Caring for Braces

Caring for bracesTo successfully complete the treatment plan, the patient must work together with the orthodontist. The teeth and jaws can only move toward their corrected positions if the patient consistently wears the rubber bands, headgear or other appliances as prescribed. Damaged appliances lengthen the treatment time.

Brushing

It is very important to brush and floss regularly when you have braces so the teeth and gums are healthy after orthodontic treatment. Patients who do not keep their teeth clean may require more frequent visits to the dentist for professional cleaning. Adults who have a history of gum disease should also see a Periodontist during orthodontic treatment.

Appliances and Sports

If you play sports, it's important that you consult us for special precautions. A protective mouthguard is advised for playing contact sports. In case of any accident involving the face, check your mouth and the appliances immediately. If teeth are loosened or the appliances damaged, phone at once for an appointment. In the meantime, treat your discomfort as you would treat any general soreness.

Loose wires or bands

Don't be alarmed if a wire or band comes loose. This happens occasionally. If wire protrudes and is irritating, use a blunt instrument (back of spoon or the eraser end of a pencil) and carefully, gently push the irritating wire under the archwire. Simply get it out of the way. If irritation to the lips or mouth continues, place wax or wet cotton on the wire to reduce the annoyance. Call our office as soon as possible for an appointment to check and repair the appliances. If any piece comes off, save it and bring it with you to the office.

Guidelines for Retainers

  • Wear your retainers full time, until your Orthodontist instructs otherwise
  • Take out your retainers when eating...and always put retainers in their case! (most appliances are lost in school lunch rooms or in restaurants.)
  • Clean retainers thoroughly once a day with a toothbrush and toothpaste. Use warm but not hot water. Brushing retainers removes the plaque, and eliminates odors. Efferdent or other orthodontic appliance cleaners can be used, but these are no substitute for thorough brushing.
  • When retainers are not in your mouth they should ALWAYS be in a retainer case. Pets love to chew on them!
  • Initially, you may find it difficult to speak. Practice speaking, reading, or singing out loud to get used to them faster.
  • Retainers are breakable, so treat them with care. If retainers are lost or broken call us immediately.
  • If you have any questions or concerns about your retainers, or your retainers need adjusting, call us. Do not try to adjust them yourself.
  • Always bring your retainers to your appointments.
  • Retainer replacement is expensive... with proper care they will last for years!
  • Remove retainers when swimming.
  • Keep retainers away from hot water, hot car dashboards, pockets, the washing machine and napkins.

Guidelines for Expanders (removeable)

  • Wear your expander all the time. That means all day, during meals, and while sleeping.
  • Remove your expander only to brush your teeth. Brush your expander at least twice a day with a toothbrush and toothpaste.

Guidelines for Expanders (fixed)

  • Turn your expansion screws as instructed. Insert the key into the hole and turn toward the arrow.
  • If you are unable to keep your scheduled appointment, stop turning the expander.

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