Types of Braces
Types of Appliances
FORSUS (BITE FIXER)
This appliance is used in overbite cases after leveling and aligning your bite. We use a spring that is connected to the brackets to bring your jaw forward.
We use a Herbst in more severe overbite cases as an alternative to jaw surgery. This appliance can even be used on adults and is believed to stimulate lower jaw growth, which delivers stability after your braces come off.
ELASTICS (RUBBER BANDS)
We connect small elastomeric rubber bands from one tooth to another to improve positioning.
Any device that is used in your mouth, to change the shape of your jaw or move your teeth, is referred to as an appliance.
An appliance used in underbite cases to advance your upper arch forward. It is used with adolescents before the age of 9 as an attempt to avoid later jaw surgery.
This lingual retainer is used on the lower arch to hold space after your phase I treatment. Similar to the TPA Appliance, we use it in instances of early loss of a primary tooth.
This is typically used after your treatment is complete. We bond wires to the inside of your upper and lower arches to hold your teeth in place. These are most often used in severe cases, along with clear retainers.
Life with Braces
Eating with Braces
It’s not going to be easy at first, and in the beginning foods you can eat will be limited. You’ll want to stick to foods that are soft, fluffy and easily mashed up. Pancakes, oatmeal, bananas, soups, cooked vegetables, applesauce, mashed potatoes, mac & cheese, and soft ice cream – just to suggest a few. Stay away from foods that are hard, crunchy, sticky or tough.
Foods to Avoid
Sticky- gum, caramel, tootsie rolls, peanut butter, toffee
Hard- apples, carrots and other raw vegetables
Crunchy- popcorn, chips
Tough- bagels, corn on the cob, sandwiches, steak, ribs
There are a few tricks around some problem foods. You can cook your vegetables to make them softer, cut your corn off the cob, and slice apples and sandwiches into small, bite sized pieces.
If you’re in doubt about a particular food, ask the doctor.
Care of Appliances: Brushing
It is always important to brush and floss your teeth to keep them clean and healthy – with braces, it’s more important than ever. Consistent brushing and flossing will ensure that your gums and teeth remain healthy throughout your treatment.
Your mouth is going to feel sensitive and a bit sore when you first get your braces put on. To help alleviate the soreness, you can rinse your mouth with a salt-water solution or take an over-the-counter analgesic. If your braces are rubbing or poking your mouth, you can use dental wax (available at the office or your local drugstore) to cover problem areas and prevent blisters.
Loosening of Teeth
Part of the process of creating your new, beautiful smile is moving your teeth; to move them, they need to loosen up first. “Loose teeth” are a natural part of the process. Once your teeth are in the right place, they will settle into their new position.
Loose Wire, Bracket or Band
Inevitably, something is going to come loose. A bracket will loosen or a wire may pop out of place. Don’t worry!
If it’s a flexible wire, you might be able to push it back into place using tweezers. If you can’t move it with tweezers, you can use a pencil eraser or the back of a pen to push the offending wire down. Dental wax will also be your friend; place a small amount on the spot to cover the problem area. Next, schedule an appointment to have the wire, bracket, or band repaired.
Brushing & Flossing
Using a soft bristled toothbrush, begin by brushing the outside of your teeth and braces holding the brush tilted at a 45 degree angle. Brush along the top and bottom of the braces using light to moderate pressure, making sure you cover every surface very carefully. Don’t forget to brush the teeth all the way in the back and behind your back molars. It’s a good practice to brush for three minutes at least twice a day. Using a timer or singing along to a song will help you keep track of your time.
Flossing at least once a day is very important for good dental hygiene and to keep your teeth healthy. Flossing with braces may seem difficult at first. To floss properly, you will need to thread the floss under the archwire. This can be done in two ways – either by threading the floss through on your own or using a floss threader to thread the floss under the wire.
When threading the floss, it is a good practice to start by pushing the floss vertically from the top to the bottom on your upper teeth and from the bottom to the top on your bottom teeth, always threading away from your gums. Once threaded, carefully floss around each tooth and gum, moving the floss up and down, just like you did without braces.
Retainer Care Instructions
- Always store your retainer in the case. Never put it in your pocket (accidently shattered), or wrap in a cloth or napkin (accidently thrown away).
- Always remove your retainer when eating.
- Follow the doctor’s instructions for wear.
- Always remove retainers when brushing your teeth. Be sure to pay attention to the points where your retainer touches your teeth.
- Clean retainers thoroughly with a toothbrush and toothpaste. Concentrate specifically on the side of the retainer that is in contact with your gums. Failure to clean retainers well can result in damage to your gums and teeth. Some patients like to soak their retainers in mouthwash for a few minutes each day.
- Don’t flip the retainer with your tongue because this could result in damage to your teeth or the device.
- Put the retainer in with your fingers. Please do not bite the retainer into place since this could result in injury or damage to your teeth.
- If there is any part of the retainer that is pinching your gums, set up an appointment with Dr. Buckman so that we can fix this for you.
- Use your best judgment regarding removing them for sports, swimming, singing, meetings, etc. If there is a significant risk that they will be lost or damaged if you continue to wear them while doing an activity, remove them and place in the provided case. Remember to replace them when you are done with the activity. Always wear a mouth guard when playing sports to ensure the safety of your teeth and mouth.
- If there are wires on the outsides of your teeth, they should not be used to remove the retainers. This will bend and eventually break them. Use clasps on the back teeth to remove the retainers.
- Since your retainer is made out of acrylic, which is sensitive to heat, do not subject the retainers to heat. This will result in them becoming distorted. Common examples are oiling them, putting them in the dishwasher, leaving them in a hot car, etc.
- Bring your retainers to each appointment for inspection.
- Occasionally, a piece of acrylic will chip or break. As long as the retainer is still wearable, you can continue to wear it until Dr. Buckman can check it for you. If there is a sharp edge, you can use a nail file to smooth it off until a necessary repair can be performed.
For situations requiring immediate medical attention, you should contact your doctor or local emergency medical services.
For orthodontic-related emergencies, our office is here to help. Most emergency situations can be temporarily taken care of at home, though. Usually loose brackets and wires that are causing some discomfort or poking can be covered in wax or pushed back into place. Loose and poking wires can be manipulated using tweezers or a pencil eraser. It’s still important to call the office and set up an appointment to have the issue corrected.
In the event of a more severe issue (an appliance breaks, a wire slips loose, or is preventing the mouth from opening or closing), call our office to schedule an appointment and have the problem taken care of right away.
Keep in mind that there may be some discomfort for a few weeks after getting your braces on and for several days after an adjustment. In these situations, rinsing with salt water or taking an over-the-counter pain reliever may alleviate the pain.