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Post-Braces Care: Wear your retainer!

September 6th, 2018

Many patients underestimate the importance of wearing their retainers after their braces come off, but it is one of the most critical post care practices to keep your teeth in alignment. Why spend all that time, energy, and money to straighten your teeth when you don't plan to keep them straightened after treatment?

What is a retainer?

As the name implies, a retainer keeps teeth from moving back to the positions in which they started before treatment was administered; they "retain" your smile and bite. There are many different types of retainers—some are removable and some are permanent. Some retainers are made of plastic and metal (known as Hawley retainers) and others are all plastic or all metal. Some retainers can even be bonded to the back of your teeth!

How long do I need to wear it?

If you've been given a removable retainer by Dr. Douglas Barden, you may be wondering how long you need to wear it. It takes time for the tissues and bones around your teeth to reorganize and set into place after braces treatment.

The amount of time you’ll need to wear your retainer depends on your unique situation, but typically, retainers should be worn at least as long as the time you spent in braces. You might need to wear them full-time for a while, and then transition to wearing them only at night. Dr. Douglas Barden will have a treatment plan especially for you, and if you stick to it, you'll always have a straight smile.

Nothing is forever (at least without retainers!)

Research has shown that there is no “permanent” position for your teeth to remain in. In fact, some studies say upward of 70% of patients will see a change to their bite and tooth alignment as they get older. This applies to people who have had orthodontic treatment and those who have not. Of course, some people's teeth never seem to shift—you can consider them the lucky ones, as most people's teeth do.

And this is precisely where retainers come in. The only way to ensure your teeth stay in alignment long-term is by wearing your retainers. If you have any questions about retainers or your treatment plan, please ask any member of our Milwaukee, WI staff.

Healthy Summertime Snack Recipe

August 5th, 2018

Looking for a healthy summertime snack that is sure to please your child who is wearing braces? We recommend smoothies! Packed with healthy fruits (and even vegetables) a smoothie is a tasty cool treat, can feel good when teeth are sore, and is sure to make everyone happy.

We are happy to share a Barden family favorite smoothie recipe.

Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie
1 banana
1 cup milk
½ cup vanilla or plain yogurt
2 tablespoons peanut butter (try sunflower seed butter if allergic to peanuts!)
1 cup of ice cubes

Directions: Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. Enjoy!

When making smoothies you can get creative with fruits and find the combination that you like the best!

Share your favorite smoothie recipe with everyone on our Facebook page!

Summertime Beverages and your Teeth!

July 6th, 2018

It’s Hot, Sunny, and you are Thirsty!

Summertime means lots of sun and enjoying outside activities. All of this time in the sun gets you thirsty! Before you grab something to drink-- stop and think about your teeth! Coffee and tea can stain your teeth. Soft drinks, sports drinks, and vitamin waters often contain a lot of sugar and acid. This can result in tooth decay. Even diet or “sugar free” sodas contain acid that also attacks your teeth enamel. Ongoing acid on your teeth weakens the enamel and can result in cavities.

What can you do to reduce tooth decay? Drink soda, sport drinks, and flavored waters in moderation. Even juice contains a lot of sugar and should be consumed in limited amounts. Don’t sip for extended periods of time as the ongoing sipping prolongs the time for the sugar and acid attacks on your teeth. After drinking sweet drinks, be sure to brush your teeth or rinse your mouth with water to dilute the sugar.

Plain tap water is an even better choice!! It has no sugar, no acid, and no calories! In many communities the tap water has fluoride to help protect your teeth. Plus, if you use a refillable water bottle you are helping to protect the environment!

Remember: healthy teeth require healthy food and beverage choices, regular brushing and flossing, and regular checkups with your dentist. The reward is a beautiful, cavity free, smile!

Be sure to ask Dr. Barden and his team if you have any questions about brushing and flossing with braces or retainers!

We hope everyone is having a great summer!!

Caring for Your Dog’s Teeth

May 29th, 2018

It may come as a surprise to learn that dogs, like humans, have both baby and adult teeth. Most dogs, unlike humans, have all of their adult teeth by the time they are seven months old, so it’s time to start looking after their dental health when they are still puppies.

While dogs generally don’t develop cavities, periodontal disease is the one of the most common diseases affecting dogs. Periodontal disease starts when the bacteria in your pet’s mouth form plaque. The plaque can harden into tartar, and, if plaque and tartar spread under the gum line, can be responsible for a number of serious problems. Veterinarians warn that tooth loss, tissue damage, bone loss and infection can be the result of periodontal disease. Professional dental treatment is important if your dog is suffering from periodontal disease, and your vet can describe the options available to you. But the time to act is before disease develops. Let’s bone up on some preventative care!

Brushing

There are brushes and toothpastes designed especially for your dog. Train your puppy from an early age to open his mouth to allow you to examine his teeth and gums. (This will also come in handy if you ever need to give him medicine.) Most dogs will accept brushing, and toothpastes come in dog-friendly flavors. Human toothpaste should never be used because it contains cleaners and abrasives that should not be swallowed by your pet. There are also dental wipes available that can be used once and thrown away. Your vet can advise you how to ease your pet into a brushing routine.

Gels and Rinses

Whether you rub an antiseptic gel on your dog’s teeth or squirt an antiseptic rinse into his mouth, these formulas can reduce the build-up of plaque. Not all dogs take to the taste of these solutions, but in general they are safe and effective. Ask your vet for recommendations if you would like to try this method.

Diet

Several dietary products offer anti-plaque ingredients or a kibble shape designed to reduce the formation of plaque. Talk to your vet for the best possible diet and nutrition suggestions for your unique pet.

Chew Toys

Chewing can help reduce plaque build-up if done consistently, and chew toys should be chosen for tooth and digestive safety. Some animal-based products and hard plastic toys are so rigid that they can cause damage to teeth or gums, so be sure to look for safe toys.  Dogs shouldn’t be left alone with toys due to choking or swallowing hazards—if the chew toy becomes small enough to cause choking, or your dog is swallowing large chunks that might not be digestible, time to replace it.

Your veterinarian is the best resource for maintaining your dog’s health and developing a dental routine both you and your pet can live with. When your four-legged friend goes for his next check-up, ask your vet what you can do to keep him and his smile fetching for a long, long time.

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