So It all started back when I was 18 years old and got my braces off. I was advised by my Orthodontist to wear a retainer. Long story short, I did not faithfully wear it and then I lost it. I was young and naive and never went back for a new retainer. Well as I continued to age, my teeth continued to shift (part of the natural aging process). But if I would have worn my retainer as I should have, my teeth would have not shifted.
Here I am now, as a proud patient at Aszkler Orthodontics! Follow me through my journey. Ask questions, and make comments! I'm excited for this new transformation that is about to take place.
My first appointment was a Complementary Consultation. It consisted of Dr. Rob doing an oral exam followed by discussion on how he can move my teeth and what appliances would work best. He said braces would be an overkill and that Invisalign would be best. Plus I told him I would only choose braces if I could only wear them for no more then 3 months. He laughed, because of course that is not reasonable!
I then had diagnostic photos taken of my teeth and three heads shots.
- See sample below
- The second appointment was my impressions appointment. A dental impression was completed, which is simply a copy of my teeth. To make one the assistant placed impression putty in a tray and then squished it over my teeth and gums. Took no longer then 5 minutes. Easy appointment! 6 weeks later my trays were in. They gave me my first tray. It was very easy to place and remove. I was advised to bite on bite tabs to help keep the Invisalign tray snug to my teeth to help aid in the movement of my teeth
See example picture of bite tab below.
They told me to bite on the bite tabs until it became as flat as a pancake. Well lets just say I ran with that advise and bit on it for literally 6 hours straight. During that process I had no issues biting on it. It wasn't util later that night I went to eat dinner and realized I could hardly open my jaw. Well, that was my fault, I should have only chewed on the bite tabs for 20 minutes, not 6 hours!!! I will not do that again. I find it effective to bite the bite tabs for 20 minutes a day or more. I also find it effective and easy to bite on them while driving, watching T.V. or while doing dishes. Other than that they are not a big deal at all.
As far as cleaning my trays, I added them to my morning routine. I clean them every morning with dish soap. I found it easiest by keeping a small container of dish soap and a separate tooth brush in the bathroom.
See picture below.
Here is a helpful diagram for you if you ever have a problem with your braces. With this diagram you can easily tell what is giving you a hard time, so when you call the office you will know exactly what is bothering you!
Bracket: An orthodontic bracket is a small metal attachment cemented directly to the tooth, which has four wings, serving to fasten the arch wire to the band
Elastic Tie: A small rubber band that loops around your bracket to hold your archwire in place. They come in a variety of colors and are changed at every visit.
Hook: A welded or removable arm to which elastics are attached.
Rubber Band: A small rubber band that is hooked between different points on your braces to provide pressure to move your teeth to their new position.
Wire: A wire that is attached to brackets and acts as a track to guide your teeth as they move. Dr. Aszkler may change it periodically as your teeth move into new positions.
Band: A metal ring that is cemented to your tooth, going completely around it.
Please remember, whenever something is broken, call us right away!
So, you want to straighten your teeth but you're not a fan of traditional braces? Maybe you have heard some things about Invisalign and are interested in learning more? Then keep reading and if you have any other questions or concerns please give our office a call for a complimentary consultation, you won't regret it! Q: How does Invisalign work?
A: Invisalign uses custom made clear aligners to gradually move teeth over time. Patients change their trays every two weeks.
Q: What does Invisalign treat?
A: Cases including crossbite, underbite and overbite, also mild to severe cases of crooked or protruding teeth.
Q: What are the benefits?
A: Virtually invisible aligners for discreet treatment. No bands, brackets or arch wires to create a comfortable orthodontic solution.
Q: What's it like to live with Invisalign?
A: Removable aligners are easy to remove, making cleaning your teeth a breeze and the best part... NO FOOD RESTRICTIONS!
Q: How long does it take?
A: Treatment varies for every individual so to get the best answer for this question talk to Dr. Rob about creating a personalized treatment plan
The Importance of Elastics For Your Treatment
Wearing braces may be the best choice for correcting your teeth and improving your smile. Braces, which consist of brackets and wires, work by gently applying pressure to the teeth, and that pressure causes them to move into the correct position. In some cases elastics, or rubber bands, are used to apply additional pressure needed to move your teeth.
The Purpose of Elastics
Customized for each patient, the rubber bands typically stretch over hooks on the top and bottom brackets.
If worn consistently, and every day, these tiny elastics will apply the steady pressure needed to guide your teeth into the correct position!
These elastics are crafted from medical-grade latex, which is safe to be in contact with your mouth.
It's common to remove the elastics during meals if opening your mouth wide enough to eat is difficult. Our staff will demonstrate how to affix the elastics so it will soon become second nature to replace them.
The Do’s and the Don'ts
DO - Get in the habit of carrying around extra rubber bands and replace them as soon as one breaks. By consistently wearing the elastics, you may shorten the overall time needed to wear braces. I mean who doesn’t want their braces off sooner than originally planned?
DO - Always wash your hands before removing or replacing the rubber bands.
DO - Call us if you run out of rubber bands.
DO – Change your elastics at least once a day. Typically the best time to do that is after you brush your teeth.
DON'T - Double up on elastics as this will cause too much pressure on the tooth or teeth and can actually harm the root of the tooth.
DON'T - Overstretch the rubber band or it will lose its strength and it will be ineffective.
Rubber bands are a key part of your orthodontic treatment, and learning how to remove and replace them is an important part to maintaining your braces. Before we set you on your journey to a perfect smile, we'll make sure you understand all there is to know about how to take care of your braces. Of course, if you have any questions about your orthodontic treatment, or orthodontics in general, be sure to contact us!
HEY, HOW DO BRACES MOVE MY TEETH, ANYWAY?
Tooth movement is a natural reaction by your body when light pressure is applied by braces over a period of time. This is usually about two years. Brackets are attached to each tooth with either glue, or a metal band. The brackets are made of ceramic or metal. Pressure is applied with a thin metal wire, which runs from bracket to bracket, this is called an arch wire. Brackets are held onto the arch wire by small colored elastic. The Ligature Elastic (also referred to as an "o-ring") are small colored elastics, which are usually changed at each adjustment visit. Some brackets do not need elastic ligatures, they are called self-ligating.
The teeth move when pressure is placed on the brackets from the arch wire. Sometimes springs, and rubber bands are used to exert more force in specific directions. Braces will exert a constant pressure, which over time will move teeth into their proper position. As the teeth become straighter they will begin to move less. The bone around the membrane then grows to support the new position of teeth. This process must be a slow one, because if it happens too fast, the patient could potentially lose their teeth. Because of this, braces need to be worn an average of 2 years.
Now comes the final step! The retainer! Usually you will be directed to wear your retainer 24 hrs a day, or as determined by Dr. Aszkler. Your retainers job is to keep the teeth in their new position while the bone around the teeth becomes stronger, and can support your teeth on their own. It is critical to wear the retainer as directed. If not, you risk having your teeth move back to their old position, causing all the time and money spent on the braces, to be wasted.
Brushing While You Have Braces is Crucial
Dr. Aszkler will do a great job correcting your smile, but it is up to you to keep the rest of your mouth healthy, so your new smile will last a lifetime! Brushing and flossing regularly with braces takes a little extra effort, but in the end when your braces come off, you'll realize it was worth it! Plaque is sticky, and made of food, saliva, and a ton of bacteria. Plaque needs to be removed several times a day, and when you have braces it is even more important to remove it. The brackets, and wires, create many hiding spots for plaque to hide. When plaque attaches to these areas, the results are: bad breath, cavities, swollen gums, and permanent stains on teeth. Ideally, you should brush your teeth after every meal. Try carrying a travel toothbrush with you to school. If you don't have time to brush at school, its important to at least swish some water around in your mouth after eating. Remember to floss at least once a day! After you floss, you should brush your teeth and braces thoroughly until they are shiny and clean. Decalcifications, sometimes called “white spots,” are permanent stain marks around your braces on your teeth. Lines and spots from decalcification remain on your teeth for life. The best way to avoid them is to not let them develop, and the way to do that is make sure you brush, brush, brush!
Another VERY important thing to remember while you have braces (and always!) is to see your dentist regularly, at least every six months. Your dentist and dental hygienist will make sure that your mouth and teeth are in tip top shape! They will also be able to answer any questions you may have regarding brushing, flossing, using mouth rinses, and be able to give you more tips for cleaning hard to reach braces.
We understand that moms, dads, and patients have busy schedules. Getting out of work early, going to work late, and picking up your children from school is no easy task. Sometimes the appointments are so short, nearly 20 minutes and seemingly meaningless. Recall and observation appointments are very important and we'll explain why. Observation appointments are scheduled for our patients who are either not ready for braces or other orthodontic treatment yet, or are waiting for their second phase of treatment to begin. This usually means that we are waiting for baby teeth to fall out, and permanent teeth to come in. We may take pictures, and X-rays at these observation appointments, to see how the patient is progressing.
If the patient has had phase 1 treatment they may have a retainer or space maintainer. Dr. Rob will check on the condition of this appliance. If a retainer comes loose or is lost, the teeth will move. The sooner we realize this, the easier it is to stop the movement of teeth. Space maintainers preserve the space necessary for the growth of new adult teeth. At a recall/observation appointment, we will determine if it is time for a space maintainer to be removed.
We will also check on the loss of baby teeth and the progress of permanent teeth replacements. Dr. Rob may notice that a baby tooth is not falling out on time, and can also determine from an x-ray if permanent teeth are heading in the wrong direction. He may recommend seeing a dentist that will remove the baby tooth so that the new tooth comes in straighter.
Dr. Rob and Janelle will also spend time with you to explain the timing of the next phase of treatment. No patient will begin treatment if they are not ready. Sometimes you may be waiting months, and in some cases even years to begin treatment. If treatment beings too early, braces may be on for too long. If we wait too long, the opportunity to keep treatment as short as possible, may be missed.
Keeping your observation appointments so that we can follow development will help you receive the treatment you need, when you need it. So, although the appointments seem so short, and even maybe like a wasted trip, we are making sure that you are progressing towards a happy smile!
Orthodontic Emergency Care
Major orthodontic emergencies are relatively rare. That being said, they can and do happen, and it is important to seek immediate attention. A minor orthodontic issue is something you can usually take care of yourself, or wait until your scheduled appointment for care, based on the severity. A direct injury to the mouth, jaw or teeth is an orthodontic emergency. If you injure your mouth, jaw or teeth you should see a doctor or dentist immediately. X-rays may be taken to determine the extent of your injury. If the injury affects the orthodontic appliance in your mouth, it may need to be removed, replaced, or adjusted.
Examples of minor orthodontic emergencies include:
- A wire that is poking lips or cheeks
- A loose appliance, bracket, wire or elastic band.
All of these issues can happen as a result of normal usage. Eating very hard or sticky foods can also cause these problems. Vigorously brushing your teeth can sometimes factor in as well. These issues are not necessarily emergencies unless they are accompanied by pain or discomfort.
So, as for at home remedies: covering a loose bracket or wire with wax can be a quick and easy fix to alleviate any pain or discomfort until you can get into the office to visit with Dr. Aszkler. Be sure to sterilize the next few tools. Poking wires can be moved with a pair of tweezers, or clipped down with nail clippers. Cover the clipped ends with a small dab of wax.
Soreness in the mouth after orthodontic work is normal. You can take some Tylenol prior to, and after your orthodontic treatment to help ease any pain.
Make sure to call us right away with any questions. We'll provide answers for you, as well as make an appointment for you as soon as possible.
It’s the big day, Deband Day, and your braces are finally coming off! Doesn’t that mean you’re completely done? Not so fast! After you complete your treatment here at Aszkler Orthodontics Dr. Aszkler and our team will recommend you wear a retainer, which must be worn routinely after treatment in order to keep that beautiful smile! The retainers job will be holding your teeth in their proper, new position while your gums, ligaments and bones adapt. Most patients will be advised to wear their retainer 24/7 (besides when eating) at first, and then likely you will only have to wear your retainer at night when sleeping. There are a few different types of retainers, and today we thought it would be a good idea to explain the differences between them. Hawley Retainer
The Hawley retainer is a removable retainer made of a combination metal wires that typically surround the 6 front teeth and keeps them in place. The advantage to this type of retainer is that the metal wires can be adjusted to finish treatment and continue minor movement of the front teeth as needed. This retainer is made from impressions of your teeth so that it fits snugly and comfortably in the roof of your mouth, while the wire and acrylic framing keeps your teeth in an ideal position. The acrylic can also be personalized with a large number of colors or patterns.
Truax (Clear) Retainers
The Truax retainer is a transparent removable retainer that fits over the entire arch of your teeth. This clear or transparent retainer fits over the entire arch of teeth and is produced from a mold. Similar to Invisalign’s clear aligner trays, Truax retainers have no metal or wires.
Bonded retainers (lingual wires) are cemented directly to the inside surface of your lower canines. Dr. Aszkler and our team at Aszkler Orthodontics will encourage you to be careful with your bite, as the bonding material may break due to incorrect biting and cause your teeth to shift. As with all retainers, it is very important to keep your bonded retainers clean. When you brush, make sure to carefully clean the inside of your lower teeth, as well as the wire itself. If you have any questions about the retainers we offer or to learn more about post-orthodontic treatment, please feel free to contact us, and we will be happy to answer any of your questions!
Question: Do I HAVE to wear my retainer?
Answer: YES! Here's a few reasons why retainers should be your BFF after getting your braces off. Reason #1 Teeth Like Their Original Homes!
Braces alone will probably not keep your teeth where they should be for the rest of your life. Teeth like to move back toward their original positions, which is why your retainer is the most important part of keeping your smile straight post treatment.
Reason #2: Teeth Move Positions Throughout Life
You may think you don’t need to wear your retainer but the truth is that even minor tooth movement occurs in every person’s mouth throughout their lives, regardless of whether they’ve had braces or not! Braces move teeth into the best possible position and wearing a retainer can help minimize the natural movement of teeth. So even if its been a few years since you had your braces removed remember to wear your retainer on occasion to prevent movement.
Follow Your Orthodontist’s Instructions About Retainer Use
The good news is you won’t have to wear your retainer 24 hours a day for long. Most of the time, one week of full time wear is plenty. After that, you’ll only need to wear your retainer at night. This is the time when people start to get a little lazy about wearing their retainer, but it’s vital that you keep wearing it.
Be Honest with US!
It’s still important to wear your retainer even 10 years down the road, so if it breaks, or if you notice it doesn't fit correctly due to not wearing it often it’s important to call the office to have us check your teeth out. If your teeth have shifted we may be able to fabricate a new retainer to prevent further movement or suggest re-correcting your bite with braces or Invisalign.
And remember don't let this be you:
However, if it is -don’t worry you’re not going to “get in trouble.” Come see us, chances are we miss you and we want to do whatever we can to ensure a straight beautiful smile for life!
We hear at least 4-5 times a week that “my dog ate my retainer!” Dogs are attracted to the saliva, the smell, as well as the material that the retainers are made from. The clear Essix style retainers are usually made from EVA (Ethylene-Vinyl Acetate). This is often the same type of vinyl found in a dogs chew toys. So keep your retainers tightly tucked away from your favorite furry friends!
The American Association of Orthodontists officially recommends that kids should see an orthodontist for the first time between the ages of seven and nine. Even if the child does not have all his or her permanent teeth, the teeth growth pattern can usually be predicted quite effectively by an orthodontist.
This allows for a proactive response to emerging problems, and this is the reason that some younger children are now getting orthodontic devices earlier in life.
If a young child has serious orthodontic issues emerging, we can usually address the problems with Phase I treatment and then follow up with another round of treatment when the child has all the adult teeth, if necessary.
10 Benefits of Straight Teeth
When beginning orthodontic treatment, most patients ask Dr. Rob and our team a lot of questions about what to expect, we often hear patients ask “Will it hurt?” “Are you going to tighten my braces today” and our favorite: “How long do I have to wear these things?” Lets debunk these phrases one at a time!
“Do they hurt?”
A: Braces do not hurt when they’re initially put on. Often patients hear horror stories about how much it hurts to get the braces on from friends and family members, so they tend to stress themselves out and over worry. The truth is, after their braces are on, almost all patients say “that’s it?” because it’s actually easy and painless! However, you will begin to experience soreness a few hours after your braces have been placed because your teeth will begin to move. No worries, a little Advil or Tylenol should ease the discomfort. Try sticking with softer foods such as pasta, rice, and potatoes for the first few days.
“Are you going to tighten my braces today?”
A: No, this is a common misconception that we are trying to clear up. We don’t tighten braces but we do some adjusting at each appointment. We start off by taking off your colored ties or opening the doors of your brackets. The orthodontist will come over to examine the progress of your teeth. The arch wire, either a new or the one you previously had in will be placed back into your brackets. New colored ties are put on. When the new ties are put on your braces will feel tighter because we are renewing the pressure on the teeth, which causes them to move. Like we said before, no worries, ask mom or dad for Advil or Tylenol and stick to softer foods for a few days.
“How long do I have to wear these things?”
At a patients initial exam we give him or her a time estimate of how long it will take to achieve their ideal smile. Teeth can move quickly or be stubborn so we can’t give you an exact date, but we will always try to keep it within the estimated time frame.
We believe patient education is the best way to achieve a terrific smile. When you have appliances placed we will cover all the topics everything from eating to brushing and everything in between! We also know that it’s natural for you to have questions about your or your child’s treatment. So we want you to know we are always here for you; we are thorough and always try to answer any questions or concerns you may have. As a patient, that’s one thing you never have to worry about. You will always know what’s going on throughout your orthodontic experience.