When patients kick off their braces or Invisalign® treatment, our Tarrytown, NY orthodontist Dr. Kothari always gives them detailed instructions for caring for their new appliances. However, after months of summer fun, you might have forgotten a few of the specifics. Since a new school year is on the horizon, 914 Orthodontics has put together a back-to-school pop quiz. How much do you know about taking care of your braces? Let’s find out! Write down your guesses and check them against the answers at the end of the post.
1. What should you do if a braces bracket comes loose?
A. Call the 914 Orthodontics office to let the team know. If you’re unable to come see us right away, use sterilized tweezers to gently move the bracket back into place and cover it with orthodontic wax until your appointment.
B. Use duct tape to put it back on.
C. It doesn’t matter. Brackets aren’t really that important.
2. Do you need to see your regular dentist during orthodontic treatment?
A. Nope. Dr. Kothari and the team will let me know if I have cavities.
B. Yes. You should continue with your regular checkups and cleanings, which are usually recommended twice a year.
C. You only need to visit your regular dentist if you experience pain or have a dental problem.
3. Is eating with Invisalign aligners in your mouth okay?
A. No. You should always take them out to eat or drink anything aside from water.
B. Sometimes. You can eat with Invisalign aligners in your mouth when you’re having soft foods.
C. Of course! You’re just going to replace them soon anyway.
4. How should you handle food stuck in braces?
A. Hide in the bathroom until it’s time to go home and brush your teeth.
B. Grab the closest object you can find and poke at your brackets until the food comes out.
C. Carefully use an interproximal brush or toothpick to dislodge the food stuck in braces or try tying a small knot in the middle of a piece of dental floss to help remove it.
5. What do you do if a braces wire is sticking out and poking you in the cheek?
A. Try to pull the whole wire out. Your brackets will move your teeth well enough on their own.
B. Use a Q-tip or the eraser end of a new pencil to gently the push the wire flat against the tooth and cover it with orthodontic relief wax. Or, as a last resort, carefully clip the protruding piece of wire with sterilized nail clippers while using gauze or a tissue in the area to avoid swallowing it. Call 914 Orthodontics to schedule an appointment to fix the issue.
C. Just leave it be. The discomfort will make you a stronger person in the end.
6. Can you eat whole, raw apples, nuts or hard bagels with braces?
A. Yes. There are no restrictions on foods to eat with braces because braces are made from the strongest steel on the planet.
B. No. Hard, chewy and really sticky foods can damage your brackets and wires and slow down your treatment. Cut raw apples into small, bite-sized pieces and try to avoid nuts and things like hard bagels until your braces come off.
C. You can eat a hard bagel if you put cream cheese on it since the cream cheese will act like a buffer and protect your brackets. Don’t bite into raw apples though and stay away from nuts.
7. Are there special precautions to take when it comes to sports and braces?
A. You can play sports with braces without any extra equipment.
B. Sports and braces don’t mix. Once those brackets go on, you have to sit on the sidelines until they come off.
C. Play your heart out as long as you wear a mouthguard to protect your teeth, mouth and braces!
8. What should you do if your braces are irritating your lips or cheeks when you first get them put on?
A. Swish with a saltwater rinse, use orthodontic relief wax to cover the bothersome parts of your braces and know that your mouth will toughen up and get used to your appliance quickly.
B. Cover your braces in a thick layer of bubble gum so you can’t feel them anymore.
C. Ask your orthodontist to remove them.
9. How many times a day should you brush your teeth with braces on?
A. Whenever you feel like it. Since the brackets are covering part of your teeth, they’re protected from cavities. Brushing with braces isn’t very important.
B. At least three or four times a day (in the morning, after meals and before bed).
C. Once a day before turning in for the night.
10. How many hours per day do you need to wear your Invisalign or Invisalign Teen aligners for the best results?
A. At least 20 to 22 hours per day.
B. Just while sleeping, so about eight hours.
C. 24 hours. Your snacking days are over when you have Invisalign.
11. Do you need to floss with braces?
A. No. Dental floss can’t fit between your brackets and wires.
B. Yes. You should floss at least once a day using the technique your orthodontist shows you or with a floss threader or orthodontic flosser.
C. Yes, but only when food is caught in your braces.
12. Is it okay to double up on your braces rubber bands to make your teeth move faster?
A. Yes. The more rubber bands the better. In fact, you can probably use the rubber band that was on that broccoli you bought at the supermarket to top things off.
B. Only after you’ve been wearing braces for a long time and your teeth aren’t sensitive anymore.
C. Nope! You should only use your rubber bands as instructed by your orthodontist. Since orthodontic treatment involves biological forces to move the teeth, too much pressure can damage the roots of your teeth and cause other issues.
13. Can you skip ahead in your series of Invisalign trays to see results more quickly?
A. Yup. Skipping trays will shift your teeth into place at super speed.
B. No. Each tray is programmed to only move certain teeth according to Dr. Kothari’s specifications. You have to wear them in the correct order to get the outcome you want.
C. Yes, but make sure to skip a tray every other time so you don’t put too much pressure on your teeth.
12-13 Questions Correct – Teeth-Straightening Pro
You know all of the important instructions for taking care of your braces or Invisalign and you’ll breeze right through treatment. Keep it up! By following Dr. Kothari’s directions, your appliance and smile will stay in top-notch shape and you’ll see amazing results.
8-11 Questions Correct – Braces or Invisalign Beginner
You know the basics when it comes to taking care of your braces or Invisalign. You might want to brush up on a few things to keep your treatment on track and make sure your smile is healthy throughout the process.
7 or Less – Let’s Chat!
Hey, if you’re new to orthodontic treatment, we don’t expect you to know it all. However, it’s important to closely follow your doctor’s instructions so that your braces or Invisalign can give you the smile you’ve always dreamed of. Talk to us at your next appointment and we’ll let you in on everything you need to know about taking care of your braces or aligners.
If you have any questions about your appliances or treatment, the 914 Orthodontics team is available to help you out. Simply call us (914-332-0900), text us (914-332-0900) or send us a Facebook message. Not a patient yet? Book a free consultation with our Tarrytown, NY orthodontist Dr. Kothari and find out your options for getting a confident, healthy smile!