Separating elastics or separators are small rubber bands placed between the back teeth (molars), in order to create space between them to allow for bands to be placed on the molars. There is no immediate pain when the separators are placed, however the teeth are often “sore” or tender for two to three days afterwards. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO REMOVE THE SEPARATORS - they are there for a good reason!
The separators may fall out after a few days as a result of a space opening between the teeth. If they fall out the day before the banding appointment then leave alone. However, if they fall out 3 - 4 days before the banding appointment, come in the day before the bandup in order to replace them. This will ensure that the space will be present at the time of bandup and the bands will be easier to fit. Remember, that as quickly as the space opens, then so it may close!
Tooth movement is a normal process that occurs throughout life. During orthodontics we apply forces to the teeth that will increase the rate (speed) at which they move. When optimal forces are correctly applied to a tooth, that tooth will move. A large force does not necessarily mean that a tooth will move faster. On the contrary, by making the force too large, there is a greater chance of the tooth moving more slowly!
A tooth sits in a bony tooth socket where it is suspended (held) by a ligament known as the periodontal ligament. A force applied to the tooth will result in the ligament becoming stretched on the one side and compressed on the opposite side. It is this pressure applied to the ligament which causes the feeling of discomfort or soreness when the orthodontist tightens your braces. Fortunately, this pressure goes away after 4-5 days because the tooth moves through the bone and there is less “stretch” on the ligament, therefore less pain. So every visit to the orthodontist when an adjustment is made will result in discomfort and soreness to the teeth for a few days.
A plate is a removable appliance that helps to move or hold teeth. Although the plate is removable, it should be worn at all times (even when eating) unless otherwise instructed.
With the retainer you may find that :
- Taste may be strange and your palate (or roof of your mouth) will suddenly feel smooth. This is normal and within a few days the taste and sensation return
- Speech will be affected with a feeling of increased saliva flow. DO NOT remove the plate, the more you wear it the quicker you will get used to it.
- Wearing should be at all times even when you are eating. You can remove the plate when you play contact sport. When you remove it for sport make sure that you place it in its container. It is important to write your name and phone number on the container to avoid loss. Do not place the plate in a napkin as it usually ends up in the bin. Do not leave the plate lying around as dogs like to eat them!
The only time the plate should be removed is when brushing your teeth in the morning and in the evening. Remove the plate before brushing and then brush your teeth. After you have brushed you can place a small (pea sized) amount of toothpaste on your brush and then brush the plastic part of your appliance. Be careful not to bend or damage the wire. If your plate is really dirty and the toothpaste is not getting it clean then it can be soaked in 10ml of bleach (Miltons) with water for 15 minutes once a month. Alternatively, a Polident tablet can be placed in warm water and the plate immersed in the water for 5 minutes. The Polident tablet is an effervescent that will help to remove any bacteria or food particles off the plate and is freely available at pharmacies or supermarkets.
Once you have cleaned the plate wash it with warm water and place it back into your mouth. If the plate was in bleach then wash it well and even brush it with toothpaste before placing in your mouth.
Should a plate become lost or broken, DO NOT WAIT. Please call our office immediately so that we can replace it without delay. Remember, any breakage will result in additional expenses and extend your wearing time.
In certain cases a thin wire is bonded to the back of the lower front teeth in order to retain them in their finished position. The wire is chosen over the plate because it is more comfortable for the patient to wear and it is bonded in position therefore cannot be lost. It is most important to keep the teeth clean around the wire and use of super floss is essential in maintaining good oral hygiene. If the wire debonds or bends do NOT leave - contact us immediately
Teeth must be brushed and flossed correctly on a daily basis. Swollen and bleeding gums are the first signs that your oral hygiene is not as good as it ought to be, and vigilant brushing is necessary. Brush for at least 5-7 minutes after breakfast and dinner. Brush in front of a mirror, with a small soft toothbrush. Remember to brush your teeth, gums, and tongue. Start the brushing with the bristles at a 45° angle toward gums above the wire. Brush with a circular scrub motion on two to three teeth counting to 10 slowly and then move to the adjacent two teeth. After the outside (buccal) surface has been done move to the inside (palatal) surface and repeat the process. Brush the chewing surfaces last. After the upper teeth have been done move on to the lower teeth. Check in a mirror to see if you have missed any places, and if so then brush again. A mouth rinse containing fluoride may be used in addition to tooth brushing. To avoid damage (decalcification) to the underlying teeth it is essential that you follow these instructions.
Should any part of the appliance irritate or scratch the inside of your cheeks, lips, or tongue, cover the sharp wire or hook with the wax provided. If an ulcer forms, keep it clean by regularly rinsing your mouth with warm salt water or an antiseptic mouth wash.
Do not eat anything that is hard and sticky
No toffees or sticky lollies these break brackets or bands
Hard fruits (apples) and raw vegetables (carrots) should be sliced or grated before eaten
Hard foods may cause damage by bending the wires, loosening cement under bands or breaking the little tubes and brackets on the bands
It is best that you keep your fingers, pens, and pencils, etc. out of your mouth
Elastics are important for creating forces to help to move your teeth. If they are not worn correctly the teeth will not move, and treatment time will be DELAYED. The elastics should be worn 24 hours per day unless otherwise instructed, and new elastics should be used every day as they lose their strength. Remove the elastics when brushing teeth and eating. If you run out of elastics do not leave until the next appointment, rather collect some more from the office or phone in and we will post them to you.
It is very likely that your teeth will be painful for 3-4 days following the placement of your appliances. Paracetamol or ibuprofen taken 6 hourly should be adequate to control the pain.
A bracket or band may break during orthodontic treatment. Remember to never panic as it is not an emergency. Please call the practice on 93891022 to schedule a repair during office hours. Should you be in extreme pain then please e-mail [email protected] and you will receive a reply on management of the problem
Your general dentist is still in control of routine dental maintenance. It is imperative that you visit your dentist once every 6 months for your routine examination and dental treatment.
A means by which the upper teeth or jaw can be held in place or pulled back using the head as an anchor. The metal portion that fits into the tubes on the teeth is called the facebow (or “cats whiskers”). The soft portion that fits over the head or around the neck is called the headgear.
Headgear is an effective way to correct improper jaw relationships and to assist in the alignment of the teeth. When headgear wear is prescribed for the correction of a jaw discrepancy, the headgear will hold the upper teeth and jaw back while the lower jaw continues to grow forward.
We would not ask you to wear this unless it was absolutely necessary, for the successful completion of your treatment. Failure to wear the headgear for the prescribed time will prolong treatment and can prevent the attainment of the desired results. When a headgear is worn for long periods the molar teeth at the back of the mouth may get sore and painful. If this occurs it is a good sign indicating that you, the patient, has been wearing the headgear well. If it is too painful to wear, leave it out the mouth for an hour or two and then continue again.
Headgear should NEVER be worn during active sports, nor should you ever allow anyone to pull on the facebow. Headgear can be dangerous. Always hold the facebow in position while removing or attaching the elastics. This will prevent the facebow from springing out and causing injury to your face and eyes.
Always bring your headgear to the office at each and every appointment. We will want to check the fit and make adjustments at each visit.