It took four years, but now you’re finally free of your braces! Long gone are the days of not being able to chew gum, eat popcorn, candy apples, and cutting the inside of your lips and cheeks. Well…maybe just one of those is true. While you’ll be able to run your tongue over the smooth surface if your newly straight teeth, you’re not quite out of the woods just yet. After braces comes your retainer, a device that is used to keep your teeth straight after the braces are no longer pulling them into place. But don’t worry, they’re not nearly as bad as you think they are.


Dental retainers come in a few different types, meaning that just like with your braces, you can choose which option works best for your lifestyle. Note that the retainer itself is not optional, not unless you want your teeth to wander back to their pre-braces position and waste the thousands of dollars that you spent on orthodontic work. But as mentioned before, retainers are a walk in the park compared to braces so lets explore which one is the best one for you.


Types of Retainers

First, you’ll need to choose between one of two options: fixed or removable. Like their names explain, removable retainers are able to be taken off when you’re doing activities such as eating and brushing your teeth. Fixed retainers are not removable and stay in a fixed position, cemented to the back of your teeth. Removable retainers are good for those individuals who have good disipline and will commit to wearing them during the assigned times and won’t forget to put them back in after a meal or a teeth brushing. Eventually, removable retainers will only need to be worn at night rather than the day which makes it an appealing choice for most. However, for those who are forgetful or just prefer to not have the hassle or worry about losing or damaging their retainer, a fixed retainer would be the best option. Fixed retainers are also referred to as bonded retainers.


For those who choose removable retainers, there are two different kinds to choose from.


The first is called a Hawley retainer which was the only option for a little while. Hawley retainers are made of a plastic base that conforms to the shape of your hard palate and a wire that wraps around the front of your teeth. Hawley retainers are a great option for kids because they come in a variety of colours, and can even have sparkles added to the colour for a more fun look.


The second type of removable retainer is called an Essix retainer. These retainers are made of a clear plastic which is perfect for teens and adults who may not want a visible wire shown around their teeth. If you wore Invisalign® before as your choice of teeth straightener, these almost mimic the fit and function. However, Essix retainers do not have the durability and lifespan of a Hawley retainers, making them not the best candidate if you need to wear it for awhile.


Orthodontic Retainer Care Tips

We covered cleaning your dental retainer in an earlier blog post which you can read about here. However, here are a couple general care tips to help preserve your retainer for months to come.


– Keep your retainer in its case when it is not in use to avoid losing it or dropping and potentially breaking it. 


– If you have an Essix retainer, follow the same rules as you did with your braces and avoid eating anything too hard or stick to prevent damaging the retainer.


If you have any further questions about retainers, your dentist can provide you with answers and resources. To book a consultation with Dr. Saadat, give our office a call at +1 805-499-3691.

Suffering from migraines, but can’t seem to find the root cause of it? Maybe it’s time to look inside your mouth. At the San Diego School of Medicine, researchers have reason to believe that there is a definite link between migraines and the oral bacteria in our mouths after an investigation of foods containing nitrates. 


How it works is like this: nitrates can be transformed into nitrates by the bacteria that occur naturally in our oral cavity. Then, permitting the right conditions and environment, these nitrites can become nitric oxide which has the common side effect of headaches when consumed by people.


However, as miserable as this bacteria can make us feel with migraines, members of the American Gut Health Project say that this certain bacteria has a positive effect on our cardiovascular system and contributes to a healthy heart. Therefore, finding ways to reduce the bacteria may have consequences, especially for those already in poor cardiovascular health.


That doesn’t mean, however, that researchers will not come up with some kind of medication that will adjust your natural oral microbiome to prevent migraines. Likely what will happen is that the medication will be personalized for each individual and overall health and well-being will be taken into account before the medication is prescribed. 


This new link between migraines and oral bacteria still needs to be developed and investigated further, but the one thing that it does reinforce is the important link between our oral health and our physical overall health. This is why your bi-yearly health checks at your dentist are so important so that gingivitis and tooth decay does not occur or turn into something that can have devastating consequences on your body.


If you haven’t scheduled your cleaning with your dentist, give them a call and set up an appointment. New to the area and looking for a new dentist? Contact us today by calling 805-499-3691 or visit our website at

When people talk about wanting straight teeth, they often only think of the cosmetic side of things and that it will make their smile more attractive. While this is true, there are actually other reasons why straight teeth are better for your health overall. Below are 6 reasons why straight teeth are healthier teeth.

  1. Easier to Clean

When the teeth are crowded and overlapping, it can be hard to get into the crevices to clean them properly. Improper cleaning can lead to dental disease and tooth decay as the bacteria that develops in these crevices is left untreated. Straight teeth give you a smooth and even surface to clean to make sure that nothing is missed.

  1. Speech Problems Resolved

You may not be thinking about it when you speak on a regular basis, but your teeth play a vital role in how you pronounce words. If there are large gaps or the teeth are very crooked, your pronunciation of words and your overall speech will be affected. By having straight teeth, your speech will become much more fluid.

  1. Increased Confidence

A mouth full of crooked teeth is not what most people would consider to be aesthetically pleasing. Therefore, people in these situations tend to avoid smiling because it makes them feel self-conscious or that they’ll be judged for the appearance of their teeth. With a mouth full of straight teeth, these individuals will see an increase in their confidence as they’ll be able to express themselves more freely. 

  1. Less Chance of Injury

With crooked teeth, there’s an increased chance that they will become damaged due to any external factor. There’s also the risk of biting your lip or cheek.

  1. Improved Digestion

Your teeth are responsible for breaking down your food so that it’s easier to digest in your stomach, but that can be challenging when your teeth are misaligned and/or have large gaps between them. As a result, the food is not broken down enough and your stomach has more work to do which in turn can cause indigestion or stomach upsets.

  1. No More Headaches and Neck Pain

Using your misaligned teeth for things like chewing can cause headaches and neck pain as there is added pressure to these areas. With straight teeth, this pressure is eliminated and individuals are able to live a pain-free life.


With all these benefits mentioned, why wait to get your teeth on the right track? Contact us today by calling +1 805-499-3691 or by visiting us on our website at to book a complimentary consultation.


As an overview, a canker sore is a small crater that can appear on your tongue or the inside of your lip or cheek. They are not contagious, therefore cannot be spread, but you can develop more than one canker sore at a time. Canker sores mainly appear in women and teens, but anyone is susceptible to them. You can get a canker sore in any of the following ways:

  • Biting your lip or cheek
  • Having braces
  • Vigorous brushing
  • Stress
  • Lack of sleep
  • Food allergies
  • Acidic foods and drinks
  • Vitamin B12, iron, or folic acid deficiency



As mentioned above, a canker sore will appear on the soft tissue areas of your mouth. A canker sore is small and crater-shaped, typically with a red border and a white or yellow center.

Canker sores can be swollen and painful, sometimes making it hard to do things such as eating, talking, and teeth brushing, depending on where they appear in your mouth.

Although severe in the beginning, canker sores heal on their own over time with minor ones only needing a week or two to heal, and major ones up to 6 weeks.



Canker sores go away on their own so no intervention is required. However, you can lessen the pain and avoid getting any new ones by taking the following steps:

  • Eat soft foods that are easy to chew or don’t require chewing at all. If the latter is the case, try nutritious smoothies to get your nutrients or puree your meals
  • Avoid citrusy, spicy, and salty foods and drinks
  • Rinse your mouth with salt water
  • If painful, take a painkiller or numb the area with topical medicine or an ice cube



Most of the time, you may not know what caused your canker sore. If you got one because of vigorous brushing, take it easy and have your dentist show you the proper way to brush your teeth. They may also recommend a soft-bristled toothbrush instead. 

If you developed a canker sore because of biting your cheek or tongue, slow down when eating and be sure not to talk at the same time.

If you frequently get canker sores and they are not because of the previous reasons, make a food diary and try to spot some patterns in your diet. Perhaps you’re eating too many acidic foods and those are causing the flare-ups, or maybe you have an allergy you don’t know about.