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Why You Should Wear a Retainer

February 1st, 2015

Today is the day you have been waiting for; your braces are finally coming off! Does this mean you can throw in the towel on caring for your smile? Not so fast, you’re smile journey is not over yet. In order to keep your perfect smile you are going to have to wear a retainer.

Why should you wear a retainer?
Wearing a retainer enables your teeth to stay in their new, proper position while your gums, ligaments and bones adapt. When you wear your retainer, you're protecting your investment, and beautiful new smile.

The result of not wearing your retainer:
Now before you say you don’t need to wear a retainer anymore, you should know that as you get older, your teeth will continue to shift. The slightest pressure from your tongue can cause your teeth to shift out of alignment.  Every year about 25% of patients have to repeat their orthodontic treatment because they failed to wear their retainers as required. You don't want to repeat your treatment, protect your smile by giving your teeth the support they need to stay in place and wear your retainer as directed.

More about our retainers
Just as you can choose between traditional braces or Invisalign, retainers are available in a variety of forms. Here are three types of retainers Bennett Orthodontics offers:

Essix Retainer
This is a clear or transparent retainer that fits over the entire arch of teeth.  These retainers are specially made from impressions of your teeth to fit comfortably and discretely. An upper and lower Essix retainer will be given to each patient upon completion of orthodontic treatment.

TBO_Essix Retainer - Blog

Hawley Retainer
This is a removable retainer made of a combination of metal wires and sturdy acrylic. This retainer is specially made from impressions of your teeth so that it fits comfortably in the roof of your mouth, while any wire or acrylic framing keeps your teeth in perfect position.

Hawley Retainer for blog

Bonded Lingual Retainer
Bonded lingual retainers are cemented directly to the inside surfaces of your lower front teeth.  This is a great way to prevent your lower teeth from shifting as it is bonded into place. Patients with bonded lingual retainers must be careful with their bite as the bonding material may break due to incorrect biting. It is important to note that some patients may not be candidates for this type of retainer.

TBO_bonded lingual retainer blog

While a retainer may seem like a pain, it will keep your new pearly whites looking their best.

11 Braces Myths You Need to Know

January 30th, 2015

Smiling girl wearing braces playing video game with laughing friendThere are several myths floating around about braces. Some people believe braces can give you the ability to pick up radio signals, while others believe braces interfere with romance and even metal detectors in airports.  Before you buy into the myths that are circulating out there, lets us set the record straight.

Myth #1: Once I get my braces off my teeth will be straight forever!


Fact: This is part true and false. When your braces are removed you will be given a retainer, if you wear it as instructed your teeth will stay straight. If you choose not to, it is possible that your teeth can shift out of alignment.


Myth #2: I’m too old for braces.


Fact: It is simply not true that you cannot get braces when you become an adult. A beautiful smile can happen at any age. The fact is 1 out of every 5 people treated by an orthodontist is an adult.


Myth #3: Braces are extremely painful.


Fact: This is sometimes said to scare people, but it couldn’t be further from the truth. This is not to say that braces aren’t uncomfortable at times, but after the adjustment period, you will get use to your braces and forget they are there.  Here is a great big list of braces-friendly foods for those sore mouth days.


Myth #4: Traditional braces are my only option.


Fact: This is false. You have options! Advances in orthodontic technology have improved braces and even rendered them unnoticeable. Ask Dr. Bennett about Invisalign and discuss which option fits your situation.


Myth #5: Braces pick up radio signal.


Fact: This is impossible.


Myth #6: Braces take two or more years for desired results.


Fact: Orthodontic treatment varies from person to person, some people may only have to wear braces for a few months.


Myth # 7: I can’t play sports with braces.


Fact: Yes you can, but it is important to remember to wear a mouth guard in contact sports. Mouth guards can ultimately protect your teeth and help prevent jaw fractures.


Myth # 8: I can’t play a musical instrument with braces.


Fact: Yes you can play an instrument with braces. Depending on the particular instrument, there may be difficulty and an adjustment period, but it is not impossible to play an instrument with braces.


Myth #9: Braces will set off metal detectors at airports.

Fact: Because braces are made of lightweight materials, they will not set off metal detectors.


Myth #10: Can I still sing with braces?


Fact: Yes you can still sing with braces. Watch an amazing example of someone doing just that. With everything new comes an adjustment period, hang in there, any difficulties you encounter will not last.


Myth #11: Can I kiss with braces. 


Fact: You've heard the age-old, “you'll get your braces tangled if you kiss.” This is not impossible, but the odds of it happening are very unlikely.

*Remember orthodontic treatment is suitable for patients of all ages. Treatment can be accomplished with minimal discomfort and in a reasonable time period that can have lasting results. Now that you know the truth about braces, feel comfortable to go and enjoy life.

Retain Your Retainer

January 15th, 2015

colorful retainersYou just got your retainer, now what? Like your braces, retainers live in your mouth along with plaque, bacteria and remnants of food particles, which is why it is vital that you clean them. However, there are a few do’s and don't to taking care of your retainer.


Cleaning your retainer

Do: Brush removable retainers with cold water and a soft toothbrush. If needed, removable retainers can be soaked in white vinegar or Efferdent (a denture cleaning solution) with water to freshen and kill germs.
Don’t: Do not microwave or boil your removable retainers; plastic can warp. Do not place your retainer near a heat source as heat will cause the retainer to distort.


Storing your retainer

Do: Keep your retainers in the case provided when they are not in your mouth.
Don't: Don't wrap your retainers in a napkin, paper towel or tissue. Don't ever put your retainers in your pockets. Whatever you do, do not leave your retainers sitting around; dogs love to eat them.


Wearing your retainer:

Do: When putting the retainers in your mouth, line them up and press the retainers into place with your fingers.
Don’t: Never bite your retainers into place.


Eating with your retainer:

Do: Unless you have a bonded lingual retainer, you should always take out your retainers to eat and drink.
Don’t: Do not attempt to eat or drink with your removable retainer as it can cause unnecessary damage.


Broke or lost retainer:

Do: ALWAYS keep your retainer in the case provided; this will prevent you from losing your retainer.
Don’t: Do not flip or play with your retainer. Flipping your retainers around in your mouth can be fun, but it can cause the wires to bend which can lead to a broken retainer.


Braces Care 101

January 5th, 2015

You just got your braces, congratulations, you're one step closer to a perfect smile! Now how do you take care of them? Sadly, your daily brushing routine is no longer going to be enough. The brackets and wires on your teeth will make it difficult to floss and brush. Food will get stuck easier, which if you don’t properly brush can lead to staining, cavities, or even tooth decay. Don't worry; there are several easy tips to help you keep your teeth and your new gear in good condition. Taking care of your new braces doesn't have to be a pain if you follow these easy tips:

Brushing: Always use a soft-bristled toothbrush and a small amount of fluoride toothpaste. When you are brushing, angle your toothbrush over and under your brackets to ensure you are cleaning the whole tooth. Properly cleaning your braces will take several minutes, instead of the average 2 minutes, be sure to spend about 4 to 5 minutes brushing. It is recommended that while you are under orthodontic treatment that you brush your teeth 3 to 4 times daily.

Flossing: Flossing can be a pain with braces due to the wires, but there are a couple tools out there that can make flossing with braces easy. Buy floss threaders, they will help you thread the floss to get in those hard to reach places. Another great tool to buy is a Proxabrush; these toothbrushes have a special tip at the end of the brush that will help you clean in between the wires. It is recommended that you floss your teeth at least once per day.


Regular Check-ups: Just because you have braces doesn't mean you should skip regular dental check-ups with your dentist. It is strongly recommended to have regular cleanings every six months unless instructed otherwise by your dentist. Regular check-ups will help with your oral health as well as determine if any periodontal problems are present.


Avoid certain foods: It is important to remember there are some foods you should not eat while you have braces such as: ice, hard candy, popcorn, taffy, caramel, etc. Broken brackets can occur as a result of eating any of the listed foods, which leads to unnecessary appointments and prolong your treatment.


Following these 4 easy tips will help you have a much better experience on your braces journey and help give you a smile you will want to share with the world.



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