Posts for: November, 2018
It’s been a long road with your braces, but now they’re finally off. Hopefully the first glimpse of your new smile more than made up for the time and effort they required.
But while braces removal is a big milestone, it’s not the end of your treatment—not, that is, if you want to keep that new smile! You’ll now need to wear an appliance called a retainer for a few years or, in some cases, from now on.
Orthodontic retainers are a must after braces for the same reason braces work in the first place—your teeth can move. While the teeth attach to the jawbone via the roots, they’re firmly held in place by an elastic gum tissue network called the periodontal ligament. This tough but elastic tissue lies between the teeth and gums and attaches securely to both with tiny fibers.
While the ligament provides stability, it’s also dynamic—constantly remodeling to allow the teeth to move in response to biting pressure and other mouth factors. Orthodontists use this mechanism when moving teeth to better positions. The braces apply pressure on the teeth in the desired direction and the periodontal ligament responds as the teeth move.
Afterward, however, the ligament can still retain a kind of “muscle memory” for a time of the teeth’s old positions. Free of the pressure once supplied by the braces the teeth have a tendency, especially early on, to “rebound” to where they were.
A retainer helps prevent this by exerting just enough pressure to “retain” the teeth in their new positions. In the beginning this may require wearing the appliance around the clock, but you may be able later to reduce wear time to just a few hours a day. Rebounding is unpredictable, so you should continue to follow your orthodontist’s recommendations on retainer wear.
Wearing a retainer may seem like a drag, but it’s absolutely essential. Being diligent about it will help ensure that the beautiful smile you and your orthodontist worked so hard to obtain stays with you for years to come.
If you would like more information on getting a new smile through orthodontics, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “The Importance of Orthodontic Retainers.”
Families of children with chronic conditions face many challenges. One that often takes a back seat to other pressing needs is the prevention of tooth decay. But although difficult, it still deserves caregivers’ attention because of the dental disease’s potential long-term impact on oral health.
Chronically ill children are often at higher risk for tooth decay, most commonly due to challenges in practicing effective oral hygiene. Some conditions create severe physical, mental or behavioral impairments in children’s ability to brush and floss: for example, they may have a heightened gag reflex to toothpaste in their mouth or they may not be able to physically perform these tasks on their own.
Some children may be taking medications that inhibit salivary flow as a side effect. Saliva is critical for disease prevention because it both neutralizes mouth acid (which can erode tooth enamel) and is a first line of defense against disease-causing bacteria. And a child’s diet, while designed to support treatment of their chronic condition, may conversely not be the best for supporting their dental health.
It’s best if caregivers and their dentists develop a strategy for decay prevention, which should include the following:
- Regular dental visits beginning at Age One. Besides monitoring dental health, dental visits also provide cleanings and other preventive measures like topical fluoride or sealants;
- Brushing and flossing support. Depending on a child’s physical and mental capacities, caregivers (or an older sibling) may need to model brushing and flossing, or perform the tasks for the child;
- Medication and diet changes. If medications are causing dry mouth, caregivers can speak to their physicians about possible alternatives; likewise, they should see if modifications can be made to their diet to better support dental health.
- Boosting salivary flow. It’s especially important with children who have dry mouth to drink more water or use aids (like xylitol gum or candies) to boost salivary flow.
Although it requires extra effort and time to give attention to a chronically ill child’s dental health, it’s well worth it. By working to prevent tooth decay early in life, these children will be more likely to enjoy good dental health in the future.
If you would like more information on dental care for children with special needs, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor article “Managing Tooth Decay in Children with Chronic Diseases.”
Discover the many ways cosmetic dentistry can bolster your oral health.
Do you feel like your smile doesn’t improve your appearance but may, in fact, hamper it? Do you feel self-conscious about the way your smile looks because you have cosmetic flaws that stand out? If so, our Springville, UT, dentists, Dr. Stephen Pratt and Dr. Samuel Clyde, offer a wide range of cosmetic options, from simple tweaks to full-on makeovers, to help you achieve the smile you want quickly and easily.
Here are just some of the most popular cosmetic dentistry treatments that are guaranteed to give you a new and improved smile:
Who says that in order to improve your smile you have to go through invasive or time-consuming dental treatments? Dental bonding is a fast and simple way to hide minor gaps between teeth, as well as discolorations, chips, and cracks. During bonding, our Springville, UT, cosmetic dentist will apply a tooth-colored putty material over these small imperfections to cover them. Once the resin has been shaped, we will harden it into place with a dental laser. Bonding won’t be able to handle more serious flaws, but smaller issues can be tackled with this non-invasive dental procedure.
This is by far the most popular cosmetic treatment because it offers patients a fast, effective, and easy way to get a visibly whiter smile in just one hour. Professional in-office whitening uses a highly concentrated bleaching gel that is able to target and break up stubborn stain molecules within the enamel and dentin layers to instantly brighten your smile. If you have yellow teeth due to age or from consuming certain foods or drinks, then teeth whitening might be what you need to get your smile back on track!
Do you find yourself admiring the smiles of some of your favorite television and movie stars? If so, chances are good that some of them have those perfect smiles thanks to dental veneers. These very thin tooth-colored shells are made from porcelain, which mimics the look of real tooth enamel. These shells are custom-made to cover the front surface of your tooth to hide imperfections while also improving the overall shape and alignment of your smile.
Are you ready to find out which cosmetic dentistry treatment will give you the results you crave? If so, call Hobble Creek Dental Care in Springville today to schedule your consultation. Let us give you a smile to feel proud of! (801) 489-4541