How often are my visits?
The orthodontist sees a patient every 6 weeks for adjustments to the braces, to monitor the progress and movement of the teeth, and replace worn bands. Skipping any of these appointments may cause your teeth to move improperly and may cause the treatment time to be longer. Orthodontic treatment can last anywhere from 1-3 years.
Will it hurt?
Most patients are sore for anywhere from a few days to a few hours after an adjustment. The feeling can vary from mild pressure to more significant pain. Remember that the teeth which are held in the mouth by bone will be moving within the bone. It won’t be pleasant but it shouldn’t last long. Some pain management techniques are medicines like the ones used for headache and inflammation will be helpful.
Gingivitis (swelling of the gums) can also be uncomfortable and can be avoided by keeping the gum area above and just underneath clean of plaque, food and bacteria which are the root cause of the swelling. Some people avoid brushing when the gums are in pain. Talk to the orthodontist about special mouth rinses that can help you manage your pain levels so you can properly clean around the gums.
Good oral hygiene can be difficult with braces. Braces wearers are more prone to issues like gingivitis (swelling and bleeding of the gums) demineralization of the enamel and cavities. Not only can this be very painful and unattractive, it can cause serious health problems, expensive dental treatments, and even cause the orthodontist to have to remove the braces and prolong the length of treatment.
What should I eat?
Overall, avoid hard, chewy, crunchy, and sticky foods. Avoiding foods you like may not be fun, but eating things that you’re not supposed to eat can cause broken wires or brackets. These can not only be painful, but can actually prolong treatment. In other words, break the rules and you could be stuck with your braces forever.
- Caramel and dewy Chocolate bars Chunky Penut Butter
- Hard and chewy candies
- Apples with skin on
- Soda and sugary drinks (they can cause decay)
Careful When Eating:
- Chewy bread such as bagels (tear into small pieces)
- Chips (eat one at a time)
- Apples and carrots (small pieces only)
Prepare a kit with items to help you manage your treatment and carry it with you at all times.
- *toothbrush, floss and toothpaste
- *lip Balm
If you have hooks, wear your rubber bands at all times except while brushing your teeth. Missing bands will cause the hooks from digging into your cheeks and make sure your treatment moves along as quickly as possible. If a wire breaks don’t try to bend it. Cover it with wax and make an appointment to see the orthodontist.