LIFE WITH BRACES
HOW DO I FIT ORTHODONTICS INTO MY BUSY SCHEDULE?
Most people seeking orthodontic treatment have other important obligations during the day, usually involving work or school. When active orthodontic treatment begins, each patient is seen every few weeks, and some of these appointments will conflict with work or school schedules.
We have devoted considerable time and effort into designing our scheduling system. Here is what we want to do: First, we want to see you for your appointment. Second, we want to have adequate time during each appointment to do the necessary procedures. Third, we wish to answer questions and update your treatment progress. In addition, we will work with your schedule around your school or work hours as much as possible. Please know your Professional Days. As you can imagine, a well-organized schedule requires considerable structure tempered with flexibility.
Longer appointments are scheduled during school hours, and shorter appointments are scheduled either before or after school. In this way, our afternoons are scheduled to accommodate as many families as possible for after-school appointments. If you should ever wish to come to the office during a quieter time, please ask to schedule an appointment during school hours.
Some appointments are blissfully short. During your treatment, there are times when the adjustments are completed quickly even though they may be quite technical. We have tried to design treatment methods that limit your inconvenience. Other appointments can be unexpectedly long, especially if you have broken part of your braces.
Because the office schedule is quite complex, your late arrival can pose a problem. In fairness to the other scheduled patients, we may not be able to fit you into the schedule and therefore find it necessary to reschedule your appointment.
TIPS FOR BRACES
SORENESS FROM BRACES AND APPLIANCES
After you first get your braces on, you may notice that your teeth and mouth feel a little tender. This is perfectly normal, and the soreness will go away once your mouth gets used to the appliances. To relieve the pain, we recommend dissolving one teaspoon of salt in eight ounces of lukewarm water. Swish and gargle this solution in your mouth for a couple of minutes but do not swallow the saltwater.
If your pain is more severe and doesn’t go away after rinsing, you can also try taking a pain reliever. Your lips, cheeks, and tongue could become irritated for one to two weeks as they toughen and become used to the braces. To help relieve this pain, we would be happy to give you some wax to put over the braces. If you need some wax, please let us know.
DEALING WITH LOOSE WIRES AND BANDS
The wires and bands on your braces can come loose if you eat the wrong foods or get bumped in the mouth. If this happens, please contact us so we can check and repair your appliance. If pieces of your appliance come off, be sure to save them and bring them to the office with you.
If you have to wait a day or two for your appointment, you can temporarily fix a loose wire by using the back of a spoon or the eraser end of a pencil to carefully and gently push the wire back into place. If the loose wire causes irritation to your lips or cheeks, put wax or a wet cotton ball over the broken wire to relieve the pain.
WORRIED ABOUT LOOSE TEETH?
TAKE CARE OF YOUR APPLIANCES
EATING WITH BRACES
Metal braces restrict your diet during treatment so you don’t lose a bracket, but don’t worry – you’ll be eating popcorn and snacking on potato chips again in no time! During your braces treatment you will need to take special care to avoid any foods that could damage your new appliances.
Foods to avoid with braces:
- Chewy foods including bagels and licorice
- Crunchy foods including popcorn, chips, and ice
- Sticky foods including caramel candies and chewing gum
- Hard foods including nuts and hard candies
- Foods that require biting into including corn on the cob, apples, and carrots
Foods you CAN eat with braces:
PLAYING SPORTS WITH BRACES
You can still play sports even while undergoing orthodontic treatment, but to protect your braces and your teeth we recommend wearing a mouth guard. A mouth guard will blunt the force of any injury and prevent brackets and wires from becoming loose. Let us know if you need help finding the right mouth guard for the best protection.
If a sports emergency arises, be sure to immediately check your mouth and braces for damage. If you notice any loose teeth or appliance damage, set up an appointment with your orthodontist right away. You can temporarily relieve any discomfort by applying wax or rinsing your mouth with warm saltwater.
If you have any concerns that need more clarification, feel free to give us a call or ask on your next appointment.