5 Advantages of Orthodontic Treatment | Monroe LA Orthodontist

When you first meet someone, one of the first things they notice about you is your teeth. Because our teeth are vital to our health and well-being, it is critical that we care for them and keep them in the best possible condition.

Feel Good About Yourself.

Many people are self-conscious about their smiles and often avoid showing their teeth in photographs. However, seeing an orthodontist can help you gain confidence in your smile and boost your self-esteem significantly. Orthodontists will customize your treatment to your specific needs and desires, ensuring that your smile is contagious by the end of your treatment! A healthy smile and teeth are critical to both our physical and mental health, as well as how confident we feel. It is estimated that the average person will wear braces for about two years, which is a small price to pay for a lifetime of good oral health.

Orthodontists can assist patients of all ages.

Many people believe that orthodontists are only for children who need braces to straighten their teeth. However, orthodontists are available to people of all ages. Orthodontists can treat a wide range of problems that affect people of all ages, including TMJ treatment, teeth straightening, and other issues. Older patients can even choose an Invisalign aligner, which is virtually invisible and can be removed during meals. Whatever treatment you require, your orthodontist will be able to provide it through an orthodontic exam in which your treatment will be tailored to your specific needs.

Invisalign®: The Braces of the Future

Many people refuse to have their orthodontic issues treated because they are afraid they will need braces. Many people are self-conscious about their braces, which can be difficult for them. Fortunately, technology has advanced, and you can now get clear braces called Invisalign® aligners. These are removable, invisible braces that straighten teeth without the inconveniences associated with metal braces.

Improved Jaw Alignment

When it comes to our dental health, it is critical to have proper jaw alignment to avoid future issues, such as TMJ treatments. To reduce these risks, it is critical to get braces or Invisalign as soon as possible. An unaligned jaw can be painful and difficult to manage, especially when eating. Traditional braces or Invisalign can mitigate these risks by allowing you to maintain normal jaw alignment and reduce the risk of future issues.

Oral hygiene is significantly improved.

Our oral hygiene has an impact on how we feel about ourselves and can make us feel self-conscious. We make certain that our teeth are clean and that our breath is minty fresh. Food that becomes stuck between misaligned teeth is reduced when teeth are properly aligned. These stuck food particles can cause cavities and plaque, among other problems. Misaligned teeth can lead to periodontal disease, which is an infection of the gums caused by an abundance of plaque.

Whatever problem you are having with your oral health, our Monroe orthodontist can help you improve it and avoid potentially harmful issues or diseases in the future. Seeing an orthodontist will benefit both your oral and mental health because you will be proud of your smile! Our orthodontic office is here to help. Contact Caples & Robinson Orthodontics of Monroe today.

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

Keep It Real… CLEAN With Braces | Monroe LA Orthodontist

We understand that aligning teeth into healthy, beautiful smiles is only half of the job. Maintaining proper oral hygiene and keeping your mouth as clean and free of plaque and harmful bacteria as possible is also essential. Whether you have metal braces, clear braces, gold braces, or Invisalign®, knowing how to care for your appliances and maintain your overall oral health is critical. Here are some products that can assist you along the way.

Interdental Toothbrush

A Proxabrush is a toothbrush that you can use to clean underneath and around your wires and braces. To avoid damaging your wires, use the Proxabrush gently. The Proxabrush will assist you in cleaning your braces while keeping your teeth and gums healthy. Our orthodontic office can help with suggestions if you have questions. 

Toothpaste with fluoride and mouthwash

Topical fluoride, found in toothpaste and mouthwash, helps patients of all ages avoid dental decay. The use of fluoride-containing oral hygiene products on a daily basis is especially important when undergoing orthodontic treatment because orthodontic appliances make it more difficult to remove harmful plaque and bacteria from the teeth and gums.

For the duration of your orthodontic treatment, we can prescribe a prescription-strength fluoride to help prevent decalcification, or the breakdown of tooth enamel. This toothpaste provides additional protection for your tooth enamel, which is required due to the amount of plaque that accumulates while wearing braces. Due to the elevated levels of fluoride present in this toothpaste, adult supervision is always suggested. 

We also recommend that you use a fluoride-containing mouthwash, such as the alcohol-free ACT Anti-cavity Fluoride Rinse, to help protect your enamel.

Cleaning removable appliances

Brush your removable appliance as part of your regular brushing and flossing routine every day. Soak your appliance daily because food particles and plaque can accumulate on it just like they do on your teeth. Soak your appliance once a day in a glass of room-temperature tap water with a Polident, Efferdent, or other denture-cleaning tablet dissolved in it. Your appliance will taste better, and plaque and bacterial buildup will be reduced.

The significance of maintaining good oral hygiene while wearing braces cannot be overstated. Although brushing and flossing your teeth with braces is more difficult, there are many products specifically designed to help with this. Please contact Caples & Robinson Orthodontics of Monroe if you have any additional questions or concerns about maintaining proper oral hygiene, or if you would like to schedule an appointment. We are always happy to help!

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

Understanding the Need for Two Phases of Braces | Monroe LA Orthodontist

When your child needs braces, you’ll discover there are many different ways orthodontists can make sure your child has the perfect smile. A two-phase treatment encourages gradual changes that correspond with a child’s different growth phases. As a result of early intervention, this treatment method can help reduce the need for invasive corrections, such as extractions of adult teeth.

Age plays a significant role in determining your child’s eligibility for two-phase orthodontic treatment. The majority of children who need early orthodontic care will need to be referred to an orthodontist around age seven or eight to assess their treatment options. When it comes to braces for kids, their rate of growth can have a huge impact on the effectiveness of the treatment. 

With two stages of treatment, an orthodontist can use noninvasive devices to promote healthy jawbone growth before fitting braces. The process allows for earlier treatment of problems identified during dental exams.

Phase 1

During this first stage, your child will receive any care that is needed to properly prepare the teeth and jaw for braces. To support proper jaw growth, your orthodontist will determine the best approach. The goal of this phase is to ensure the upper and lower jaws grow large enough to accommodate the permanent teeth. Additionally, the first stage of treatment centers around eliminating issues that could affect your child’s bite, tooth spacing, and overall dental health. For example, a palatal crib can be used to prevent your child from developing an abnormal bite from thumb sucking, which may still happen at a young age.

Using proven dental appliances, your orthodontist can intervene in developing bite issues. In some cases, your child may need palatal expanders to correct bite issues by widening the upper jaw. An orthodontist can adjust the upper jaw width correctly by using these adjustable expanders based on your child’s growth. Patients with underdeveloped jaws and crowded teeth are often treated with palatal expanders in phase 1. Other indications for phase 1 treatment are less common and should be evaluated by an expert.

Your child may need to wear a retainer to maintain his or her results after completing the first phase of treatment.

Phase 2

Phase two begins once your child’s adult teeth have fully erupted. As part of phase two, orthodontists adjust the spacing between teeth. To achieve this goal, braces are usually placed on the upper and lower teeth to facilitate their gradual movement into the correct position. Depending on your child’s orthodontic treatment goals, braces may need to be on their teeth for up to 24 months. 

As your child’s braces or aligners move teeth into their correct positions, they will periodically need to be adjusted. We will arrange regular adjustment appointments for your child to ensure treatment progress. During this phase, please make sure that your child is properly caring for their braces. Many children need to wear retainers to keep their teeth in their new positions after braces are removed. Depending on your child’s needs, it may be necessary to wear the retainer around the clock or only at night.

Two-phase orthodontics gently corrects your child’s bite and tooth spacing issues. Your child will feel less discomfort during and after an orthodontic adjustment if there are gradual shifts in tooth placement and jaw width. As a result, the patient experience improves across the board, which leads to your child remaining focused and enthusiastic about the outcome.

We want your child’s experience with braces to be positive. To schedule an appointment, please contact Caples & Robinson Orthodontics of Monroe today.

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

Getting The Facts Straight About Retainers | Monroe LA Orthodontist

Straight teeth can be achieved with braces, but how can they be maintained once they are removed?

If you want to maintain the position of your straightened teeth, you must wear your retainer for at least 12 hours per day for the first eight weeks following the completion of your orthodontic treatment. When your teeth have been moved to a new position, diligent wear is crucial as the teeth are the least stable during this time. Following the completion of eight weeks of wearing your retainers for half of each day, with the approval of your orthodontist, you can begin wearing them at night only.

There are several types of retainers that may be recommended for you:

  • Clear Retainers: This is a clear plastic removable retainer similar to teeth whitening trays. They are invisible and less likely to affect your speech than traditional retainers.
  • Traditional Retainers: These are acrylic or wire-based removable appliances that are fitted to the roof of your mouth; the wire runs along the outside of your teeth to keep them in their proper position. Although this is a more durable option, it is also more noticeable than other options.
  • Permanent Retainer: This type of retainer consists of a wire that is bonded to the inside of your front teeth (usually the lower ones) to hold them in place. Patients at high risk of relapse or those who are likely to ignore instructions for wearing removable retainers are often prescribed permanent retainers.

In addition to keeping your teeth straight, retainers provide many other benefits. Aligned teeth are easier to clean. They are less likely to develop tooth decay because plaque is less likely to accumulate. Certain types of retainers can help improve breathing and snoring. Children can wear retainers to help them adjust the placement of their tongues, which can reduce speech impediments. Orthodontists help treat many of these problems.

Maintaining retainers

Maintain your retainers’ cleanliness by brushing them every day with toothpaste. Be sure to use a soft-bristled toothbrush to clean the entire area. Ensure that the wires aren’t bent out of place when handling them.

Take care of your retainer, and it will take care of you when you complete your orthodontic treatment. The retention phase begins when you remove your braces. Your retainer is considered the maintenance phase of your orthodontic treatment. Yes, you do need to wear your retainer forever. During the first few months, you will need to wear it 24/7. Your teeth will then be locked into place, but you’ll still need to wear your retainer at night. This will make sure that your teeth don’t shift back to their natural positions, which is known as “relapse.” Your retainer should be one of the most important components of your orthodontic treatment plan. 

We invite you to contact our orthodontic office for more information about retainers or to schedule an appointment.

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

Brushing After Eating: Is it Necessary? | Orthodontist in Monroe LA

A tooth’s enamel is the hardest material in your body and your teeth are its guardians. A healthy mouth is the first line of defense against harmful bacteria that can cause tooth decay. You create bacteria when you eat certain foods, which attack the enamel of your teeth. For example, carbohydrates and sugary foods flood the enamel. Brushing your teeth immediately following a meal can damage your enamel.

Why is this harmful?

Your mouth’s pH level changes when you consume liquids and food. When you eat acidic foods, you raise the pH balance until it reaches a level where demineralization occurs. By causing the enamel to soften, the new acidity can allow bacteria to penetrate your teeth. After eating, brushing your teeth may harm your enamel. It would be best to protect your enamel because enamel protects your teeth.

Protect your enamel by following these steps:

After eating anything acidic, wait at least 30 minutes before brushing your teeth. 

A good example is citrus fruits. It is a good idea to brush before consuming acidic foods or drinks.

You can remove acids by drinking water. You can follow this up by chewing sugarless gum. When these steps are followed, saliva can help restore the pH balance needed for a healthy smile.

Limit your soda intake to avoid permanent damage from phosphoric acid.

Maintaining optimal oral health requires brushing twice a day. 

Was it taught that you should brush your teeth directly after eating? This may seem like the right habit to adopt, but it could be detrimental to your dental health. It may be better to rinse your mouth with water after eating to maintain healthy enamel. We can provide you with tips for maintaining healthy, strong teeth if you come to our office for an examination. Get in touch with us today.

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

Do I Have to Wear My Retainer? | Monroe LA Orthodontist

Keeping your teeth straight is crucial in the period following the removal of your braces. Maintaining the smile you have worked so hard for is best achieved with a retainer worn as directed by our team. Wearing your retainer may help keep your teeth from shifting back to their original positions. What can happen if you do not wear a retainer after braces treatment? Learn more in the following paragraphs.

Within one week.

Once your braces are removed, your teeth will move back into their original positions. There are different rates of tooth movement, and even slight shifts in your teeth can affect how your retainer functions. It is essential to wear your retainer at night during the first week to prevent any relapses. 

A month later.

When you don’t wear your retainer for one month, you may find your bite has changed, and your teeth have begun to move back into their previous alignment. A second appointment will need to be scheduled to get you fitted for another retainer at this point. Additionally, you may be required to wear your retainer during the daytime and at night. 

One year later.

If you skip a retainer, your teeth will have returned to their original position, and maybe even be crooked after one year. You might need to restart your orthodontic treatment. You can prevent this from happening if you wear your retainer as instructed. 

Wearing a retainer after removing your braces can help keep your teeth straight. If you stop wearing your retainer, the smile you worked hard to achieve will disappear. In the long run, you will see that it is worth the effort to get into the habit of wearing a retainer.

If you want more information or to schedule an appointment, please contact Caples & Robinson Orthodontics of Monroe.

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

Can My Braces Cause Swollen Gums? | Monroe LA Orthodontist

No matter how old you are, braces are a safe and effective way to straighten your teeth. Although you cannot see your teeth moving, constant, steady pressure caused by braces causes changes in your gums and jaw bone as your teeth move. Occasionally, some patients may experience minor side effects, such as gum irritation. If your gums are red, sore, or swollen, determine the cause and seek treatment as soon as possible.

It may be difficult to maintain good oral hygiene when wearing braces. This results in plaque building up and causing gingivitis, damaging the gums and causing them to swell and bleed. While wearing braces, if you notice your gums are red, swollen, or bleeding when you brush, this is indicative of infection and an inflammatory reaction. Hormone changes make children and teenagers more likely to develop gum disease. Additionally, it makes it harder to clean teeth and gums.

Swollen gums are a common occurrence when you first get braces. You may feel that your gums are sensitive while wearing braces. In some circumstances, metal brackets and wires can increase gum size due to hypertrophy or hyperplasia. When your orthodontic treatment is complete and your braces are removed, your gums will likely return to normal.

Wearing braces requires you to take dietary precautions. Some dietary habits are known to cause orthodontic appliances to break and increase the risk of dental decay. You should avoid eating anything hard or crunchy, such as raw vegetables and popcorn, which can irritate your gums. While wearing braces, limit foods and drinks that may cause dental caries (cavities). Your orthodontist will inform you of dietary restrictions while you are under their care.

Here are a few steps you can take to alleviate swelling and inflammation in your gums:

  • Get an electric toothbrush with an orthodontic head to thoroughly clean your teeth.
  • Clean between your teeth with a water flosser.
  • Interproximal brushes and floss threaders clean around and under wires better than toothbrushes.
  • You might want to consider mouthwash containing fluoride or antimicrobials.
  • To relieve inflammation in the mouth, rinse with warm water containing a pinch of salt.
  • Smoking and alcohol aggravate inflammation further.

To achieve the best results from your orthodontic treatment, it is important to make a conscious effort to maintain healthy oral hygiene habits. If you have a high risk of periodontal disease, your orthodontist may wait to begin orthodontic treatment until your teeth and gums are healthy. 

We invite you to contact Caples & Robinson Orthodontics of Monroe and schedule an appointment if you have any questions or would like more information.

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

The Disadvantages of Misaligned Teeth | Monroe LA Orthodontist

If you have uneven teeth, you may be considering orthodontic options to improve your smile. Straightening your teeth can do more than just boost your confidence. It is important to consult with an orthodontist if your teeth are not aligned properly. 

People often fail to realize how the health of their mouths affects the health of their bodies overall. Poor oral health puts you at greater risk for heart attacks, strokes, illnesses, miscarriages, and more. Having misaligned teeth makes it harder to take care of your mouth properly, increasing your risk of oral health problems. The following are some of the most common problems caused by misaligned teeth: Contact our office today if any of these symptoms affect you.

Gum disease

In comparison to straight teeth, it is harder to keep uneven teeth clean. If you don’t brush and floss regularly, you are more likely to get gum disease. In many adults, plaque buildup can cause gingivitis and periodontal disease, which can lead to tooth loss. When your gums are swollen or inflamed, bacteria may be released into your bloodstream, which can cause inflammation and increase your risk of strokes, heart attacks, etc.

Make sure you see your dentist twice a year for cleanings and examinations and maintain good oral hygiene. 

Jaw discomfort/TMD TMJ

If you have misaligned teeth or an abnormal bite, your chances of developing temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) may be increased. Even though most TMD cases are caused by teeth grinding and clenching, a misaligned bite can also contribute to the condition. In addition to jaw pain and discomfort, TMD can also cause headaches and other symptoms such as clicking sounds while chewing. 

You may need TMD treatment if you have been experiencing jaw pain. An orthodontist can help determine if this condition requires treatment. By correcting a misaligned bite, TMD patients can experience less pain.

Enamel Erosion

Tooth enamel is a complex and thin coating covering the surface of the tooth that prevents it from being chipped or worn away. Grinding your teeth is a common cause of enamel loss, but various environmental factors contribute as well. Simple actions such as speaking and chewing can grind your teeth together if they are uneven and your bite isn’t aligned correctly. Eventually, this will wear away your teeth’s enamel, making them appear discolored, more sensitive, and more likely to crack and chip. The enamel of your teeth can be protected at home in many ways, including drinking plenty of water, avoiding excessively acidic and sugary foods, and brushing and flossing as directed by your dentist. The alignment of your teeth may limit your ability to prevent enamel erosion on your own.

Orthodontists can help you improve the alignment of your teeth and smile. Please contact our orthodontics office to find out whether orthodontic treatment is right for you.

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

Maintaining Your Retainer | Orthodontist in Monroe

Are you going days, or even weeks, without cleaning your retainer? A retainer has the same bacteria as your mouth and, if not cleaned daily, is almost equivalent to not brushing your teeth for weeks. You accumulate bacteria throughout the day, which can lead to bad breath, gingivitis, and cavities. If you want to practice good oral hygiene, your orthodontist recommends following these tips.

Clean your retainer with toothpaste.

You should brush your retainer at night when you brush your teeth. Once it becomes a habit, brushing it won’t seem like an extra step. To achieve the best results, use non-whitening toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush. Maintaining the integrity of your retainer acrylic is essential through the use of soft toothbrushes and the avoidance of abrasive toothpaste, as repeated scrubbing can cause it to scratch, allowing bacteria to grow. 

It is not enough to just wash it with water.

A simple wash with water won’t get rid of bacteria. Bacteria can be reduced by using water throughout the day, but distilled white vinegar is the best solution. Combine one part vinegar with three parts water in a cup. Soak your retainer for approximately 15 minutes, then gently brush with a soft toothbrush.

Use baking soda.

Aside from whitening retainers, baking soda restores the pH balance in retainers. A paste can be made by mixing half baking soda and half water. When applied to the toothbrush, it will be similar to a light toothpaste. Gently brush your retainer to ensure it is clean. 

Quick mouthwash soaks

In most cases, orthodontists do not recommend mouthwash as a primary way to clean your retainer. However, you can give it a quick soak to kill bacteria and freshen its smell. Mix equal parts of mouthwash and lukewarm water. Alcohol can damage acrylic, so make sure the mouthwash is alcohol-free.

A retainer cleaner bought at the store is an option.

If you decide to use a cleaner, be sure to follow the instructions on the packaging. Stores sell cleaners specifically designed for cleaning retainers. Your orthodontist can recommend a cleaner, and you should follow the directions on the packaging.

By keeping your retainer clean, you are maintaining your oral health. Maintaining your retainer using the methods we have discussed above will help you avoid potential health problems caused by bacteria. Consult your orthodontist about which cleaning option would be best for you. We invite you to schedule an appointment with our orthodontist today.

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

The Risks of Braces | Monroe Family Orthodontist

Braces are a common rite of passage for many people, and, thankfully, they have become more comfortable over the years. People generally have few problems with their braces outside of the expected minor discomfort. However, depending on your lifestyle, there are potential risks to consider. Below are some common issues that you might experience and tips on how to avoid them.

Injuries to the Mouth 

Most people know the importance of wearing a mouthguard when participating in high-impact sports such as football or hockey. However, when you have braces, even a fall from running can pose a threat to your lips and soft tissues. Ask our doctor about getting a mouthguard for all physical activity as it will act as a safeguard and protect your lips and cheeks from potential damage.

Increased Risk of Tooth Decay

When you have braces, it’s important to still practice proper oral hygiene. Since flossing and careful brushing require greater effort, it can be easy to slack off in these areas. However, doing so will only further complicate your treatment and damage your teeth. There are plenty of tools at your disposal designed to help you clean around braces, from pre-threaded floss to pressurized water tools. If you’re having difficulty adapting your regular routine, ask the orthodontist about different options that can help.

Hobby-Related Issues 

There are some inconveniences that can arise when trying to add braces into your day-to-day routine. Certain musicians, for example, might experience discomfort when getting used to playing with braces. People who sing or do extensive public speaking might have some minor issues with pronunciation or discomfort caused by your lips rubbing against the metal brackets. 

Most of these issues will fix themselves as you get used to living with braces. However if the discomfort persists, ask your orthodontist about the different relief options you have. 

Most individuals who have braces do not have any long-term complications throughout their treatment. However, there are smaller issues that can arise when you are first adjusting to your braces that can become a big annoyance if left unaddressed. By knowing what to expect and raising any concerns or issues you might have with your orthodontist, you will be much more prepared to tackle these small issues. Contact our office with any questions that you may have. 

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