May 3rd, 2016
Orthodontic retainers are devices used to minimize the movement of teeth after braces are removed. There is no part of the body that doesn’t sag or wrinkle with age. Teeth tend to move too so a retainer is critical to maintaining that beautiful smile. Since you will use this device forever, let’s talk about how to keep it clean.
All retainers get dirty and wear out with use. Like contact lenses or shoes that are worn daily, your retainer will get dirty, change in appearance, fit, and may wear out. Bacteria exists in your mouth no matter how much you brush and floss. This bacteria can make your retainer look, taste, and smell bad. Some patients form tartar or calculus (hard mineral deposits) on their teeth and retainers too. It’s easier to keep your retainer clean before all this bacteria, plaque, and tartar build up.
Here are some tips to help keep your retainer clean:
- Clean your retainer as soon as you remove it from your mouth. It’s easier to remove debris before it hardens.
- Brushing doesn’t always remove bacteria from deep crevices so using a denture or retainer cleaner daily is recommended. After removing your retainer from your mouth, drop it into a cup of lukewarm water with one of the “fizzing” tablets and your retainer will taste and smell better the next time you put it in.
- When brushing your retainer to remove plaque or debris use a soft brush (like a tooth brush, denture brush, or vegetable brush) with only water or mild dish soap. Using toothpaste can actually scratch the finish on the retainer as it is an abrasive.
- If you notice calcium deposits on your retainer that do not come off with brushing or denture cleaner, you may need to ask your orthodontist to help. There are tartar removing solutions that your orthodontist can use in the office to professionally clean your retainer.
If you take care of your retainer, it will look better and last longer.
March 4th, 2016
Remember how we collected 1100 lbs of candy from our Candy Buy Back event this past October? Ever wonder what happened to it all?
We donated the candy to the Dana Point 5th Marine Regiment Support Group that is comprised of Dana Point residents that volunteer their time and talents to support the active duty personnel of the 5th Marine Regiment and their families. They have been using the candy to help raise morale of Marines overseas and provide a little comfort and cheer as they bravely serve our country. Pictured above are some of the Dana Point 5th Marine Regiment Support Group volunteers making care packages to send overseas to the 5th Marine Regiment.
We want to give a big shout out and thank you to our patients and community for provide these sweet treats, the amazing Dana Point 5th Marine Regiment and the incredible volunteers supporting them.
You can learn more about the Dana Point 5th Marine Regiment Support Group at danapoint5thmarines.com
February 18th, 2016
Phase I Questions:
Recently I surveyed a number of parents to find out their most burning
Here’s what they asked…
Q. At what age should you start braces? -Kelly M.
A. It depends. The American Association of Orthodontists (www.braces.org) recommends an orthodontic evaluation at Age 7.
Q. ‘Isn’t that too early? My child hasn’t lost all of her baby teeth yet.’
A. While most children don’t lose their last baby tooth until age 12, many orthodontic issues are apparent by age 7. Some of these require interceptive orthodontics to properly address. Does that mean every 7 year old needs braces? Absolutely not.
Q. Are two phases really necessary? – Kelly T.
A. Sometimes. Certain orthodontic issues necessitate an early start: crossbites, underbites, severe crowding, and early loss of baby teeth need to be addressed prior to losing all of the baby teeth.
Q. I still want to avoid 2 phases, can’t I just wait? - Luciana L.
A. I completely understand, I have 4 kids of my own. I often hear parents say, ‘But my kid’s teeth look fine.’ Many issues either aren’t visible to the naked eye or might not be easily spotted. Remember, a great smile is much more than just straight teeth.
Q. What is the long-term benefit to breaking orthodontics up into 2 phases? - Amanda E.
A. Would you be interested to know that Phase I treatment can help avoid jaw surgery? What about avoiding the extraction of permanent teeth? What about reducing the risk of TMJ?
- Underbites are best addressed before age 10 while jaw growth can still be modified. By age 12 when all the baby teeth are gone, it’s too late and your child may require jaw surgery.
- Not correcting a crossbite early can lead to asymmetric jaw growth (chin deviates to the side) and a higher likelihood of TMJ (temporomandibular joint disorder or jaw joint pain).
In short: if waiting will adversely affect your child’s smile, Phase I is indicated; if the orthodontic issues can be addressed with one round of braces, I recommend waiting until all the permanent teeth are in. The best way to know if your child needs Phase I: have a Board Certified Orthodontist perform an exam at age 7 -- you might be surprised what you learn.
February 17th, 2016
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