Congratulations on Beginning Your Journey Towards a Beautiful Smile
We're excited to take this step with you and we're here to make sure this is an amazing experience for you and your family. Here's what you can expect to feel immediately after getting braces and throughout your treatment.
When you first get your braces, you may feel general soreness in your mouth and your teeth may be tender to biting pressures for three to five days. Rinsing your mouth with a warm saltwater mouthwash can relieve this soreness. Dissolve one teaspoonful of salt in eight ounces of warm water and rinse your mouth vigorously.
If your tenderness is severe, take an over the counter pain reliever in the recommended dosage every four to six hours. Your lips, cheeks, and tongue may also become irritated for one to two weeks as they toughen and become accustomed to the surface of the braces. You may use wax on the braces to lessen this, and we'll show you how.
Loosening of Teeth
A feeling of loose teeth is to be expected throughout treatment. Don't worry–this is normal. Your teeth must loosen first so they can move. Your teeth will become rigidly fixed in their new corrected positions.
Loose Wire or Band
Don't be alarmed if a wire or band comes loose. This happens occasionally. Please call our office to describe the situation and receive instruction. In the meantime, here are some helpful tips to get you by until the pros can take care of you.
- Poking wire: If a wire protrudes and is irritating, use a blunt instrument (the back of a spoon or the eraser end of a pencil) and gently push the irritating wire under the arch wire. If irritation to the lips or mouth continues, place orthodontic wax on the wire to reduce irritation. Call our office as soon as possible for an appointment to check and repair the appliances. If any piece comes off, save it and bring it with you to the office.
- Broken bracket: Call our office immediately! We'll arrange for a repair visit or at least a comfort visit. You can place wax on the broken brace to stabilize it (if it’s still attached to the orthodontic wire) or bring it to us for repair or replacement.
Caring for Your Appliances
To successfully complete your treatment plan, you must work together with Dr. Thurman. Your teeth and jaws can only move toward their corrected positions if you consistently wear the rubber bands or other appliances as prescribed, and damaged appliances lengthen your treatment time.
It’s more important than ever to brush and floss regularly when you have braces so your teeth and gums stay healthy after orthodontic treatment. Patients who do not keep their teeth clean may require more frequent visits to the dentist for a professional cleaning.
If you play sports, it’s important that you consult us for special precautions. A protective mouth guard is advised for playing contact sports. We can provide mouth guards that work with your braces. If you're not yet in braces, there are many inexpensive mouth guards on the market that protect your smile.
In case of an accident involving the face, check your mouth and appliances immediately. If your teeth are loosened or your appliances are damaged, call immediately to have a team member contact you. In the case of bleeding or trauma to the lip or face, stay calm, place ice to control bleeding/swelling area, and seek help from us or the Emergency Department of the hospital.
If you've suffered the loss of a tooth from the mouth, gently clean it off, keep it moist in your mouth. If possible, replace it in the socket or hold it in your mouth, and bring it to your caregiver. In the meantime, treat your discomfort as you would treat any general soreness.
Eating with Braces
For the first day or so, stick to soft foods, but moving your teeth frequently by chewing will reduce the degree of pain and its duration. Avoid tough meats, hard breads, and raw vegetables. Before long, you’ll be able to bite a cucumber again. But you’ll need to protect your orthodontic appliances when you eat for as long as you’re wearing braces.
Foods to Avoid
- Chewy foods: bagels, hard rolls, licorice
- Crunchy foods: popcorn, ice, chips
- Sticky foods: caramels, gum
- Hard foods: nuts, candy
- Foods you have to bite into: corn on the cob, apples, carrots
- Chewing on hard things (for example, pens, pencils or fingernails) can damage the braces. Damaged braces will cause treatment to take longer.
Types of Braces
Bringing Bakersfield Effective and Convenient Braces Options
We're always looking at adding new options to our Bakersfield braces offerings. The world of orthodontics has been changing at lightning speed.
In the last couple of decades, braces have moved beyond the traditional materials and designs to include appliances that are more effective and aesthetically pleasing. Even traditional, metal braces aren’t all that traditional, having been refined over the years. So, just what options do we offer?
Traditional Metal Braces
This is the gold (or should that be silver?) standard of orthodontic care. It's still the option we rely on the most for our Bakersfield braces patients, but these braces have changed a lot over the years.
You may have heard some crazy stories about these, but we can assure you that those days are in the past. Now, these appliances are sleeker and more comfortable than ever before. And, with custom-colored bands, they're great for expressing yourself.
Metal braces aren’t for everyone; sometimes you need a look that isn’t quite so obvious. Ceramic braces offer the same, effective treatment as their metal counterpart, but blend in with the color of your teeth. They are more fragile, however, so they aren’t for everyone.
As far as aesthetic options, this is the top of the line. Completely invisible to those around you, you can keep your treatment a secret. And if you are worried about the effectiveness of the treatment, don’t be. The clear, plastic aligners of the Invisalign system will give you incredible results.
Did you know Dr. T is recognized as a Diamond+ Invisalign provider? This means he's in the top 1% of all Invisalign providers in the world.
It doesn’t take much to become a certified Invisalign provider–only a one day course. There are dozens of general dentists and orthodontists who offer Invisalign in Bakersfield, but Invisalign isn't a product, but a technique for moving teeth. This means your results will depend on your doctor’s experience with the product.
By choosing Invisalign by Dr. T, you're choosing an orthodontic specialist, an industry leading Invisalign expert, and Bakersfield’s premier orthodontic team.