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  • Tips and Tricks on How NOT to Forget Your Retainer

    Retainers are important pieces of hardware people often wear following braces treatment. After orthodontic braces treatment , teeth moved into new positions may not be stable. A retainer prevents relapse or teeth moving back into their original places. This is an important phase of treatment, but many people forget their retainers.

    Always Remember Your RetainerLabbe Family Orthodontics is a top orthodontist. We try to make all stages of treatment as comfortable as possible and answer the all-important question: “How long should retainers be worn after braces?” A retainer may be fixed or removable; the length of time it’s worn and how often one needs it depends on an orthodontist’s recommendations.

    You’ll always know when your retainer is in. However, it’s really not hard to forget it. Here are some tips and tricks to make sure you wear it as much as possible:

    • Choose one place to keep your retainer. If you know it is on your nightstand, for example, you’ll be reminded to put it in and be less likely to misplace it.
    • Clean it when you brush your teeth. It’s more tempting not to wear a dirty or smelly retainer, so follow your orthodontist’s advice for keeping it hygienic.
    • Keep reminders around the house. A post-it note where you’re likely to look every day helps, but you can also remind yourself by email or a cell phone calendar.
    • Accept reminders from others. Your parents, spouse, siblings, or roommates may be more than happy to keep you on your toes.
    • Write down your orthodontic treatment instructions. This not only helps you remember the fine details but provides a place to look for reminders.

    Always Remember Your Retainer

    Remember: “Life Is Better with a Smile” We’re committed to treating patients as if they were family. Our team is also intent on helping people not lose their retainers, as they’re part of a significant investment in restoring one’s smile. The best place, of course, is in your mouth. Keep them in a box when not worn; otherwise, there’s a greater risk of losing your retainer.

    Also, follow a schedule for cleaning it. According to , a removable retainer is easily cleaned by soaking it in vinegar or water or using denture cleaning tablets in water. Daily brushing and flossing are important, as are regular visits to the dentist. You can even clean a retainer with a toothbrush and toothpaste, running it under the tap.

    How Long Do You Wear a Retainer After Braces?

    The retention plan varies with the patient. You may need a retainer for a week or six months full time, and then at night, but some people require it for a few years. You can usually take the retainer out when eating or playing contact sports, and when brushing your teeth.

    Remember: “Life Is Better with a Smile”

    Our slogan reflects the truth. A retainer protects your investment and smile, as it retains the perfection that braces have afforded. For more information on our orthodontic services, browse our website and call (410) 267-7300 to schedule an appointment today.

  • Using Mouthwash and Floss with Orthodontic Appliances

    Braces, retainers, and other orthodontic appliances are there to help you, but they do put you at risk for various oral health issues. That’s why, in addition to brushing properly, it’s important to use both mouthwash and floss. Orthodontic braces treatment will only be successful if you follow these oral hygiene practices.

    Oral hygiene with braces is important because gingivitis, or gum disease, can occur. If too much plaque builds up, your gums will become irritated and infected. Decalcification of tooth enamel is another possibility. Plaque builds up when you eat, while acids produced by eating and drinking also help to decalcify tooth enamel, leaving white spots on teeth. Brushing your teeth is important but is not enough.

    Touohpaste and Toothbrush


    A mouth rinse after you brush and floss is a good idea. There are many over-the-counter and prescription products. These can reduce irritation caused by your orthodontic treatment and can alleviate gum inflammation. A good mouthwash can remove biofilm. If it contains fluoride, even better, but don’t rinse immediately after brushing because that will eliminate the concentrated fluoride in toothpaste before it has a chance to work.

    After a fluoride rinse, wait 30 minutes to eat or drink. Also, it helps to choose a different time to use a mouthwash. Wait until after lunch or a time it’s easy to remember. There are also different kinds, including desensitizing, cosmetic, whitening, and anti-plaque mouthwash, depending on your needs.


    Dental floss helps remove plaque and food between teeth. Regular flossing has other benefits as well, such as reducing bad breath and gum disease. If you have braces, flossing may be a challenge.

    • Floss before you brush your teeth.
    • Use waxed floss that won’t catch and shred.
    • Take about 18 inches of dental floss.
    • Thread it under the wire and pass it between your teeth.
    • Gently move up and down, remove it, and repeat with the next pair of teeth.
    • Use about 8-10 up and down strokes between each tooth.

    Getting the floss under the wire can be tough. A floss threader can make this much easier. Ask your orthodontist for other options that can make flossing with braces simpler.

    For the best results, floss before brushing. The debris you remove may still be on or near your teeth and gums. Brushing will remove it.

    Woman Smiling with Clear Braces

    Get the Most Out of Your Orthodontic Care

    Your orthodontic services professional may also recommend other techniques. A manual toothbrush may do fine, but remember to brush around every bracket and any other piece of hardware. Another option is a sonic toothbrush, but it should be used along with flossing to make sure all the plaque is removed. When brushing, remove bands and elastics and clean round all brackets and wires, moving from top to bottom. Make sure you reach every part of each tooth.

    At Labbe Family Orthodontics, everyone is treated like family. With us, you have a local orthodontist specializing in all types of orthodontic services in Annapolis, Gambrills, Bowie, and Greenbelt, Maryland. Call us at 443-603-3448 today to schedule an appointment.

  • Braces: A Positive Change for Children

    When is the right time to get braces? Children and teens who learn that they need braces may have all sorts of reactions. They might be in a hurry to get started on a better smile or they may worry about their appearance or being teased.

    Braces for children have advanced far beyond what we as parents remember. Knowing the right answers to their questions will help you to reassure your child that braces are the right choice, right now. Let’s cover some of the best braces for children and how to help your child make the transition.

    How Soon Is Too Soon?


    There is no braces age limit, but many times we are asked, “what is the best age to get braces?” There are many helpful treatments that can begin at age 6 or 7. At these early stages the focus is on jaw alignment, development problems, and reducing the need for more invasive procedures later.

    By dealing with any growing issues early, these phase 1 braces set the stage for how the permanent teeth develop. If you or your dentist believe orthodontic treatment might be helpful, it’s never too soon to start laying the foundation for the best possible smile.

    Affordable and Almost Invisible

    There have been recent improvements in orthodontics that minimize the visibility of braces. Braces for teeth that are still developing must be carefully selected, so not every type may be available to your child.

    Types of Braces

    • Traditional metal braces. Teeth are fitted with metal brackets with wires between them.
    • Ceramic braces. The brackets and sometimes the wires themselves are of a tooth-colored ceramic material.
    • Invisalign®. Clear plastic forms that move teeth into place over time, without brackets.

    How Much Do Braces Cost?

    With insurance and without, braces are an investment in the future. Costs will range from $3,000 to $7,000 for most patients,1 but insurance and financing are available to help.

    Show Your Support

    A great support system will keep the fun and optimism in this transformational experience. Creating your child’s ideal smile should be supported by the whole family. Plan for meals that will be easy for everyone to enjoy when your child has treatments scheduled.

    Allow your child to express the natural discomfort of braces on teeth and let your orthodontist know if there is anything wrong. Rather than letting them hide their braces or faces, tell them how much you like their smile in braces!


    Worries about teasing should be talked about in the open. Remember that letting orthodontic issues go on untreated might also result in teasing, and encourage your child or teen to be confident and accepting of themselves. Taking positive steps to improve your health and appearance is not something to be made fun of, it is something to be admired.

    Family Makes It Fun

    Life is better with a smile! A fun environment with encouragement and support will help your child or teen feel good about themselves and their braces. At Labbe Family Orthodontics we treat you like family, and we can’t wait to help you and your loved ones with the best orthodontic care at the right time.

    If you are looking for the best orthodontist for your child, or braces for your teeth, our team is ready to guide you to the best options for your most beautiful smile. We even offer flexible financing including a 0% option and we accept most insurance. Reach out today and find out more!