Information For New Orthodontic Patients
Teamwork between you, your orthodontist and the office staff is essential for the success of your treatment.
Please read this information carefully to learn how your home care and diet can help contribute to the timely completion of your treatment.
Please avoid hard, sticky foods and carbonated beverages while wearing braces.
- Raw carrots
- Pizza crust
- Hard bread crusts
- Hard candy
- Chewing gum
It is helpful to cut your food into small bite-size pieces. If you chew your food carefully and follow the food selection advice, your chance of broken or loose braces will be much less. Remember, there is an extra charge for repairs and the length of time you must wear your braces will need to be increased.
It is normal for your braces to cause some discomfort during the first few days after placement and for a few days after adjustment appointments. To increase your comfort it is helpful to do the following:
- Eat only soft foods for the first few days.
- Place wax over any part of the braces that is causing irritation.
- Use a warm saltwater rinse after brushing.
Good oral hygiene is very important while your braces. are in place. The braces themselves do not harm the teeth; however, much greater care must be exercised in flossing and brushing the teeth and gum tissues.
Soreness Caused From Braces and Appliances
When you first get your braces, you may notice that your teeth and mouth feel a little tender or sore. This is perfectly normal and we promise your mouth will not be sore forever! To relieve the pain, we recommend dissolving one teaspoon of salt in eight ounces of lukewarm water. Swish and gargle this solution in your mouth for just a couple of minutes (do not swallow the saltwater).
If the pain is more severe and does not go away after rinsing, you can also try taking a pain reliever. It is also not uncommon for your lips, cheeks, and tongue to become irritated for one to two weeks as they toughen and become used to the braces. We would be happy to give you some wax that you can put over the braces to lessen the tenderness. If you need some wax, please let us know.
If your teeth begin feeling a little loose, don't worry; this is normal! Your braces must first loosen your teeth to move them into the right position. Once your teeth have been repositioned, they will no longer be loose.
Loose Wires and Bands
The wires and bands on your braces may come loose. If this happens, please contact us as soon as possible so that we can check and repair your braces or appliance. If any piece of your appliance comes off, be sure to save it and bring it to the office with you.
If the loose wire is causing irritation to your lips or cheeks, put wax or a wet cotton ball over the broken wire to relieve the pain.
Take Care of Your Appliances
Damaged appliances can increase the length of your treatment process, so be sure to take care of all your appliances. Your teeth and jaw can only move into their correct positions if you consistently wear the rubber bands, headgear, retainer, or other appliances prescribed by your doctor.
Playing Sports With Braces
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 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 appliance for damage. If you notice any loose teeth or appliance damage, please contact our office right away. You can temporarily relieve the discomfort by applying wax or rinsing your mouth with warm saltwater.
APPOINTMENTS WITH YOUR GENERAL DENTIST
We require you to visit your dentist every six months while your braces are in place. It is your responsibility to schedule and keep these appointments.
We will try to arrange your appointments to accommodate your schedule. However, there will be times when we must schedule early appointments. School excuse slips will be provided for those patients missing school.
If you should experience severe pain, a loose band, a broken wire or other problem which you cannot take care of, please call the office and ask for an emergency appointment.
MISSED / CANCELLED APPOINTMENTS
Failure to keep a scheduled appointment may delay the progress of your treatment. We cannot always make another appointment for you on the same day of a cancellation. Appointment cancellation charges will apply if less than 48 hours notice is given to the office.
WE ARE HERE TO HELP
Please keep in mind that we are here to help you. If you need additional explanations about any phase of your treatment or the appliances you have been asked to wear, please call us. We want your orthodontic treatment to be a pleasant and enjoyable experience from your first visit to the completed smile!