What is expected of me during treatment?
Like other types of health care, patient cooperation with the directions of the orthodontist are key in determining the length of treatment and the quality of the outcome. Patients cannot sit back and relax and let the braces do all the work for them.

In many instances, patients’ cooperation is needed to help make sure the bite is
right. Aligned teeth within each jaw won’t stay optimally aligned unless the teeth of each jaw fit properly together. Patient compliance with elastic wear, functional appliance wear or headgear wear can be very important in insuring a successful outcome. In addition, you must continue to see your dentist at least every six months, or more often if recommended, for check-ups and professional cleanings.

Proper cleaning of the teeth to remove food debris and plaque is important to prevent cavities, gum disease and permanent scarring of the enamel.

Keeping braces from breaking or wires from getting bent will speed treatment. Avoiding hard, sticky, and chewy foods, including ice, will go a long way in preventing broken braces. Pen and pencil chewing should also be avoided.

In general, you should expect to be an active partner in the development of your new
smile. It is your smile, after all.

How do I take care of my braces?
Extra time is needed with tooth brushing to make sure that all areas around the braces have been cleaned properly. Specialized brush tips are available to help get in between the braces and under the wires. Floss-threaders are helpful in passing floss under archwires to facilitate flossing of the teeth. Oral irrigators are often helpful to dislodge food debris from around the teeth. Over-the-counter mouth rinses can be used in conjunction with oral irrigators to help reduce the level of bacteria around the teeth.

The goal is to remove plaque from around the teeth and gums. It is the bacteria in plaque that is responsible for causing inflamed gum tissue (gum disease), permanent scarring of enamel (decalcification), as well as tooth decay. Remember, braces don’t cause these problems; they just make cleaning the teeth more difficult.

What if something breaks?
If something breaks and you are in pain, please call your orthodontist so you can be seen soon as possible. Depending on the particular problem, your orthodontist will schedule the time necessary to repair the broken braces.

Remember to avoid chewing hard, sticky or chewy food or objects. These are often the culprits that cause broken braces.

What can I eat?
Select foods that are on the softer side. Tear pieces off of sandwiches rather than biting into them. Cut apples, carrots or pears into pieces. Make sure you maintain a healthful diet which provides essential nutrients to bones and tissues undergoing change during orthodontic treatment.

On the day you receive your orthodontic appliances, you will also take home a picture tutorial demonstrating foods to avoid and illustrating methods to correct some minor problems at home. Don’t hesitate to page us for more information at (708) 281-1010.

Myths & Facts
MYTH: Orthodontists are appropriate only for the most challenging and complex orthodontic cases.
FACT: Orthodontists recognize the difference between a simple case and a complex one. And when a case is challenging, orthodontists know what to do.

MYTH: My family dentist says he can straighten my teeth.
FACT: An orthodontist has 2-3 years of specialized training beyond dental school and is a specialist at straightening teeth and insuring proper form and function. A dentist may see a handful of cases a year amid drilling and filling. An orthodontist only practices orthodontics and treats hundreds of patients.

MYTH: Braces are for kids.
FACT: One in five orthodontic patients is an adult.

MYTH: If there was a giant, overhead magnet and someone flipped a switch, people wearing braces would fly out of their chairs and stick to the ceiling.
FACT: Unlikely, as braces are made from non-magnetic materials.

MYTH: Orthodontists charge more than general dentists for orthodontic treatment.
FACT: It’s not the same work. The value in seeing an orthodontist for treatment is that the orthodontist is an expert, highly experienced and understands form, function and a wonderful smile.

Source: American Association of Orthodontists

To schedule a complimentary consultation, please call us at: 630.543.5051

To Schedule a Complimentary Consultation, Please Call us At 630.543.5051