Current Patients

  1. What to expect: Just got your braces on? Congrats on your journey to a beautiful smile! There are a few things to be aware of to give you the best experience possible.
    1. It is normal to have soreness when you first get your braces and when you get routine adjustments. You can take whatever you normally take for a headache to help relieve any discomfort. The discomfort should only last a few days.
    2. Braces may feel strange against the tongue, cheeks, and lips. You will get used to this as your mouth toughens after a few days.
    3. Your teeth will be moving into new locations, so it’s normal to have spaces open up or to have your bite change. This will be taken care of as your treatment progresses.
    4. Don’t worry if teeth feel loose. This is completely normal as teeth move. They will lock back into place once treatment is complete and you wear your retainer.
    5. Monitor your diet to prevent decay and broken brackets. See the “Foods to avoid” section below to learn more about this.
    6. If you play sports be sure to wear a braces-friendly sports guard. You can ask for one from our office or they can be purchased at any sporting goods retailer. Just be sure it’s meant for braces.
  2. Foods to avoid: Read this for tips to prevent issues! 
    1. The things you eat can play a big part in your orthodontic treatment. Proper diet can help you avoid white spots around your brackets, decay on your teeth, and even prevent broken brackets which could increase your treatment time!
    2. Foods to avoid include crunchy foods, sticky foods, and hard foods like chips, hard candy, gummy candies, ice, popcorn, chicken with bone, pizza crust, and nuts.
    3. Also stay away from foods high in sugar to reduce your chance of tooth day.
    4. If you are in Invisalign or wearing your clear retainers, never eat or drink anything other than water to prevent very harmful and rapid tooth decay.
    5. You can eat foods such as soft breads, milk, cheese, yogurt, broccoli, melons, soft meats, steamed vegetables, and even an occasional ice cream. Be sure to chop up foods such as apples and carrots to prevent breaking your brackets.
  3. Brushing and flossing: Tips for taking care of your pearly whites! 
    1. Brushing and flossing is always important, but even more so when you have braces. Food that accumulates around your brackets can quickly cause white spots. These spots can be thought of as permanent scars on your teeth!
    2. Be sure to brush morning, night, and after eating any meal to best take care of your teeth. A soft bristle brush, fluoridated toothpaste, and floss/floss threader is all you need. You can also use products like Platypus Orthodontic Flossers to make your job even easier!
    3. Be sure to set aside plenty of time to do a good job. Brush in small circles at the gum line, on the bracket, and at the edges of the teeth. Most people forget to brush at the gum line… be sure to remember this area!
    4. Use floss and a floss threader to gently clean between teeth, around the brackets, and below the gum line. Platypus Orthodontic Flossers can be used if you find it difficult to use the floss/threader technique.
    5. Finally—check your work! Make sure that you don’t see any food, plaque, or build-up around the teeth. If you do, clean it again.
  4. Emergencies: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure! 
    1. Orthodontic appliances like brackets are bonded to the teeth. Anything that your dentist bonds to the teeth can come off! In fact, braces are meant to be easily removed so that teeth aren’t damaged when the brackets are taken off. With this in mind, you must do your part to prevent broken appliances which can lead to emergencies and increased treatment time.
    2. A broken bracket is generally not painful and does not need to be seen as an emergency unless it is causing pain. However, it is something that can slow your treatment. If you have a broken bracket, just give us a call so we can determine how quickly you need to be seen.
    3. Wires may often appear to “grow” longer at the ends as your treatment progresses, especially as space between teeth is being closed. This is normal and a good thing as it means teeth are moving. If a wire is irritating you, try pushing it back gently with a pencil eraser. If this is not helpful, place a small piece of dental wax on the wire. If this does not work, give us a call for an appointment.
  5. Retainers: Yes, you have to wear them! 
    1. When your treatment is complete, it is critical to wear your retainer as indicated by your orthodontist. If you don’t the teeth will move back!
    2. Be sure to take good care of your retainer by gently brushing them daily, keeping them away from heat, keeping them out of reach of pets, and always storing them in a case.
    3. Do not wear your retainer while eating or while drinking anything other than water.
    4. If you lose, damage, crack, or have any concerns regarding your retainer, call us to schedule a visit to check on it. This also applies to a retainer that becomes loose, tight, or no longer fits.