Orthodontic Treatment in Bremerton, WA
At Lingenbrink Orthodontics, we strive to provide high quality orthodontic care while maintaining a fun, friendly office environment. Dr. Lingenbrink and our highly trained team of orthodontic specialists work hard to treat every patient on an individual basis, designing personalized treatment plans that perfectly suit every patient's unique orthodontic needs. But while the care we provide in our office is critical, equally important is how you take care of your braces at home.
Brushing & Flossing
Unfortunately, food particles catch and compact in your brackets and between your teeth, making it more difficult to clean them while wearing braces and making regular brushing and flossing a vital part of treatment. We recommend brushing four times per day:
- After breakfast
- After lunch
- After dinner
- Before bed
Your toothbrush will wear faster because of the metal from braces, so you'll need to replace it regularly, and we'd also recommend using an Interplak toothbrush and a Waterpik as part of your regimen. You'll need to floss daily, and you'll want to use reusable floss threaders to get the floss under your archwire.
Eating Habits & Foods to Avoid
While wearing braces, you'll have to beware of nail, pen or pencil chewing and biting habits, as these can damage your brackets. You'll also need to avoid hard, sticky, or extremely sugary foods and drinks to prevent damaging your brackets or decaying your teeth. Please avoid foods similar to the following:
- Gum (even sugarless)
- Sugar Babies & Daddies
- Carmel Apples
- Now & Laters
- Tootsie rolls
- Nuts of any kind
- Corn on the cob (cut off kernels are OK)
- Apples or raw carrots (unless cut into very small pieces)
- Ice Cream
- Any foods or drinks with excessive amounts of sugar
You'll want to check your braces every week for any loose or bent parts, and if you find anything loose or broken, please call us so we can schedule you an appointment to repair it. Even if you already have an appointment, please call us in advance so we can make preparations for repairs and describe the issue as specifically as possible. If you lose your rubber bands, just call us and let us know so we can mail you more or leave some for you to pick up at the office.
Most patients experience some discomfort or soreness for a few days after getting braces, but this can be countered with over the counter pain killers like Tylenol and should fade within days. If you feel extreme pain, any sharp objects, or that sores are developing, go ahead and call us.
Elastics are rubber bands that attach to your brackets and apply force to reorient the jaws. For them to work, you'll need to wear them constantly – so be sure to change them every day and carry extras on you at all times in case any break. If you miss a day, don't double up the next day but instead just wear them as normal, and if you start to run low, call us and let us know. If your elastics break frequently or a wire, brand, or hook loosens or breaks off, call us immediately – we'll need to correct this as soon as possible!
If you have a removable appliance like Invisalign, it's critical to wear it exactly according to your instructions. You'll need to wear it constantly, even during sleep, and remove it only for eating, vigorous sports, and oral hygiene. It's normal to experience some soreness for a few days after an adjustment, but if you have a persistent sore spot on your gums call us so we can adjust it. Clean your appliance by brushing it daily and occasionally soaking it with a denture tablet. Also be careful not to lose, accidentally throw away, or expose your appliance to dogs or cats who love to chew on them, as we'll have to apply an extra charge for lost or broken appliances.
If a wire is irritating you, you can push it out of the way with a Q-Tip or pencil eraser. If that doesn't work, try covering it with dental wax, a cotton ball, or a piece of gum until you can see us for an appointment. If your archwire pops out of the tube on your back molar, try reinserting it with a sterilized pair of needle-nosed pliers or tweezers. If it's extremely painful and you can't solve the problem, you can cut it with a sterilized pair of nail clippers.
If a rubber spacer falls out, insert two pieces of floss through the spacer, pull them to stretch it out, then slide the spacer between the two teeth where it belongs. Once the bottom part fits between the teeth, remove the floss and the spacer should fit properly.
If a bracket comes loose, it'll usually stay attached to the archwire, and you can use a pair of sterilized tweezers to reposition it if it flips over and causes pain. Either way, call us immediately so we can make arrangements to fix it. In all cases, save any braces that break off and call us to schedule a repair.
If you swallow a piece of your braces, don't worry too much – it'll usually go into the stomach and pass through the GI tract without issue. If you experience difficulty breathing, though, seek medical attention immediately. Once you've been seen, call us and let us know what happened.
If your retainer cracks, take all pieces from your mouth and bring them to our office for a repair.
In addition to over-the-counter pain killers, you can also rinse your mouth with warm salt water to soothe irritation after a visit. If your teeth get sore suddenly weeks after a visit, though, call us – this is unusual and we'll want to see what's going on.
If you get a cut inside your mouth, apply pressure to the cut with your finger for several minutes. If you can't stop the bleeding, call us and let us know.
Contact Your Port Orchard or Gig Harbor, WA Orthodontist
Have more questions about caring for your braces? We're here to help. Feel free to reach out to us at our Contact Us page with any questions or use our easy online form to schedule an appointment at our Bremerton, Gig Harbor, or Port Orchard, WA offices. We can't wait to hear from you, and we look forward to helping you achieve a healthy, beautiful smile!