Everyone’s orthodontic treatment is unique to them.
Treatment time varies and typically lasts between six months and two years, depending on several factors including age, treatment method, and how minor or severe your case is. The more involved and diligent you are caring for your teeth and appliance, the more efficient your treatment will be.
Orthodontic appliances are made of metal, ceramic or plastic. They may be removable or they may be brackets bonded to the teeth. By placing a constant, gentle force in a carefully controlled direction, braces slowly move teeth to the proper position.
It is exceptionally important that you continue to visit your family dentist at least once every six months, during your orthodontic treatment for teeth cleanings and routine dental checkups!
Caring for Your Braces
How to Brush
- Angle bristles of the toothbrush towards the gum line to ensure you are removing plaque and food.
- Brush after each meal and at bedtime.
- Use a 3-minute timer at least once a day.
- Look in the mirror to be sure you haven’t missed any areas.
Flossing, Rinsing & Ongoing Care
- Use floss-aids in between teeth daily.
- Use fluoride rinse once a day after brushing with toothpaste. Vigorously swish rinse between teeth for 1 minute and then spit out. Do not eat or drink for 30 minutes after rinsing.
- Maintain appropriate cleaning appointments with your general dentist. Adults every 3-4 months and children every 6 months.
- Palatal Expanders should be cleaned by using a WaterPik between the roof of the mouth and the expander. Follow brushing instructions as indicated above.
Orthodontic Diet Chart
Foods that are not cleaned off the braces may lead to discoloration and decay of your teeth. Even though the braces and wires are metal and ceramic they are fragile and may be damaged by eating the wrong foods, thus taking longer to finish the treatment.
- Gum, sugarless or otherwise
- Sticky foods: caramels, Sugar Daddies, Starburst, Skittles, caramel apples, Sugar Babies, licorice, taffy, Now & Later, Tootsie Rolls, Gummy Bears, Gummy Worms, Swedish Fish, Fruit by the Foot, Mike n’ Ike, Jolly Ranchers, Snickers, Milky Way
- Hard foods: apples and carrots (unless cooked or cut into small pieces), corn on the cob, hard candy, ice, nuts, popcorn, pizza crust, bagels (unless cut into small pieces or scoop out the inside), hard pretzels, Doritos
Minimize Sugar Intake
- Eat much less: candy, ice cream, cookies, foods with sugar, cake
- Drink much less: soda, drinks with sugar
Stuff That’s Okay
- Candy: Plain Hershey’s bar, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, Junior Mints, York Peppermint Patty, 3 Musketeer, Kit-Kat