Orthodontic appliances can make it more difficult to remove food debris and plaque, thus making the teeth more susceptible to cavities and decalcification (white marks). Therefore, excellent oral hygiene is expected throughout the duration of orthodontic treatment. Brushing, flossing and supplemental rinses are necessary. Brushing after every meal and snack and flossing once each day are important. Also, it is essential to continue seeing your general dentist for routine cleanings and care. We give every patient extensive oral hygiene instructions once appliances are placed.
WHAT TO AVOID
Any sticky foods, including:
– Gummy bears
– Tootsie Rolls
– Taffy, etc.
Hard foods, including:
– Hard, uncooked fruits and vegetables like apples, carrots and celery, unless cut into small pieces
– Hard candies (i.e. Jolly Ranchers, jawbreakers, etc.)
– Chewing on ice
– Hard bread
– Corn chips
– Corn on the cob
– Pizza crusts
It is important to avoid chewing on fingernails as well as pens and pencils or any other foreign objects.
Also, try to limit consumption of foods and liquids that are high in sugar content.
DO consume foods high in nutrition and use common sense when deciding if a certain food should be eaten. Remember, anything hard or sticky may be problematic.
HOW TO HANDLE AN EMERGENCY
While things can break or poke you periodically, there are few real emergencies during the course of orthodontic treatment.
Loose band or brace:
If a band (metal ring around the tooth) or brace comes loose, it is typically not a significant problem. Simply call our office and schedule an appointment to have it reattached to the tooth. If this happens in the evening or over the weekend, you can call on the next working day. Leaving the loose brace in place is preferred; however, if it is causing discomfort, wax can be placed on it. Or if necessary, you can remove the loose brace by clipping the archwire with a fingernail clipper that’s been washed and disinfected with alcohol.
Wires can sometimes shift or break during the course of treatment. If this should occur, call our office for an appointment. If after hours or on a weekend, you can try to bend the wire with a pencil eraser or place wax on the area causing irritation. Also, the wire can be clipped with a fingernail clipper that’s been washed and disinfected with alcohol.