During & After Orthodontics
Loose Wire, Brackets or Bands
Occasionally brackets break off, wires bend or bands loosen. If this happens to a front tooth bracket, leave it alone and call our office. It probably wont give you any problems. If this happens to a back tooth, use a wire cutter to clip the wire. If a portion of a wire or even the entire wire needs to be removed at home, do so. It will not severely effect the overall treatment and the wire will more than likely be replaced at the next appointment. If the wire is still poking, use some ortho wax to cover it until you can get in for an appointment. You can also use the wax to cover up brackets or hooks that may irritate your cheeks and lips. Roll the wax in a ball (to soften it) and place it on the bracket. Press and squeeze the wax to mold it. This will help the wax stay on. (Hint: Inhale air into your mouth to dry the area before placing the wax.)
Bands that loosen should eventually be re-cemented. Do not panic if brackets, bands, or wires come out of the mouth and are lost. They would not be re-used anyway.
Foods to Avoid
You need to stay away from sticky candies like taffy and caramel. (You may have soft caramel.) This means NO Tootsie Rolls, Laffy Taffy, Now and Laters, etc. You may have Gummy Bears if they are soft. You may chew gum as long as it is sugar-free. You should also avoid hard candy or lollipops unless you wont bite them. You should brush after sugary snacks. You should also avoid hard foods like thick pretzels, Combos, crusty breads and rolls (ask for soft sub rolls). Bagels should be sliced in half and cut into bite-size pieces. Fruits and raw vegetables should be cut into small pieces. You may eat popcorn as long as you floss after eating it. Please limit the amount of soda that you drink. Even though it doesnt contain sugar, diet soda contains acids that can damage tooth enamel. Also avoid sport drinks (like Gatorade) or energy drinks (such as Monster or Red Bull) as they can also contribute to tooth decay.
If you play sports, its important that you consult us for special precautions. A protective orthodontic mouthguard is advised for playing most contact sports. In case of any accident involving the face, check your mouth and the appliances immediately. If teeth are loosened or the appliance is damaged, phone at once for an appointment
Retainers After Treatment
The most important part of orthodontic treatment occurs when the braces are removed. You will receive retainers to be worn to retain the teeth in their new position. Our doctors believe that retainers are a lifetime commitment. This does not mean that you will have to wear your retainers every night for the rest of your life. Initially, we recommend 1 to 2 years of nightly retainer wear. This schedule can be reduced as time goes on but be prepared to wear your retainers through out your life time as needed because teeth have a memory and will try to return to their original position.