Poor positioning of the teeth.
Types of Malocclusion:
The alignment and spacing of your upper and lower teeth when you bite down.
Types of Occlusion:
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O rings, also called A-lastics, are
little rings used to attach the arch wire to the brackets. These
rings come in standard gray or clear, but also come in a wide variety
of colors to make braces more fun. A-lastics are changed at every
appointment to maintain good attachment of the arch wire to the
bracket, enabling our patients to enjoy many different color schemes
Palatal Widening Appliance
An appliance which is placed in the roof of the mouth to widen the upper dental arch. The maxilla, or upper dental arch, is joined in the center by a joint, which allows it to be painlessly separated and spread. Temporarily you may see a space develop between the upper two front teeth. This will slowly go away in a few days. Once this has occurred, the two halves knit back together and new bone fills in the space.
Care of appliance: Brush as usual.
Brush the appliance and roof of the mouth thoroughly. Rinse often to
clean any food lodged between the arch and appliance.
A plastic or rubber donut piece which
the dentist uses to create space between your teeth for bands.
Braces Care / Appliance Care / Elastics Care / Proper Diet
You will be shown the proper care of your braces when your orthodontic treatment begins. Proper cleansing of your mouth is necessary every time you eat. Teeth with braces are harder to clean, and trap food very easily. If food is left lodged on the brackets and wires, it can cause unsightly etching of the enamel on your teeth. Your most important job is to keep your mouth clean. If food is allowed to collect, the symptoms of gum disease will show in your mouth. The gums will swell and bleed and the pressure from the disease will slow down tooth movement.
BRUSHING: You should brush your teeth several times per day.
Look in a mirror to see if you have missed any places. Your teeth, brackets and wires should be free of any food particles and plaque.
Note: If your gums bleed when brushing, they are not receiving enough stimulation. Do not avoid brushing, but rather continue stimulating the area with the bristles. Be sure to angle your toothbrush so that the area under your gum line is cleaned. After 3 or 4 days of proper brushing, the bleeding should stop and your gums should be healthy.
FLOSSING: Use a special floss threader to floss with your braces on. Be sure to floss at least once per day.
FLUORIDE RINSE OR GEL: May be
recommended for preventive measures.
Clean the retainer by brushing with
toothpaste. If you are wearing a lower fixed retainer be extra
careful to brush the wire and the inside of the lower teeth. Always
bring your retainer to each appointment. Avoid flipping the retainer
with your tongue, this can bother your mother. Place the retainer in
the plastic case when it is re-moved from your mouth. Never wrap the
retainer in a paper napkin or tissue, someone may throw it away.
Don't put it in your pocket or you may break or lose it. Don't place
in hot water to clean or sterilize. Excessive heat will warp
and ruin the retainer.
If elastics (rubber bands) are worn
intermittently, they will continually "shock" the teeth and
cause more soreness. Sore teeth between appointments usually indicate
improper wear of headgear or elastics or inadequate hygiene. Wear
your elastics correctly, attaching them as you were told. Wear
elastics all the time, unless otherwise directed. Take your elastics
off while brushing. Change elastics as directed, usually once or
twice a day.
Orthodontic Emergencies or Problems
Loose Bracket / Poking
Wire / Wire out of Back Brace
Please feel free to contact the office
if you are experiencing any discomfort or if you have any questions.
Below are a few simple steps that might help if you are unable to
contact us or if you need a “quick fix”.
Occasionally, a glued bracket may come
loose. You can remove the loose bracket and save it in an envelope to
bring to the office or leave it where it is, if it is not causing any
irritation. Call the office as soon as possible in order for us to
allow time to re-glue the bracket.
If a wire is poking your gums or cheek
there are several things you can try until you can get to the office
for an appointment. First try a ball of wax on the wire that is
causing the irritation. You may also try using a nail clipper or
cuticle cutter to cut the extra piece of wire that is sticking out.
Sometimes, a poking wire can be safely turned down so that it no
longer causes discomfort. To do this you may use a pencil eraser, or
some other smooth object, and tuck the offending wire back out of the
Wire out of Back Brace
Please be careful to avoid hard or
sticky foods that may bend the wire or cause it to come out of the
back brace. If this does happen, you may use needle nose pliers or
tweezers to put the wire back into the hole in the back brace. If you
are unable to do this, you may clip the wire to ease the discomfort.
Please call the office as soon as possible to schedule an appointment
to replace the wire.
Poking Elastic (Rubber Band) Hook
Some brackets have small hooks on them
for elastic wear. These hooks can occasionally become irritating to
the lips or cheeks. If this happens, you may either use a pencil
eraser to carefully push the hook in, or you can place a ball
of wax on the hook to make the area feel smooth.
You may be experiencing some discomfort after beginning treatment or at the change of wires or adjusting of appliances. This is normal and should diminish within 24-72 hours. A few suggestions to help with the discomfort: