As might be suggested by the name itself, the purpose of a post-treatment retainer is to retain the benefits of braces or other orthodontic treatments long into the future. Whether you have recently had your Clarity Advanced Braces or Damon System Braces removed, or have recently finished your Invisalign treatment, you will want to retain all the benefits and preserve your new smile.
It is important to continue your orthodontic plan and continue to follow Dr. Roeder’s advice post-treatment. In many cases, Dr. Roeder will recommend the use of removable retainers to keep teeth from shifting back, and to continue any minor corrections of the bite.
Types of Retainers
While there are a number of permanent retainers (both banded and bonded) designed mainly to continue ongoing corrections, removable retainers are also available to prevent orthodontic relapse (with teeth returning to positions of malocclusion). Roeder Orthodontics offers a complimentary program, Roeder Retainer University (RRU) which offers visits at 3, 6, and 12 months post-treatment. These no-cost ‘retainer check’ visits are short appointments which allow you and Dr. Roeder to monitor post-treatment progress and retainer wear to ensure teeth are not shifting out of harmonious alignment.
Again, as suggested by the name itself, removable retainers can be removed and replaced at the convenience of the patient, but this benefit can also be a drawback, depending on the willingness and compliance of the patient with recommendations. Being removable means that the retainers may be lost or damaged, or just not worn according to Dr. Roeder’s recommendations.
Removable retainers come in two variations: the Hawley (or wire) retainers, and the Essix (or clear) style retainers.
The granddaddy of retainers that everyone would be familiar with, Hawley retainers are composed of a plastic body which fits against the roof of the mouth or below the tongue, anchor wire clasps that align to back teeth, and a bow wire that runs along the front of the teeth to maintain alignment. While it is only the front bow wires that are visible in both upper and lower mouth Hawley retainers, this visibility can bother some patients, and the thickness of the plastic body of the retainer (particularly behind the upper front teeth) can interfere with regular speech.
Clear (or Essix) retainers are made using vacuum-formed clear plastic (about the thickness of a bank card) that fully covers the teeth, and can be made right in the office! After an impression is taken of the patient’s teeth, a plaster cast is then formed, and a thin sheet of plastic is heated and vacuum-molded to the perfect individual shape. This allows Dr. Roeder to customize the retainer as necessary, with the option to fully cover the upper or lower teeth, or even just a grouping of some teeth, as necessary.
Invisalign patients will already be familiar with this type of appliance, and Align Technology Inc produce their own Essix appliance called Vivera Retainers.
Advantages of Clear Retainers
While it is important to understand that different treatment options will be more beneficial for some patients than others, and to trust the recommendations of Dr. Roeder in your own treatment, there are many benefits to clear retainers post-treatment, including:
- Very discrete when worn, with no unsightly wires or protrusions, clear retainers can often prove quite unnoticeable
- Being fully removable, clear retainers do not interfere with oral hygiene in any way as braces or other fixed appliances and treatments can
- Essix appliances interfere with natural speech less than Hawley-style retainers
- Hold well to the teeth and can correct minor tooth movements, and protect the teeth while sleeping
- Can be removed at any time, for social functions, school photos, or even a night out on the town!
For any questions about retainers or any other orthodontic treatment, you can call Roeder Orthodontics on 828-274-2500 or send us a message anytime to schedule a complimentary consultation at our office in Asheville, NC.
The Straight talk
Like a straight jacket, the concept of straight teeth can be more than a bit restricting. The aesthetics of the smile is in many ways much more complicated than civil and city planning, and terms like “straight” carry a different set of meanings for the orthodontist than they do for the civil engineer or architect.
For the city planner, straight lines are all that really matter, whereas in the case of a smile, straight lines, particularly on the biting edge of teeth, are often an indication of manufactured dentures or poorly applied veneers. Instead, the lines in the smile are not about straightness, but about a balanced and harmonious relationship, both between the teeth, and accounting for the completeness of the teeth, mouth and entire face.
The Smile Zone
While what we call the smile zone is only composed of six teeth (between the canines) and it is generally only these teeth that appear between the lips when smiling. How these teeth appear, however, is dependent upon their relationship with all the other teeth that may not be visible, and the relationship between all of these teeth influence even the resting aesthetic of the entire face.
Picket fences may look good in a neighborhood, but when it comes to the smile, teeth that are too straight may also be an impediment to a winning smile. Because of this, there is no “normal” when it comes to the perfect smile, and “straightness” of teeth needs to be assessed not only on the teeth within the smile zone, but in consideration of all 32 healthy adult teeth in correct relation to one another in an harmonious aesthetic.
Problems caused by misalignment
While “straight teeth” might not be the correct name for it, having the right harmonious relationship between your teeth is about more than just a winning smile. The alignment of your teeth is an important contributing factor to dental health and hygiene. A misalignment in the relationship between teeth can cause a number of problems for people, including:
- Reduced oral hygiene: improper alignment between teeth can make cleaning them difficult, with some surfaces being restricted or covered by others, creating areas within the smile where plaque can build up, leading to an increased risk of cavities and gum disease
- Speech difficulties: a misaligned relationship between teeth can sometimes negatively influence speech and proper enunciation, and can even lead to a lisp in some cases
- Restricted or improper bite: misalignment between teeth can result in reduced or maligned contact between the teeth when the upper and lower jaw do not meet correctly. Over time, this can lead to extraneous and unnecessary wear on the teeth, in addition to making chewing more difficult and straining the jaw muscles. Those who have jaw misalignment may also experience stress of the temporomandibular joint, causing headaches, tension and tooth grinding, especially at night during sleep.
Benefits of going straight
Having crooked or misaligned teeth can often leave people feeling self conscious about their smile, which can have massive cascading effects on the rest of their life and wellbeing. When someone is not confident of their smile, they are prone to smile less. This has much more than social ramifications, as many studies have shown, the simple act of smiling increases natural dopamine production (a natural “feel good” neurotransmitter created naturally in the brain and kidneys of people – and produced by most plants and animals), and smiling leads to more smiling. Like a yawn, a smile is contagious – in a good way!
If you would like to discover what options are available for you to improve your smile, call us on 828-274-2500 or send us a message to schedule a complimentary consultation in which Dr. Roeder can present you with all possible options after a thorough individual examination.
Roeder Orthodontics proudly serves the communities in Asheville, NC and beyond. Stop by any time during office hours and see our place for yourself, and get to know the RO family.
What is Phase I Orthodontics?
Phase I Orthodontics, or Phase I Treatment has developed from what we have learned about the benefits of early treatment, particularly in the reduction and simplification of Phase II treatments.
Phase II Treatments usually begin around the ages of eleven to thirteen, after the majority of permanent teeth have erupted.
Phase I treatment is recommended for children in instances of moderate to severe malocclusions, and can offer a range of benefits including:
- Reducing or eliminating the need for jaw surgery or the extraction of permanent teeth in later Phase II treatments.
- Positively influencing jaw development, improving the position of permanent teeth and molars, and improving speech development in the process
- Improving self-esteem and reducing the severity and time commitments of Phase II treatments during teenage years.
The goal of Phase II treatment is to position the permanent teeth in alignment and further maximize both jaw function and appearance of the smile. However, the goal of Phase I orthodontics is to influence jaw development positively, and guide permanent teeth into more favorable positions, which preserve or create space for incoming teeth. Effective Phase I treatment can reduce the need for more invasive treatments later in life.
When is Phase I Orthodontics right for my child?
As every child – and every smile – is unique, at Roeder Orthodontics, in the right circumstances, we will encourage early assessment of growth and development, with an aim to prevent complex corrections later.
Phase I Treatment can be effective for a number of common developmental problems, including:
- Narrow jaws or excessive crowding
- Underbite, openbite, or excessive Overjet
- Speech problems and bad oral habits
After a thorough, free evaluation of your child’s smile, Dr. Roeder will determine if Phase I Treatment can be beneficial, or if further development is appropriate before any treatment. If Phase I treatment is not appropriate for your child, our Roeder Rookies Club offers periodic checkups to monitor growth and development, as well as regular rewards and prizes for all of our pre-orthodontic patients. As with all things concerning your child’s smile, Dr. Roeder and his team will discuss all available treatment options, costs, payment plans and scheduling options if desired. Call us on 828-274-2500 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Roeder.
Traditionally, orthodontic treatment has come at what some would consider a high opportunity cost. While the monetary cost of dental treatment is typically at the forefront of considerations (particularly for parents), there is also the opportunity cost of invasive or overwhelming treatments to consider. Particularly for adults and teenagers, the opportunity cost of wearing braces or other corrective appliances for any length of time can even outweigh the desire to have any corrective work done.
It’s easy to think of orthodontics as being synonymous with unsightly wires and obvious headgear: awkward metallic smiles and clumsy impeded speech. However, with many options for clear and invisible braces available, the opportunity cost of a stellar smile has never been lower!
Roeder Orthodontics is proud to offer a range of invisible braces, including ceramic braces and clear aligners.
Clear or ceramic braces are made from composite materials that match very closely with the natural color of the teeth because they are largely translucent. Clarity Advanced Ceramic Braces function just like metal braces, though they are not as strong as traditional metal braces, and may require longer comparative treatment times, but also with a slower, more gradual application of force (which is often more comfortable, overall).
Clear braces can be used to treat the following conditions:
- Overbite or overjet protrusion
- Crowded teeth
- Crooked teeth
- Diastema or widely spaced teeth
Roeder Orthodontics also offers Invisalign clear aligners as an alternative to permanent braces that are custom designed and manufactured to individual orthodontic requirements. Consisting of a series of clear, removable aligners which are changed every few weeks as the teeth are gradually guided into the desired positions. Some patients prefer the aligners because they don’t require adjustments in the same capacity as traditional braces, which can mean less visits to the office.
Advancements in Technology
Using innovative technology, intraoral scanners replace goopy impressions or molds. The scans produce a computer generated 3D model of your mouth and can provide a visualization of the end result before beginning treatment. Using the desired end result, we then work backwards from that in creating a custom fabricated series of aligners which bring you closer your exquisite smile over time.
Clear aligners can be used to treat a variety of alignment issues, including spacing and alignment problems, and in many cases can be used to correct more complex issues of malocclusion including:
- and many conditions treated by traditional braces
Invisalign clear aligners offer many advantages over traditional braces, including:
- Being removable means you can eat whatever you like, when you like, which also serves to make aligners more hygienic than traditional braces
- The small form factor and custom molded shape means there are no bulky wires to irritate the mouth or interfere with speech: after a short period of adjustment, speech is not normally affected whatsoever.
- Being almost invisible makes them a very popular alternative to traditional braces
Customized for You
As with all things orthodontic, it is important to find the very best treatment for you, which begins with a free initial consultation in which Dr. Jeffery Roeder will evaluate and discuss with you all of your treatment options, expected treatment times, as well as cost and payment plans, if desired.
Call us today on 828-274-2500 to schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Roeder. Roeder Orthodontics is located in Asheville, NC and we serve the communities throughout Buncombe Country, including Black Mountain, Fletcher, Canton, Weaverville and beyond.
Teeth: Gaps and Spacing
Things which grow need enough space to develop and grow strong and healthy. We all have left a plant in a pot for too long, and when we go to move it into something larger find that the roots have become bound and stretched to fill the entire space to capacity. On the other hand, having too much space can also be a problem; in the case of a plant in an oversized pot; the excess space allows for unwanted weeds to establish themselves, eventually overtaking the plant you wished to see grow.
Your child’s dention is similar, in that just the right amount of space is necessary for the growth and development of healthy smiles. At Roeder Orthodontics, Dr. Roeder can offer your child a comprehensive assessment of their oral development and habits to ensure their smile develops within the Goldilocks zone wherein the teeth have just the right amount of space for a stellar smile for life.
Mind the Gap
Gaps between the teeth (called disastema) can occur between any two teeth, but are most common between the two upper front teeth (the central incisors). Gaps or spaces can develop for a number of reasons, including:
- A discrepancy between the size of the jawbones and the size of the teeth themselves, with gaps occurring when the teeth are too small for the jaw during development.
- Undersized or missing teeth can cause the adjacent teeth to spread.
- Disastema between the central incisors can also be caused by an oversized, over-developed, or tight labial frenum, which can hamper the natural closing of the space between the teeth.
- Bad oral habits can also lead to increased tooth spacing, including thumb sucking and tongue thrusting.
- Children will experience temporary gaps as their baby teeth fall out, but these spaces will close as permanent teeth erupt into the spaces provided.
Importance of Correct Spacing
Our earlier analogy of a potted plant provides us with good insight of the importance of correct tooth spacing, both during developmental stages, and throughout life. A healthy developing smile requires just enough room to grow. If either the jaw or teeth are growing too quickly – or too large relative to one another – spacing is going to be affected, either through overcrowding or disastema.
Gaps between the teeth can negatively affect dental hygiene, leaving difficult to clean areas, and can result in further tooth decay, gingivitis and periodontal disease. Flossing does not always prevent decay, and can possibly cause further damage to the gums and the tissue connecting the gums to the root of the teeth. Untreated plaque, tartar, and accumulated food particles can separate the teeth from the gums, loosening their sockets. Both disposable and reusable bristled interdental brushes are available, and can improve dental hygiene in cases where gaps in teeth are problematic for regular brushing and flossing. Our team at Roeder Orthodontics can find the best options for you, and also instruct you on effective cleaning techniques.
Treatment of Gaps and Spacing
Disastema can be both part of a larger set of issues requiring orthodontic treatment, and also a problem of its own, for both practical reasons and reasons of appearance. Treatment options will depend on a good number of factors, and Dr. Roeder and his team will discuss any treatment options after a thorough free initial consultation and examination. Treatment options will vary according to the development of the individual, and can include:
- Braces, which function to bring the teeth together. Often it is necessary to wear a full set of braces on both the upper and lower teeth (maxillary and mandibular) because the movement of any teeth will affect the entire mouth
- Teeth that are too small may be widened with crowns, bonding or veneers
- Spaces caused by missing teeth can be preserved with dental implants or a partial denture, or with a bridge
Call us today at 828-274-2500 to schedule a free consultation. Roeder Orthodontics proudly serves patients throughout the Asheville community and surrounding areas.