Consult your dentist with questions about taking care of your braces

Opus 1 Orthodontic Studio, Scottsdale


Clean the right way…
It’s important you should brush after every meal and floss at least once a day. First, make sure you chose toothpaste that has fluoride. Secondly, do not rush through this process– take the time to brush the front and the back of each tooth. Brushing slowly also minimizes discomfort.

When it comes to braces, you can’t be too diligent about proper dental care and routine cleanings. Failing to be consistent in healthy dental habits can lead to severe and sometimes permanent damage that could be avoided.

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Eat with care…
The following is the standard list of foods to avoid: Popcorn, nuts, peanut brittle, lemons (pure lemon juice has acid), corn on the cob, Mexican style or Dorito-type chips, ice (even if you’re careful), taffy, caramels, gum, or sticky candy.

Regular dental care still matters…
It is crucial that you still have your regularly scheduled 6-month dental cleaning and exams. Your success depends on you maintaining an impeccable oral hygiene.

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Braces Brackets Comes Loose
Brackets are pretty stable and strong and serve to hold the wire of the braces in place. Brackets are usually bonded to the teeth with adhesive. If you eat items that are sticky, crunchy or hard, they could cause the brackets to loosen. Another way they can become loose is if you get hit in the mouth. That is why you should ask about wearing a mouth guard during any physical activity.

If for any reason your bracket breaks or comes loose, contact our office. We will want to examine your mouth to decide on the best treatment to fix the bracket. If it is poking you and you cannot get to us, use sterile tweezers to push the wire in between its two teeth. Rotate the bracket back to the proper position then slide it back to the center of the tooth. Make sure you get into to see us as soon as possible.

Braces Wires Come Loose
Sometimes, by the act of biting and chewing, the end of a wire will work itself out and cause irritation. The best way to alleviate the discomfort is to push the wire back down. Use a Q-tip or pencil eraser to push the wire back so it’s flat against your tooth.

If you still cannot get the wire back to a comfortable position, try covering it with dental wax to have a buffer between your braces and the area of your mouth that is irritated.

If it continues to bother you and you can no longer tolerate the irritation, as a last resort clip the wire. Reduce the possibility of swallowing the snipped piece by putting a folded tissue or piece of gauze around the area. Use a sharp clippers and snip off the wire. Use dental wax if the area is still irritated. Make a follow-up appointment with our office to make sure the braces are still secure and to get a different wire if necessary.

Braces Bracket Ligature Band Comes Off
First of all, do not panic. The ligature tie, the tiny rubber band that is stretched around the bracket, can sometimes come off on its own. The tie is meant to hold the bracket so the wire can deliver force to the teeth to move them. (Sometimes a twisted wire is used instead of a rubber ligature.) If for any reason this rubber ligature comes off, try to put in place with sterile tweezers. If it is a wire ligature, just take it out with sterile tweezers.

If your wire is not loose but sticking out into your lip, try bending it back with a Q-tip. Just a note, if one pops off others may follow suit. If your ligatures continue to break, give our office a call or make sure to mention it at your next visit.

Soreness from Braces
While it may not be an emergency, having discomfort for a few days after an adjustment or the initial installment is not unusual. Just remember to take it easy when you are choosing the foods you eat. Soft foods or liquids are the best choices. You may want to take an over-the-counter pain reliever. Just remember to follow directions on the box.

Mouth Sores from Braces
You might experience a few mouth sores on your lips, inside of your cheeks or on your tongue. Don’t worry; they will soon go away.

To help in relieving the discomfort, try applying an oral anesthetic like Orabase or Ora-Gel. Not only will they help you feel better, but they will also help the sores heal. Make sure you use a cotton swap and apply just to the sore. Throw out the swab after use to help prevent introducing anything else to the mouth that could cause an infection.

Irritation of Lips and Cheeks from Braces
When you get your braces, your mouth is just not accustomed to having anything new in there other than its teeth, tongue, and gums. So don’t worry if it takes a little getting used to. If you get some irritation, we can provide you with some dental wax, or you can pick it up at your local pharmacy. Simply pinch off a portion and roll it into a tiny ball. Flatten the ball of wax and place over the brace that is causing the irritation.

If you find that you don’t have any wax and that the irritation is just too much to handle, try a piece of wet cotton wrapped around the trouble maker– even a small piece of orange peel will do in a pinch!

If the irritation persists, please give us a call as you might need a small adjustment. Regarding the wax, if you do swallow it, it is perfectly harmless.

Food IS Caught Between Teeth Behind Braces
We all have experienced the discomfort of food between teeth, with or without braces. However with braces, it will be a little more uncomfortable. To fix this, just make sure you have floss handy. Tie a small not in the middle of the string to help pull out the food. If you don’t have floss, a tooth- pick will do. Just remember to be gentle so as not to hurt your gums.