Cleaning Retainers: Keeping your Uncommon Smile Healthy

Retainers are an integral part of orthodontic treatment. Without them, teeth may move back to their original positions after your braces come off. That’s why it’s crucial to wear yours throughout the retention phase of treatment. The length of this phase depends on the type of treatment and severity of the issues.

No matter how long you wear your retainers, you need to clean them thoroughly every day. Just like your teeth can collect bacteria and build up plaque from food, retainers can get equally as dirty in your mouth. Below are some tips to clean your retainers.

Brush after meals.

After eating, remove your retainers and brush with a soft-bristled toothbrush and lukewarm water. Gently scrub to remove plaque and food particles caught in your mouth. Be sure to never put your appliances in hot water as it may warp the material.

Use mild dish soap instead of toothpaste.

While toothpaste may be the easiest to use, mild dish soap may be safer. Toothpastes may be more abrasive to your appliance. You should also wash your storage case once a day as well.

Soak in denture cleaner.

For a deeper clean, you may even wish to soak your appliances in denture cleaner. If you use this option, be sure to follow the instructions and remove them from the cleaning solution as instructed.

No matter how you clean your retainers, remember to keep them away from extreme heat and strong chemicals. If your material becomes warped, you may need to pay for a new set of retainers. If you have any questions about the retention phase or need help with a broken or warped appliance, contact our office immediately. While you may not want to pay for a new set, continuing to wear a broken appliance may cause your treatment time to lengthen. This can mean additional treatment time and even more associated costs down the road.

Uncommonly Common: Avoid Orthodontic Emergencies

Protecting Uncommon Smiles

Orthodontic emergencies can happen when you least expect it during meals or playing sports. This can include anything from severe pain to broken appliances. At Uncommon Orthodontics, we compiled some strategies to help you fix common problems and protect your uncommon smile.

Keep Teeth Clean.

To keep your smile in great shape, it’s important to keep your teeth and gums healthy throughout orthodontic treatment. Be sure to brush twice a day, preferably after every meal, and floss every night. If food gets trapped, plaque can form around your braces and teeth, leading to gum disease. To ensure your smile is beautiful when the braces come off, practice good oral hygiene every day. You should also continue to see your general dentist every six months.

Watch What You Eat.

Eating sticky, chewy, crunchy, and hard foods can damage your braces, possibly lengthening your treatment time and increasing costs. We recommend that patients try to eat soft foods and take smaller bites. If your brackets or wires break, call our office immediately to schedule a repair appointment. Keep in mind that you may incur additional orthodontic fees to replace broken appliances.

Protect Your Teeth.

Always remember your mouthguard! During treatment, you can continue to play sports as normal. However, to protect your teeth and braces, we strongly encourage you to wear a mouthguard. Injuries to the mouth are incredibly common during sports, so it’s better not to risk it even during practice. At your next appointment, let us know if you need a mouthguard. We can help you choose the right one for your uncommon smile.

Call Our Office.

Even if you practice these tips, you may still experience an emergency. If this happens, contact our office immediately! If you leave a broken appliance in place, you risk lengthening your treatment plan and may end up doing even more harm to your teeth.

Braces for Adults

Adult Treatment is Not Uncommon!

Adult treatment has become increasingly popular over the last several years. With more subtle treatment options available, adults are seeking the help of an orthodontist more than ever before. If you think braces are just for kids, think again! At Uncommon Orthodontics, many adult patients are coming to our office to improve their smiles.

Why Orthodontics?

Orthodontic treatment has multiple benefits. By correcting your bite and spacing between teeth, we can make it easier for you to clean your teeth and gums. This can greatly reduce your risk of tooth decay and gum disease. It can also alleviate pain and headaches associated with TMD/TMJ. Plus, nothing compares to the newfound confidence you'll feel with your beautiful, straight smile.

If you had braces as a child and your teeth have returned to their original positions, or if you’re simply wanting to stop feeling self-conscious about your smile, we can help! Uncommon Orthodontics has multiple treatment options available.

Braces for Adults

We offer a wide array of braces options, including traditional metal braces, self-ligating braces without elastic bands or ties, clear braces, and even Invisalign®. During your initial consultation, we can assess your smile and determine the best treatment option for your unique orthodontic needs.

While many adult patients prefer invisible braces like Invisalign, it’s important to note that not every patient is a good candidate for this option. In some cases, traditional metal braces or other treatment types can ensure you get a straight smile more quickly and efficiently. No matter what type of braces you get, we guarantee you will love the result!

Ready to Start Treatment?

No matter what your age, contact ustoday to schedule your FREE initial consultation. We can’t wait to get you started on the path to a beautiful new smile

Why Uncommon Orthodontics?

Uncommon Orthodontics believes everyone should have a smile they can be proud of! Unlike other orthodontics practices, we take an uncommon approach to customer care. Check out the uncommon ways we’re helping to change our patients’ lives, one smile at a time.

Affordable Treatment

While the cost of orthodontics can vary, we want all of our patients to get the best smile possible without worrying about how they’re going to pay for it. We will work with you to ensure your payments work within your budget. At Uncommon Orthodontics, we offer zero-down payment plans with 0% interest and no credit check.

We also offer discounts for our colleagues in the dental profession as well as a retainer replacement program to affordably replace or repair lost retainers at a fraction of the price. Retainers are an integral part of treatment because it keeps teeth from returning to their original positions. Keeping up with your retainers can ensure your orthodontic treatment remains a lasting investment.

Easy Scheduling

We know that your time is valuable. That’s why we pride ourselves on running early or on time for each scheduled appointment to get you back to your busy day.

At Uncommon Orthodontics, we truly value human interaction. If you need help after hours, we have a live customer service line available to help you 24/7. No more leaving voicemails that go unanswered until the next business day. We can help you immediately with any minor emergencies, scheduling appointments, paying bills, and any other questions you may have.

Uncommon Results

If you’re looking for a beautiful smile from people who will put your needs first, contact us today! Our goal is to make you a top priority and give you the smile you deserve from people you can trust. We look forward to meeting you soon!

first orthodontic visit

First Orthodontic Visit

The first orthodontic visit should occur when your child is seven years old. At this time, braces may not be necessary. However, we can at least begin monitoring the development of your child’s teeth and jaw bones to ensure everything is progressing as it should. By this age, some of your child’s adult teeth have already begun to erupt, allowing us to evaluate the spacing of permanent teeth and check for any developmental delays or abnormalities.

What to Expect

Before the first appointment, you can help your child prepare by letting them know what to expect at the initial consultation. Right when you walk through our doors, we will greet you and help you feel right at home in our comfortable waiting area. When we call you back, we will take your child to get photos taken of their teeth as well as digital x-rays. During this time, you can complete our new patient forms on our iPads if you weren’t able to complete them at home.

After we finish the x-rays and photos, we will take your child back to the new patient room where you will be waiting for your child. We fully encourage you to stay in the new patient room throughout the consultation to be there for your child and so we can answer any questions you may have.

Once in the new patient room, our new patient specialist will go over your child’s medical and dental history with you. Then, our orthodontist will perform a thorough exam, looking inside your child’s mouth and reviewing the photos and x-rays to evaluate the teeth and jaw bones. During this time, the orthodontist will explain any problems, how to fix them, and how long treatment should take.

At the end of the consultation, we will discuss treatment fees and answer any questions you may have. In certain cases, if no cleaning or dental work from your family dentist is necessary, we may be able to begin treatment after this appointment.

Contact Us

If you’re ready to schedule your FREE initial consultation, contact us today!

Damon

New Year, New Damon™ Smile Brackets!

You may be wondering why your brackets are changing. Want to know more about this UNCOMMON upgrade? Read on!

What is Damon Smile?

Damon Smile is a line of braces that straighten teeth, correct bites, and help improve smiles quickly and easily. Traditional braces are tied in place with elastics, which cause friction and pressure and often result in slower, less comfortable treatment. Damon Smile uses an innovative slide mechanism to hold the wire in place, therefore allowing teeth to move freely, quickly, and comfortably.

What is the benefit to me?

Because there are no elastic ties that need tightening, treatment is more efficient and more comfortable than with traditional braces. Also, you will find that teeth are easier to keep clean throughout treatment because the wires move freely within the brackets. Additionally, Damon braces are extremely small and less noticeable than traditional braces.

Am I starting over? Will this add time to my treatment?

No, adults and teens can undergo Damon Smile treatment to more comfortably transform their smile in less time with fewer appointments.

Why are my brackets changing?

At Uncommon Orthodontics, our practice is constantly evolving to provide patients with the best possible treatment. The advanced technology integrated into Damon Smile allows us to effectively treat patients without adding time, and in many cases, reducing treatment length.

If this is more advanced technology, will this increase the cost?

There are no additional charges for your treatment. This upgrade is a result of our practice striving to provide the latest treatment options while remaining affordable for our patients.

If you have additional questions about your new brackets, call our office at (417) 625-1114.

patient rewards

Uncommon Rewards

An UNCOMMON EXPERIENCE

At Uncommon Orthodontics, we pride ourselves on providing our patients with the very best care possible. From our skilled and knowledgeable staff to our state-of-the-art equipment, the Uncommon team prides themselves on the care and quality each patient receives.

Patient Cooperation

Treatment success relies on patient cooperation. By brushing regularly and well, following appliance instructions for expansion, wearing elastics properly, avoiding breakage and obeying retainer guidelines, patients can ensure they are doing their part to maximize their results. That is why we work to get parents and patients to partner with us and work as a team. We all want the same outcome: a big, beautiful, healthy smile!

The more closely orthodontist's instructions are followed, the more likely treatment time will decrease and quality of outcome will be increase. To encourage patient cooperation, Uncommon Orthodontics offers incentives to encourage you along the way.  Patients earn rewards by keeping appointments on time, brushing with excellence, following doctor instructions, and joining us on social media!

Uncommon Rewards

Prizes include t-shirts, travel mugs, sunglasses, flashlights, gift cards and more! We like to stock “something for everyone” and are constantly looking for more cool…and uncommon…rewards! We want your help as we journey through “braces world” and look forward to celebrating your child’s smile together! We are accepting new patient appointments now. Give us a call!

Uncommon Orthodontics SmileSync

Uncommon Introduces SmileSync

Introducing

smileSYNC…

…an uncommon approach to helping patients restore their smile again after a previous “out of control” orthodontic treatment.

Let’s face it: there are patients who are satisfied with and grateful for their new smile, but as the years roll by, they may become complacent, forgetful or just plain lazy about wearing their retainers. Sometimes the teeth will relapse a bit and the retainers will no longer fit. Often the retainers have been lost and forgotten…but our smileSYNC can get those smiles back in shape faster than you might imagine. For a relatively modest fee, patients can regain that self-confidence that comes from a great smile, protect their investment and restore the teeth and the bite to a healthy place than can be maintained, once again, with retainers.

Be sure you realize that smileSYNC is not a substitute for full orthodontic treatment; rather it is like a “reboot” for your teeth to once again come into alignment. You may be eligible whether you have had braces from your family dentist or another orthodontist. Be sure you are current with any cleanings or fillings, etc. that your family dentist has recommended. Check out your options for smileSYNC with us and remember: there is no charge for your initial evaluation appointment, only if you choose to proceed. Call us today or click here for an appointment!

childhood trauma

Katy and Mom: A Case Study in Childhood Trauma

I recently saw a young lady, let’s call her Katy, who had experienced on-and-off jaw pain and joint clicking for several years. As the pain became more intense, her mother did some Internet research and correctly identified the problem as TMJ disorder.

Our examination revealed a limited range of opening [her mouth] with a clicking noise, difficult and painful opening and a lower jaw that swung to the right when she opened. Biting down was also painful and the joint on both sides [especially on the right] did not open fully and smoothly.

When I asked them about possible trauma, blow to the face or fall…even as far back as toddler and preschool years…both of them could remember several events that were thought to be “no big deal” at the time. Although neither of them could recall a specific injury to the right side, in this particular case, patients and parents often can identify the injury that most likely was relates to the problem.

There was a recent study from the University of Texas that proved childhood trauma can damage the growth of the lower jaw and, over time, can also impair the development of the jaw joint [TMJ] itself. Often the damage becomes too great to successfully permit the repositioning of the cartilage that cushions the temporo-mandibular joint [TMJ].

The challenge in Katy’s case is to treat her with the best possible result and the least risk, so we proposed two plans of treatment:

  1. With a more conservative plan, to stop the deterioration in the joint and control the pain, we recommended a non-anatomical splint and a regimen of anti-inflammatory medications. In addition, we would teach Katy and her mom to respond to the symptoms of the disorder, self-medicate and keep it under control.
  1. We proposed an orthodontic plan that not only aligns the teeth but also creates a solid bite with no slides or rocking movements. We would use non-anatomical splints and non-inflammatory medications to keep the problem from getting worse during and after the orthodontic treatment. She should wear this retainer in order to hold the result and optimize her family’s investment in her health and her smile.

In conclusion, when there is, or might be, a significant head injury in childhood, it is often possible that the growth of the mandible (lower jaw) will be changed and impaired. Family physicians, family dentists and especially orthodontists should watch for unequal [asymmetrical] development in this area* - which is often overlooked. If your child suffers a significant head trauma, it is wise to let your orthodontist at Uncommon Orthodontics take a look at him/her as quickly as possible…hopefully within a few days.

*Note to physicians and other health professionals who might read this blog:

One sign that is easy to spot is a canted frontal occlusal plane—just place a tongue depressor from right to left across the dental arch and ask the patient to close. Is that tongue depressor level with the floor, the ears and eyes? If not, you should suspect damage to the temporo-mandibular joint on one side with the resultant uneven development. Bear in mind that the cant will only become apparent after unequal development begins in the mandible itself. Facial development is complete by age 20 for most females [and later in males], but if there is evidence of uneven growth of the mandible, a TMJ exam including x-rays and physical exam is a vital option. For Katy, it might have made a huge positive difference for her to begin TMJ therapy at a younger age.

Professionals, it is often better to refer [early] to us at Uncommon Orthodontics. A note, e-mail or phone call will get your patient an absolutely free, no obligation evaluation with a possible conservative and credible treatment option. You can trust us with your kids! #uncommonsmiles

Looking Forward Into 2015

After joining the Joplin community in August of this year, we have found that this is a strong, big-hearted city with “broad shoulders.” The whole area has come through some very tough times and has emerged lean and healthy on the other side. We foresee a bright future for the Joplin economy, although clearly many families continue to struggle with their finances.

As the area economy continues to improve, we are optimistic that 2015 will be a great year for an American economic recovery also. As we [at Uncommon Orthodontics] manage our finances, we routinely evaluate our costs and fees and—as it becomes necessary—we adjust them. However, for 2015, we have made a conscious decision NOT TO RAISE OUR FEES. We will maintain our payments at $179/month...LAST YEAR’S level…for as long as possible.

Some things will NEVER change: our “uncommon” ZERO down, ZERO interest, ZERO financing fees, and ZERO credit check financial policies are “set in stone.” Our commitment to excellent orthodontic care and a partnership with your family dentist are also very important to us. You may count on us to seek out creative ways to make a great smile possible for everyone in your family. Our whole team is working to help you reach the dreams you have for your family. So…SMILE, JOPLIN!