Braces Care Oral Hygiene
Orthodontic bands and wires are food-catchers. It is therefore important that the teeth be carefully brushed after each meal and snack. After brushing, the appliances should be checked to see if they appear clean and shiny with no food particles or plaque. Failure to keep the mouth clean increases the likelihood of dental decay and etching of the enamel around the edges of the brackets and bands. Patients who keep their teeth clean and use fluoride gels usually have a minimum of decay, if any.
Regular Dental Check-ups
It is recommended that regular 6-month dental check-ups and cleanings be continued by your dentist during treatment.
Foods which are hard or chewy should be avoided during orthodontic treatment in order to prevent appliance breakages. Appliance breakages will complicate and thus prolong treatment.
Loose or Broken Appliances
Any breakage of the appliances (loose bands or brackets, broken wires, etc.) should be reported immediately to the office and an appointment made to repair the appliance. Do not wait until your next scheduled adjustment, as there is insufficient time during this appointment to repair appliances and make an adjustment. If a repair must be made during an adjustment appointment, you may be rescheduled at a later date in order to make an adjustment. If breakages become excessive, there may be an additional charge made for repairs.
Although ceramic brackets have several advantages, they also require special attention and care. In order to maintain their aesthetic appearance, these brackets must be kept clean. Any foods which have a tendency to stain (such as mustard, tea, and coffee) will turn the clear elastics around the brackets yellow over several weeks and therefore should be avoided, if possible. Ceramic brackets are more brittle than those made of metal and thus require special attention to the types of foods eaten in order to avoid breakage. Finally, ceramic brackets are much harder than the enamel on teeth. For this reason, it is important that the patient contact the doctor’s office immediately if he or she is biting on a bracket any time during treatment, as this may cause significant wear on the patient’s teeth. More information on this website