Helpful Hints For Your First Weeks In Braces

Wax - If irritations develop on the insides of the lips, cheeks or on the gum tissue, apply wax to cover the parts of the braces which are causing the soreness. Your mouth will “toughen up” over time and the need to use wax will decrease.

Discomfort - If there is a general soreness of the teeth because they are being moved, we suggest taking an over the counter pain reliever (i.e. Advil, Tylenol), whichever you find helps the most in relieving the discomfort.

What To Do If You Have Loose Or Broken Braces

Brackets - Which are cemented directly onto the tooth surface occasionally will become loose. Please call our office to schedule a time to recement the bracket. Repairs require more time and are done before 2:00 PM. Please bring the bracket with you if it is off the wire.

Molar Bands – Thin rings of metal may be cemented around your first molars. If a molar band becomes loose, please call our office for an appointment to have the band recemented. Please bring the band with you if it has fallen off completely.

Main Arch Wires - The tracks along which your teeth will move. Your teeth will not move and your treatment will not progress if your arch wire is broken or removed. The main arch wires will be continually changed throughout treatment to keep teeth moving into their proper positions.

Elastics - Small rubber bands of various sizes that are hooked between different points on the braces to provide pres- sure to move the teeth. The length of treatment and the quality of the end result will be greatly influenced by how well they are worn. The elastics must be worn 24 Hours a day (except eating and brushing) and changed daily. Always Carry Extra Elastics With You. If you are running low on your supply of elastics, please call us. We will be happy to mail some to you, or you can stop by the office.

Successful Treatment Depends On You

Toothbrushing - Brush and floss your teeth at least three times a day if possible, immediately after each meal. It is also recommended that you brush at school. We will demonstrate proper hygiene when your braces are placed.

Fluoride Rinse – In order to avoid cavities while wearing braces, it is essential that a fluoride rinse be used daily. We recommend Phos-flur.

Headgear - If a headgear has been prescribed for you, the length of treatment and the quality of the end result will be greatly influenced by how well it is worn. The headgear must be worn 12 - 14 HOURS A Day. It should be worn during sleep and other “quiet time”. It should not be worn during physical activities and does not have to be worn to school. Your headgear needs to be adjusted continually, so please bring it with you to each appointment.

Eating Habits - Stay away from foods that are Hard, Sticky, Or Chewy. They will cause breakage, bending or loosening of the various parts of your braces. Positively No Chewing Gum!

Examples:

HARD: whole nuts, peanuts, ice, popcorn, hard pretzels, hard candy, corn on the cob, corn chips, and tortillas

Sticky: peanut brittle, cracker jacks, taffy, caramels, butterscotch, sugar daddies, chewing gum of any kind (not even FREEDENT), fruit roll-ups.

Chewy: gum, bubble gum, licorice, jelly beans, gummy bears

Note: Apples, carrots, celery and other hard or crunchy fruits or vegetables should be cut into small bite size pieces. Also, chewy breads, bagels and pizza should be cut up into bite size pieces.

Appointments - It is very important to the success of treatment that regularly scheduled appointments are kept. Broken or Cancelled appointments result in longer treatment time. If you are unable to keep an appointment, 24 Hours notice is appreciated. When you do not notify us, another patient in need and waiting for an appointment is prevented from receiving treatment.

Reminder calls and e-mails are a courtesy we extend to patients, and patients should not rely on this service as the primary method of appointment reminders. It is your responsibility to schedule all follow-up appointments. in most cases, Dr. Varallo sees every patient once every 4-8 weeks. If you have not had a follow-up appointment in more than 8 weeks, it is extremely important that you contact the office to be sure you have a follow-up appointment scheduled.

Swollen Sore Gums - Indicate that an Infection has developed because the teeth and gums have not been properly cleaned. it is very important that patients continually follow our oral hygiene instructions (brushing and flossing). Warm salt water rinses (1 teaspoon of salt to 1 glass of warm water) will help heal the infected tissue.

Length Of Treatment

The average treatment time is between two and three years. The amount of time in braces is affected by the following:

  1. severity of the problem
  2. patient cooperation in wearing headgear, elastic bands, and other appliances as prescribed, and
  3. keeping scheduled appointments.

Please Note: Braces DO NOT cause cavities or white spots on your teeth. Poor brushing and flossing habits combined with too many “sweets” DO cause cavities. Keep your teeth and gums clean and cut down on the soda and candy.

Continue To See Your Family Dentist For Regular Check-Ups Every Six Months.

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