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 Second Visit: Records and Separators (Spacers)
If Dr. Renick needs additional information for the treatment plan, additional records (models, other xrays, etc) are taken at this visit.
The day we put braces on, we band the back teeth (molars). Bands are rings that slide on the tooth and it means that the metal side must slide BETWEEN two teeth. The separators are placed the week before to create the space to allow the band to slide onto the tooth. They look like little rubber bands that go between the teeth. When they are placed, they don’t usually hurt, but they do feel tight. Soreness may occur about an hour after placement so we usually suggest that the patient take some Tylenol or Advil as soon as they leave the office. It’s better to be proactive than reactive. Some patients may have discomfort for the first day because this is when the teeth are first starting to move. This usually goes away within 24-48 hours.
What Do I Do If The Spacer Comes Out?
In order to make sure that the separators remain in place, please avoid flossing or picking at the areas where the separators are and please avoid sticky foods that may dislodge the spacers. Foods to avoid include: gum, caramel, tootsie rolls, etc. Once the space starts to open, the separators may fall out on their own.
The Floss Test - If you’re not sure if they just fell out or they were dislodged and need to be replaced, you can do the floss test. Take a piece of floss where the spacer was. If it passes through readily, the space is open and the spacer does not need to be replaced. If the floss “catches” or snaps between the teeth, the spacer needs to be replaced. If there is a long time between the loss of the spacer and the banding visit, check the space again one week before the banding and do the floss test again. If the separator has been out for a long time, it will probably need to be replaced. For replacement, call the office for a time to come in to have the separator put back between the teeth.
What will the Spacers feel like?
The spacers may feel like food between the teeth. They will also be “bouncy” as the teeth come together because part of the rubber remains above the tooth.
Because the teeth are beginning to move, we recommend taking Tylenol as needed for any discomfort which may be experienced. Tylenol (Acetaminophen) is the first choice, but Advil (Motrin, Ibuprofen) may be substituted instead. Any soreness should subside within a day or two.
If you are unsure about anything, or have any questions, call the office at 740-936-5003.