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Patient Edu. Treatment Info.

•  Brushing & Flossing
•  Eating Habits
•  Elastics
•  Removable Appliances
•  Orthodontic First Aid
•  Broken Appliances
•  Retainers
•  The Patient’s Responsibility
•  Broken Appointments

Brushing & Flossing
You will notice that it requires more time to keep your teeth clean while wearing braces. Food tends to get stuck in the braces and between your teeth, and can only be removed by brushing and flossing thoroughly. Brushing and flossing after meals should become part of your daily schedule.  Brush at least two to three times a day (especially in the morning after breakfast and in the evening before going to bed) and floss at least once every day. In order to get the floss under your wires, use floss threaders.

Examine your teeth and braces in a mirror after brushing and flossing. If there is still food and plaque, brush again. If plaque remains on the teeth for an extended length of time, it can leave a permanent white discoloration on the surface as well as cause cavities.Continued poor oral hygiene can result in a removal of orthodontic wires and/or braces and a delay in treatment progress until you or your child can demonstrate the ability to keep the orthodontic appliances and teeth clean. In extreme circumstances, continued poor oral hygiene can also result in the discontinuance of orthodontic treatment at Guidry Orthodontics.

Eating Habits
A healthy diet means a healthy body, healthy teeth, and a better result from you or your child’s orthodontic treatment. Please do not eat hard foods. These foods risk breaking braces and wires. Also beware of nail biting and pen or pencil chewing habits, since these can damage your braces. Do not eat sticky foods, because they are difficult for you to remove from your braces. Use common sense about most foods.

Foods to avoid while wearing braces:

  • Chewing gum (all kinds, including sugar-free and non-stick)
  • Ice cubes • Hard pizza or bread crust
  • Apples (unless cut into bite-sized pieces)
  • Carrots (unless cut into bite-sized pieces)
  • Popcorn (unless eating one at a time)
  • Frozen candy bars
  • Nuts (unless eating one at a time)
  • Hard candies
  • Sticky candies (e.g. Tootsie Rolls, Now-N-Laters, Jujy Fruits, caramel, Starbursts, Gummy Bears, Sugar Daddies, etc.)
  • Meat on the bone (e.g. chicken, spareribs)
  • Beef jerky
  • Celery (unless chopped-up)
  • Granola bars
  • Corn on the cobb (unless scraped off the cobb)
  • Crunchy chips
  • Hard pizza
  • Bread crust

Foods to eat much less of while wearing braces:
• Candy (all kinds)
• Other foods with sugar (i.e., ice cream, cookies, cake, pie, etc.)

Drinks to drink much less of while wearing braces:

• Soft drinks (i.e., Coke, Mountain Dew, Sprite, etc.)
• Other drinks with sugar
• Excessive coffee or tea

Elastics (rubber bands) exert a force that creates pressure to move teeth or hold teeth in their proper position. In order for this force to remain constant, elastics must be worn all the time, unless told otherwise. Any time missed in wearing your elastics will only make your treatment take longer, so remember these things:

  • You are responsible for placing the elastics on your braces between appointments. Make sure to wear them as instructed. Remove them only when eating  and brushing your teeth, gums, and braces after meals. Then put new elastics back on immediately.
  • Always carry a few elastics with you, so if one breaks you can replace it right away. If your supply is low, call the office, and we will provide you with an additional supply of elastics. Do not wait until your next appointment to obtain more.
  • If you forget to insert your elastics one day, do not double up the next day. Just follow your regular instructions.
  • Elastics become worn out. When they lose their elasticity, they do not provide the proper pressure on your teeth and jaws. It is very important to change them as directed, even when they are not broken. Elastics should be changed at each meal, with old elastics being discarded and new elastics being inserted after eating and brushing.
  • If your elastics break frequently, a wire or band loosens, or a brace breaks off, call our office immediately. Do not wait until your next appointment. These problems need to be corrected as soon as possible.

Removable Appliances The removable appliance is carefully designed to move or to hold your teeth. It will sometimes make you or your child’s teeth sore, especially if it is adjusted to move teeth. It is important that it is worn according to instructions and brought to each appointment.

  • Avoid flipping your appliance with your tongue. This can cause damage to your teeth or loosening and breakage of your appliance.
  • Clean your appliance by brushing it daily with toothpaste. Denture cleaner (e.g. Efferdent) can also be used for more thorough cleaning.
  • Never wrap your appliance in a paper napkin or tissue and set it down on the table. You or someone else may accidentally throw it away. Do not put it in your pant or jacket pocket, because you may break or lose it. Whenever it is not in your mouth, it should be placed in its plastic appliance case.
  • Keep your appliance away from dogs or cats, as they love to chew on them. Avoid storing them near any source of heat. Do not boil your retainer to sterilize it. If needed, bring it to the office, and we will be happy to disinfect it for you.

Orthodontic First Aid
During routine orthodontic treatment, a certain amount of discomfort involving your teeth, gums, tongue, lips, and cheeks is normal and should be anticipated. Most of the time this discomfort will go away several days after your orthodontic appointment. Some irritations of your soft tissues (i.e., gums, tongue, lips, and cheeks) may persist for a week as they “toughen up” and get used to rubbing against your orthodontic appliances. Oftentimes relief can be obtained without an additional visit to our office. Here are some orthodontic “first aid” suggestions to use at home in order to help minimize the discomfort that you may encounter:

1. General Tooth soreness
Acetominophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) can be used as needed by following the dosage instructions on the package; continuous, long-term usage of these medications during orthodontic treatment is not necessary, nor is recommended.

2. Loose Appliances

a) Loose band or bracket-If band or bracket is still attached to wire, leave in place. If uncomfortable, place wax on it. If it comes out completely, wrap band or bracket in tissue and bring to next appointment.
b) Loose wire-Try to place wire back in place with tweezers. If that is not possible, contact our office for advice before clipping wire. If any discomfort, place wax on it.
c) Poking wire-Try to push sticking wire down with spoon or eraser. If not possible, place wax on it and contact our office for advice.

3. Ulcers
Two types of medication, one to relieve discomfort and one to heal, may be necessary to help get relief from these soft tissue irritations:

a)Topical anesthetic-Either a liquid or a gel that you apply to numb the ulcer until it can heal; these medications are commonly sold under the names Anbesol, Orajel, or Orabase; any of these are fine, as long as their active ingredient is 20% Benzocaine.
b) Mouth rinse-Promotes healing of the ulcer; and of the following may be used;

  • i) Salt water-1 small glass of warm water mixed with 1 teaspoon of salt; swish in mouth 3 times/day for 5 days.
  • ii) Peroxyl (by Colgate)-Follow dosage instructions on package after each meal for 3-4 days.
  • iii) Amosan (by Oral B)-Follow dosage instructions on package after each meal for 3-4 days.

Any of the previously mentioned medications can be purchased at your local drugstore, such as Walgreens or Rite-Aid. Please do not hesitate to contact our office if you feel unable to handle a problem on your own, have questions, or need advice regarding discomfort with your orthodontic appliances. We will be happy to help!

Please Note: Any tooth discomfort or soft tissue irritations that persist for more than two (2) weeks may indicate a more serious condition that warrants specific treatment by our office, your general dentist, and/or another dental specialist. Please notify our office and/or your general dentist immediately if any such condition should persist.

Broken Appliances
It is the patient’s shared responsibility to care for their orthodontic appliances. Broken appliances can significantly prolong you or your child’s treatment and/or compromise the desired treatment results because of unwanted or lack of tooth movement. Orthodontic appliances are also expensive. Habitual breakage of orthodontic appliances during active treatment can result in additional treatment charges and, in extreme circumstances, can result in discontinuance of treatment at Guidry Orthodontics.

Now that your braces are off and you are enjoying your beautiful new smile, we would like to give you some information about retainers. Retainers are very important to your orthodontic result, and the first year after braces is always the most crucial.

  • Until you are advised differently, wear your retainer all the time. The clear retainer should be worn when playing sports.
  • Brush the retainers with cold water every time you brush your teeth. Occasionally, soaking in regular denture cleaner if deposit buildup is a problem is also a good idea.
  • Retainers can easily be broken if they are not in your mouth or in their case. Avoid backpacks, back pockets, tabletops, and places where the family pet can reach them.
  • If your retainer breaks, do not try to fix it yourself. Call our office immediately to get it repaired (if possible) or have a new retainer fabricated. Additional charges will apply for these services unless otherwise notified.
  • Be careful not to click your retainer in and out with your tongue. This will cause it to loosen and not fit properly.•  Retainers do not like heat. Avoid hot water, sunlight, and do not microwave them (yes, it has been done).
  • You may talk differently or salivate more when you first get your retainer. This is normal and will improve with practice and time.

Remember: retainers are difficult to make and are expensive to replace. Broken retainers during retention will result in additional charges in order to repair or replace them. Take care of them and keep your recall appointments with us. With proper care, your retainer will serve you well for a very long time.

Broken Appointments
A broken appointment is an appointment that the patient misses, cancel/reschedule with less that twenty-four (24) hours notice to our office. If for some reason you cannot keep your scheduled appointment please contact our office as soon as possible. By doing so, you allow another patient to use that time, as well as reschedule your appointment in a timely manner. If it is after hours, please leave your name and number and a brief message on our answering service, and we will return your call as soon as we can.

Habitually (frequently) broken appointments can significantly prolong you or your child’s treatment and/or compromise the desired treatment results because of unwanted or lack of tooth movement. It also does not allow our office to monitor you or your child’s progress, whether this involves monitoring growth and development or orthodontic appliances.

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