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Orthodontist FAQ’s

What are some things I should know about having braces?

  • Braces can be a bit uncomfortable at first, but you should get used to them within a few days.
  • You will need to brush and floss your teeth more often than usual to prevent cavities and gum disease.
  • You may need to avoid certain foods, such as hard, sticky, or chewy foods.
  • You will need to come in for regular checkups and adjustments.

What are some tips for taking care of my braces

  • Brush and floss your teeth at least twice a day.
  • Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste.
  • Floss between your teeth and around your braces using a water flosser or interdental brush.
  • Avoid chewing on hard, sticky, or chewy foods.
  • If you have any questions or concerns, talk to your orthodontist.

What are some common problems with braces?

  • Soreness: It is normal to feel some soreness after getting braces. This usually goes away within a few days.
  • Loose brackets: If a bracket comes loose, you should see your orthodontist as soon as possible.
  • Food stuck in braces: This can be a nuisance, but it is usually easy to remove with floss or a water flosser.
  • Irritated gums: If your gums are irritated, you can use a warm salt water rinse to help soothe them.

How long will I have to wear braces?

  • The length of time you need to wear braces varies depending on the severity of your malocclusion. However, most people wear braces for 1-2 years.

What happens after I get my braces off?

  • After your braces are off, you will need to wear a retainer to keep your teeth in place. You will usually wear a retainer for 1-2 years, but sometimes longer.

If you don’t come in for regular adjustments, your teeth may not move as planned. This could lead to a number of problems, including:

  • Your teeth may not straighten as much as you hoped.
  • Your teeth may relapse and become crooked again.
  • You may experience pain or discomfort.
  • You may be more likely to develop cavities or gum disease.

In some cases, not coming in for regular adjustments could even lead to the need for more invasive orthodontic treatment, such as jaw surgery.

That’s why it’s so important to come in for your regular orthodontic appointments, even if you’re feeling fine. Your orthodontist will be able to monitor your progress and make sure that your treatment is on track.

Here are some tips to help you remember your appointments:

  • Set a reminder on your phone or calendar.
  • Ask a parent or friend to help you remember.
  • Put your appointment on your school or work calendar.

If you know that you’re going to miss an appointment, be sure to call your orthodontist as soon as possible to reschedule.

By following these tips, you can help ensure that your orthodontic treatment is a success.

How long will treatment last?

The length of treatment is different for each patient because each patient has a unique problem. Your orthodontist will give you an estimated length of treatment.   Here are five tips to make your treatment go as quickly as possible:

  • Follow your orthodontist’s instructions on the frequency of brushing and flossing, and see your dentist for a professional cleaning at least every six months during orthodontic treatment, or more often if recommended.
  • Watch what you eat if you have braces. Stay away from hard, sticky, and crunchy foods. Opt for foods that are soft and easy to chew. If you have aligners, be sure to remove them before you eat or drink anything besides tap water, and put them back in after you’re done eating or drinking and you have thoroughly cleaned your teeth.
  • Beware of sugary, acidic soft drinks including regular and diet soda pop, fruit juices, fruit drinks and sports drinks. Tap water is recommended.
  • If prescribed, wear your elastics (rubber bands) as instructed.
  • Keep scheduled appointments with your orthodontist.

Will my braces set off the metal detectors in the airport?

  • You are cleared for takeoff – the lightweight materials used in braces will not affect metal detectors.
  • I lost my retainer. What should I do? Call your orthodontist right away to make arrangements for replacement retainers. Without retainers, there can be unwanted movement of teeth.

What should I do if I lose my elastics?

  • If you lose your elastics you should contact your orthodontist immediately. Do not wait until your next appointment. It’s important to consistently wear your elastics to get the results you want. A few days without elastics can set back your progress and prolong the entire process.
  • We also caution you against using any other non-prescribed rubber bands as a temporary solution. If they have not been approved by your orthodontist, they should not be put in your mouth.

Can I double up on elastics to get results faster?

  • Do not double up on elastics. We promise this will not move your teeth faster, in fact it may cause extreme discomfort and harm to your teeth and jaw. Each stage of your treatment has been precisely planned and designed specifically for you, to give you the best smile possible. Trust your orthodontist and the process.

Are elastics uncomfortable?

  • When you first start to wear elastics, you may experience some discomfort. This is normal, and should go away in a few days. Please do not remove the elastics to relieve the soreness, even for a short period of time. If elastics are not worn consistently, you will delay the treatment process and may prolong your discomfort. You can use over the counter pain relievers to help alleviate the soreness. 

How do I keep my retainer clean? 

  • If you’ve been fitted with a removable retainer, it’s easy to clean when you take it out. Your orthodontist will show you how. If your retainer is attached to your teeth, it’s important to brush thoroughly after meals and clean under the wire with dental floss at least once a day. Ask your orthodontist how to care for your fixed retainer. 

My retainer feels tight. Can I still wear it? 

  • As long as your retainer doesn’t hurt and still fits over your teeth, you can wear it – even if it feels tight. Your teeth may have slightly shifted, and you may need to wear your retainer longer each day to prevent your teeth from moving. 
  • Try wearing your retainer full-time for a few days to encourage your teeth to move back into their correct positions. If the retainer continues to feel uncomfortable, contact your orthodontist to determine the next steps.

How often should I wear my retainer?

  • Retainers are effective only if you faithfully follow your orthodontist’s instructions for wearing them. Wearing a retainer after your braces are removed is the best way to preserve that healthy, beautiful smile you worked so hard to get.

How often do I need to clean my mouthguard?

  • We recommend rinsing your mouth guard after use and storing it in a clean container. You should never toss your mouth guard loose in your gym bag with your dirty clothes and shoes. You should also make sure to deep clean it at least once a month.

Are mouthguards uncomfortable?

  • If you get a custom-fitted mouthguard, it should not be uncomfortable. Your orthodontist will make a mold of your teeth to ensure a snug fit. Store bought mouthguards are cheaper but can be very uncomfortable if they’re too big or too small for your mouth.

 Can you wear a mouthguard over braces?

  • Yes, in fact, we highly recommend that you wear a mouthguard over your braces. The mouthguard will be custom made to fit the mold of your braces for maximum comfort and protection. They are made of medical grade silicon and will adapt to changes in the mouth structure as teeth adjust, making them a worthwhile investment in your smile while wearing braces.