Extra time is needed with toothbrushing to make sure that all areas around the braces have been cleaned properly. Specialized brush tips are available to help get in between the braces and under the wires. Floss-threaders are helpful in passing floss under archwires to facilitate flossing of the teeth. Oral irrigators are often helpful to dislodge food debris from around the ... Read more
The goal is to remove plaque from around the teeth and gums. It is the bacteria in plaque that is responsible for causing inflamed gum tissue (gingivitis), permanent scarring of enamel (decalcification), as well as tooth decay. Remember, braces don't cause these problems, they just make cleaning the teeth more difficult.
Avoiding hard, sticky, crunchy and chewy foods will also keep your braces intact and help to make your treatment flow smoothly.
The cost of orthodontic treatment will depend on many factors, including the severity of the problem, its complexity and the length of treatment. Your orthodontist will be glad to discuss the cost with you before treatment begins. Patients are finding that braces are more affordable today than ever. Most orthodontists have a variety of convenient payment plans. In addition, many dental insurance ... Read more
Orthodontic Emergencies and Other Problems Many common orthodontic “emergencies” can be handled easily at home. To help you accurately describe an emergency situation to the orthodontist, use the diagram at the end of this section, which illustrates and names each part of a typical set of braces. A list of supplies to keep on hand is also posted at the bottom of this section.
Clean the injured area and apply an ice pack to the effected soft tissue area to reduce swelling. Save the tip of the tooth (for possible reattachment) and call your dentist right away.
If the braces have come loose in any way, call the orthodontist to determine appropriate next steps. Save any pieces of your braces that break off and bring them with you to your repair appointment.
Sometimes new braces can be irritating to the mouth. A small amount of orthodontic wax makes an excellent buffer between the braces and lips, cheek or tongue. Simply pinch off a small piece and roll it into a ball the size of a small pea. Flatten the ball and place it completely over the area of the braces causing irritation. If possible, dry off the area first as the wax will stick better. The ... Read more
People who have mouth sores during orthodontic treatment may gain relief by applying a small amount of topical anesthetic (such as Orabase or Ora-Gel) directly to the sore area using a cotton swab. Reapply as needed.
It's normal to have discomfort for three to five days after braces or retainers are adjusted. Although temporary, it can make eating uncomfortable. Encourage soft foods. Have the patient rinse the mouth with warm salt water. Over-the-counter pain relievers, acetaminophen or ibuprofen, may be effective.
Tiny rubber bands known as alastic ligatures (see diagram), are often used to hold the archwire into the bracket or brace. If an alastic ligature is lost, contact the orthodontist, who can advise you whether the patient should be seen.
The same holds true for wire ligatures.
Potential causes – problems with lower jaw joint or swelling around the soft tissues in the mouth. Call your orthodontist or dentist and inform them of your symptoms.
This is not an emergency. It can be resolved with a piece of dental floss. Try tying a small knot in the middle of the floss to help remove the food. Or use an interproximal brush to dislodge food caught between teeth and braces.