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Orthodontics Owner’s Instructions
You are now beginning orthodontic treatment, and because of the delicate appliances, you must be careful to avoid the types of foods that will cause damage. Experience has proven that you may continue to eat a normal diet, but eating certain foods causes breakage of wires and bonds, thus increasing treatment time and expense.
THE FOLLOWING ITEMS WILL CAUSE BREAKAGE:
~ Sticky or chewy candy, such as caramels, taffy, “Starbursts,” “Now and Laters,” etc. (Carefully chewing gum is permitted only if it is sugar-free.)
~ Hard items and foods, such as pen caps, pencils, popcorn kernels, frozen candy bars and ICE.
The following foods should be cut or broken into bite-sized pieces for eating: all raw/hard fruits and vegetables (apples, corn on the cob, etc.), hard foods such as French bread, pretzels and chips like Doritos.
DO NOT USE YOUR TEETH AS TOOLS!!
Now that you are wearing orthodontic appliances, it is necessary that you practice meticulous oral hygiene. Most of the damage done to the teeth occurs within the first half-hour after eating. Therefore, you should brush your teeth immediately after eating. Especially damaging are sweets and soft drinks between meals. The “worst” candies for causing decay are the sour candies because of the amount of acid in the candy (which gives the sour taste). If sweets or soft drinks are to be consumed, they should be part of the meal, followed brushing and flossing. We recommend unsweetened drinks such as iced tea, diet soft drinks and water.
Toothbrushing and flossing should be done in the manner we prescribe. Please inquire if you are not positive as to the hygiene technique you should use with your appliances. Be especially careful that THE AREA BETWEEN THE BANDS OR BRACKETS AND THE GUMS is clean. If food and plaque are allowed to remain in these areas, it is possible for permanent white spots (damage to tooth enamel) to occur and become obvious after the bands and brackets are removed.
While attending school or work, the problem of brushing after lunch can be solved by carrying a portable toothbrush that folds up small enough to fit into a pocket or purse. A little toothpaste can be applied to the bristles before it is folded.
BAND AND/OR BRACKET IRRITATION AND DISCOMFORT
The newly cemented brackets and bands may irritate the lips or cheeks for few days, but after this short period, you should have comfort. This adaptive process can be helped by drying the irritating part and placing a small piece of wax over it. (The smaller the wax piece, the better.)
At times during orthodontic care, your teeth may become tender or sore. This discomfort and tenderness may be relieved by taking the proper dosage of Tylenol (or extra strength Tylenol) only. DO NOT USE ALEVE, IBUPROFEN, ASPRIN, OR ANY OTHER ANTI-INFLAMMATORY PAIN RELIEVER. The inflammatory process around the teeth is necessary in order for movement of the teeth to occur.
If irritation is due to a wire, attempt to locate the offending part and try to press it gently back where it belongs. If this gives no relief, then place wax or cotton over the area until your emergency appointment.
IF A BAND OR BRACKET SHOULD COME LOOSE OR SOMETHING BREAKS, PHONE THE OFFICE IMMEDIATELY AT (504) 347-6000. WE WILL SCHEDULE AN EMERGENCY APPOINTMENT TO CORRECT THE PROBLEM.
Thank you for your cooperation in following these important instructions. Only with your help can the best results be obtained.