Posts for tag: retainers

By Suter Orthodontics
September 21, 2018
Category: Braces

Patient with BracesYour orthodontist can help you smile in many ways. Orthodontists can correct various problems relating to positioning, spacing, and alignment of the teeth, as well as issues with the jaw. Whether the concern is an overbite, underbite, crooked teeth, or an asymmetrical jaw, an orthodontist can help. Orthodontists treat children, teen, and adult patients. At Suter Orthodontics, Dr. Scott Suter is your Colorado Springs, CO, orthodontist.

Benefits of Orthodontic Treatment

Orthodontic treatment offers several benefits. Not only can it improve the appearance of your smile, but orthodontic treatment can also make it easier to maintain better oral hygiene, which leads to a healthier mouth. It can be difficult to thoroughly brush and floss when teeth are crowded together. A toothbrush or dental floss might not be able to reach in between certain teeth, which can leave behind cavity-causing bacteria. Correcting issues with crowding, spacing, and alignment through orthodontic treatment can help.

Another benefit of orthodontic treatment is relief from the tension and discomfort a misaligned bite can cause. When the upper and lower rows of teeth do not line up properly, a misaligned bite occurs. Overbites, underbites, and crossbites are examples of misaligned bites. When the bite is not properly aligned, that can lead to tension and discomfort in the jaw area, as well as headaches. When the alignment of the bite is corrected through orthodontic treatment, the additional tension and strain the misalignment was causing will be alleviated.

Orthodontic Options for Children, Teens, and Adults

Braces are one of the most common orthodontic treatments for teens and adults. Braces consist of brackets, bands, and wires. The brackets can be made from silver metal or clear ceramic and are cemented to the front of the teeth. Wires connect the brackets and bands across each row of teeth. Braces are an effective method for straightening teeth and correcting misaligned bites. Your Colorado Springs orthodontist can help determine if braces are the right option for you. Other orthodontic options include:

  • Retainers — Prevents teeth from shifting out of place following removal of braces
  • Space maintainers — Helps teeth grow in properly after a tooth injury or tooth loss
  • Thumb and finger appliances — Discourages ongoing thumb and finger sucking in children
  • Rapid palatal expander — Increases the width of the upper jaw in young patients
  • Upper jaw expansion appliance — Gradually widens a narrow upper jaw

Your orthodontist can help your smile in several ways, from straightening crooked teeth to correcting jaw alignment. To learn more about how orthodontic treatments can help you or your child, schedule an appointment with Dr. Suter, your orthodontist in Colorado Springs, CO, by calling Suter Orthodontics at (719) 550-0222.

By Suter Orthodontics
August 14, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: orthodontics   retainers  

Retainers are common. Most people who have braces have to wear a retainer after getting their braces taken off. A common reason dental retainerpeople wear retainers is to help their teeth stay set in their new positions after wearing dental braces. Dr. Scott Suter of Suter Orthodontics, which is located in Colorado Springs, CO, offers a variety of retainers to his patients. Read on to find out why retainers are so important.

What's a Dental Retainer?

A dental retainer is a piece of metal and plastic that is custom-made for each person who needs one. It fits the top of the teeth and mouth. These devices help to prevent teeth shifting, which occurs naturally. These devices are worn for a period of time that is specified by your orthodontist. Also, advances have made it possible for the wearer to be much more comfortable than in years past.

No two dental retainers are the same, even though many look alike. Some dental retainers are fixed — meaning they can only be removed only by your orthodontist — and some can be removed. While dental retainers were once rather bulky and uncomfortable, the new models of today are often hard to detect. 

Why Do I Need to Wear a Retainer?

You might need a dental retainer for a few reasons. One common reason is to help your teeth stay set in their new positions after wearing dental braces. It's important to wear your dental retainer because otherwise, your teeth will begin to shift. The dental retainer helps to hold your teeth in place in their new positions. Other people may wear dental retainers to move one tooth or close a space between their teeth.

Dental retainers can help with many problems besides shifting teeth. Sometimes dental retainers are used to help a medical problem. For instance, some individuals have a tongue thrust (a condition where their tongue sneaks through their teeth when they speak). The dental retainers keep their tongue from going forward in between their teeth when they talk.

Dental retainers are also used to help patients with temporomandibular disorder (TMD). This disorder is usually a result of a bite problem (the teeth don't fit together properly when the jaw is closed). The device can help by preventing the patient's mouth from closing completely at night, which keeps them from grinding their teeth.

Now is the perfect time... to make a wise decision. If you need a dental retainer, why wait? We can help you today! Call Suter Orthodontics at 719-550-0222 right now to schedule an appointment in Colorado Springs, CO.

By Suter Orthodontics
April 05, 2016
Category: Braces
Tags: orthodontics   retainers  

Why retainers are important

You’ve worn braces for quite a few months and now you have a beautiful, straight smile. Your orthodontist hands you a removable retainersappliance to wear called a retainer. You’re wondering just how important it is to wear it; after all, your teeth are straight now, right? The truth is, if you don’t wear it as prescribed, there is a fair chance your teeth will move back into poor alignment. You can wind up in the same shape you were in before braces. Dr. Scott Suter of Suter Orthodontics in Colorado Springs, Colorado wants to stress just how important it is to wear your retainer.

You need to wear your retainer according to Dr. Suter’s instructions to keep your teeth from shifting back to their previous positions, but retainers can help with other issues too, including:

  • Difficulties with speech by adjusting tongue placement
  • Breathing problems while sleeping, and snoring
  • Closing gaps in between your teeth
  • Moving just one or two teeth
  • TMJ problems, grinding or clenching
  • Tongue thrust
  • Oral hygiene, by keeping your teeth straight and easier to floss

Wearing your retainer also ensures better chewing ability because straight teeth and jaw alignment help you chew better, which aids in digestion and your overall health.

Dr. Suter will typically recommend wearing your retainer all the time at first, even while you are sleeping. He may ask you to remove it if you play sports or engage in physical activity. After a few months, Dr. Suter may suggest you can cut down to wearing it a few times per week. Eventually, you may only have to wear your retainer at night.

Wearing your retainer needs to become a habit, and that may take some time, but the results are certainly worth the effort. Make wearing your retainer a part of your daily routine by incorporating it as part of your oral hygiene regimen; brush, floss, and then put in your retainer.

The most common problem with retainers is that they are very easy to lose. If they are placed in a napkin when you eat, and the napkin gets thrown away, your retainer goes with it. Remember to always bring your retainer case and place your retainer in the case and nowhere else where it can be accidentally thrown away.

Wearing your retainer is just as important as going through orthodontics in the first place. You don’t want all those months of wearing braces to be for nothing, so you simply must wear your retainer as Dr. Suter prescribes. If you have more questions about retainers don’t hesitate to call Dr. Scott Suter of Suter Orthodontics in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Call today to find out more!

By Orthodontics for Children and Adults
June 17, 2014
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: orthodontics   retainers  
RetainersTheFinalSteptoaGreatNewSmile

As soon as the braces come off, many people feel that the hard work in getting a new smile is all done. But wait! There's one critical piece of the process that remains: the orthodontic retainer. What makes this little device so important?

To understand that, let's look at how your teeth are attached, and how they may move. A tooth isn't anchored into the jaw like a screw in wood — it's joined to its bony housing by a unique, hammock-like suspension system called the periodontal (“peri” – around; “odont” – tooth) ligament. The periodontal tissues are living, constantly changing and renewing themselves.

Orthodontic appliances like braces are designed to apply just enough pressure to move the teeth slowly and steadily into new positions. As the teeth are moved, the periodontal tissue gradually re-forms around them, helping to hold them in their new locations.

But tooth, bone and gum tissues also have a “memory” which, if left alone, tends to move the teeth rapidly back to their original places. This unwanted movement gradually lessens, but it can be an issue for a long time after treatment. That's where the retainer comes in.

This little device holds the teeth steady in their new positions until the bones and ligaments have had enough time to re-form — a development that can take several months. It brings the entire process of moving the teeth to a gradual close, helps to prevent trauma and to maintain proper tooth location.

Once, all retainers were made of plastic and wire, and all were removable. These are still popular, and are usually worn 24 hours a day at first, then less often, until (after a period of time) they're only worn at night. Alternatively, in many cases a thin wire can be bonded to the inside surfaces of the front teeth. This type of retainer doesn't show, and it doesn't have to be removed.

How long will you have to wear it? It's hard to say. Teeth are kept in position not only by bone and ligament, but also by a balance of forces between the tongue, lips and cheeks. They aren't permanently fixed in place, but can move over time in a way that's unique to every person. Depending on the type of tooth movement done, we can recommend what type of retainer is right for you, and how often to wear it. Having the right retainer will help ensure you get the best result: a great new smile.

If you would like more information about orthodontic retainers, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Why Orthodontic Retainers?” and “The Importance of Orthodontic Retainers.”

By Orthodontics for Children and Adults
September 06, 2013
Category: Oral Health
Tags: braces   retainers  
RetainersMakingYourNewSmilePermanent

Finally: Your braces are off! Break out the taffy, bubble gum, corn on the cob... and... whoa!!... the retainer?

Yes, the retainer. As the name implies, this simple device will ensure that your pearly whites remain in the new, desired position you've worked so diligently to achieve. Here's why:

The same physiological properties that allow your teeth to move when you're wearing braces are always at work — braces simply direct that movability in controlled ways. Teeth are not set into your jaw bone like posts fixed in concrete; rather, the root portion is attached to the bone by elastic periodontal (peri – around; odont – tooth) ligaments that permit micromovement of teeth all the time. The periodontal tissues are living; therefore, they are always changing and “remodeling” (just as hair grows, skin peels, etc.) When a light orthodontic force is placed on a tooth the following processes occur:

  • on the pulling or tension side, the periodontal ligament will activate bone-forming cells (osteoblasts) to deposit new bone to fill in the area from where the tooth was previously, and
  • on the pressure side, the periodontal ligament will activate bone-resorbing cells (osteoclasts) to remove bone allowing the tooth to move in that direction.

Visualize drawing your hand forward through water: The water parts in front of your hand and fills in behind it.

Once your teeth are in their desired position and your braces are removed, your teeth will tend to return to their old position if they are not stabilized or “retained” in their new one long enough for the bone and ligament to re-form and mature around them. This can take several months. In addition, orthodontic treatment stretches collagen fibers in gum tissues to some extent, contributing to the forces that tend to shift teeth back in the direction from which they came. The gum tissues will continue to exert this pressure until these tissues remodel. This can take longer than the bone and ligament stabilization, as collagen cells reorganize at a much slower rate.

Types of Retainers

The type of retainer you will use, how frequently and for how long will depend on your unique situation. The most familiar type of retainer is removable and one you may not have to wear all the time, at least after the first couple of months. In cases where the retainer is going to be needed for a long-term period, a common alternative is to have thin retainer wires bonded to the inside surfaces of the front teeth so they don't show.

Considering how much time, effort, and sometimes expense is required in improving your smile, the retainer is your assurance that it was all well spent. Even people getting a comparatively simple pedicure/manicure don't leave the salon without letting the polish dry!

If you would like more information about orthodontics and retainers, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Why Orthodontic Retainers?” and “The Importance of Orthodontic Retainers.”