Thursday, November 20, 2014

Tips from Sondhi-Biggs-Hansen Orthodontics

After getting braces, it is important to know how to take care of your teeth in order for your braces stay intact and do their job.  This helps to ensure that your teeth are in top-notch condition after completing orthodontic treatment. Our team at Sondhi-Biggs-Hansen Orthodontics recommends the following tips to ensure successful cleaning of your braces.

Flossing every day can help clean areas between the teeth where your toothbrush cannot reach. We recommend using a floss threader, which is used to help navigate the floss under the wire and between your teeth. It is vital to floss every day to help decrease the chances of tooth decay and gum disease.

Teeth and appliances should be brushed after every meal and before bedtime. If you need a reminder on how to angle the toothbrush around your braces, feel free to check out the video on our Sondhi-Biggs-Hansen Orthodontics YouTube channel.

This phase of orthodontic treatment requires cooperation and consistency on your part. If Dr. Sondhi, Dr. Biggs and Dr. Hansen have recommended that you wear elastics, compliance with their specific instructions is crucial to completing your treatment on time. In fact, if elastics are not worn as instructed, often the desired outcome cannot be reached, and a compromise will have to be accepted.

While in treatment with braces, remember the GRISP guidelines of foods to avoid or be careful with. Granola bars that are sticky and chewy; Raw fruits and vegetables, unless sliced into small pieces; Ice, rock candy; Sticky foods, gum, caramel, taffy; Popcorn, Peanuts and Pencils. Failure to follow the GRISP guidelines could add time to your treatment plan due to broken or damaged appliances, which disrupts the movement of your teeth into their desired positions.

We hope all this helps! If you have any questions, please feel free call any of our Sondhi-Biggs-Hansen Orthodontics team members.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Permanent or Removable?

When it is time to remove your braces you are sure to be very excited! Once the braces are removed it's time for retainers. It is important to know your new smile must be held in place, because the teeth naturally want to move back to their original position. The doctors will discuss and recommend the retainers that will work best for your situation.

Removable retainers offer the advantage of easy use. These are worn full time when the appliances are first removed. However, you will be able to enjoy some time with no appliances in your mouth. A removable retainer must be worn responsibly, as instructed, to prevent relapse. Another major benefit to a removable retainer, is the ability to remove it to clean your teeth.

Permanent retainers work well for individuals who desire less maintenance. Once the permanent retainer is placed there is no need to worry about daily retainer schedules. Because teeth tend to shift as we age, a permanent retainer is typically a better long-term solution. One draw back for some patients is the extra effort of cleaning around a permanent retainer, which can sometimes become a "food trap" and does take a little more time to keep clean.

Some offices use a combination of the two; for example a removable retainer on the top, and a permanent one for the lower teeth. The lower teeth have a higher rate of relapse, so it is important that they be held in place at all times. The most important thing to remember is that wearing your retainer as directed, is extremely important. Again, our doctors will recommend the retainers that are best for your situation. If you have any questions about retainers or the options that may be available to you, please contact anyone of our Sondhi-Biggs Orthodontics team members.