If you are one of our San Jose braces patients, you will need to make some adjustments to accommodate your new appliance. You will need to make several changes—but don’t let that fact intimidate you! Before you know it, everything will seem like second nature. And since you are one of our Santa Clara area braces patients, we will be happy to give you guidance in making these adjustments.
Eating with Braces
Out of the changes you have to make, the dietary changes are the hardest to adjust to. If your favorite foods are on the banned list, you might feel as though you are being punished for choosing to get orthodontic treatment. However, there are many foods you can eat, and even those you are cautioned against eating can often be modified to work for you while in treatment.
So what can you eat? Plenty of things! In fact, this is what you should be focusing on, instead of dwelling on what you cannot have. There are plenty of braces-friendly recipes online and we will even share some of our favorites with you while you are in the office—and give you some tips and tricks for making the restricted foods braces-safe.
The first few days after the appliance has been placed are always the most difficult for our Campbell area braces patients. During those initial days, your teeth will be very sensitive to bitting pressure as they cope with adjusting to the forces exerted by the appliance. You will need to stick to soft foods until your teeth begin to adjust. However, it isn’t all negative: you have an excuse to eat all the ice cream you want.
Once those days are over, you will still need to avoid certain items. No tough meats, chewy or hard-crust breads, and no crisp veggies. We know that all of our San Jose braces patients see their appliance as an investment, and avoiding these foods is how you protect that investment.
Protecting that investment also means that any chewing habits need to be eliminated. If you nervously btie your nails or chew on pens when thinking, you will need to stop. A damaged appliance means costly repairs and longer treatment—things all of our Santa Clara area braces patients surely want to avoid.
Right after your appliance is placed, you will experience some soreness for about 3-5 days. Your teeth and gums must adjust to the sudden addition of the appliance and the forces it exherts to do its job. However, this pain should not be severe; an OTC pain reliever, such as Tylenol, should suffice. You may also experience the feeling of irritation on your lips, cheeks, and tongue for a week or so as they adjust to the appliance as well. We give all of our Campbell area braces patients dental wax that can be used to lessen the irritation.
With each adjustment of your appliance, you will likely experience this soreness once again, but to a lesser degree and for less time. Use the same OTC pain reliever to cope with this.
Loosening of Teeth
This aspect of getting braces is often the most disconcerting for our San Jose braces patients. The sensation of loose teeth can send you into a panic, feeling as though your teeth are going to fall out. However, you can rest assured that your teeth are not going to fall out; they must loosen up so that the appliance can move them to their correct position. Once your treatment is finished, they will firm up in place. So, when you start to experience this sensation, don’t panic—it is all part of the journey our Santa Clara area braces patients must embark on in their effort to achieve the smile of their dreams.
Loose Wire or Band
Most of our San Jose braces patients will experience a loose wire or band during treatment. While it may seem alarming, you should not panic. In fact, you can likely deal with it at home well enough to reduce irritation until you can see the doctor. If a wire is poking and irritating you, use the eraser end of a pencil to gently push it back under the archwire. You can also use some dental wax to reduce irritation.
Just keep in mind that successful treatment requires a good doctor/patient relationship and dedication to the treatment on the part of the patient. The appliance will only work if it is well-maintained and used correctly.
Metal braces are the most common type of braces for orthodontic patients. Today’s metal braces are much smaller, flatter, and more comfortable than in the past. Patients of all ages choose metal braces to help them achieve straight, beautiful smiles
Ceramic braces are made of clear materials and are less visible on your teeth than metal braces. For this reason, they are used mainly on older teenagers as well as adult patients who have aesthetic concerns. While they are visually less prominent, they do require more attention to oral hygiene as ceramic braces are larger than metal braces. The only drawback to ceramic brackets is that they are more fragile, and the elastic ties can discolor between orthodontic visits with certain foods and smoking.
Clear appliances, such as Invisalign or Clear Correct, use a series of invisible, removable, and comfortable aligners to straighten your teeth. And, no one can tell you are wearing those aligners because they are invisible! Not only are the aligners invisible, they are removable, so you can eat and drink what you want while in treatment, plus brushing and flossing are convenient. The aligners are comfortable and have no metal to cause mouth abrasions during treatment.
Benefits of orthodontic treatment will last a lifetime if you keep these important patient responsibilities in mind:
Because teeth can continue to move throughout life, we feel that individuals who have undergone orthodontic therapy should wear retainers indefinitely. A patient should wear retainers all the time for one year following the removal of braces.
After approximately one year, the patient can wear the retainer just at night. This is to allow the wisdom teeth to develop without ruining the patient’s beautiful smile. Dr. Cadena will see you every six to nine months to make recommendations on the wisdom teeth and an X-ray will be taken every one and a half years.)
Once the wisdom teeth have been decided on, wear your retainer at least one night per week. This is because, as you get older, the muscles that surround your teeth will get tighter and place pressure on your teeth, causing them to move or crowd.
Because the material used for fabrication is slightly porous, plaque tends to cling to the surfaces. Gentle scrubbing with a toothbrush and a mild liquid soap will remove the plaque. A denture cleaning solution, such as Efferdent, will aid in the removal of plaque and tartar. Be sure to rinse the retainers thoroughly after cleaning to remove any cleanser residue.
Because retainers are worn for years, they will need periodic replacement. Your original treatment contract includes one set of retainers after the braces are removed. If the retainers are lost or damaged due to neglect, there will be a charge for replacement. If the retainers become loose or break, contact our office immediately.
Once the active orthodontic appliances are removed, the patient will receive retainers to stabilize the dental correction. Because the bone and soft tissues surrounding the teeth are stabilizing for several months after braces are removed, it is imperative that the retainers are worn as instructed. Failure to wear the retainers may result in undesirable movement of the teeth, which could necessitate re-treatment.
Fixed retainers (Bonded Wire)
This wire should stay on forever. The only exception is if your family dentist says you are not keeping it clean and it is beginning to cause gum or bone problems. If this should occur, please have the wire removed and replace it with a removable retainer. The removable retainer should then be worn as Dr. Cadena prescribes. The fixed wire will protect the teeth as the patient gets older and your facial muscles get tighter. Please have this wire monitored by your family dentist at your six-month check ups.
Habits or Conditions that Require Stronger Retention
Dental examinations and cleanings
The patient should continue with proper oral hygiene procedures at home, to include thorough brushing and flossing techniques. His or her family dentist should see the patient at least every six months for cleaning and dental examinations.
Sometimes, appliances might be broken or bent during your orthodontic care. If there are any disturbances, such as loose bands, loose brackets, broken or poking wires, please call our office for an appointment during patient hours. For your convenience and the convenience of scheduled patients, it is not possible to handle emergencies on a walk in basis.
Watch this video on YouTube that explains how to handle an orthodontic emergency.
Following a direct injury to your mouth or teeth, whether undergoing orthodontic care or not, immediately ice the injured area and you should contact your regular dentist as soon as possible. Usually an x-ray of the involved tooth or teeth is needed to determine the extent of injury. If a tooth has been displaced, knocked out, or fractured, it is best to contact your family dentist first, since we may not have the necessary materials or anesthesia required to treat these injuries. If the appliances are dislodged or displaced, we will need to replace or adjust the appliances as soon as possible, after you have seen your general dentist, depending upon the comfort level of the patient.
If an orthodontic emergency arises where the patient is in pain after hours and can not wait for the following work day, please call our on-call assistant at: 408-316-6143