1.  Remember

The first thing is to remember you have braces.  The teeth will remind you for the first week, but after that, you must keep yourself in check.  Avoid sticky and hard foods as these will break the brackets, bend the wires, and loosen the bands.

2.  Rubber Bands, Rubber Bands, Rubber Bands

Wear your elastics as instructed.  The rubber bands coordinate the two arch wires and drive your orthodontic treatment forward.  Get use to them now as teeth move very slowly without elastics.  Four hours without elastics will set you back two days.  The bone responds to steady, light force, but will ignore you if you’re not serious.  Your estimated treatment time is based on the assumption of faithful elastic wear.

3.  Clean

Keep your teeth sparkling clean, making sure to take time to use all your brushes.  Look closely in the mirror for any plaque hiding between teeth or under brackets.  Plaque will look like soggy white bread.  Get it out of there!  We don’t want to take you out of braces and then have to do a bunch of fillings.  Decrease your sugar intake and use your special toothpaste to keep your teeth strong and gorgeous.

Braces Care

Get Tough photo credit: Grufnik via photopin cc

4.  Hang in There

The first week in braces is tough.  Teeth are sore, and lips and cheeks are irritated.  Use the ortho wax provided over any rough brackets or bands.  If a wire is poking you or if anything loosens, call us.  Use Tylenol or ibuprofen as needed, though it has been shown that long-term use of ibuprofen or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs will slow tooth movement down.  By the second week in braces you’ll be feeling a lot better.  Keep up your with the other three steps because you’ll eventually get to that great smile.