We will always try to accomplish our treatment goals within as short a time as the nature of the orthodontic problem and the patient’s cooperation permits. Carefully following instructions allows a patient to minimize time wearing braces and to achieve the best results possible.
Good cooperation is important in successful orthodontics.
We will provide specific diet information when the appliances are placed. Most of the advice that we will give is common sense and involves the recommendation to avoid hard and sticky foods that may damage the appliances or bend the wire.
Proper cleaning and hygiene habits are of critical importance. We will demonstrate the proper cleaning techniques for supporting gum tissues. Keeping the mouth in a healthy condition during treatment is vitally important and we will check your hygiene at each visit. Regular dental check-ups as prescribed by your family dentist and the daily use of fluoride rinse will help the maintenance of good oral health.
It is necessary to continue with regular dental cleanings and check-ups while in orthodontic treatment. Our orthodontic treatment does not include general dental care such as x-rays, cleanings, fillings, extractions, or any other dental services performed outside this office. Treatment by other specialists, such as an oral surgeon or periodontist may be necessary before, during, or after the orthodontic treatment.
Retainers are placed after the braces are removed and active treatment is completed. To “retain” means to “hold”, and the teeth must be held in place until all supportive tissues have adapted to the new tooth positions. The specific duration of retainer wear will vary from patient to patient and we will advise you as to the proper wear of retainers. By properly wearing retainers, the patient will prevent most undesirable tooth movement. With reasonable care, the retainers will last for several years. Additional charges will be made if retainers need to be replaced due to loss or breakage.
Almost all instances of damaged appliances are directly caused by eating improper foods. If any part of the appliance becomes loose or broken, please call our office immediately. We will try to correct the problem as quickly as possible. This may require a special appointment to repair the damage. Repeated, careless breakage of appliances will adversely affect the course of treatment and may result in additional charges.
Headgear and Elastic Wear
The need for either of these varies between patients. If you are asked to wear either headgear or elastics, they must be worn exactly as directed to achieve the expected treatment result. Failure to wear them as directed will prolong treatment time and, in many cases, make our treatment goals impossible to achieve.
We do everything possible to eliminate or avoid apprehension and discomfort during orthodontic treatment. True “hurt and pain” are rarely encountered during orthodontic treatment. During the first few days of wearing the appliances or following adjustments, there will be some discomfort or soreness of the teeth. The teeth may feel tender to pressure and feel slightly “loose”. This looseness (mobility) is part of the normal process of tooth movement. A softer diet would be appropriate during these brief periods of discomfort. The braces may feel rough initially, but often a piece of soft wax (which will be provided) will alleviate the irritation and allow the tissue to callous or “toughen up”. If necessary, discomfort can be controlled with common medications such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or Advil. In the event that symptoms persist, please notify our office.
In most cases, there is no reason why normal activities cannot continue during orthodontic treatment. We will review with you any restrictions that your particular appliance, such as headgear, may require. All sports can be played with braces although mouthguards (provided upon request) should be worn for contact sports. Musical instruments can be played with braces quite easily, although one should expect an adjustment period.