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Help, I’m Wearing my Orthodontic Retainer, but my Teeth are Moving!

Beecroft Orthodontics LAST UPDATED: APRIL 25, 2017

When you've gone through the lengthy process of treatment with braces, it's a great sigh of relief when those braces come off and you can finally show off those pearly whites. Wearing an orthodontic retainer is just par for the course, the final stage of treatment that will help you to preserve those straight teeth after all of that time and effort.

FAQ

Orthodontic Retainers and Post-Braces Care: What if Your Teeth Move?

You need to follow your orthodontist's instructions to the letter and wear that retainer for as long as is specified. If you've noticed some shifting after your braces come off, even while using your retainer, don't be alarmed. It's all a part of the process.

Can I Expect Some Movement in the Initial Period After the Braces Come Off?

When your braces come off, movement is to be expected. Your gums are going to start to adjust, becoming healthier as you can finally give yourself excellent oral hygiene once more. In addition, your teeth will actually start to settle once the wires and brackets are removed. They'll come together in a natural way. This shifting or settling is generally more noticeable in the back or on the sides. Shifting should not be as obvious in the most important area, the front that is the first thing everyone sees.

What Are Other Factors that Affect Movement After Your Braces are Removed?

Even though you are wearing your retainer, you may still see minor changes in the alignment of your teeth for a variety of reasons. If you are still growing, your jaw will be changing and this may alter the appearance of your teeth. You also need to pay attention to your tongue. If you are in the habit of pressing your tongue against your teeth, it may cause shifting. Do your best to avoid any unnecessary pressure on your teeth. You should not see any major alterations. Remember that your body is going to change as you age and that includes your mouth. As your jaw adjusts, shifts, or moves over the course of the coming years, you may see slight alterations in the appearance of your teeth as well.

Should I Keep Wearing My Retainer and See My Orthodontist?

The main thing you need to remember is that your retainer is a must. You have put in the time and invested a great deal of money in getting that beautiful smile. In order to have the most promising results after you've had orthodontic treatment, keep wearing your retainer for the length of time per your orthodontist's instructions. If you are concerned about any shifting in your teeth, make an appointment with our orthodontist specialist at Beecroft Orthodontics. An adjustment in the type of retainer you are wearing may be a remedy to the problem. Your orthodontic specialist will be able to answer all of your questions and assist you in whatever way possible to make sure you keep a beautiful smile for years to come.

Contact Us Now!

We at Beecroft Orthodontics hope that we have done enough to clarify the difference between the two. For any further consultations or if you would like to utilize our services, do not hesitate to call us. We eagerly await the chance to guide you on the journey back to dental wellness.

Beecroft Orthodontics, 10472 Georgetown Dr. Fredericksburg, Virginia

Phone: 540-898-2200

Help, I’m Wearing my Orthodontic Retainer, but my Teeth are Moving!

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5 [Signs] that a Child, Teen, or Adult Needs Braces

LAST UPDATED: SEPTEMBER 13, 2016

Five Signs that a Child, Teen, or Adult Needs Braces

Although these fall in no particular order of importance, I’ll highlight five signs you may need braces, regardless of your age.

You may need braces if...

1.) You have an uncomfortable bite.Does your bite feel funny? Do you bite down and your teeth don’t fit together? Do you bite down and have a big space between your upper and lower teeth (an overbite)? Can you put your tongue between your upper and lower teeth? If you answered, “yes,” to any of these questions, you may need braces. You may also feel comfortable eating and chewing, bit that large space between your upper and lower teeth puts the teeth in a position where they can’t protect themselves that well (in addition to being unaesthetic).

When the teeth fit together nicely, they protect themselves as you move your jaw forwards or backwards. When you have a large overbite, the teeth aren’t protected. Another bite issue is an underbite. Your lower teeth stick out further than your top ones. With an underbite, it’s hard to chew, and your teeth are susceptible to trauma and damage.

Foods

2.) Food gets stuck in between your teeth.  Does chicken or steak get stuck in between a couple of teeth? If so, it usually means you have a “food pocket,” which forms when you have a small space between one tooth and another. That space causes food, usually meat, to get stuck because you’re chewing and grinding harder on meat. It will also more easily get wedged in between your teeth. If you don’t floss often, it may sit there for days or weeks, before the saliva takes care of it. Saliva can take a long time to flush it out and remove it. In the meantime, bacteria attack this food and create a “nest” for plaque to live in. You then develop problems like cavities and gum inflammation or recession. Underneath your gums, you’ll develop bone defects, and your bone will slowly fade away.

Difficulties

3.) Your teeth are crowded. Are your lower front teeth crowded? From a functional standpoint, if your teeth are crowded and overlapped, it’s even difficult for a professional hygienist to ensure your teeth surfaces stay clean. When they’re crowded, there may be two, three, or four surfaces contacting other teeth, and creating pockets and wedges more difficult to clean. Crowded teeth should be addressed to ensure you maintain the health of your gums and bones.

4.) You have speech issues. Have you been concerned about how your child’s speech is developing and how they pronounce certain words? The position of their teeth may affect his speech. Some of letters are difficult to say if the teeth are in a bad position. If he has a large overbite, the teeth are crowded or inclined; it may be difficult to get his tongue between the teeth. If your son or daughter has any speech issues, they may stem from the position of the teeth.

5.) You have difficulty sleeping.  Do you wake up after sleeping and still feel tired? Do you find yourself falling asleep when you sit down, whether it’s to watch a show after work or do homework during the day? If you answered, “Yes,” to these questions, consider these signs you didn't get a good night’s sleep. For many, it can be sleep apnea. For some, sleep apnea’s a neurological disorder. But for most people, it’s an airway disorder. Sleep apnea is treated different ways depending on your age. For a child, the airway is widened to increase the volume of air taken in--no appliance needed. But, many adults need a CPAP machine to position their jaws and maximize air flow.

Take an on-line quiz to confirm what you have been reading...http://www.quibblo.com/quiz/bA2LotB/DO-U-need-braces

How to Get Your Best Smile

While a smile is the best thing you can wear, some people find themselves self-conscious about the appearance of their teeth. If crooked or misshapen teeth make you want to hide your smile, our team of orthodontists in Stafford is here to help! We know just what it takes to bring out the beautiful smile in anyone, and will work to do whatever is necessary to give you a grin you’ll be proud to show! Contact us today and let us get you started on the road to a beautiful smile.

Beecroft Orthodontics

239 Garrisonville Rd. Suite #101 Stafford,Virginia

Phone: 540-659-6300 Fax: 540-288-0706

Do I Need Braces?

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Orthodontic Expanders and Lower Jaw

Can Orthodontic Expanders be used on the Lower Teeth to Avoid Extractions?

Beecroft Orthodontics

An orthodontic expander, also commonly referred to as a "palate-widening device," is commonly used on the top teeth to create space in between the teeth. The device, which is secured around one tooth on each side of the top of the mouth, gradually creates space in the top of the teeth through the course of a few weeks or months. By spacing out the palate, the teeth have more room to shift, which is ideal for patients who plan to get braces. Because the orthodontic expanders create more room at the top of the teeth, it lowers the chances of needing to extract teeth as a method of creating space as well. Since orthodontic expanders are successfully used to create room on the upper teeth, can't the same method be used to resolve crowding with the bottom?

An orthodontist is able to use an expander device on the upper teeth because of the mid-palatal suture in the upper arch of our mouths. The palate can be expanded if there is soft cartilage in the suture. Each time the expander is activated, either at home or by an orthodontist specialist, a gap between the front teeth develops as the teeth space out. But when an expander is used on the lower arch of the teeth, there is no such suture, which doesn't allow them the chance to expand.

The lower arch of the teeth have plates, but they are not similar to that of the upper teeth. They are near the joints, which doesn't allow the palate to widen. The teeth may shift and move, but it will not be a result of a widened palate creating additional space. However, an alternative to the expander device is a a removable retainer device, which has an expansion screw built in, similar to the palate expanders. While there are several alternate ways for the lower arches of teeth, it's important to realize that this will not be shifting bones, but rather just "tipping" teeth. Some orthodontists may even attempt to place springs in the lower arch with wires on the back of the teeth to get them to space out.

If these methods aren't available to you, extraction may be your only option to create space in the lower arch. The dentist typically removes two to four teeth to create the space needed, and the area will be numbed with anesthesia beforehand. The recovery time for extracted teeth is fairly quick, and you will be sent home with gauze and pain relievers to help you get through the following days. The dentist or orthodontist may recommend you only eat soft foods in this time. Your teeth may begin to gradually move on their own once the area has healed.

If you have additional questions about expansion devices, flaring and tipping the teeth, or your options for creating space in the lower arch of your teeth, contact our orthodontist at Beecroft Orthodontics today to schedule a consultation and determine which method of treatment is the right one for you and your smile.

Beecroft Orthodontics, 10472 Georgetown Dr. Fredericksburg, Virginia

Phone: 540-898-2200

Orthodontic Expanders and Lower Jaw

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