You are now on your way to a gorgeous smile! We hope to change your life forever with possibilities and opportunities presenting themselves as you smile fully and confidently!
Playing Sports with Braces
Game, Set, Match – we have great news for athletes! You can still play sports even while undergoing orthodontic treatment! If you do play sports, it’s recommended that you wear a mouthguard in order to protect your teeth and your appliance. Let your doctor know if you need help finding the right mouthguard for the best protection.
In case of a sports emergency, be sure to immediately check your mouth and your appliance for any damage that may have occurred. If you notice any loose teeth, or if your appliance has been damaged, please contact our office right away. You can temporarily relieve the discomfort with wax or by rinsing your mouth with warm saltwater.
Parts of Braces
WHAT ARE THESE THINGS FOR?
Parts of Braces Video
Retainers may be removable or fixed. They hold your teeth in their new, correct positions after your teeth have been straightened. Your orthodontist will instruct you on how to care for your retainer and about the duration of the wear. Wearing your retainer as directed is crucial to prevent regression of your treatment.
Separators or Spacers
Separators are little rubber doughnuts that may be placed between your teeth to push them apart so that orthodontic bands may be placed during your next appointment. The separators will be removed before we place the bands. Separators do not mix well with sticky foods, toothpicks, or floss.
AKA – Speed bumps or bite blocks. These can be annoying but in conjunction with your diligence in wearing rubber bands, will speed treatment faster. They also prevent you from biting down on lower braces to help in breakage of brackets. We usually place two, but you at least need one. So if one breaks then alarm, we can repair it at the next appointment. Just know it will be difficult to eat at first, that’s normal. Cut things into smaller pieces. Remember they are temporary, the separate the teeth to “unblock” the bite from the opposing teeth which allows them to move easier and faster.
When you first get your braces the wire is a starting wire that is very flexible. You’ll notice the wire curled and tucked away from your cheek to prevent the wire from flexing out of the back bracket.
The palatal expander expands (or widens) your upper jaw by putting gentle pressure on molars each time an adjustment is made. orthodontist will instruct you about when and how to adjust expander. achieve the desired expansion, wear appliance for several months solidify expansion prevent regression.
Additional Video Resources
The braces you are wearing will allow us to move your teeth so that they will look better and work (chew) more effectively, but, they need to be cared for so they will do their job in the quickest and most pleasant way. If you will follow these rules faithfully, you will avoid problems that could affect the speed of your treatment and improve the final result.
Do’s and Don’ts for Food Eating
HARD FOODS can break your braces off or bend some wires. If you would like to enjoy raw carrots, etc, please cut them into thin sticks. If you must have ice in your mouth, use small chips, not cubes and avoid chewing them. Cut meat from bones so as not to pop brackets off when biting into ribs and such. Just use good common sense…the following is just a start:
GUM CHEWING with sugar-free gum is fine, but stay away from bubble-gum (keep to half a stick please).
STICKY FOODS…please refrain from chewing. This may pull the brackets off and slow down treatment. This rule pertains to gooey and sticky treats or foods such as taffy, Now and Laters and Sugar Daddys.
SUGARY AND ACIDIC DRINKS (GATORADE AND SODAS)…Acid, sugar, and carbonation are harmful to the enamel on your teeth.
Food Eating Guide
Pasta (spaghetti, lasagna, macaroni & cheese)
Eggs (omelet, scrambled, Quiche)
Cheese (hard & soft, cottage cheese, blitzes, cheese cubes)
Yogurt, Rice, Potatoes, Salad (tuna, salmon, egg)
Canned or Soft Fruit
Cereals (cold oatmeal)
Soft Meats and Poultry
Brushing Your Teeth with Braces
When you have braces it’s very important to brush and floss after every meal in order to keep your teeth and gums healthy throughout your treatment. If you need help choosing the right toothbrush, toothpaste, and dental floss, please ask us and we can help you choose the right products for your teeth and your appliance.
Brushing your teeth is the single most important thing you can do to enhance your orthodontic experience. If done correctly, you will be much more comfortable throughout your entire treatment. Proper brushing technique will help to prevent gingivitis, bleeding of the gums, periodontitis, (gum and bone disease), decalcification, (irreversible white stains on teeth), and cavities.
Some tips before you begin:
Select a soft or extra-soft tooth brush.
Use a toothpaste containing Fluoride.
Plan to spend at least TWO to FIVE (2-5) minutes brushing.
Plan to brush AT LEAST FOUR-FIVE Plus (4 or 5+) times per day after ALL meals and snacks and before bed.
Bacteria can live on every surface in your mouth, including your orthodontic appliances. Here is the most effective technique to ensure you maintain proper dental/orthodontic health during your treatment (for this example, we chose to start on the lower, however, you may start on the upper):
Brush your lower gums from one side all the way to the other side.
Angle the brush up from below the lower brackets, (braces), and brush the bottom of each and every brace.
Face the toothbrush against the “outside” surface of the braces and brush each individual bracket in a circular motion.
Angle the brush down from above the braces and brush the top of each bracket.
Now brush the biting surfaces of your teeth from one side all the way to the other, and remember, there may be more teeth than braces in your mouth, so don’t forget to go all the way back.
Brush the tongue side of the teeth.
Repeat this process for the upper teeth!
Brush the roof of your mouth and your tongue.
Look in the mirror and check to see if there is any food, plaque or debris in, on or around the braces and/or your teeth; and if there is, then brush those areas again.
Flossing with Braces
Flossing while you have braces is incredibly important in the hygiene process. It will take significantly more time at first, but once the correct technique is learned, it isn’t much more difficult than without braces.
We recommend superfloss for flossing due to its superior design and ease of use. Superfloss has three sections per strand. There is a firm end, a “fuzzy” section and a standard floss section. The firm end allows you to easily thread the strand between the wire and the teeth. Once the floss is laced here, it is very easy to gently guide it back and forth between the contacts of the teeth and above or below the gum line with the standard floss section. Once you have flossed both teeth in one area, you must rethread the floss between the next set of adjacent teeth. The soft and “fuzzy” section is useful for grabbing plaque that is hiding behind the small crevices around the braces.
You should floss your teeth at least once per day for effective home care.