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Importance of Lifetime Retainer Wear

July 26th, 2017

When you finish your orthodontic treatment, you are excited to be free of the appliances you've had to put up with. Brackets, wires, elastics, aligners and so on. However while it is certainly important to revel in the freedom of your new smile, equally important is taking the necessary action to retain it. And that comes down to one word- retainers.

After completing orthodontic treatment under the care of Dr Amani Morra at Dream Orthodontics, you will be prescribed a retainer that will be custom made to fit your smile. Your orthodontist will give you instructions for how and when to wear this retainer, characterizing it as your "retention phase" of treatment. This phase will last about 12 months. While that is the prescribed time for the phase, it is truly recommended that you continue wearing your retainer past that time. Maybe not with the same prescribed consistency your orthodontist initially provided, but at lease with some regularity.

Ongoing Shifts
Even if you've had the best orthodontic treatment possible, over time your teeth will start to shift toward their original positions. This is because your gum fiber will slowly , but consistently try and pull your teeth back to where they once were. Additionally, as you age your facial skeletal structure changes, and your teeth experience natural wear. As a result, the perfectly straight smile you leave the orthodontist with could become unstraightened over time, your teeth becoming a victim to a relapse.

Shifting & Retention Case Study
The University of Washington conducted a case study in which former orthodontic patients were studied for 10-20 years after completing their orthodontic treatment. The results- without fail, no matter what type orthodontic treatment the patients originally underwent ( braces, Invisalign, etc) they all experiences an orthodontic relapse. In other words, their teeth moved. And how straight their smiles remained was directly related to their retainer wear.

When to Wear
While your orthodontist may prescribe consistent retainer wear for the official retention phase of orthodontic treatment, past that we recommend wearing your retainer at night as often as possible for as long as possible. This will make the difference in preserving your straight smile for the future.

Types of Retainers
Dream Orthodontics offers different types of retainers to meet your smile retention needs, including:
-Clear Tray Retainers (Essix Retainer)
-Plastic & Wire Retainers (Hawley Retainer)
-Permanent Bonded Retainers

Take Dr Morra with you on your summer Vacation!

June 26th, 2017

Next time you are in the office, or stop in to pick up a photo of Dr Morra. Take her on your summer vacation with you! Take a selfie with Dr Morra on your adventures and email them to info@dreamorthodontics.com and you will be entered into our summer contest to win a family pass for 4 to the new Big Splash Water Slide Park in Delta.

What's The Best Age For Braces?

May 24th, 2017

A question parents frequently ask is "When should my child get braces?" Often the answer isn't simple. Two equally qualified orthodontists will likely give you a different answer. To complicate matters more, they may differ on their treatment plans as well. So why this disparity? What should you do? While there is no "perfect age" for braces, there are some factors to help determine when your child is an ideal candidate for them.

Orthodontic Screening

The first thing you should do is book an evaluation with your orthodontist. Orthodontists specialize in diagnosing and correcting problems with the teeth and face, and will be able to assess whether your child needs braces.
The Canadian Association of Orthodontists recommends children should be evaluated by the time they are age 7. However, some circumstances may require earlier intervention, such as:
-Excessive overcrowding of teeth
-Open bites: when the upper and lower front teeth fail to meet
-Overbites: when the upper teeth protrude past the lower teeth
-Underbites: when the lower teeth protrude past the upper teeth
-Crossbites: when the upper and lower jaw fail to line up

Phase I and Phase II Treatment

The phase I treatment (also know as early intervention treatment) starts before all the permanent teeth have grown in (often when the child is 6 to 10 years old). This treatment is usually recommended to make more space for the developing teeth and correct oral problems, such as overbites and cross bites. Phase I treatment often involves limited dental hardware, such as expanders and partial braces.
Phase II treatment (also known as comprehensive treatment) begins when the child is older (age 11 to 13) and when all their permanent teeth have grown in. This treatment usually involves full braces.
Whether your child will need phase I or II treatment  will depend on the state of their teeth and if the orthodontist feels earlier intervention is required.

Why early examinations are beneficial

Having your children examined earlier (before age 7) has numerous benefits, including:
-Long-term treatment can be properly determined
-Oral problems can be identified earlier
-Teeth can be more easily guided for braces, reducing the time they have to be worn

Talk to your orthodontist and together you can come up with the best treatment plan for your child. Braces not only help straighten teeth, they also enhance your child's self confidence by improving their smile. At Dream Orthodontics, Dr Morra is qualified and experienced to help you determine when your child is ready for braces. Please contact our office for a free consultation. 604-542-8552.

Father's Day Contest

May 23rd, 2017

Tell us the best thing your have done with your Dad to win him a BBQ gift basket for Fathers Day! Enter in the office, contest ends June 13th.

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