Having braces should not cause any major changes in your day-to-day activities. You can still dine out, sing, play a musical instrument, or have pictures taken. If you play a wind instrument, several companies make mouth guards and lip protectors, although you may not need them. For certain sports, it is a good idea to wear a mouthguard. Ask us about recommendations based on your specific needs when you come in for your next appointment. With proper care and maintenance, you can promote your oral health while on your way to a more beautiful smile.
Your child may experience some tenderness for a day or two. If this persists, you may have them rinse with warm salt water 2-3 times per day. For discomfort, you may also give your child Children’s Tylenol, Advil, or Motrin as directed for the age and weight of your child.
It is important to brush after each meal and use the interproximal brush and flossers we provide. Toothpaste with extra fluoride is good to use as instructed before bedtime. Electric toothbrushes and water flossers can be very helpful in keeping your teeth clean during braces.
It is important to wear your removable appliance according to our instructions in order to accomplish the treatment goals in a timely manner. Carefully store your removable appliance in the case we provide to prevent it from getting lost or broken.
During orthodontic treatment, the doctor may use elastics to assist your braces in making adjustments to your teeth and bite. Also known as rubber bands, elastics are typically attached to brackets on the upper and lower teeth and use tension to create changes in the teeth and bite.
You should always wear your elastics as directed. You may remove your elastics when eating and brushing, and you should always replace your elastics with new ones after eating or brushing. Only wearing your elastics occasionally will prolong treatment and also cause any tenderness to persist.
You may experience some tenderness when first wearing elastics, but the tenderness should subside after a few days. Over-the-counter medications like Ibuprofen should help, but if the soreness continues for more than a week, please give us a call.
If an elastic breaks, please replace both the broken one and the adjacent elastic to ensure the same amount of force is applied on each side. You should always carry extra elastics with you in case one should break. If you think you might run out before your next appointment, please stop by our office for more elastics, or give our office a call, and we can mail extras to you.
Keep these materials on hand to help with the most common orthodontic maintenance and minor emergencies:
- Interdental or Proxabrushes fit between teeth and help patients to clean around wires without damaging them.
- Non-medicated orthodontic relief wax can be placed over brackets or wires that may be irritating gum tissues. This can be especially helpful at night when sleeping when your mouth may get drier than during the day time when you can regularly hydrate.
- Antibacterial Mouthwash can be used to reduce inflammation and prevent infection. For minor sores in the mouth, Peroxyl, an antiseptic rinse containing hydrogen peroxide may be used up to 4 times per day after brushing. Refer to the product label for specific instructions.
- Dental floss, an interproximal brush or a toothpick can be used for removing food that gets caught between teeth or wires.
- Sterile tweezers can be used to replace orthodontic rubber bands that have come off.
- A Q-tip or pencil eraser can be used to push a wire up against a tooth if it has come loose and is irritating the cheeks or gums. If it is not possible to reposition the wire so it is more comfortable, place wax over the end of the wire and call our office so that we can set a time to have the wire adjusted and put back into place.
- Salt is used for warm salt-water rinses, which help heal sore gums and tissues in the mouth.
- Non-prescription pain relievers, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, can help with the temporary discomfort that sometimes occurs for the first day or two after an orthodontic adjustment.
- Topical Anesthetic Treatments, such as Orabase or Ora-Gel, can be applied with with a Q-tip to any abrasions or sores in the mouth should they occur.
- Use your fingers to put your aligners in place. First place the aligners over your front teeth, and then use your fingers to push the aligner down gently over your molars. When aligners are correctly inserted, they will fit all the way down on the teeth, with no space between the top of the aligners and the top of the teeth. Aligners will fit tightly at first but should fit well at the end of the two week period.
- Keep aligners in except when flossing, brushing, eating. It’s best to remove the aligners when drinking any beverage other than water.
- Remove the aligner by pulling it off both sides of your back teeth simultaneously then lifting it off of your front teeth. Place your aligners in the case we provided any time they are not being worn.
- Clean aligners with a toothbrush and toothpaste.
- Wear each set of aligners for the amount of time directed by our office.
- Wear aligners in the correct numerical order. (Each aligner is labeled by number and with a U or an L to designate upper or lower.)
- Keep all of your old aligners and bring them to your orthodontic appointments.
- Don’t place your aligners in or on a napkin or tissue. Many aligners have accidentally been thrown out this way!
- Don’t use your teeth to “bite” your aligners into place.
- If you have pets, don’t place your aligners anywhere that your pets can reach them. Pets are attracted to saliva and would enjoy chewing on your Invisalign trays!
- Do not use Denture cleaner, alcohol, or bleach to clean your aligners.
- Do not use boiling water or warm water on your aligners.
- Don’t chew gum with your aligners in.
- It would be best not to smoke while wearing aligners. The smoke can stain the aligners as well as your teeth.
Just in Case
- If you lose the tab attached to your tooth that helps the aligner snap on, please call our office right away so that we can determine if you need to come in before your next scheduled appointment.
- If you lose one of your aligner trays, please wear the next tray if you have it. If you do not have the next tray, please wear the previous tray. It is extremely important to use a tray to keep teeth from shifting. Call our office to let us know which tray was lost so that we can determine if a replacement tray is needed. There will be a fee if replacement trays are required.