1. Wear your elastics. They work with the wires to guide your teeth. Not wearing the elastics or wearing them less than the teeth need will lead to poorer results and it’ll take more time to get there.
2. Keep your teeth clean. Braces make it harder to keep your teeth clean, but not much harder. You need to brush by the gum line. A lot of people miss the gum line before their braces but the bristles get to the gum line at least some of the time. With braces, you have to be sure to put those toothbrush bristles by the gum line. It’s easy but really important – feel those bristles by the gum!
Healthier gums make teeth move faster and feel better. That might sound like dental propaganda, but it’s true – clean teeth lead to healthier gums and that promotes good stuff in the tooth moving department and it feels better too.
3. Be gentle when you’re eating with your braces and wires so they don’t break. Not all breakage will slow down your treatment, but it’s always a hassle for you and we want things to go smoothly for you. Keep the pressure of eating over on the teeth and away from the braces. And don’t forget: smaller portions at once, softer and slower chewing. Braces break from too much pressure from eating or playing with the braces.
Oh – one more thing. Keep seeing us regularly. The wires and elastics we use work over a longer period of time, but we normally want to see you every 4 to 8 weeks to make sure your treatment is on track. Longer periods aren’t always a problem, but we want to keep your teeth moving and make any adjustments along the way. Always contact us with anything curious going on with your teeth. We want to see you regularly.
Finally, here’s something for those of you in a hurry to keep in mind. Some people will tell us they want to get their braces off for a great smile as soon as possible: “Tighten those braces good to move them faster.” But high pressures don’t move your teeth faster – it actually moves your teeth more slowly and it definitely feels worse.
We totally get it. We want your treatment to be as quick and as comfortable as possible and steady gentle pressure is the best for this. A great smile – quickly and comfortably – that’s what we want.