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images of different colored retainers

Most patients spend 18-24 months with their orthodontic appliances. That’s about 78-104 weeks of your life with braces, and time that you don’t want to have wasted. The worst thing that can happen after getting your braces off is that your teeth go crooked once more. This can happen within the first month if you’re not careful. Luckily, dentists know this and we provide our patients with either removable retainers or permanent ones. See why retainers are so important for maintaining a straight smile for life and why you need one!

 

Finishing Up with Braces

If you have gotten to the point in your orthodontic treatment that you need a retainer, congratulations! It has taken you 18-24 months to get that beautiful, straight smile you’ve wanted. No matter if you had lingual, ceramic, or metal braces, or if you opted for Invisalign treatment, you will still need an orthodontic appliance to keep your teeth straight. This isn’t something you want to wait on either, as studies show that your teeth start shifting back to their crooked state within the first month of getting braces off.

 

When our patients end their time with braces, we immediately prep them for either a removable or a permanent retainer. There are pros and cons to each of these types of retainers, but the bottom line is, you need one! A retainer is exactly what it sounds like; it “retains” your straight smile. When you wear it (usually at night), your smile won’t shift or become crooked. We take an impression of your teeth as soon as your braces come off, which we then send to our lab. You will have a retainer custom-made to fit your newly-straightened teeth that will keep them in that position for decades to come.

 

girl about to put a retainer in her mouth

Retainers 101

You may need both a bottom retainer and a top one, or you might just need one. Some dentists only require a bottom retainer, as the bottom teeth tend to keep the top teeth in place. It all depends on the patient. As we mentioned, there are two types of retainers: removable and permanent.

  • Removable – These are the classic retainer pieces that most people think of when they think “retainer”. When we make impressions of your teeth, we go back and use those impressions to make retainer pieces for your top and bottom jaw. Once they are done, you will come into the office and try out your new retainers. Wear them every day during the night and clean them when you take them out in the morning. Only use cleaning products that are safe for mouth retainers and never use hot water when cleaning.
  • Permanent – This is also a “fixed” retainer because it is bonded to your teeth and set in place. Much like your braces (if you chose ceramic, lingual or traditional metal), we will bond metal parts to your teeth. However, these metal parts will be placed on the back of your teeth instead of the front. You can choose to have a metal bar that goes across the back teeth or you can choose small metal wires that will bond each individual tooth to the one next to it. If you choose the second, you will have the bottom 6 teeth connected, with bonding cement on each of the backs of those 6 teeth. However, the metal and bonding is small, so it won’t take up very much room in your mouth. You may not even notice it! Both the bar and series of small wires work to keep your bottom teeth in place, which will keep your top in place.

 

Which One Is Right for You?

Our patients can choose if they want to have a removable or permanent retainer. One might not be right for a patient depending on age and daily habits. If you often lose things (such as car keys or your phone), then you might want to choose a permanent retainer. These stay in place 100% of the time and because of that, you can never lose them. Plus, they retain your teeth around the clock, instead of only at night (like a removable retainer). Permanent retainers also aren’t visible like removable retainers are because they are attached behind your teeth.

 

A removable retainer will have visible bars that others will be able to see in your mouth when you show your teeth. This generally isn’t a problem, as most people wear theirs at night. If you already struggle with brushing and flossing your teeth, you might opt for a removable retainer, as flossing can be more difficult with a permanent retainer. However, both options are great for all our patients. You simply have to choose which one fits you best.

 

Photo of a woman smiling with straight, white teeth

Healthy Life, Healthy Mouth

We would love every single one of our patients to have a straight smile many decades from now. If you wear your retainer like you should, or continually renew your permanent ones, you can count on keeping that straight smile. However, you also want to keep your smile healthy and free of disease throughout all those decades. After all, there is no point in striving for a straight smile if you don’t have any teeth!

 

No matter if you are 9 or 90, you have to keep up on proper oral hygiene practices if you want to have a healthy, beautiful smile. Brush and floss your teeth every single day, making sure to brush multiple times a day. Eat nutritious foods and cut down on the sugar to reduce your risk for tooth decay and gum disease. Also, clean your retainer every day so that it stays strong and durable for many years. If you need a new retainer, or are interested in a permanent retainer option, call Belmar Orthodontics today at (303) 225-9016!

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braces options

Orthodontic options for the world at large are diverse and exciting. Patients can choose from retainers to clear aligners to invisible, metal, ceramic and micro braces. Each orthodontic option has their advantages and disadvantages. Orthodontists have the specialized knowledge to council you on all your orthodontic options. Their recommendations are based on variables like your age, possible jaw imbalances, differences in the size of your teeth, your personal preferences and more. Orthodontists are trained to know what to use and when to use it, and will work with you to make the best decision.

How Orthodontics Can Benefit You

Many people know that it’s important to have a dentist. However, it’s also very important that you have an orthodontist as well. You can brush and floss your teeth several times a day, but still remain at risk for tooth decay. Teeth that are crooked are teeth that can trap food particles much easier than straight teeth. They are also harder to clean, meaning that that food can stay trapped and lead to tooth decay. If you invest in one of our many orthodontic options, we can straighten your teeth and reduce your risk for decay.

 

Straightening your teeth can also lead to higher self-esteem and confidence, as has been proven in many studies. Even children benefit from more confidence around peers and friends when they have straight teeth. At Belmar Orthodontics, we see children starting at age 7 and up through adulthood. We provide our patients many orthodontic options so that they can choose how they want to straighten their teeth and how they want to look while doing so. Our orthodontic options include traditional metal braces, ceramic braces, lingual braces and Invisalign treatment.

 

beautiful smile

Traditional Metal Braces

When you think of braces, you probably think of traditional metal braces. These are our most popular orthodontic options available to patients, and the option chosen most often. These braces consist of a metal bracket that is attached to the center of each tooth that holds a metal archwire in place. Metal braces have proven themselves as one of the best ways to straighten your teeth, and are the most economic options our patients have. It is also the option used to correct bite and alignment problems, especially in children.

 

They are the same size and shape as metal braces and work the same way. However, ceramic braces are made out of ceramic material. Ceramic material is naturally white and will blend in with the color of your teeth. This makes them very hard to notice as compared to traditional metal braces. Another benefit of ceramic braces is that the ceramic material decreases your chances of demineralization, which can happen to some patients who wear metal braces.

 

Patients of all ages can wear metal braces. Kids love our ceramic clear braces and the ability to dress them up with colorful, bright bands of their choosing. Adults love them because they stay more hidden than traditional metal braces do. However, if you are looking for the sturdiness of brackets but don’t want them to be noticeable, consider investing your time in lingual braces.

 

Lingual Braces

You may know these braces by the names “nano braces” or “micro braces”. These are simply other names to describe these “incognito” braces. They are metal braces just like you would find traditionally worn by millions. However, the metal is permanently attached to the back of the teeth with dental cement along with the archwire. These braces are invisible when you smile, allowing you to share your beautiful smile with confidence during your treatment. They work similarly to Invisalign transparent aligners. However, you won’t have aligners that you are always removing.

 

Lingual braces are not right for every patient. Patients who have a deep vertical overbite won’t be able to fit these braces behind their teeth. Adults who have normal-sized teeth are the best candidates. It’s that teeth size that makes it one of our orthodontic options not available to children.

 

orthodontic treatment

Invisalign

Many adults and teenagers are self-conscious about their appearance, especially when it comes to their smiles. Many view braces as something that children receive, not adults. However, you may be surprised to find that about 25% of people wearing braces are adults and only about 25% of braces wearers are actually children. That means that the majority of braces wearers are teens and adults. We know that adults need to look professional and exude confidence so that they can excel socially, professionally and emotionally. Luckily, we live in a day and age where you can straighten your teeth without others ever knowing.

 

One of the most inconspicuous ways you can straighten your teeth is through Invisalign treatment. This is a series of transparent aligners custom-made for you. You will switch out these aligners for new ones every 1-2 weeks so that your teeth slowly move into place. Invisalign treatment is the best out of all your orthodontic options that allows you the most freedom with your oral health. You can remove the aligners for eating, drinking, playing sports and for cleaning your teeth as you normally do. This option is not always available for children, but is available for teenagers and adults who are less likely to lose them.

 

Know Your Orthodontic Options

Orthodontics is a major investment in your oral health and in your life. Having a straighter smile can give you confidence and self esteem you didn’t previously have. Studies show that a better smile can help land you a job easier than those who have crooked teeth. As one of the most-noticed physical features you have, you want to invest your time in straightening your teeth. To find out more about our orthodontic options, call Belmar Orthodontics today at (303) 225-9016 and straighten your teeth today!

 

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straight smile

A straight smile is something that millions of people strive for. In fact, more than 4.5 million Americans wear braces each year to achieve that straighter smile. Not only are there aesthetic benefits of a more beautiful smile, but a straighter smile also helps you to avoid oral health issues. For children, we can correct bite and alignment problems that make biting, chewing, speaking, and breathing difficult. For adults, we can correct these issues as well as make the permanent teeth straight. This can be done through traditional metal braces, lingual braces, clear ceramic braces, and Invisalign transparent aligners. Once you have a straight smile though, you must take care of your oral health to keep that smile straight. We can help you to know the benefits of a straighter smile and how you can keep it straight throughout life!

 

Straightening Your Teeth

In ages past, straightening your teeth was much more difficult than it is today. Instead of only offering traditional metal braces, we give our patients several orthodontic options to get that straight smile they’ve always wanted. Traditional metal braces are still the economical and most popular option amongst patients. This is the tried and true method of achieving a straight smile, and is what most people think of when they picture braces. This design consists of metal brackets attached to the front and center of every tooth, where an archwire will go through each bracket. At each appointment, this wire is adjusted and the teeth get straighter and straighter.

 

Your Options

We also offer lingual braces, ceramic braces and invisalign treatment:

  • Lingual Braces – Think of these braces as metal brackets attached to the inside of your teeth. They are generally more gold in appearance and instead of a bracket attached to each tooth, there is a custom-made metal piece attached to the inside of each tooth. There is a bracket and a wire just like with traditional metal braces, but the entire appliance is on the tongue-side of your teeth. This option is great for teens and adults who want a straight smile without people seeing their appliance.
  • Clear Ceramic Braces – Made of ceramic material, these brackets and archwire actually help to decrease demineralization that can happen with braces. Ceramic material is naturally white, so we can blend your brackets (and even the archwire) into the color of your teeth. This is a great option to have the functionality of metal braces without them being very noticeable.
  • Invisalign – This is a series of transparent aligners that have become increasingly popular over the last decade. We custom-make transparent aligners that you change out every 1-2 weeks. These aligners slowly move the teeth into a straight smile over time and take about the same amount of time to straighten as metal braces do. Teens and adults alike love Invisalign because you can straighten your teeth invisibly. You also have the freedom to remove the aligners to clean your teeth, eat, drink and play sports.

 

Retaining a Straight Smile

Over 4 million people wear braces each year. Those patients will typically spend between 18 and 24 months achieving a straight smile. However, all is not done once those braces come off. We provide every patient with a retainer after their braces come off. You need to commit to wearing your retainer to maintain a straight smile throughout life. We custom-make a retainer after taking an impression of your teeth once your braces come off. Wear this retainer around 16 hours each day. That means throughout the night and for part of the day. Remove them when you eat and make sure to clean your retainer thoroughly with warm water and hand soap only.

 

If you have a removable retainer, make sure to keep it in its secure case so that it is not damaged or warped in any way. If you don’t want to have to worry about wearing your retainer enough or if you lose your retainer easily, you should consider getting a permanent retainer. These types of retainers consist of metal wires that are attached to the inside of the front teeth. They can be attached on both the bottom and top teeth or just the bottom teeth. These types of retainers last for years and can maintain your straight smile for many years to come. Wearing your retainer is highly important for keeping a straight smile. Without it, your teeth can begin shifting within the first month of your braces coming off.

 

Keep Your Teeth Strong

A major part of keeping your teeth healthy and strong (if not the most important part) is to keep them healthy through proper oral hygiene. Many patients know that they should brush and floss their teeth to keep them healthy. Many patients also think that losing teeth with age is inevitable, but it’s not. There are many people that keep their teeth for their entire life because they take such good care of those pearly whites. The American Dental Association recommends brushing your teeth at least twice a day. This is a minimum recommendation, as brushing your teeth after every meal will reduce your chances for tooth decay and gum disease even more.

 

A straight, healthy smile can increase your confidence and self esteem. It can also make you appear more confident and successful, and can help you do better in school and land a better job. There are many incredible benefits that stem from a straight smile. We encourage you to invest in orthodontic care and to retain your straight smile after your braces come off. If you want additional tips for keeping your smile healthy and straight, call Belmar Orthodontics today at (303) 225-9016!