General Patient Care
what are they?
When our doctors use the word ‘elastics’ they are referring to tiny rubber bands. These tiny rubber bands apply pressure to the teeth in certain directions that braces alone can not. These elastics are connected to tiny hooks on your braces or Invisalign trays. The elastics can be taken in and out, and your doctor will instruct you on how often to wear them, as well as what configuration they should be worn in. Elastics should only be worn as prescribed by your orthodontist.
What if my elastics break?
If your elastics break, simply replace them with a new one. If you run out of elastics, call our office and we will gladly ship you a new pack. Although it is not common for elastics to break, sometimes opening too wide or too much stretch of the elastic will cause it to tear. If your elastics repeatedly break, contact our office and we will fit you to a more appropriate elastic size.
What You Can Eat with Braces?
Some of these foods include popcorn, peanuts, gum, caramel, and hard chips. These foods can cause brackets to break, which can lengthen orthodontic treatment time and cause emergency visits.
How to care for your braces
Brushing your teeth with braces is extremely important. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and a small strip of fluoride toothpaste. When you brush your teeth, move the brush in small, circular motions to reach food particles that may be under your gum line. Hold the toothbrush at an angle and brush slowly and carefully, covering all areas between teeth, between braces, and the surface of each tooth. It will take you several minutes to thoroughly brush your teeth. Brush up on the lower teeth, down on the upper teeth, as well as the outside, inside, and chewing surface of your front and back teeth. Brush your tongue and the roof of your mouth before you rinse.
Check out this video to see Dr. Howle explain the proper way to brush and floss your teeth with braces.
What are retainers?
Retainers are worn after braces or Invisalign treatment to maintain the corrected position of the teeth. There are a number of different types of retainers that are available to you. Ask your orthodontist which one will best suit your needs. One of our talented doctors will instruct you on how long you should wear your retainers.
How do I take care of my retainers?
We offer Retainer-Brite at our office. Simply soak your retainers in Retainer-Brite, and they should look good as new. We also recommend brushing your retainers after you take them out. Do not allow your retainers to sit in hot water or put in the dishwasher as this will deform your retainers.
Always keep your retainers in a case when not in your mouth. Never keep your retainers in a napkin – this is the most common reason retainers are accidentally thrown away!