CONGRATULATIONS! YOU ARE ON YOUR WAY TO A FANTASTIC SMILE!
Braces are a big investment in your smile, so make sure you take great care of them!
WILL MY BRACES HURT? Most patients notice some discomfort 24-48 hours after an appointment. This is because your teeth are moving. Any discomfort should subside within a few days. Any over the counter pain reliever can be used to help ease any discomfort (similar to what you would use for a headache). It has also been shown that chewing on a small stick of sugar-free gum also helps increase blood flow and healing to the area. We also give you orthodontic wax that you can place over the bracket in case the brackets feel like they are irritating the inside of your mouth.
HOW DO I KEEP MY BRACES CLEAN? It is very important to keep your teeth and gingiva (gums) clean during orthodontic treatment. Bacteria (dental plaque) often sticks to our teeth (especially by the gum line and between the teeth). Adding brackets to your teeth creates more surfaces that the bacteria can hang on to. This is why it is so important to brush your teeth regularly and as often as possible after eating.
Make sure to brush along the gums, in addition to the top, side and bottom of the brackets.
WHAT ELSE CAN I USE TO KEEP MY TEETH CLEAN?
Waterpiks are great products to help wash out food from around brackets. Think of them as small water guns to spray the food off your appliances. Also proxy brushes are useful for getting food out from behind the wire and are easy to carry with you. And lastly, flossing is important and we recommend using orthodontic flossers to help you easily floss under the wires.
DO CLEAN TEETH REALLY MOVE FASTER? We aren’t trying to trick you into cleaning your teeth (you should want to have nice fresh breath and clean shiny teeth!) but it is true that clean teeth move faster! Why? Plaque and bacteria cause gingival inflammation. Inflammation inhibits bone forming cells that are necessary for tooth movement. Inflammation also creates thicker and larger tissues that the tooth has to move through to straighten out. Inflammation can also cause recession and other periodontal problems that can require costly restorative work later.
WHAT ARE WHITE SPOTS? Bacteria in your mouth is an irritant and they create acids that can break down the enamel of the teeth. This can create areas of demineralization (often around a bracket where the bacteria is sitting) which show up as white areas on the teeth. Unfortunately they can not be removed without costly restorations.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I BREAK SOMETHING? Always call our office and keep us informed on how you and your braces are doing. We will let you know if you can wait until your next scheduled appointment or if you should come in sooner to have an adjustment made. Always place any pieces in an envelope and bring it in with you. Use the diagram below to help tell us what needs repair.
WHAT CAN I DO IF MY WIRE IS POKING ME? If the wire has come out of the last bracket, you can try to put it back into the tube by directing it with a tweezer. If the archwire has slid around to one side try using a tweezer to slide it back to it’s original position.
If the wire just seems to be long, first try putting some of the orthodontic wax on it. If that doesn’t work, you or a parent can cut the wire with a nail clipper at home. Cut the wire as far back as you can. If you can’t reach all the way to the back, cut in between two other brackets and pull the end piece of the wire out of the brackets. We will fix your wire at your next appointment.
If a smaller wire is poking you (not the main archwire), push the end of the wire toward your teeth with either your finger or pencil eraser. This will move the wire away from your lip or cheek. You can also put wax over the wire as well.
MOUTHGUARDS are recommended for patients involved in contact sports.
HOW CAN I GET MY BRACES OFF SOONER? There are four main ways to help get your orthodontic treatment completed as efficiently as possible:
- Keeping your appointments and being on time.
- Not breaking your appliances. Make sure you are following all of Dr. Najirad’s instructions on foods to avoid and how to take care of your braces.
- Wearing your elastics and appliances as instructed.
- Keeping your teeth and braces clean and healthy and seeing your general dentist for regular check-ups.
WHAT FOODS DO I HAVE TO AVOID WHILE I HAVE BRACES? Eating with braces is more about HOW you eat, rather than WHAT you eat. Remember to take smaller bites and chew a bit softer. Hard foods like apples, carrots, pizza crusts and bagels should be cut up or sliced and eaten on the back teeth. Avoid extremely hard things like nuts, hard candies, chewing on ice or pen caps. You should also stay away from really sticky foods like taffys, toffee and caramels. You can continue to eat most of the foods you love including soft gummies and sugar free bubble gum!
We will be happy to arrange a Free Consultation for you in order to get all the information you need to know