Life with Braces
Now that you have your braces, it's important for you to know how to properly take care of your braces throughout your entire orthodontic treatment.
Brushing with Braces
Brush your teeth for two minutes after every meal with a soft-bristled, small-headed toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. We will be providing you with an Oral B electric toothbrush with a special orthodontic head to increase the effectiveness of your brushing while you have braces. Brush the outside and inside surfaces of your teeth while positioning the head of the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gum line. Brush your teeth’s chewing surfaces and the inside surface of your front teeth using short, gentle, back-and-forth motions. Pay close attention to the area between the brackets and the gumline.
Flossing with Braces
Flossing at least once a day will help keep your teeth and braces clean, which will also help keep your treatment time on track. We will provide you with special floss threaders and instructions for their use. If you find that it's too difficult to floss or that your floss is not removing all of the food particles between your teeth and around your braces, ask us about a water flosser!
Seeing the Dentist
It's very important that you see your family dentist every six months for a cleaning and check-ups just as you normally would.
Eating with Braces
Don't worry, you'll still be able to have many of the treats you love, but we will ask you to take special care to avoid any foods that could damage your new appliances. We will provide you with specific foods to avoid and some alternate choices that you're sure to enjoy.
Soreness Caused from Braces and Appliances
When you first get your braces, your teeth and mouth may feel a little tender or sore. This is perfectly normal and we promise you will not be sore forever! It's much like how muscles are sore the day after a workout. Studies have shown that chewing sugarless gum for 10-15 minutes after getting a new wire may prevent some of the tenderness.
It is also not uncommon for your lips, cheeks, and tongue to become irritated for a week or two after the new braces go on until they become used to the braces. We will give you some wax that you can put over the braces to smooth over any rough spots. You may also rinse with warm saltwater to help with the irritation.
True orthodontic emergencies are rare, but when they occur we are always available take care of you. As a general rule, you should call our office right away if you've had an accident that involves your mouth and braces or if you have something broken or poking that is causing pain. We'll be able to schedule an appointment to resolve the problem.
Sometimes you may be able to temporarily solve the problem at home. However, we still want to hear from you so that we can see you to make necessary repairs as soon as possible.
If your bracket or band is still attached to the wire, you should leave it in place and put wax on it if needed for comfort. If the bracket or band can be removed easily, place it in an envelope and save it to bring to your next appointment.
Using a pair of tweezers or needle-nosed pliers, try to put your wire back into place. It is okay to use a piece of floss to tie the wire into place: tie the floss around the bracket in place of the missing colored o-ring. If you cannot put the wire into a comfortable position, and covering the end with wax doesn't help, as a last resort use a small fingernail clipper to clip the wire behind the last tooth to which it is securely fastened. If the end of the wire is still sharp place wax on it.
Using a pencil eraser, push the poking wire down or place wax on it so that it is no longer poking.
Playing Sports with Braces
Great news for athletes! There's no reason for braces to keep you away from any sports. We only ask that if you play any contact sports that you wear a mouthguard to protect your teeth and braces. Ask us for a mouthguard if you need one.
In case of a sporting accident that involves your mouth, be sure to immediately check your mouth and braces for damage. If you notice any loose teeth, broken brackets or bent wires, please contact our office right away.