Frequent brushing each day using repetitive toothbrushing strokes will be most effective. This will assure that you are effectively removing loose food as well as adherent plaque. Otherwise, these remaining irritants will stain the teeth and create white zones of decalcification. Decalcification weakens the tooth enamel and will allow decay to occur.
It is always wise to brush after your meals. Toothpaste is helpful but not always essential. We need to use a brush with bristles flexible enough to reach in and around the brackets and wires. Hold the brush at an angle as the brush is carried up and down in slow deliberate circles. Electric toothbrushes such as Braun Oral B and Sonicare provide these kind of motions and are effective.
We will provide special instructions when you get your appliances. A special type of floss called Superfloss is very helpful and we will provide you with a supply. Rinsing with water in a vigorous fashion is very helpful during the day especially when you are away from the house. You can even do some rinsing as you are drinking water. This will temporarily dilute the numbers of bacteria in your mouth and loosen some particles of fresh food.
Orthodontic treatment progress is interrupted when appliances are damaged and/or broken. Please become aware of what it is you intend to put in your mouth prior to doing so. If it is too chewy or hard it does not belong in your mouth. You may need to pre-cook or cut it up. Or you may simply need to avoid it entirely.
Hard Candies: Tootsie Rolls
Starbursts and caramel
Corn on the Cob
Hard outside edge pizza crusts
Bagels-can be softened in the micro-wave
Hard objects for example; pen caps, pencils, pens
Opening water bottle tops with your teeth
Mouthguards that are not of the special orthodontic type-ask us to give you one.
Be aware of your intake of sweets and brush accordingly. A lesser known problem relates to over consumption of carbonated beverages (soda). Soda beverages are highly acidic and that means the more the liquid is in your mouth the more the tooth enamel can be weakened, actually dissolved away. If you drink soda limit yourself to small amounts and do not slowly sip it. The best thing you can do is brush soon after. If you cannot then you should try to rinse your mouth with water. Of course, we shall place limits on the amount of soda that is consumed from week to week because it is far from being a health food.
Broken Orthodontic Appliances
If you do have these problems you may not be aware of when you actually experienced the damage. You may first note this problem sometime later. If there is some period of time that passes it represents lost progress and certainly a significant slow down in your orthodontic care. Preventing problems is by far the best approach to attaining successful and on time orthodontic treatment.
Orthodontic Brushing and Flossing
Because individual bite problems can vary greatly there is need for wearing an appliance system that will be best for you. Dr. Judge customizes each patient's fixed or removable appliances in advance. No two treatments are in fact exactly the same.
Rubber bands are sometimes worn during part of the orthodontic care. Unless instructed otherwise they must be worn all the time except during meals or when a mouthguard is being worn.
Failure to follow these directions will severely limits their effectiveness and this will prolong your orthodontic care needlessly. Replace elastics several times a day and do not allow yourself to run out. We can even mail them to you if you cannot stop by to get what you need. This is important to know and to practice.
Dr. Judge personally designs and shapes every wire that you need. These are not "standard" or "average" sizes and shapes but customized to your mouth for comfort and effectiveness. In all instances the wire is specifically made for each patient and fit in place by Dr. Judge.
although patients new to orthodontics frequently wonder if treatment is painful the fact is that dr. judge will make certain that you are comfortable at every appointment. note that every single band and bracket intended for your mouth is personally fit and applied by dr. judge. there should be nothing that in painful and that is why we do not need to do shots or other kinds of anesthesia. however, it is normal that teeth will be moving following your appointments. this movement can be uncomfortable at times so it could be necessary with the approval of an adult that mild analgesics like ibuprofen or aspirin or tylenol be used.
a bent or broken piece of your appliancs may rub and irritate the cheek, lip or gums. to get relief and assist healing be sure to use the wax we have given you. just use a small amount to cover the part of your appliance near the irritated area. the orabase ointment we have given you may also provide relief and promote healing.
if something is loose or broken it may be helpful to cover the wire, band or bracket with wax. this will reduce irritation to your lip, tongue or cheek. don't forget about using the orabase ointment in such instances.
sometimes a tie wire may loosen and move out of position thereby coming in contact with your lip or cheek. you may be able to push it back into position using the eraser end of the pencil.
headgear or removable appliance problems
headgear or removable appliance problems will require some refitting and/or repair so be sure to promptly call for an appointment.
if a spacer comes out it may be necessary to replace it. it depends on a number of factors so it is important to call the office for guidance.
usually these items pass through the intestines uneventfully. however, if it results in difficulty breathing you may need medical attention.
true emergencies requiring attention after office hours are rare but do occur. if you feel you need to be seen please call the office for instructions.