1. What happens if you have a broken bracket or a poking wire? Many of these instances can be managed with orthodontic wax at home (see video below for some tips on wax placement). Please give our office a call so that we can help you figure out if you need to come in sooner than your next scheduled visit (or if we can make your next visit longer to accommodate for the broken bracket). Irritating poking wires can be managed in our office during our next regular business day — just give our office a call to arrange a time to come in!
2. What happens if I lose or break a retainer? We really don’t want your teeth to move! If you do lose or break your retainer, please call our office to schedule an appointment ASAP to have molding done for a new one to be made. The longer you go without a properly fitting retainer, the higher the chance that there will be adverse tooth movement (and additional orthodontic treatment will be needed in the future).
3. How can I make sure my treatment progresses in a timely manner? Come to your regular adjustment appointments, wear your appliances (ex. rubber bands or aligners), keep your teeth clean and stay away from problematic foods that can cause breakages. These things are critical factors in making progress in your orthodontic treatment.
- Take time to thoroughly brush around your braces, at the gum line, and under wires. Flossing can be challenging, but it is worth the trouble to keep your gums healthy. If you experience bleeding with brushing or flossing, it often means that you have a gum infection. Rather than avoiding the gums to stop the bleeding, it is increasingly important to clean this area to decrease the bleeding (in a few days to a week you will see the bleeding stop).
- Be cautious of what you are eating! It is critical to minimize risk of bracket/appliance breakage if we want to complete treatment in a timely manner. Please stay away from sticky/gooey foods (ex. caramels, gummies) and very hard foods (ex. unpopped popcorn kernels, chewing hard candies or ice, biting into apples or very hard pizza crust).
- Wear your rubber bands/appliances as directed. You will not make progress in bite correction if you are not wearing your recommended rubber bands (or appliances). If you are wearing rubber bands, please take a look inside your mouth every night when you brush and make sure all the color (or metal) ties are present on the individual brackets. If you run out of rubber bands, please give us a call and we can mail more to you (or stop by our office if you are in the neighborhood!)