Braces

braces.jpgTraditional Braces are everything but traditional at Hough Orthodontics. Dr. Hough uses a variety of bracket systems, choosing the ideal system and wires for each individual patient based on their individual needs. This includes self-ligating brackets, which uses doors rather than ties to hold the wire into place. Additionally, Dr. Hough uses ‘micro-mini’ brackets that enable patients to enjoy a lower profile bracket, giving them a more aesthetic appearance due to less visibility. These smaller brackets also provide a lot greater comfort than traditional larger braces.

The high-tech wire system Dr. Hough uses allows patients to enjoy a cleaner, more aesthetic appearance with far fewer visits, less discomfort and faster treatment time than with old fashioned and out of date wire systems. Lighter, gentler forces on the teeth actually have a faster result. NiTi wires have many unique properties, including the very light force, decreasing force when deflected ( superelasticity) and activation by body heat (thermoelasticity). While every patient’s needs are different these new state-of-the-art wires allow Dr. Hough to individualize every patient’s treatment to create the best smile for each person.

Clear Braces

Clear braces (aligners) are a newer and exciting way to help straighten teeth. With state-of-the-art technology, Dr. Hough is able to align your teeth using a series of clear aligners.

Click here to read more about Clear Braces / Aligners

Braces Care

What to Expect

The day your braces are placed, everything will just feel plain awkward, since it is all new. But, discomfort does not set in for several hours after your appointment.

As the braces and wires begin to move your teeth, you will begin to feel tightness. That feeling will continue for a few days sometimes, with the first night being the most uncomfortable. It is normal for the tight feeling at times to last for up to a week. The feeling is just a sore, tender feeling and is not horrible. Take Tylenol or Advil. This will help relieve the discomfort like it would for a muscle cramp or headache.

You will want to eat softer foods for the first few days. It is an excellent excuse for ice cream! Other more nutritious alternatives are, of course, soups, smoothies, and rice. You may find it more comfortable to limit foods that require a lot of chewing, like steak, until your teeth feel more relaxed.

Even with the smaller braces, your cheeks and lips do sometimes get scratched by the braces in the beginning until they get used to the braces. You might experience small canker sores due to irritation. We will provide you with wax and that you can use to cover the braces where they are most irritating. Topical ointments may help, and we do provide you with samples of those as well. Rinsing with warm salt water or Peroxyl will help keep the sore clean and heal faster.

After each appointment, there might be initial discomfort, but it goes away significantly faster than when the braces were first placed. Patients do sometimes notice that their teeth feel loose after they get their braces. Do not be alarmed, this is completely normal. Teeth must become mobile in order to be moved to the new, desired position.

Dr. Hough has estimated your treatment time for you. This estimate is usually very close to your actual treatment time. However, unexpected growth changes, delayed tooth eruption or other unexpected factors may increase your treatment time while other factors may decrease the time you will be in braces. A significant factor in staying on course for your treatment also depends on working together with Dr. Hough and his staff. Frequent broken brackets, poor hygiene and missed appointments can delay your treatment, so be careful to follow instructions so that your treatment can stay on schedule.

Once you are finished with your braces, you will go into retention where we will stabilize your teeth with a retainer and your teeth will no longer feel loose.

Eating Restrictions, AKA “The No-No List”

Don’t worry, the eating restrictions are not permanent. As soon as your braces are off, you can resume eating your favorites from the no-no list. However, while undergoing treatment, it is imperative to avoid these foods so your treatment is not prolonged. Foods that should be avoided are:

  • Chewing gum
  • Popcorn
  • Sticky, chewy candy such as taffy, gummy bears or caramel
  • Nuts, including candy with nuts
  • Hard breads or rolls and pretzels
  • Thick, crunchy chips like Doritos, Cheetos, Tostitos
  • Hard taco shells
  • Beef Jerky
  • Suckers
  • Raw carrots
  • Meat on bones (like ribs)
  • Apples need to be cut into bite size pieces/
  • You want to limit sodas and sugary carbonated drinks
  • And NEVER chew on ice, pens, pencils or fingernails!

Oral Hygiene

Oral Hygiene

While undergoing orthodontic treatment, oral hygiene is extremely important. Proper brushing and flossing is vital to keeping your teeth and gums healthy. It is essential in preventing the development of stains, streaks or other structural damage on the teeth. The damage can present itself in the form of permanent white spots, brown spots, cavities, and/or gum disease. In order to prevent this from happening, you must develop a good system of cleaning your teeth and gums every day.

At your initial braces or appliance placement appointment, one of our staff members will teach you how to brush and floss your teeth and your braces. They will also provide you with several tools to keep your smile healthy, including an electric tooth brush. Ten rules of hygiene that you should always remember are:

  • Brush after EVERY meal, at least 3 times a day
  • Floss EVERY day
  • Brush every surface of your tooth
  • Brush every surface of your braces, including in between them
  • Brush your gums, and concentrate on the part of the gums that are between the teeth and braces
  • Brush in circular motion
  • Don’t forget to Brush your tongue!
  • Rinse with a fluoride-fortified mouthwash
  • A Water-Pik® is a great cleaning tool for getting in between the braces
  • It only takes ONE day of improper cleaning to cause BIG problems!

What You Need to Know About Sports and Braces

For contact sports, we recommend you use a mouth guard that allows for your tooth movement to continue while still protecting your lips, cheeks and teeth from being injured if you are hit in the face. The boil and bite mouth guards will not allow your teeth to continue to move with braces so these types of mouth guards should be avoided.

Please ask a staff member for our orthodontic approved mouth guards, we have them on hand for our patients in a variety of colors. We provide them for our patients free of charge.