We all know the importance of a regular home care regimen of brushing and flossing. But did you know there is yet another great way to supplement your cleaning? Even with tenacious brushing and flossing, there’s always a possibility that we’re leaving some food particles behind. Waterpiks are a great way to fight against those pesky food particles, and really achieve that fresh-mouth feeling! These oral irrigators are especially helpful to those who suffer from periodontal disease and anyone undergoing orthodontic treatment with full-bracketed braces. These tiny bursts of water dislodge food scraps, bacteria, and other debris burrowed in every nook and cranny. Sometimes toothbrush bristles may get caught in bracket wires, so children undergoing orthodontic treatment may also find using a Waterpik is beneficial.

Waterpiks are not only excellent for dislodging debris, but an added benefit is that they gently massage the gums, which promotes blood flow. This keeps your gums healthy! However, while Waterpiks are an excellent supplement against your routine to combat gingivitis and periodontal disease, it’s important to remember that they simply will not fully remove plaque. This is why we never want to forego traditional cleaning methods, and oral irrigators shouldn’t be considered a complete substitute for brushing and flossing.

Do you have sensitive teeth and gums? Waterpiks are a great option to reduce discomfort, while effectively cleaning between teeth. Diabetics in particular may have trouble with bleeding gums, so sometimes oral irrigation is a good back up for flossing. If you’ve had work done, such as bridges, crowns, or other dental restoration, you may find that Waterpiks help keep the area around the restorations clear.

How do I choose the right Waterpik?

Oral irrigators are available for home or portable use. The home models are typically larger and use standard electrical outlets, while the portable models use batteries. Although the sizes differ, both work in the same manner using pulsating water streams. The ability to adjust the pressure is a great option to have, and this option differs between various models. Most home versions do allow for several pressure settings, which is preferable since everyone’s teeth and gums have varying levels of sensitivity. The majority of portable models have only one pressure setting. Some oral irrigators have the option of using mouthwash or a dental rinse, but be sure to check the label because some suggest using water only.

Please contact our office if you have any questions about oral irrigators, or ask our orthodontist during your next visit. Keeping those lines of communication open between you and your orthodontist will get you to your perfect smile!


braces diagram


Emergencies happen, and we get that. Our office takes every precautionary measure to prevent them, but we all know sometimes dilemmas rear their ugly heads! If you ever have an issue with your braces and you need to call us, we can be more effective in ameliorating the situation if we know exactly which piece is giving you trouble. Use this handy dandy diagram and the corresponding list to help identify your predicament. Your smile will thank you!

Elastic Tie– Tiny rubber band that fits around the bracket to hold the archwire in place.

Archwire– The main wire that acts as a track to guide the teeth along. It is changed periodically throughout treatment, as teeth move to their new positions.

Loop in Archwire– Frequently used for closing space left by an extraction. Many archwires do not have a loop.

Bracket– Small attachment that holds the archwire in place. Most often, a bracket is cemented directly onto the tooth’s surface, eliminating the need for a band.

Headgear Tube– Round, hollow attachment on the back bands. The inner bow of the headgear fits into it.

Coil Spring– Fits between brackets and over archwire to open space between teeth.

Tie Wire– Fine wire that is twisted around the bracket to hold the archwire in place.

Band– A thin ring of metal fitted around a tooth and cemented in place. The band provides a way to attach the brackets to the tooth.

Hook– Welded or removable arm to which elastics are attached.

Elastic– Small rubber band that is hooked between different points on the appliance to provide pressure to move the teeth.

We hope this helps! Please do not hesitate to give us a call if you have any questions!

German Orthodontics Beavercreek Dayton OH Choose an orthodontistIf you are having a problem with your bones or muscles you trust an orthopedist. For a skin, hair, or nail condition you trust a dermatologist. A cardiologist specializes in heart issues or you consult with a neurologist for frequent headaches or back issues related to the nervous system. When straightening teeth and correcting jaw problems, your smile is treated best in the hands of an orthodontic specialist.

Specialist” has a double meaning in the health profession. It refers to the individual practioner’s education and verifies they have limited their practice to one specialty, unlike a general dentist or general physician which can treat all areas of dentistry or medicine. Read more on Who Would You Trust with Your Smile?…




For everyone that has had braces, had them removed, and had that joyful feeling of mouth “freedom,” nothing is more frustrating than noticing (sometimes immediately) that your recently perfected teeth are already shifting! Is this normal? What can be done? Did I do something wrong? I thought I did everything right?!

Remember the chemistry lesson where you learned about the law of entropy? The law of entropy states that everything in the universe naturally changes from a state of organization towards a state of chaos. Guess what? You’re a walking example of entropy every day! And your shifting teeth certainly fall under that chaotic umbrella. Every part of your body, unfortunately, will eventually sag, wrinkle, or simply weaken with time. But that’s okay! The extraordinary, miraculous elements that make up our bodies, like anything else, are designed to change over time. It’s not realistic to prevent all movement, but the goal of orthodontic retention is to minimize changes after the braces come off.

Teeth will typically “settle” after braces are removed. Often, this settling results in a bite that is even better than when the braces were in place. Any movement from front teeth, however, is undesirable to both the patient and the orthodontist, so we want to prevent that as much as possible. During treatment, while the braces are on, the orthodontist carefully positions each tooth to be held tightly in place. Once the braces are removed, we no longer have this control. The forces of occlusion, wear, and the tongue all return as issues to which we must pay attention. Even if a bonded retainer is placed in the mouth, the position of teeth can still change over time.

Retainers are critical in preventing tooth shifting. Immediately after your braces are removed is the most important time to really be a stickler about wearing it. The length of time retainers must be worn fulltime varies, since everyone is different. Each patient should monitor their teeth and wear their retainer as prescribed, or even more if necessary. No one wants to end up in a situation of having to repeat treatment because they failed to wear their retainer. Yikes!

If you wear your retainer faithfully, but your teeth are stubborn and still shift, your orthodontist may resort to implementing a bonded retainer for a while until they become more stable. If you have a particularly tight bite, there may be no room for a bonded retainer. In those cases, your orthodontist may suggest your primary care dentist do some bonding and/or veneer work after teeth have settled. At that point, the goal would be to change the actual size of the teeth instead of trying to move them again.

If minor, but progressive, changes occur in the days or weeks after your braces are removed, your retainer may need to be simply adjusted or replaced. The sooner you notice something happening and report it to your orthodontist, the more likely a simple solution will ameliorate the situation. Clear aligners are another solution that may help correct minor movements. These may then be worn as permanent retainers after the realignment is achieved. Bigger movements may require brackets to go back on the teeth for a short time. Again, the more quickly you communicate any issues to your orthodontist, the less invasive a corrective solution will be.

Slight changes after braces removal are completely normal. Your orthodontist will speak with you about having realistic expectations about how straight your teeth will remain after removal. Just remember, if you wear your retainers as instructed, and unacceptable changes still occur, let us know immediately. We can work together to achieve a beautiful result that will fill a lifetime with SMILES!