Braces

Which type of braces is right for you?

We offer a variety of braces for you to choose from. Below are the most common and popular types.

  • Braces Dictionary
  • Cleaning With Braces
  • Eating With Braces

Braces Dictionary

Braces Dictionary

Archwires:the thin wires that form a track to guide the teeth as they move.

Brackets:the small squares attached to each tooth. They act like handles to hold the teeth on the archwire. They can be tooth colored or silver.

Bands:metal rings that go around the back teeth. They hold the wires.

Elastics:rubber bands that connect the upper and lower braces. They apply pressure to move the upper teeth against the lower teeth. They come in several different sizes.

Springs:these push or pull on brackets to open or close space between the teeth.

Ties:small rubber rings that fasten the archwires to the brackets. They come in many different colors that you choose at each appointment!

Cleaning Your Teeth with Braces

Doing Your Part

Successful orthodontic treatment - a healthy and beautiful smile - is the result of a team effort between you, Dr. Su, and your family dentist. You as the patient play the key part. Most importantly, you must keep your teeth clean and maintain good dental hygiene while you are wearing braces.

Right now, proper dental care will take a little extra time and effort. But its well worth it, and will help you enjoy the best possible results from your orthodontic treatment.

How Often Should I Brush and Floss?

You should brush your teeth, gums, and braces thoroughly at least twice a day. If possible, brush after each meal or snack. If brushing is not possible after eating, be sure to at least rinse your mouth well with water until you can brush. Carrying a travel toothbrush can be helpful when away from home.

You should floss once a day. This takes a little extra time, so you may want to do it at night before you go to bed.

How Do I Brush with Braces

  • Use fluoride toothpaste and a soft, rounded-bristle that is in good condition. Because braces wear out a toothbrush quickly, replace your toothbrush as soon as you see signs of wear.
  • Brush around all the parts of your braces and every surface of your teeth- front, sides, back. Be sure to brush your tongue and the roof of your mouth. A good way to tell if you are brushing correctly is if your braces look clean and shiny and you can see the edges of the brackets clearly.
  • Brush your gums gently and thoroughly.
  • Rinse thoroughly after brushing.
  • Inspect your teeth and braces carefully to make sure they are spotless. Look closely in a well-lighted mirror. This is a good time to check for loose or broken brackets. If you find a problem contact our office to see if it needs to be checked by Dr. Su and if time needs to be scheduled to get it repaired.

How Do I Floss with Braces

  • When flossing with braces on, it might be necessary to use what's called a floss threader. This reusable tool allows you to get dental floss underneath your arch wire easily.
  • Make sure you clean carefully along and under the gum-lines.
  • Flossing with braces may seem like a difficult process, but its very important. And as with anything, a little practice will make it go a lot faster.

You may also use an inter-proximal brush, a powered toothbrush, a water irrigator, and prescription fluoride toothpaste or rinse to make brushing easier and efficient.

It's important that you take especially good care of your teeth during orthodontic treatment. By brushing and flossing regularly, you'll keep your teeth and gums in top condition and ensure that your orthodontic treatment will deliver the healthiest smile possible. When your braces come off, you'll see that your extra efforts have been rewarded with a healthy, great-looking smile will last a lifetime.

Eating with Braces

Choose What You Eat Carefully.

The appliance or bands that you are wearing are not indestructible. You will have to make an effort to change your eating habits. Hard and sticky foods will damage and break your braces causing treatment to take much longer! There are specific foods and diet habits that are known to cause breakage of braces and increase the potential for dental disease.

Here is a sample of foods and habits to avoid, but it is your responsibility to use common sense when choosing foods.

Foods

  • Taffy, licorice
  • Gum
  • Peanut brittle
  • Taffy apples
  • Butterscotch
  • Pretzels
  • Carmels
  • Hard breads
  • Nuts
  • All gummy candy
  • Hard cookies
  • Pizza crust
  • Popcorn
  • Fruit roll-ups
  • Corn chips, fritos, doritos
  • M&M's with peanuts
  • Jaw breakers

Habits

  • Biting hard fruits / veggies
  • Picking at braces
  • Flipping retainers around
  • Bitting nails
  • Chewing pencaps, pencils
  • Chewing ice

Basically, you want to avoid hard and sticky foods. When you eat hard fruits or vegetables, pizza crust, bagels, etc., cut it up and chew the food on your back teeth. Hopefully these guidelines will help us work towards keeping your teeth healthy and making treatment time as short as possible.