September 29th, 2016
It's the big day and your braces are finally coming off! Does that mean you are completely done? Not so fast! After you complete your treatment here at Davis & Davis Orthodontics, Drs. Lisa and Dale Davis and our team will recommend you wear a retainer, which must be worn routinely after treatment in order to hold your teeth in their proper, new position while your gums, ligaments and bones adapt. Most patients are required to wear their retainer every night at first, with many also being directed to wear them during the day. It's important to know there are different kinds of retainers, and today we thought we would explain the differences between them.
The Hawley retainer is one of the most common types of retainers. It is a removable retainer made of a combination of a metal wire that typically surrounds the six anterior teeth and is designed to keep your teeth in place. This retainer is made from impressions of your teeth so that it fits snugly and comfortably in the roof of your mouth, while the wire and acrylic framing keeps your teeth in an ideal position. The acrylic can also be personalized with a large number of colors or patterns.
Essix (Clear) Retainers
The Essix retainer is a transparent removable retainer that fits over the entire arch of your teeth. This clear or transparent retainer fits over the entire arch of teeth and is produced from a mold. Similar to Invisalign’s clear aligner trays, Essix retainers have no metal or wires. They can also be used to produce minor tooth movements and can be helpful in prevention of tooth wear due to tooth grinding at night.
Bonded lingual retainers are cemented directly to the inside surface of your lower canines. Drs. Lisa and Dale Davis and our team at Davis & Davis Orthodontics encourage our patients with bonded lingual retainers to be careful with their bite as the bonding material may break due to incorrect biting and cause your teeth to shift. As with removable retainers, it is important to keep your bonded retainers clean. When brushing, make sure to carefully clean the inside of your lower teeth, as well as the wire itself.
The retention phase of treatment begins when the patient’s braces are removed. Retainers are worn full time, typically for the first nine months, except while eating. Retainers should also be removed before brushing your teeth.
If you have any questions about the retainers we offer or to learn more about post-orthodontic treatment, please feel free to contact us at our convenient Midland, MI office and we will be happy to answer any of your questions!
September 22nd, 2016
The best way to avoid orthodontic emergencies is to know how to take care of your braces properly throughout your entire treatment. However, emergencies are … well, emergencies, and sometimes no matter how cautious you are or how well you take care of your braces, the wires loosen, the bands pop, or you experience orthodontic discomfort.
Common orthodontic emergencies include broken braces, poking wires, lost or broken retainers, mouth sores, and mouth injuries sustained playing sports, which often happens when you don’t wear a mouthguard to protect your teeth and appliance.
It’s important to avoid foods that can damage your braces. Most people wear braces for about two years. All chewy, sticky, crunchy, and hard foods should be avoided during that time. While this may seem like a long time to go without popcorn or bubble gum, hard foods can break the brackets of your braces and sticky foods can bend the wires. If you have a loose wire, don’t try to fix it yourself. Call Davis & Davis Orthodontics. In the meantime, if a wire is poking into your cheek or lip and causing irritation, put wax or a wet cotton ball over it to dull the sharp edge.
Pain and Discomfort
Some discomfort is a normal part of orthodontic treatment, especially in the hours after the braces are placed on your teeth or after a recent tightening or adjustment. However, if the pain doesn’t subside in three to five days, it’s a good idea to schedule an appointment at Davis & Davis Orthodontics. Until then, try dissolving a teaspoon of salt in an eight-ounce glass of water and gargling with the solution. Over-the-counter pain medication will relieve discomfort, too.
Just because you wear braces doesn’t mean you can’t play sports. You just need to take some extra precautions. Sports-related injuries to the mouth and jaw are common. The best way to protect your mouth and your appliance is to wear a mouthguard. There are several different types of mouthguards available, so be sure to ask Drs. Lisa and Dale Davis what’s best for you.
Brushing and Flossing
In order to keep your braces in good condition and avoid orthodontic emergencies, it’s important to brush and floss thoroughly after every meal. It’s easy for small particles of food to get trapped in your braces, and if the food isn’t removed, it gets wedged between the teeth and gums and causes plaque.
Need more tips on how to avoid orthodontic emergencies? Just ask any member of our Midland, MI team.
September 15th, 2016
If your teeth don't line up like they used to any more, you may be suffering from temporomandibular joint disorder, often called TMD. This is a term that can actually be applied to any condition that occurs because the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is inflamed.
The temporomandibular joint is essentially the hinge that holds your lower jaw to your skull, and when it is inflamed or damaged in any way, it can be extremely painful. You have two temporomandibular joint, one on each side of your jaw, and it is typical to experience TMD in both sides at the same time.
Shifting of the Teeth
The reason that your teeth may not line up as they once did is that the ball and socket joints are often out of alignment and, as mentioned above, often very inflamed as a result. In order to correct the problem, Drs. Lisa and Dale Davis may prescribe dental orthotics such as a lower jaw splint.
Sometimes, the wisdom teeth can play a role in the shifting of the teeth as well. If shifting wisdom teeth is combined with TMD, it may be necessary to have your wisdom teeth removed. Dental splints may follow if your teeth don't shift back to their proper positions on their own.
TMD is certainly a difficult thing to deal with, so if you experience your teeth shifting, scheduling an appointment at our Midland, MI office is the smartest course. We want to help you get your smile back, so give us a call anytime.
September 8th, 2016
Drs. Lisa and Dale Davis and our team at Davis & Davis Orthodontics know that for some of our patients wearing braces, it can be difficult to weave through those wires and brackets as you brush and floss during your treatment.
Some of our patients use a water pick to flush out food and other particles and bacteria stuck between their teeth as the water can reach behind the metal wires and hit spots where your floss simply cannot reach. People suffering from gum disease also find water picks quite effective because of their ability to flush out bacteria from inside the deep pockets.
Water picks are friendly to braces and are also gentle on the gums. They are less likely to cause bleeding for people with sensitive teeth or gums. But as many benefits as they may have, Drs. Lisa and Dale Davis and our team want you to know that water picks should never be used as a substitute for flossing. Though they are great tools for helping improve oral health while you are in treatment, they are just not a good enough tool on their own to keep your mouth and gums gingivitis- and decay-free. Water picks are also incapable of removing plaque from teeth as effectively as floss can. While water picks rinse the sticky bacteria off your teeth, flossing is actually more effective as it actually scrapes the bacteria off of your pearly whites.
If you have any questions about water picks or any general questions or concerns about your orthodontic treatment, we encourage you to please ask us below or give us a call!