Home Care Tips

Braces Care

  • Take Tylenol, Advil, or Aleve for soreness as needed. If the teeth feel sore from adjustments, a soft diet for a few days is recommended. You may also rinse with cool salt water.
  • If wires or brackets are poking or feel sharp, use wax or sugarless chewing gum over the area.  If that does not ease any discomfort you are having, please call the office.
  • Avoid sticky foods and really hard foods, and cut everything into small pieces and chew on the back teeth. Soda, Gatorade, chocolate milk, and juice boxes are NOT allowed during orthodontic treatment, as they increase the risk for cavities and gum disease.
  • Sugarless chewing gum is allowed and may help with soreness from adjustments.
  • Brush at least 3 times per day as instructed, along the gum line and on both sides of the teeth. The Prevident fluoride toothpaste should be used every night instead of your normal toothpaste.
  • Wear your elastics as instructed. Failure to do so may prolong your treatment time or compromise your results.
  • If you notice any broken brackets or wires that are loose, contact our office immediately.

Retainer Care

  • Always bring your retainers with you to your retainer check-up appointments.
  • Wear retainers as instructed by the doctor. Failure to do so may result in tooth movement, which may require new retainers to be made at an additional cost, or may even require re-treatment with braces.
  • Keep your retainers in your case if they are not in your mouth.
  • Brush your retainers with your toothbrush daily, using cool water. If calculus (hard white deposit) is built up on the retainers, soak the retainers in denture cleaner or plain undiluted white vinegar for several hours, then brush them again. This should break up the deposits.
  • If your retainer is not fitting properly or is lost, contact our office immediately. A delay in getting the retainer adjusted or remade may cause the teeth to shift.

Expander Care

  • Brush well around the expander to clean food debris and plaque.
  • If irritation occurs on the cheeks next to the molar bands, use wax to cover the area.
  • Avoid sticky foods and really hard foods. Some foods that are absolutely not allowed with the expander include: caramel, taffy, nuts, and jolly ranchers.
  • Complete turns as instructed by the doctor. If you are having trouble completing the turns properly, or if you notice that the expander is loose or broken, contact our office immediately.

Aligner Care

  • Wear your aligners as instructed for 20-22 hours per day.
  • If one of the attachments (tooth-colored buttons on the front of the teeth) falls off, let us know at your next appointment. It is not necessary to make a special trip to repair the attachment. Continue wearing the aligners as instructed.
  • If a new set of aligners feels extremely tight or does not seem to fit properly when you change them, go back to the last set and wear for 20-22 hours per day for another week, then switch sets. If the new aligners still do not fit properly, contact our office immediately.
  • Take Tylenol, Advil, or Aleve for soreness as needed. If the teeth feel sore when you switch to a new set of aligners, a soft diet for a day or two is recommended.
  • Brush your aligners with your toothbrush daily, using cool water.

Facemask Care

  • Wear your facemask as instructed for at least 12-14 hours per day (anytime you are home).
  • If your facemask does not fit properly or is hurting you in any way, contact our office immediately.

AdvanSync Care (M2M, Herbst appliance)

  • The purpose of the AdvanSync is to change your back bite position. Therefore, it is normal for your bite to feel “off” or weird. Your back teeth may not completely touch while the appliance is being used. Over time, your bite will start to feel more comfortable.
  • To avoid putting excess pressure on the crowns, do not open extremely wide. Avoid yawning and opening wider than normal, and cut all foods into smaller pieces. Failure to do this may cause the appliance to become loose or broken, which will require a lengthy repair visit.
  • Sometimes a sore spot will develop on the cheeks next to the arms of the appliance. If this occurs, rinse with warm salt water, use Orabase on the sore, and place wax on the offending part of the appliance until your cheeks become used to the appliance.
  • If you notice any loose or broken parts of the appliance, or if the arms are sticking and preventing you from opening, contact our office immediately.