Braces


Tempe Braces, Chandler Braces, Mesa Braces

General Soreness

Initially the braces feel like they “stick out.” This is normal. As you become accustomed to your braces and tooth alignment improves, this sensation will disappear and will cease to be a concern. Although the brackets have been rounded and smoothed, until the cheek tissues have “toughened,” you may find it helpful to use a small piece of orthodontic wax around the bracket that is creating the irritation. If your supply of wax runs out, call our office for more, or purchase more at a drug store.

You will probably notice some discomfort beginning a few hours after your braces are placed. Some teeth, usually the front teeth, may be “tender” and sensitive to pressure. Occasionally patients report that they experience no discomfort, but most will develop some soreness during the first 8 hours that dissipates within the week. Exactly when the discomfort ceases is impossible to predict and differs for each patient. You may wish to take nonprescription pain remedies commonly taken for other discomforts, such as headaches. For maximum effectiveness, it may be best to take such medications before the discomfort begins.

Eating with Braces

Although some patients are able to eat or drink almost anything while in braces and have no ill effects, there are certain dietary habits that are known to cause breakage of orthodontic appliances as well as increase the risk of dental disease. Our aim is to achieve the treatment goals with as few disturbances as possible due to appliance breakage. Remember, teeth move their best in a healthy environment and in individuals with excellent overall health. Be sure you have a well balanced diet.

Food to Avoid

Braces are attached to your teeth with an adhesive which normally will withstand the forces of eating. However, braces can be dislodged and wires bent or broken while eating certain foods. Hard foods, such as nuts, hard candy, corn chips and even crisp taco shells can harm your braces and should be avoided. Chewing ice cubes can also be very destructive to your appliances. Some foods such as whole apples, raw carrots, or celery are healthy snacks, but must be cut up to avoid damaging your braces.

Tempe Braces, Chandler Braces, Mesa BracesThe palatal expander “expands” (or widens) your upper jaw by putting gentle pressure on your upper molars each time an adjustment is made. The animation below 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.

Step 1

In a well-lit area tip the patient’s head back.

Step 2

Place the key in the hole until it is firmly in place.

Step 3

Pushing the key toward the back of the mouth, you will notice the fender will rotate and the new hole will appear. The rotation stops when the key meets the back of the expander.

Step 4

By pushing back and down toward the tongue, remove the key. The next hole for insertion of the key should now be visible.

Tempe Braces, Chandler Braces, Mesa BracesTrue orthodontic emergencies are very rare, but when they do occur we are available to 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.

General Soreness

When you get your braces on, you may feel general soreness in your mouth and teeth may be tender to biting pressures for three to five days. This can be relieved by rinsing your mouth with a warm saltwater mouthwash. Dissolve one teaspoonful of salt in 8 ounces of warm water, and rinse your mouth vigorously. Placing Orabase on the affected area may help; this can be found in a pharmacy. If the tenderness is severe, take aspirin or whatever you normally take for headache or similar pain.

The lips, cheeks and tongue may also become irritated for one to two weeks as they toughen and become accustomed to the surface of the braces. You can put wax on the braces to lessen this. We’ll show you how!

Headgear

Sometimes headgear discomfort is caused by not wearing the headgear as instructed by your orthodontist. Please refer to the instructions provided 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.

Loose Appliance

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

Loose Bracket

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.

Poking Wire

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

Tempe Braces, Chandler Braces, Mesa Braces

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