Congratulations! You have decided to receive orthodontic treatment to straighten your teeth and give you a healthy, straight and beautiful smile.
Our orthodontist and team are committed to making your treatment as effective as possible. We are also committed to your comfort and wellbeing. We know that life with braces can sometimes be tricky, and we want you to feel as prepared and comfortable as possible while wearing braces. Please review the information we have provided. If you have any questions about life with braces or orthodontics, we invite you to contact Tooth Fairy World and speak with Dr. Michael Stosich. We will be happy to answer questions, resolve any concerns you may have, and help you schedule an appointment.
Your oral hygiene at at-home care routine are more important than ever while you are wearing braces. The build-up of plaque on your teeth or around your braces can easily lead to cavities, gum disease, permanent white spots on your teeth, red and swollen gums, and holes on the tooth surface. We understand that braces can make it tricky to brush and floss your teeth. Here are a few tips:
- Use a soft-bristled toothbrush.
- Begin on the front surfaces of your teeth, and use small, circular motions.
- Make sure to brush along the gum line (gently!) so that you can clean the pockets between the tooth and the gum.
- Brush each surface of the tooth, including above, below and the front of each bracket. Also brush under the wire as much as you can.
- After brushing, rinse your teeth thoroughly with water.
You should brush your teeth at least three times each day. We recommend brushing in the morning, afternoon (or after school) and before going to bed.
Keeping the areas of your teeth clean while wearing braces can be difficult. Our orthodontist will provide with a special type of brush, known as an inter-dental toothbrush. It is designed to clean in the areas between your teeth, and should be used at least once a day. The ideal time to use an inter-dental toothbrush is right before you go to bed. We may also recommend that you use a floss-threader to more easily floss between your teeth.
Clean Teeth for Appointments
Please brush thoroughly before each visit to Tooth Fairy World. Working with dirty teeth is difficult and unpleasant, and may cause problems for Dr. Stosich when checking the progress of your treatment. Don’t be offended or discouraged if we make recommendations about ways you can improve your at-home oral hygiene. Our only goal is to make sure that you will have a healthy, beautiful smile after you complete your treatment.
Discomfort While Wearing Braces
Some soreness is expected after you begin wearing braces and after any adjustments to your braces. This soreness and pressure should go away after a few days as your mouth adjusts.
In the meantime, here are a few tips to help you manage your discomfort:
- Try to eat a normal diet. Going to a soft diet could actually prolong the soreness. Chewing sugarless gum has also been known to help soreness dissipate more quickly.
- Use mild pain relievers (Advil, Tylenol, Aleve, etc.) as needed.
- If the braces cause irritation to your lips, cheek or tongue, you may use a small piece of orthodontic wax (which Dr. Stosich will provide). Simply place the wax on the brace.
If irritation and soreness does not fade after a couple of days, please contact our office.
Foods to Avoid with Braces
Our orthodontist recommends that you avoid foods which are hard or chewy. You should also avoid biting into hard objects, such as pens, pencils, eyeglasses, toothbrushes, silverware and ice cubes.
You may chew gum while wearing braces. However, please chew sugarless stick gum, such as Extra, Trident, Carefree, Freedent or Dentyne. Avoid chewing large, thick pieces of gum.
Below is a detailed list of foods that we recommend you avoid eating while wearing braces. Please use it as a reference throughout your treatment.
- Bit of Honey
- Marathon Bar
- Milk Duds
- Bubble Yum Gum
- Milky Ways
- Caramel Corn
- 100 Grand candy bars
- Peanut Brittle
- Charleston Chew
- Power Bar
- Dots Red Hots
- Frozen candy bars
- Rock candy
- Fruit Roll Ups
- Slow Pokes
- Gummy Bears
- Good & Plenty
- Heath Bar Crunch
- Jaw Breakers
- Jujy Fruits Taffy
- Ju-Ju Bees
- Tootsie Rolls
- Tootsie Rolle Pops
- Life Savers
- Tostada chips
- Tortilla chips
- Whole apples (must be sliced)
- Chicken on the bone
- Whole carrots (must be sliced)
- Corn on the cob
- Hard rolls or bread (Italian bread)
- Submarine sandwiches (Subway sandwiches are okay)
- Ice cubes
- Olives with pits
- Beef jerky
- Chocolate covered fruit such as raisinets
- M&M’s (no peanuts)
- Cough drops (for colds only, do not chew!)
- Peanut Butter Cups
If a braces come loose or you have a problem with a broken bracket or wire, please call us as soon as possible during our regular office hours. We will schedule an appointment with you to come in and have the brace or other problem repaired. We encourage you to call and make an appointment so that we can ensure that we have the time to fix the problem and get your treatment back on track. If you come in without telling us, our orthodontist and team may not have time to fix it.
If a wire has shifted, broken or come out and is stabbing you, please contact us immediately so that we can meet with you and resolve the problem. If you are in pain and it is not discomfort from a new wire, contact us immediately. We will make arrangements for you to come into our office as soon as possible.
Keeping On Schedule
We are aware of your busy schedule, and make every effort to keep our office running on schedule so that you can receive the care you need in a timely manner. Please help us do this by:
- Coming to your scheduled appointments on time
- Brushing your teeth to keep them clean
- Minimal broken appliances
- Cooperating with headgear and/or elastics used in your treatment
If you neglect any of these areas, your treatment time may be extended as a result.
If you have any questions about life with braces or orthodontic treatment in the Chicago, Illinois, area, please contact our office today at 773-327-3331.