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Orthodontic Patient Education

Orthodontics offers the opportunity to achieve a more esthetic smile and improved dental function. To help ensure an outcome you’ll be proud to show off, we have provided an informative resource to prepare you and your child for life with braces and other orthodontic appliances. Our skilled orthodontist, Dr. Ben Chan, will make every effort to provide you and your child with an experience that’s second-to-none. We will go over every detail of your journey during your appointments, keeping you apprised of your progress with each visit. Once we start treatment, we become a team. Each teammate has a role to fulfill that in concert with the efforts of others results in a spectacular result. The patient’s role includes following a few general guidelines regarding orthodontic care. Of course we also welcome your questions at any point throughout the treatment, and you should feel comfortable

We cover many common topics about orthodontic care below; simply follow the links to learn more. If you have additional questions about braces, or if you would like to schedule an appointment, please call our office today.

Your comfort and results are our highest priorities.

Orthodontic Appliances

There are a few types of appliances that people may imagine of when they hear “orthodontics.” Traditional metal braces with brackets and wires, retainers, and headgear are just a few examples. In fact, there are numerous appliances that can be used to shift teeth into a more esthetically desirable and functional position. Invisalign® clear aligners, palatal expanders, elastics, and spacers are commonly used to achieve our goals, depending on the unique needs of the individual. We will discuss which types of appliances can maximize you or your child’s results during your initial consultation.

Brushing with Braces

Good oral hygiene is essential to maintaining the beauty of your teeth and your overall health. Avoiding infections of the teeth and other damage necessitates removing bacteria that grows on the teeth and any food that becomes lodged between brackets, teeth, or other structures as it provides the bacteria the energy to grow. Traditional braces require careful brushing with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Accessing all surfaces of the tooth, especially where the gums and teeth meet, helps to eliminate the risk of dental white spot lesions and dental caries. Make sure to individually brush each tooth, front and back, as well as the tongue and the roof of the mouth. From the start of treatment and throughout the process we will closely monitor and evaluate your oral health and proper brushing techniques. Flossing is equally as important as brushing only reaches one half to three fifths of the tooth surfaces. Thread the floss between the braces and the wire, or use single handed flossers designed to fit between the wire and the tooth. Make sure to work the thread between each tooth and up to the gum line in a rubbing motion against both sides of the teeth to remove damage causing bacteria and the food they use to grow.

Orthodontic Emergencies

Orthodontic appliances are designed to withstand the wear and tear of eating, drinking, and other normal activities. As a result, emergencies typically will be rare. However, if you notice a loose bracket or wire, feel metal poking your cheeks or tongue, or experience an ill-fitting part of the appliance, you should contact us right away. When you first receive your appliances, general soreness for the first few days to weeks is normal. You may take over-the-counter medication (if for a child, ensure the dosage is appropriate for his or her age and size) to alleviate discomfort or use wax to cover any rough spots. If there is significant or lasting pain, we will address your concerns as quickly as possible.

When you are not in the office with us your treatment is in your control. You can help make your experience as pleasant, speedy, and successful as possible by adhering to our recommendations for patient care. If you have additional questions, please contact our office. We can provide additional information or schedule your appointment with Dr. Chan.