Life with Braces

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Playing Sports with Braces

Playing Sports with Braces

Brushing, Flossing and Regular Checkups

Brushing, Flossing and Regular Checkups

Care of Appliances

Care of Appliances

Loose Wire or Band

Loose Wire or Band

Loosening of Teeth

Loosening of Teeth

General Soreness

General Soreness

Foods to Avoid

Foods to Avoid

Eating Habits with Braces

Eating Habits with Braces

Types of Braces

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  • Metal Braces
    (Traditional and Self-Ligating)

    Metal braces are the most common type of braces and are smaller, less noticeable and more comfortable today than ever before. Made of high-grade stainless steel, metal braces straighten your teeth using metal brackets and archwires. We also offer advanced self-ligating braces as well as traditional metal braces. With metal braces, you have the option of adding colored elastics (rubber bands) for a more unique and colorful smile.

  • Clear Braces
    (Traditional and Self-Ligating)

    Ceramic braces are made of clear materials and are therefore less visible on your teeth than metal braces. These clear braces are a great option for older teens and adults who have cosmetic concerns, but are not candidates for Invisalign treatment. While they are visually less prominent, they do require more attention to oral hygiene as ceramic braces are larger and are more brittle than their metal counterparts. For these reasons, ceramic braces tend to be used more on upper front teeth than on lower teeth.

  • Clear Aligners
    (Invisalign and Invisalign Teen)

    Invisalign and Invisalign Teen treatment uses a series of clear plastic aligners that gradually move your teeth into their new positions. Invisalign aligner are made using 3D computer imaging technology, and has proven to be as effective as braces for many orthodontic problems. When you wear these nearly invisible aligners, you can smile more during treatment as well as after!

Types of Appliances

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Elastics (rubber bands)

Wearing elastics (or rubber bands) improves the fit of your upper and lower teeth. Wear rubber bands as instructed and remember that the rubber bands work far more efficiently if they’re worn as prescribed.

Palatal Expander

The palatal expander “expands” (or widens) your upper jaw by putting gentle pressure on your upper molars each time an adjustment is made. Dr. Wang will instruct you about when and how to adjust your expander. When you achieve the desired expansion, you will wear the appliance for several months to solidify the expansion and to prevent regression.

Headgear

Headgear is used to treat patients whose teeth are in an “overbite,” with the upper jaw forward of the lower jaw, or an “underbite” with the lower jaw forward of the upper jaw. Headgear gently “pulls” on your teeth to restrict further forward growth of your upper teeth and jaw.

Herbst® Appliance

The Herbst appliance reduces overbite by encouraging the lower jaw forward and the upper molars backward. This fixed appliance is used mostly for younger, growing children and is worn for about 12-15 months.

Retainers

Retainers may be removable or fixed. They hold your teeth in their new, correct positions after your teeth have been straightened. Dr. Wang will instruct you on how to care for your retainer and about the duration of the wear. Wearing your retainer as directed is crucial to prevent regression of your treatment.

Separators or Spacers

Separators are little rubber doughnuts that may be placed between your teeth to push them apart so that orthodontic bands may be placed during your next appointment. The separators will be removed before we place the bands. Separators do not mix well with sticky foods, toothpicks, or floss.

Retainer Instructions

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Wear your retainers full time, until the doctor instructs otherwise.
Take your retainers out when eating…and always put retainers in their case! (Most appliances are lost in school lunchrooms or restaurants.)
Clean retainers thoroughly once a day with a toothbrush and toothpaste. Use warm but not hot water. Brushing retainers removes the plaque, and eliminates odors. Efferdent® or other orthodontic appliance cleaners can be used, but do not take the place of brushing.
When retainers are not in your mouth they should ALWAYS be in a retainer case. Pets love to chew on them!
Initially, you may find it difficult to speak. Practice speaking, reading, or singing out loud to get used to them faster.
Retainers are breakable, so treat them with care. If retainers are lost or broken call us immediately.
If you have any questions or concerns about your retainers, or your retainers need adjusting, call us. Do not try to adjust them yourself.
Always bring your retainers to your appointments.
Retainer replacement is expensive…with proper care they will last for years!
Remove retainers when swimming.
Keep retainers away from hot water, hot car dashboards, pockets, the washing machine, and napkins.

Emergency Care

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True orthodontic emergencies are very rare, but when they do occur we are available for you. As a general rule, you should call the office when you experience severe pain or when you have a painful appliance problem that you can’t take care of yourself. We’ll be able to schedule an appointment to resolve the problem.

You might be surprised to learn that you may be able to temporarily solve many problems yourself until you schedule an appointment with our office. When working with your appliances, you need to know the names of the parts of your appliances so you are able to identify what part is broken or out of place. After alleviating your discomfort, it is very important that you still call our office as soon as possible to schedule a time to repair the problem. Allowing your appliance to remain damaged for an extended period of time may result in disruptions in your treatment plan.

Poking wire

Using a pencil eraser, push the poking wire down or place wax on it to alleviate the discomfort.

Loose bracket or band

If your bracket or band is still attached to the wire, you should leave it in place and put wax on it. If the wire comes out entirely, wrap the bracket with a tissue.

Loose wire

Using a tweezer, try to put your wire back into place. If doing this and using wax doesn’t help, as a last resort use a small fingernail clipper to clip the wire behind the last tooth to which it is securely fastened. If your discomfort continues, place wax on it.

Loose appliance

If your appliance is poking you, place wax on the offending part of your appliance.

Headgear does not fit

Sometimes headgear discomfort is caused by not wearing the headgear as instructed by your orthodontist. If the facebow is bent, please call our office for assistance. Surprisingly, the headgear may hurt less as it’s worn more, so be sure you’re getting in the prescribed hours.