The staff here at Renick Orthodontics wants to make your new patient experience as easy as possible so we’ve compiled a step by step guideline for you!
This section will introduce you to the process of getting braces and how to manage them once you have them. You’ll learn about separators and records. You’ll get instructions on how to take care of your braces by cleaning them (proper oral hygiene) and avoiding the wrong foods.
One of the big questions new patients have is "how long?" Tips will be given to shorten your treatment time and avoid things that may extend your treatment time.
Other questions not covered here may be addressed in the FAQs section if you don’t find them here.
YOUR LIFE WITH BRACES
BRACES - THE STORY
The Third Visit: GETTING YOUR BRACES
This is the day you get your braces. Sometimes, if your treatment plan includes an expander or other additional appliance, these are placed before the braces and may require an extra visit. Otherwise, bands are fit to the teeth and brackets are placed. You’ll receive DETAILED instructions on how to care for your braces at this visit (or you can read about them below!). The brackets and bands are the handles on the teeth and the wire is what moves the handles. This whole “system” is what is used to create forces to move your teeth.
Bands and Brackets
The banding appointment is when the spacers are removed and your braces are put on. There are two parts to braces: the bands for the back teeth and the brackets for the front teeth. Bands are metal rings that are placed around each of your back teeth. Because your teeth are different sizes, the bands must first be fitted to determine the correct size for each tooth. Once the sizes are determined, the bands are removed, dried, and then cemented to your teeth. As a rule, we do not use metal bands on the front teeth. Brackets are small metal or porcelain squares that are glued to the enamel or outer surface of your front teeth. Because there are no nerves in the enamel of your tooth, this procedure causes no discomfort. During bracket placement, your teeth must be kept dry. For this reason plastic cheek retractors are put in your mouth to hold your cheeks and lips away from your teeth while the braces are put on. A bite block is also used to help hold your tongue away and let your jaw rest during this procedure. The cement we use for both the brackets and bands is a type of polymer. It remains soft until activated by a blue light. This light hardens the cement when shone on the tooth. We ask that you don’t look at the light because it is bad for your night vision.
Wires and Ties
After the bands and brackets are placed on your teeth, wires will be put in. With all the advances in orthodontics, the wires we use today to begin treatment provide a much lighter continuous force than the wires used 30 years ago. For this reason, patients experience less discomfort at the beginning of treatment. The wires are tied to the brackets with what we call o-rings or o-chains. They are the color ties. The chains are merely a string of connected rings, primarily used for closing space. Since these ties will be changed at every visit, you may change your colors each time. Occasionally, metal ties may be used for certain types of movements.
What to expect in your first week
Expect a little soreness the first couple of days as you get used to your teeth moving. Tylenol or Advil are sufficient to handle this discomfort. Your cheeks and lips may get sore from the braces rubbing against them. We’ll give you some wax to place on the braces to help out. Try to use as little as possible to allow your lips and cheeks to “toughen up” to the brackets so you won’t need the wax.