When we remove your braces, we will begin the retention stage of your treatment. The retention phase is important so Dr. Horsey will instruct you on your specific retention protocol. Your final orthodontic results depends on your retainers, so be sure to follow through with the hard work you’ve put in so far. Remember to remove your retainer before brushing, and brush your retainer before placing it back in your mouth.
Types of Retainers
- Clear Essix Retainers – A removable clear plastic tray that fits over your teeth as bleaching trays and Invisalign would.
- Traditional Hawley Retainers – A removable appliance made of acrylic and a wire that sits on the front side of your teeth.
- Bonded Retainer – A thin fixed wire that is temporarily bonded to the lingual (tongue) side of the anterior teeth.
How to Properly Care for Your Retainer
All retainers should be worn as often as Dr. Horsey instructs you to do so. Keep in mind your teeth have been in active treatment for months or maybe even years so in the beginning it is crucial to wear your retainer at least 20 hours out of each day.
Your retainer is an important part of completing your orthodontic work, so take care of it and it will take care of you. Regardless of whether it’s made of acrylic and wire or thermoplastic, the process for cleaning your device should be pretty much the same.
When it is not in your mouth, keep your retainer in its case. Never, for example, wrap your retainer in a napkin while you’re eating and place it on a dining table, or else it will soon enough end up in the trashcan. Bacteria and plaque also pose a significant threat to the life of your retainer. Bacteria can build up on it, just like they do on your teeth, making the apparatus less than hygienic and affecting the fit. For these reasons, regular cleaning is vital to retainer care.
Long before bacteria and plaque build-up to the point of affecting the fit, they’ll cause your retainer to develop a bad odor. The best way to prevent this is to brush your retainer whenever you brush your teeth. If you don’t regularly use a soft toothbrush, purchase an extra toothbrush with soft bristles to use when cleaning your retainer, so as not to scratch or damage it. Brush the device gently, and then rinse it off with cold or room temperature water, never hot water.
You can use toothpaste when brushing the retainer, but use a type that’s considered gentle – harsh toothpaste may damage the appliance. Look, for example, for a toothpaste that’s formulated for people who are prone to canker sores; this gentle toothpaste should be free of sodium lauryl sulfate and other strong cleansing agents that could damage the retainer.
In addition to brushing your retainer, you will need to disinfect it by soaking it in a denture cleanse or a cleanser made specifically for retainers (your orthodontist can recommend the best option for you). These may contain peracetic acid or other antifungal/antibacterial agents, and you’ll probably need to mix them with warm – but never hot– water.
Thoroughly rinse the retainer with cold or room-temperature water before placing it back in your mouth. Do this daily if possible or once a week at the very least. Don’t ever put your retainer in the dishwasher, boiling water, washing machine, or in direct sunlight – the heat from these sources can damage the device. If your retainer becomes cracked, or if any wires become loose, contact our office immediately.
Maintaining a healthy smile includes orthodontic care. Even though single-phase orthodontics is the standard, two-phase orthodontics may be the better option for some patients. In two-phase orthodontics, patients undergo two distinct courses of treatment for a variety of misalignment issues affecting the mouth and jaw. Your child may have a beautiful, healthy smile far into adulthood with the aid of this all-encompassing treatment approach. If you want the greatest outcomes for your child’s orthodontic care, Horsey Orthodontics offers a two-phase treatment plan that is carried out by our skilled orthodontist, Dr. Horsey. Read on to learn more.
Early Orthodontic Treatment
When orthodontic problems are addressed before all permanent teeth have come in, this is known as early orthodontic treatment. Orthodontists often advocate starting treatment as soon as possible in the hopes of avoiding the need for more extensive treatments down the road.
Between the ages of 6 and 9, early intervention is typically implemented. Crowded teeth, a severe overbite or underbite, and other alignment abnormalities are all treatable with braces and other similar corrective equipment.
During phase one, Dr. Horsey will evaluate your child’s condition and recommend the best course of action for straightening their teeth and jaw at this age. Removable items like space maintainers and expanders may be used to provide room for permanent teeth, while metal fixed treatments like braces may be used to move teeth into the correct positions. This phase of therapy is meant to get your child’s jaw and bite aligned so that regular braces or other treatments can be more effective later on.
In two-stage orthodontic treatment, once the first phase is complete, the doctor will wait for the permanent teeth to finish growing before proceeding to the second phase. Depending on how severe the alignment issue is, this might take a few months or a few years. Patients should develop routines of twice-daily brushing and once-daily flossing to maintain their oral health during the resting phase.
After the patient’s resting period is over and their permanent teeth have fully erupted, the last phase of orthodontic treatment can begin. They may require either metal braces or transparent aligners, depending on their specific situation. During this stage, changes are made, and the bite is adjusted (if needed) to give the patient their ideal smile.
Corrective jaw surgery (orthognathic surgery) treats and corrects abnormalities of the facial bones, specifically the jaws and the teeth. Often, these abnormalities cause difficulty associated with chewing, talking, sleeping, and other routine activities. Orthognathic surgery corrects these problems and, in conjunction with orthodontic treatment, will improve the overall appearance of the facial profile.
Using the latest in digital imaging technology, we will demonstrate the overall functional and aesthetic benefits of orthognathic surgery. Computerized treatment planning minimizes treatment times, recovery periods, and the overall efficacy of your surgery. State-of-the-art materials such as titanium plates and miniature screws provide stability, strength, and predictability to your treatment. These advances in technology, procedures, and equipment reduce post-surgical recovery time, thus allowing patients to return to their normal routines soon after the surgery.
Orthognathic surgery may be unnecessary if your orthodontic treatment can correct the problem. With the latest advances in orthodontics, this is sometimes the case. We will determine if orthognathic surgery is the correct treatment option for you.