orthodontist King George

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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Changing Orthodontists during Active Treatment

Orthodontics LAST UPDATED: MARCH 28, 2017

Is it Possible for a Patient to Change Orthodontists?

You may not think about it before you get braces, but it may become a question you need to address. What if you need to change orthodontists?

FAQ

Why do you need to change orthodontists?

The number one reason people change orthodontists is they are moving. We live in an area where there’s a fairly large military community, and a lot of people move in and out. Sometimes these moves are unexpected and the kids or adults are in the middle of orthodontic treatment. Or, they’ll come from one office in another part of the country to a different one. So, “yes,” it is possible to change orthodontists.

What’s involved in the situation?

It will be harder when you see two or three orthodontists during the course of your treatment because orthodontists’ techniques are often different. Regardless of how things flow, it’s always not as effective when there’s more than one orthodontist working on a patient. With that being said, the American Association of Orthodontics came up with a system that works well, providing forms that address exactly where patients were at the beginning of treatment. Most offices will provide you your initial records, the initial treatment plan and reason for treatment.

How would the payments work out?

Another form offers suggestions on how the initial orthodontist would complete treatment, steps he would take, and how much time is left for the remainder of the treatment. There’s also a financial form.

Usually there’s a formula to calculate how much money you’ve put down with the first orthodontist and how much money the insurance paid out. This way the next orthodontist knows what’s left in the financial contract and can help smooth things out.

But, despite the best efforts of both parties to ensure a smooth transition, there can be hiccups. Is the second orthodontist comfortable using the appliances the first orthodontist used? Every orthodontist is different and there are many different types of braces and appliances that deliver similar results. But, orthodontists are trained differently and more comfortable using one appliance over another. So, before moving, ask if the next orthodontist uses the braces you have. Or, do you have an appliance in your mouth, to correct your bite? Ask if the orthodontist is comfortable using that appliance. These are good things to know before you go.

Unfortunately, most people will pay more for treatment than they would normally due to the up-front costs associated with orthodontists. Initially, you pay more upfront to the orthodontist. Then, you see the second orthodontist longer than you would if you had just continued with the first orthodontist. Unfortunately, the transition is never 100 percent efficient. So, you pay more.

What are some other reasons you might change orthodontists?

If you plan to move, plan accordingly. Even though moving is the main reason for switching orthodontists, every once in a while, patients switch orthodontists because they’re unhappy. That’s more of a difficult transition, due to the situation. Usually, you deal with professionals that transfer the records and can expect the process mentioned earlier. So, regardless of the reason of changing orthodontists, look for orthodontists that use the same appliances, the same braces you have, and ensure they are comfortable using them. Then, your treatment will go as efficiently and smoothly as possible, despite the change in offices.

A young female patient came in a few weeks ago after calling two to three orthodontists. She knew what type of braces she had, but the other orthodontists told her they weren't comfortable with the type. They advised they may need to take her braces off and put different ones on to ensure everything goes smoothly. Obviously, when you have braces on, you don’t want to replace them in the middle of your treatment when it’s unnecessary. When she came in, I assured her I was comfortable using the braces she had. Although, they aren’t the main type of braces we use, I was trained with them. And, her treatment’s gone smoothly.

Before switching orthodontists, always ask yourself if you’re comfortable at that office. And, remember, if you ask the right questions--expect a smoother transition.

At Beecroft Orthodontics we welcome new patients that have moved to the local area. If you are already based in the local area and are using a local orthodontist, it will most likely be case dependent.

For more information, questions and advice, contact Beecroft Orthodontists. We are always happy to help.

Beecroft Orthodontics, 10472 Georgetown Dr Fredericksburg ,

Virginia Phone: 540-898-2200

Changing Orthodontists during Active Treatment

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Braces Treatment: Retainers Phase

LAST UPDATED: FEBRUARY 28, 2017

How Long Should Someone Wear a Retainer after Braces are Removed?

It’s the first question a patient asks after their braces come off, we've celebrated the momentous occasion, and handed him a retainer: How long do I have to wear my retainer?

It’s a good and valid question.

I’ll highlight the type of retainer used most often, why retainers are so important and how long you need to wear them.

FAQ

When are retainers used most often?

Orthodontists use the clear plastic retainers most often. Even though there are retainers with a metal wire that go across the front of the teeth, there’s nothing worse than getting your braces off and having an orthodontist put a metal wire in your mouth, saying, “You have to wear this full time for a few months.” So, we use the clear plastic retainer, which fits snuggly around the teeth. It won’t allow the teeth move or turn and, it doesn’t irritate the tongue and lips. When it comes to speaking it usually only takes a day or two to adjust.

 

 

Why are retainers so important?

Retainers are important because when you get your braces off, they moved the teeth into a position they’re not naturally accustomed to. Your teeth were crooked for a reason. Most likely, your mouth and its natural habitat (your tongue, lips and cheeks) caused your teeth to go into the position they were in initially. Now we've put the teeth in almost an unnatural position, a position they didn't want to be in at first. So the teeth and mouth have to adapt to the change. The retainer keeps teeth in place as the tongue, lips and cheeks adjust to their placement. And, the teeth reorganize themselves in the bones and almost “solidify.”

How long should you wear a retainer?

We ask you to wear your retainer full-time for three months, when the teeth tend to move the quickest. You can take the retainer out to eat, to brush your teeth, and for special occasions (i.e., big dates and public speeches). But other than that, you should wear it at least 22-23 hours a day. You’ll notice if you take it out, the teeth will move quickly. After about three months, if everything looks good, we’ll switch you to nighttime wear. Then, you don’t have to worry about taking the retainer in and out at lunch, school, or work. You can just pop it in when you go to bed, take it out in the morning, and your teeth should remain in place.

Do you have to wear a retainer for the rest of your life?

If you want a 100% guarantee that your teeth won’t budge, the only option is to wear the retainer. Some people can eventually stop wearing their retainers. Others will wear retainers more, due to teeth placement and the natural environment of the mouth. After about a year of wearing the retainers at night, I tell patients, “Now it’s your turn to be the orthodontist.” When you take the retainer in and out, you want it to feel passive on your teeth. You don’t want that tight feeling to let you know your teeth moved during the day and you need to wear your retainer more.

If you have that passive feeling when taking the retainer in and out, then you can wear it less and slowly wear it off . You can go from wearing it once a week to a couple of times a month to once a month, but, I caution you to always keep it around and try it on to ensure that passive feeling isn't gone. Unfortunately, if you do see movement, it’s usually too late to fix it with the retainer.

Overall, most people are okay with wearing retainers at night. After all, why not continue wearing the retainers at night, so you know the years spent getting your teeth really nice wasn't a total waste? Let’s face it--there’s nothing worse than having a patient return, (after working so hard to have his teeth look nicer) because his teeth shifted from not wearing the retainer enough.

Feel free to contact Beecroft Orthodontics whenever you want information or help regarding any oral problem you might be experiencing.

Beecroft Orthodontics, 10472 Georgetown Dr. Fredericksburg, Virginia

Phone: 540-898-2200

Braces Treatment: Retainers Phase

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