Patient Center



What to Expect


When you first get your braces you may notice your teeth and mouth feel a little sore. This is perfectly normal! Just like your legs get sore if you hike up a mountain, your teeth are sore because they are moving. In a couple days your body will get used to this new force and the discomfort will subside. The high tech nickel-titanium wires we use in our office are heat activated – so drinking or eating something cold relaxes the wires and truly will help limit discomfort. In addition to the force on the teeth, you may find your lips, cheeks and tongue become irritated for a week or two. This is also normal! Just like we get calluses on our hands and feet to help protect our skin there, your gums and cheeks need time to toughen and get used to the braces. When you get your braces on we will give you some orthodontic wax that you can put over the braces to protect your lips, cheek and tongue. If you ever need more, please ask!




Dental Care


During orthodontic treatment it is essential that you continue to visit your family dentist once every six months for your dental cleaning and check-up. In addition, with braces on brushing and flossing becomes even more important than before! Braces allow us to create amazing smiles, but they also offer a lot of surface area for plaque to become trapped. Brushing at least 2 times per day for 2 minutes each time (our 2×2 rule) will help keep your gums and pearly whites healthy during treatment. Dr. V and our team will work with you to ensure you understand the proper brushing technique to use during orthodontic treatment.


Dental Care

During orthodontic treatment it is essential that you continue to visit your family dentist once every six months for your dental cleaning and check-up. In addition, with braces on brushing and flossing becomes even more important than before! Braces allow us to create amazing smiles, but they also offer a lot of surface area for plaque to become trapped. Brushing at least 2 times per day for 2 minutes each time (our 2×2 rule) will help keep your gums and pearly whites healthy during treatment. Dr. V and our team will work with you to ensure you understand the proper brushing technique to use during orthodontic treatment.





Emergency Care


True emergencies in orthodontics are rare, but they do occur. Should a traumatic injury to the face or mouth occur during the course of orthodontic treatment don’t hesitate. Ice the area immediately and seek care from the nearest emergency room if necessary, and your general dentist as soon as possible. Even if in braces your general dentist should be your first contact as they have the necessary materials and anesthesia to treat injuries. If your orthodontic appliances are displaced we will also need to see you, after your major injuries are addressed. Should you experience severe pain due to your orthodontic appliances, contact our office and we will help you resolve the issue as soon as possible.

Sometimes during the course of treatment an appliance may become disturbed, and while not an emergency per say, it is something that needs to be addressed. Some of the more common issues we see in the office, and ways to address them, include:


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    Loose Bracket

    A loose bracket can typically be left in place until seen in the office. Call our office as soon as you recognize the issue and we will schedule you to reattach the loose appliance.

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    Irritation

    If a wire or bracket is irritating your mouth, try covering it with orthodontic wax and/or bending the wire away from the lips, tongue or gums.

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    Shifted Wire

    If a wire slides or breaks during treatment try sliding it back into place. If the wire is no longer engaged in all the brackets, please call our office so we can address the issue.

For both your convenience and the convenience of our other patients it is not possible to handle these emergencies on a walk in basis, please call our office and we will get you scheduled at a time convenient for you!





How Retainers are Worn

You will wear your retainer everyday for the first year, and see us for “retention check” appointments during this first year. At these appointments we will check your retainers and monitor your retainer wear. We will also continue to monitor the eruption of your wisdom teeth, if necessary. After your retainers can be worn passively and we don’t notice any movement in your teeth, you can cut back on the time you wear your retainer.!


Retention


Once orthodontic appliances are removed, all patients receive retainers to stabilize the teeth. The bone and tissues around each tooth need to strengthen for several months after the appliances are removed, and retainers help the teeth do this. Wearing the retainers is most important when you first get your appliances removed, however, because your body continues to change and your teeth continue to move throughout your entire life, orthodontic retention is also necessary for life. The extraordinary results you see once your orthodontic appliances are removed will last a lifetime if you understand the importance of retainers!



How to Care for your Retainers

  • Retainers should be kept in the case when not in your mouth, this will help keep them safe.
  • Retainers should be cleaned with warm water before you put them in and after you take them out of your mouth. Gentle cleaning with your tooth brush is sufficient for everyday cleaning, while a denture cleaning solution can be used every once and a while to help remove food, plaque or any debris on the retainers.
  • Retainers are made of a thermoplastic material sensitive to heat so they should not be cleaned with hot water nor should they be stored near heaters or in hot cars.
  • Dogs love retainers! Therefore, keep them away from your family pets as they love to chew them— don’t make your retainer their new toy!
  • Lastly, because retainers are worn for years and years, they will need periodic replacement, please keep this in mind.

Retention

Once orthodontic appliances are removed, all patients receive retainers to stabilize the teeth. The bone and tissues around each tooth need to strengthen for several months after the appliances are removed, and retainers help the teeth do this. Wearing the retainers is most important when you first get your appliances removed, however, because your body continues to change and your teeth continue to move throughout your entire life, orthodontic retention is also necessary for life. The extraordinary results you see once your orthodontic appliances are removed will last a lifetime if you understand the importance of retainers!



How Retainers are Worn

You will wear your retainer everyday for the first year, and see us for “retention check” appointments during this first year. At these appointments we will check your retainers and monitor your retainer wear. We will also continue to monitor the eruption of your wisdom teeth, if necessary. After your retainers can be worn passively and we don’t notice any movement in your teeth, you can cut back on the time you wear your retainer!

How to Care for your Retainers

  • Retainers should be kept in the case when not in your mouth, this will help keep them safe.
  • Retainers should be cleaned with warm water before you put them in and after you take them out of your mouth. Gentle cleaning with your tooth brush is sufficient for everyday cleaning, while a denture cleaning solution can be used every once and a while to help remove food, plaque or any debris on the retainers.
  • Retainers are made of a thermoplastic material sensitive to heat so they should not be cleaned with hot water nor should they be stored near heaters or in hot cars.
  • Dogs love retainers! Therefore, keep them away from your family pets as they love to chew them— don’t make your retainer their new toy!
  • Lastly, because retainers are worn for years and years, they will need periodic replacement, please keep this in mind.