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What Are Spacers?

You Need Spacers – What Is That?
If your dentist or orthodontist has examined your teeth and suggests that you need braces, you are first outfitted with ‘spacers.’ Spacers and brace technology allows dentists to tailor fit men and women in with the perfect dental orthodontics.

Naturally, braces are designed to help align teeth that are crooked, misaligned, or crowded. Around two weeks before your orthodontist fits you for braces, you will first be fitted with spacers in the area where your braces will go.
Types of Spacers
Spacers are inserted on either side of the teeth involved. A spacer is a dental device that is also called ‘separators.’ Spacers or separators help to create a space between the teeth so that your dentist can attach the molar band before your braces. There are two types of spacers:

      Rubber
      Metal

Rubber orthodontic spacers are what a dental professional most commonly uses. Rubber band spacers are centimeter sized rubber rings or bands. The spacers are fitted in between your teeth, then stretched around the tooth area for the braces. When the rubber spacers push the teeth to create a space, it will bounce back to its original size.

Yes, some rubber spacers will fall out which is anticipated. But save them and bring them to Speaks Orthodontics so that we can exam the condition of your teeth. A mental spacer is the second option only when a rubber spacer is not giving the results that your dentist or orthodontist is expecting.
Do I Really Need The Discomfort of Spacers?
Orthodontic spacers are a necessary evil that precedes you being fitted for braces. This is because many people say that spacers or separators feel like you [...]

Normal Side Effects of Braces

In the field of orthodontics, dental braces have become the primary way to straighten teeth or to fix alignment issues in the mouth. Even since ancient times, there were those contemplating and trying to work out the issues that many of their contemporaries dealt with. However, there are some normal side effects that are common in many of the patients who receive brace treatment, and so it is good to know what to expect.

Discomfort is often experienced during the days after the braces have first been fitted, but this is because of the fact that the teeth are being shifted into a better position, and this usually subsides after the mouth has had a chance to adapt. Over-the-counter pain relievers will usually be sufficient to help with any pain at first. Irritation might also be experienced because of the way that the wires and brackets rub against the inside of the mouth. Once a person has had a chance to get used to the new object, then this is likely to relinquish as well.

Plaque buildup can be a common problem that will lead to unsightly and undesirable effects if allowed to stay. For that reason, braces need to be continually brushed in and around with the use of interdental brushes that are made especially for that purpose. It is also good to use mouthwash with fluoride in order to combat the plague. In some, there may be an allergic reaction to the elastic or metal that is used in the braces. This makes it important for anyone who has a reason to believe that they may be allergic to tell the orthodontist. In the more severe cases, there may be anaphylaxis due to the [...]

Ways To Clean Your Invisalign

When you receive your Invisalign trays, you put them in your mouth as directed without a second thought. You wear them as directed. You follow proper oral hygiene guidelines such as brushing your teeth before putting them back in. Even though you are following directions that you talked to your orthodontist about, you will still need to clean your Invisalign trays.

The most important and most often forgotten step to keeping your Invisalign trays clean is to rinse them with clean water after you take them out. This cleans saliva and plaque that can build up on them. Sometimes trays that are not rinsed may have a foul smell or taste due to bacteria building up on them.

In addition to rinsing your trays, you should also soak them. Soaking Invisalign trays allows you to remove the bacteria and plaque that you are unable to rinse away. You should soak your trays once a week or anytime that you notice buildup that you are unable to rinse away. Invisalign produces a cleaning kit made exclusively to soak your trays. This is the best soaking solution although products like retainer cleaners and denture cleaners can also be used.

In order to keep your Invisalign trays safe there are some things that you should keep in mind. When you are rinsing your trays it is important that you only use cold water. Hot water will lead to trays that are misshapen. Trays that are misshapen cannot be used, because they will not fit your teeth correctly. Another mistake that some people make is using a toothbrush to scrub their trays. This can lead to tiny scratches that can hold bacteria. Bacteria is hard if not impossible to remove when [...]

How To Take Care of My Retainer

If you’ve ever had braces or know someone who does, you’ve heard of a retainer and how important it is to care for them. After you finish orthodontic treatment, we will prescribe a retainer to you. This maintains the new position of your teeth. Taking care of your retainer is important, because if you don’t, then you may require additional orthodontic treatment.

Possibly the most important part of caring for your retainer is actually wearing it. We will tell you how long and often you should wear your retainer. This information may vary from patient to patient.

To prevent losing your retainer, you should store it in a retainer case any time that you take it out of your mouth. Your retainer case is designed to protect your retainer from damage. We have seen too many patients who accidently throw their retainer out. To avoid doing that, you should not wrap your retainer in paper or napkins. This is especially true at school or restaurants. Pets are known to be attracted to retainers. Don’t let Fido ruin your new smile!

Heat can destroy a retainer. It can cause the retainer to distort to the point of being useless. Do not store your retainer near heat sources, or in direct sunlight. Many people leave their retainer in their car, but we highly discourage this. Cars can get very hot and a retainer can be destroyed in a short time.

Also, retainers need cleaned. You can brush most retainers the same way that you brush your teeth. To deep clean your retainer, you can soak it in retainer cleaning solution. To keep your retainer from drying out when you are not wearing it, you can soak it in clean water.

Congratulations [...]

Why Are My Teeth Discolored?

A bright white smile is a person’s best selling point. When we meet a person or just seeing someone’s picture, we often times base our first impression on that person through his or her smile. A bright white smile always gives a good impression, not just for socializing but also in job interviews. Sadly, there are so many factors that could discolor our teeth and they are grouped into two.
Extrinsic Discoloration
This occurs when the outer layer of our teeth, the enamel, is stained by wine, candy, cola, and other food products that can stain the teeth or are darker in color. Smoking is another big factor on extrinsic discoloration of teeth.
Intrinsic Discoloration
Intrinsic discoloration is when the internal structure of your teeth becomes yellowish or darker. This is usually a result of trauma when you were younger that could have damaged the permanent tooth or nerve, something that caused internal bleeding, or excessive exposure to fluoride.
Age-Related Discoloration
This is extrinsic and intrinsic combined. Enamel gets thinner due to old age and our dentin overtime can become yellow. Of course, when the teeth of a person is yellow and discolored, it can hinder the appearance and instantly cause a bad impression on other people. It can also affect the self-esteem of the individual or cause physical discomfort.

Only brushing your teeth with regularity might not be enough because of the amount of ingredients we intake daily that could affect the color of our teeth.

At Speaks Orthodontics, we use state-of-the-art orthodontic techniques and technologies. We treat patients as friends and are enthusiastic to improve smiles daily!

How To Floss With A Built-In Retainer

Taking good care of your teeth, gums, and mouth is crucial for overall health. That’s because good oral hygiene directly affects the rest of your overall well being. Good oral hygiene also prevents gum disease, tooth decay, bad breath, and a whole slew of other problems. From a very young age, we want children to care for their teeth. Sometimes, some outside help is needed to make sure your teeth and mouth are as healthy as they can be! Many end up needing braces and then retainers. We specialize in retainers which come in two forms, either removable or built-in. Retainers help teeth from moving back into incorrect positions, keeping your mouth healthy.
Benefits of Built-In Retainers

After braces, they prevent against teeth relapsing into old places.
You’ll never forget to wear it because it’s built in.
They’re discreet and others won’t realize you’re wearing one

How to Clean With Built-In Retainer
Once you have your built-in retainer in place, we want to understand the importance of keeping up with good oral hygiene practices. This includes flossing, which is crucial for overall mouth health. Although flossing is more difficult with a built-in retainer, it’s not impossible.
Use a Floss Threader or Make Your Own
It’s easiest to floss with a floss threader, because it allows you to move the floss up and down removing plaque. You will have to re-thread after every two teeth which are bonded by your built-in retainer. You can also make your own threader, and one of our orthodontists can teach you how. Overall, this system makes cleaning between your teeth more effective and easier.
Flossing With Superfloss
Superfloss is readily accessible and can be used to make sure [...]

Braces Style Guide: What Colors Are Best For You

For many people, choosing the right color for their braces can be a difficult process. However, despite the potential anxiety, choosing a special braces color can be fun because people have the opportunity to make a personal statement. Very few people consider wearing braces fun, so choosing a color gives people a chance to feel some joy until their braces are removed. People also have to be aware of the fact that once they choose a color for their braces, they will have that color for a few months. To help people choose wisely, here is an overview on how to select the right color for their braces.
Starting The Process
People should consider choosing a color that aligns with their favorite color. Some people prefer to choose a color for their braces that matches their eyes or hair. If someone likes darker tones, then they should consider a color such as orange. If They like lighter colors, then consider choosing blue, red, or green. The most important thing to remember is to be creative. Since people have to look at their braces on a daily basis, they should try to choose a color that has meaning in their life. Popular color combinations include pink and purple, black and red, and orange and blue.

People should avoid colors that make their teeth look yellow or make them appear to be decaying. White braces can become discolored within a short amount of time. Other colors that can cause teeth to look damaged are brown and black. Anyone who is wearing braces should make sure that they are regularly cleaning their braces.
Maintenance Is Important
If people do not take proper care of their braces, they can [...]

How Tobacco Affects Your Teeth

We all know that using tobacco can cause serious health problems. It does not matter whether patients choose to smoke, or use smokeless tobacco products, they are still damaging your oral health, and directly impacting their teeth.
Plaque, Tartar, and Discoloration
Everyone is familiar with the concept of tobacco use causing bad breath and the development of mouth cancers. Most patients are not aware that the use of tobacco can increase the rate that plaque and tartar build up on the teeth, dramatically increasing the rate of tooth decay. This additional build up of plaque and tartar also increase the rate that teeth become discolored.
Saliva Production
Tobacco use is also known to cause inflammation of glands that secrete saliva. These glands are located on the roof of the mouth, and at the openings of the mouth, including the throat. Decreased saliva production also increases the risk of tooth decay, because saliva has its own chemical makeup that cleanses the teeth.
Enamel, Decay, and Infection
As the enamel of teeth break down, small gaps are created around the gum line, allowing bacteria and food particles to breach the gums. It also allows infections to develop under the gum line, called abscesses.

Over time, the mixture of these effects can lead to severe tooth decay and an the deterioration of bones in the upper jaw and mandible, or the lower jaw, and the development of gum disease.
Irreversible Effects of Tobacco Use
Between the development of gum disease and the risk of infection, patients who use tobacco products face an increased risk of needing teeth extracted and of developing oral cancers. If teeth do require removal, being a smoker reduces the healing time of tooth [...]

7 Benefits of Straight Teeth

Our society is remarkably revolved around aesthetics, and our faces are, many times, the most important asset when we think about healthcare and beauty products. Our teeth, for example, have an entire medical field dedicated to taking care of them, not only in an aesthetic level, but also helping with hygiene and preventing diseases.

Whenever we think of straight teeth, what immediately comes to mind is aesthetics. Adults and teenagers continuously believe that they should get braces to have straight teeth and get that white, clean, and aesthetically pleasing smile. However, you will be surprised how most of the benefits of having straight teeth are actually not only to look better, but instead to help with health-related benefits.
Having straight teeth…

Reduces the chances of tooth injury – protruding, crowded lower or upper teeth have higher tendency to be broken due to physical trauma.
Easier to clean teeth – crowded teeth makes it difficult for the toothbrush or dental floss to remove food caught in between teeth and this could lead to tooth decay.
Reduces neck pain and headaches – misaligned teeth are very unhealthy and stressful to the gums and the bone structure that supports the teeth which can lead to face and neck pain as well as chronic headaches.
Results to healthier gums – There is a high risk of gum inflammation when teeth are too crowded or widely spaced.
Prevents and reduces abnormal tooth wear – Misaligned teeth causes inefficient chewing of food, because the packed lower teeth rub against upper teeth and this is one of the factors for the wear and tear of tooth enamel.
Improves overall health – When left untreated, tooth decay [...]

Our Favorite Animated Characters with Braces

Our favorite animated characters come in all types of shapes and sizes, animal and human. Some may be young while others are old. Some characters even have braces! Let’s take a look at these five popular cartoon characters that proudly wear their braces:

 
Chuckie Finster
Chuckie is Tommy Pickle’s best friend from the show Rugrats. He is known for his wild and crazy red hair, buck teeth, and green glasses. He is loyal to a fault and often gets in hot water with his friends. In the show All Grown Up, which is the follow up to Rugrats, he gets braces for his teeth.
Darla Sherman
Everybody loves Finding Nemo and Finding Dory, but Darla, the cute niece who wears the headgear and braces is often overlooked. She is a bit overzealous in her devotion to Nemo. She is considered to be the first female Pixar villain even though she is more excited than evil.
Eliza Thornberry
Eliza is the primary character from the show The Wild Thornberrys. She has long red hair and has a superpower that allows her to communicate with animals. She also proudly wears her hair up in pigtails and sports metal braces. She uses her superpower to save animals from poachers and evil people.
Sid Phillips
Sid is a bratty, antagonistic kid from the movie Toy Story who likes to steal his younger sister’s toys and hold them hostage. He also happens to wear braces. He is the only human in the movie who has the knowledge that the toys are alive. Once the toys ganged up on him he vowed never to hurt another toy. He eventually grew up to become a decent person and collect garbage for [...]