About Your Braces | What YOU need to know

Now that you have your orthodontic appliances, remember to keep the following in mind:

1. Use wax to cover any edge or surface of your appliance that may irritate your lips, cheeks, or tongue.

2. Use Tylenol, Aspirin, or Advil (whatever you would usually take for headaches) in the usual dosage to control any discomfort that may occur. A period of discomfort lasting 24 to 48 hours after your appliance adjustments is normal and to be expected. The level of discomfort varies from individual to individual, however, you can expect the discomfort to be the approximate level of an average headache.

3. Cut your food into small pieces and chew carefully to avoid breaking, bending, or loosening your mouth appliances.

Click here to read more about eating habits.

4. Regularity in keeping your appointments is essential. Failed or broken appointments increase both treatment time and affect the quality of your orthodontic result.

5. Careful and thorough brushing after each meal and before bedtime is absolutely a must! Be sure to brush each tooth, and especially brush around your gum lines. In addition to brushing, be sure to use a fluoride rinse as prescribed.

Click here to read tooth brushing tips

6. Broken, loose, or lost appliances should be reported to the office immediately, so that arrangements can be made to replace or repair them.

7. Believe it or not, how well your follow the instructions given to you regarding the wearing of your orthodontic appliances when outside the office is just as important as your actual orthodontic appointment adjustments. The better you wear your appliances prescribed, the faster you can expect the treatment goals necessary for you to finish.

Click here to read more about applicance parts.

8. Pay special attention to what you eat, and how you eat it! Don’t eat or chew anything that you think may bend, break, or loosen your appliances. This includes such things as gum, chewy or hard candy, hard cookies or breads, bagels, nuts, apples, raw vegetables, corn on the cob, or any tough, hard, or stringy food. You may have cookies and cake if they’re not excessively chewy. Soft drinks may also be taken in moderation. Ice cream (without nuts or chewy candies inside) is also allowed. Remember to always brush after every snack and at bedtime!

9. Certain habits such as finger or thumb sucking, finger nail biting, or chewing on pen or pencil ends can cause a great deal of damage to your appliances and teeth, and compromise your treatment result. In the interest of your quality result and your overall dental health, any such habits must be avoided.

Click here to read about rubber bands.