Braces are the most widely used orthodontic appliance; around 90% of our patients wear them.
Braces have three major parts:
- Bands – metal rings that fit around the back molars
- Brackets – small devices that are attached to the front of some or all of the teeth
- Archwire – a wire that connects to the brackets, applying force to the teeth
The archwire is terminated at the bands in the back of the mouth. Small, colored rubber bands hold the archwire in place by attaching to each bracket. The average time to wear braces is 2 years, with adjustment appointments every 6-10 weeks.
Instructions: You should brush your braces well with a soft toothbrush twice a day and after each meal. Brushing after meals is important because it is very easy for food to become lodged in the brackets and bands. Round wooden toothpicks are great for this. Please floss around your braces every day. When you get your braces on, we will supply you with a tool that makes this easier. Do not eat sticky or hard candy; brackets are not invincible! They may get broken or damaged, requiring extra appointments.
Concerns: A little soreness after application or an adjustment appointment is expected. Tylenol or Advil should be sufficient to ease the discomfort. Soreness should only last a day or so. Sometimes an archwire may begin to poke out of one of the bands in the back of your mouth. Please see the Self-Help Guide on this website for instructions. If a rubber band or bracket becomes loose or falls off, please call our office immediately.