FAQs

Braces

Foods to avoid with braces
  • Chewy foods — bagels, licorice
  • Crunchy foods — popcorn, chips, ice
  • Sticky foods — caramel candies, chewing gum
  • Hard foods — nuts, hard candies
  • Foods that require biting into — corn on the cob, apples, carrots
Foods you CAN eat with braces
  • Dairy — soft cheese, pudding, milk-based drinks
  • Breads — soft tortillas, pancakes, muffins without nuts
  • Grains — pasta, soft cooked rice
  • Meats/poultry — soft cooked chicken, meatballs, lunch meats
  • Seafood — tuna, salmon, crab cakes
  • Vegetables — mashed potatoes, steamed spinach, beans
  • Fruits — applesauce, bananas, fruit juice
  • Treats — ice cream without nuts, milkshakes, Jell-O, soft cake
Soreness

When you first get your braces, you may notice that your teeth and mouth feel a little tender or sore. This is perfectly normal and we promise your mouth will not be sore forever!

What do I do if the wire is poking my cheek?

If a wire is causing irritation to your lips or cheeks, put dental wax or a wet cotton ball over it to relieve the irritation. We can provide you with dental wax at your next visit.

Can I take anything for the discomfort?

We know that this can be an uncomfortable transition! To relieve the pain we recommend doing a gentle salt water gargle as needed, and switching to soft foods that won’t further inflame the area.

Applying a small amount of topical anesthetic (such as Orabase or Ora-Gel) can give quick relief to the affected area. Alternatively, you can take Tylenol or Advil to help relieve minor discomfort.

If your discomfort is more severe or persistent please get in touch with our office.

Why are my gums bleeding?

This is caused by lack of proper brushing and flossing. Better oral hygiene is needed, you have gingivitis.

Why do my teeth feel loose?

If your teeth begin to feel a little loose, don’t worry; this is normal! Your braces must first loosen your teeth to move them into the right position. Once your teeth have been repositioned, they will no longer be loose.

Why is there a new space between my teeth?

Sometimes a space is created on purpose and sometimes it appears on its own, as a result of the braces moving your teeth into their correct position. This is totally normal and is temporary. Once your teeth have been repositioned those spaces will be gone.

Why does my bite feel different?

The goal of any orthodontic treatment is to achieve correct alignment of your teeth and also your bite. Your bite may feel different throughout treatment, which is a normal part of the process.

Loose wires and bands

The wires and bands on your braces may come loose. If this happens, please contact us as soon as possible so we can check and repair your appliance. If any piece of your appliance comes off, be sure to save it and bring it to the office with you.

You can temporarily fix the loose wire by using the back of a spoon or the eraser end of a pencil to push the wire carefully and gently back into place. If the loose wire is causing irritation to your lips or cheeks, put wax or a wet cotton ball over it to relieve the pain.

My wire came out at the back, what do I do?

You can temporarily fix the loose wire by using the back of a spoon or the eraser end of a pencil to push the wire carefully and gently back into place.

If you’re unable to put the wire back in place, please get in touch with our team to come in and have the problem remedied.

One of my braces came off, what do I do?

If any piece of your appliance comes off, please get in touch with our office right away. Be sure to save the component and bring it to the office at your next visit.

What do I do if the coloured elastic comes off?

No need to panic! As long as it’s not causing any pain you can wait until your next appointment.

What do I do if I run out of elastics?

Give our office a call. We will arrange a time for you to pick up more or mail them to you if you’re out of town.

The blue stuff fell off my tooth, what do I do?

Get in touch with our office, you will need to come in so we can put it back on.

Playing sports with braces

You can still play sports even while undergoing orthodontic treatment! If you do play sports, it’s recommended that you wear a mouthguard to protect your teeth and your appliance. Let us know if you need help finding the right mouthguard for the best protection.

I got hit in the face and my braces got damaged.

Ouch! Rinse with warm salt water if gums and lips are cut or have sores. Call our office so we can assess what needs to be fixed or replaced.

Can I whiten my teeth?

No, you cannot whiten your teeth while having orthodontic treatment done. Doing so would whiten only the area around the brackets or Invisalign attachments, and leave spots on your teeth.

Invisalign

I lost my tray

Put in your previous tray and call our office for further instructions.

I lost an attachment

Call our office, we can replace it for you.

My trays don’t fit

Take pictures and email them to us at orthodontics@shaw.ca. It’s possible we may need to rescan you and order new trays. Call the office for further instruction.

My button came off

Call our office, we can replace it for you.

How much longer?

Everyone’s orthodontic needs are different. The length of treatment will depend on how many trays you have left and if any refinement is needed.

How often do I change my trays?

We will have given you instruction on how often to change your trays, but it’s typically every 7 days or so. If you’re unsure, give our office a call.

Why are my teeth sore?

When you first get your Invisalign, you may notice that your teeth and mouth feel a little tender or sore. This is perfectly normal and we promise your mouth will not be sore forever!

My teeth feel different without my trays in than with them in

It’s normal for your teeth to feel different or loose without the trays in. You also may notice that your bite feels different.

Can I chew gum with my aligners?

No, chewing any type of gum with your trays in is not advised.

The attachments are stained

Call our office, we can change the attachment for you.

Retainers

My clear retainer broke

If your retainer has broken into two pieces, or you have a crack in it, you can keep wearing it if it’s comfortable to do so. Get in touch with us so we can have a new one made for you. Replacement retainers are generally $150.00.

The retainer behind my teeth broke

Get in touch with our office right away. Teeth can shift quickly when the glue on the back of your teeth has come loose.

I lost my retainer

Get in touch with our office right away, teeth can shift quickly! A new one can be made once we have a new impression. Replacement retainers are generally $150.00.

My retainer doesn’t fit anymore

This is usually caused by not wearing your retainer consistently enough, allowing your teeth to shift. Call the office so we can assess the fit of your retainer and give you further instructions.

How long do I have to wear my retainer?

Retainers are a lifetime commitment. Teeth continue to shift as we age. Wear your retainers as instructed for as long as you want to keep your teeth straight.

My new retainer feels different than my old one

No two retainers are the same, this is something that will take getting used to.

I have a hole in my retainer

This is caused by grinding of the teeth. Call the office for further instructions. Replacement retainers are generally $150.00.

I have a glued-on lingual wire retainer, can we remove it?

We sure can! We will then make you a new clear retainer to continue to keep your smile beautiful.

Other Questions

How often do I visit the Orthodontist?

We typically see patients with braces every 6-8 weeks, depending on your treatment plan. With Invisalign it can range from 8-14 weeks because of the amount of tray remaining in your treatment.

Sport Emergency

Be sure to check your mouth and appliance immediately for damage. If you notice any loose teeth or appliance damage, please contact our office right away.

You can temporarily relieve the discomfort by applying wax or rinsing your mouth with warm salt water.

Food stuck in your teeth

This is not an emergency, but it can be uncomfortable or embarrassing. It’s easily fixed with a piece of dental floss.

Try tying a small knot in the middle of the floss to help remove the food, or use a water pick or toothpick to gently dislodge food caught between your teeth and your braces.

Do I need a referral for a consult?

In most cases new patents do not need a referral. Call our office to book an appointment.

My appliance broke, what do I do?

If this happens, please contact us as soon as possible so we can make repairs. If any piece of your appliance comes off, be sure to save it and bring it to the office with you.

Paying for treatment

If you still have money left outstanding for your monthly payments and the orthodontic treatment is not complete, this amount will still need to be paid.

Payments are a monthly payment plan, not a pay per appointment or pay until the treatment is complete.

My friend doesn’t have to wear elastics, why do I?

Each individual person’s orthodontic treatment is different and requires different mechanics to move teeth.

What happens if I miss my appointment?

We understand life happens. Out of courtesy to other patients and staff, we would appreciate a call if you are unable to attend or need to reschedule your appointment.