Make Your Smile Last | Monroe Orthodontist

Monroe LA Orthodontist

When most orthodontic treatments end, patients will still need help retaining their new smiles. This is commonly done with a retainer. If you want your orthodontic treatment to have lasting effects, it’s pertinent that you wear your retainer as directed by your orthodontist in 71201

Once your orthodontic treatment is complete, you’ll be given one of three different types of retainers:

  • Traditional Retainers – A removable piece made of acrylic and wire that attaches to the top of your mouth and sits on the front side of your teeth
  • Clear Retainers – A removable, clear plastic tray that fits over your teeth
  • Bonded Retainers – A thin, fixed wire that is temporarily attached to the inside of the anterior teeth

How Should I Wear My Retainer? 

Our orthodontist will provide you with solid options suited for your treatment plan. Your retainer should be worn as often as you’re instructed to do so. Even though your teeth have been under constant stress for the past couple years, wearing your retainer right after treatment is necessary. Depending on your dentist’s instruction, retainers should be worn at all times.

How to Clean a Retainer

Because wearing your retainer is a crucial part of your orthodontic treatment, it’s important to keep it clean. Bacteria and plaque can pose a threat to your retainer, just like your teeth. To prevent buildup, make sure you’re cleaning it regularly.

Regardless of what material your retainer is made of, the cleaning process will be nearly the same. Start by wetting your toothbrush and scrubbing the mouthpiece from top to bottom. Be diligent around small crevices. Also remember to regularly disinfect your device by letting it sit in mouthwash or an approved cleaning solution. Before placing the retainer back in your mouth, remember to rinse it with cool water.

Be sure to contact our orthodontics office in Monroe, LA for more information about your retainer, and protect that smile you’ve worked so hard to achieve.

Caples & Robinson Orthodontics
Phone: (318) 325-9655
2210 Forsythe Ave.
Monroe, LA 71201

What to do When Your Braces Hurt | Monroe LA Orthodontist

Orthodontist 71201

Getting used to orthodontic braces can be an uncomfortable experience. However, loose brackets or wires can also cause pain, an issue that could cause bigger problems if not addressed quickly. That’s why it’s important to stay on top of your oral health. Here are a few remedies recommended by our orthodontist in 71201 to help with mild irritation; however, be sure to contact your dental health professional if any of these problems persist.

Irritation and Soreness

When you get your first set of braces, minor discomfort is common for the first few days. Your lips, cheeks and tongue won’t be used to the metal in your mouth, so they might rub against the wires or brackets and become scratched or irritated.

If your braces continue to cause irritation, here are a few things you can do to address it. First, make sure you’re drinking plenty of water. A dry mouth tends to worsen the irritated areas. Next, be sure to regularly brush and rinse your mouth to limit the food or debris that could contribute to the irritation. Third, remember to use wax to cover the irritating parts of your braces. If the soreness continues, schedule an appointment with our office to further examine the problem.

Damaged Braces

While unlikely, it’s possible for your braces to become damaged while you are wearing them. Perhaps the most frequent issue is when brackets or wires become loose or dislodged. These issues are no cause for panic, as our team is able to quickly address the problem. Schedule an appointment with us as soon as possible to have your braces corrected.

Oral Injuries Caused by Braces

While wearing braces, you’re also more likely to become injured when doing physical activity. Try wearing a mouth guard when participating in sports or workouts to reduce the risk of damage to your tongue, lips, and cheeks. You can also apply wax to the parts of your braces that are causing the most irritation to avoid serious cuts.

Of course, not everyone who has braces ends up harming themselves, but there are risks with metal in the mouth. Being proactive against potential injuries is the best form of prevention but if you experience any pain or discomfort when wearing braces, contact our orthodontics office in Monroe, LA for a fast appointment.

Caples & Robinson Orthodontics
Phone: (318) 325-9655
2210 Forsythe Ave.
Monroe, LA 71201

The Best Way to Floss With Braces | Orthodontist Monroe

Monroe LA Orthodontist

After getting a new set of braces, many people find there’s a learning curve with maintaining their oral hygiene. Flossing through your new brackets and wires, in particular, may take a little more effort, but it’s important: The last thing you want after enduring months or years of mouth hardware is decay on those straight new teeth.

 It’s important to heed your orthodontist’s recommendation on products to use for cleaning between teeth and around wires and brackets. He or she can also advise you on the best brushing and flossing methods for your particular appliance. Here are some basic tips shared by our orthodontist in 71201 on flossing with braces.

Use a floss threader. This small, plastic, disposable tool allows you to weave strings of floss between your wires and between your teeth. It is an important part of the braces hygiene routine, as it allows you to floss your teeth all the way up to the gum line, where plaque can build. Flossing with a threader may require some practice to master, but it can make a seemingly difficult task quite simple. 

Waxed floss or dental tape. Many dentists prefer waxed dental floss for braces because it is less likely to get caught on bracket edges and wires, and it glides easily between teeth. Dental tape, which comes in waxed and unwaxed types, may be helpful for people with large gaps between teeth.

Consider an oral irrigation device. Commonly known by the most popular brand name, Waterpik, this device delivers pulses of water to targeted areas. Although it’s sometimes called a water flosser, it does not replace flossing because it does not eliminate plaque. Still, it can help remove particles of food from between brackets and teeth. It may also help prevent gum disease.  

Don’t floss too vigorously. Braces make gums tender, a problem that can be exacerbated by poor oral hygiene.This can create a vicious circle of pain, avoidance, and more pain. Work slowly and gently, especially at first. Be sure to rinse with mouthwash and water after flossing to dislodge food particles.

Helping children learn to floss. Flossing teeth properly can be a difficult skill for younger children to master, and it’s even more challenging when they are wearing braces. You may need to help them floss at first. To make it easier, tie waxed floss to a floss threader so it doesn’t slide out, and always direct the threader under the arch wire from the gum line toward the tongue. This will avoid poking sensitive gum tissue.

Proper brushing and flossing while wearing braces are vital to sustain long term oral health. Need guidance? Ready for braces? Contact our orthodontics office in Monroe, LA to schedule an appointment today.

Caples & Robinson Orthodontics
Phone: (318) 325-9655
2210 Forsythe Ave.
Monroe, LA 71201

How to Brush Your Teeth with Braces | Orthodontist 71201

Monroe LA Orthodontist

Brushing your teeth after getting a new set of braces can make for quite a change in your daily routine. Your teeth will require extra care with orthodontics, so here are a few tips shared by our orthodontist in 71201 to help with the daily brushing process.

Start by rinsing

Before you pick up a toothbrush, rinse your mouth with water. The swishing action will loosen some of the remaining debris stuck between your teeth.

Brush away

Start brushing your teeth with the same technique you would use without braces but try angling your brush at the area above your top brackets.. Once the gum line has been cleaned, brush around the brackets. Angle your toothbrush so that you’re reaching completely around each bracket. Take your time. After you’ve finished brushing your top teeth, move to the bottom row using the same angle technique. Don’t forget to brush the back and biting surfaces, as well.

Take your time with the floss

Flossing may take a little more time and patience when you have braces, but make sure that you’re getting in between all of your teeth. The best way to get into spaces around brackets and wires is with a floss threader and interdental brushes.

Finish with a rinse

After you’re done with brushing and flossing, remember to finish with a swig of mouthwash. This last step will clear out any remaining food debris that was dislodged from brushing.

If you have any questions or concerns about your oral hygiene, our team can help you find the best solution. Contact our orthodontics office in Monroe, LA today to learn more about protecting your smile.

Caples & Robinson Orthodontics
Phone: (318) 325-9655
2210 Forsythe Ave.
Monroe, LA 71201

The Advantages of Invisalign® | 71201 Orthodontist

Orthodontist 71201

Invisalign® is offered by many orthodontic offices across the country, and is an alternative to traditional metal braces. While both do the job of straightening your teeth, Invisalign® offers a number of advantages in terms of comfort and aesthetics.

Invisalign® was introduced to the orthodontic market in the year 2000. Rather than having metal brackets affixed to the teeth, Invisalign® treatment is accomplished with the use of a series of clear, BPA-free plastic aligners designed to subtly and gradually move your teeth. They are made from three-dimensional scans of your mouth to achieve a perfect fit. Each set of aligners is numbered and is worn for a period of time before graduating to the next set. Invisalign® was designed to provide professional, doctor supervised orthodontic care without interrupting your life.

The timeframe needed for effective Invisalign® treatment will vary substantially from patient to patient.

How Does Invisalign Work?

Invisalign® is not just one aligner. Rather, it is a series of them designed to shift the teeth a little more into alignment with each successive aligner. Invisalign trays are similar to retainers in that they are removable so you can eat and drink comfortably. With braces, our orthodontist in 71201 says that you have to avoid certain foods to avoid damage to the delicate brackets and wires.

What Are the Advantages of Invisalign®?

  • Subtlety – Invisalign® is almost indetectable. Many patients choose Invisalign for aesthetic reasons.
  • MaintenanceMetal braces require thorough cleaning every day to avoid becoming plaque breeding grounds. Aligners are easy to keep clean.
  • Foods and eating – Since Invisalign® trays are removable, you don’t have dietary limitations, as you would with traditional braces.
  • Less prone to injury – Invisalign® trays fit comfortably against your teeth and gums, preventing the irritation that traditional braces can sometimes cause.

Both braces and Invisalign® are effective at shifting your teeth into proper alignment. Invisalign® is a more discreet system involving less hassle and more flexibility. To learn if you’re a candidate for clear aligner orthodontic treatment, contact our orthodontics office in Monroe, LA today.

Caples & Robinson Orthodontics
Phone: (318) 325-9655
2210 Forsythe Ave.
Monroe, LA 71201

Mouthguards For Braces | Monroe LA Orthodontist

Orthodontist 71201

Braces don’t have to keep you from living an active lifestyle. Many people who are undergoing orthodontic treatment regularly participate in intramural and school sports. Some treatment options like Invisalign can be safely worn through physical activity. Metal braces, however, present a unique challenge. Fortunately, there are mouth guards designed to be worn over your braces to protect them and allow you to participate.

What Are Orthodontic Mouth guards?

Orthodontic mouth guards can help protect your braces and teeth. They are made from a high-strength silicone and are custom-fitted for the shape of your mouth. They also take your brackets and wires into account for a comfortable fit. Orthodontic mouth guards feature rubber flanges that fit under your lips to keep them in place. This way, they’re not too tight against your gums and won’t catch on your brackets.

Things To Consider

Talk with your child’s coach to find out the specifics of team and league insurance. Some sports and teams require double mouth guards: one for the upper teeth and one for the lower teeth.

When you’re getting fitted for your custom mouthguard, we’ll ensure the mouth guard fits properly to maximize your comfort and protection.

Your mouthguard will have to be adjusted over time. Most orthodontic guards are easily adjusted by your orthodontist to accommodate the shifting in your teeth. Having our orthodontist in 71201 handle both your guard and your braces helps to keep everything working together.

Modern mouth guards can be made to fit over braces, ensuring that those who wear them can continue to participate in the sports they love. Our team can keep you from worrying about your braces getting damaged and your treatment being disrupted. To find out more about orthodontic mouth guards and how they can work for you, contact our orthodontics office in Monroe, LA today.

Caples & Robinson Orthodontics
Phone: (318) 325-9655
2210 Forsythe Ave.
Monroe, LA 71201

Is Headgear Necessary? | Orthodontist 71201

Orthodontist Monroe LA

Headgear is used to change the way teeth come together, and in younger patients, to guide the growth of the jaw.

What Are The Different Types of Headgear?

Orthodontic headgear generally combines a series of straps and elastic bands on the outside of the head that attach to braces inside the mouth. Some headgear may incorporate head caps for anchorage or hook directly onto the teeth.

Headgear is often used for one of the following reasons:

  • Cervical pull – Cervical pulls are used to correct a bad bite called an overjet, also known as a malocclusion. This occurs when the top teeth jut out over the bottom teeth. Cervical pulls use straps attached to braces to guide the upper jaw into proper alignment.
  • High pull – High pulls can also be used to correct overbites, but are mainly used to correct open bites. Open bites are when there is no contact between the upper and lower teeth when the mouth is closed.

  • Reverse pull – Reverse pulls are used to correct underbites, when the lower teeth jut past the top teeth. It often uses rubber bands attached to braces on the top teeth.

When Is Headgear Necessary?

While metal braces are typically used to shift teeth into proper alignment, headgear deals more directly with the alignment of the upper and lower jaws which can help enhance tooth function and facial aesthetics.

Due to innovations in orthodontics, headgear is not as commonly prescribed as it once was. If needed, headgear may be recommended for 12 to 14 hours daily over the course of 1 to 2 years.

If you have questions about orthodontic headgear, or think you may benefit from this treatment, contact our dental office in Monroe, LA today.

Caples & Robinson Orthodontics
Phone: (318) 325-9655
2210 Forsythe Ave.
Monroe, LA 71201

Understanding the Importance of A Retainer | Orthodontist Monroe

Orthodontist 71201

When it comes to orthodontic care, retainers are an important part of the process. After your metal braces are removed, retainers help keep your teeth in the new position and help avoid any unwanted shifting.

What Are The Different Kinds of Retainers?

The following are common types of retainers offered after your braces are removed:

  • Hawley retainers – Hawley retainers are made of plastic, or an acrylic material with wire holders. The main piece is sculpted to the contours of the patient’s mouth.
  • Clear retainers – Also known as “Essix” retainers, these retainers are made of a clear material that is less noticeable.
  • Fixed retainers – Fixed retainers are made up of custom-fitted wire that is bonded to the inside of your teeth. These retainers can only be placed and removed by your orthodontist.

Why Wear A Retainer?

Retainers hold your teeth in place while bone tissue rebuilds around them. This process takes time, and your orthodontist will help determine how long you need to wear your retainer. It is important that you follow the prescription your orthodontics provides, or your teeth may move and your retainer will not fit.

Helpful Retainer Habits

Keep A Retainer Case Handy

When you remove your retainer it is important that it always goes in its case. Damaging your retainer can be costly and might affect the progress of your smile. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends never putting your retainer in a purse or pocket, keeping it away from pets and hot surfaces.

Keep Your Retainer Clean

Your orthodontist in 71201 will provide instructions for cleaning your retainer. Removable retainers may entail brushing with toothpaste before putting them in and after removing, or the using an effervescent cleanser. Permanent retainers may be brushed and flossed, and your orthodontist may recommend an interproximal brush.

Keep Open Communication With Your Orthodontist

Most importantly, keep honest and open communication with your orthodontist. Depending on the type of retainer, your orthodontist may recommend different cleaning methods, so it is important you follow them.

If your retainer is uncomfortable or if you lose or damage it you must let your orthodontist know. If possible, bring the damaged retainer to your next appointment.

If you have questions about retainers or any of our orthodontic services, contact our orthodontics office in Monroe, LA today.

Caples & Robinson Orthodontics
Phone: (318) 325-9655
2210 Forsythe Ave.
Monroe, LA 71201

How Your Smile Changes With Age | 71201 Orthodontist

Orthodontist 71201

Our mouths and smiles change as we age. Your teeth and smile are affected by both the natural aging of your body as well as wear and tear from decades of use. It is vital to understand how your smile changes as you age and what can be done to keep your mouth healthy.

Change #1: Natural Wear and Tear

Your teeth are one of the most durable structures in your body. The enamel that covers your teeth is 96% mineral, making it stronger even than bone. However, they aren’t indestructible. Decades of daily use wears down enamel. Without that protection, the underlying dentin layer becomes vulnerable to cracking and breaking.

Another factor that wears down is the sensitivity of our nerves. This can be especially problematic, as when the nerves become less sensitive, people feel less pain. This can potentially cause problems to go undetected for a large amount of time.

The best way to combat wear and tear is to keep up with your brushing and flossing habits no matter your age. Your dental team can recommend a soft bristled, professional electric toothbrush that can help thoroughly clean your mouth. Keep regular dental appointments and follow the recommendations made by your orthodontist in 71201. This will help keep enamel strong and strengthen your teeth to slow down damage caused by wear and tear.

Change #2: Teeth Shifting

Bones gradually lose strength as we age, and jaws are no exception. As the jawbone weakens, teeth can shift in a variety of ways. For some, they shift laterally, either bunching up or growing further apart. Other times they bend inward towards the tongue or outward towards the gums. Not only can this shift be due to weakening bone; other times it’s a sign of periodontal disease, which causes gums to recede.

In some cases, an orthodontic solution may be appropriate. Braces or Invisalign are effective ways to fix your teeth and get them back into proper alignment. If the shift has been caused by periodontal disease, a treatment plan involving periodontal care may be recommended.

Change #3: Oral Cancer

Oral cancers can appear in patients of any age, gender or race. It is, however, more common among older patients. A thorough dental examination will include an oral cancer screening. Never hesitate to ask your dentist for information on this life saving step.

Some oral cancers have no obvious symptoms, whereas some may present as open sores, white patches in the mouth, or changes in the color of the gums and lining of the mouth. Ideally, the cancer is caught in the earliest stages and can be effectively treated.

How can we help?

There are a number of ways that your smile can change as you age. We offer preventive, restorative and cosmetic dentistry. Contact our orthodontics office in Monroe, LA to schedule an appointment with our compassionate dental team.

Caples & Robinson Orthodontics
Phone: (318) 325-9655
2210 Forsythe Ave.
Monroe, LA 71201

Solutions for Malocclusion | Orthodontist in Monroe LA

Orthodontist 71201

Your mouth’s ability to function is a vital part of your oral health. In orthodontics, a patient’s “bite” refers to the way upper and lower teeth come together when the mouth is at rest. When teeth meet improperly, or don’t meet at all, it is known as a malocclusion. If malocclusions are left untreated, it can cause lasting damage to the mouth’s ability to function. Contact our orthodontist in 71201 today for treatment.

What Types of Malocclusion Exist?

There are many different types of malocclusion, including:

  • Open Bite – Occurs when the front teeth meet but the back teeth do not. This problem generally occurs from excessive thumb sucking or mouth breathing during infancy and adolescence. If not properly treated, it can lead to issues swallowing and speaking.
  • Underbite – Underbite occurs when the lower jaw remains in front of the upper jaw while the mouth is closed. This problem can lead to excessive tooth wear and stress on the jaw.
  • Cross-bite – Cross-bite occurs when the upper teeth rest inside of the lower teeth. This leads to excessive wear on tooth enamel and uneven jaw growth.
  • Deep Bite – Deep bites are when the upper teeth cover the lower teeth when the jaw is closed. Like cross-bites, deep bites can cause excessive enamel wear and damage to teeth.
  • Crowding – Crowding refers to the jaw having inadequate room for teeth to properly grow in. This leads to an increased risk of gum disease as the teeth are much more difficult to clean.
  • Spacing – Spacing is the opposite of crowding, occurring when there is too much of a gap between teeth. Spacing can also lead to gum disease if not properly addressed.
  • Protrusion – Protrusion refers to the front teeth moving out farther than others.

How Are Bite Problems Treated?

There are various kinds of treatment utilized for malocclusion, depending on the type and severity. These can include:

  • Braces – Made of either metal or clear plastic and linked with wires, these gradually shift teeth into the correct position.
  • Tooth removal – Sometimes a malocclusion results from a crowded jaw, and removal of a tooth will be recommended.
  • Reshaping teeth – Using veneers and bonding, orthodontists may alter the shape of teeth to fit together better.
  • Jaw surgery – This may be recommended if necessary.

If you have any questions about malocclusion or would like to schedule an appointment, contact our orthodontics office in Monroe, LA today.

Caples & Robinson Orthodontics
Phone: (318) 325-9655
2210 Forsythe Ave.
Monroe, LA 71201