Because you are ultimately the caretaker of your own teeth, it is important you have all the information needed to properly ensure an effective treatment and a long-lasting smile. Healthy care of your teeth will minimize the amount of trips you need to make to your orthodontist, and allow realignment and other orthodontic treatments to proceed smoothly. When you have braces, taking care of your teeth is of increased importance to prevent any damage to the metal or to your teeth and gums.
Braces inherently require more patience to brush and floss. However, it is precisely for this reason that you should devote extra time to your daily dental care, and brush and floss after every meal to ensure a minimal buildup of plaque. Rigid toothbrushes can damage your braces and the surface of your teeth. Instead, use soft bristles and brush in a circular motion at a steady speed and pressure. Do not rush through the brushing, and be sure to get around the braces. Electric toothbrushes are also a very effective option; ask the office of Dr. Atoosa Nikaeen about the Rotadent toothbrush, it is designed especially for patients with braces. Flossing is imperative to remove plaque in between your teeth.
Interdental brushes are also an effective option to thoroughly clean between teeth. These brushes come in a variety of sizes to fit gaps, and the large amount of bristles provides a substantial and comprehensive cleaning. One again, they should be used carefully around braces.
Mouthwashes based on hydrogen-peroxide are a great way to keep a clean mouth and reduce irritation that may be caused by braces. Maintaining low levels of bacteria will prevent infection and allow mouth injuries to heal faster.
Sodium-Fluoride gels will also kill bacteria hiding in between teeth and help protect tooth enamel. Take care to follow gel instructions and talk to your orthodontist if you have any questions or concerns.
Braces, while sturdy, are also prone to damage and breakage. To avoid loose or broken brackets, there are several foods that you are urged to avoid while wearing braces. Some of these include: popcorn, gum, most candies, carbonated drinks, nuts, and potato chips; we will provide you with a complete list of foods to avoid while in orthodontic care.
Check your braces weekly to ensure that everything is still in place and working correctly. If there are any loose wires, cracks, or other breakages, for self-ligating braces, check for open doors, contact Dr. Nikaeen’s office to schedule an appointment to have the issues corrected.
Any removable appliance you have been given has been custom-made to your fit and treatment. Wear it only as instructed, and do not aggravate it with your tongue ― doing so may cause damage to the appliance and your teeth. Clean your appliance daily, gently but thoroughly to ensure complete removal of plaque and other food particles ― do not boil or sterilize! When not in use, keep it stored in a plastic container and away from pets. Custom-made appliances are not readily replaceable.
It is common to experience minor irritation or discomfort when first receiving braces. Standard over-the-counter medication, such as Tylenol, Advil, can be safely taken to alleviate any soreness. If you are experiencing extreme discomfort, contact Dr. Nikaeen’s office immediately.
Elastic rubber bands are a necessary component of orthodontic treatment. The pressure given off by the bands provide the force to shift your teeth into their proper positions. They should only be removed when eating and brushing, and should be replaced immediately with a new elastic rubber band. Make sure to carry your elastic bands with you at all times. If you forget to wear your elastics for a day, do NOT compensate by using an extra one. If there is a loose hook or extremely frequent breaking of the bands, contact Dr. Nikaeen to set up an appointment.
Please call us at (310) 444-1113 or send an email to schedule your free initial consultation. We serve Southern California including Los Angeles (LA), Beverly Hills, and Santa Monica.