Elastics are tiny rubber bands that apply extra force to a tooth or teeth in ways that braces alone can't, so that teeth move into their planned positions. Tiny hooks on selected upper and lower brackets as used as attachment points. The configuration of the elastics can be vertical or diagonal, depending on the individual’s need. Patients are responsible for placing and removing their elastics. Elastics should be worn as prescribed by the orthodontist. Do not wear more elastics than prescribed. Doing so places excessive force on the teeth and can be harmful. Dr. Feldman, Dr. McDowell, or Dr. Brockway will instruct you on use of your elastics.
Retainers, as the name implies, retain the teeth in the corrected position. Initially, they are worn full-time for the first four days after the braces are removed, except for meals and brushing. Please continue to wear your retainers for 8-10 hours per night. Think of them as pajamas for your teeth. You should continue to wear the retainers as long as you want straight teeth!
Every time you brush your teeth you should brush your retainer, especially before bed. We recommend using a separate tooth brush with antibacterial soap for cleaning or by soaking it in Retainer Brite solution which can be purchased at our offices. Beware soaking your retainer in denture cleaner, because over time it will cause the retainer to be stained a yellow color. Thoroughly rinse your retainer with plain water before placing it back in your mouth. When not in use you should always store your retainer in its case.
It is important to keep up with your dental hygiene while wearing your braces. Be sure to take the time to brush with fluoride toothpaste and to floss regularly. Brushing and flossing will help to prevent the buildup of plaque and possibility of tooth decay. When flossing, be careful to floss between the tooth and braces wire, but be gentle to avoid damaging the braces.
Children, Teens, and Adults with traditional braces should protect their braces and teeth during sports by wearing a mouth guard. Blue Wave Orthodontics can create a custom mouth guard for any patient. The benefits of a custom sports mouthguard are more comfort and the proper fit. Student-athlete will be more apt to wearing their guards, and more likely to protect their smiles.The added benefit of a custom sports mouthguard is better athletic performance.
All patients with braces should avoid caramel, bubblegum, taffy, popcorn, peanuts, hard candy and taco chips to name just a few items. Eating these off-limit foods could lengthen treatment time or mean an emergency visit. Once treatment begins, we will explain the complete instructions and provide a comprehensive list regarding foods to avoid. Many emergency appointments or actions can be avoided to repair damaged braces or appliances by carefully following our instructions.