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Elastic Bands

June 18th, 2019

Everything You Must Know About the Elastic Bands in Your Mouth

orthodontic elastic band

Elastic bands are the key to transforming your smile. These little ligatures combine with your braces to do the heavy moving required to realign your teeth correctly. Read on for everything that you need to know about the elastic bands that will help to make you want to smile.

Elastic bands basics

Most of the braces that your orthodontist uses to create your new smile consist of multiple parts. The brackets are metal parts that bond to your teeth. The archwire travels through the brackets to push your teeth into proper position. The elastic bands, also called rubber bands, connect the archwire to the brackets.

Another type of rubber band, called the interarch rubber band, stretches in your mouth as it moves your upper and lower teeth into a beautifully aligned bite. The interarch rubber bands, also known as elastics, get quite a work-out and it’s common to put a new set on each day. Additionally, you’ll need to take them off whenever you want to eat.

elastic bands colors

Colorful rubber bands

We won’t pretend that wearing braces is fun, but we do think that you’ll enjoy choosing the elastic bands that are crucial to making your braces work. Rubber bands for braces come in a wide range of colors, making it possible to customize your look and have fun turning your mouth correctors into a fashion accessory.

Choose colors that (1) highlight your school, (2) celebrate the season, (3) boost your favorite sports team, and (4) make you smile. We help our clients choose elastic band colors all the time, and we’ll help match a shade to your style. We have the solution whether you want a  color that blends in with your teeth or you want your braces to show your undying devotion for the Dallas Cowboys.

Maintenance requirements

If you want a gorgeous smile when your braces come off, it’s essential that you properly maintain the elastic band while it’s working so hard in your mouth. Fortunately, you don’t need to worry about giving the elastic bands used within the brackets any extra attention as that is the job of your orthodontist. Instead, you need to turn your attention to the interarch elastic bands that work to bring your upper and lower teeth into position.

Don't neglect to remove your elastics before you eat. You could damage seriously damage the archwire and bracket hooks on your braces if you forget to take the interarch elastics out of your mouth before picking up your toothbrush.

It’s also vital that you remove the elastics before taking a bite to eat. Although it’s easy to feel lazy and not want to bother with taking out your interarch rubber bands before eating a quick snack, keep in mind that your future smile depends on keeping every part of your braces in tip-top condition. 

Comprehensive cleaning 

Thoroughly cleaning your teeth is a crucial component in caring for your teeth while wearing braces. An unfortunate aspect of wearing braces is that your teeth are prone to decay and discoloration if you don’t practice a diligent cleaning routine. Make sure that you understand your orthodontist’s cleaning advice and carry out every cleaning step at least twice a day.

Check out more cleaning tips here.

Finally, elastic bands are an integral part of the braces that shape your teeth into your best smile. Understanding their role and how you can care for them is the first step in the direction of a happy mouth. Contact us at Smiles for Life Orthodontics for complete information on how braces can fix your bite and give you a terrific smile.

Braces Colors

June 4th, 2019

Choose Braces Colors That Suit Your Style

braces colors

Did you know that braces can be a beautiful fashion accessory? It’s true, gone are the days of the one-look-fits-all metal braces. Here’s the scoop on how you can choose from the variety of braces colors on the market today to enhance your unique style.

Choose less noticeable braces

There are terrific options available if you don’t want people to notice that you’re wearing braces. Both Damon Smile and Invisalign Braces, for example, make it nearly impossible for anyone to see that you have braces on your teeth. A full-service orthodontist, like Smiles for Life Orthodontics, can fit you with a set of barely noticeable braces that will help to create the beautiful smile that you deserve.

braces color options

Braces colors to fit your style

The challenging thing about thinking of braces as a fashion accessory is that they stay in your mouth all day, every day, for many months. Fortunately, the elastic bands that help to improve your bite come in all sorts of fantastic colors. With a vast array of braces colors to choose from, you have the opportunity to enhance your smile while also having a little bit of fashion fun at the same time.

Express your personality and sense of style by choosing braces colors that make you happy. Pick colors that will make you smile every time that you look into the mirror. Consider using elastic band colors to highlight:

  • School colors
  • Seasonal holidays
  • A Favorite sports team (Dallas Cowboys, perhaps)

We love helping our patients pick elastic band colors, and we’ll happily help bring your braces colors ideas to life.

Proper cleaning

While you’re investing in fun colors for your braces, it’s essential that you remember the importance of brushing and flossing. A downside to wearing braces is that it makes it harder for you to keep your mouth clean, leading to tooth decay and gum disease. You can prevent oral health problems by taking the time to maintain a clean mouth.

A healthy mouth is a critical component in a beautiful smile. Some of the smart steps that you can take to keep your mouth healthy include:

  • Follow your orthodontist’s cleaning advice
  • Schedule a dental cleaning every six months
  • Avoid sugary and acidic foods

Lastly, choose some of the many braces colors available today to make wearing braces more fun. Contact us at Smiles for Life Orthodontics for all of your orthodontic needs.

Permanent Retainer

May 21st, 2019

Is A Permanent Retainer The Answer To Your Perfect Smile?

Is A Permanent Retainer The Answer To Your Perfect Smile

The last thing that you want, after months in braces, is to worry about losing your beautiful style to tooth movement. Of course, a little bit of shifting in your mouth is natural but too much change will kill the smile that you’ve worked so hard to achieve. Let’s look at how a permanent retainer might save your smile.

Permanent retainer

What is a permanent retainer? It’s a common type of retainer that consists of thin wires cemented behind your teeth to keep them from shifting out of position. Since it’s cemented into place, a permanent retainer is also known as a bonded or fixed retainer. Although the location where we fit the retainer depends on your individual needs, it’s common to place them behind the front bottom teeth.

When you’re choosing a type of retainer, it’s smart to examine the pros and cons of the different kinds of appliances to see if it fits your lifestyle and pocketbook. Take a look at the perks and negatives of the permanent retainer.

Permanent retainer perks

Permanent retainers are a favorite of many patients, and it stands to reason that this type of orthodontic appliance has a lot of perks going for it. Some of the most significant plusses include:

  • Protection against loss- You can’t lose it since it’s cemented in your mouth.
  • Comfort- There’s a good chance that you won’t notice the retainer while your chewing and talking.
  • Cosmetic- The bonded retainer hides on the backside of your teeth, so it isn’t noticeable when you open your mouth. Go ahead and show the world your biggest smile.
  • Usability- One of the biggest problems many people face when you are using a retainer is remembering to put it into your mouth each night. You’ll have peace of mind in knowing that your retainer is keeping your smile safe even when you forget you’re wearing it.

Oral hygiene for braces

Permanent retainer downsides

No appliance is perfect, and some negatives come with using a permanent retainer. Common downsides include

  • Oral hygiene- Do you stick to a rigorous schedule of brushing and flossing? A fixed retainer might not suit your needs if you sometimes slack off in your oral hygiene routine. The danger to your teeth and gums that food can get stuck in the retainer wires and cause decay and gum issues. We’ll give you stringent cleaning instructions if you choose to invest in a permanent retainer.
  • Incomplete protection- It’s possible that the teeth that are not directly protected by the retainer might move out of alignment. In this case, you might also need to use a removable retainer to maintain proper tooth alignment.

Retainer care

Along with diligent brushing, many patients have good luck using a water flosser to remove debris from around the retainer wires. You most likely developed terrific oral hygiene habits while you were wearing braces and it’s imperative that you continue to treat your teeth and gums kindly so that your smile will last a lifetime.

Lastly, there is a variety of outstanding retainers available to help you maintain your hard-won smile. We’ll help you to decide if a permanent retainer is your best option. Contact us at Smiles for Life Orthodontics for all of your orthodontic needs.

Essix Retainer

May 7th, 2019

Use An Essix Retainer to Protect Your Smile

Use An Essix Retainer to Protect Your Smile

You’ve invested time and money into achieving your new smile, and we know that you want to maintain your beautiful grin. Did you know that choosing the right retainer is the key to keeping your teeth in perfect order? Take a look at the Essix Retainer and how it can fit into your orthodontic maintenance program.

Like all orthodontic retainers, the Essix Retainer prevents your teeth from moving out of their proper position. Teeth naturally tend to move a little within your mouth, and an orthodontic appliance works to minimize the movement. The Essix is custom made to fit over the entire arch of your teeth for maximum protection from the pressures within your jaw that result in tooth movement.

Essix Retainer benefits

There are all types of orthodontic retainers on the market, and you’re sure to find one that fits your needs. Some of the significant pros of choosing an Essix Retainer include the fact that (1) you can quickly remove it to clean both your teeth and the retainer and (2) the see-through material blends with your teeth so that you won’t mind wearing it throughout the day.

Removable retainer downsides

Although there are potent reasons to choose a removable retainer like the Essix, it’s essential to consider the disadvantages when you’re deciding on the appliance that best suits your lifestyle and budget. Some of the common downsides include:

  • Loss of the device
  • Damage to the retainer when you’re not wearing it
  • An increase in saliva production
  • Can house bacteria if not well cleaned

There’s no doubt that the most concerning downside from the viewpoint of your smile is that it’s tempting to skip wearing a removable retainer too much of the time. Since a retainer can only protect your smile when it’s inside your mouth, the ability to neglect wearing one for enough time each day is a negative that you should consider before opting to purchase an Essix Retainer.

how to clean retainer

Caring for an Essix Retainer

Despite the potential cons, there is no denying that the Essix Retainer gives you the ease that comes from a comfortable and easy to wear dental protection appliance that’s perfectly designed to fit your mouth. It’s also quite possible to overcome the danger of a lost retainer by implementing some smart habits right away.

The American Association of Orthodontists suggests that you invest in a retainer case and make sure that your retainer goes into the case whenever it’s not in your mouth. Prevent severe damage by keeping it away from heat sources and dogs.

One of the best reasons to choose an Essix Retainer is that it’s not hard to keep it clean. It’s a smart idea to wash the retainer in lukewarm water every time that you remove it from your mouth. Add a little bit of mild dish soap to a soft toothbrush to remove debris. Use a cotton swab to get into all of the tiny spaces where food particles tend to accumulate.

Lastly, you’ve invested a lot of time, effort, and money into achieving a beautiful smile. Protect your teeth by investing in a high-quality appliance, like the Essix Retainer, to keep your teeth where they belong.  Contact us at Smiles for Life Orthodontics, and we’ll fit you with an outstanding retainer today.

American Dental Association American Association of Orthodontists Texas Association of Orthodontists Southwestern Society of Orthodontists