequate supply of orthodontic wax, special cleaning aids, rubber bands or other related materials that you may need between appointments.
  • Always schedule your next appointment before leaving the office.  Waiting 1-2 weeks after an appointment to schedule your next office visit complicates the scheduling process.  Waiting too long often means we will not have the appointment time that you would like.  Postponing appointments is a common contributor to extending treatment.
  • Make sure that your questions about treatment are answered.  Treatment goes better when everyone understands the treatment process.  We encourage parents to accompany their children to their appointments, allowing us the opportunity to update you on the treatment process.
Parents should always feel welcome to come back to the clinical area.  If you have any questions about your child's progress please ask.  Questions such as: "How much longer will my child be in braces?" will be much easier to answer if you are present when the doctor is checking your child's braces.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Why See the Dentist while in Braces

Importance of Regular Dental Check Ups

Orthodontic treatment should be a cooperative effort between the orthodontist, the patient and the family dentist.  Although we will advise you of any obvious dental decay, we as orthodontic professionals do not give our patients a dental examination for decay or gum problems. Your family dentist takes special cavity detecting x-rays and gives you your regular cleaning and fluoride treatments.  These services are the responsibility of your regular dentist, and we expect all patients to maintain their regular office visits with their dentist.  To facilitate these visits, patients in "braces" may come in to our office before going to the dentist to have the wires removed and replaced after their cleaning.  Please CALL us so we may coordinate these wires out /wires in visits with your scheduled visit date and your dental check up.

Monday, November 12, 2012

How Do I Take Care of My Braces

Fixed Appliance Care
       We are glad to be working with you to create a great smile!  We need your cooperation to make youe treatment as pleasant as possible.  The following instructions should help you care for your appliances and your oral health while under going orthodontics treatment.

Initial Soreness:
        Ibprofen, or what you would normally take for a headache, may be taken as needed for discomfort.  It is best to keep ahead of the pain by taking the medication early and for 2-3 days after the appliance is placed and also for major adjustments.

        Wax may be used to cover brackets, bands, wires or any sharp areas.  A pea-sized ball pressed onto the area will relieve the sharpness.  Remove the wax before brushing and if you find it helpful to keep it on while eating, try not to swallow it!  Unusually sharp spots may require adjustments at our office.  Please call us for any questions regarding this.

       A mouth rinse of 1tsp. salt to 1 cup warm water maybe used yo help heal cuts or scrapes in your mouth.

Conscientious Oral Health:
          Brush teeth at least twice a day with a soft bristled or an electric tooth brush.  You will need to angle the bristles to remove all the plaque and food from your teeth.  You will need to angle your bristles above the brackets, on top of the brackets and wire and under the brackets.  Make sure to apply enough press so the bristles touch your teeth.  Often times it is necessary to pull your lips and cheeks back (especially the lower lip) to get at the area between the gums and braces.  Check your teeth when you finish brushing.  Your teeth, braces and wires should shine.  Gums should be pink and firm.  If they are not, you haven't brush adequately.

          Floss daily.  Use a floss threader or super floss to ease the process.  Use a proxy brush (the "Christmas tree" shaped brush) to clean under and around wires as well as between teeth.

         After your evening brushing and flossing, rinse with a half a cap full (1tsp) of fluoride rinse.  Swish in mouth for 60 seconds and spit it out. (DO NOT SWALLOW)  Bedtime is a good time to do this so the fluoride can work while you are sleeping.

Signs of Improper Oral Hygiene:
  • Red, Puffy gum tissue that bleeds easily during brushing or flossing.  This doesn't mean to stop brushing and flossing!  When the gums heal up the bleeding will stop.
  • Presence of plaque (Sticky film on braces and teeth)
  • Bad Breathe
  • Decalcification (white marks on the teeth)
  • All these problems are preventable with good oral hygiene.
Breakage Instructions:
  • Check your braces daily for any loose or broken bands, brackets or wires and call the office if you need a repair.
  • Breakage can cause undesirable tooth movement that will prolong treatment time so please be careful.  Damage to the teeth and soft tissue is also possible if broken appliances are not repaired.
  • Wax may be used to cover anything sharp or to hold things in place until you can get into the office to get them fixed.
  • Remember if you have a broken bracket this could extend your orthodontic treatment.
Mouth and Lip guards:
  • We offer generic mouth guards for active sports. Please let us know if you need one.
  • We offer lip guards for patients who play certain musical instruments or who are in gymnastics or "Cheering" Poms.
  • When you are finished with your fixed appliances, we also offer custom made mouth guards for patients who play sports and would like a guard that will also help keep their teeth straight.
Modified Eating Habits:
  • Please do not chew anything HARD, such as ice cubes, hard candy, pens or pencils, and fingernails.
  • Please do not chew anything STICKY, such as taffy, caramel, gummy bears, bubble gum etc. (sugarless gum is okay and even encouraged)
  • Please do not bite into anything tough with your front teeth, such as apples, corn on the cob, bagels, and meat that is on a bone. (cut these things into pieces small enough to eat with a fork daintily)
  • Please LIMIT amounts of carbonated drinks (soda), flavored water (propel), sports drinks (Gatorade), energy drinks (Red Bull) or juice.  Basically anything besides water.  If you drink these drinks, try to drink them with a meal and always remember to brush or at least rinse with water afterwards.
  • Nothing STICKY, CRUNCHY, HARD or CHEWY!!!!!    All of these thing have a higher opportunity to weaken loosen or break brackets.  These loose or broken brackets could lengthen your treatment time, so it's up to you 


Monday, October 22, 2012

How to take care of my Invisalign

In our office we tell our patients in detail all of the Rules of Invisalign, along with how to take care of them, how to wear them and also the cleaning instructions.  We give our patients a small kit that makes the transfer into wearing Invisalign that much easier.  I will go over everything that we go over in our office as well as what we put in our kits. We always allow our patients to call us when they get home if they have questions.

Wearing of aligners
The most important part in teeth movement with Invisalign is that the patient is very cooperating with wearing their aligners and also that they keep track of which aligner that they are wearing them as much as they need to.  Each aligner is to be worn for 22 hours each day (Basically this means take them out only when you eat drink (anything besides water) or brushing your teeth) for optimal wear.  They wear each aligner for a 2 week 14 day period. Well patients ask "What happens if I have a meeting and I can wear them or its Thanksgiving and I will be eating all day and I don't want to lose them?"  The answer to this is simple just make up for the time that you lost at the end of your two week period.  So if on Thanksgiving you only wore them in the morning and at night but you missed the whole day well add a day at the end of your two weeks.  If you only had them out for a 4 hour meeting, instead of changing in them at your usual time change them 4 hours later or the next day.  It will never hurt to wear an aligner a little longer then what is scheduled.  It is important to get the most wear out of each aligner so that no incorrections happen.  (An incorrection is when a patient wears an aligner for less time and expects the next aligner to fill the void.(Each aligner can only move the teeth 100% of the way. So if you only wear your aligner 80% of the amount of time needed you are trying to force the next aligner to move your teeth 120% of the way.)) What happens if your aligner is rubbing?  We can always trim the edge that is bothering you or you may do so with a emery board or small scissors.   

Oral Hygiene
The next important thing to know about your Invisalign wear is Oral hygiene and the cleaning instructions for your aligners.  Your oral hygiene is pretty simple take you aligners out when you brush, and brush you teeth, floss and use the fluoride rinse.(We provide you a fluoride for your nightly brushing.)  Invisalign suggests that you brush your teeth after every meal.  We know that this isn't always possible so if you can't brush you may chew a piece of gum for a few minutes spit it out and replace your aligners or just rinse your mouth out the best that you can.  Patients ask what kind of toothpaste or what kind of toothbrush, well that is another easy question you may use whatever kind that you like as long as is accepted by the American Dental Association.  
Cleaning the Aligners
We ask our patients to clean their aligners when they brush their teeth and rinse aligners with water when they take them out to eat.  To clean your aligners we ask that you do not use toothpaste but a mild liquid soap (it can be anti-bacterial or not its up to you) (dish soap works great and fruity smelling soaps work best) What you do is work this into a lather in your hand then use a q-tip or a small soft toothbrush that has never had toothpaste in it to scrub the aligner. NEVER allow your aligners to be stored or cleaned in any extreme heat or cold locations.  This may distort the aligners resulting in them not fitting properly.  Dish washers and cars are not a good place for aligners and Never boil them to sterilize them. 

Aligner Insertion

1. Make sure you have the proper aligners.  The upper on the top and the lower on the bottom. Invisalign provides labels on each aligner.  It has your personal ID # and it provides a U for upper and an L for lower as well as the # aligner you are on. (See photo)
2. Make sure teeth are clean.  Make sure you rinse your aligners as well.
3. Place the top aligner in over the corresponding teeth then gentle push the aligner in place. Make sure you push the aligner into place completely so that there are no gaps between the teeth and the aligner.  Then do the same for the lower.  You may now apply pressure to the aligner by pressing teeth together. Do not put aligners in mouth and bite them into place.
4. If you experience a pinching or scratching sensation your aligner can be adjusted by the doctor or an assistant.  If it needs just a slight adjustment you can use an emery board to smooth an edge if you aren't at the doctor's office.

Aligner Removal
1. Start by using your fingertips on the back teeth (molars) and slowly work your way to the front. Gently pull them off your teeth.
2. To help prevent damage to the aligners avoid removing from the same place every time and removing them only when you are eating or brushing.
3. DO NOT remove with any sharp objects.
4. After removal rinse in water and put your aligners in a protective case.  DO NOT place in a napkin or anything that looks like trash. Only store them in a protective case.
       Don't twist or bend aligners.  This will result in cracking or the the breakage of your aligner

Storing your Invisalign Aligners

We provide our Invisalign patients with two cases.  We ask that all of our patients with removable appliances store their appliances in a protective case.  This will protect them from damage or loss.
Why do we give you two cases?  We ask that you keep your current aligner in one and the second case we ask that when you move to your next aligner you store your previous align in the second case.  This way you will have something to fall back on encase you loss or break an aligner.  If you do not have a previous aligner and you loss or break an aligner you have no way of insuring that your teeth will remain in the same place until you can get a replacement aligner.  It is a good idea to keep all of your aligners in a clean plastic bag in and out of reach of small children and pets.    

Invisalign Start Kit
In our Start Kit we provide our patients with everything that they will need their first few days in Invisalign.  This kit works great when you are not at home.  What it includes:

1. A case to keep all of your supplies in
2. Travel toothbrush and tooth paste
3. Floss
4. cups
5. Sanitary wipes
6. Latex gloves (for easier removal after attachments are placed)
7. Fluoride

Why we provide fluoride treatments?
We provide fluoride to all of our patients that are in any type of orthodontic appliances.  If proper oral hygiene is not provided the fluoride helps strengthen teeth so that decalcification does not occur.  Fluoride provides an extra strength to teeth preventing cavities.   We ask our patients to use the fluoride rinse once a day at bedtime.  We have our patients follow their normal nightly oral hygiene procedure and then use their fluoride rinse that we provide.  We have them use half of the white cap full and swish for 60 secs.  Then spit it out and do not rinse out with water after.  Then replace aligner.  After rinsing then go to bed.  If you must have a drink of water after you rinse please leave the fluoride on your teeth for at least an hour.  When reading the bottle it asks you to used more then what we do.  You only need a small amount to protect your teeth.  This bottle should last about 3 months.  If you are using the bottle faster then 3 months you are using too much and if you are not using the bottle in 3 months you are using too little.
Please do not swallow and keep out of reach of small children. 


Friday, October 19, 2012

Frequently Asked Questions about Invisalign

Q:Will my Invisalign treatment be painful?
A: During the first few day patients feel a slight discomfort similar to a tightness or tenderness associated with a new pair of shoes or tightness of a pair of roller skates. This is normal.  This is a sign of the aligner working and moving teeth.  This pain is normal and should slowly fade as the aligner moves teeth.  The best way to keep the discomfort at a minimum is to take tylenol or I-B profen or anything that you would normally take for a headache.  We tell our patients to take this the day you start and the next day.  This will ease this process and help keep your mind off your teeth.  The best medicine is to stay busy and keep your aligners in as much as possible.

Q: Will wearing my Invisalign affect my speech?
A: Like any orthodontic treatment there are always a slight difference in speech.  Our patients notice a slight lisping the first few days the best way to get rid of this is practice talking in them.  Read a book out loud or sing in the car.  Talk as much as possible to retrain your tongue and this will disappear.  Most of our patients notice no change in speech at all, however.  Usually the only people who notice are close friends or family that you talk to on the phone.  The people who you speak to on a daily basis (co-workers & friends)  do not notice any changes. 

Q: What do I do if my aligners do not snap into place?
A: Minor discrepancies between the new aligner and current tooth position are normal, since the current tooth position are normal.  Since teeth need time to conform to the new aligner position.  You may need to add a few days until you change into your next aligner.  Always check your aligner before you try in a new one.  Check to see if the aligner is the right number and if it contends your personal ID#.  If all of this is correct and it still does not fit correctly consult the orthodontist.

Q:  Are there restrictions on what I can and can not eat?
A:In general, no.  Unlike traditional orthodontic appliance you can take your "braces" out.  So you may eat whatever you want.  The first few days in your aligners you may not want to eat anything too tough or chewy. This maybe more painful. 

Q: Is it ok to drink hot or cold drinks while wearing my aligner?
A: Except for cool water, Invisalign recommends that you take out your aligners to eat or drink anything.  This is to avoid the formation of cavities or staining.  Also hot drinks may warp the aligners.

Q: Can I chew gum with my aligners in?
A: NO.  Chewing gum will stick to the aligners.  If you need to chew gum the best time is after a meal, chewing sugar-free gum will help clean food from between the teeth. 

Q: Will smoking or chewing tobacco stain the aligners?
A: Yes, it is possible to stain the aligner if you smoke or chew tobacco.

Q: What should I do if I loss or break an aligner?
A: We tell our patients that they should go back to their previous aligner and call us so we can order a new aligner.

Thursday, August 02, 2012

My Glued in Retainer

In our office,  bonded (glued in) retainers are used for certain hard to hold orthodontic corrections.  These include lower front teeth, spaces between upper front teeth and teeth with weak gum and bone support.  

Bonded retainers are not indestructible!  So we reminder our patients and anyone who might have this type of retainer to be careful chewing on hard and very sticky things.  

              It can be more difficult to brush these the teeth with the retainer on.  Make sure you clean all around and remember to floss.  It will be harder to floss with the retainer but you can always use superfloss or floss threaders to get around the bonded retainer.  

                Every night when you brush your teeth check your retainer.  If any part of the retainer comes loose from your tooth, even if part is still attached, make an appointment at the orthodontist as soon as possible.  These bonded retainers are only for holding teeth where they are and do not straighten teeth.  If your retainer comes loose and teeth move or shift a different active appliance will be required to realign your teeth and there will be a charge.  

           As any other dental appliance regular monitoring of this retainer is necessary; either by your orthodontist or by your primary dentist at regular check ups or cleanings.  After a number of years the dentist or orthodontist can remove this glued in retainer and replace it with a removable retainer that can be worn just at night.  (There is a charge for a new retainer)

               In our office after the removal of your active orthodontic appliances and two years of retention office visits we let our patients go on an as needed basis.  This means that we no require them to come in for visits if their retainers are fitting well and causing no problems.  

             We call this a Post Retention Phase or PRP.  Your teeth are now as stable as they ever will be.  Unfortunately, this does not mean your teeth will never move.  So we request that you wear your retention appliances as long as you would like to keep your teeth straight.  At our patients PRP appointment we give them the option with their bonded retainer to leave it, remove it and get a removable retainer or to remove it and do nothing.  

              If a patient chooses to keep the glues in retainer we just ask that they have their dentist check it once a year to make sure teeth are continuing to stay straight and the teeth are being kept clean.  If a patient removes it and has a removable retainer made we just as them to wear this retainer at night with their other removable retainer.  If a patient chooses to go without any retention appliances we just ask that if at anytime their teeth start to move or shift they see an orthodontist as soon as possible so that they can adjust their teeth so they will not have to have full braces again.  We do not recommend this last option!

Wearing your retainer is the best insurance you have to keeping a healthy and attractive smile!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Summer Time and Straight Teeth

Summer is one of the best times to get starting on teeth straightening.  This time of the year hours or more relaxed and flexible.  Patients are out of school which means you won't be missing school.  We have early morning and lunchtime hours so you won't miss camp or work.

We also have many patients starting invisalign.  They are really enjoying that we don't have to take impressions to make the invisalign anymore.  With our new I-tero scanner patients will have a 3-D model of their teeth in around 10 minutes.  Then those models are set directly to invisalign.  Doctors turn around time on invisalign has never been faster.  Don't have invisalign?  Make an appointment today!

Retention-  Remember to wear your retainer!  If you go for any length of time without wearing your retainer and it is not fitting properly please visit your orthodontist today!  The longer you go without a retainer that fits properly the more likely your teeth will move.  Patients get out of schedule without having daily schedule and vacations and camps and we understand but your teeth do not.  Make sure to bring your retainers with you on trips and make sure that you store them in a case and in a cool or room temperature environment.

Cleaning- Make sure that you clean your retainers when you clean your teeth and remember that we will clean your retainer anytime just call before you come in.

Remember to support Century Orthodontics by wearing your Century Orthodontic T-Shirt when you travel and to bring in or share a photo with us!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Sports and Orthodontics

Many of our patients have questions about sports and orthodontics and these are some of them.

Should I wear my retainer while playing sports?
            No, you should not wear any removable appliance when playing sports or swimming.  Please bring your appliance or retainer with you to the sporting event.  Remember when playing sports that you could get bumped in the mouth to wear a mouth guard for the safety of your lips and teeth. Please view our blog on helmets & Mouth guards.

What is the best way to protect my teeth when I'm practicing?
           You should wear a mouth guard anytime that you think that you may get bumped in the mouth. This includes wearing a mouth guard during practices and games.  Even the sports that you wouldn't think about needing a mouth guard can be dangerous.  Remember any type of extreme sport, gymnastic exercise or even horseback riding could benefit from wearing a mouth guard.  I always tell my patients that it is their responsibility to wear something to protect their mouths.

I'm afraid I will lose my retainer when I am playing sports can I leave it in the car?
          You should never leave a retainer in the car.  Retainers are very sensitive to heat, and can distort even on a mild day.  Retainers and orthodontic appliances should be kept in a case when not in the mouth and that case should be kept somewhere that nothing will mess with it and will not be forgotten.  If you have your retainer case make sure it has your first and last name on the case in case you lose it.  Make sure you have your phone number or our phone number on the case so it can be returned to you if you forget it somewhere.

I wear my mouth guard when I play hockey but I still brake brackets, what am I doing wrong?
             It is possible that you are wearing the mouth guard incorrectly or you maybe getting hit  in just the right place to knock brackets off.  Please continue wearing the mouth guard to protect your lips and teeth.  Losing brackets may get annoying but it is always better to brake brackets then teeth.  When you do brake a bracket please call our office to get the bracket replaced as soon as possible so that you are not slowing down your progress in your orthodontics.

I went through braces and have straight teeth but what happens if I get hit in the mouth after braces?
              When playing any sport that you could get hit in the mouth you should wear a mouth guard.  If you do get hit in the mouth and your teeth have moved or feel loose put your retainer in as soon as possible.  This retainer will stabilize  teeth so that they will not move in the wrong direction and also prevent the loss of your teeth.  Then you need to see your orthodontist and or your primary dental provider as soon as you can.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

How to clean My RETAINERS

Cleaning traditional retainers is very easy. 

           When you are brushing your teeth, take your tooth brush and brush your retainer.  For a more “deep” clean you may use a denture cleaner or Retainer Brite.  This allows bubbles to clean particles away from your retainer.  Follow the instructions on the box.  If you have metal wires on your retainer, don’t leave your retainer in the cleaner for extended times because this can weaken the wires.

Cleaning Essix retainers or Invisalign type retainers can be very easy also. 

               Clean your aligner prior to each insertion.  First use a liquid soap to make a lather in your hand and place the aligner in hand.  Then scrub aligner with hands.  For a more accurate clean you may use a cue tip. We ask you to use a mild liquid soap. This liquid soap may be anti-bacterial if you wish.  Some patients prefer liquid soaps that are scented.  Do NOT use mouth wash.  The coloring can stain your aligners and make them more visible. Toothpaste can be abrasive to the plastic in your aligners. The scratches can collect bacteria causing discoloration and an odor.

“Oops I dropped my retainer in the trash!”

Going into the trash can be the worst scenario for a retainer.  Even if the retainer is found, many patients don’t want to put the retainer back in their mouth.  The best way to really clean your retainer is to brush it with an old toothbrush and get rid of any particles.  Then you can dip the retainer in peroxide or rubbing alcohol.

 If you want, you may bring it into us, and we will clean it for you.   

REMEMBER: if you lose your retainer or break it there may be a charge.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

What's Next?

After I am finished with my orthodontic treatment 

what comes next?

              After you are finished wearing braces or Invisalign the next step is retention.  Retainers come in many shapes and sizes.  Each patient is special and has special needs for their teeth so retainers vary from patient to patient.  Whatever type of retainer is chosen for you should be worn for as long as you would like to keep your teeth straight.  So if you would like your teeth to stay straight forever, the only way that you can ensure that they do is to wear a retainer for 4-12 hours everyday or as instructed by the doctor.

In our office we typically use these retainers for these types of orthodontic procedures:

Full fixed (Braces)- Traditional retainer and a bonded (glued in retainer).
Invisalign- Essix (clear in office invisalign type retainer) or a Vivera (made by Invisalign)

What does that mean?

Types of retainers and their pros and cons:

  • Traditional Retainers-  These retainers are an oldie but a goodie.  They are more bulky but they have lots of advantages.  These retainers can last 20-30 yrs and still do a great job.  These can have a picture or color choice added to them so that they can show off your personality.  These retainers can be adjusted if teeth have moved and are more forgiving if you slack in wearing them a few nights.  Traditional retainers also are a little less comfortable then the other types of retainers.

  • Bonded Lower Retainers- Are a great way to keep your teeth straight and not have to worry about remembering to put it in your mouth.  These retainers are one of the easiest to wear but one of the hardest to keep clean.  Glued in retainers make it difficult to floss and to brush behind but it is possible.

  • Essix Retainers- These in office clear plastic retainers are super comfy and invisible but they do have a few drawbacks.  These retainers are great but only last about a year to a year in half just like contact lens.  They can become expensive if you are going to wear them for a life time because you have to replace them yearly.  (About $100 an arch)

  • Vivera Retainers- Invisalign's retention appliance is a great option for patients who love the clear aligners but aren't available to get to an orthodontist every year.  These retainers are made by either taking an impression or a LED Scan.  They are made by Invisalign and are made 4 sets at a time.  So you won't have to come back in for appointments yearly.  Also the scans are saved by invisalign so as long as your last aligner fits you may never have to take an impression again.     

How Much Do I Wear My Invisalign

How much do I wear my Invisalign aligners?

           Patients that are moving teeth and are wearing Invisalign appliances should wear their aligners anywhere from 23-22 hours everyday to get the best optimal wear. 

           This amounts to taking them out only to eat or to brush.  One nice thing about Invisalign though is if you have a special occasion or a meeting or even photo shoot you can take them out and just make up the time you lost at the end of your two week process.  

           Certain days you may not want to risk losing them so you can just keep them in a safe place and just add a day at the end.  The one thing that you must always do is wear them for the full two weeks.  Each aligner is only designed to do 100% of its job it can not do anymore than that so if you aren't wearing your aligners enough you will build an in correction into your future aligners.  

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Smiles Change Lives (message from a Patient)

This is a letter from one of our Smiles Change Lives Patients.  (Smiles Change Lives is an affordable nonprofit orthodontic program)

Smiles Change Lives

When I saw smiles change lives I didn't think that a brand new smile could actually change a person's life, but I know now for a fact that it can.  Having braces for the past year and eight months has been a life changing experience for me.  I went from not wanting to ever smile or laugh to smiling and laughing all the time.  Sometimes people even ask, "Jasmine why are you smiling for no reason?"  I used to envy people with pretty smiles.  I've been waiting on this day for a long time and now that it is finally here I can't believe it.  I just want to thank everyone who is a part of the reason why I can smile and laugh without being afraid; having a new smile is a brand new beginning.


Monday, January 30, 2012

"Shopping" for Orthodontics?

Would you pick a heart surgeon on price alone? Now teeth are not quite life and death, but they do play a huge part in your appearance and well being!

Braces and Invisalign are simply tools. The results that are achieved are entirely dependent upon the skills of the doctor and staff. When evaluating your options, this is the most important factor to consider in your buying decision.

Our doctors are specialists in the field of orthodontics. Trained in all aspects of orthodontic diagnosis and correction, they have the ability to utilize many different techniques to get the best possible results in the minimum amount of time.

Our practice was a pioneer in the use of Invisalign since its inception in 1999 and our disignation as an Elite provider puts us in the top Invisalign practices in the country. Only 1% of orthodontics reach this status.

How We Practice
 Unlike most group practices, treatment at our office is a mutual collaboration, with Dr. Waxler and Dr. Cavanaugh jointly  diagnosing, treatment planning, and treating most of our patients.  We feel that the advantages of multiple insights has been extremely beneficial for our patients.  We do understand, however, that certain patients may desire or require a particular doctor. 
 Where We Come From
Our practice has been around for a very LONG time, over a century.  Dr. Edward Angle is considered around the world to be the father of modern orthodontics.  Among his many accomplishments were the invention of the edgewise appliance which are the "braces" used by the majority of the world's orthodontists, establishing the world's first school for orthodontic education right here in St. Louis in the year 1899 and finally founder and first president of what has become the American Association of Orthodontists which has its headquarters here in St. Louis.  As we traced our origins, we were pleased to discover that our founder and predecessor was this very same Dr. Angle, who started his private orthodontic practice in 1896.  His practice has changed hands and moved locations through the years but has always remained intact.