Having braces is a commitment, and there are some adjustments that you will have to make to ensure that your treatment finishes on time and to the level of excellence that you should expect from MCO Stouffville Orthodontics, MCO Oshawa Orthodontics, and MCO Markham Orthodontics.
Eating with Braces
For the first day or so, try to go with softer foods, as your teeth may be sensitive. Avoid tough meat, hard breads, and raw vegetables. After a couple of days, you should be able to eat foods that you're accustomed to. However, you'll need to protect your orthodontic appliances when you eat for as long as you're wearing braces. Chewing on hard things, such as pencils and fingernails, can also damage the braces. Remember that your front teeth are not meant for biting. Cut food into smaller pieces and chew on your back teeth. Broken appliances will prolong overall treatment time, so help yourself by choosing your foods wisely!
- Chewy foods: bagels, pizza crust, beef jerky
- Sticky foods: various candies, such as caramels, taffy, licorice
- Hard foods: hard fruits, such as apples, unless they are cut very thin, raw vegetables, peanut brittle, ice cubes, hard pretzels, crackers, corn chips and taco shells
When you get your braces on, you may feel general soreness in your mouth and the teeth may be tender to biting pressures for one to five days. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) is very helpful for relieving tooth tenderness following adjustment appointments. Ibuprofen (Advil) actually slows down the movement of teeth and should be avoided. The lips, cheeks, and tongue can also become irritated for one to two weeks as they toughen and become accustomed to the surface of the braces. It does take some time to get used to your new appliances. Our special orthodontic wax can be applied to the braces to lessen this temporary discomfort.
Loosening of Teeth
This is to be expected throughout treatment, so there is nothing to worry about. It is completely normal and part of the process, since teeth must loosen first before they can move. They will again become firm in their new corrected positions.
Care of Appliances
To achieve the best result in a timely manner, you should work closely with our team of providers at MCO Orthodontics. The teeth and jaws can only move toward their corrected positions if you consistently wear the rubber bands, headgear, or other appliances as instructed. Wearing elastics for half the time moves the teeth one way, but they move back almost immediately when not worn for the other half. In other words, you're really not progressing in your treatment. Damaged or lost appliances will also increase your treatment time. Please feel free to ask any of our team members about your appliances. We want you to understand how and why we are using them.
It's more important than ever to brush and floss regularly when you have braces. Patients who do not keep their teeth clean may require more frequent visits to the dentist for a professional cleaning. If plaque accumulates around the braces, tooth enamel may weaken, causing unaesthetic white spot lesions. Adults who have a history of gum disease should see their dentist or periodontist more often. We will remove braces during the course of treatment if poor hygiene persists. At MCO Orthodontics, we believe that healthy, crooked teeth are better than straight teeth that are full of cavities and gum disease. During orthodontic treatment, we highly encourage our patients to continue to visit their general dentist for regular examinations and cleanings.
Sports and Athletics
A protective mouthguard is advised for playing contact sports. We will supply a mouthguard, used by US college athletes, to protect your teeth and braces if you wish. With braces on, we are not worried about teeth being knocked out. Our primary concerns are cuts to the lips/cheeks and in preventing concussions. In case of an accident involving the face, check your mouth and appliances immediately. If teeth are loosened or the appliance is damaged, phone our office as soon as possible for an appointment.
Loose Wire or Band
Don't be too worried if a wire or band comes loose. This does happen on occasion. If you have any irritation to the lips or mouth, place wax on the braces to allow the area to heal more quickly. If you are uncomfortable and unable to visit the office for a poking wire, please feel free to use a clean nail clipper to cut your wire. Call our office as soon as possible for an appointment to check and repair any appliances. Please do not walk-in for a visit, but call in beforehand, as the clinical team is not always in the office, and the reception team will be unable to help you.
Please advise our office prior to your regular adjustment appointment if there are any disturbances to your braces. We will evaluate the urgency of your problem and schedule to see you accordingly.
Before Leaving the Office
There are several steps that we ask you to routinely complete to minimize discomfort or irritation and to ensure an optimal response to treatment.
- Using your finger and tongue, check that the wire ends do not extend into areas that irritate the cheek or tongue.
- Understand what you are to do until your next appointment, such as wearing headgear or elastics, adjusting an expander, visiting your dentist for extractions, or following specific hygiene or diet instructions.
- Make sure you have an adequate supply of dental wax, cleaning aids, elastic bands, or other tools that you may require between visits.
- Always schedule your next appointment before leaving the office, unless directed to otherwise. Waiting one or two weeks will complicate the scheduling process, as appointments are programmed six to eight weeks in advance. Postponing appointments will lead to a longer treatment time.
- Have us answer any questions you may have about your treatment. We want you to understand the process and discover the secret behind York Region, Durham Region, and Greater Toronto's Best Smiles!