Orthodontic Care Instructions

Managing Life with Braces

Before you know it, (especially if you use Propel) you’ll be getting your braces off and getting used to your new smile! Until that wonderful day arrives, you can do two important things for your dental health. Take good care of your teeth and take good care of your braces!

Tooth and Gum Care with Braces

Taking good care of your teeth while you wear braces is essential. While a good routine of dental care may take a little longer now, the results will be long-lasting. Brush with a soft toothbrush. Brush gently. Brush more often, at least four times a day: morning, noon, evening and before bed. Carry your toothbrush and toothpaste with you. Use a travel kit if it helps you to remember this important task.

Flossing is possible with braces and should be done daily. Insert the floss behind the archwire and clean the sides of your teeth and under your gums with an up and down motion. Floss between each tooth every day. You can also use interdental brushes, although they miss where your teeth are close together.

Your Food and Drink Options with Braces

The “Don’t Even Think of It” List:

  • Gum, sugarless or otherwise;
  • Sticky foods like caramel apples, toffee, licorice, Gummy Bears®, Now and Laters®, Starbursts®, Sugar Daddies® (and Babies) Tootsie Rolls® and all other sticky candies;
  • Hard foods such as whole raw carrots and apples, nuts. popcorn, hard candy, corn-on-the-cob, pretzels, pizza crusts, jerky, ice and chips, such as Doritos®.

Eat and drink less:

  • Candy, ice cream, cookies, pie and foods with high sugar content;
  • Soda and drinks high in sugar.

Break the habits of:

  • Chewing on hard items like pencils, pens and your fingernails.

Care of your braces

  • Loose band or bracket — If the band or bracket is still attached to the wire, leave it in place. If it feels uncomfortable, put some dental wax on it. If it comes out completely, wrap the brace or bracket in a tissue and keep in a safe place for your next dental visit.
  • Loose wire — Try to put the wire back with tweezers. If that is not possible, clip the wire with fingernail clippers behind the last tooth to which it is securely fastened. If there is any discomfort, place wax on it.
  • Poking wire — Try pushing the wire down with a spoon or an eraser. If that’s not possible, place wax on it.
  • Lost tie-wire or elastic tie — Notify your dentist at your next appointment.
  • Soreness — Use a warm salt water rinse and/or Tylenol or Ibuprofren (avoid anti-inflammatories if you are using Propel treatment — consult your dentist if you have questions).
  • Headgear does not fit — This is sometimes caused by not wearing it as prescribed. If the face bow is bent call your orthodontist at once.
  • Loose appliance — If the appliance is sticking out or poking you, place wax on it.

If you feel a problem cannot wait until your next scheduled visit, please feel free to contact us via our website or at 916-538-6900.
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