Life With Braces


DrCaskey
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.

Food to Avoid

Some foods have a tendency to break appliances and cause a lot of problems during the course of our treatment. Because of this, you will be on a liquid diet for your entire treament. KIDDDING!!!!! Please avoid these foods while wearing braces. Not kidding. Avoid these:

  • Sticky – gum, caramel, tootsie rolls, peanut butter, toffee, taffy, granola bars, frozen candy bars
  • Hard – apples, carrots and other raw vegetables, chewing ice, nuts
  • Crunchy – popcorn, chips, tacos, celery
  • Tough – bagels, corn on the cob, sandwiches, steak, ribs, beef jerky

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.

General Soreness

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 and 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.

Care of Appliances

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.

Brushing & Flossing

DrCaskey

Brushing

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

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.

Types of Braces

DrCaskey

3M Unitek

The Victory Series™ Low Profile brackets are a sure winner on the patient satisfaction front. Unlike other conventional and miniature brackets, they incorporate a low profile approach that enhances both aesthetics and patient comfort.

DrCaskey

Invisalign

Invisalign is the ultimate in terms of aesthetic treatment options. We use custom molded clear trays to move your teeth to the ideal position. Because they are removable, patient compliance is extremely important with aligners. Invisalign is a terrific option for working professionals or patients seeking a discreet solution to improve their smile, however it is not ideal for every case.

Types of Appliances

lingual

Lingual Arch

This lingual retainer is used on the lower arch to hold space after your phase I treatment. Similar to the TPA Appliance, we also use it in instances of early loss of a primary tooth.

fix retainer

Fixed Retainer

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.

TPA

TPA Appliance

The Victory Series™ Low Profile brackets are a sure winner on the patient satisfaction front. Unlike other conventional and miniature brackets, they incorporate a low profile approach that enhances both aesthetics and patient comfort.

appliance

Appliance

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.

elastics

Elastics (Rubber Bands)

We connect small rubber bands from one tooth to another to improve positioning.

Retainer Instructions

DrCaskey

Fixed Retainer
  • Fixed Retainers are bonded directly to the inside of your teeth.
  • Daily use of floss, waterpiks, and/or proxy “christmas tree” brushes will dislodge food debris from accumulating around the wires. Floss threaders or super floss can be used to guide the floss below the wire if needed.
  • Thorough brushing around your retainer is necessary to keep plaque from accumulating around the wires.
Removable Retainer
  • Wear your retainers every night, unless Dr. Caskey instructs otherwise.
  • Take your retainers out when eating…and ALWAYS put retainers in their case!
  • Clean retainers thoroughly once a day with a toothbrush and toothpaste. Use cool water. Brushing retainers removes the plaque and eliminates odors. Retainer Brite® or other orthodontic appliance cleaners can be used, but do not take the place of brushing.
  • When retainers are not in your mouth, they should ALWAYS be in a retainer case. Pets love to chew on them!
  • Initially, you may find it difficult to speak. Practice speaking, reading, or singing out loud to get used to them faster.
  • Retainers are breakable, so treat them with care. If retainers are lost or broken, call us immediately.
  • If you have any questions or concerns about your retainers, or your retainers need adjusting, call us. Do not try to adjust them yourself.
  • Always bring your retainers to your appointments.
  • With proper care, retainers should last for several years.
  • Remove retainers when swimming.
  • Keep retainers away from hot water, hot car dashboards, pockets, the washing machine, and napkins.

Emergency Care

DrCaskey

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.

* For After-Hours Emergencies Call (903) 271.9516