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
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.
Flossing with Braces
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 taught 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. Water flossers are a great, safe and effective also for braces!
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.
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 chew. Irritated gums and other sore spots can be relieved by rinsing your mouth with a warm salt-water mouthwash. If the tenderness is severe, take Acetaminophen (Tylenol) or whatever you normally take for headache or similar pain.
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 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.
a pair of tweezers or needle-nosed pliers, try to put your wire back
into place. 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.
You've worked hard for your beautiful smile; keep it that way!
Finally, your active treatment is complete leaving your smile is beautiful and straight. To keep your smile looking its best, you'll have to wear retainers to preserve and stabilize your results. Retainers are used after braces treatment to hold teeth in their correct alignment while the surrounding gums, bone, and muscle adjust to the new positioning of your teeth. Retainers are forever, or as long as you want to keep your teeth straight, that is!
Types of Retainers
Retainers are custom-made and can be removable or fixed.
- Traditional removable retainers typically include a metal wire that surrounds the front teeth and is attached to an acrylic arch that sits in the roof of the mouth.
- Aligner-style (clear) retainers offer a more aesthetic alternative to wire retainers. This clear retainer will fit over the entire arch of your teeth.
- Fixed retainers consist of a wire bonded behind the upper front two teeth and / or the bottom front six teeth.
Pros and Cons
- Removable retainers can be taken out for eating and hygiene routines.
- Removable retainers can get lost easily, so remember to keep yours in the case whenever you remove it to eat or brush.
- Teeth with fixed retainers require a little extra attention to remove tartar while flossing. Patients with fixed retainers often must use floss threaders to pass dental floss through the small spaces between the retainer and the teeth.
- Fixed retainers also require attention to foods, you do not want to bite into hard things such as apples and carrots, putting too much pressure on the wire can cause it to come loose. Nothing is “permanent” it is securely bonded to your teeth but can become loose if not well taken care of.