Appliance Care & Use

Braces

For a few days after your child's braces are applied their teeth will be sore, so his or her diet can be limited to soft foods. The rest of the time in braces, your child needs to avoid foods that will either break the braces or cause tooth decay.

Keeping teeth clean is even more important while wearing braces. Your child should ideally brush after every meal or snack – and especially after sugary food or drinks. Your child should floss once a day, preferably before bedtime.

Make sure your child uses a soft bristled toothbrush or electric toothbrush and brushes all surfaces of the teeth, including along the gum line.

We recommend using the flossers suggested the day the braces were applied, to allow the floss to clean the areas between gums and braces.

We also recommend using a fluoride gel to help prevent tooth decay and decalcification.

Your child can play any sports while wearing braces, but we recommend a mouthguard. A lot of sports involve flying balls, pucks or sticks, and those can hit your child in the mouth. Other sports provide the opportunity for your child to fall face first into pavement. We can provide a mouthguard that will protect your child's teeth while wearing braces.

Elastics (Rubber Bands)

If your braces use elastics, it's very important to wear these as directed every day! Not wearing the elastics can prolong the amount of time spent wearing braces.

  • Elastics are to be worn 24/7.
  • Elastics should be changed every 3 – 4 hours.
  • Always carry extra elastics with you to replace them if they break.
  • Your teeth will be sore less often if you wear the elastics every day. Wearing them off and on causes more soreness.
  • If you forget to wear your elastics, don't wear double elastics to make up for it. It just doesn't work that way, and can cause other problems.

If you or your child has trouble getting the elastics on, call our office so we can fix the problem.

Let us know if you're running low on elastics. You can pick them up at our offices, or we'll mail them to you.

Retainers

Braces put teeth in the right position. The retainer ensures that they stay there. It's very important that the retainer is worn as long as Dr. Beth recommends it. Most retainers are worn day and night, and removed for eating and brushing teeth.

Some points to remember:

  • Wear the retainer day and night, or as recommended
  • Keep a retainer case at home and school or office. Carry one with you when you go out.
  • Always put your retainer in its case as soon as you take it out.
  • Never, ever wrap it in a napkin while eating – it will get thrown away!
  • Never put a retainer in your pocket – it will get broken!
  • Never leave your retainer sitting out – dogs and cats like to chew on them. Or, they'll get lost.
  • Never leave your retainer near heat, such as in the sun or in a hot car.
  • Clean your retainer twice a week by soaking it in a denture cleaner.
  • Never clean your retainer in the microwave or with hot water.

One set of retainers is included in our fee. If the retainer is lost or broken, or no longer fit because they haven't been worn, there will be a fee to make a new set.

Caring For Your Braces
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GLEN CARBON

23 Glen Ed Professional Park

(618) 692-1044
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4739 Maryville Road

(618) 931-3700
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2219 W Randolph Street

(618) 692-1044