What do I need to know about my braces?
Congratulations on your decision to proceed with orthodontic treatment and taking the first step towards a new smile! Although there may be challenges along the way, we hope the benefits of a beautiful smile and healthy bite will make it all worthwhile.
To ensure your treatment proceeds as smoothly as possible, we have prepared the following guidelines to help you. It is important to remember that the first week or so will be the toughest part of the treatment as there are a number of things you will be experiencing and getting used to. The teeth will become tender as they begin to move. Many people find this initial movement the most uncomfortable part of the entire treatment; however, it will get easier as the treatment progresses. Normally, the tenderness lasts only a few days. Eating soft foods and using over the counter pain medication will assist you through this time.
Your lips are adapting to the feel of the brackets and may become sore. They will toughen up in time, much like your feet do after running around barefoot. If sores develop, use the wax to help with this transition.
Some people find their speech is affected. This lasts briefly and can be quickly overcome by reading out loud.
You may also find that there is more saliva in your mouth than normal. Again, as your body adapts to the braces, this will return to normal.
Avoid hard food as they weaken the bond holding the brackets to the teeth. This is especially important during the first two days after receiving braces.
- Wear your elastics as directed.
- Brush and floss regularly.
- Use a fluoride mouth rinse.
- Ensure your teeth are cleaned and examined regularly during treatment.
Call the office if anything comes off during treatment so we can schedule more time at your next orthodontic visit. This is to ensure we have time to re-cement the bracket during that visit. Save any pieces and bring them to the appointment.
Pre-book your next appointment(s) when you leave the office to ensure you are seen as close to the recommended time as possible.
If you have any other questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact us at 306-463-4661.
How do I clean my braces?
Step 1: Use a dry brush with a small amount of toothpaste. Place bristles where gums and teeth meet.
Step 2: Use circular, vibrating motions around the gum lines. 10 seconds on each tooth.
Step 3: Brush slowly, each tooth arch separately, on every tooth.
Step 4: Brush the lower teeth up and the upper teeth down. Brush your tongue and the roof of your mouth too!
Step 5: Carefully pull unwaxed floss between wire and braces. A floss threader may be helpful.
Step 6: Floss carefully around the braces.
Step 7: Floss carefully around the gum area.
Step 8: Floss carefully around each tooth.
What do I need to know about my ortho retainer?
Congratulations! You have now completed the hardest phase of your orthodontic treatment — the active phase — and have now begun the last and easiest phase – the retention phase. Not to be taken lightly, this phase is equally as important as the previous phase(s) of treatment and is absolutely essential in maintaining the results we have achieved.
Removable retainers are to be worn at all times – except for eating — for the first 12 months after your braces are removed. After twelve months of full time wear, your retainer should be worn at night. It is normal for teeth to move throughout one’s lifetime — regardless of whether you have or haven’t had orthodontic treatment – and wearing your retainer will minimize any unwanted shifting.
Fixed retainers, which are more commonly used on the lower teeth, are glued in. These are typically left in for three to five years. Flossing under your retainer is essential!
Your speech may initially be affected. This is transient and you will learn very quickly how to talk with your appliances. Reading out loud will help speed up the process.
You may initially find that you are salivating a lot. As your body gets used to the appliances, the salivary flow rate will return to normal.
Brush and floss regularly.
Have your teeth cleaned and examined regularly during retainer wear.
Although you may experience some tenderness, the appliances need to be comfortable. If a sore spot develops, please call the office so we can adjust the retainer.
Remember to brush your retainers each day when you brush your teeth. Use liquid hand soap and rinse it well after.
When you remove your retainers for eating, remember to put them in the case provided and somewhere safe. It is not recommended to put them in your lunch bag or wrapping them in a napkin, as this is the most common way retainers are lost and broken.
Dogs love retainers and will chew them; this is the second most common way appliances are damaged/destroyed. Keep your retainer out of Fido’s reach!
Am I too old to wear orthodontic braces?
This is a question that can only be answered by determining your own feelings and objectives. People are living longer and expecting a better quality of life. If the value of having and keeping straight teeth is important to you, then you should think about orthodontic treatment options. Tooth alignment can be changed at any age if your gums and bone structure are healthy.
More and more, adults are becoming educated about the benefits of straight teeth.
Straight teeth are easier to clean, and several studies have shown the link between heart disease and periodontal disease. It is easier to take care of your teeth (brushing, flossing, dental cleaning, etc.) when your teeth are straight and in alignment, so there truly is a benefit to having your teeth aligned and bite improved, at any age.
Orthodontic treatment at later stages in life can dramatically improve your personal appearance and self-esteem. Improving the health of your teeth and gums is equally important. Crooked teeth and a bad bite can contribute to gum and bone loss, tooth decay, abnormal wear of the tooth enamel and surfaces, headaches and jaw joint (TMJ/TMD) pain.
It is never too late to have a beautiful healthy smile. We see many adult patients who are embarking on a new career, have recently divorced and are “dating” again, or just feel they need a “juvenation”. Your smile may be one of your most important assets whether you are meeting new people or want to be sure you are at your best in all social situations. So is it worth it? Everyone will have to answer that question for themselves, but there is no doubt that a beautiful, healthy smile is priceless!