Retainers And What They Do To Your Teeth (Sponsored by Hawaii Family Dental – Aiea)

Retainers by Hawaii Family Dental - AieaMore than 2,000 years ago, the earliest record of orthodontics was made. Since then, many ways of straightening the teeth and addressing malocclusion have emerged.

People with bite, spacing, and crowding problems have been given many options on how to achieve their most beautiful smiles and save their teeth risks of tooth decay, gum disease, and infections due to a crooked set of teeth.

Orthodontic treatment can involve fixed or removable devices. Fixed orthodontic appliances, as their name suggests, are non-removable and attached to the teeth. The most known fixed orthodontic appliance is dental braces which utilize brackets bonded to each tooth and connected by an archwire.

On the other hand, removable orthodontic appliances cover mouth’s roof and are fastened onto some teeth. Clear aligners like Invisalign are the most common removable orthodontic appliances. These aligners use computer-generated and transparent trays to correct the malocclusion.

With the help of orthodontic appliances, the teeth move, muscles are retrained, and gentle pressure is applied to the jaw.

Usually, when orthodontic treatment is about to end, and the appliances are removed, the use of retainers is suggested by the dentist. Retainers are utilized to preserve straightened teeth in place and help the gums and bones get accustomed to the new position.

Retainers are needed to prevent the risk of relapse due to pressure from soft tissues, the recoil of gum fibers, occlusion, and the on-going development of a patient’s mouth.

What are the types of retainers I can use?

Retainers can also be removable or fixed. Under removable retainers, Hawley, which is named after its inventor Dr. Charles A. Hawley, is the most common retainer type. This retainer is made of a metal wire which encloses the six anterior teeth and is merged by two omega loops which are used to adjust it for minor movements of the anterior teeth when necessary.

Although not aesthetically pleasing, Hawley retainers are robust, easy-to-make, and can add a prosthetic tooth or teeth. Still, these retainers are not as effective compared to other retainers when it comes to the retention of the lower incisors.

Another type of retainer is a vacuum-formed retainer which is clear and fitted to the entire curve of the teeth or from canine to canine only. These retainers resemble a clear aligner. They are also recommended to be worn even at night.

A vacuum-formed retainer is cheaper, less apparent when worn, and easy-to-wear. However, patients who grind their teeth are not advised to use this type of retainers as they are likely to break and deteriorate.

On the other hand, fixed retainers can be multi-strand, fixed canine, and canine, or reinforced fibers. Multi-strand retainers are attached to each tooth of the labial segment and utilize acid-etch composite or composite resin bonding.

Among the three, a multi-strand retainer is the most recommended since fixed canine, and canine retainer can result in a relapse of the incisors, while a reinforced fiber retainer is more susceptible to fracture.

Looking for an Aiea dentist? Talk to Hawaii Family Dentist – Aiea today. They’ve got the best dentists in the city! You can ask about the best type of retainer that will suit your needs, condition, and finances. Still, regardless of what retainer you use, taking proper care of them is necessary for utmost effectiveness. Hawaii Family Dental Aiea center is located at 98-150 Kaonohi St, Ste C-201, Aiea, HI 96701 just inside Westridge Shopping Center and can be reached via phone on 808-201-6166.

How Dentin Hypersensitivity Can Stop You From Eating Ice Cream

The weather is getting hotter, and the sweats on our faces are testaments to the increasing
temperature. What’s the best way to fight the heat of the sun? A scoop (or scoops) of ice cream
on a sugar cone!

People love ice cream that it is no longer surprising that the sales of the sweetened frozen food
have amounted to 6.6 billion US dollars from May 2016 to May 2017.

According to the International Dairy Foods Association, more than 23 pounds of ice cream is
consumed by an average American annually.

Unfortunately, not everyone can enjoy the creamy, delectable, sweet, and cold scoop of ice
cream due to dentin hypersensitivity which records more than three million cases in the country
every year.

Dentin hypersensitivity is defined as a dental pain characterized by a sharp and short pain due to
the exposure of dentin surfaces as a response to thermal, evaporative, osmotic, chemical,
electrical, or tactile stimuli. Cold and heat can move to the nerves and cells within the tooth
when the enamel, which is the outer and protective layer of the tooth, wears out leading to the
exposure of the inner tooth layer.

The National Health Institute reported a 12.3 percent prevalence of dentin hypersensitivity
among patients, averaging 3.5 hypersensitive teeth.

The dental pain is also more common among ages 18 to 44 than senior patients ages above 65
years old. Women are more prone to the dentin hypersensitivity than men.

Dentin hypersensitivity can be caused by various factors including gum recession, hard brushing,
consumption of sugary and acidic foods, dental cavity, and teeth grinding which can wear the
enamel and expose the dentin.

Dentin hypersensitivity is easy to diagnose and often self-diagnosable as it is triggered by cold or
hot food and drink consumption. Aside from food consumption, breathing in cold air and
brushing can also prompt the dental pain. If these activities cause sharp pain which worsens with
pressure, there is a possibility that the teeth have dentin hypersensitivity.

Aside from being self-diagnosable, dentin hypersensitivity is also treatable within months. Upon
your dentist’s recommendation, there are a variety of treatments available including desensitizing
toothpaste, crown, inlay or bonding, fluoride gel, root canal, or a surgical gum graft.

A desensitizing toothpaste helps in blocking the spread of the sensation from the tooth surface to
the nerve through the compounds present in the toothpaste, while a fluoride gel strengthens the
enamel and prevent its wear, as well as, the exposure of the dentin and transmission of

A bonding, inlay, or crown repair a decayed tooth. On the one hand, a surgical gum graft reduces
sensitivity by protecting the tooth root. For severe and persistent dentin hypersensitivity, a root
canal may be recommended.

Also, preventive measures must also be taken to prevent severe cases of hypersensitivity. Proper
basic oral hygiene routine such as brushing, flossing, and rinsing with mouthwash is necessary to
fight off bacteria and protect the mouth against sensitivity.

A healthy diet is also vital in keeping the oral health in check. Avoiding sugary and acidic foods,
and opting for teeth-healthy foods such as carrots, cheese, celery, and apple will be helpful in
preventing bacteria from attacking the teeth and wearing the enamel.

Aside from these preventive measures, a consultation with a dentist is needed for the proper
diagnosis and treatment. Make sure to visit a dentist twice a year.