What to Expect
During your first visit to the Braces by Dr. Ruth, diagnostic records are made to determine the best course of treatment. Complete diagnostic records typically include a medical/dental history, clinical examination, plaster study models of the teeth, photos of the patient’s face and teeth, along with x-rays. This information is used to develop a custom treatment plan for each patient. These records are also helpful in tracking the progress of treatment as the teeth move under orthodontic care.
After the doctor has evaluated your records, we discuss your treatment plan in detail, including the cost for your particular case. There is no charge for consultations!
The appointment in which you get your appliances (braces, expanders, etc.) usually takes 1-2 hours. You’ll then see us at regular intervals of 4-8 weeks apart for adjustments, which takes 20-40 minutes per visit.
Patients are seen by appointment only.
We make every effort to be on time for our patients and ask that you extend the same courtesy to us. If you cannot keep an appointment, please notify us immediately. Cancel only if it is an emergency, as it is often difficult to reschedule since appointments are generally made 4-8 weeks in advance!
Living with Braces
Now that you have your braces, how do you take care of them? It’s important for you to know how to properly take care of your braces throughout your entire orthodontic treatment.
Eating with Braces
Don’t worry, you’ll be eating popcorn and snacking on potato chips again in no time!
However, you will need to take special care to avoid any foods that could damage your new appliances. A little saying we have is “avoid anything that ends in ‘toes such as Cheetos and Doritos!”
Foods to Avoid with Braces
- Chewy foods – bagels, licorice
- Crunchy foods – popcorn, chips, ice
- Sticky foods – caramel candies, chewing gum
- Hard foods – nuts, hard candies
- Foods that require biting INTO – corn on the cob, apples, carrots
Foods You CAN Eat with Braces
- Dairy – soft cheese, pudding, milk-based drinks
- Breads – soft tortillas, pancakes, muffins w/o nuts
- Grains – pasta, soft-cooked rice
- Meats/poultry – soft-cooked chicken, meatballs, lunch meats
- Seafood – tuna, salmon, crab cakes
- Cooked vegetables – mashed potatoes, steamed spinach, beans
- Fruits – applesauce, bananas, fruit juice
- Treats – ice cream without nuts, milkshakes, Jell-O, soft cake
Initial Pain and Discomfort
When you first get your braces, you may notice that your teeth and mouth feel a little tender or sore. This is perfectly normal, and we promise your mouth will not be sore forever!
To relieve the pain, try the following:
- Dissolve one teaspoon of salt in eight ounces of lukewarm water.
- Swish and gargle this solution in your mouth for a couple minutes (do not swallow the salt water).
You may also consider pre-medicating before your appointments with whatever you would normally take for a headache and chew sugarless gum immediately following your appointment to relieve discomfort.
It is also not uncommon for your lips, cheeks, and tongue to become irritated for 1-2 weeks as they become used to the braces. Our staff will happily provide some wax that you can put over the braces to lessen the tenderness.
It is normal for your teeth to begin feeling a little loose. Your braces must first loosen your teeth in order to move them into the right position! Once your teeth have been repositioned, they will no longer be loose.
Take Care of your Appliances
If the wires and bands on your braces become loose, please contact us as soon as possible so we can check and repair your appliance. If any piece of your appliance comes off, be sure to save it and bring it to your next office visit.
TIP: You can temporarily fix the loose wire by using the back of a spoon or the eraser end of a pencil to carefully and gently push the wire back into place. If the loose wire is causing irritation to your lips or cheeks, put wax or a wet cotton ball over the broken wire to relieve the pain.
Your teeth and jaw can only move into their correct positions if you consistently wear the rubber bands, headgear, retainer or other appliances prescribed by your doctor, and those appliances can only work if they are undamaged. Take care of them, and they’ll take care of you!
Brushing Your Teeth with Braces
When you have braces it’s very important to brush and floss after every meal in order to keep your teeth and gums healthy throughout your treatment. If you need help choosing the right toothbrush, toothpaste, and dental floss, please ask us!