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Retainer Options After Braces or Invisalign

after braces retainer

After spending months or years caring for your braces, it’s exciting to finally have them removed. However, it’s important not to let all that time and those adjustments go to waste! With everyday wear and tear your newly moved teeth can start to shift again. Retainers keep your beautiful smile right where you want it. 

Types of Retainers 

There are essentially two types of retainers: removable and permanent. While your teeth are working through braces or invisalign the ligaments that hold your teeth in place are looser with constant movement. When your teeth are at the optimal place – your orthodontist will then make a retainer to keep your teeth in place until your gums and ligaments harden and can keep your teeth in place. Your orthodontist may instruct you to keep your retainer on only at night, or certain hours during the day to maintain your fresh smile. Your orthodontist will choose the best retainer type for your teeth and lifestyle needs.


There are a few types of removable retainers, but most likely they are moulded clear plastic or a bendable wire and acrylic. These retainers fit right over your teeth similar to invisalign. Orthodontists will make your removable retainer after your braces are removed so that your smile stays the same. For invisalign wearers, many retainers are created from the very last retainer of their treatment. Because removable retainers are removable, it can be tricky to remember to wear them. If you think you may forget to put your retainer back in after eating or before bed, ask your Orthodontist about permanent retainers.


Permanent retainers are created when a thin wire is fixed behind the top or bottom row of teeth and left in for months or years. It can be very convenient to never worry about taking your retainer out or putting it back in. Your teeth will stay in place without any thought from you. Permanent retainers are invisible to others, as they are located on the inside of your teeth.

The most important thing to remember is: retainers are DEFINITELY worth wearing. It would be a shame to lose the beautiful smile your Orthodontist helped you achieve. With a good orthodontist they will help you select the optimal retainer – whether removable or permanent – for you.

Contact Idaho Orthodontics today to learn more about braces, Invisalign, and retainers.

What Foods Should I Avoid & Eat With Braces?

foods to avoid

Let’s talk about food and braces! If you ask anyone who just had their braces removed they may tell you they missed eating some of their favorite things during the process. 

Foods to Avoid with Braces

  • Popcorn & Ice
  • Caramel & Chewing Gum
  • Hard Candy & Chewy Candy
  • Corn on the Cob, Apples, Carrots
  • Bagels & Rolls
  • Crunchy Veggies & Fruits
  • Crackers, Pretzels, Chips
  • It can also be wise to avoid sodas and sugary drinks or treats that can build up plaque on your teeth. Although brushing removes plaque, thorough brushing becomes a lot more difficult with braces on your teeth.

Avoid hard foods, or foods you have to bite into. Braces can be damaged or come loose by chewing on these substances. You should also avoid chewing mindlessly on things like pens or other hard objects which can also hurt your orthodontic work. Some of these foods (popcorn) can also get stuck in your braces and become very uncomfortable–even painful. It’s best to avoid these foods if possible. The teeth movement process can be long. You don’t want to repeatedly damage your brackets and slow the process more.

When you first get braces placed on your teeth, you may prefer to eat softer foods. During the whole teeth moving process we compiled a list of foods to avoid to keep your braces intact. Here are some ideas for foods to eat after getting your braces put on or adjusted. Don’t worry! The discomfort with tougher foods will pass after a few days. Hang in there!

Easy Foods to Eat with Braces

  • Yogurt
  • Soups
  • Oatmeal
  • Pasta
  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Scrambled Eggs
  • Softs Fruits & Cheeses
  • Cooked Veggies

We hope these lists help you choose the right foods after you get braces, and the foods to avoid during the process. We wish you luck during this exciting time! If you have any questions about food and braces ask Dr. Brown or Dr. McMinn at Idaho Orthodontics.

Are Braces Necessary?

braces idaho orthodontist

Nowadays it seems like everyone over the age of 12 has had braces at one point or another. The increase in popularity of braces raises the question, are braces a medical necessity or simply a cosmetic treatment? The answer is, braces can be a necessity, especially if your crooked teeth are causing health issues. Below are a few of the benefits of braces.

Cleaner Teeth

Crooked teeth are difficult to clean. Even if you thoroughly brush your teeth, some areas may be unreachable because they are hidden by another tooth. Bacteria will start to grow in the unreachable crevices and can lead to tooth decay, gum disease, bad breath, and other periodontal diseases. Braces will align the teeth, getting rid of those unreachable areas, and make brushing your teeth easier and more effective.

Prevent Grinding

When teeth aren’t perfectly aligned there is a greater chance that they will grind together. Persistent grinding can wear down the teeth or even cause them to break or become loose. Once part of your tooth is gone, it’s gone forever. Braces will move the teeth into their intended positions, reducing the likelihood of grinding. 

Close Gaps

Misaligned teeth often have gaps in between them. These gaps are pockets where food can get stuck creating a gathering place for bacteria. Brushing and flossing will help to remove the food caught in those gaps, but that’s usually not for several hours after eating. Dental braces will align your teeth to the proper spacing, eliminating gaps where food can get stuck.

Alleviate Sleep Problems

Did you know that crooked teeth can even lead to sleep problems? A misaligned jaw, crooked teeth, or uneven bite can prevent the mouth from closing causing a person to breathe through their mouth while they sleep. Breathing through the mouth rather than the nose can increase the risk of cavities, because bacteria isn’t being washed away by saliva, and inflamed gums due to the dryness of the mouth. Braces will straighten the teeth, even out the bite, and algin the jaw so the mouth will close properly allowing the person to breathe through their nose as they sleep. 

Fix speaking Issues

Misaligned or overcrowded teeth can sometimes cause speech problems. Crooked teeth may get in the way and prevent the pronunciation of some words. Dental braces will move your teeth into their proper positions and help to correct your speech. 

Improve Jaw Movement

Crooked teeth can sometimes cause irregular jaw movement which can lead to extra stress on the jaw muscles and joints. Over time these issues can become more complicated and painful. Straightening the teeth to where they are supposed to be with braces will correct irregular jaw movement. This will also help to create a more balanced bite which will make biting into food and chewing easier.

Increase Self-esteem

Braces can also help to increase your confidence. If crooked teeth are making you self-conscious and keeping you from smiling, braces can give you the smile you always wanted and the confidence you deserve! A confident smile can be the foundation of success in all aspects of your life!

Orthodontics in Idaho

Whether you feel braces are medically necessary or you simply want a more confident smile, Idaho Orthodontics can help! At Idaho Orthodontics we will create a treatment plan customized to your specific goals in order to meet your needs while providing the highest quality of care. We have locations in  Pocatello, Blackfoot, and Soda Springs so don’t wait any longer to get the healthy, confident smile you’ve always wanted!

Call us today to book a free consultation!

The Big Debate: Braces vs. Invisalign

braces Invisalign Idaho Orthodontics

Braces vs. Invisalign

So you are excited to straighten your teeth and you have found the perfect orthodontics to do so (Idaho Orthodontics of course–shameless plug). But really, now the debate comes in: braces or invisalign? The experts here at Idaho Orthodontics will break down the pros and cons of both so you can make an educated decision that fits your needs!


Unlike braces, invisalign trays can easily be removed. This is a good thing..and a challenging thing depending on your needs. With braces, cleaning your teeth can be a pain. Flossing is time consuming and a little more difficult. However invisalign trays can easily be taken out so you can get in a thorough flossing and cleaning.

Of course, every time you remove your invisalign trays you are putting a stop to the teeth-straightening happening in your mouth. Many people struggle with the lack of discipline to keep invisalign trays in for at least 22 hours daily. 


When you have braces there are certain foods you must avoid, and food can get stuck in the brackets. With invisalign trays you can eat or drink anything, but you must remove your trays every time, and brush your teeth before putting them back on to minimize teeth staining. Braces can be less of a hassle.


Let’s be real…when it comes to correcting and moving teeth there is going to be discomfort. With braces being unremovable, it helps get the job done faster. With the ability to remove invisalign trays the process can be more comfortable, but will be slower overall.


While there are different colors and ways to customize braces, for a truly minimal look to your smile while straightening your teeth, invisalign is the way to go. Invisalign is more costly than braces, which is why most children/teens opt for braces. While both are effective it really comes down to personal preference! 


Invisalign may not be possible depending on your teeth’s needs. For example, rotating teeth must be done with braces.

Consult with your local orthodontist to find out what your options are and what may be the best route for you.

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625 E. Alameda Rd. Pocatello, ID 83201


1169 Parkway Dr. Blackfoot, ID 83221

Soda Springs

309 S. 3rd St. W. Soda Springs, ID 83276

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