Orthodontic FAQ’s

Orthodontic FAQ’s

Here are the most common questions our new patients ask Nic when they get fixed appliances.

1. Why do I suddenly have a space between my front teeth?

When it comes to braces, sometimes malocclusion will get worse before it gets better. This is because your teeth shift in different directions while they straighten. You will need to be patient. If you notice a gap where there was no space before, this is completely normal and eventually all your teeth will fit together. You just have to give it time.

2. How did my bracket break while I was eating mashed potatoes and what should I do?

With braces you are likely to break a few brackets, especially when you start getting used to them. Sometimes a bracket will be loosened when you chomp into a carrot or apple without thinking. Because the bracket did not break off immediately doesn’t necessarily mean you are safe. This accident might weaken the glue, which is why the bracket may come off later. Call Nic right away and set up an appointment to have your bracket replaced, otherwise you could fall behind schedule on your treatment. Replacing a bracket is a quick fix and we can have you in and out of the office in just a few minutes.

3. How long will my teeth and lips be sore?

Your teeth and lips will be tender for the first few days while you adjust to wearing your new braces. Your teeth may ache while you eat and your lips may catch on your brackets once in a while, but the sooner you start chewing and speaking with your braces, the faster your teeth and lips will adjust. If you do cut your lip or develop an ulcer you can apply dental wax to the bracket causing the pain. This will protect your lip and allow time for a callus to develop.

4. Do I still need to see the dentist for cleanings and checkups?

Most definitely! You will need to continue checking in with your dentist or hygienist so you can stay ahead of cavities and infections. In fact, with braces, we would prefer you come in for cleanings every three months because cleaning around the brackets is difficult and the last thing you want is a cavity to develop while wearing braces. At Alpers, we are even able to coordinate your cleanings with your orthodontic checkups, to make your visits all the more convenient. Just let us know ahead of time that you would like to see both clinicians.

5. Is it normal for my teeth to feel like they are loose?

During orthodontic treatment we want your teeth to loosen just enough so they will move into proper position. You do not have to worry about these teeth falling out. However, if something really doesn’t feel right, contact our office right away and we will check it out for you and make sure your treatment is still on track.

6. How long is my treatment going to last?

Before we place your braces we will be able to provide a rough estimate of how long your treatment will take. After a few months, we may have a better idea of how quickly your teeth will shift into position, but it is not an exact science. No two people have teeth that move in the same way. For some, treatment may take only a few months and for others a couple of years.

7. How do I brush and floss with my braces?

Practicing dental hygiene with braces is tricky, but we will provide you with a few tools and special products to make your daily routine move a little faster. Ideally, you should be using a small, soft bristle brush to clean your teeth and scrub between brackets and wires. Do not be too vigorous in your brushing and flossing or you could dislodge a bracket.

8. What are the foods I shouldn’t eat?

You will want to stay away from foods that could loosen or break your brackets. Some of the most common foods to avoid include: raw vegetables, popcorn, sticky candy, hard candy, chewing gum and ice cubes.

9. Will my braces interfere with other activities like sports, playing an instrument and recreation?

Wearing braces should not interfere or stop you from participating in any activities. At first, it may take some adjusting, but once you are accustomed to your fixed appliance you will not have to sacrifice your activities or hobbies. However, you should wear a mouthguard during any contact sports to protect your teeth and braces.

10. How often will I have appointments?

Usually, you will meet with Nic every four to six weeks. During your routine visits, he will check your appliances and monitor your progress.

If you have a particular question about fixed orthodontic appliances, just call our practice today. We are ready and eager to provide you with all of the information you need for a safe and healthy orthodontic experience.

Orthodontic FAQ’s January 4, 2015