I GOT MY BRACES TODAY, NOW WHAT DO I DO?
First you need to know the correct name for your appliances. Each has a special job to do and knowing this will give you the information needed to make the proper choices.
BANDS…are the metal rings around your back teeth. The area collects a 1fJf’ of food and, is hard to reach. You must take special precautions to brush this area carefully and thoroughly. Bands are glued to your tooth by a special cement made especially for orthodontic appliances. This cement is very strong and will hold your bands on for many years, unfortunately CARBONATION is the enemy. Reduce your intake of soda, sparkling water and juices, beer and sparkling wines. Oh, don’t forget that baking soda is carbonation… don’t buy toothpaste with baking soda.
BRACKETS… are the rectangle pieces of metal or ceramic on the front and side teeth. Although this area is easier to reach, your gums are irritated merely by wearing braces, so brushing correctly, massaging your gums and flossing become extremely important. Brackets are glued on by a special bonding material made especially for orthodontic brackets. Again, you must understand that these can easily stay on your teeth for years without breakage if you care for them properly.
ARCHWIRE…is the thin metal wire that connects the braces together. This is what makes teeth move. This also needs to be kept clean. It is quite unusual for an archwire to actually bend or break. However, this will happen from gross neglect or abuse. Biting into something hard or chewy can be a possibility.
WARNING!!! Remember to stay away from carbonation and eat ALL food in small pieces. DO NOT BITE OR TEAR FOOD WITH YOUR TEETH. 90% of our patients do not break even one appliance and 5% break less than three during the entire two to three years of treatment. However, 5% of our patients seem to have a very big problem understanding what and how to eat their food and care for their braces. Don’t let this be you.