Keeping Your Teeth Clean
The most important advice we can give our orthodontic patients is to keep your teeth sparkling clean. This involves brushing for at least 2 minutes after every meal and before bed (3-4 times per day!) and flossing at least once a day. Food easily collects around the brackets and wires. Sparkling clean teeth will decrease risks of cavities and permanent markings on your teeth. Excellent oral hygiene is essential to achieving a fabulous orthodontic result!
We are committed to help you achieve the best result orthodontics can offer, and the best results are a beautiful, healthy smile! When we bond your braces, we will give you an Oral-B rechargeable electric toothbrush and a home-care kit with the tools you need to maintain the health of your teeth and gums. We will take the time to show you how to maintain healthy oral hygiene throughout your treatment and beyond.
At every adjustment appointment, we will take note of your hygiene and give you tips for improvement if needed. In order to encourage a healthy mouth, we have an ‘I Take Care of My Smile’ Contest, with periodic draws for great prizes!
We will also work as a team with you and your dentist. A periodic exam and cleaning by your dentist at least every 6 months is an essential part of your orthodontic treatment.
True orthodontic emergencies are very rare, but when they do occur, we are available to assist you. As a general rule, you should call our office if you experience severe pain or when you have a painful or broken appliance.
Irritation of Cheeks and Lips
- In the initial stages of your orthodontic treatment, your gums and cheeks may experience areas of irritation. We provide you with orthodontic wax which you can place over any sharp or protruding brackets or wires (remember to dry the area first). This can help to relieve the discomfort and act as a cushion to promote healing. Rinsing your mouth with a solution of warm salt water can also encourage healing.
Wire Adjustments and Soreness
- During treatment your appliances will be adjusted every few weeks. After an adjustment, you may experience tooth sensitivity for about 2-3 days. If the discomfort is bothersome, an over-the-counter pain medication that you would normally use for a headache or other minor pain relief can be helpful. If your teeth are sensitive, a soft diet is recommended for the first few days after an adjustment appointment. Soon you will be back to normal!
Loose Bracket or Band
- Eating hard or sticky foods can cause a bracket or band to loosen. If a bracket or band comes loose from your tooth but is still attached to the wire or appliance, you can place orthodontic wax over it to help hold it in place until you can come to the office to have it repaired. If a bracket or band falls off completely, save the piece(s) if possible. Please call us to let us know about the problem. We can either schedule an appointment to have it re-bonded or, if your next appointment is coming-up soon, we may be able to lengthen it to accommodate this procedure.
Sharp or Poking Wire
- If a wire comes loose or the end pokes into your cheek or gums, you can place orthodontic wax over the sharp area. You should dry the wire and the bracket first, and then place a pea-sized ball of wax over it, pinching the wax with your fingers. You may also clip the end of the wire with a clean nail clipper if you are comfortable doing so. Please call us to schedule a short visit as soon as possible.
Broken or Lost Retainer
- If you break or lose a retainer it is important you call us immediately so we can schedule an appointment to remake the retainer.