Getting new braces is a big step that will lead patients to healthier, more attractive smiles – but first, there’s the journey ahead. Getting used to you or your child’s treatment can feel like climbing a steep hill at first, which is why Dr. Michael and the team at OPD Smiles want to provide some helpful tips. If you ever have any questions or concerns that aren’t addressed below, don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re always happy to help!
Caring for Braces
When wearing braces, regular oral hygiene will require a little more time and effort on the patient’s part – but the results are more than worth it! Keep the following guidelines in mind:
- Brush thoroughly after every meal, paying special attention to the brackets and the gum tissue. Use toothpaste with fluoride and make sure to replace toothbrushes as soon as they show any signs of wear.
- Use a floss threader to maneuver floss underneath the orthodontic wire. Pay special attention to the areas along and underneath the gum line. Our team can provide helpful instructions for this process.
- Consider using an interproximal brush, a power toothbrush, or a Waterpik. These devices help make oral hygiene with braces faster and more effective.
If you experience an orthodontic emergency, don’t hesitate to contact OPD Smiles right away. Dr. Michael will make time for you or your child or soon as he possibly can. Here are some situations that our practice considers true emergencies, if you are unsure:
- The brackets and/or wires are dangerously loose.
- A piece of the appliance has been swallowed.
- A wire is protruding and causing significant pain.
Why do orthodontic problems happen in the first place?
Genetics are the most likely culprit. Other possible factors include the premature loss of baby teeth, chronic thumb/finger sucking, the presence of serious dental disease, or traumatic dental injuries.
When should my child have an orthodontic consultation?
The American Association of Orthodontics recommends that this visit happen around the age of seven, and we wholeheartedly agree. The earlier we discover orthodontic problems, the easier it will be to correct them.
Are braces just for kids?
Not at all! Orthodontic treatment can be successful at nearly any age. Plus, with aesthetic options like Invisalign® and clear/ceramic braces available, it’s easier than ever to maintain a professional, mature appearance throughout the process.
How long will treatment take?
Every case is different, but most patients can expect to spend one to three years undergoing orthodontic treatment. Dr. Michael will be able to share the expected timespan of you or your child’s particular treatment plan after a consultation.
How much will braces cost?
This will depend on several different factors, such as the complexity of the problems at hand and the proposed length of treatment. Rest assured that our team will go over all of this information with you in clear terms before any actual care begins. We are in-network with several major dental insurance plans and also have financing options to make you or your loved one’s orthodontic treatment reasonably affordable.
How long do I need to wear my retainer after having braces?
Again, this will be on a case-by-case basis – there is no one right answer for every patient. Please keep in mind that it is very important to wear the retainer as prescribed, as teeth are likely to shift after the braces have been removed.
Can I wear my retainer for TOO long?
No, this is not possible. In fact, many people choose to wear their retainer overnight for the rest of their lives.