What To Expect Along Your Journey To A Great Smile
Congratulations on starting your journey to a winning smile with True Image Orthodontics. We will work with you and your family to ensure the best experience possible. Here are a few things you can expect after your braces are applied and throughout your treatment process.
Tenderness and Soreness
Although most patients do not complain about discomfort, some patients do experience mild soreness and tenderness after first having braces placed. The pressure of biting can also cause some discomfort, although these sensations usually only last 3 to 5 days. We usually suggest a warm saltwater rinse to help minimize the discomfort. In a small glass, warm up 8 ounces of water and dissolve a teaspoonful of table salt. Once the salt is dissolved, vigorously rinse with the solution several times a day until the soreness is resolved.
In some cases, the tenderness can be a little more intense, in which case we recommend the use of Advil or Tylenol, (please follow the label's instructions for the proper dosage) to help you feel more comfortable.
The use of orthodontic wax on your braces can help with any discomfort you might feel on your lips, tongue or cheeks from the hardware in the first few weeks after placement.
Another sensation you may experience is that your teeth feel loose or that they are “floating”. This is a common and necessary experience in order to move the teeth to their proper placement. Once aligned correctly, they will secure again to their final placement.
Contact Us About Anything Loose or Broken
On occasion, a band or wire may come loose or fall off. There is no cause for concern. Just call our office to let us know and we can advise you on what to do next. If any pieces break or fall off, save them and bring them with you to your appointment. Two of the more common issues are:
- Poking: Sometimes the wire can become irritating and cause discomfort. We recommend using the back of a spoon or a clean eraser on the end of a pencil to gently push the wire that is poking you underneath the archwire. You can also apply orthodontic wax to any areas of irritation.
- Broken bracket: You should call our office immediately! This requires a visit to repair the broken bracket. If it is still connected to the wire, use some orthodontic wax to hold it in place until your appointment. If it has fallen off, please bring it with you so we can either repair or replace it.
Cleaning and Care of Orthodontic Appliance
Proper care and strict adherence to the use of a prescribed dental appliance, such as rubber bands, must be followed for your treatment plan to be completed successfully. Your teeth and jaw will not move into proper alignment if you do not use the tools provided or have any damaged hardware.
Keep Up With Oral Hygiene
It is even more important while wearing braces to keep up with your flossing and brushing routine. Those that do not keep good oral hygiene will require more professional dental cleanings and could develop discoloration of teeth and decay.
Protecting Your Teeth For Sports
If you play any contact sports, let us know so we can provide you with a specialized protective mouth guard designed for braces. If you are not yet wearing braces, there are many inexpensive mouth guards you can purchase to protect your teeth from damage.
If you experience any accident or trauma to your face or mouth, check your appliance immediately. If your appliances are damaged or you have any loose teeth, call our office immediately! If you have lost a tooth, clean it off and, if possible, replace the tooth into the socket. If you can’t replace the tooth, keep it moist and bring it with you to our office or to your caregiver. If you see blood on your lips or face, apply ice to control the swelling and bleeding then call our office or go to your nearest urgent care or emergency room.
Braces and Eating
You can resume eating, although the first few days you may want to stay with soft foods and avoid things like hard pieces of bread, raw vegetables, and tough meats. As long as you are wearing your braces, you will need to be careful in choosing your meals to avoid damaging or breaking your appliances and hardware.
Things to Avoid Eating
- Chewy foods: licorice, taffy
- Crunchy foods: ice, chips, popcorn
- Sticky foods: gummy candy, caramels, gum
- Hard foods: nuts, hard candy
- Foods you bite into: carrots, apples, corn on the cob
- Chewing on hard items like pens/pencils, fingernails, etc may cause damage to your braces and prolong your treatment.
TYPES OF BRACES
Thankfully with the advancements in orthodontics materials, we are able to offer several options to our patients other than just the metal braces of yesteryear. With more comfort, customization and effectiveness, today's braces are better than ever!
TRADITIONAL METAL BRACES
Traditional metal braces are still our go-to treatment option because they work so well and the appliances are now sleeker and far more comfortable than they have ever been before! Plus they have the added benefit of allowing you to custom-color your bands at every appointment if you want, making it easy to express yourself and your style.
Ceramic braces are a great option for those who are looking for the same great effects of metal braces but would prefer a more inconspicuous look. Ceramic braces will blend in with the color of your teeth, making them less noticeable, but they are more delicate so they are not a good option for everyone.
Invisalign is the clear choice which will go unnoticed to those around you while delivering amazing results!
This system of clear aligners will perfect your smile while giving you the flexibility to remove them to eat, brush, and floss without struggling with brackets and wires. Dr. Dave will gladly discuss with you if Invisalign is an option for your treatment plan.
Dr. Dave is Board Certified with the American Board of Orthodontics. Dr. Dave has worked professionally throughout Northern California. His diversified background and expertise includes working with patients of all age groups, at various stages of orthodontic needs. He carries with him a strong work ethic and enthusiasm for application of state-of-the art technology and innovation in orthodontic care. Behind his wealth of knowledge and experience, Dr. Dave is prepared to make a difference in the Houston-area community.
“Orthodontics is a very fun, challenging, and rewarding profession. I am truly honored and grateful to be able to touch upon my patients’ lives by creating beautiful smiles for them.” - Dr. Dave
Dr. Dave stays current with the latest technologies and innovations by regularly attending continuing education courses, and maintaining active in several professional organizations including: