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Braces FAQ’s

Below are some of the frequently asked questions that we receive about caring for braces. We strive to provide as much information as possible to make you feel comfortable and prepared for your visit, as well as to start treatment with us.

Feel free to contact us if you have any further questions!

Can I brush my teeth before my appointment?

Yes, unless you have a bracket or wire loose or broken, then we ask that you don't brush. We also don't want you to brush before getting brackets on as the flouride in the toothpaste makes it harder for us to bond to your teeth. Otherwise, we have a tooth-brushing station at the clinic that you can use!

How can I find out when my next orthodontic appointment is?

Make sure that you give our office your current cell phone number, your cell phone provider, and your current email address. You will receive a text and/or email the day before your scheduled appointment, which will save you from having to call our office. You can always call to find out when your next appointment is scheduled.

What if a bracket comes off?

Call our office so we can determine if we need to schedule an emergency appointment and save the bracket in a ziploc bag. Bring it with you to your next appointment so we can bond it back on.

What if my spacers fall out?

If a spacer happens to come out call our office to schedule an appointment so that we can replace it.

What determines what kind of retainer I get when I get my braces off?

Your doctor will recommend the best retainer for your specific treatment needs.

What do I do if I lose or break my retainer?

Call our office as soon as you realize you have lost or broken your retainer and set up an appointment to get an impression for a new retainer. Please note that there will be a replacement fee for all lost/broken retainers.

What do I do if I run out of rubber bands?

Call our office or even stop in and pick some more up. We can also mail them to you, if you call and ask, so it’s more convenient for you.

What do I do if a wire is poking me?

Place wax on the area that the wire is poking to help with the discomfort and call our office for further instructions.

How long will I wear my retainers?

You and your doctor will determine how long you need to wear them full time. You will have appointments for retainer checks to monitor your retention. Based on your doctor's recommendations, you will get to stop wearing them during the day, but we advocate night time for a lifetime!

Why do my gums bleed sometimes when I brush or floss my teeth?

You may not be brushing along your gum line as well as you should, or you are not flossing frequently. Flossing is very important for the maintenance of good gum health. Healthy gums generally do not bleed when you brush and floss. If the gums bleed, this is termed “gingivitis” and is actually indicative local inflammation caused by your body’s own reaction to bacteria or other foreign material (food) being stuck in and around the teeth. Regular flossing removes the plaque and food between your teeth and reduces your gums reaction to these things, thus reducing or eliminating bleeding over time.

Why does my bite feel different throughout my orthodontic treatment?

During your orthodontic treatment, your teeth will go through a lot of different stages.  You will have a series of wires that increase in size as your teeth become straighter.  When you start wearing elastics, to correct your bite, your teeth may become sore at times, but continue to wear the elastics, so that your teeth will get used to them.  Remember:  for every hour you don’t wear your elastics, you lose the previous 10 hours of elastic wear!

When do I get my braces off?

Asking the orthodontist at your scheduled adjustment will give you the best possible answer.

Why won’t the wax stay on my braces?

If the wax isn’t staying on, make sure to get the tooth and bracket dry. Try using your finger to pull your cheek out, suck in air, then quickly place wax on. If that doesn’t work use a paper towel or cotton ball to dry off the tooth and bracket.

Will I need to have my wisdom teeth removed?

We will evaluate your wisdom teeth as we get closer to the end of your orthodontic treatment and the doctors will decide then if it is necessary and refer you to your general dentist to make the final decision.
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