Braces are the most widely used orthodontic appliance.
They have three major parts:
- Bands – metal rings that fit around the back teeth (molars)
- Brackets – small devices that are attached to the front of some or all of the teeth
- Archwire – a wire that connects to the brackets, applying force to the teeth. Small rubber bands or wires (ligatures) hold the archwire in place by attaching to each bracket.
You should brush your braces well with a soft toothbrush 2-3 times per day and after each meal. Brushing after meals is important because it is very easy for food to become lodged in the brackets and bands. Please floss around your braces every day. When you get your braces, we will supply you with oral hygiene tools that enable you to maintain healthy teeth and gums. Do not eat sticky or hard candy; brackets are not invincible! They may get broken or damaged, requiring extra appointments.
A little soreness after application or an adjustment appointment is expected. Over-the-counter Tylenol or Advil should be sufficient to ease the discomfort. Soreness generally lasts for a week or less. If something begins to poke your mouth or feel loose, then lease see the Self-Help Guide on this website for instructions. There are frequently some easy remedies at home. Otherwise, please call our office so we may address an issue as needed.