Archive for the Retainers Category

Retainer Update: May 5, 2011

May 6th, 2011 Posted in Angela, braces, Retainers | no comment »

Yet another unremarkable retainer follow-up.  I did receive an unexpected surprise.  Dr. B asked me how often I was wearing my retainers.  At first I thought he spotted an issue.  I was usually wearing them every other night.  He then said, “I don’t think I need to see you anymore; it’s been a pleasure working with you…  I really hope things go well for you.”  Wow, I couldn’t believe today was really IT!  I had reached the end of this journey!  I was a little sad; if you’ve been following me, you know that it’s been quite a long process.  Of course I’m delighted that I’ve finally reached this milestone!  Although I probably won’t have that many more retainer stories to post, I’m still here to entertain questions or to hear of your progress and journey and of course there’s the blog sale I promised a while back.  I hope you have found my posts to be informative and it has in some small way helped in guiding you.

I am planning a new series of dental “chat” on the topic of teeth whitening products, in-home, and in-office procedures.  I do have an important event approaching so this will become a key preoccupation for me.  Stay tuned =)

Retainer Update: March 3, 2011

Apr 10th, 2011 Posted in Retainers | no comment »

I had a deep cleaning today by the hygienist and also had films done.  It was less unpleasant than usual; x-rays bother me much more than procedures usually because the x-ray pads are so uncomfortable to hold steady in place.  I did have a small scare after the cleaning.  The hygienist wanted to make sure my upper left molar was free of cavities so she had Dr. L come in to double-check.  He poked at the tooth a couple of times and didn’t believe it was an issue.  She later explained to me that this particular tooth has a discolored “darkened” ridge which looked somewhat suspicious; however, most cavity patches are also a bit sticky (which this area of my molar wasn’t).  I was obviously relieved when Dr. L told me it was nothing of concern.  I asked if ACT Total Care was a good rinse (I had switched to this one recently on my own).  The hygienist believed that most rinses seem to do a good job and brand doesn’t matter very much.  Following my deep cleaning, I saw Dr. B for routine retainer adjustments for 10-15 minutes.  My next appointment is scheduled for the beginning of May, 2011 so ’til next post…

P.S. I am planning to have a blog sale soon for brand new retainer cases.  When I had purchased mine, it had arrived in a big bag with many others.  I just need one and a back-up so I will sell these soon.  Please check back if you are interested.

P.P.S.  Please excuse my very chappy lips in the above photograph.

Retainer Update: December 2, 2010

Dec 4th, 2010 Posted in Angela, Retainers | no comment »

Another quick visit for retainer tightening.  I was so happy to hear that I’ve graduated to less frequent ortho visits.  Yippeee =)!  Although Dr. B intially scheduled my next visit for early February, he approved an early March visit instead to coincide with my next dental deep cleaning.

Retainer Update: October 2010 & November 2010

Nov 18th, 2010 Posted in Angela, Retainers | no comment »

The front lower gap closed within the first month of using my retainers with the ortho elastic and has not returned since.  What a relief!  That was one stubborn gap.  I’ve become used to having my retainers on at night.  It didn’t take long to adjust but is there really a choice in the matter?  Dr. B has been tightening my retainers a little here and there.  He says they can loosen with regular wear and tear but that it’s a normal occurrence (a snug fit without any discomfort is the ideal).  I was so happy when he told me I didn’t need the elastic band anymore.  It was slightly annoying to get them on my left and right retainer hooks.  I did lose a bunch of elastics as they went flying in the air when I tried to put them on the retainers (which was what I had to do 3-4x per day).  My prescribed routine remains the same as the day I received them.  I do however go retainer-less most mornings and evenings.  I wouldn’t dare go without them at night.  Don’t want to ruin all that hard work of 18+ months! As you can tell by the update, I’m still going to the dental office once a month for now.  I believe the visit frequencies will probably decrease down the road, of course not counting my dental deep cleanings which are every few months.

*New picture to be posted soon*

Searching for a Nice Retainer Case?…

Sep 9th, 2010 Posted in Retainers | no comment »

I wasn’t sure whether or not this topic was post-worthy but I finally decided to write on the subject of retainer cases since I found it difficult to find one I liked (I know I’m very particular). I recently ordered from Smile Shop’s online site and was pleasantly surprised (more like shocked actually) at how quickly my order arrived on my doorstep.  They also have an excellent variety to choose from so check out their site!  I opted for their sparkly purple and bubblegum scented pink hard cases.  Another place you may want to check is on eBay (remember to always check a seller’s feedback rating before deciding to bid); luckily I have found that most sellers I have dealt with have been very professional…..  Always good to have a backup retainer case =)

*Photocredit: Smile Shop

VIOlight Dental Spa

Sep 7th, 2010 Posted in Angela, Retainers | no comment »

This has been a recent curiosity of mine…    VIOlight Dental Cleanser/Spa, which boasts both sonic and UV technology is said to be ideal for dentures, bite plates, retainers, sport mouthguards, invisible braces, and whitening trays.   Does anyone own this for retainer care?  I’ve seen several good ratings/feedback on this gadget but wouldn’t mind hearing what others think of this for retainer cleaning.  I saw one comment which suggested that cleansing retainers in this particular dental spa is best at maximum twice a week (as per a dental office).  I also saw another consumer comment that the “longevity” of VDS is about two years. Not sure if anyone can confirm these things to be true??? Please drop me a comment. I would appreciate your insight very much.


My New Retainers & Retainer Maintenance

Sep 6th, 2010 Posted in Angela, Retainers | no comment »

My retainers fit like a glove and snap in pretty easily…  Before leaving Dr. B to see Dr. M for bleaching, I had to practice removing my retainers and setting them back into place at least a few times.  I felt like I was fumbling with them but I knew that after several times wearing them, this would become second nature.  It’s a lot easier for me when I have a mirror around to look at while I’m doing this.  Dr. B gave me the choice last month of correcting my lower mid gap with retainers rather than spending an extra month or so with braces.  Because of this, I’m determined to do my best at wearing the elastics every time the retainer is on.  I am writing this blog today, September 6, 2010 and can confirm that the gap has practically closed (of course I will wear the elastics as long as Dr. B advises me to do so).  One thing I will need to get used to is waking up with a dry mouth.  Not sure if the retainers cause me to sleep unknowingly with my mouth open?  I don’t like that my mouth feels so pasty in the morning =( but I will have to get over this.  Ever since my oral hygiene improved quite a bit these past 1.5 years, I’ve been waking up with a mouth that actually feels much cleaner.  I will definitely miss this =(. I also have to practice speaking with them on since they make me slur most of my words.  I’m a little mortified about this but I need to get through it somehow.

Here were my instructions:

1) Wear my upper retainers especially when I’m at home, but may have the option to go sans uppers when I’m not at home.

2) Wear my lower retainers with the elastic whether or not I’m at home.

3) I may drink with my retainers on; however, no eating with them on.

4) Clean them a few times a day with a brush and orthodontic cleanser tablets.

5) Keep them in a safe place, especially away from pets.

6) Do not drop them on a hard surface.

My Translation of The Rules:

(1) + (2) I’ve been adhering closely to the first two rules.

3) I don’t eat with my retainers on and although I do drink with my retainers on, I only drink water.  I think it’s a bit nasty drinking soda, milk, coffee, or orange juice with them on.  I’m not sure if rinsing would be enough to cleanse the retainers.  I’m also undecided on what to do about tea yet, but I imagine that rinsing a couple of times afterwards with water might suffice.  I want to avoid re-staining my teeth at all costs.

4) My oral care still consists of using:

  • Sonicare brush with sanitizer
  • Toothpaste: Colgate Total or Go Smile AM & PM or Sensodyne with Extra Whitening (for now)
  • Proxabrush and Reach flosser or regular floss
  • Peds toothbrush for back of teeth, especially lower front
  • Orabrush for tongue
  • Rinses: Natural Dentist (AM), Colgate Peroxyl (mid-day), ACT Restoring (PM)
  • Use of a soft brush and CVS Minty Fresh Denture Cleanser tablets AM & PM (CVS confirmed that this particular item should be used at maximum 3x per day, otherwise may start to dissolve the retainer).

5) My pets have no access to my bathroom.

6) I’m using a retainer case my dental office gave me to store my retainers.  A proper retainer case keeps expensive retainers safe and clean when not in use; they have a hinged design with ventilation holes.  I imagine that keeping retainers in anything other than a case meant for them wouldn’t be such a good idea (they may be prone to damage or bacterial growth).  There are sparkly, nicely scented, and patterned ones out there so accessorize accessorize =)!

I also purchased a Brimm’s Sea Bond Denture Bath for less than $3.00 from CVS to use during the times I need to soak my retainers in a effervescent bath.  I love that it has a lift strainer.  Although I keep my sink very clean, I can’t imagine using it as a retainer soaking basin since the porcelain may damage my retainers should I drop it in by accident.   There may also be germs I’m not aware of (after-all, I do use it for multi-purposes).

This may sound like a lot to do but I’ve already gotten used to this amount of craziness.  At the end, it’s worth it =)