Dos and Dont’s for Good Orthodontic Care
Brush a minimum of three times a day, especially after meals and snacks.
Focus on brushing the gumline area first.
Use your fluoride toothpaste nightly after you floss your teeth. Remember to use just a pea size amount and do not rinse, eat, or drink for at least 30 minutes.
You teeth and braces should always be sparkling clean! Make sure you are getting all the plaque and food off of your teeth and braces with proper brushing techniques. If food and plaque are not removed, decalcification can occur resulting in permanent white marks on your teeth. When brushing your teeth, pay extra close attention to brushing your gumline.
Visit your dentist for regular check-ups & cleanings – twice a year is recommended. We can see you to remove/replace your wires before and after your cleaning. Please call us to schedule.
Do not eat hard, sticky, chewy or crunchy foods. No caramels, taffy, sticky candy, or bubble gum! Trident or Extra sugarless gum is okay. Also avoid chewing on ice, nuts, popcorn, jerky or any foods that may cause damage to your braces such as hard breads and toasted bagels.
Hard foods like carrots and apples can still be eaten; however, they will need to be cut into small pieces, slices or cooked. Corn on the cob will need to be cut off the cob before eating.
Limit your intake of carbonated soda beverages or energy drinks. The acidity of these drinks can damage your tooth enamel.
The best way to avoid an orthodontic emergency is to follow the directions you were given when your braces were placed. Avoiding hard sticky foods should help ensure minimal breakage and poking wires.
The following information will help you take care of most of your discomfort at home. Try one of these tricks first. If it does not work, please feel free to call us.
Soreness in and around the mouth: It is normal for your teeth to be sore after the braces are initially placed and after routine adjustments. The soreness will usually only last for a few days, but can occur for up to a week. Eating soft foods and taking over-the-counter pain reliever like Tylenol or Aspirin should ease the discomfort. Chewing sugarless gum will also help.
Soreness on the inside of the cheeks: It will take your cheeks a couple of weeks to adjust and toughen up to your new braces. If you get sore spots from a bracket or hook rubbing your cheek, place some wax over the bracket so your cheek has a chance to heal without being irritated further. Wax only sticks to dry metal or clear brackets. Also try rinsing with some warm salt water two to three times a day. An over-the-counter topical pain reliever such as Orabase can also be used.
Poking or broken wires: You can try to clip the wire with fingernail clippers or a small wire cutter that has been sterilized with alcohol, or bend it away from your cheek with a pencil eraser or tweezers. If neither of these things work, please call so we can assist you over the phone or make arrangements to see you.
Broken or loose brackets: If you have a loose or missing bracket, please call during business hours. Although a broken bracket usually is not an emergency, we do want to know about anything that is loose or broken so we can determine if we need to see you sooner or if it can wait for your next regularly scheduled appointment. If it is bothering you, try placing some wax over it. We may schedule an emergency appointment to remove it from the wire and repair it another time.
Remember, we are always available to answer questions you may have or help in any way, including an emergency.