Some patients are intimidated by cleaning and maintaining their braces properly at home. Dr. Lee will point you towards the most efficient ways to keep your smile clean and healthy while you wear braces. Once you develop a habit of caring for your braces correctly, it doesn’t have to be difficult. Orthodontic maintenance can become a seamless part of your daily routine.
Brushing: Brush your teeth often with a gentle toothbrush and toothpaste. If you are wearing metal braces, brush the brackets and wires along with your teeth. For Invisalign, remove your aligners, then brush your teeth and aligners.
Flossing: With metal braces, push your floss up behind the wire and floss your teeth thoroughly. With Invisalign braces, remove your aligners and floss your teeth normally. It is crucial to floss every day to avoid bad breath, plaque buildup, and tooth discoloration.
Check-Ups: Check your braces once each week for anything loose or bent. If you notice a broken or loose bracket, band, or wire, please call our office so that we can schedule an appointment. Do your best to be specific about what has happened to your braces so that we can be prepared to repair them.
What About Sore Teeth?
After your braces placement, you may experience some soreness for a few days. Take over-the-counter pain relievers like Tylenol or Advil to ease discomfort. Use wax over brackets or wires that may be bothering you.
Most patients adjust to braces quickly and feel comfortable throughout treatment. If you feel anything sharp, you begin to develop sores, or you are still uncomfortable after a week with braces, please contact our office so that we can assist you!
If Dr. Lee provides you with elastics or other appliances to wear with your orthodontics, be sure to wear them according to her specifications. Elastics should be worn all of the time and changed every day. Any time missed in wearing your elastics will lengthen your treatment time. We suggest that you:
- Remove elastics when brushing your teeth after meals, then replace them immediately
- Always have a few elastics on hand in case one breaks
- If you forget to wear elastics one day, you can double up the next day
- Elastics become worn out, so change them as directed
If you ever have questions about your at-home care routine, or believe your braces are broken, please give our office a call!