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.
What to Do in Case of Emergency
Call our office as soon as possible if you break or loosen any of your appliances. Please do not come directly to the office.
Loose Brackets or Bands
Call our office immediately for advice if a bracket or wire is loosened. The bracket may need to be fixed soon as possible. You may have a situation that requires cutting a wire or sliding a bracket off a wire at night or over the weekend. If you need to cut a wire in case of emergency, you may use fingernail clippers that have been washed and sterilized in alcohol. Please call our office the next business day, so that we may schedule an appointment for you.
Sometimes discomfort caused by a wire on your braces can be resolved by moving the wire away from the irritated area with a cotton swab or eraser. If the wire will not move, try covering the end of it with a small piece of cotton or a small amount of wax. If the wire is painful, you can cut it with nail clippers or scissors that have been washed and sterilized in alcohol. If you cannot resolve the wire irritation, call our office for an appointment.
Do not worry about losing a separator, but call our office to see if it needs to be replaced.
FOODS TO AVOID:
Potential Harm to Your Braces
Braces are attached to your teeth with an adhesive that normally will withstand the forces of eating. However, braces can be dislodged and wires bent or broken while eating certain foods.
Foods that are appealing, but dangerous during orthodontic treatment:
Chewing ice will destroy your braces.
Sticky food or candy of any kind (taffy, caramels, Tootsie Rolls, Gummy Bears, Now and Laters) damage appliances by bending wires and pulling cement loose.
Hard food or candy of any kind (Jolly Ranchers, pizza crust, hard pretzels, beef jerky, Doritos, Fritos, Cornuts, raw carrots, nuts) may do damage by bending wires, loosening cement under the bands or breaking the little brackets and tubes that are attached.
Foods high in sugar content (cake, cookies, ice cream) should be avoided whenever possible. If you do eat them, brush your teeth immediately. If it is not convenient to brush, then always rinse your mouth with clear water after eating sweet foods.