What foods am I supposed to avoid? Why do I have to avoid these foods?

If it’s hard, sticky, or chewy, stay away! This includes chips, popcorn, hard pretzels, gum, candy, caramels, nuts (peanuts, cashews, almonds, et), and chewing on ice. Avoid really chewy foods like bagels, hard rolls, microwaved pizza crusts. Cut up any food that you have to bite into like apples, carrots, and corn on the cob. 

It’s important to avoid these foods so that we don’t have broken brackets, broken wires, broken bands, or any other emergencies. When there’s a broken bracket, the tooth is no longer moving in the right direction. Often, the tooth starts moving back to its starting position. Straightening it again lengthens treatment time.


What happens if I break a bracket?

If your appointment is within the next week, we can rebond it at that appointment. If your appointment is weeks away, give our office a call and we will replace it as soon as we can. If the bracket isn’t rebonded in a timely manner, the tooth may start moving back to its starting position. Straightening it again will lengthen treatment time.


How long will my teeth be sore?

After we put your braces on, your teeth will be sore for 3-4 days. This soreness is a throbbing, aching soreness similar to sore muscles or growing pains.  At every orthodontic appointment, your teeth will be sore for 1-4 days depending on what was done to keep your teeth moving. Soreness is expected as that discomfort indicates that the teeth are moving.


What do I do if my teeth are sore?

Stick to softer foods like mashed potatoes, steamed veggies, macaroni and cheese, baked fish, etc. Take acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil) as needed. If you have experienced soreness with previous orthodontic appointments, take Tylenol (acetaminophen) or ibuprofen (Advil) before the appointment to get ahead of the discomfort. 


What do I do if I have a really pokey wire?

The best thing to do is to try to put wax on it until your next appointment. If the wax doesn’t help, please call the office and we will get you in as soon as we can for a quick emergency appointment to clip it.


How do I keep my braces clean?

Brush your teeth and braces twice a day for 2 minutes with a manual or an electric toothbrush. Set a timer to make sure you get in a full 2 minutes. Be sure to angle the tooth brush 45 degrees under the wire when brushing near the tops of your teeth as well as brushing near your gums (see picture below). The area next to the gums is the most frequent area patients miss when brushing and often causes white scars. To floss once a day, use the floss threaders provided or purchase Platypus Orthodontic Flossers. Waterpiks are a nice additional cleaning method to remove food and plaque from between and around braces. However, waterpiks are not a substitute for mechanical brushing.

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What’s the difference between metal and clear/ceramic braces? 

As far as pricing goes, there is no difference. The traditional metal braces allow patients to select different colored ties that wrap around the braces. The clear/ceramic braces are less noticeable and clear ties can be placed around them to further disguise them. The metal wire that goes in the braces will always be visible. To learn more, visit our Services page.

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How often do I come in for appointments?

Orthodontic treatment usually requires appointments every 4 to 6 weeks. At these appointments, the orthodontist changes the color ties and the wire to further straighten your teeth and correct your bite. Missing the required appointments will slow down treatment, so it is important to keep these appointments and show up on time.