Jul 25

Orthodontic Retainers – Braces – Invisalign

Orthodontic Retainers – Braces – Invisalign

Orthodontic treatment is a process of moving teeth from one position to another. In doing so, the bone and gum tissue surrounding the teeth have to adapt and adjust to the new tooth position.
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The teeth are held into place by many microscopic elastic fibers. These fibers are spread all along the tooth and attach the tooth to the gum tissue, the tooth to the surrounding bone, and the surrounding bone to the gum tissue. They are like tiny rubber bands that hold the tooth in place but allow it to move when pressure is placed on the tooth. If the teeth were not allowed to move, they would crack and break when we bite down on them. These elastic fibers are like the springs and shock absorbers in your car, allowing the car to go over bumps and dips with relative comfort.orthodontics san antonio

After a tooth has been moved through orthodontic treatment, it needs to be held into place. This is where the orthodontic retainer becomes a valuable tool in someone’s orthodontic treatment. Since the elastic fibers around the teeth have been stretched, they will tend to pull the tooth back to it’s original position unless resistance is applied to that tooth. This is the role of the orthodontic retainer.

And since teeth continue to move and shift throughout our lifetime, the orthodontic retainer is generally recommended to be worn many years, in fact many orthodontists recommend lifetime wear of the retainer at least at night.

There are two basic types of retainers: fixed or bonded to tooth (“permanent”) retainers and removable retainers which can be taken out to eat and clean.

Advantages of fixed retainers include:

1) they stay on the teeth all of the time;
2) you don’t have to remember to put them back on after eating.

Disadvantages of fixed retainers include:

1) they can be hard to clean around with brushing and flossing;
2) if they become loose, it can be uncomfortable and the teeth can move out of place quickly.

Advantages of removable retainers include:

1) they can be taken out while eating so there are no restrictions for types of foods eaten;
2) there is nothing in the way to prevent excellent oral hygiene and cleaning of the teeth.

Disadvantages of removable retainers include:

1) they can be taken out and forgotten or lost;
2) if not worn regularly, the teeth can move out of position.

Since retainers are such an important part of the orthodontic treatment, it is important to take good care of them. Well taken care of retainers can last many years. Patients report back that even 20 years later they are still wearing the same retainers they were given after they completed their orthodontic treatment.

Caring for orthodontic retainers is quite easy. Following are recommendations for the successful care of orthodontic retainers:

1) Brush the retainers daily with toothpaste;
2) Store the retainers while not wearing in a dilute mixture of mouth rinse with water;
3) Keep the retainers away from anything hot – like boiling water, the microwave oven, the dashboard of a car;
4) Keep the retainers away from animals, particularly cats and dogs.

Wearing orthodontic retainers will help to maintain the beautiful smile your orthodontist was able to give you. Taking proper care of your retainers will ensure they will last many years to allow you to continue to smile with confidence. See more here: https://cochranorthodontics.com/treatment-options/

Jun 25

Invisalign Buck Teeth – San Antonio Orthodontics

Invisalign Buck Teeth

Getting braces is a huge event in a persons life especially if you’re a teenager. I grew up in Suffolk County on Long Island and as a pre-teen; I became very self-conscious due to a pronounced overbite that happened when my permanent teeth grew in. In 5th and 6th grade my nick name became Bucky Beaver and I was teased quite often. Basically, being a quiet person by nature, this was torture for me.Orthodontics

At age 10, teeth straightening became my focus; I started following my mother around the house, moping and begging. I wanted to get braces in the worst way. When I was 12, after several years of pleading, my Mom, finally took me to see an Orthodontist. I was just mortified when he told me I had to wait until I was 15.

At age 15, in the world of nicknames, I traded Bucky Beaver for Tinsel Teeth and went through high school with heavy metal brackets and rubber bands and a variety of creative names. It wasn’t until I completed my first year of college did my braces come off. That was truly a great and liberating time for me. I hadn’t had a confident smile with straight teeth since I was a little kid. It was great to not have the very heavy social burden of buck teeth or braces. I felt free.

Since my experiences with dental braces there has been much advancement in the art and science of straightening teeth. Several years ago a new system of invisible braces were developed for adults called Invisalign. They are designed for each person from a custom impression made of their teeth. From the impression custom aligners are designed and manufactured. These custom plastic aligners are worn approximately 20 22 hours a day and are easily taken out for eating, brushing and flossing. Every two weeks or so there is a brief visit to your Invisalign dentist to get the next set of aligners. The whole process usually takes only one year!

Currently, my niece, also growing up on Long Island, needs to get it. Up until recently her only option (many years after my experience) was also to get a mouth full of heavy metal, as the new clear braces were only available for adults. Well the great news is, that not too long ago, a miracle happened for my niece and for thousands of other teens facing getting it. Invisalign recently announced that Invisalign for Teens was now available. The teen program also includes extra aligners, in case oops, I lost my braces happens (A little extra peace of mind for teens and parents alike).invisalign retainers

Invisible braces are not the solution for all orthodontic conditions. An exam and consultation with an Invisalign dentist will determine if clear braces will work for you or not. The good news is that they do work for most people on a quest for straight teeth.

Some words of advice from a teenage survivor of old fashioned braces. Whether you are a teen or a parent of a teen, they are a life changing experience.

For those of you who need to get it and happen to need the heavy metal type, just trust the process and know its not forever (though it may seem like it at times). And if you’re a lucky candidate for Invisalign, it should be a relatively easy experience. Even though my experience with getting them was a very long 4 year period in my life, the resulting self confidence was transformational. Whether you get visible or invisible braces, have patience, be optimistic, and know your new smile, and your new life after braces is very much, worth the wait! More here @ https://cochranorthodontics.com/

May 24

What is an orthodontist ?

What is an orthodontist?

Orthodontists are qualified dentists, who after graduating from dental school, go on to additional full-time university-based education in an accredited orthodontic residency program supervised by orthodontists. That training lasts at least two to three academic years. By learning about tooth movement (orthodontics) and guidance of facial development (dentofacial orthopedics), orthodontists are the uniquely educated experts in dentistry to straighten teeth and align jaws.orthodontics

What happens at my first visit?

Dr. Westfallen will listen to your concerns and provide an orthodontic examination of your jaws and teeth. Dr. Westfallen will indicate whether or not treatment is needed and what the treatment will involve. Dr. Westfallen and her staff will also be able to discuss fees for orthodontic care and payment options.

Typical steps prior to beginning treatment include gathering orthodontic records to provide specific information to tailor a treatment plan for that patient. Orthodontic records include x-rays, photographs, and impressions or “molds” made of the teeth. These “molds” are used to develop models for closer examination of the teeth and how the upper and lower teeth relate to each other. X-rays are used to measure your teeth and jaws. Photographs help diagnose your problem.

When should I begin treatment?

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children get a check-up with an orthodontist no later than age seven. Although only a few orthodontic problems need to be corrected at that age, an early exam allows Dr. Westfallen to offer advice and guidance as to when the appropriate age to start treatment would be. orthodontics san antonio

How long will my treatment take?

Generally, the length of orthodontic treatment can range from 18 months to 30 months. The length of treatment varies depending on the complexity of the orthodontic problem that requires correction, growth and tissue response to treatment as well as the level of patient cooperation during treatment. New techniques such as the self-ligating In-Ovation system and digital imaging make treatment faster and more comfortable than ever.

What will orthodontic treatment cost?
Fees for orthodontic care vary with the complexity of the treatment based upon each individual’s needs. At your first visit, Dr. Westfallen will discuss the anticipated treatment fees and payment options.

What is expected of me during treatment?
Like other types of health care, patient cooperation with the directions of our Doctor is key in determining the length of treatment and the quality of the outcome. In many instances, patient cooperation is needed to help make sure the bite is right. Your first few appointments will most likely be about a week or two apart. Once your appliances are placed, you’ll see the Doctor every 4-8 weeks. See “What To Expect” for more details regarding the sequence of treatment and appointment descriptions. In addition, you must continue to see your dentist at least every six months, or more often if recommended, for check-ups and professional cleanings.