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Orthodontic FAQs; Is There an Age Limit for Braces, Definition of Malocclusion, Orthodontist Emergency & More

January 30, 2017

There are many questions that are associated with the dynamics of orthodontics. We have compiled the following FAQ in the hopes that it helps answer the questions you have. If you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact us directly and we at Leaver & Gardner Orthodontics would happily answer your questions.

Answers to Frequently Asked Orthodontic Questions

Q: What is orthodontics?
A: Orthodontics is the professional practice in diagnostics, treatment planning, insertion, use and control of different corrective appliances used to align teeth, lips and jaws, all contributing to achieving optimal results.
Q: Is there an age limitation for orthodontic treatment?
A: An ideal time for orthodontic treatment is for anyone above the age of 10 although braces can be placed any time after permanent teeth have fully grown in. Note that there are a number of treatments available for self conscious adults.
Q: What is a malocclusion?
A: Malocclusion is the technical term for crooked, crowded, misaligned or protruding teeth which do not fit together properly. Literally, the word means “bad bite.” The most common malocclusions have crooked, crowded, rotated teeth, excessive overbite, teeth that stick out, teeth that do not touch one another when biting, scissor bites, and so on.
Q: What are the causes of malocclusions?
A: Most malocclusions are inherited. These include crowding of teeth, too much space between teeth, extra or missing teeth, cleft palate and a variety of irregularities of the jaws and face. However, some malocclusions are acquired by thumb-sucking, tongue thrusting, dental disease, premature loss of primary or permanent teeth, accidents or some medical problems.
Q: Can crooked teeth correct themselves over time?
A: No, it has never been documented before.
Q: What is headgear and does everyone need to use it during treatment?
A: Headgear is an orthodontic appliance worn outside the mouth and attached to the upper teeth, which is used to push back the upper teeth. Not everyone needs to wear it as a part of treatment.
Q: Do I need a referral from my dentist to schedule an orthodontic consultation?
A: It is not necessary. It is typical to be referred by your general dentist but there are many people who decide to consult on their own to have their malocclusion assessed and find out how they can benefit from orthodontics.
Q: How often will I need to be seen during orthodontic treatment?
A: It depends on the method of treatment and the individual case; visits can be every 4-10 weeks depending on the circumstances.
Q: Can I have braces if I have missing teeth or crowns and bridges?
A: Yes, a tooth with a crown or any type of restoration can be moved just like any other tooth, as long as its root or roots and surrounding tissues are healthy.
Q: I would like to have my teeth whitened, when is the best time for tooth whitening?
A: Getting your teeth whitened is an elective procedure designed to enhance the aesthetics of your teeth. We strongly recommend you wait until the conclusion of your orthodontic procedure for optimal results.
Q: Does getting braces hurt?
A: With today’s modern technology, braces are designed to be less painful. When you are first fitted, your teeth, gums, soft tissue and inner mouth may be sensitive and feel some discomfort as you get use to the selected appliance.
Q: Can I go back to school or work after getting my braces?
A: Absolutely. The initial discomfort after having the braces put on is minimal and should not prevent you from doing your regular activities.
Q: Does having braces affect my every day activities?
A: Braces only alter your diet. Your activities can continue as normal.
Q: Do I continue seeing the dentist during my orthodontist treatments?
A: Yes, it is very important you continue your normal dental hygiene habits including regular dental visits to properly care for the health of your teeth and gums.
Q: Do I need to protect my teeth during contact sports?
A: Yes, it is important you protect the hardware as well as your mouth during contact sports activity. Wearing mouth guards designed for races is ideal for this feat.
Q: Can I play a wind instrument with braces?
A: Yes. There might be a slight adjustment but you can still play your winded instruments.
Q: How long will my orthodontic treatment last?
A: There are many contributing factors as to how long treatment can last; from as little as 12 months to as many as 30. Typically it takes 20-22 months for the duration of treatment to be completed.
Q: In case of emergency, what do I do?
A: Contact your orthodontist as soon as possible. Many have emergency contact numbers during after hours.
Q: What is the orthodontic retention phase?
A: The retention phase is the period immediately following the removal of the braces or other appliances during which special measures are taken to stabilize the results obtained during the orthodontic treatment.
Q: Does my dental insurance plan cover orthodontics?
A: Most dental insurance plans cover orthodontic work, however each plan covers a certain percentage and it would be best to understand exactly what is covered prior to treatment.

Expert Orthodontic Treatments

If you are in need of orthodontic work, contact Leaver & Gardner Orthodontics for your appointment today!

Retainer Replacement in North Las Vegas, NV; Pros & Cons of Bonded VS Hawley, Essix & Vivera Removable Retainers

January 22, 2017

Just because you’re done with your orthodontic treatment doesn’t mean you’re finished looking after your smile. Retainers are included in your orthodontic treatment. Retainers “retain” the position of your teeth and you will need to wear them for the rest of your life. The most important time to wear retainers is right after your braces come off. The reason for this is that the bones in your jaw need time to solidify around the position that your teeth have been positioned in. Your teeth can still move years after your braces have been removed. For the first six months, you’ll need to wear your retainer very consistently. The amount of time you wear it can decrease after that and depends on your individual circumstances and your orthodontist’s recommendation. Just like your toothbrush needs replacing, so does a retainer.

Pros & Cons of Bonded Retainers

Bonded retainers are permanent ones where wires are bonded to the back of your teeth. The material used to bond the wire can start to wear down over time with eating, brushing and flossing. Bonded retainers on the bottom teeth should last longer than bonded retainers on the top teeth. In fact, up to three years longer as the top part of your mouth sees less action that the lower. The wires can start to get loose without you even knowing. Your dentist should check it each time you go in for a checkup to make sure it’s still bonded well. Your teeth are harder to clean with bonded retainers. Having the wires permanently bonded to your teeth may start to bother you after enough time has passed. You can have your orthodontist remove them and switch to removable ones if that would suit you better.

Removable Retainers Pros & Cons

The two types of retainers that can be removed are the Essix and the Hawley. The Essix retainer(s) are one piece of clear molded plastic that fit right over your teeth and the Hawley has an acrylic piece that fits on the roof of your mouth behind your teeth with wires that protrude from it and sit around the front of the teeth. Both of these retainers will start to get yucky and begin to wear out. The wires in the Hawley retainer can break off and the Essix retainers can change shape in hot water. As they wear out they might not fit as well as they used too. The Essix retainers last from six months to a few years with the Hawley lasting longer, five to ten years. There is also a Vivera retainer made by Invisalign and are similar to the Essix retainer. They are customized more closely to the patient’s bite and you can have fresh ones on hand as they’re sold through a subscription service.

Orthodontic Care

Money and time went in to getting that beautiful smile so take care of it. If you want your teeth to stay in place, you’ll need to be diligent in wearing your retainer. It doesn’t matter which retainer you end up deciding on, they will need to be checked from time to time and be replaced. Have a dental professional make sure it’s fitting the way it should to make sure your smile always looks it’s best! Contact the professionals at Leaver & Gardner Orthodontics today.

How to Smile With Braces for Picture Day Photos or When Taking Selfies in Summerlin, NV; Damon Clear, Invisalign & More

January 15, 2017

Braces are a common occurrence for lots of preteens and teens all over the United States. The problem is that we live in a selfie society where a picture (or many pictures) are posted on a daily basis. If you are one of the teens that is in the middle of your orthodontic care, you may think that your selfies are not as flattering as your friend without braces. But you don’t have to be a teen that is self-conscience about your look in a selfie. You can just go with it! You can feel confident in the fact that you are not alone. Nearly 70% of teens can benefit from braces and many of them do. When you are wearing braces, you have to first know that they are only temporary and they will come off even if it feels like forever. The time with braces is limited and you know that when they are off, your selfies will be amazing because of your new, straight teeth and beautiful smile! But now that you are wearing braces for a few years, you should learn how to smile for picture days and selfies.

Leaver & Gardner Explain How to Smile with Braces On for Formal Picture Days & Informal Selfies!

Make Smiling with Braces Fun: Have you ever heard the expression “Fake it till you make it”? The first way to really enjoy your braces is to just go with it and have fun! Braces are a part of your look and who you are for a time so you might as well just enjoy them. One way to have fun with the braces is to choose different colors of bands. Many orthodontic offices like Leaver & Gardner have a wide assortment of colors. You can even mix and match different colors to make a unique fashion statement or you can choose a color that represents an upcoming holiday. Red for Valentines, Green for Christmas. Or red, white and blue to show off your patriotism for the 4th of July and other patriotic holidays. These are fun ways to make braces fun and enjoyable. You can also tag your orthodontist office if you want to give a little love to your doctor. Use your imagination when choosing colors that are fun for you.
Go With A Clear Braces or Removable Retainers like Invisalign: Using Damon clear braces for orthodontic care is one way to help to have treatment but not show off the brackets. In a photo, clear brackets are easily hidden. A newer type of clear teeth straightening option is called invisalign. These are a series of crafted retainers that help to straighten you teeth but are removable. When you are ready for your close up simply remove the invisalign and snap a shot. This way you won’t show any signs that you are in treatment with an orthodontist.

Teeth Straightening Treatment

If you are interested in making your orthodontic treatment fun for photos and selfies, just give us a call to have your bands changed or talk about other options. Clear braces or Invisalign are a great discreet option. Leaver & Gardner Orthodontics offers expert orthodontic care to take care of your selfie smile!

Types of Braces & Orthodontic Appliances Available in Las Vegas, NV; Metal, Ceramic, Invisalign, Lingual & More!

January 8, 2017

If you have crooked teeth or a misaligned bite such as an underbite or overbite, there are a number of treatment plans and products available to you that are designed to correct these and many other dental issues. Your Leaver & Gardner Orthodontics specialist may recommend braces or orthodontic appliances to correct irregularities of the teeth and jaw. Some of the devices used to correct these misalignments include the following.

Traditional Metal Braces

Traditional metal braces are the most common type of braces available and are often recommended to younger patients although they can be used on any age group. They are made from quality high-grade stainless steel and are much more comfortable than the metal braces of yesteryear. Metal brackets and archwires are attached to straighten teeth. Younger patients often elect to use colored rubber bands for a more unique appearance and smile.

Ceramic Braces

Ceramic braces are made from clear materials and are much less noticeable when applied to your teeth than the more traditional form of metal braces. Ceramic braces are often the preferred choice of older teenagers and adult patients who are naturally more self-conscience and have cosmetic concerns. They do however require a higher degree of oral maintenance and hygiene as they are larger and easier to break than traditional metal braces. It is for these very reasons that ceramic braces are only used on the upper front teeth as opposed to both the upper and lower teeth.

Invisalign Clear Alligners

Invisalign is an invisible orthodontic appliance that is designed to use a series of removable aligners to straighten your teeth. Not only is the appliance extremely comfortable, it can also be removed so you can continue your regular routine of brushing, flossing and eating the foods that you normally enjoy.

Lingual Braces

Lingual braces are more aesthetically pleasing than the more traditional metal braces or even ceramic braces because they are placed at the back of the teeth making them essentially undetectable. This is particularly reassuring for those patients who are hoping to retain a normal appearance during the time of their treatment. Lingual braces are custom made to fit the maxillofacial structure of each individual. Some patients experience speech problems when the braces are first fitted but most issues disperse on their own once the patient becomes accustomed.

Palatial Expanders

Palatal Expanders are used to widen the jaw to correct the problem of a narrow bite which often results in overcrowded teeth. In the past, teeth were often extracted to make room for overcrowded teeth but these days’ orthodontists recommend wearing a palatal expander for a period of time before fitting braces to move the teeth into the correct position. A palatal expander is a device that is fitted to your palate to apply pressure to the back of your molars in order to move the teeth farther apart.

Other Orthodontic Appliances

Nance holding arch appliance: This device is applied to prevent the molars from moving forward.
Lower lingual holding arch appliance: This device helps preserve space between baby and adult teeth.
Pendulum appliance: This device is applied to push the molars back.
Bite corrector appliance: This device pushes the lower teeth forward and the upper teeth back.
Bite jump appliance: This device is used to correct an underbite in the front teeth of younger children.

Expert Orthodontic Care

For more information regarding braces and orthodontic appliances, contact the knowledgeable professionals at Leaver & Gardner Orthodontics today!

Tips for Brushing Teeth While Wearing Braces in Henderson, NV; Use the Right Toothbrush, Brush for Long Enough & More

January 1, 2017

The process of braces can take a few years to complete. You will still need to keep up with your oral hygiene during this time which will include brushing and flossing thoroughly. You can’t wait to get your braces off and then take care of the health and color of your teeth. At that time there could be permanent damage that needs to be dealt with. It is best to have a strategy for keeping your gums and teeth clean and healthy with your braces on. These things are not as easily done when you have braces on so there are some tips that you may use to get a good clean mouth.

Leaver & Gardner List Some Tooth Brushing Tips You Can Try While You Have Braces On

Use The Right Toothbrush: When you go out to get a new toothbrush you may want to look at the strength of the toothbrush and get one that is soft. You want to make sure that your teeth are clean as well as your gums. If you use a medium or hard toothbrush you may end up damaging your gums and causing some injury. Using the right type of toothbrush is a great way to be sure that you are getting the cleanliness that you want.
Pre-Brush With Water First: Your first instinct when going in to brush your teeth is to get the toothbrush wet and slop on some toothpaste. This is a great idea when you don’t actually have braces on your teeth. When you do have braces on your teeth you want to start with water only. The issue is that the braces themselves have lots of areas that food can get stuck. When you use toothpaste to start you are causing bubbles to form and you potentially won’t be able to see if all the debris is gone. When you use a wet toothbrush first you are able to see what debris is on the braces and make sure that it is removed. Take time to treat around your brackets one at a time to get on top of, under and in between them the best that you can. This includes the back teeth as well. This is a great way to clean your teeth and help to prevent any cavities from appearing as well.
How Long to Brush Your Teeth?: Brushing your teeth whether you have braces of not should not be a race. You need to ensure that you are spending an appropriate amount of time actually cleaning your teeth. The general rule is to brush for two minutes at minimum. You want o give that much time to make sure that the teeth are clean and the gums need to be massaged to increase blood flow to allow for healthy tissue to exist.
Floss Your Teeth Often: One of the harder parts of dental hygiene when you have braces on is to floss your teeth. You can’t use a standard piece of floss to get in between the teeth because the wire is blocking access. There are some items that are sold to help with flossing and even if it takes more time you want to use that time to do it right. It is extremely easy to get a cavity when you skip flossing.

Orthodontic Care

Leaver & Gardner Orthodontics offers braces and other orthodontic care so call today to make your appointment.

Implications of Tongue & Lip Piercings; Swollen Gums, Broken Braces Brackets, Nerve Damage Problems & More in North Las Vegas, NV

December 26, 2016

Many people choose to have their ear pierced as part of their fashion sense. Other people choose to have more piercings done that can include your tongue, cheek and your lip. If you have a teen or you have chosen to have a piercing in any of these areas you may want to look at the problems that can come because of them. They may be a way to express yourself and show off your individuality but you don’t want to put your oral care at risk of trouble. Before you have any oral piercing done it is a good idea to speak to your dental professional to understand what problems may come because of it.

Leaver & Gardner Orthodontics Outlines What Potential Dental & Orthodontic Risks Come With An Oral Piercing

Chipped & Broken Tooth: One of the major problems with having any kind of oral piercing is that you can potentially chip, crack or break a tooth. The piercing is going to be some kind of metal that you are not used to on your mouth. You can end up accidentally chomping down on the metal piercing and causing your tooth to break. If you have a tooth that has been broken you will need to get an appointment with the dentist to have it repaired.
Broken Braces Bracket: The other problem for people that are going through orthodontic care is that they have a bracket on each tooth. A piercing that is on the lip or even the tongue can come in contact with the bracket by eating or simply by talking. When this happens the bracket can break and separate from the tooth. This will lead to an appointment with the orthodontist to make the repair and it can potentially set back your orthodontic care. It may take longer to make the corrections the more that the brackets and hardware are broken.
Gum Injury; Trauma to Gum Line: The health of your teeth is really only part of the health of your mouth. The gums play a huge role in your oral health. When you have a piercing it can hit the gums too hard causing a sore that can become infected. Another problem with an oral piercing is that it can continue to rub or bump into a particular part of the gums that can cause them to recede which exposes the nerves of the teeth causing sensitivity.
Swollen Gums, Pain & Infections: If there is any other problems with your oral health it can delay your orthodontic care. This includes injury and infections to your teeth, mouth and gums. The piece of jewelry that is used is supposed to be cleaned but it is going directly into your mouth and that can easily lead to an infection. You will need to have your infection treated fully before the orthodontist can continue the treatment.

Expert Orthodontic Care

If you are thinking about having an oral piercing whether it is your lip or tongue it is best to wait until after your orthodontic treatment is completely. Then ask the advice of your general dentist for the cons of having an oral piercing when it comes to the health of your mouth and teeth. Leaver & Gardner Orthodontics offers expert orthodontic care so give us a call today to set up your appointment.

Candy Canes, Christmas Pudding & Other Holiday Foods & Drinks to Avoid When Wearing Braces in Summerlin, NV

December 18, 2016

Christmas is but a few weeks away with all of those delicious treats and tantalizing dinner rapidly approaching us. For those with braces, you may feel cheated, for not everything on the dinner table is yours for the taking. There are many kinds of foods that can damage your braces and your teeth. Leaver & Gardner Orthodontics wants to discuss with those wearing braces what food must be avoided as well as the traditional holiday delights that you can still partake in.

Holiday Food & Drinks to Avoid When Wearing Braces

Christmas seems to be the time of year we are bombarded with the sweetest and stickiest of treats. As tempting as they might be, sweet and sticky is the wrong combination for those with braces. Sorry. There are even some foods that are prepared for Christmas dinner that should be avoided because they leave small bits and particles in your teeth that can damage them and cause tooth decay. For effective orthodontic treatment, you must avoid some of these foods and clean your braces properly. Here are some of this year’s holiday delicacies you should avoid.
Hard Candy Canes – Candy Canes are often used as a quick treat. Even those used to decorate our Christmas trees are sometimes later consumed as part of our holiday traditions. If you avoid chewing on the candy canes and slowly suck them down, it should prevent direct damage to the braces, Keep in mind, the sugar left behind must be cleaned quickly or you could suffer tooth decay. Due to the high sugar content in candy canes we suggest minimum consumption of this holiday delight.
Christmas Pudding – Christmas pudding and even mince pies and other chew desserts that are high in sugar is an obvious problem for those with braces because they can slip into the tightest of cracks. On top of that, these chew foods will clog up your braces making it difficult to chew. Cleaning will become a nightmare with foods like these since pudding gets into the smallest of cracks. Most often tooth decay is not far behind.
Crushed Ice & Cubes – Ice cubes often are used to cool down our drinks. As great as it is for cooling down or chilling your holiday beverage, avoid chewing them. Ice cubes can damage both your teeth and braces.
Hard Vegetables – Despite vegetables being rather healthy foods, raw vegetables will also damage braces and get easily stuck inside them. Other hard foods like nuts, stone fruits, etc can damage the wires and brackets of the braces if you’re not careful. If you’re looking forward to some vegetables, it is better to eat them cooked and softened and in small pieces.

What Kind of Candy, Sweets & Holiday Foods Can You Eat with Braces?

Now we don’t want you feel like you can eat anything Christmas day nor do we want you to feel bullied by us, so here are some of those Christmas delights that are approved by most orthodontists! Most traditional Christmas dinners have turkey, potatoes and cooked vegetables. They can be eaten in small pieces are fine for those with braces. That Christmas pudding can be exchanged for ice cream or even a festive chocolate log which can be cleaned much easier and won’t damage the wire or brackets of your braces. Sugary drink beverages can be consumed but make sure you rinse with water after you finish them. Of course after your holiday binge is over, make sure to clean your teeth and braces thoroughly.

Orthodontic Care

Leaver & Gardner Orthodontics wants everyone to enjoy Christmas, and let’s face it, eating is pretty joyous. Don’t let your braces hold back your holiday enjoyment. Just proceed with caution. If you have questions, contact us and we will help you enjoy this Christmas.

Teeth Straightening Options Without Traditional Braces in Las Vegas, NV; Invisalign Clear Aligners, Veneers, Retainers & More

December 12, 2016

There are many different aspects that lead to great self confidence. Having straight teeth is one of the major attributes folks desire. Having healthy and aligned teeth is a perfect way to boost the confidence we crave, especially as we enter adulthood. Having braces into adulthood, and even throughout the years of adolescence can be a challenge, luckily there are a few alternatives to getting your teeth to their full potential.

Options to Straighten Teeth Without Traditional Metal Braces

1. Clear Aligners or Invisalign. Clear aligners or Invisalign are becoming an increasingly more trendy approach to traditional braces and are an exceptional alternative to straightening teeth. They are far more discrete than the traditional metal braces. The treatment comprises of several clear, plastic trays custom made for the patient. You will get new trays at specific intervals throughout the course of treatment following the previous one once it has straightened out your teeth to its level, till eventually, there is no longer a need. They are worn between 22-24 hours a day, removed for cleaning and oral hygiene, and food consumption. The use of Invisalign is more preferred among patients who have a more severe case, but don’t want the more obvious approach of braces.
2. Veneers. Most patients would shy away from that procedure in the early stages of veneers. But over time, modern technology, and engineer’s research and development have advanced. Now veneers have become a more useful and beneficial way to straighten your teeth. Veneers are fine, thin strips of porcelain, or similar materials, that are matched to the approximate same shade of your teeth. A few trips to the orthodontist in order to ensure the perfect fit, veneers will help straighten your teeth quickly and efficiently.
3. Retainers. Patients with minor malocclusions or misaligned teeth using retainers are a common alternative and have been used nearly as long as braces have. Retainers are worn continuously or just in the evening hours depending on the severity of your case. For patients that have severe misaligned teeth braces generally start the treating process and then completed with the use of a retainer.
4. Serial Extraction. Malocclusion are a byproduct of baby teeth and adult teeth interacting with each other in most cases. More than likely, multiple teeth erupted without the available space for them to do so. Serial extraction is an affordable way and effective option for this particular situation and avoids braces. However, in order for this option to be a possibility, the dentist has to track your child’s teeth early and painless remove the baby teeth as the adult teeth begin pushing through the gum line.

Professional Orthodontic Care

Catching teeth early is a lot more optimal in correcting malocclusion. Along with efficient oral hygiene care, your teeth can be better preserved to last throughout your life. If your desire is to achieve straighter teeth, but you want to avoid the use of braces, come see us at Leaver and Gardner Orthodontics, we can consult with you on your specific needs and optimal options. Call us today to schedule your appointment.

How to Clean & Sterilize Essix (That Look Like Clear Invisalign Aligners) & Wire Hawley Retainers in Henderson, NV

December 4, 2016

When you wear an orthodontic retainer, it needs to be cleaned just like your teeth. Your mouth is full of bacteria and it will start to affect your retainer if you aren’t properly cleaning it. Just like your teeth, plaque can build up on your retainer and that mixed with bacteria can cause it to smell. Leaver & Gardner Orthodontics is here to talk about how to clean your orthodontic retainers.

How to Clean Your Orthodontic Retainer

Whenever you take your retainer out of your mouth to brush your teeth, you should also be cleaning your retainer. This will make it impossible for plaque and bacteria to cause your retainer to smell and look dirty. When cleaning your retainer, there are several ways to do it.

Cleaning Your Retainer With Denture Cleaner

Even though this cleaner is made primarily for dentures, it can be used to clean retainers as well. You want to avoid using it all the time because the cleaner is strong and can cause damage to your retainer if you use it too often. To clean with denture cleaner, fill a shallow cup with enough water to cover the retainer and add the cleaning tablet. After allowing it to soak for 15-20 minutes place the retainer in non-alcoholic mouthwash and let it soak for at least 30 minutes to several hours. Make sure the mouthwash doesn’t contain alcohol, since the alcohol found in mouthwash will damage your retainer.

How to Clean Retainers With Baking Soda

To clean your retainer with baking soda, make a paste out of distilled water and baking soda. After you have made a paste, use a soft bristled toothbrush to lightly scrub your retainer with the paste just as you would brush your teeth. Pay particular attention to the cracks and crevices on your retainer that will trap bacteria. After giving it a good scrub, rinse and you are done.

How to Clean Clear Retainers With Vinegar

After rinsing your retainer, place it in a shallow dish and completely submerge it in vinegar. Let your retainer soak for 3-5 minutes. Don’t leave it for longer than 5 minutes because vinegar can damage your retainer if left too long. After soaking, scrub your retainer with a toothbrush thoroughly and rinse.

Mild Castile Soap Retainer Cleaner

If you want a gentle cleaner, castile soap is the one for you. It has an olive or coconut oil base and is effective in gently cleaning without using chemicals. Mix a bit of liquid castile soap in warm water and submerge your retainer. While submerged, scrub the retainer with a toothbrush. Rinse and you’re done.

Sanitize Your Orthodontic Retainer

In order to sanitize your retainer, you can use warm water and anti-bacterial dish soap to do it. Scrub the retainer in the mixture and rinse. After this, you can soak it in rubbing alcohol for a short time. This shouldn’t exceed 15 minutes because the alcohol can cause damage to your retainer. After soaking in alcohol, you should let it soak in a shallow dish of distilled water to complete the disinfecting.

Expert Orthodontic Care

Just like your teeth, you should clean your retainer to keep it clean and your mouth healthy. Leaver & Gardner Orthodontics offer orthodontic care to give you the smile you want. Call for an appointment today!

Inflamed, Receding & Bleeding Gums; Is it Normal for Gums to Bleed With Braces or After Getting Braces Off in North Las Vegas, NV?

November 28, 2016

When wearing braces, there are many dental issues you need to look out for. From demineralization and sensitivity to plaque, tartar and bad breath; it’s important to be vigilant in your dental health routine. Today, Leaver & Gardner Orthodontics wants to address another dental problem you may experience while wearing braces; bleeding gums. It can be quite alarming to see your gums bleeding but don’t panic. It’s a good idea to determine the why so you can best stop it from happening!

Causes of Bleeding Gums Around One Tooth or Multiple Teeth When Wearing Braces

New toothbrush can cause bleeding gums. Toothbrushes that have firm bristles can be hard on gums. If your new toothbrush is making your gums bleed, check the package to see what kind it is. The toothbrushes you buy should always be soft. Some people think that soft bristles won’t clean as well as firm but that’s not true. They clean just as well. Make sure you use the proper brushing technique and that you don’t push too hard. Pushing too hard can damage the gums especially if they’re sensitive to begin with. Braces wearers are quite susceptible to sensitivity and will find soft bristles less irritating to receding gums. Once you get your braces off, it is also a good idea to not brush too hard as you adjust to not wearing them anymore.
Medications can cause dry mouth and bleeding gums. Some medications will make gums more prone to sensitivity that can cause them to become inflamed which can lead to bleeding. Other medications cause blood thinning which can lead to gums bleeding as well. Check the side effects of the medications your are taking to see if it’s one of the side effects. You should always continue with your medication but be a little gentler when brushing until the medication cycle is complete.
Gum disease. If your gums are red, swollen and tender it could be a sign of gum disease. Gum disease can be caused by other factors but usually it’s due to poor oral hygiene. And oral hygiene is something braces wearers struggle with. You have the additional challenge of cleaning around the gum line with braces which means you should be especially vigilant. Gum disease is also called periodontal disease that happens when there is an excessive buildup of plaque. Having good oral health practices is the surest way to keep gum disease away. This means brushing teeth twice a day for at least two minutes and flossing daily.
Poor Oral Hygiene. Braces wearers who don’t brush their teeth on a regular basis can also have gums that bleed more easily. Teeth that are neglected have gums that become more swollen and inflamed because plaque is allowed to remain on the teeth for longer periods of time. Plaque is an invisible film of bacteria that forms on teeth after we eat which is why good oral care helps gums remain healthy.

How to Get Strong, Healthy Gums

Vitamin C can help keep gums healthy. You can take a Vitamin C supplement or incorporate more fruits and vegetables that have Vitamin C into their diet. For many reasons, it’s always a good idea to limit sugary drinks and not just soda, but juice too. Try to take care of any issues that may be leading to bleeding gums before they become major issues. Gums that bleed for more than a week might be a sign of gum disease. Brushing and flossing are important, and so are regular orthodontist checkups!