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Does getting braces put on hurt?

January 12th, 2017

There’s a common misconception that getting braces put on hurts. It is the most popular question we’re asked…“Will it hurt?” The simple answer is, no. The process of getting braces, in fact, is a piece of cake. There are no needles involved so no injections of any kind. Having brackets bonded (glued) to your teeth is totally painless. We just have to make sure your teeth stay completely dry throughout the process so we have to keep what are called cheek retractors in your mouth. These help keep your cheeks and lips away from the teeth and can be a little annoying for some patients. But once again, they do not hurt or cause discomfort either. Once the braces are placed, there will be some soreness that begins 3 to 4 hours after bonding of the braces (due to the movement of the teeth). Typically this only lasts for 3-5 days and then starts to dissipate. The feeling is more of a dull achy sensation and is not a sharp pain. It can be managed with Tylenol (acetaminophen) in most cases. If Tylenol doesn’t work, you can try Advil or Motrin (ibuprofen). After 3-5 days, there is usually no discomfort for the rest of the time until your next adjustment. Your teeth will be a little sore after each adjustment for 2-4 days but this is even less severe than what you will feel the first few days after braces placement.

Here are some helpful tips that will make brushing with braces a lot easier!

December 30th, 2016

As many of you with braces know, it is challenging to brush and floss your teeth but is something that MUST be done! Here are some helpful tips that will help you keep your teeth clean so that they will look even more amazing when the braces come off…

1. Brush ALL surfaces of the brackets (as well as gum line and inside of teeth.

2. It’s not how hard you brush that matters but rather how efficiently you brush and how much TIME you spend brushing. In fact, brushing too hard can cause receding gum lines and even damage to the enamel of your teeth.

3. Start brushing with only a wet toothbrush (water) to remove all of the food, plaque, and other debris from your braces. Then add toothpaste to your brush which will finish the job of really cleaning your teeth with its many important ingredients (fluoride, breath fresheners, etc.) for maintaining healthy teeth and gums. Try to avoid using toothpastes that have whitening properties.

3. Time yourself: spend at least two FULL minutes brushing your teeth. You should spend at least 30 seconds in each quadrant (corner) of your mouth.

4. Brush more often: it’s important to brush at least twice a day (morning and night) without braces. However, with braces, it’s important to brush after every meal (breakfast, lunch, & dinner) since it is easier for food debris to build up around the braces, which can lead to cavities.

** Remember, when it comes to good oral hygiene, the TIME SPENT and the TECHNIQUE used is most important!!**

Broken bracket or poking wire? Here’s what to do…

December 15th, 2016

Always call the office and inform us of anything that is broken. This doesn’t necessarily mean you may need to visit the office right way, but our front desk can triage your problem and will let you know if you need immediate attention or if the problem can wait until your next appointment. Usually, if you do not have any discomfort and the problem will not interfere with treatment, Dr. Hussaini will hold off on repairs until your next regular appointment. Other times, Dr. H may want to reattach the broken bracket(s) sooner. In any case, call the office and let us know. We will always make our best effort to see you as soon as possible if there is something bothering the patient or making him/her uncomfortable.

Broken/Loose bracket: When a bracket comes loose, it may poke into your gums, tongue or cheek. You can put wax over the bracket to keep it from poking you. This should provide some comfort until the problem can be addressed in our office.

Poking wire: If a wire breaks or is poking you, it can hurt your cheek, tongue or gum. You may be able to use the eraser end of a pencil to push the wire into a better position. If that doesn’t work, put a small piece of orthodontic wax over the end of the wire. If either of those two options don’t work, then you may cut the wire with a nail clipper. Keep in mind that this is the last option as a broken/cut wire can’t help move your teeth which ultimately may delay your treatment.

If the wire/bracket has caused a sore spot inside your cheeks/gums/tongue, rinse your mouth with warm salt water or an antiseptic rinse at least 3 times a day until it heals, particularly after meals.

What are the different types of retainers you may receive?

December 1st, 2016

There are 3 main types of retainers:

1) Essix (clear) Retainers – Essix retainers are clear, removable retainers that fit over the entire arch of your teeth (upper and lower). They look very similar to Invisalign’s clear aligner, but serve a different purpose since they are retaining your teeth as opposed to Invisalign aligners that actually move your teeth. Essix retainers tend to be the most popular type of retainer after comprehensive treatment because patients are more likely to wear them due to their clear appearance.

2) Hawley Retainers – Hawley retainers are also removable and are made of a combination of a metal wire that typically surrounds the six anterior (front) teeth and acrylic that fits on the inside of the teeth. Hawley retainers help maintain the positioning of your teeth like Essix retainers, but also allow for some small adjustments to your bite that may be needed after the completion of orthodontic treatment. They also allow for baby teeth to fall out and adult teeth to replace them during the retention phase. As a result, Hawley retainers are usually used after phase I orthodontic treatment is completed.

3) Bonded Retainers – Bonded lingual retainers, sometimes known as “permanent retainers” or “fixed retainers”, are cemented directly to the inside surface of your lower front teeth. The advantage of this retainer is that patient compliance is not an issue since patients do not have to worry about wearing and removing their retainers. However, a big disadvantage is that these retainers are considered a “plaque trap” since food tends to get stuck around them after eating. Therefore, it is imperative to keep them very clean. When brushing, make sure to carefully clean the inside of your lower teeth, as well as the wire itself. Don’t forget to continue to floss normally but be gentle around the fixed retainer to prevent the glue from breaking. Fixed retainers are an option for some patients but not everybody. If interested, speak with the doctor and he will let you know if this is an option for you.

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