Caring for your appliance
True orthodontic emergencies are rare, but when they occur we are available to you. As a general rule, you should call our office when you experience severe pain or have a painful appliance problem you can’t take care of yourself. We’ll be able to schedule an appointment to resolve the problem.
You might be surprised to learn that you may be able to solve many problems yourself temporarily until you can get to our office. If there is a loose piece that you can remove, put it in a plastic bag or envelope and bring it with you to your next appointment. If your braces are poking you, put soft wax on the piece that’s sticking out. If the wire has slid to one side, you can pull it back to the other side with needle-nosed pliers, replacing it in the tube on the back tooth.
After alleviating your discomfort, it is very important that you still call our office as soon as possible to schedule a time to repair the problem. Allowing your appliance to remain damaged for an extended period of time may result in disruptions to your treatment plan.
– Wear your retainer at all times, until the doctor instructs otherwise.
– Take your retainer out when eating, and always put it back in its case! (Most appliances are lost in school lunchrooms or restaurants.)
– Clean the retainer thoroughly with a toothbrush and water. Use warm but not hot water.
– Brushing retainers removes the plaque, and eliminates odors. Efferdent® or other orthodontic appliance cleaners can be used but do not take the place of brushing.
– When your retainer is not in your mouth, it should ALWAYS be in its case. Pets love to chew on them!
– Initially, you may find it difficult to speak. Practice speaking, reading, or singing out loud to get used to it faster.
– Retainers are breakable, so treat yours with care. If your retainer gets lost or broken, call us immediately.
– If you have any questions or concerns about your retainer, or you believe it needs adjusting, call us. Do not try to adjust it yourself.
– Always bring your retainer to your appointments.
– Retainer replacements are expensive, but with proper care they will last for years!
– Remove your retainer when you go swimming.
– Keep retainers away from hot water, hot car dashboards, pockets, the washing machine, and napkins.
Proper brushing and flossing instructions
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 orthodontic 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 with Braces
Brush your teeth for two minutes after every meal with a soft-bristled, small-headed toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. As an alternative, you can use a powered toothbrush to increase your brushing effectiveness. Brush the outside and inside surfaces of your teeth using small, gentle, circular motions while positioning the head of the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gum line. Brush your teeth’s chewing surfaces and the inside surface of your front teeth using short, gentle, back-and-forth motions. Pay close attention to the areas around your brackets or other appliances.
Flossing with Braces
Flossing after every meal will help keep your teeth and braces clean, which will also help keep your treatment time on track. To floss with braces, use a floss threader or special orthodontic floss to thread the floss behind each wire. Wrap the ends of the floss around your pointer fingers of both hands, leaving a few inches of taut floss between them. Gently slide the floss between each set of teeth using a back and forth motion. Floss the sides of each tooth beneath the gum line to remove plaque and food particles. Repeat this process until you’ve flossed all of your teeth. If you find that your floss is not removing all of the food particles between your teeth and around your braces, ask us about a water flosser!
When you get your braces on, you may feel general soreness in your mouth, and teeth may be tender to biting pressures for three to five days. Stick to a soft diet until your teeth do not hurt to chewing. Irritated gums and other sore spots can be relieved by rinsing your mouth with a warm salt-water mouthwash. Dissolve one teaspoonful of salt in eight ounces of warm water, and rinse your mouth vigorously. An alternative (better tasting) mouthwash is the Healthy Gums Rinse by The Natural Dentist. Placing Orabase on the affected area may also help relieve discomfort; Orabase can be found in a pharmacy. If the tenderness is severe, take Acetaminophen (Tylenol) or whatever you normally take for headache or similar pain. Aspirin, Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) and Naproxen Sodium (Naprosyn, Anaprox) actually slow the tooth movement, so it is not advisable to use them frequently while wearing braces.
The lips, cheeks, and tongue may become irritated for one to two weeks as they learn a new posture and become accustomed to the surface of the braces. You can put wax on the braces to lessen this. We’ll show you how!
If your appliance is poking you, place wax on the offending part.
If your bracket or band is still attached to the wire, you should leave it in place and put wax on it if needed for comfort. If the bracket or band can be removed easily, place it in an envelope and save it to bring to your next appointment.
Using a pair of tweezers or needle-nosed pliers, try to put your wire back into place. It is okay to use a piece of floss to tie the wire into place: tie the floss around the bracket in place of the missing colored o-ring. If you cannot put the wire into a comfortable position, and covering the end with wax doesn’t help, as a last resort use a small fingernail clipper to clip the wire behind the last tooth to which it is securely fastened. If the end of the wire is still sharp place wax on it.
Using a pencil eraser, push the poking wire down or place wax on it so that it is no longer poking.
Eating with braces
Don’t worry, you’ll be eating popcorn and snacking on potato chips again in no time! However, before you can start enjoying some of the treats you love, you will need to take special care to avoid any foods that could damage your new appliances.
Foods to avoid with braces
– Chewy foods — bagels, licorice
– Crunchy foods — popcorn, chips, ice
– Sticky foods — caramel or any sticky candies, chewing gum, granola bars
– Hard foods — nuts, hard candies
– Foods that require biting into — corn on the cob, apples, carrots
Foods you CAN eat with braces
– Dairy — soft cheese, pudding, milk-based drinks
– Breads — soft tortillas, pancakes, muffins without nuts
– Grains — pasta, soft cooked rice
– Meats/poultry — soft cooked chicken, meatballs, lunch meats
– Seafood — tuna, salmon, crab cakes
– Vegetables — mashed potatoes, steamed spinach, beans
– Fruits — applesauce, bananas, fruit juice
– Treats — ice cream without nuts, milkshakes, Jell-O, soft cake
Schedule Your FREE Consultation Today!
Contact one of our offices (Saint John / Rothesay) to schedule your initial consultation and begin your transformation to a beautiful smile.Free Consult *No Referral Required
All staff are so friendly and welcoming, were very patient with all my questions and calmed my fears of my upcoming surgery — so supportive! Their great sense of humour and caring attitudes made my visit so much easier — thanks so much
Dr. Stanley and the staff are so kind and amazing at what they do. I brought my 8 year old daughter there for a palatal expander and she was nervous heading into the appointment. Everyone was so warm and welcoming and they actually spoke to my daughter and showed a real interest in her. Dr. Stanley and the staff were extremely patient and explained everything so I left with a true understanding of the process and what to expect. I am very happy and will be recommending them to family and friends.
Amazing treatment and fantastic customer service skills. Staff are always friendly and a joy to talk to. Not a negative thing to say about this company! Their service really speaks for its self! #lovemysmile