Starting your new life with braces is exciting! Your beautiful smile is just around the corner.
If you’re wearing braces for the first time, you may have some questions. Take a look at these braces FAQs! If you have any unanswered questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.
We think you’ll be relieved to know that getting braces does not hurt. When we place your braces on, we are simply bonding brackets to your teeth, and attaching your archwires to your brackets. This won’t cause you any pain.
The first week you have braces, you may experience some minor soreness as your teeth and gums are adjusting to the support of your braces. You can take whatever over-the-counter pain reliever you normally would for a headache to counteract the soreness. This should subside after the first week or two.
This will depend on a few factors, including your overall oral health, the severity of your treatment, and your diligence in following directions and wearing your appliances (like rubber bands).
On average, a full treatment can take anywhere from 12 to 36 months, although your case may be shorter or longer.
Once Dr. Loeb completes your complimentary consultation, we’ll have an estimate of how long your treatment period will be. The length of your treatment may change, depending on how quickly your teeth are shifting and whether you wear your appliances as instructed.
Yes, your orthodontic treatment won’t stop you from living your best life! As long as you wear a mouthguard when playing sports, you won’t have to sit on the sidelines during the season.
With any type of braces, it’s incredibly important that you wear a mouthguard while playing sports. A mouthguard will protect you and other players from damage.
You can still eat at your favorite restaurants in Oakland! You’ll be able to eat tons of delicious snacks, meals and desserts with braces too.
During the first week of your treatment, as your teeth and gums are adjusting, you may want to choose softer foods, like pasta, tuna, mashed potatoes, or soup. Knowing what to eat your first week with braces takes some of your own discretion. You can integrate harder foods into your diet as soon as you’re feeling up to it.
Here’s a list of foods you can eat with braces:
As a general rule of thumb, try to avoid foods that are considerably chewy, sticky, crunchy, or hard. These food items are notorious for damaging brackets and wires and breaking orthodontic appliances.
Chewy, sticky foods can stick to your wires and pull them out of place. Hard foods can pop your wires out of place or break a bracket. Next thing you know, you’re visiting us for an emergency orthodontist appointment. As much as we’d love to see you, we want to keep your treatment on track.
Here are some examples of foods to avoid when wearing braces:
As weird as this sensation may be, this is normal. Your teeth and gums are adjusting to your appliances. Since we are actively moving your teeth, some minor tooth wiggling is expected.
Toward the end of your treatment, once your teeth have moved into the desired position and you enter the retention phase, your teeth will stabilize and stop wiggling.
If any of your teeth are wiggling considerably and it concerns you, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’re here to calm your fears and ensure that you’re working toward the best possible results from your treatment.
Once we have your appliances in place, a team member will review all instructions, including how to properly brush and floss your teeth.
Maintaining your oral hygiene is especially important during orthodontic treatment. If you don’t brush and floss regularly, bacteria can grow between your teeth and around your brackets and archwires, causing permanent stains, cavities, or gum disease.
Here’s how to properly brush your teeth with braces:
When flossing between your teeth, we recommend using a specialized flossing threader that allows you to insert the floss thread between your teeth and braces. Specialized flossing threaders have a solid end that makes it easier to push the floss through the archwires.
We won’t know whether you require rubber bands until you visit us for your complimentary consultation. Some patients need rubber bands to align their bite, while other patients don’t. It all depends on your unique bite.
Elastics, or rubber bands, are one of the most common auxiliaries used during treatment with braces or Invisalign. Elastics are hooked around a bracket on the top teeth and a bracket on the bottom teeth to exert persistent (but gentle) force. Over time, this force aligns the teeth and jaw bones and treats malocclusions (poor bite conditions), like overbites, underbites, cross bites, and open bites.
Orthodontic wax is used in the case of minor orthodontic emergencies. If a wire pops loose, or a bracket is irritating your cheeks, orthodontic wax can be applied to the bracket or poking wire to provide temporary relief until you’re able to visit us.
To apply orthodontic wax, you’ll wash your hands, then pinch off a small piece of wax. You’ll roll this piece into a ball, then apply it to the DRY wire or bracket. Squeeze the wax into place to make sure it doesn’t fall off, then run your tongue over the wax to feel for any looseness. If there is too much saliva upon placement, the wax will not stay attached well.
Be sure to give us a call so we can get your braces fixed at your next appointment!
If you experience one of these common orthodontic emergencies, call us to schedule a repair appointment. Luckily, the vast majority of these repairs can wait for normal business hours.
If you experience a true medical emergency, be sure to visit the emergency room or dial 911.