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Did you know that braces have been around for over 100 years? Well they have, in various forms, slowly being refined over time as we come to understand more and more about how teeth move and how we can move them more efficiently.


How Teeth Move

The latest technology in braces (“brackets and archwires”) allows for gentle and comfortable tooth movement, and recent trends have seen braces get smaller, smoother, and less visible. Dr. Peng uses the latest in "mini" metal brackets for children and white "cosmetic" brackets for older children and adults.

Tooth movement occurs when force is applied to a tooth in a certain direction, causing changes in the bone and gums that surround the teeth. In particular, the bone ahead of the tooth movement "resorbs" (melts away) while new bone is laid down behind the tooth movement.

Brackets and Wires

Brackets give us "handles" on the teeth, and the wires provide the force to the brackets that move them. Recent advances in technology have allowed us to deliver a gentle, yet constant force to the teeth which means more efficient tooth movement and a lot less pain or discomfort these days!

We also have a lot of fun with the various colours of elastics that attach the wires to the brackets. There are lots to choose from. All of these innovations are designed to make wearing modern braces a comfortable, positive, and rewarding experience!

When Braces are Appropriate...

Orthodontics is a branch of Dentistry that deals with a lot more than straightening teeth. It encompasses all aspects of oral health: including a good bite, healthy jaw joints, healthy gums, and improved long-term outlook for your teeth and smile.

As well, orthodontics goes a long way to enhance your self-esteem. The message one sends to the world is often transmitted through your smile. We consider it a privilege to help create such wonderful things for you and your life!

Orthodontics can benefit a wide age range. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that a child have an orthodontic screening no later than age seven to diagnose and begin to treat many early orthodontic problems.

A full set of braces is usually not recommended until a child has most of the new teeth — usually age 10-14 (everyone has their own timing). Most teenagers and adults can usually proceed with full orthodontics right away, if their teeth and gums are in good shape.

What do I expect after brace put on?

There will be some discomfort after braces on or after each visit, which will last from 24-72 hours. Tylenol, or Ibuprofen (ie: Advil) should be comforting if necessary. Orthodontic wax  may be needed for mouth irritations.

Good oral hygiene is crucial!

When your braces are on, you must be sure to brush your teeth and gums better than ever before.
Extra care must be taken in the area between the gums and the brackets. We call this area the danger zone. Food and plaque that collects around the appliances can cause:

  • stains
  • cavities
  • puffy gums
  • unpleasant odors

It is crucial that your teeth be kept extremely clean.

A New Technique to Learn

Brush after every meal and brush properly, you must:

  • brush under, above, behind, around ALL surfaces of every tooth and bracket
  • remember to brush the inside and the outside of gums
  • rinse your mouth very thoroughly after you have finished brushing, and
  • be sure to check after rinsing and if your teeth and brackets are not clean. BRUSH AGAIN if needed!!

Floss each night at bedtime. Use Super Floss or Floss Threaders.

  • Proxa-brush.
  • Oral irrigation devices: such as the Water-Pik device.
  • Orthodontic wax for mouth irritations.
  • Fluoride-containing mouthrinse (daily formula:0 .05% Fluoride).

The NO-NO List

Common sense will tell you what you should and shouldn't eat, but the following list includes things that should never be eaten while your braces are on:

  • Hard, brittle foods, such as:
    • ice
    • peanuts
    • sunflower seeds
    • pizza crust
    • popcorn
    • taco chips
    • hard candy
  • Soft sticky foods:
    • chewing gum (even the "non-stick" kind!)
    • caramels and toffee
    • acidic foods such as Cola and pop
    • lemons, limes

Whole fruits and vegetables such as apples and carrots should be sliced and eaten carefully. Hard, crusty breads should be broken up and eaten in small pieces. Corn should be sliced off the cob before eating.

Keep pencils, pens, and fingernails out of your mouth!

Treat your appliances as you would anything else of such high value: with care and respect! You will be rewarded with the best possible result in the shortest period of time!

Orthodontic Emergencies

We know that it is quite an adjustment getting used to braces. There's a lot to remember and after you see us there is often discomfort.
If you are experiencing a problem with your braces or appliance please try the following:

  • if something breaks (brackets, appliances), keep the pieces and bring them with you to your next appointment
  • Apply  orthodontic wax  to ease sore cheeks and gums
  • if the problem becomes unmanageable, contact us  or any dentist or the on-call dentist for your local hospital emergency room, for immediate attention.

What to do if ...

You have a Loose Bracket or Band

Broken bracket? Don't panic. These things happen.
If your appointment is less than 3 weeks away and you are not in any pain or discomfort we'll repair it at your next scheduled appointment.
Otherwise, give us a call and we'll get you in at our next available opening during the day.

What to do if ...

A Long Wire is Poking You

If a wire(s) is too long and poking your cheek or gum:

  • If your wire is poking on one side only, try to slide the wire back around toward the other side.
  • If your wire has popped out of the tube, try to place the wire back into the tube with tweezers.
  • Put orthodontic wax on the end of the wire that is bothering you.
  • Try using a spoon or the eraser end of a pencil to gently push the poking wire away from the tissue.

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