MY BRACES 

Braces Information

Smile! You are on your way to having straight teeth. You may experience some discomfort a few hours after your visit. This is completely normal and to be expected. Some patients say that their teeth feel achy and sore. You can take any pain reliever that you would normally take for a headache such as Tylenol or Ibuprofen.

You may experience a change in your bite and/or spaces where you previously had none. This is part of the process of rearranging things to create a proper bite. We will be making adjustments to the wires every visit to help achieve this.

At first, eating may feel different and difficult. We recommend softer foods in the beginning until you get used to your braces. Cheek irritation is common. We have provided wax for you in your kit that can be placed over the brackets to help cover them and protect your cheeks from any roughness. It takes a few weeks for your cheeks and tongue to adapt to the braces.

Please notify us if a bracket becomes loose right away by calling us during our regular office hours. It is important for us to know in advance of your regular appointment so that we can schedule an appropriate amount of time for you. If we feel that it needs to be repaired right away we will provide you with an appointment as soon as possible. However, we may elect to repair it at your next scheduled appointment.

On occasion a wire may feel long in the back and cause irritation. You may try to clip it yourself by following the instructions in the emergency section or please feel free to call the office. We can quickly clip it for you!

If a colored tie is missing or has fallen off not to worry. This is not considered an emergency. We will replace it at your next visit.

 
  • Please brush your braces when you brush your teeth.
  • Don’t eat any sticky, chewy candy or gum.  These can loosen the braces.
  • Don’t eat nuts or popcorn.  These can get caught under the wires and in the braces and can cause irritation of your gums or can result in an infection. Please substitute with puffed corn.

Rapid Palatal Expander (RPE)

The Rapid Palate Expander or RPE is used to help correct jaw width, crowding and correct cross bites. The ideal time for correction of these is when you are still growing. You will be instructed on how to activate the appliance with a special key that will be provided for you. By turning the “key” you will slowly begin to obtain the desired width.  Each turn equals approximately ¼ mm. You will insert the key into the hole that is closest to the front of your mouth and push it back gently until you can’t press back any further. A new hole should appear near the front. Once you see this next hole and you can’t push the key any further it is safe to slide the key out. If you should miss a day just continue with the turns the next day. If you should get stuck in the middle of a turn do not stress, just call the office and we will help correct it for you. Just try to complete the instructed number of turns before your next visit. Please refer to the video below for a demonstration. You may also develop a small space between the front teeth, this is very normal and indicates that the RPE is working. Please know that this is temporary! It is also very common to experience a small amount of pressure or tingling in the roof of your mouth or on the bridge of your nose for a short time.

 
 
  • The first few days with your new RPE will be an adjustment period.  Your teeth may be a bit sore.  Please feel free to take Tylenol or Ibuprofen.
  • Initially, you will produce extra saliva in your mouth.  This will subside in a few days.
  • You may have difficulty pronouncing some words at first. We recommend reading out loud in the beginning until you get used to it.
  • You may also feel that you can’t swallow the way you did before this is only temporary.
  • Eating may feel awkward at first so try softer foods.
  • Please brush your RPE when you brush your teeth.
  • Don’t eat any sticky, chewy candy or gum.  These can loosen the appliance.
  • Don’t eat nuts or popcorn.  These can get caught under the wires of the RPE and can cause irritation of your gums or can result in an infection.

Elastics

Elastics are worn with braces or an appliance to help close space and/or correct your bite.  The elastics must be worn as instructed; usually 24 hours a day unless instructed otherwise. They should be taken out when you brush your teeth.

Please change your elastics several times a day.  You may be sore for the first few days but Tylenol or Ibuprofen usually help with this.

Remember, the less you wear them the longer you will be in braces! So, wearing your elastics is super important if you want to get your braces off sooner!

As always, if you are unsure about how to wear your elastics or if you have lost or misplaced them please call us. We have a record of what kind you should be wearing in your chart.  We will be happy to mail you replacements or you can stop by the office to pick them up.

These elastics are worn from a hook on your lower first molar to a loop on your upper arch wire or to a hook on a bracket near the upper front teeth.  This direction of elastics is used when we are trying to close space or correct your overbite.

 

These elastics are worn from the hook on your upper first molar to a loop on your lower arch wire or to a post on a bracket near the lower front teeth.  This direction of elastics is used when we are trying to close space or correct your reduce your underbite.

 

Triangle, upside down triangle, and box elastics are used to help your upper & lower teeth fit together correctly.  You will attach them to the small hooks that are on your brackets.

 

Forsus

This appliance is used when there is a non-compliance issue with wearing elastics or if the correction needed is greater than what can be achieved with elastics alone.

 
  • The first few days with your new FORSUS will be an adjustment period.  Your teeth may be a bit sore.  Please feel free to take Tylenol or Ibuprofen.
  • Initially, you will produce extra saliva in your mouth.  This will subside in a few days.
  • You may have difficulty pronouncing some words at first. We recommend reading out loud in the beginning until you get used to it.
  • You may also feel that you can’t swallow the way you did before this is only temporary.
  • Eating may feel awkward at first so try softer foods.
  • Please brush your FORSUS when you brush your teeth.
  • Don’t eat any sticky, chewy candy or gum.  These can loosen the appliance.
  • Don’t eat nuts or popcorn.  These can get caught under the wires and in the springs of the FORSUS and can cause irritation of your gums or can result in an infection.

Mara Appliance

This appliance is used when there is a non-compliance issue with wearing elastics or if the correction needed is greater than what can be achieved with elastics alone.

 
  • The first few days with your MARA will be an adjustment period.  Your teeth may be a bit sore.  Please feel free to take Tylenol or Ibuprofen.
  • Initially, you will produce extra saliva in your mouth.  This will subside in a few days.
  • You may have difficulty pronouncing some words at first. We recommend reading out loud in the beginning until you get used to it.
  • You may also feel that you can’t swallow the way you did before this is only temporary.
  • Eating may feel awkward at first so try softer foods.
  • Please brush your MARA when you brush your teeth.
  • Don’t eat any sticky, chewy candy or gum.  These can loosen the appliance.
  • Don’t eat nuts or popcorn.  These can get caught under the MARA and can cause irritation of your gums or can result in an infection.

Facemask/Protraction Headgear

The is used for young, growing patients that have an underbite- where the lower teeth are in front of the upper teeth in a biting position or what is termed a Class III skeletal growth pattern.  It is used in conjunction with an expander or other orthodontic appliance to help encourage the growth of the upper jaw. Elastics are attached from each hook of the appliance to the face mask.

 
  • The first few days with your new face mask will be an adjustment period.  It may be challenging to sleep but you will get used to it. Your teeth may be sore and achy.  Tylenol or Ibuprofen can provide some relief.
  • Dry skin or a slight irritation can develop where the mask contacts your skin.  You may use cosmetic pads as an additional cushion between the mask and your skin.
  • **PLEASE wear your face mask every night. The more you wear it the better your results. We ask that you wear it for at least 12 hours. If you can’t wear it for 12 hours at night, try to wear it while watching TV so that you can get the full benefit.
  • **PLEASE bring the face mask with you to your appointments.

Lingual Arch, Quadhelix, TPA

These are all very similar appliances.  You will have two bands “glued” to your first molars that hold the appliance in place.  These are used primarily to maintain space for the adult teeth that need to erupt.

 
 
  • The first few days with your new appliance will be an adjustment period.  Your teeth may be a bit sore.  Please feel free to take Tylenol or Ibuprofen.
  • Initially, you will produce extra saliva in your mouth.  This will subside in a few days.
  • You may have difficulty pronouncing some words at first. We recommend reading out loud in the beginning until you get used to it.
  • You may also feel that you can’t swallow the way you did before,, this is only temporary.
  • Eating may feel awkward at first, so try softer foods.
  • Please brush your appliances when you brush your teeth.
  • Don’t eat any sticky, chewy candy or gum.  These can loosen the appliance.
  • Don’t eat nuts or popcorn.  These can get caught under the wires of the appliances and can cause irritation of your gums or can result in an infection. Please substitute with puffed corn.

Bite Plate Information

This appliance is used for a few different reasons.  Typically it is used if you have a deep bite, which means that your upper teeth over close your lower teeth when biting down.  We sometimes use these along with your braces so that we can prevent you from biting down on your lower braces.  Bite Plates are also used if you grind or clench your teeth.

At first, you will have extra saliva in your mouth. Your brain thinks your bite plate is food and wants to digest it. Once your brain gets used to it, it will stop creating extra saliva.
You may also find it difficult to pronounce some words in the beginning. We recommend reading aloud for a few days and practicing with the bite plate in. This will get better the more you speak.

Don’t place your bite plate in boiling water. It will distort and melt it.
Brush your bite plate with toothpaste and cool water 2 times a day. You may soak it in denture cleaner or the cleaning tablets provided for you in your kit. Please avoid eating anything sticky, chewy, candy or gum. These can loosen the appliance.

 

Retainers

Retention is the final the MOST important part of your orthodontic treatment.  After your brace removal your teeth can shift back into their original position because they have memory.  Wearing your retainer will help prevent this from happening.  If you should lose or break your retainer or if it stops fitting properly, please call the office right away so that we can adjust it or make you a new one.

 
 
 
    • On the day you have your braces removed we ask that you wear your retainer full time for about one year. You may remove it while eating, swimming or playing sports.
    • Dr. Bilous believes that retainer wear is a lifelong commitment because teeth will want to shift as you get older. When you turn 24 you may begin to wear your retainer every other night indefinitely.  The longer you wear the retainer, the less likely you will have relapse.
    • Brush your retainer with a toothbrush, toothpaste and cool water to keep it clean.
    • Keep it in the case when it is not in your mouth.
    • Our motto is: “When it’s not in your face, it’s in the case!”
    • Keep your retainer away from pets, especially dogs.  They love the smell of your saliva and think that they are chew toys.
    • Do NOT wrap your retainer in a tissue or napkin because it will get thrown away.
    • If it needs to be refreshed, you may brush it with mouthwash.
    • Do NOT boil or use hot water to clean your retainer it will distort the fit of your retainer. Use cool water only.
 

Bonded Lower Retainer

This is a small wire that is glued onto the backside of your lower six front teeth to prevent them from moving after your braces have been removed. We recommend keeping it in till at least age 24.

 

Habit Breaking Appliances

The roller ball is used to break a finger sucking habit or a tongue thrusting habit. We understand this can be a difficult habit to break but it is necessary to prevent incorrect growth of your jaws.

For Tongue Thrusting: With your tongue, try to spin the ball from front to back. This will help to retrain your tongue.

For Finger Sucking: The ball makes it difficult to fit your finger or thumb in your mouth comfortably and removes the sensation of sucking.

 
 
  • Please be patient! Your habit will not stop overnight.  It will take time to adjust and it may take several months for the habit to stop.
  • The first few days will be an adjustment period.  Your teeth may be a bit sore.  Please feel free to take Tylenol or Ibuprofen.
  • Initially, you will produce extra saliva in your mouth.  This will subside in a few days.
  • You may have difficulty pronouncing some words at first. We recommend reading out loud in the beginning until you get used to it.
  • You may also feel that you can’t swallow the way you did before this is only temporary.
  • Eating may feel awkward at first so try softer foods and take smaller bites.
  • Please brush your appliance when you brush your teeth.
  • Do NOT eat any sticky, chewy candy or gum.  These can loosen the appliance.
  • Do NOT eat nuts or popcorn.  These can get caught under the wires of the roller ball and irritate your gums.  “Pirates Booty” popcorn is fine. It has no shell.

Separators

These are used to create space between your teeth so we can easily fit the metal bands of your braces or appliance at your next appointment.

 
  • Your teeth may be tender and achy for a couple of days.
  • Please feel free to take Tylenol or Ibuprofen to help with the discomfort.
  • Please avoid anything sticky or chewy because they can pull out the spacers.
  • If you lose a spacer, it is usually not a problem and does not need to be replaced.  If more than one spacer falls out, please call our office to have them replaced. If the spacers are lost the shortly before your next appointment (within 48hours), it is usually not necessary to put them back in.  This typically means that there is plenty of space.
  • Please brush your teeth normally while wearing spacers.
  • Do NOT floss between the teeth where the spacers are placed.
  • Do NOT pick at your spacers.

Tooth Brushing

PLEASE brush your teeth at least 3 times a day!! This is one of the most important parts of caring for your braces. If you leave food and plaque on your teeth you are at risk for having permanent scars form on your teeth. These cannot be removed and we don’t want you to be disappointed on the day your braces are removed.  This should be a happy day!

Please watch the instructional video below to see how to properly care for your braces and appliances.

 

 

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