Home Care

Your orthodontic braces will only be effective if you follow proper maintenance. Proper care helps ensure you’ll need to make fewer visits to the office, your braces will last longer, and you’ll enjoy healthier teeth, after the braces are removed. “Smile, sunshine is good for your teeth.”

Your orthodontic braces will only be effective if you follow proper maintenance. Proper care helps ensure you’ll need to make fewer visits to the office, your braces will last longer, and you’ll enjoy healthier teeth, after the braces are removed.

Oral Hygiene

Braces make it more difficult to fully clean your teeth and gums. Food lodges between your teeth, requiring careful brushing and flossing. It’s imperative you brush after every meal and snack because any plaque left behind will create a permanent white spot on the surface of your tooth.

A soft toothbrush is your best bet. Brush in small circles, using a steady pressure at a 45-degree angle. Make sure you replace your brush when the bristles begin to fray. Electric tooth brushes also are an excellent option.

Daily flossing is an absolute must. Waterpiks can be helpful, but they won’t remove plaque as thoroughly as regular flossing.

Interdental Toothbrushes

Interdental brushes are an excellent way to clean between your teeth and keep your gums healthy. Make sure you clean both underneath and around your braces. Interdental brushes must be used carefully to avoid damage to brace wires.

Antibacterial Mouthwashes

Hydrogen-peroxide mouth rinses help reduce the inflammation to your cheeks and gums that may be caused by orthodontic braces. Rinses also help prevent infection of these areas; reduce irritation; and heal scrapes, canker sores, cheek bites and other temporary injuries related to braces.

Flouride

Sodium-fluoride gels help prevent tooth decay by killing bacteria between your teeth. They also replace the tooth-enamel minerals that can erode when teeth are exposed to harmful acids. Topical fluorides are best used at bedtime. Make sure you carefully follow the product instructions.

Proper Eating Habits

Avoid eating various foods to prevent the risk of breaking the brackets and wires of your braces.

In particular, you should avoid:

  • Sticky foods and candies
  • Hard foods and breads
  • Nuts
  • Popcorn
  • Chips and pretzels
  • Carbonated drinks
  • Hard, uncooked fruits and vegetables, unless cut into small pieces
  • A minimum of sugary foods and drinks

Weekly Braces Check

Check your braces weekly for any loose or bent wires and brackets. You’ll need to visit Dr. Michael if you find these or any other problems. Explain the problem in detail to our receptionist.

Caring for Your Appliance

Your removable appliance has been tailored to your specific situation. Remember to always wear it as instructed. Your appliance can be removed when you eat, swim or play a physical sport. When you begin using your appliance, your teeth may be sore and you may experience difficulties with speech. These problems should disappear after two or three days.

Don’t “flip” your appliance with your tongue as it can break the appliance or damage your teeth. Call our office to have your appliance adjusted if a sore spot develops on your gums.

It’s best to brush and soak your removable appliance daily so food particles and plaque won’t accumulate. Make sure you carefully clean wires and the surrounding area, if you have a bonded wire retainer fitted at the back of your teeth. Any standard, denture-cleaning product will do the trick.

If your appliance isn’t in your mouth, keep it stored in its plastic case, away from any heat source. Dogs and cats love chewing on appliances, so keep yours out of their reach. Don’t boil or sterilize your retainer. If you desire, we can disinfect your appliance for you.

Keep in mind you’ll be charged extra for any lost or broken appliance.

Sore Teeth

It’s normal to experience some soreness for two or three days after you receive your braces. Your cheeks and tongue may be irritated. Standard pain relievers such as Tylenol or Advil will help reduce any discomfort.

Call us for an appointment if you feel a sharp piece poking you or develop any sores.

Elastic Bands

Elastics attach to your braces provide the tension necessary for moving your teeth. Elastics will only work if you wear them all the time and change them each day.

Remember:

  • Remove the elastics only when you brush your teeth
  • Always carry extra elastics to replace any that break
  • Don’t double up on elastics the next day if you forgot to wear them the previous day
  • Worn elastics aren’t effective. Change them as instructed, even if they’re not broken

Call our office if your elastics break frequently, a band or wire becomes loose, or a hook entirely breaks off. These problems need to be corrected immediately.