Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Why Are My Teeth Shifting?


Why Are My Teeth Shifting After Having Braces?

Uh oh! It’s been a few years since you’ve completed orthodontic treatment and you’re wondering why your teeth are shifting after having braces. Did you know the #1 reason this occurs is due to the lack of retainer wear? Retainers are actually the only way to prevent your teeth from wanting to go back into their old position. If you are not wearing your retainer regularly after having braces, your teeth may want to shift for a variety of reasons… Visit our website to learn more about the importance of wearing retainers.  

Grinding Your Teeth

Grinding or clenching your teeth can be a very destructive. Not only does it wear down the enamel on your teeth, but it can also result in shorter teeth and bite/facial changes. Grinding puts unnecessary pressure on your teeth which causes them to shift in different directions.

Tooth Loss

When you have a missing tooth, the teeth on either side will want to drift into the empty space causing total misalignment. This is why it is always a good idea to replace the missing tooth with an implant, fixed bridge or removable partial. At the very least, wearing a retainer every night will prevent teeth shifting.

Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease occurs when the gums surrounding your teeth become so damaged it eventually destroys the bone supporting your teeth. When this occurs, teeth become more mobile causing them to move in different directions and/or fall out completely.


Natural physiologic drift is what happens when teeth move as you age. Your facial bones continue to grow throughout your lifetime usually resulting in the lower jaw growing forward and becoming more narrow. This causes your lower teeth to crow or overlap.


Relapse occurs because teeth have memory and will want to move back into the position they were in before you had braces.

Preventing Your Teeth from Shifting

If you want to make sure your teeth do not shift after having braces, it’s extremely important that your remember to wear your retainer every night! If you realize you missed a few days and your retainer is no longer fitting properly, call your orthodontist immediately. This could be due to a damaged retainer or your teeth already starting to shift. If the retainer you wear is permanent (bonded) your orthodontist will want to make sure it is still working properly and hasn’t broken without you being aware.

Here at Spannhake Orthodontics, we encourage you to see your general dentist every 6 months to minimize decay and prevent periodontitis. Also be sure to address any bite problems you may be experiencing at this time along with grinding issues. By staying on top of your oral health, you can prevent many issues from progressing and your teeth from shifting. Above all else, always remember how important retainer wear is. At Spannhake Orthodontics, we only want our patients to have to wear braces once. 

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Do Braces Hurt?


One of the main questions we get at Spannhake Orthodontics is, “Do Braces Hurt?” We are here to ease your fear and let you know that braces are nothing to be scared of! You may feel some mild discomfort and soreness while your mouth is adjusting the first few days, but nothing extreme.

 Two Types of Discomfort Caused by Braces

Tooth Soreness

Having minor tooth soreness is typical the first few days after getting braces put on. Many patients describe this as a “tight” feeling. Here are a few ways to alleviate discomfort while your teeth adjust to your new braces:

·         Eat soft foods. This discomfort is like a bruise. If you eat hard foods, you are not giving the area time to heal before using it again. When you eat soft food, you are not putting as much pressure on the area, which will allow the area to heal quicker. 

·         Take Tylenol. Tylenol is an over the counter pain reliever. This can help dull the pain that is occurring due to the braces. 

·         Drink/eat something cold. The first couple sets of wires that are used are activated at body temperature. If you drink or eat something cold, then you will have less tightness due to the wires not actively pushing on your teeth. 


Tongue/Cheek Irritation

The second type of discomfort you may feel after getting braces put on are some sores from wire or bracket irritation. This is a normal occurrence the first week after getting braces put on. When this happens:

·         Try using wax. Wax is given to you at your first appointment at Spannhake Orthodontics and we provide this to you as often as you need it. When there is a wire or bracket rubbing on your cheek or tongue, roll a piece of wax between your fingers and place it the sore area. This will allow the area to heal so a sore does not form.

·         Let it run its course. After a few days of allowing your braces to work, eventually your cheeks and lips will toughen up to the braces. Once this happens, the feeling of rubbing or sores forming will decrease significantly.

Keep in mind that this soreness will not last forever. Getting braces put on is an exciting time and pain is nothing to fear! Follow the tips we listed above on how to alleviate some of this mild discomfort and after a few weeks you won’t even notice you have them on.

Click here to learn more about your first days in braces.

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Invisalign for Teens | Why It’s Becoming More Popular


Did you know that Invisalign for teens is becoming more and more popular every day? Many people make the assumption that Invisalign is only an option for adults who want to straighten their teeth in a discreet way. Despite common belief, Invisalign is actually a great treatment option for people of all ages – even teens!

History of Invisalign

When Invisalign made it’s first appearance in the orthodontic field in 1998, there were many restrictions on what types of cases it could and could not treat. Since then, these clear, removable aligners have undergone many technological changes and now have the ability to treat complex orthodontic cases that they once couldn’t. At Spannhake Orthodontics, we have successfully treated many patients with Invisalign who were experiencing complex issues such as: crowding, spacing, and various bite abnormalities.

Why Invisalign for Teens is a Great Option

No Wires or Brackets

One thing many teenagers love about Invisalign is the fact that there are no wires or brackets that can irritate the mouth or fall off the tooth. This means, little to no emergency appointments!

Quick Appointments | Fewer Appointments

Invisalign appointments are much quicker than a typical braces adjustment, and less frequent. We see Invisalign patients once every 8 weeks, for appointments that last an average of about 15 minutes in length. People who choose to go the braces route, typically are seen every 4 weeks throughout the duration of their treatment with appointments averaging 30 minutes.

Appointments alone is a big reason why Invisalign has become so popular among teens nowadays. Less appointments means less time missed from school and work!

No Food Restrictions

Since there is no actual metal hardware on the teeth with Invisalign, there are no food restrictions during treatment. Teens enjoy the fact that they do not have to give up their favorite foods like they would have to if they went with traditional braces.

Not having any hardware on the teeth also allows the teen to brush and floss like normal, instead of having to take the extra time to brush and floss around wires and brackets. This helps with overall oral hygiene throughout orthodontic treatment which is extremely important when moving teeth into a new position.

“What Happens if My Teen Loses their Aligner?”

This is a legitimate concern among many parents when considering Invisalign for their teenager. However, we have seen in our office that if a teen is determined or excited about getting started with Invisalign, they are overall more responsible about keeping track of their trays and wearing them. Why? We attribute this to the fact that some kids do not want brackets on their teeth at any cost. If teens are not motivated about their Invisalign treatment, they would most likely not be motivated with traditional braces either. No matter what treatment type they choose, lack in motivation will always result in an issue arising or a set back of some sort. In order to get the best results possible, motivation and determination from the patient is a must!

We understand that life happens! If an aligner does get lost, give our office a call to discuss what steps need to be taken to keep your teenagers treatment on course. Normally, our doctor will advise the patient to move on to the next set of their assigned aligners to avoid any unplanned movement or shifting. Losing an aligner does not drastically affect overall treatment, but it is important to notify your orthodontist if this were to happen. At Spannhake Orthodontics, we believe in our teens and have seen great results with their motivation when it comes to Invisalign.

#spannhakeorthodontics #invisalign #invisalignteen #orthodontictreatment #invisaligntreatment

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Take A Pizza My Heart

National Pepperoni Pizza Day 
Thursday, September 20th
National Pepperoni Pizza Day

According to legend, Raffaele Esposito created the first pizza in 1889 in honor of the Queen of Italy, Margherita of Savoy. A pizza topped with tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella represented the colors of the Italian flag was aptly named Pizza Margherita.

While pizza might be most heavily associated with the Italians, pepperoni pizza is purely American. Served on more than a third of American pizza orders, it’s safe to say that pepperoni is America’s Sweetheart.   

September 20th is a day set aside to pay homage to the most popular pizza ever created…Pepperoni Pizza! So get the invitations in the mail…cause you’re throwing a Pizza Party! 

Photo provided by
Rather than call up your favorite Pizza Parlor, considering Throwing a “Make Your Own Mini Pizza” Party and create a DIY Mini Pizza Bar where all of your friends and family can come together to celebrate. 

What You Will Need: 
Pizza Dough 
Pizza Sauce 
Toppings (cheese, tomatoes, olives, mushrooms, onions, and of course, Pepperoni) 

You can always make your own Light and Fluffy Pizza Dough, but if you don’t have time for that, don't worry, you can purchase ready made Pizza Dough or even use Pre-Made Pizza Crusts.

Photo provided by

And no celebration would be complete without a cake!...a Pizza Cake that is! This simple recipe for a layered pepperoni pizza cake is sure to be a hit. It’s just a layer of pizza, topped with another layer of pizza, topped with another layer of pizza, and all wrapped up in Pillsbury dough. Yes…we know…it sounds delicious.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Braces are Magnetic

Image provided by

We all know someone who has a friend who has a brother who knows a guy that had the story must be true. 

There are a lot of myths about orthodontics and getting braces, some of which have been told so many times, by so many different people, they are now believed to be the truth. Well...guess what? Even if you know the guy who has the brother who has the friend...the story is most likely an Urban Legend. 

Legend: Only children and teens need to visit an orthodontist. 
TRUTH: It is very typical for adults to experience rotation or misalignment of teeth. If you’ve still got teeth, Dr. Spannhake can straighten them! Certainly there are age-related changes that affect the way treatment proceeds. Restorative needs and periodontal concerns necessitate a full diagnosis and discussion of your needs...but the truth is...everyone, no matter what their age, can enjoy the benefits of a healthy, pleasing smile. Health, happiness and self-esteem are important at any age. 

Legend: Braces interfere with radio signals and electronic devices. 
TRUTH: In theory any metal can act as an antenna. Radio signals are modulated electro-magnetic waves transmitted through the air. In order for these transmitted signals to travel well in air, they must be sent at high-frequencies. This is achieved through modulation. Even if someone's braces could receive these frequencies, it would have to be decoded to actually hear any messages. 

Legend: Braces are just for cosmetic purposes and aren’t necessary for your overall dental health. 
TRUTH: While braces can definitely help you get that beautiful smile, they aren’t just for cosmetic improvement. Well aligned teeth can facilitate good oral hygiene making it easier to prevent tooth decay and gum disease. In addition, resolving certain orthodontic problems with the use of braces can improve your ability to speak, chew, and even breathe. 

Legend: Wearing braces will increase your chances of being struck by lightning? 
TRUTH: The chances of a person getting struck by lightning are the same, with or without braces. In the U.S. in any given year, the chance that you will be struck by lightning is 1 in 700,000 no matter what you are wearing. 

Legend: You don't need to visit your General Dentist when you are in braces treatment. 
TRUTH: Even if you are having regular orthodontic checkups, you should never skip your regular dental checkups. Having braces makes you more prone to plaque and tartar accumulation, so your dental cleanings are actually more important now. Regular dental checkups are the best way to ensure harmful buildup is removed from your mouth. 

Legend: If there was a giant magnet overhead, anyone who is wearing braces would get stuck to it. 
TRUTH: Braces are made of materials which are non-magnetic in nature. Therefore, getting stuck to a giant magnet is highly unlikely. And really...where is this giant magnet everyone is talking about anyway? We haven't seen it. Have you?

Image provided by HSOrtho

Point is...Orthodontic Urban Legends are just that...Legends. No matter what your friend's brother's cousin says.