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Invisalign For Adults: Everything You Need to Know About Wearing Retainers


December 6, 2017


Orthodontists often recommend Invisalign for adults who are interested in achieving a straighter smile. Adults prefer Invisalign aligners because they are practically invisible, more comfortable, and they can lead to quicker results than traditional wire braces. But, it’s important that patients understand the work is not over once they no longer have to wear their Invisalign trays. Patients will need to wear a retainer after they have completed their Invisalign treatment. Here’s everything you need to know:

Why Do Invisalign Patients Need to Wear Retainers?

Invisalign braces are used to slowly adjust the positioning of your teeth to create a straighter, more aligned smile. But, patients who don’t wear a retainer after completing their Invisalign treatment may not get to enjoy the results for very long. Teeth can slowly start to shift back to their original position if a retainer is not worn. Basically, the retainer holds your teeth in place to prevent this from happening.

What Type of Retainer Will Invisalign Patients Have to Wear?

There are two common types of retainers: wire retainers and plastic retainers. The former have plastic pieces that fit the roof of your mouth. These plastic pieces are held in place by wires that reach across the front and side teeth.

Although wire retainers are the traditional choice, many Invisalign patients prefer plastic retainers since they look and feel similar to Invisalign aligners. These retainers are even made using the same state-of-the-art technology that is used to create Invisalign trays. Using this technology ensures that the plastic retainer will fit perfectly inside your mouth so you are as comfortable as possible for the remainder of your treatment.

They may look the same as Invisalign, but plastic retainers are made out of a tougher plastic. In fact, it’s estimated that the plastic on these retainers is about 30% stronger than the plastic used to make Invisalign trays. Caring for plastic retainers is very similar to caring for Invisalign trays, which makes it easier for patients to remember what to do.  

How Long Will You Have to Wear A Retainer?

Every case is unique, so the answer to this question varies. Your orthodontist will be able to answer your questions regarding how long you will have to wear the retainer, how often you will have to wear it, and whether you will need to wear a retainer on both your upper and lower teeth. See more frequently asked questions about Invisalign.

What If You Forget to Wear the Retainer?

It’s important to follow your orthodontist’s instructions if you want to achieve the best results possible. Many people have trouble remembering to put in their retainer, but there are a few things you can do to prevent this from happening. For example, let’s say your orthodontist has told you to only wear the retainer at night. Make sure you remember to put it in before bed by keeping the retainer and the case right near your toothbrush in the bathroom. This way, putting the retainer in will become part of your nighttime routine. You can also set a daily reminder on your phone right around the time that you leave for work every morning. This should help you remember to put in the retainer before you head to work so you don’t go an entire day without wearing it.  

Some patients may forget to wear their retainer, but others choose not to because they don’t think wearing it makes a difference. If this sounds familiar, remind yourself of how important it is to wear your retainer by looking at your before and after pictures. You went through a lot to see the results that you achieved with Invisalign, so don’t let all of your hard work go to waste by letting your teeth shift back to their original positions. Keep your before and after pictures saved on your phone so you can sneak a peek every time you need a friendly reminder of why you should wear your retainer.

How to Care For A Retainer

Patients will need to make the same effort to care for their retainers as they did when caring for their Invisalign aligners. Most retainers can be cleaned with toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush, so get in the habit of brushing your retainer every time you brush your teeth.

Retainers should be removed before eating so they don’t trap food particles inside your mouth. If you need to remove the retainer to eat, put it inside its case instead of wrapping it in a napkin or paper towel. The fibers from the napkin or paper towel can stick to the surface of your retainer and be difficult to remove. Plus, it’s easy to forget the retainer is wrapped inside the napkin or paper towel, so you may accidentally toss it in the trash.

You should not chew gum or eat any sticky foods while wearing a retainer. These foods can cause damage if they get stuck to your retainer.

Plastic retainers should never be exposed to extreme heat, so regardless of what you read online, do not try to clean your retainer by putting it in the dishwasher. You should also remove your retainer before drinking any hot liquids such as coffee, tea, or hot chocolate. The heat from these beverages could cause the plastic to slightly melt, which means the retainer would no longer fit perfectly inside your mouth.

The plastic can also crack if it dries out, so talk to your orthodontist about how you can prevent this from happening. Most orthodontists will recommend soaking the retainer when it is not in use so the plastic can stay somewhat moist at all times.

For more information on Invisalign or wearing a retainer after treatment, talk to the experts. At Prentice Orthodontics, our goal is to serve your needs, improve your health, and make you smile! We have a highly trained and friendly staff that is eager to welcome you into our offices and assist you with your dental needs. Call 303-468-7722 for a free consultation or contact us using the form on our website today!
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Orthodontist in Broomfield Provides Tips For Taking Care of Toothbrushes


November 15, 2017

A toothbrush plays an important role in dental hygiene. With a little help from toothpaste, a toothbrush removes plaque from the teeth, stimulates gums, and prevents cavities. But, a toothbrush cannot do its job if it’s not being taken care of properly. Here are tips provided by an orthodontist in Broomfield to help you take care of your toothbrush:

Don’t Share Toothbrushes

Make sure everyone in your home has his or her own toothbrush so no one is forced to share with each other. Sharing toothbrushes is unsanitary and can lead to the transfer of bacteria and bodily fluids. If you ever have friends or family members staying at your home, it may be a good idea to buy a few extra toothbrushes in case someone forgets to pack their own.

Young children may have a hard time remembering which toothbrush is theirs, and they probably won’t understand the importance of using their own brush to keep their teeth clean. Make it easier for them by taking them to the store and letting them pick which toothbrush they want. There are countless toothbrushes that are designed just for kids. If they find one with their favorite superhero or cartoon character on it, they won’t have trouble remembering which one to grab when it’s time to brush their teeth.

Rinse After Use

Get in the habit of quickly cleaning your toothbrush after every use. To clean a toothbrush, simply run hot water from the faucet on it until all of the toothpaste and debris has been removed from the bristles. Then, shake the toothbrush a few times to remove some of the excess water on the bristles before storing it in an upright position.

Let Toothbrushes Air Out

Some people put their toothbrush inside a closed container after brushing their teeth to keep the bristles clean. However, keeping a moist toothbrush inside a closed container is not recommended. Bacteria thrive in moist and warm environments, so if you keep your toothbrush in this type of closed container, bacteria may start to grow. It’s best to let your toothbrush air out in an upright position after rinsing it clean. If it’s being stored alongside other toothbrushes, make sure they are not touching each other. Learn more about toothbrush care.

Keep the Toothbrush Away From the Toilet

Germs rise into the air every time you flush the toilet, and if your toothbrush is right beside or above the toilet, these germs could land directly on the bristles. To prevent this problem, do not store your toothbrush near the toilet. Put it on the opposite side of the bathroom so the airborne germs do not reach it every time you flush.

If you have a small bathroom, it may be difficult to store your toothbrush away from your toilet. In this case, simply close the lid on the toilet before you flush so the germs cannot rise into the air.

Replace Toothbrushes Regularly

A toothbrush will become less effective over time because its bristles will start to fray and wear down. Because of this, it’s recommended that you replace your toothbrush every three to four months, even if there are no noticeable signs of damage. However, it’s important to note that some people’s toothbrushes will wear down faster than others. Therefore, replace your toothbrush right away if you see signs of fraying or damage on the bristles, even if it hasn’t been three to four months yet.

Change Toothbrushes After An Illness

The three to four month rule does not apply to people who have been sick. It’s best to replace your toothbrush after you have fully recovered from the flu, a common cold, or any time of mouth infection. Even if you thoroughly clean the toothbrush, germs from your illness could still be hiding deep within the bristles. Instead of getting sick again, toss your toothbrush and buy a new one.

Soak Toothbrushes in Mouthwash

Some studies have shown that soaking the head of your toothbrush in an antibacterial mouthwash after brushing your teeth can prevent bacterial growth. If you want to go above and beyond to keep your toothbrush and mouth clean, try this trick at home.

Traveling With A Toothbrush

How can you keep your toothbrush clean while traveling? It’s best to store your toothbrush inside a plastic toothbrush storage case when you need to pack it inside a suitcase. But as previously mentioned, these cases can promote bacterial growth if the toothbrush is moist. Avoid this problem by letting your toothbrush completely dry before putting it inside the case and tossing it in your luggage.

Make sure the case that you choose is the appropriate size for your toothbrush. The toothbrush should sit comfortably inside the case, and the bristles should not be squished or flattened against the plastic.

Clean the Toothbrush Holder

Most people store their toothbrushes upright inside a cup or specially designed toothbrush holder. Every time you place a toothbrush inside one of these holders after brushing your teeth, the water from the bristles drains to the bottom. This means over time, the bottom of the toothbrush holder becomes covered in a layer of dirty water and bacteria. Eventually, the bacteria will start to make its way onto your toothbrush, which is why it’s so important to clean the toothbrush holder at least once a week.

Wash Your Hands

Before reaching for your toothbrush in the morning and evening, rinse your hands with soap and water. This will ensure that your hands are clean when they touch your toothbrush so you aren’t inadvertently transferring bacteria onto your brush.

For more information on how to properly care for your toothbrush, talk to the experts. At Prentice Orthodontics, our goal is to serve your needs, improve your health, and make you smile! We have a highly trained and friendly staff that is eager to welcome you into our offices and assist you with your dental needs. Call 303-468-7722 for a free consultation or contact us using the form on our website today!
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Orthodontist in Erie Explains How to Get Kids Excited About Braces


November 8, 2017

Kids may not be happy to hear that they need braces to correct an issue with their teeth or jaw. But, there’s no reason for them to get upset over having to wear braces. In fact, there are plenty of reasons for your child to be excited about wearing them! If braces have been recommended by an orthodontist in Erie, here’s how to get your child excited about the idea:

Focus on the Outcome

Instead of focusing on the fact that your child has to wear braces, shift the conversation to focus on the outcome of wearing braces. Help your child understand that they will only have to wear braces for a few years, but the results will last forever. By helping them see this, they will start to understand that wearing braces is a small price to pay for a beautiful smile that they will get to wear for the rest of their lives.

Show Them Pictures

Did you wear braces when you were younger? Find photos of yourself during this time so you can show your child that you’ve been in their shoes before. You should also research which of your child’s favorite celebrities wore braces when they were kids so you can find pictures of them online. It may even be a good idea to pin the photos on a mood board and display it somewhere in the house where your child will be able to see it everyday. Showing your child these photos will help them understand how common braces are. This will make them feel less alone and more comfortable accepting the fact that they need to wear braces. It will also allow them to see the incredible results that can be achieved by wearing braces, which should get them excited.

Let Them Customize the Braces

Is your child getting traditional metal braces? If so, let him choose the colors of his braces. For many kids, getting to customize the way their braces look is enough to get them excited about wearing them. Give him suggestions, such as his favorite sports team’s colors, but let him make the final decision. Make sure you mention to your child that the colors can be changed every time he goes for a check-up. This will give kids something to continue to look forward to so their excitement about wearing braces doesn’t wane over time.

Reward Them

Another way to get your child excited about wearing braces is by offering to reward him if he takes good care of the braces. For example, tell your child that you will take him to the movies or an amusement park after every trip to the orthodontist. But, he can only earn this reward if the orthodontist says that he has been taking good care of his braces. Knowing that there is a chance to earn these rewards will not only excite your child, but it will also motivate him to take good care of his teeth.

Go Grocery Shopping

Some foods will be off-limits for your child once he has braces, including popcorn, nuts, and chewy caramels. If your child loves these foods, learning that he can’t eat them while he has braces may be disappointing. To lift his spirits, take him grocery shopping so he can pick out foods that he can eat with braces. Doing this will show him that although there are some foods that are off-limits with braces, there are many more that are perfectly fine to eat. Learn what you can and can’t eat with braces.

Throw A Pre-Braces Party

Before your child begins treatment, throw a small party with his closest friends and serve all of the foods that he will no longer be able to enjoy once he has braces. This is a great way for your child to enjoy sticky, crunchy, and chewy foods for the last time. Since all of his friends will be there to celebrate, he will also understand that no one will make fun of him or stop being friends with him simply because he has braces. This will give him confidence and make him feel more excited about the idea of straightening his teeth with braces.

Buy A New Toothbrush

It’s important for your child to take care of his teeth while he is wearing braces, so now is a good time to purchase a new electronic toothbrush. Younger children are often fascinated by the buzzing noises and spinning parts of an electronic toothbrush, so buying them one may get them excited to wear braces. Plus, many electronic toothbrushes have fun designs or colors on them, so kids may be able to find one with their favorite superhero or cartoon character. Make a pit stop on the way home from the orthodontist to buy a new toothbrush so your child can start getting excited about his braces.

Find A Friend

Talk to your child’s teacher to find out if anyone else in his class has braces or has had them in the past. If so, reach out to this child’s parents to arrange a play date with your child. This gives your child the opportunity to see that he will not be the only one in his class with braces, so there’s no reason to feel scared or self-conscious. His classmate can also reassure him that braces aren’t painful or uncomfortable, which may be another reason why your child is not looking forward to wearing them. If no one in your child’s class has experience with braces, ask the orthodontist if he knows of anyone around your child’s age.

For more help with getting your child excited about braces, talk to the experts. At Prentice Orthodontics, our goal is to serve your needs, improve your health, and make you smile! We have a highly trained and friendly staff that is eager to welcome you into our offices and assist you with your dental needs. Call 303-468-7722 for a free consultation or contact us using the form on our website today
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Frequently Asked Questions About Westminster Invisalign


October 18, 2017

Do you want a perfect smile? If so, an orthodontist may suggest that you try Invisalign as opposed to traditional braces. Invisalign plastic aligners are used to shift your teeth into the proper position, but unlike metal braces, they are practically invisible. Before deciding if Invisalign is right for you, it’s a good idea to learn as much as possible about this orthodontic treatment. Start by taking a look at the answers to these frequently asked questions about Westminster Invisalign aligners:

Do the aligners contain any harmful chemicals?

No, there is no reason to think that wearing Invisalign aligners will expose you to harmful chemicals. All Invisalign aligners are made out of medical grade polyurethane resins. They do not contain Bisphenol-A (BPA) or phthalate plasticizers, and they have been cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

How much does Invisalign cost?

The cost of any orthodontic treatment will vary on a case-by-case basis. It’s estimated that the average cost of Invisalign falls between $3,500 and $8,000. However, the price that you will have to pay will depend on how long you need to wear Invisalign and how many different aligners need to be made. Check your insurance policy to see if it covers this type of orthodontic treatment. If your dental insurance covers traditional braces, it should also cover Invisalign. What do Invisalign braces cost? Are they worth it?

Are Invisalign braces uncomfortable?

It takes a little bit of time to get used to the feeling of wearing Invisalign, but in general, these aligners are much more comfortable than other types of braces. The only time that patients should feel any pain is if they are wearing aligners with rough or sharp edges. In this case, the problem can be solved by having an orthodontist file the aligners down to smooth out the edges.

Will I have to wear a retainer?

Patients will need to wear a retainer after their Invisalign treatment is over. The retainer is used to hold the teeth in place to prevent them from going back to the position they were in prior to treatment. Your orthodontist will tell you how long and how often you need to wear the retainer.  

Can I switch from metal braces to Invisalign?

Some patients that are unhappy with their metal braces ask their orthodontist if it’s possible to switch to Invisalign aligners in the middle of their treatment. In some cases, switching from metal braces to Invisalign aligners is possible, but in other cases, it’s not. Some patients even turn to Invisalign because they are not happy with the results they achieved with metal braces. However, any change in your treatment will need to be discussed with your orthodontist.  

Am I too old for Invisalign?

Many people assume that kids are the only ones that wear braces, but that’s simply not the case. People of all ages can get a straighter smile with braces, and Invisalign is often the preferred choice for adults. Metal braces can be distracting and make adults feel uncomfortable and out of place in a professional setting, but patients don’t have to worry about this when wearing Invisalign aligners.

Will I wear the same plastic aligners throughout my treatment?

No, patients will not wear the same plastic aligner throughout the treatment. Most patients will receive a new set of aligners every few weeks during treatment. Each set will be slightly different from the last in order to slowly adjust the positioning of your teeth. The differences may not be noticeable by just looking at the aligners, but a new set may feel a little off when using it for the first time.

Do I have to wear Invisalign aligners at all times?

Unlike metal braces, Invisalign aligners are removable. But, this does not mean you should remove them for large chunks of the day. It’s recommended that you keep the aligners in place between 20-22 hours per day. The aligners should be removed whenever you eat, brush your teeth, or drink any liquid besides water. Then, put them back inside your mouth as soon as possible. If you do not wear them for 20-22 hours per day, it’s very likely that you will not be able to achieve the desired results.

Do I have to give up my bad habits when wearing Invisalign?

Patients often ask if they will have to make any changes to their lifestyle when wearing Invisalign braces. Smokers should avoid smoking cigarettes when wearing Invisalign since this can cause the aligners to turn slightly yellow. It will be fairly easy to spot yellow-tinted plastic aligners in your mouth, which defeats the whole purpose of choosing these near-invisible braces. Some alcoholic beverages such as wine and beer can also stain aligners, so it’s best to either cut back on your intake or remove the aligners before consuming these beverages.

You should also never chew gum while wearing Invisalign since the gum can get stuck on the aligners. It’s possible to remove the aligners and chew gum, but if you do this, don’t keep the aligners out of your mouth for too long.

How will I know that I will be happy with the results?

Before treatment starts, an orthodontist will scan your teeth using a digital scanning tool. This image will be used to map out your treatment, but it is also used to show you what your teeth will look like after wearing Invisalign. Patients will get to see a 3-D rendering of their new smile so they know exactly what they should expect before committing to wearing these aligners.

Do you have another question about Invisalign that you would like addressed? If so, contact our office today. At Prentice Orthodontics, our goal is to serve your needs, improve your health, and make you smile! We have a highly trained and friendly staff that is eager to welcome you into our offices and assist you with your dental needs. Call 303-468-7722 for a free consultation or contact us using the form on our website today!
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How to Ease Your Child’s Fears About Visiting An Orthodontist Near Superior


October 11, 2017

Many children fear going to the orthodontist, which makes taking care of your child’s teeth much more challenging. But, it’s important that kids overcome this fear so they don’t put off important dental work that needs to be done to prevent future problems. How can you make your child feel more comfortable about visiting an orthodontist near Superior? Follow these tips:

Avoid Traumatizing Stories

Did you have a traumatic experience at an orthodontist when you were younger? If your child is scared of going to the orthodontist, he’s not the best person to share this story with. Instead, share positive experiences that you’ve had with an orthodontist. Talk to your child about how an orthodontist perfected your smile or fixed a problem that was causing you pain. Sharing these stories will show your child that there’s nothing to fear about a visit to the orthodontist.

Understand Their Anxieties

Many children fear going to the orthodontist because they think treatment will be painful or uncomfortable, but that’s not the only reason why kids are scared of dental work. Some children are worried that they will be picked on at school if they have to wear a bulky retainer or metal braces.

Before talking to your child, try to identify why he is feeling scared. It’s difficult to help if you don’t know what is causing your child to feel a certain way. For example, if you find out that your child is worried about being picked on, you can reassure him that many dental apparatuses are barely noticeable. But, this won’t matter to a child that is worried solely about the pain or discomfort of treatment. That’s why it’s so important to understand your child’s emotions so you can help him overcome his fears.

Role Play At Home

Another way to make your child feel more comfortable about going to the orthodontist is through role play. Pretend to be an orthodontist and let your child pretend to be the patient. Have your child sit in a chair and lean back so he feels as if he is actually at an orthodontist’s office. Then, walk him through what the orthodontist might do during the first appointment. Doing this will help your child become more familiar with what it’s like to be seen by an orthodontist so he’s not as scared when he arrives for his appointment. Read 8 tips to help kids overcome fear of dentists.
 

Bring A Toy or Blanket

Is there a toy or blanket that your child clings to when he is scared? If so, this item should come along with him during his first trip to the orthodontist. The orthodontist will not mind if your child holds onto a toy during the examination, so if it makes your child more comfortable, bring it along. You may find that after the first few visits, your child will be so comfortable at the orthodontist that he will be able to go to an appointment without a security blanket or toy.

Don’t Bring Your Child to Your Appointment

Parents often bring their kids to their own dentist appointments so their kids can watch them be examined and see that there’s nothing to be worried about. But, this is not a good idea. The dentist may accidentally poke you too hard and cause your gums to bleed or he may use instruments that look sharp and dangerous even though they’re not. Watching this can be very frightening for a child that is already nervous about visiting the orthodontist, so leave your kids at home if you have a dentist’s appointment.

Find A Kid-Friendly Orthodontist

Some orthodontists primarily work with adults, while others often perform dental work on children. Be sure to find an orthodontist that caters mainly to children. These orthodontists are more likely to have kid-friendly offices that will immediately put your child at ease. But, orthodontists that primarily work with adults may have neutral colored walls with no toys or kid-friendly magazines in the waiting room. Orthodontists that have experience working with kids will also know exactly how to talk to them to make them feel more comfortable. To find a kid-friendly orthodontist, either ask your dentist for recommendations or do your own research by looking at online reviews for orthodontists in your area.

Visit the Orthodontist’s Office

Talk to the orthodontist to see if it would be ok to bring your child by for a visit prior to his appointment. Kids might start to feel more comfortable if they talk to friendly members of the staff, find fun puzzles or magazines in the waiting room, or see other kids that are being treated in the office. Be sure to coordinate with the orthodontist’s office instead of dropping in unexpectedly. If you drop by without letting the orthodontist know that you are coming, the staff may be too busy with patients to give your child the attention that he deserves. This will leave a bad impression on your child and may make him fear returning, which is why it’s so important to schedule a time in advance.

Don’t Cave In

It’s never a good idea to cave in and let your child skip a visit to the orthodontist just because he is scared about going. Not only will this teach kids that they shouldn’t try to overcome their fears, but it could also cause severe dental problems that will get worse as the child gets older. If a dentist has advised you to bring your child to an orthodontist, don’t ignore this advice.

Are your kids ready to see an orthodontist for the first time? If so, get in touch with our team today. At Prentice Orthodontics, our goal is to serve your needs, improve your health, and make you smile! We have a highly trained and friendly staff that is eager to welcome you into our offices and assist you with your dental needs. Call 303-468-7722 for a free consultation or contact us using the form on our website today!
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