Taking Care of Your Teeth With Braces

Taking care of your teeth is critical to building a healthy smile for life,especially while wearing braces. We’re here to help.

Our goal is to make your smile the most beautiful it can be through orthodontic treatment. In order to help us reach our goal for you, it’s critical that you take these steps to ensure your success. 

Care of Teeth
Make sure that you visit your family dentist every 6 months during your orthodontic treatment to keep your teeth healthy. We will report any cavities that we observe during treatment, but we cannot assume responsibility for necessary dental work that may occur.

Picture

Brushing
Patients are expected to brush their teeth at least 4 times a day. Brush after breakfast, after lunch with the portable toothbrush we provide, after dinner and before going to bed at night. Orthodontic bands have a tendency of collecting food, therefore, we request that at least 3 minutes be spent at each brushing (12 minutes per day). If you have a sonic toothbrush like those we recommend, the timer feature can help you maximize your brushing time. By following this brushing regimen, the gum tissue will remain healthy and the band material will remain sparkling bright, not tarnished. 

It is expected that the teeth and appliances be absolutely clean at all times. Since the health of the teeth and gums is not benefitted by last-minute scrubbing, it is requested that patients do not ask to brush their teeth in the office immediately before appointment time. Through experience it has been apparent that those that come to the office with clean teeth invariably have healthier mouths and usually attain a better orthodontic result. 

Causes of Tooth Decay
Orthodontic treatment does not cause decay, bu makes tooth brushing somewhat more difficult. Remember, sugar is the primary cause of tooth decay. For this reason, sweets should be avoided or their consumption very limited. Candy and other sugar containing foods and carbonated beverages are harmful. Carbonated beverages have a tendency of dissolving the cement we use to hold the bands in place. White spots (the beginning of decay) may appear on the teeth if any of the followoing conditions exist:
– Poor brushing, thus leaving food or plaque betweent he orthodontic bands and the gum tissue.
– Poor diet containting sweets.
– Drinking carbonated beverages causing the seal between the tooth and band to be dissolved away.

Picture

Care of Appliances
Though the bands we use are strong, they necessarily have to be thin to fit between teeth, therefore, a little caution and common sense will prevent unnecessary breakage. Here are some examples of hard, tough and sticky foods to watch out for and avoid if possible:
– Hard: Ice, candy, nuts and popcorn kernels
– Tough: Pizza crust, french bread, steak, cookies, brownies, whole raw carrots and whole crisp apples. (Apples are fine if sliced and chewed with the back teeth.)
– Sticky: Bubble gum, caramels, taffy, sugar daddies, tootsie rolls, etc.

If any part of the appliance should become loose or broken between visits, please inform us immediately to prevent irreparable damage from occurring. Additional charges may be made for any avoidable breakage of the appliance due to carelessness on the part of the patient.


Headgear
Patients may be asked to wear a headgear during treatment. Headgears are to be worn continually whenever possible during the day and during all evening and sleeping hours. The usual minimum is 14 hours per day. Faithful headgear wear not only shortens treatment time but gives a much nicer result.


Elastic Wear
Exact instructions will be given regarding the wearing of rubber band elastics. If your supply should run low, call or write our office and a new supply will be sent. We have found from experience that consistent wearing of these elastics s of utmost importance. The structure of the dentition is such that by failing to wear the elastics for just 1 hour, progress is set back approximately 1 full week.