How Long Should I Wear My Retainer?

What are retainers? These are teeth-aligning devices that orthodontists custom-make for their patients according to their needs. They comprise ceramic or metallic wiring and are sometimes clear plastic. Retainers help to hold teeth in the right position. However, retainers are a form of orthodontic treatment for correcting misaligned and crooked teeth to help them get back into the right position. Retainers can also help correct bite problems and significantly reduce any chances for oral health disorders or conditions before they erupt.

So, are you planning to get your first set of retainers? Before that, it’s important that you do some research first. Here’s how long your orthodontist may require that you wear the retainer.

Retainers: How Long Do You Have to Wear Them?

Since the supportive tissue in the mouth needs time to recover and regain its strength. Most adults and teenagers are guided to wear their retainers between meals and during bedtime for a couple of months initially. The longer you wear your retainer, the more good it can do to put your teeth back in their correct position.

Generally, if you wear braces for two years, you can expect to wear retainers for two years. While this isn’t specified for every orthodontic patient, the timeline for wearing retainers can vary. In fact, if you’ve had a serious and complex procedure than most orthodontic patients with teeth misalignment, you may have to wear the retainers for longer.

Of course, you don’t have to wear your retainer full-time throughout the treatment period. From full-nights and full-days, you can move onto a relaxed schedule in which you’re free to take off your retainers. Most experts suggest that the time you spend wearing retainers is usually slightly more than the time you spend with braces on.

Additional Information:

If you’ve been wearing your retainers full-time for a couple of months, your orthodontist will allow you to take them off at specified times, such as different days of the week or even entire weekends when you progress. Despite that, you shouldn’t think that this process takes effect overnight. To get the required results and proper teeth alignment, you have to endure the stress and complications of wearing retainers for long hours and even for days.

  • Usually, first-time retainer wearers spend only a few months wearing them full-time. Later on, they follow up with the schedule of wearing them when going to bed only.


If you require the best orthodontic care, reach out to Burke and Beckstrom Orthodontics right away. Dr. Burke and Dr. Beckstrom are among some of the most highly qualified and experienced individuals who treat patients of all ages. From braces to retainers, these two professionals, with the help of compassionate staff, can provide you and your children with the most effective dental solutions.

Contact the orthodontics institute at 435-673-3334 to set a schedule with one of the experts. Feel free to check out the official website for more information.

Reference Links:


Tips for Cleaning Your Retainer

Many people wear a retainer to maintain the teeth’ alignment after they remove their braces. Braces don’t set your teeth for a rigid environment, but they do help with teeth alignment. So, even when your teeth are in a better position, they might shift over time.

Retainers strengthen the tissues and muscles in the mouth to properly hold teeth in the new position. Therefore, many people wear a retainer while they sleep, so their teeth don’t displace from new placement.

If your dentist has prescribed a retainer, you should learn how to take care of it. Cleaning a retainer is essential as it builds up tartar, plaque, and bacteria in your mouth. Just as you brush your teeth every day, cleaning your retainer daily is important. Of course, you need to implement a proper technique and a few essential tips. Here’s how to clean your retainer for better dental health: 

  • Avoid Heat Exposure

The first thing to always keep in mind is to prevent the retainer from high heat. Exposure to high temperatures will cause your retainer to warp, which ruins the shape. So, do not keep your retainer in the microwave, dashboard of your car, dishwasher, and boiling water. Rinsing your retainer in lukewarm water is enough to remove bacteria.

  • Skip the Chemicals

Cleaning retainers with harsh cleansers will make them squeaky. According to a study, chemical cleaning tablets aren’t helpful to remove bacteria from the retainer. In fact, simple brushing is a more effective technique to remove toxic substances. 

  • Soak Your Retainer

Tablets are effective to remove cocci bacteria from retainers. Therefore, you can use tablets for that purpose. But, avoid soaking the retainer for too long. Once the cleaning tablet removes bacteria from the retainer, it corrodes the metal components. Therefore, make sure you only soak your retainer for the time instructed on the packaging. Quick mouthwash soaks can also kill some bacteria and remove the smell. However, opt for an alcohol-free mouthwash formula that won’t harm the retainer’s plastic.

  • Clean Your Case

Regularly clean your retainer case using soapy or warm water. The best time to clean the case would be before you place the retainer in it. The cleaning process includes soaking and gently scrubbing the case. Now rinse the water and pat it till dry. 

  • Keep Watch

Many people who use retainers complain that their pet chews or choke on it. Therefore, you need to be mindful about where you keep your retainer, especially while you eat. Sometimes, people’s retainers end up in the trash after they place them on a napkin. When not in use, the best place to keep your retainer is in its case.

  • Replace as Needed

Just like shoes and contact lenses, retainers can wear out if you do not take care of them. But even with the best care, they will need replacing after a while. Many retainers last about six months. After a while, the plastic starts to wear out. Once this happens, it’s time to visit your orthodontist for replacement.


Want to learn more about how you can keep your retainer clean and safe? Give us a call and talk to a professional orthodontist. At Burke & Beckstrom Orthodontics, you can consult with a professional orthodontist for a proper plan to give your teeth optimal care. Give us a call at 435-375-3440 to schedule a consultation.

Palatal Expansion Explained

The world of orthodontics can be mysterious and hard to discern. Before sitting down for a procedure that you don’t understand, take a few minutes to make sure you’re up to date on what’s happening!

Palatal Expansion Definition

This is a simple procedure and is often done in conjunction with other orthodontic work. Your oral surgeon or orthodontist will widen the roof of your mouth giving you more room for your teeth to erupt and emerge. There are a wide number of reasons that you might need your palate widened and the procedure can be done at any point in your life!

Reasons for Palatal Expansion

There are a lot of reasons that this might be recommended and it’s usually because braces alone won’t quite correct the issue. While you might still need to retain or obtain braces, palatal expansion may lessen the need to keep them long-term!


This is a condition where the lower jaw is wider than the upper one and the upper teeth will end up biting inside the lower teeth. The palatal expansion will allow the teeth to sit more comfortably inside the mouth and line things up more clearly.


Underbites are characterized by the front lower teeth sticking out farther than the front upper teeth. Professionals like Burke & Beckstrom Orthodontics can quickly do a palatal expansion and set things in line again.

Cleft Palate

While underbites and crossbites can happen over time, cleft palates occur before birth and can be quickly corrected with some simple surgery. The tissue on the roof of the mouth doesn’t fuse which causes an opening in the palate itself. Scar tissue can form as it heals and keeps the palate from expanding like usual so corrective surgery is needed.

Crowded Teeth

Permanent teeth have a hard time making their way into your mouth when the whole place is just a little too crowded. Palatal expansion done early on can give a young person’s mouth more room to allow permanent teeth to erupt lessening the amount of time spent in braces.

Impacted Teeth

Impacted teeth can rapidly become painful and they’re usually held hostage by other teeth and kept from erupting by a lack of space. By performing a palatal expansion, orthodontists and dentists can give the impacted teeth room to come in, thus alleviating pain and giving you plenty of room to grow!

Breathing Conditions

A narrow palate can cause serious breathing conditions like mouth breathing and sleep apnea. Poor sleep can cause other issues in other areas of life including social situations, school problems, and overall irritability. A simple palatal expansion can help ease issues in no time!


A simple procedure can open up a whole new world when it comes to fit, style, and a better life! Palatal expansions make your time in braces shorter and help keep other health issues at bay. If you need help with crossbites, impacted teeth, or even breathing conditions give Burke & Beckstrom Orthodontics jingle at

burke and beckstrom orthodontics

What is the Difference Between Dentists and Orthodontists?


This question might have been plaguing you for your entire life and keeping you up at night, but rest assured as you now finally have the answer! Dentists and Orthodontists are very similar and work within the same field, but differ regarding what they specifically handle.


Both practitioners work to improve and maintain your oral health. They can do similar things, but only an orthodontist is specialized to handle more complicated issues.


Dentists are standard-level practitioners that assist patients with more surface-level aspects of dental work and oral health. Orthodontists assist patients more so regarding the overall structure and functioning of your mouth.


Due to the specialized nature of their work, orthodontists have a higher annual salary on average in comparison to dentists.


The process to become an orthodontist is more rigorous than to become a dentist because of the extra coursework. Orthodontics is typically a three-year-long process, referred to as an MDS. A degree in dentistry is known as a BDS.


Dentists know about your teeth, your gums, your nerves, and your jaw. They can help you and advise you on tooth decay and gum disease. Dentists are more concerned with overall oral hygiene.


A dentist will typically do the following:


  • Fill cavities
  • Extract teeth
  • Repair cracked teeth
  • Conduct and interpret X-Rays
  • Fill and bond teeth
  • Treat hum diseases like gingivitis
  • Whiten teeth
  • Install crowns or veneers
  • Prescribe treatment and prescription drugs for oral health conditions
  • Perform oral surgery
  • Oversee the development of children’s teeth.


Orthodontists are trained about similar things but focus on the straightness of your teeth, the way your teeth hit against each other, and correcting bites. So one easy way to think about the difference is that orthodontists are a more specialized category of dentists.


Orthodontists are trained and receive the same education that dentists receive, but they go further to learn more about specialized issues about the jaw and teeth.


An orthodontist will typically do the following:

  • Supervise the facial growth in children. This includes their jawline and bite.
  • Diagnose and treat malocclusions, which are misaligned teeth and jaws.
  • Create treatment plans for malocclusions with braces and retainers.
  • Perform surgery to straighten crowded teeth.
  • Install dental appliances like Herbst appliances, braces, headgear, or palatal expanders.


Not all dentists are orthodontists, so that is something important to keep in mind when you are seeking a dental practitioner.


Orthodontists are considered to be a specialist, so even if you have dental insurance they may not be covered. Usually, you will need a referral from your dentist first before you can make an appointment with an orthodontist.


To summarize, a dentist can help you with more simple procedures such as cavity fillings, crowns, tooth extractions, and root canals. An orthodontist is who you would seek out if you need more complex treatments. This could include correcting issues like tooth crowding, teeth alignment, as well as fixing overbites and underbites.


Dentists and orthodontists are very similar in that they work within the same field and have similar training. However, orthodontists are more focused on complex issues regarding the structure of your jaw while dentists are more focused on standard issues.

healthy smile

Tips for Improving Your Dental Hygiene

Dental hygiene is a keystone to your overall health. By taking care of your mouth, you can avoid serious health issues down the road and save money by not requiring costly medical or dental procedures to correct issues. Everybody has heard that you should brush your teeth at least twice a day, and floss every night, but is this enough? Let’s take a look at some of the other ways that you can be at the top of your game when it comes to dental hygiene.

Keep a Toothbrush On-Hand

Sometimes, life gets in the way of keeping your teeth clean. If you work in an office and end up with a lunch that sticks in your teeth, it is great to have a toothbrush there with you to get rid of any food particles. You may end up having to work late or spend the night somewhere unexpectedly. Keep a toothbrush in your briefcase or somewhere else that you have easy access to. You should keep a cover on this toothbrush to prevent dust, germs, or other outside elements from accumulating.

Correctly Floss

When you are flossing, you should be removing any food particles that get caught in your teeth and gums. Your toothbrush is unable to reach about 40% of the surface of your teeth, so you need to floss to get the surface area that you are missing. You need to go into your gums while flossing. C shape flossers can make the whole process very easy. You should not have to use too much pressure, or you may damage your gums if you are not careful.

Once you are done flossing, you should also give your mouth a quick rinse with water. The floss will remove debris and germs from between your teeth, but it will not remove them from your mouth. By rinsing your mouth, you are flushing out anything that the floss knocked loose.

Use Electric Toothbrushes

Electric toothbrushes are a great way to make sure that you are taking proper care of your mouth. The vibration created by an electric toothbrush can help break up and remove food particles stuck in your teeth. Many electric toothbrushes have a built-in timer that will let you know when you have been brushing your teeth for two minutes, taking the guesswork out of how long you need to keep brushing.

Electric toothbrushes require less effort than traditional brushes, which require you to move your brush in small circles over your teeth to thoroughly clean them. Instead, electric toothbrushes can effectively clean your teeth with less pressure and effort. Just guide the toothbrush around your mouth and let it work its magic.

Keep Your Tongue Clean

Everyone cleans their teeth when they brush, but not everyone remembers to give their tongue some attention. Your tongue is home to bacteria that can cause plaque buildup or halitosis if you do not get a handle on them. Gently give your tongue a brush when cleaning the rest of your mouth to get rid of some of these bacteria. You can also utilize mouthwash to help keep your tongue clean.


All in all, dental hygiene is extremely important. By following these tips and tricks, you should be able to take your dental health even higher and avoid future dental problems. Take care of your mouth and it will take care of you as well!

teeth xray

How Stress Can Affect Your Teeth and Mouth

It’s no secret; chronic stress can lead to depression, anxiety, migraines, insomnia, and irritability, among a plethora of other symptoms. In turn, your sleeping and appetite cycle downgrades, thus deteriorating your overall physical, as well as mental health. One thing people often overlook is the repercussions of long-term stress on their teeth and mouth. Here we discuss the top four severe effects of stress on your teeth and gums:

Grinding Your Teeth

Grinding your teeth typically occurs when you’re sleeping and is a common oral health problem. Plus, experts link grinding your teeth with an array of triggers, however, stress is one of the most prominent triggers. You should never ignore teeth grinding since it can lead to severe chronic conditions. Some of the symptoms of grinding your teeth include:

  • Sleep disorders
  • Headaches
  • Abnormal tooth wear
  • TMJ disorder
  • Broken or chipped teeth
  • Jaw pain
  • Change in appearance of your face

A good way to combat this is by meditating, counseling, or exercising. These can help reduce stress that, in turn, ensures you don’t grind your teeth. Moreover, your dentist may recommend you to wear a tooth guard during the night.

TMJ Disorder

TMJ, otherwise known as temporomandibular joints, correlates to high levels of stress. These joints help ensure the proper movement of your lower jaw and are present just below your ear. Various stressful situations trigger the overuse of jaw muscles in some people. It may result in you clenching or grinding your teeth.


The symptoms of TMJ disorder include pain, clicking, and popping. To fight this, your dentist may recommend you to follow a soft diet, meditate, or try anti-anxiety medication.

Gum Diseases

Research at Tuft University shows a link between stress and gum disease. Their in-depth study reveals that when your body experiences stress, your body comprises immune cells protecting you against bacteria. In turn, bacteria thrive inside your body and increases inflammation


Plus, the effect stress has on your immune system handicaps immune cells fighting bacteria causing periodontal diseases, ultimately making you susceptible to gum infections.

Burning Mouth

If you experience hot and burning sensations in your mouth, you may be suffering from burning mouth syndrome. Stress, depression, anxiety, and post-menopause may cause burning mouth syndrome.


A good way to combat this is by going for stress counseling and taking antidepressants. Plus, decreasing alcohol intake and smoking can help improve symptoms as well.


The Takeaway

A lack of healthy and effective coping strategies can negatively affect you psychologically, as well as physically. Above were four stress-related situations that often lead to poor oral health. Multiple types of research show a strong correlation between depression and anxiety and dental problems.


If you’re experiencing any situations relevant to stress that lead to low oral health, it’s time to book an appointment with a dentist. Our experts help you find effective strategies to reduce and cope with your stress all the while discussing treatments for oral health conditions you may be experiencing.




Early Orthodontics

Orthodontist and dental training is intense and relies so much on the ability of the professional to see the problem and make rational changes. Adding in some enhanced technology gives them a whole new field of vision that makes their job more in-depth and your visit better!

Digital X-Rays and 3D Dental Imaging

To make changes that will impact your life and your teeth in the best way possible, orthodontists need to be able to see the detailed structure of your mouth. With the advance of digital x-rays and 3D dental imaging, they can more accurately see and diagnose the problems you may be experiencing! Relying on digital rather than film for x-rays means your orthodontist can access the images immediately and provide a solution quickly and efficiently.

Digital Impressions with an Itero Scanner

If you’re the one in the orthodontist’s chair, getting braces may have felt like way too many sessions of impressions and molds before the final fit is found. With the Itero scanner, your orthodontist can create impressions of your teeth digitally instead of manually creating your perfect fit in just a few minutes. These digital impressions are also more accurate so you’ll spend less time getting fittings and more time doing things you love!

Nickel and Copper-Titanium Wires

Rather than fight the fit against stainless steel wires as orthodontists have done in the past, new types of wires made of nickel and copper-titanium are being used. These respond to the heat in the mouth and tighten naturally as teeth shift.

Robotic Wire Bending Technology and CAD/CAM

Making sure your brackets and wires are in the right place is a challenge and it used to be that only a few orthodontists could make it happen. With new robotic wire-bending assistance, it’s become a lot easier to manage and get right! Rather than bounce from orthodontist to orthodontist looking for the right fit, you’ll be able to get everything done in one place.

Invisalign Aligners

Braces used to be the only option and a rite of passage for many in middle school and high school. But with newer technologies available, clear braces like Invisalign have reduced the need for metal braces and are created for your comfort. They are much less visible than the old style of braces and they can be removed for short periods. Instead of worrying about how clean you’ll be able to get your mouth as you would around metal braces, you’ll be sure to get a good clean each time you brush and floss!

Six Month Smiles

Your smile is your best feature and accessory and making sure you’re confident with that smile is a big reason why orthodontists operate. Six Month Smiles corrects only the teeth that show when you smile! While it won’t correct your bite or more serious issues, it will straighten out your smile and give you more confidence as you go through the world. This procedure only takes six months as opposed to the 2-3 years that traditional braces take.


Through the years, orthodontists have been perfecting and pursuing better practices for their patients. With the resultant technology, getting braces is far less scary, time-consuming, and uncomfortable than it has been in the past!

Invisalign is a super popular dental solution because of two main reasons; they’re comfortable and flexible, and they don’t restrict your diet.

A much healthier way of enhancing your beautiful smile, Invisalign is almost invisible and removable. Thus, with these high-quality dental cosmetics, you get an adequate amount of time and space from your ongoing treatment to enjoy eating without any challenges. Moreover, you can easily clean your teeth, as well as the appliance.

However, you should avoid a few eating habits to ensure the treatment goes according to plan. Moreover, there are certain food items that can lead to the discoloration of your aligners. Luckily, we’ve compiled a list of foods you can and cannot eat with Invisalign down below:

What Foods Can I Not Eat with Invisalign?

Your main goal here is to get a beautifully aligned smile without compromising too much on your diet. Here we discuss certain foods you should avoid during your Invisalign treatment journey.

The basic rule of having Invisalign is to avoid foods that are:

  • Chewy
  • Crunchy
  • Sticky
  • Hard

Moving onto candies, you should avoid ones that are sour, hard, and sticky. Not only can they mess up your Invisalign, but they also destroy your tooth enamel, thus promoting early decay. Steer clear of:

  • Chewing gum
  • Sour Candy
  • Jawbreakers
  • Caramel
  • Licorice l
  • Nuts
  • Suckers
  • Popcorn

What Foods Can I Eat with Invisalign?

At the same time, we decided to make a list of scrumptious foods you can continue gorging on:

  • Soft fruits like bananas, strawberries, and grapes
  • In case you eat hard fruits/vegetables, be sure to cut them into smaller pieces
  • Potato chips and pretzels won’t damage your Invisalign
  • Pasta won’t interfere with the treatment either

In order to satisfy your sweet tooth, you can select one of the following treats:

  • Chocolate that contains no caramel and nuts
  • KitKats
  • Marshmallows
  • Peanut butter cups
  • Cookies
  • 3 Musketeers

What Liquids Should I Avoid with Invisalign?

According to the American Association of Orthodontists, patients undergoing Invisalign treatment should avoid sugary drinks. It is because these liquids can seep under the aligners and result in the staining of both your teeth and aligners. It’s best to just stick with plain water and avoid the following:

  • Sodas
  • Flavored water
  • Sports drinks
  • Acidic liquids
  • Energy drinks
  • Fruit drinks

Experts recommend patients limit intake of the above-mentioned liquids. And when you do consume them, make sure you rinse and floss afterward.

What Foods Will Stain My Invisalign?

Unfortunately, a wide variety of foods and drinks can stain your aligners. Therefore, in order to avoid the discoloration of your braces, you should avoid the foods and beverages mentioned below:

  • Coffee and tea
  • Red wine
  • Grape juice
  • Beets and tomatoes
  • Berries
  • Curry
  • Mustard
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • And certain food colorings

In case you do end up consuming these foods, be sure to properly rinse, brush, and floss after you’re done.

If you’re seeking an expert Orthodontist in St. George, Utah, look no further! Schedule an appointment today with Burke and Beckstrom Orthodontics and allow us to help you achieve your best smile.

The New Year is among us which means now is the perfect time to get the smile you’ve been after for so long. A visit to your local orthodontist is the best way to find out what options you have and how to go about making your smile sparkle for years to come.


Contrary to what many people believe, a trip to the orthodontist isn’t solely for the purpose of getting braces. In fact, an orthodontist can offer you dozens of other services that can benefit you in the long run.


Services You Can Get from an Orthodontist


Despite being good about brushing your teeth on a regular basis you might find yourself puzzled as to why your teeth still are not as white as you want them to be. It can be frustrating especially if you have tried other alternatives and nothing seems to be working. Luckily for you, one of the many services that an orthodontist offers is teeth whitening. Using gentle warming heat and a safe LED light in a closed system mouthpiece, the technology known as GLO is there to make your teeth as bright and healthy as possible.


If you wish you had straighter teeth but don’t want to go through the trouble of braces, say no more. The Invisalign may be right for you. Invisalign is a device similar to braces but doesn’t come with wires or brackets and is virtually invisible in your mouth. Not to mention it still does a fantastic job of straightening your teeth, and costs just as much as regular braces!


The best part about Invisalign is that it fixes crooked teeth in less time than traditional braces would and are even easier to keep clean. In order to get Invisalign, you must first consult your orthodontist to see what your best options are.


Get the Smile of Your Dreams While Staying Within Your Budget


Oftentimes people are hesitant to get work done on their teeth simply because of the fact that they believe they can’t afford it. But the truth is, many orthodontists will work with you to come up with payment plans that best suit your needs.


Financing options are always available for all services whether they be braces or teeth whitening services. Monthly payments will always be affordable so that you don’t have to worry about falling behind on your expenses.


If you’ve got insurance, many times the services you undergo are covered by them so that you have little to no out-of-pocket cost. When it comes to the health of your teeth, you should not settle for cheaper options that may not always be as effective as visiting a professional.


In Conclusion


If you’ve been waiting for a sign, this is it! Start your new year off right by booking an appointment with your local orthodontist to get started on getting your perfect smile. After everything you may have been through this last year, you certainly deserve it!

Unfortunately, we aren’t born with perfect teeth. If we were, there’d be no need for dentists and orthodontists! The good news is that most of the time, our dental problems can be solved with the help of a good dentist.


What Causes an Overbite?


An overbite is one of the most common problems people have with their teeth. Although you can be born with an overbite, it can also be caused by a slew of things including grinding your teeth, joint dysfunction, or not getting your teeth fixed in time.


In children, oftentimes an overbite is caused by excessive thumb-sucking, prolonged use of the bottle, or using the pacifier too much. The sooner you get an overbite fixed, the easier it will be to do it. However, the longer you wait the worse the problem will be.


Different Kinds of Overbite


Believe it or not, there are two different types of overbites. The first one is known as the skeletal overbite. This is caused when your lower jaw is much smaller than your upper jaw and therefore your teeth get pushed towards the upper row.


The second type of overbite is called a dental overbite. This happens when your teeth are misaligned despite the fact that your lower and upper jaw are aligned together. As a result, the teeth that push the lower jaw back end up in an overbite.


Fixing an Overbite


If you have an overbite, don’t fret. Most overbites can be easily fixed with the help of braces. Many people think that braces are used only to fix crooked teeth, but they can also be helpful in fixing overbites.


The first thing your dentist will do is fit you for your braces. If your overbite is a bit more severe, you may have to get overbite braces. The braces will also allow your teeth to realign properly thus helping you get rid of your overbite.


The next step in fixing an overbite is to be fitted with elastic bands. These bands are placed onto the brackets of the braces in order to encourage your jaw to shift in the position that it needs to be in. This may be painful in the beginning due to the fact that a lot of pressure has to be added to your jaw for it to start adjusting.


When you are done with the braces, your dentist will likely fit you with a retainer that you must wear for at least two years after getting your braces taken off. This is to ensure that your teeth remain in the correct position.


Surgery is another way for people to get their overbites fixed if braces simply cannot get the job done. If you have a skeletal overbite, chances are you will need to have your jaw corrected via surgery. This method is not recommended for children as their bones are still developing.


Lastly, tooth extraction is another way to get rid of an overbite. If your overbite is caused by overcrowding of teeth, removing some is the best way to fix the problem.