Brakets By Springhill, Brooksville Orthodontist

The stainless steel brackets we cement to your teeth serve as “handles.” We use them to apply pressure to your teeth and move them to the desired position. The pressure can be applied in several ways, including through use of an archwire that is tied to each bracket. Regardless of what method is used to apply pressure to your brackets, your teeth will be tender at first. The discomfort will gradually disappear, and aspirin and Tylenol can relieve irritation in the meantime. Archwires are attached to brackets with a rubber band, or small elastic ligature. If a bracket comes loose and causes you discomfort, you can use a sharp instrument to detach the rubber band so the bracket can be removed from the wire. Later on in treatment you may not be able to remove loose brackets because the archwires will be heavier and less flexible.

It is not uncommon for brackets to come loose several days after being cemented to your teeth, so do not be alarmed. Pressure placed on the brackets from an archwire can cause the brackets to detach themselves from your teeth after they have first been placed, especially those that are on teeth quite far out of alignment. Another condition that may cause brackets to come loose early in treatment is certain types of bites. If any of your brackets come loose, please call our office so we can schedule an appointment to have them re-cemented. After the initial weeks of your treatment, the typical cause of loose brackets is biting hard food. If you have an appointment within the next couple of weeks, we can re-cement loose brackets at that time or try to schedule you for a sooner appointment.

The cement we use to bond brackets to your teeth does not damage your enamel. When your treatment is complete, we painlessly remove the brackets by pinching them with a special instrument.

There are only a few restrictions we will place on your diet during orthodontic treatment. As previously mentioned, hard foods can loosen your brackets, so we advise  you to be careful when chewing pizza crust, ice cubes, unpopped popcorn kernels, etc. We do not expect for you to stick to soft foods for the length of your treatment, but we cannot stress enough just how important it is for you to watch what you bite into. Candy, sugared gum and other sweets should be avoided as much as possible, even when you do not have braces.

It will take you a few days to get used to the feeling of your brackets against your lips and cheeks. There may be times, especially right after they are placed, that your brackets rub sore spots inside your mouth. A small piece of the wax we will give you can cover the bracket or archwire that is causing the problem and create a cushion. Our office can give you more wax at each visit. If a tender spot develops and does not disappear after a few days, please call our office so we can examine it.

Good oral hygiene habits are essential for a healthy mouth, especially when you have orthodontic appliances. During your orthodontic treatment, proper brushing can help maintain healthy gums and prevent damage to teeth. One of the most common questions we are asked is if braces cause decay. Braces themselves do not cause decay, but the food particles that can get stuck in them and are left around the edges of your brackets can. Markings from decaying enamel may not be visible until your brackets are removed. Food debris can also irritate your gums and cause them to become inflamed and swollen. It is obviously very important that you make sure all food is brushed away from your brackets and bands after each time you eat and before bedtime. Do not forget to use a soft bristle toothbrush to remove any debris between your brackets and gums, as well. Waterpik’s Water Flosser and other high irrigation devices can help you remove food debris from your brackets, but they should not be used in place of a good brushing ritual.

We advise that you continue receiving regular dental exams from your family dentist during the length of your treatment to ensure the health of your teeth and gums.