Retainers, Elastics, and Mouth Guards
Removable orthodontic appliances may be used to move selected teeth, to hold selected teeth in place, to influence growth of the jaws, and to influence tooth eruption. They are often used in conjunction with fixed appliances.
Removable orthodontic appliances cannot be used to treat all orthodontic problems. It takes skill and experience to recognize conditions that can be successfully treated with removable appliances.
Because the patient can easily remove the appliance, good compliance is required to achieve the desired outcome.
Once the teeth are moved into their correct position, the braces are removed. The next step is to use retainers to hold the teeth in the desired position. Retainers must be worn as instructed or the teeth WILL move back toward their original positions.
Remember; wear them in your mouth, not in your pocket. Retainers work when you follow our instructions.
Clean your retainers! After meals, clean all parts of the retainer with a tooth brush.
Handle your retainers with care. Retainers are easy to lose. If you take your retainers out, always place them in your retainer case for safety.
Attached to your braces, elastics (rubber bands) exert the proper force that creates the right amount of pressure to move teeth. In order for this force to remain constant, elastics must be worn all the time and changed every day. Any time missed in wearing your elastics will only make your treatment take longer, so remember these things:
- You are responsible for placing the elastics on your braces between appointments. Make sure to wear them as instructed. Remove them only when brushing your teeth, gums, and braces after meals. Then put them back on immediately.
- Always carry a few elastics with you, so if one breaks you can replace it right away. If your supply is low, call the office and we will mail you an additional supply of elastics.
- If you forget to insert your elastics one day, don’t double up the next day — just follow your regular instructions.
- Elastics become worn out. When they lose their elasticity, they don’t provide the proper pressure on your teeth and jaws. It is very important to change them as directed, even when they are not broken.
If your elastics break frequently, a wire or band loosens, or a hook breaks off — call our office immediately. Don’t wait until your next appointment. These problems need to be corrected as soon as possible!
What is a mouth guard?
A mouth guard is a soft plastic device used to protect a child’s teeth, lips, cheeks, tongue, and jawbone from sports injuries. We can customize their fit so that they adapt comfortably to your child’s upper teeth.
Why is a mouth guard important?
Mouth guards help reduce risk of mouth-related injuries while playing sports, including concussions and chipped or broken teeth.
When should my child wear a mouth guard?
If your child plays a sport in which there’s risk of injury to the head, face, or neck, they should wear a mouth guard for protection. The most common sports for oral injuries are soccer, baseball, and basketball, but hockey, karate, skating, and skateboarding can lead to mouth-related injuries as well.
How do I choose a mouth guard for my child?
If you want your child to wear the mouth guard, you’ve got to find one that is comfortable. When your child comes in for an appointment, we will present the options and our recommendations for the best fit. Mouth guards vary in comfort, level of protection, and cost. We guarantee that our customized mouth guards are among the most comfortable and shock absorbent.
Orthodontics FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
What is orthodontics?
We have two orthodontists at our practice, and these dentists specialize in orthodontics, the straightening of teeth and correcting of misaligned jaw structure. Orthodontists have 2-3 additional years of training and experience on top of their dental degrees.
At what age should my child see an orthodontist?
Age 7 is what the American Association of Orthodontists recommends. But any age after that is appropriate. About one in five of our orthodontic patients are adults. We believe any age is a great age to improve the look and function of your smile.