What constitutes an emergency?
- A bracket is no longer attached to the tooth and wiggling on the wire.
- A wire poke that is causing pain (otherwise you may use wax until your next visit)
- An appliance or Herbst has come off or unattached
In these instances we will get you in as quickly as we can to fix the issue.
How do I know if a bracket is broken?
You may hear or feel a pop if you happen to bite on something hard, or you may notice that it is off of the tooth as you are brushing. If this happens please call our office to make an appointment right away so that
Your teeth don’t move too far out of alignment.
What do I do if a wire is poking me?
Use the wax that was given in your kit to place over the poke until you can come into your next appointment.
If it is causing a lot of pain please phone our office to make an emergency appointment.
What are the best actions to take when I am sore after an appointment?
The best trick is to eat cold things! Most of the wires that we use are activated by the warmth of your mouth, so if you eat something cold it will take some pressure off of your teeth. You will also want to make your diet soft until you are feeling better.
How long does it take to put braces on and will it hurt?
What does it mean to “tighten” my braces?
When we “tighten” your braces we place a new wire that is thicker than the wire we used at your previous appointment. That thicker wire places a little extra pressure against the brackets which therefore nudges the teeth closer the position that we want them in.
That is why, after an appointment, your braces feel tighter.
Can my waterpik replace flossing?
How do I use my whitening kit?
Repeat these steps every day (or every other day depending on your sensitivity) for about two weeks and evaluate the color of your teeth. You may choose to whiten a few more times or only every month or so. If your teeth are very sensitive you may use an over the counter sensitivity toothpaste and reduce your whitening time.
What do I do if my Herbst appliance breaks or comes off?
If you happen to be out of town should this occur, you should use your “emergency” tool that we provide you to remove the “arms” of the appliance until you can come into our office.
What if my child’s appliance breaks off or is hurting?
What is a “power chain”?
A Power chain is a series of elastic loops linked together. They fit around each of the brackets and pull them closer together to close or maintain spaces between teeth. These can be used in fun colors.
What do “final wires” mean?
Is it okay to double up on my elastics?
The best way to make your time in braces go faster is to wear your elastics exactly the way the doctor prescribes. Sometimes Dr. Watson may give you some stronger elastics if you feel that you are doing everything you are supposed to and wouldn’t mind a little extra pressure.
Can I eat with my elastics in?
What are bite turbos?
As you wear your elastics your bite will begin to move and your back teeth, top and bottom, will align themselves together. We keep the glue mounds on for at least a few appointments. Bite turbos are not comfortable to eat with, but don’t get discouraged, it does take a few days to get used to them.
What if my child needs after school appointments?
Where can I buy more supplies?
What if my retainer breaks or I loose it?
What do I do if my permanent retainer breaks or is poking me?
How do I floss with my permanent retainer?
All you do is use the floss threader to guide your floss underneath the permanent retainer, between your teeth, and out through the other side. When you are finished, pull the end of the floss until it is completely out. Make sure that you don’t pull the floss against the wire, this may pull it off.
What do I do if I have white spots on my teeth?
Is it bad for my child to suck their thumb?
Children who suck their thumbs often or with great intensity around age 4 or 5, or those who are still sucking their thumbs at age 6, are at risk for dental or speech problems. Prolonged thumb-sucking may cause the teeth to become improperly aligned (malocclusion) or push the teeth outward. This usually corrects itself when the child stops thumb-sucking. But the longer thumb-sucking continues, the more likely it is that orthodontic treatment will be needed.
Simple home treatment measures can help children from sucking their thumbs. Including putting gloves on your child’s hands, wrapping the thumb with an adhesive bandage or cloth, positive incentives, etc. These may help remind your child not to suck the thumb.
If home treatment does not work and you are concerned or feel frustrated about your child’s thumb-sucking, talk to your child’s dentist or orthodontist.There may be other treatment options, such as behavioral therapy, thumb devices, or devices for the mouth. Below is an example.
Which type of retainers should I choose?
Permanent Retainers are glued to the tongue-side of your teeth. On the top, it goes across the front four, and on the bottom it goes across the front six. These retainers help prevent crowding or spacing happening after getting your braces off.
Hawley Retainers are the traditional retainers. When you think of retainers, most likely you’ll imagine the wire across the front of your teeth and a cool color for the plastic.
Essix (Clear) Retainers
Essix (clear) retainers are newer on the orthodontic scene. Many people notice that they look like invisalign trays. They are made out of a clear plastic material that covers all surfaces of the teeth.
PROS AND CONS OF EACH
Permanent Retainers are a good option for people who aren’t super great at routines. However, if you have a hard time keeping your teeth clean, really think about whether these retainer are for you because you’ll need to use floss-threaders to floss around the permanent retainer. Also, just because you choose permanent retainers doesn’t mean you won’t need removable retainers. The removable retainers are what protect your bite (think about all that hard work wearing elastics). We will make you a set of removable retainers to wear at night in addition to the permanent retainers.
If you choose permanent retainers and hate them, let us know; permanent just means you can’t take them in and out, but we, or your dentist can. Reversely, if you decide against permanent retainers now and want them later, let us know, we’ll help you out!
Hawley retainers are the preferred option for kids who are still losing baby teeth and growing in permanent teeth. We are able to adjust them to accommodate the changes their mouth is undergoing. Hawley retainers need to be adjusted every so often (about once a year, depending on the person) to make sure they are doing their job. The bar in the front of the teeth gets loose after taking it in and out every day and often that’s what we will tighten and adjust at the retainer check appointments. Some people don’t like the Hawley retainers because the acrylic goes across the roof of the mouth and makes them feel claustrophobic. Most people don’t really mind that at all.
If you want to whiten your teeth, we will make whitening trays if you choose Hawley retainers, so don’t let that be too much of a factor in your choice.
Essix retainers do a good job holding teeth in that straight position that the braces left them in. Conveniently, essix retainers can also be used as whitening trays. Essix retainers can be a great choice for people who know they grind or clench their teeth at night. The extra layer of plastic will help protect their teeth.
Some people don’t like essix retainers because they go over the chewing/biting surface of the teeth and they feel like their mouth is propped open while they sleep. Because most people sleep with their mouth open a little bit anyway, it’s not a big deal to most people.
**Both Essix and Hawley retainers are only worn at nighttime, regardless of permanent retainers. **
What is a Herbst Appliance?
The Herbst appliance is used to treat an overbite and is typically most effective during younger years while the jaw is still growing.
It uses a tube and rod mechanism to put pressure on the lower jaw to help it grow forward and on the upper jaw to help it grow backwards.The device is attached to the back molars on both sides of the upper and lower jaws and looks like a shock absorber.
The appliance does not interfere with the opening and closing of the mouth, so eating is not a problem. The Herbst appliance is usually worn for about 6-8 months and with proper care and use, your child or teen should see rapid results and begin to feel the benefits of having straight teeth and an aligned jaw.
See Herbst video also on this page.
Flossing with Superfloss
Flossing with a permanent retainer
Brushing with a Proxabrush
Damon System (Bite Turbos, Light Elastics)