Every day when you brush your teeth, check to make sure you do not have any
loose braces by gently trying to slide each one. If a wire or band comes
loose, do not be alarmed. If a tie wire is protruding and irritating, use a
blunt instrument (the back of a spoon or a pencil eraser) to carefully push
the wire out of the way. If you have a broken or loose appliance, please
call us to determine if your breakage is urgent and requires immediate
repair. If a piece comes loose, save it and bring it with you to the office.
Elastics are essentially rubber bands that are attached to brackets, usually
between the upper and lower or front and back teeth, applying tension and
causing teeth to move. Elastics can be used in many ways depending upon
the treatment goals.
Elastics move the teeth in a direction they could not be moved using braces
alone. Your teeth and jaws may be tender during the first few days elastics
are worn. This is normal, and the tenderness should begin to disappear
within a week. If it persists longer, please call our office. Rinsing with
hot salt water will help reduce the tenderness.
Your elastics may be difficult to put on at first, but this will become
easier with practice. You may remove them only when eating or brushing your
teeth. Leave them in during snacking. Be sure to replace the elastics with
new ones immediately after meals and brushing. Part-time wear does NOT move
teeth, but it does cause prolonged discomfort.
Change the elastics routinely even if they are not broken. After a while,
elastics lose their strength. Change them after each meal and before bedtime.
If one elastic breaks, replace both sides.
Carry extra elastics with you at all times. If you don't have enough to
last until your next appointment, please stop by our office and pick more up
or call us and we can send more to you. We don't want you to run out.
Before you leave the office, be absolutely sure you understand exactly where
to hook the elastics. Hooking them on incorrectly can be worse than not
wearing them at all, as your teeth might move in the opposite direction. If
you ever have any questions on how to wear your elastics, please do not
hesitate to ask.
Wear your removable appliances and/or elastics faithfully, as directed by
the staff and Dr. Elison. Your estimated treatment time is based on full
cooperation with wearing appliances and elastics (rubber bands) as directed.
A removable appliance is carefully designed to move or hold your teeth in
place. It should be worn according to instructions and brought to each
appointment. Wear your appliance at all times, even while you are asleep.
It may be removed while swimming or engaging in vigorous sporting activities.
In two to three days, your speech will return to normal with the appliance
in place. Avoid flipping your appliance with your tongue. This can cause
damage to your teeth or breakage of your appliance.
Your new appliance may make your teeth sore for a day or two, especially
after an adjustment. If you have a sore spot on your gums, call our office
so we can arrange to adjust the appliance. Clean your appliance by brushing
it daily with toothpaste. Denture cleaner can also be used for a more thorough
cleaning. Never wrap your appliance in a paper napkin or tissue and set it
down on the table. You or someone else may throw it away. Don't put it
in your pocket when playing, or you may break or lose it. Whenever it is
not in your mouth, it should be in its plastic appliance case.
Please do not eat any foods that could damage your appliances and delay your
treatment. Wear a mouth guard for any activities that might injure your
teeth, gums, or cheeks. Repairing broken braces requires longer
appointments during school hours.
Retainers are made from wires, clasps and plastic and are constructed for the
purpose of holding the teeth. They are placed after the appliances have been
removed. A removable retainer consists of colored plastic that goes behind
the teeth and a wire that goes along the front. At first, your retainers
will feel bulky, and speech may be a problem. The retainer may cause a
slight lisp, but don't be alarmed: speech usually returns to normal
within a few days. The day after you receive your retainer, your teeth may
be a bit sore. This won't last long. The tissue on the roof of your mouth
may become a little tender. You should get used to this in two to three days.
Since retainers are removable, you must be responsible to use and care for
them properly. Strict attention to instructions is essential.
Dr. Elison will prescribe one of three retainers used in our office, a fixed retainer, an essix retainer or a hawley retainer, based on what is best for your individual needs. No matter what retainer is prescribed, your retainer should be worn at night and should not be worn when eating, brushing and participating in contact sport. When your retainer is not in your mouth, it should be kept in the case.
If you must remove your retainer, NEVER wrap it in a paper towel, napkin or
tissue. This is the most common way of losing a retainer. ALWAYS put it in
the plastic retainer case we give you and always keep it in a safe place.
Your retainer should be cleaned after each meal and before going to bed.
Retainers can be cleaned with your regular toothbrush and toothpaste. You may
use a denture brush and denture toothpaste if you wish. Fill the sink with
cool water to cushion the fall in case you drop it. Do not use hot water;
it will cause warpage. Clean the retainer gently, being careful not to bend
the wires. Before placing the cleaned retainer in your mouth, be sure you
thoroughly brush your teeth. If the retainer or teeth are not kept clean,
an irritation of the gums may result, and this can be serious.
If plaque builds up on the retainer over time, it will dry and harden like
tartar and be difficult to remove with a brush. Denture cleaners like
Efferdent or Polident are effective in removing this tartar. Follow the
directions on the package. Leave the retainer in the cleaner no longer than
10 minutes; you can do this once a week if needed.