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Now that you have your braces, how do you take care of them?
It's important for you to know how to properly take care of your braces throughout your entire orthodontic treatment.
When you first get your braces, you may notice that your teeth and mouth feel a little tender or sore. This is perfectly normal for patients who have just started their treatment, and we promise your mouth will not be sore forever! To relieve the pain, we recommend taking ibuprofen. Take as directed for your age and weight.
It is also not uncommon for your lips, cheeks, and tongue to become irritated for one to two weeks as they toughen and become used to the braces. We will give you some wax that you can put over the braces to lessen the tenderness. If you need more wax, please let us know!
If your teeth begin feeling a little loose, don’t worry; this is normal! Your braces must first loosen your teeth in order to move them into the right position. Once your teeth have been repositioned, they will no longer be loose.
The wires and bands on your braces may come loose. If this happens, please contact us as soon as possible so that we can check and repair your appliance. If any piece of your appliance comes off, be sure to save it and bring it to the office with you.
You can temporarily fix a loose wire by using the eraser end of a pencil to carefully and gently push the wire back into place. If the loose wire is causing irritation to your lips or cheeks, put wax or a wet cotton ball over the broken wire to relieve the discomfort.
Damaged appliances can increase the length of your treatment process, so be sure to take care of all your appliances. Your teeth and jaw can only move into their correct positions if you consistently wear your rubber bands, aligners, retainers, or other appliances prescribed by Dr. Leonard.
Game, Set, Match! We have great news for athletes! You can still play sports even while undergoing orthodontic treatment! If you do play sports, it's recommended that you wear a mouthguard in order to protect your teeth and your appliance. Let us know if you need help finding the right mouthguard for the best protection.
In case of a sports emergency, be sure to immediately check your mouth and your appliance for any damage that may have occurred. If you notice any loose teeth, or if your appliance has been damaged, please contact our office right away. You can temporarily relieve the discomfort with wax or by rinsing your mouth with warm saltwater.
When you have braces it is very important to brush and floss after every meal in order to keep your teeth and gums healthy throughout your treatment. If you need help choosing the right toothbrush, toothpaste, and dental floss, please ask us and we will be happy to help you choose the right products for your teeth and your appliance.
Using a dry brush with a small amount of toothpaste, place bristles where gums and teeth meet.
For 10 seconds on each tooth, use circular, vibrating motions around the gum lines.
Every tooth of both arches should be brushed slowly.
Brush the lower teeth from gum line up and the upper teeth from the gum line down. Brush the roof of your mouth and your tongue too!
Carefully thread unwaxed floss between braces and wire. You may find a floss threader helpful.
Carefully floss around the braces.
Carefully floss around the gum areas.
Carefully floss around each tooth.