What To Do If I Have Problems With My Braces Or Something Breaks?
If a wire or a bracket comes loose… First, call our office to see if the bracket needs to be refitted, and we will advise you of the proper steps to take. If you have a situation where you must cut the wire or slide a bracket off the wire, you may use fingernail clippers that have been washed and sterilized in alcohol. Please call our office on the next business day to see if you need to schedule a repair appointment.
Do Braces Require More Brushing Or Flossing?
The only difference that braces call for, in terms of added care, is in verifying that plaque is removed between the brackets and the gum line, because this is where debris tends to aggregate more than if no brackets were present. Inadequate cleansing near and under the gum line (due to poor brushing and flossing) can invite a higher probability of gum inflammation that could require special attention by your general dentist or even a gum specialist (periodontist) during orthodontic care. Also, decalcifications, or discolored “scarring” of the enamel could require your family dentist to have to restore damaged enamel after braces are removed. All other guidelines for brushing and flossing are the same as without braces on. We will review all the tricks of maintaining the health of your teeth at the initial stage of orthodontic care and all throughout your treatment, when needed.
What About Dental Care With Braces On?
Having braces on does not lessen the importance of seeing your regular dentist. 6-month check-ups with your dentist during orthodontic care are considered a minimum frequency of visits, sometimes even every 4 months, depending one one’s individual situation.
What To Eat With Braces?
When we place your braces on, we will review with you the do’s and don’ts of eating with braces on. For the most part, what to eat is common sense. Braces are attached to the teeth by relatively strong composite adhesive. However, biting down on really hard things (Jolly Ranchers, Now or Laters, ice cubes, pencils, nuts, etc. will tend to break brackets off your teeth and cause extra appointments. The worst part about breaking brackets is that treatment progresses too slowly in that we usually have to go backwards for some time with smaller wire sizes to accommodate a newly positioned bracket. Whenever we go backwards, it’s like missing your exit on the freeway: for each mile you drive too far in the wrong direction, you’re actually adding 2 miles to the journey. Most cases that finish later than expected involve broken brackets and lack of attention to detail in other regards.
What About Sports And Musical Instruments With Braces?
With contact sports, wearing a sports guard is advised, even without braces on. Wearing braces, without a night guard, carries the normal risk of teeth being injured from heavy contact, and also of brackets embedding in the lip or cheek. Playing woodwind or brass musical instruments 30 to 60 minutes a day can require minor adaptation at first, but it becomes almost normal thereafter. If, however, woodwind or brass instruments are, on average, played in excess of 2 to 3 hours a day, braces may become a hindrance to comfort and mastery of your playing.
Teeth will feel as though they are somewhat looser when braces are on. This is due to the cellular activity in the bone that allows your teeth to move. It is part of the process and the teeth will re-tighten within 1-2 weeks after your braces are removed.
Do Braces Hurt?
Generally, mild pressure can be felt for a day or two after adjustments. Ibuprofen or Tylenol can be taken to offset any mild discomfort. Also, it can take a few days for the mouth to adapt to the feel of new braces. Overall, braces are not usually a source of significant discomfort. Wax can be placed over the edges of the new brackets to lessen discomfort to tissues within the mouth until these tissues adjust to the brackets, which usually only takes a few days.