Braces

The best way to ensure a clean andhealthy smile is brushing and flossing. Food particles can accumulate on teeth and in braces, and over time, turn into plaque. The bacteria that results from this accumulation can lead to gum disease, tooth decay and even loss of teeth. To avoid these problems while you are in orthodontic treatment, take special care of your braces, teeth and gums to ensure you will have the best possible result.

Brushing

Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and a small strip of fluoride toothpaste. When you brush your teeth, move the brush in small, circular motions to reach food particles that may be under your gum line. Hold the toothbrush at an angle and brush slowly and carefully, covering all areas between teeth, between braces and the surface of each tooth. It will take you several minutes to thoroughly brush your teeth. Brush up on the lower teeth, down on the upper teeth and the outside, inside and chewing surface of your front and back teeth. Brush your tongue and the roof of your mouth before you rinse.

Especially during orthodontic treatment, brush your teeth four times daily to avoid the accumulation of food particles in your teeth and braces:

  • In the morning after breakfast
  • After lunch or right after school
  • After supper
  • At bedtime

You will need to replace your toothbrush more often due to your appliances. As soon as the bristles start to wear down or fray, replace your toothbrush with a new one. It may be difficult for your toothbrush to reach some areas under your archwire. Do not swallow any toothpaste; rinse your mouth thoroughly with water after you finish brushing. It is important to floss and use an antibacterial mouthwash and fluoride treatment throughout your orthodontic treatment and beyond for optimal oral hygiene.

Flossing

For areas between the teeth that a toothbrush can’t reach, use dental floss to remove food particles and plaque. Flossing takes more time and patience when you are wearing braces, but it is important to floss your teeth every day.

Use the reusable floss threader provided by our office to floss under your archwire daily. Pull a small length of floss from the dispenser through the threader and slide it up and down along the front of each tooth. You will be able to feel when the tooth is clean and hear the squeak of the floss against your clean teeth. Use care around your archwire and do not floss too forcefully around it or put too much pressure on it. After you floss between your archwire and braces, floss between your other teeth and gums.

If you are flossing without the floss threader, pull a small length of floss from the dispenser. Wrap the ends of the floss tightly around your middle fingers. Guide the floss between all teeth to the gum line, pulling out food particles or plaque. Unwrap clean floss from around your fingers as you go, so that you have used the floss from beginning to end when you finish. Floss behind all of your back teeth.

Floss at night to make sure your teeth are clean before you go to bed. When you first begin flossing around your braces, your gums may bleed a little. If the bleeding does not go away after the first few times, inform a staff member at your next appointment.

Foods to Avoid

For most situations, common sense will tell you what to avoid. Hard foods, sticky foods and foods high in sugar must be avoided. Hard foods can break or damage wires and brackets. Sticky foods can get caught between brackets and wires. Minimize sugary foods; they cause tooth decay and related problems. Nail biting, pencil and pen chewing and chewing on foreign objects should be avoided.

Examples of Sticky Foods to Avoid:

  • Gum (sugar-free or regular)
  • Licorice
  • Sugar Daddies
  • Toffee
  • Tootsie Rolls
  • Caramels
  • Starburst

Examples of Hard Foods to Avoid:

  • Ice
  • Nuts
  • Hard taco shells
  • French bread crust/rolls
  • Corn on the cob
  • Apples and carrots (unless cut into small pieces)
  • Bagels
  • Chips
  • Jolly Ranchers
  • Pizza crust
  • Uncooked carrots (unless cut)
Minimize Sugary Foods like:

  • Cake
  • Ice Cream
  • Cookies
  • Pie
  • Candy

Only Once a Day:

  • Soda
  • Sweetened tea
  • Gatorade
  • Kool-Aid
  • Drinks with sugar

It’s important to regularly check your braces for bent or loose wires and brackets. In the event of a loose/broken wire or bracket, call our office immediately to arrange an appointment for repair.

• Type of Braces
• Metal braces
• Ceramic/Tooth Colored braces
• INVISALIGN
• Lingual Braces
• Jaw Surgery

Metal Braces

Traditional metal braces are the most common type of braces and are more comfortable today than ever before. Made of high-grade stainless steel, metal braces straighten your teeth using metal brackets and archwires. With metal braces, you have the option of adding colored elastics (rubber bands) for a more unique and colorful smile.
Ceramic/Tooth Colored Braces

 
• Clear/ Tooth colored braces offer an aesthetic and cosmetic alternative to the orthodontic patients. These braces are just like traditional metal braces with the exceptionthat the brackets are clear or tooth-colored, as opposed to metal therefore they are less visible. They are made of translucent (clear) material.
• Ceramic braces are used mainly on older teenagers and adult patients who have cosmetic concerns. While they are visually less prominent, they do require more attention to oral hygiene as ceramic braces are larger and are more brittle than their metal counterparts and the elastic ties can discolor between orthodontic visits. For these reasons, ceramic braces tend to be used more on the upper front teeth than on the lower teeth.

INVISALIGN

• The clear alternative to braces.
• Invisalign uses a series of clear aligners that are custom-molded to fit you. The virtually invisible aligners
gradually reposition your teeth into a smile you’ll be proud of.
• Your Invisalign treatment will consist of a series of aligners that you switch out about every two weeks. Each
aligner is individually manufactured with exact calculations to gradually shift your teeth into place. And since
your Invisalign system is custom-made for your teeth and your teeth only, with a plan devised by you and your
orthodontist, you know you’ll end up with a smile that truly fits.
• If you can’t standthe thought of braces, Invisalign may be a way to transform your smile without interfering with
your day-to-day life. Check out the benefits below:
-Customized-precise impressions and customized aligners are fabricated for your teeth.
-Removability-You can remove invisalign aligners to eat,drink,brush and floss or for special occasions.
-Comfort-With Invisalign the edges are smooth so they won’t irritate your gums or cheeks.
-Clarity-Invisalign is virtually invisible so hardly anyone will even know you’re straightening your teeth.

Lingual Braces

• Braces on the back of your teeth.
• You want… Your teeth straightened invisibly, too complex for Invisalign.
• Your choice: Lingual braces
• Making the decision for orthodontic treatment can be a difficult task. There are many options to consider.
• Lingual braces are a unique choice because patients can smile with confidence both during and after treatment. Placed on the back side of the teeth rather than on the front, lingual braces are completely hidden from view.
• They are customized to meet the unique orthodontic prescription of every patient. Customization can lead to a more convenient and comfortable treatment experience.
• These are useful for people who want invisible treatment, and whose problems are too severe for Invisalign.
• They do cost more than the other options, but are worth it for those who insist on absolutely invisible treatment.
• Great for:
-Adult professionals
-People who want to avoid damage to their front teeth
-People who are concerned about wearing braces that show
-Musicians who play wind instruments
-Adults and teens playing contact sports

Jaw Surgery

Corrective jaw surgery (orthognathic surgery) treats and corrects abnormalities of the facial bones, specifically the jaws and the teeth. Often, these abnormalities cause difficulty associated with chewing, talking, sleeping and other routine activities. Orthognathic surgery corrects these problems and, in conjunction with orthodontic treatment, will improve the overall appearance of the facial profile.
Orthognathic surgery may be unnecessary if orthodontic treatment can correct the problem. With the latest advances in orthodontics, this is sometimes the case. We will determine if orthognathic surgery is the correct treatment option for you.