Here are a few tips for caring for your teeth until your next clinic visit:
It is important to remember you are a partner in the orthodontic treatment process, and your oral health care does not end between visits.
- Clean your teeth multiple times a day. If you’re wearing an orthodontic appliance, keeping your teeth clean is important, no matter the situation. Be sure to rinse your mouth with water after drinking a sugary or acidic beverage. Brush your teeth and gums after every meal or snack. Floss at least once a day.
- Use what you have at home. If you experience any issues with your braces or appliances, you may be able to handle it at home. Here is a link to some helpful home remedies for common orthodontic issues.*While these are steps you can take to fix or alleviate discomfort and prevent additional damage temporarily, it is preferred that you speak to one of our dental providers. Many times, they may be able to handle the issue over the phone.
- Wear your elastics or retainers as prescribed. Keep your orthodontic treatment on track by following the recommendations of your orthodontist. Running low on rubber bands? Do not worry. Contact the dental clinic at (907) 729-2000 to assist you in getting more.
- Avoid problematic foods and drinks. It is especially important to handle your appliances with care. Avoid hard, sticky foods that could potentially break brackets. Skip or limit sugary beverages like sports drinks and soda. Water is best!
- Will this delay my treatment? Part of successful orthodontic treatment is showing up for your appointments. You can help keep treatment on track by following your orthodontist’s directions, avoiding hard and sticky foods, and keeping your teeth clean. Keeping your teeth clean will ensure the best possible result.
- Call our clinic if you have any questions. We are here for you and are available to discuss any questions or concerns regarding your orthodontic care. Contact us at (907) 729-2000.
These are just a few steps you can take to help keep things on track with your orthodontic treatment.
Tools and Supplies
With these tools and supplies on hand, you will be prepared to handle the most common orthodontic issues.
- Orthodontic relief wax
- Dental floss
- Disinfected tweezers
- Interproximal brush
- Non-prescription pain reliever (acetaminophen or ibuprofen)
- Topical anesthetic (such as Orabase or Ora-Gel)
An O-ring is the tiny rubber band, or sometimes a very thin wire ligature, that holds the orthodontic wire in the bracket. If a rubber O-ring should come off, you may be able to put it back in place using disinfected tweezers. If a wire ligature comes loose, simply remove it with the tweezers. If the wire ligature is sticking out into the lip, but is not loose, it may be bent back down with a Q-tip or pencil eraser to eliminate the irritation.
It is normal to have some discomfort during orthodontic treatment as your teeth move, however it should not last longer than a couple days. Rinsing your mouth with warm salt water and over-the-counter pain relievers, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, may alleviate some discomfort. If the discomfort lasts longer than a couple days, call the dental clinic at (907) 729-2000 to determine appropriate next steps.
Some customer-owners are susceptible to episodes of mouth sores. While braces do not cause them, they may be precipitated or exacerbated by an irritation from braces. One or several areas of ulceration of the cheeks, lips, or tongue may appear. This is not an emergency but may be very uncomfortable. Prompt relief may be achieved by applying a small amount of topical anesthetic directly to the ulcerated surface using a cotton swab — reapply as needed. If the discomfort does not resolve after a couple days, call the dental clinic at (907) 729-2000 to determine appropriate next steps.
Irritation in Mouth
Sometimes braces or wires can be irritating to the mouth, especially when eating. A small amount of orthodontic relief wax makes an excellent buffer between the metal and mouth. To apply, pinch off a small piece and roll it into a ball the size of a small pea. Flatten the ball and place it completely over the area of the braces causing irritation. Wax can be purchased at most drug stores.
Southcentral Foundation Dental Clinic
4441 Diplomacy Drive Anchorage, AK 99508