1. WHAT IS AN ORTHODONTIST?
An Orthodontist is a Certified Specialist in the correction of maligned teeth and jaw irregularities.
2. WHAT DO BRACES, BANDS AND WIRES DO?
The Orthodontic Appliance (commonly called braces) helps the Orthodontist control and move the teeth with maximum accuracy and efficiency. Rubber Bands provide a force which helps teeth move. This is usually done by applying pressure to one group of teeth against the other. Unless otherwise instructed, rubber bands must be worn 24 hours per day. Failure to do so would cause the teeth not to move properly. Arch Wires are the guide or track for the teeth to be moved. The arch wire is adjusted every time you visit the orthodontist. Each time it is moved, the tooth is closer to being where it should be.
3. CAN HABITS AFFECT YOUR SMILE?
Your teeth can be moved with very slight pressure in the right or wrong direction. Bad habits such as thumb or finger sucking, fingernail biting, tongue thrusting and mouth breathing can move teeth in the wrong direction and affect jaw growth. Some orthodontic braces and therapies can help you stop these bad habits.
4. WHAT DO I DO IN AN EMERGENCY?
Please notify the office right away if an emergency should arise. Often we may be able to instruct you over the phone so that you can take care of a problem at home. We Need To Know RIGHT AWAY if you are in pain from a poking wire or other problem. If you call and we’re not in the office, follow the instructions left on the recording or leave a message. We’ll return your call as soon as possible.
5. WHAT ARE BAD EATING HABITS?
- Hard, sticky and/or chewy foods
- Foods high in sugar content
- Sticky and/or chewy foods damage braces by bending wires and pulling cement loose
- Hard foods may do damage by bending wires, loosening cement under the bands or breaking the little brackets and tubes which are attached.
- Food high in sugar content should be avoided whenever possible. If you eat any of them, brush your teeth immediately. If it’s not convenient to brush, always rinse your mouth with clear water after eating very sweet food such as cake or pie.
6. WHAT SHOULD I AVOID EATING?
- Popcorn, Nuts, Peanut Brittle
- Ice (not even if you’re careful)
- Lemons (pure lemon juice can hurt your tooth enamel)
- Corn-on-the-cob (cut it off the cob)
- Corn chips, crisp taco shells, corn nuts, sunflower seeds in the shell
- Taffy, Caramels, Starburst, Now-N-Later
- Jolly Ranchers, fruit chews, beef jerky etc.
- Bubble Gum – a thousand times NO!
- Pizza Crust (the hard outer edge)
- Maybe with extreme care you can eat…
- Carrot Sticks (only if you cut into carrot curls that are thin)
- Apples (only if cut into thin wedges; don’t bite)
- Hard French Bread (only if you take small pieces and are very careful)
- Diet Drinks
- Sugarless gum (not bubble) if in small amounts. Check with your doctor for approval.