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Will My Teeth Stay Where My Orthodontic Treatment Moved Them?

October 1st, 2018

At Linaker Orthodontics, this question has come up from time to time from our patients and parents. We try to explain the importance of retainer wear before treatment begins, during treatment and of course as your treatment is completed and retainers are placed.

Change is a natural part of life. Just as our bodies change throughout our whole life, our teeth change too. We start out with no teeth, then get baby teeth, and shed those in favor of permanent teeth. Sometimes there are problems with tooth placement and jaw positions. That’s where the orthodontist is called in to bring about a change for the better, and transform misaligned teeth and jaws into a healthy and beautiful smile.

After any orthodontic treatment is complete the most reliable way to keep your teeth where you and Dr. Linaker moved them is by wearing your retainers as prescribed. Your teeth will not stay where they’ve moved to unless you do. Changes in tooth position are a lifelong and naturally occurring phenomenon, and to maintain the result created by your orthodontic treatment, retainers must be worn. While small changes after treatment are normal, retainers prevent teeth from going back to their original positions.

When treatment is complete, there is a “settling in” period; teeth adjust as you bite, chew, swallow and speak – actions that all place forces on your teeth. These small changes in tooth position are not a failure of orthodontic treatment, but are a natural process. If your retainer is not worn as prescribed, however, large changes occur instead. Large changes are disappointing to you and to us. If you are in retainers, and should you notice an unwanted change in your bite or your smile, or if you should lose a removable retainer or damage a fixed retainer (bonded in behind teeth), contact us right away. Don’t give your teeth an opportunity to shift.

Commit to wearing retainers as prescribed and limit those undesirable changes!

Linaker Ortho Invisalign Hacks

March 12th, 2018

As we’re seeing an increasing number of Invisalign patients, and even have one of our staff in treatment, we’re hearing some great feedback that we can share with all of you that hopefully will make your Invisalign Treatment even more enjoyable.
If you’re currently in treatment and have a great idea or Invisalign Life Hack to share with us make sure to let us know so we can pass it along.

#1
Soak your aligners in a clear whitening rinse while you’re eating and brushing, this will keep them clear longer and give you a minty fresh feel when you put them back in. We’ve noticed that some colored rinses can tint your aligners and then they need to be scrubbed which can dull them.
(BONUS: We’ve seen some patients teeth even get whiter simply from soaking them a whitening rinse and putting the aligners directly in their mouth.)
#2
Keep a good nail file on hand (gentlemen this is for you too) At times, new aligner trays will have rough edges that could irritate your tongue, cheeks and lips. Simply file them a bit yourself to smooth them down. This will make your aligners more comfortable and save you a trip to the office.
#3
Make sure you have your Invisalign Case with you at all times. You can also ask for an extra case at the office to have one for home and one for your purse or pocket. You want to be able to keep your aligners protected on those impromptu stops for coffee or lunch. There’s nothing worse than having to dig thru a public garbage can for something that is practically invisible because they were inadvertently wrapped in a napkin and subsequently thrown away. :-O
#4
Eat with your aligners in. Believe it, this is an option. We wouldn’t recommend foods or drinks that could potentially stain (such as spaghetti with red sauce, red wines, coffee, etc…) or perhaps a big old steak, but many foods can be chewed just fine with your aligners in place. This eliminates the possibility of them being thrown away. Then just make sure to remove them to rinse and brush as soon as possible.
#5
Keep a travel dental/aligner cleaning kit in your purse, backpack, carryon bag or vehicle. It’s important to put clean aligners on clean teeth so even if you can’t take the time to thoroughly floss and brush, you can at least get things clean enough to replace your aligners until you get home or to your next destination.
#6
Colored lozenges or hard candies are not your friend. These can damage and stain your aligners. Try not to have sweets in your mouth with your aligners and if needed, switch to a lozenge with no color such as a honey or lemon flavor. Also, breath freshening strips such as Listerine strips are a great option in place of gum or a sugary breath mint.
#7
Lipstick is possible! Girls you may have found that some lipstick colors have ended up on your aligners and given up on the idea for as long as you’re in treatment. We’ve found however that using a matte lipstick, an extended wear color and/or blotting your lip color several times, proves to help make lip color a possibility. Make sure to apply your lip color without aligners in or to not let your lips rub against your teeth/aligners until the color is blotted and dry.
#8
Put your new set of aligners in before bed each week. This helps provide potentially 8 hours of uninterrupted movement as your new aligners begin to transform your teeth to the next position. Also, for some of us, each new set of aligners causes a little soreness, getting that movement while we sleep will help to deal with any possible discomfort.
#9
Jump on to your patient page on our website and watch your Clincheck animation. Depending on the length of your treatment, your excitement may begin to wane. Seeing the simulation of your teeth moving toward their final straightened position promises to be just the encouragement you need to keep your aligners in and keep going! You can even share this with your friends and family and let them see how easy and amazing Invisalign treatment is.
#10
SMILE!!! Show off your aligners and your new beautiful straight teeth. And when people ask about them, which they will, make sure to tell everyone how much you love Linaker Orthodontics and they should make a new patient consultation appointment! (And if they tell us you sent them, you’ll receive a gift card for the referral ;-) Win/Win!)

No Dentist Referral Needed

January 24th, 2018

Recently, we received a phone call from a parent who had been referred to us by their General Dentist. During the conversation we asked if there was anyone else in the family who would like to be seen. This mom seemed confused and told us that she has other children but their Dentist has not referred them yet. It occurred to us that there are still many people who are under the misconception that you must have a Dentist referral to visit an Orthodontic Specialist.

This simply is not the case.

If you think you or your child needs braces, you may be surprised to learn most – maybe all – dental insurance plans do not require a referral. You can make an appointment with an orthodontist any time to discuss your orthodontic needs and set up a treatment plan.

Furthermore, if your dentist does make a referral, you do not need to choose that orthodontist. You’re free to see anyone you feel can do the best job for you. This is also the case if you do not carry orthodontic insurance, clearly you can see whomever you choose. (And have no fear, we have affordable zero interest financial plans for any treatment plan.)

At Linaker Orthodontics, we love our referrals. Having the trust of numerous Dentists in our communities who refer to our office is an honor and we in turn refer to these Dentists of whom we have the utmost respect. Many times we have new patients come to us who do not have a local dentist and we’re always pleased to provide them with the name of one our trusted colleagues.

As referrals go, our favorite types are word of mouth recommendations. Patients and parents who are beyond excited and in love with their smiles after treatment in our office, and tell others about us, mean the world to us.

With or without a dental referral, you should bring your child for an orthodontic consultation by age 7, as the American Association of Orthodontists recommends. Examining young children before all the permanent teeth have erupted may enable an orthodontist to correct problems that would be more difficult and costly to address later. Few children will actually require braces at this age but if your child shows certain bite or alignment problems, early intervention may be able to prevent or reduce the need for braces or more invasive procedures in the future. If there are no issues, this knowledge gives parents invaluable peace of mind and we will continue to watch the jaw and dentition develop as their child grows, usually with quick observation appointments every 6 months to a year.

Additionally, more and more adults are discovering that as they gracefully mature, their once straight teeth are shifting, or perhaps, they simply weren’t able to have orthodontic care when they were younger for one reason or another and their bite is worsening. The numbers of adults coming to our office for orthodontic consultations is increasing every month and our number of Invisalign cases is growing comparatively. Adult orthodontics is becoming more and more popular and affordable.

In any case, we would love to see you or child, with or without a referral. Consultations at any age are free in our office. Come in and see if together we can help you to achieve your most beautiful smile.

Orthodontic and Dental Health Resolutions for 2018

January 9th, 2018

 

2018 is upon us and with a new year usually comes a plethora of articles and posts regarding healthy resolutions. Why should we be any different? Resolutions are a good idea no matter how long they last. Here are some ideas for orthodontic and dental health resolutions that you might want to include in your list for 2018 from us at Linaker Orthodontics.

Linaker Ortho Resolution #1: Excellent oral hygiene every day

Good Oral Hygiene is important whether you wear braces, Invisalign, retainers or nothing at all, but because braces create places where food remnants and bacteria can get trapped, you will need to pay special attention if you are in treatment. Leaving remnants of food and bacteria in your mouth, can cause gingivitis, calcium buildup, and cavities. In more extreme cases, failing to clean your teeth well with braces can lead to demineralization of your teeth.
At Linaker Orthodontics we recommend the Oral B precision toothbrush to get the best results. Your proxy interdental brush and floss threaders are also effective if you are wearing braces. If you need a refresher on how to keep your teeth clean with braces just ask us, we’re happy to go over the best techniques with you again.

Linaker Ortho Resolution #2: Schedule and keep your regular dental appointments

While you are undergoing treatment with us, you need to make sure that your dentist and hygienist see you for your twice yearly hygiene visits too. Occasionally you may need to have an extra cleaning, depending on your oral hygiene circumstances Some dentists require you to have your wires removed for these appointments. No problem. Schedule an appointment immediately before and after your dentist visit, with our office, and we will remove and replace them in no time. This takes some coordination however, so be sure to contact us well in advance.

Linaker Ortho Resolution #3: Wearing your retainers every day in 2018

Retainers are vital to making sure your smile lasts a lifetime, and you’ll need to wear them every day to make sure they’re effective. Remember, it’s not just while you’re sleeping but 10-12 hours every day. If you’ve recently had your braces removed, are getting them off in 2018 or finishing with Invisalign, resolve to wear your retainers exactly as instructed.

Linaker Ortho Resolution #4: Less sugar and more water

If there’s one simple thing you can do to improve the health of your teeth, it’s cutting down on sugary snacks and drinks. Sugar interacts with bacteria in the mouth to form acids that eat away at tooth enamel, which can cause decay. Cutting back on sugar will not only benefit your teeth, but your overall health in general.
Did you know that the role of saliva is to keep your mouth clean, and that drinking water helps encourage saliva production? Water will also help flush pieces of food from your braces. And of course in our Southern Arizona climate, even in the winter, hydration is vital. Drinking more water is a win win.

Linaker Ortho Resolution #5: Keep all of your appointments at our office

We love seeing you and keeping your appointments will help keep your treatment with braces or Invisalign on track. Your smile will thank you!

Your Linaker Ortho Family wishes you a happy and a healthy New Year!