General Guidelines for all procedures:
Do not chew on hard, sticky or chewy foods for a least 24 hours. Never chew on ice. Avoid aggressive chewing and sticky foods such as “hard tack” candies that can loosen or damage a restoration. Carefully follow all guidelines provided by the doctor and their staff and most importantly practice good oral hygiene. Additional instructions following various types of treatment are listed below. Please click on the below topics for detailed instructions. In the event of an emergency, please call our office. If you are experiencing a serious or life threatening emergency, please call 911 or visit the nearest emergency room.
- Use your fingers to put your aligners place. First place the aligners over your front teeth, and then use your fingers to push the aligner down gently over your molars. When aligners are correctly inserted, they will fit all the way down on the teeth, with no space between the top of the aligners and the top of the teeth. Aligners will fit tightly at first but should fit well at the end of the two week period.
- Keep aligners in except when flossing, brushing, eating. It’s also best to remove the aligners when drinking warm beverages such as coffee or tea.
- Remove the aligner by pulling it off both sides of your back teeth simultaneously then lifting it off of your front teeth.
- Place your aligners in the case we provided any time they are not being worn.
- Clean aligners with a toothbrush and toothpaste.
- Wear each set of aligners for two weeks unless our office directs you to vary from this schedule.
- Wear aligners in the correct numerical order. (Each aligner is labeled by number and with a U or an L to designate upper or lower.)
- Keep all of your old aligners and bring them to your orthodontic appointments.
- Do NOT place your aligners in or on a napkin or tissue. Many aligners have accidentally been thrown out this way!
- Do NOT use your teeth to “bite” your aligners into place.
- If you have pets, don’t place your aligners anywhere that your pets can reach them. Pets are attracted to saliva and would enjoy chewing on your Invisalign trays!
- Do NOT use Denture cleaner, alcohol, or bleach to clean your aligners.
- Do NOT use boiling water or warm water on your aligners.
- Do NOT chew gum with your aligners in.
- It would be best not to smoke while wearing aligners. The smoke can stain the aligners as well as your teeth.
Just in Case
If you lose the tab attached to your tooth that helps the aligner snap on, please call our office right away so that we can determine if you need to come in before your next scheduled appointment.
If you lose one of your aligner trays, please wear the next tray if you have it. If you do not have the next tray, please wear the previous tray. It is extremely important to use a tray to keep teeth from shifting. Call our office to let us know which tray was lost so that we can determine if a replacement tray is needed. There will be a fee if replacement trays are required.
Having braces should not cause any major changes in your day-to-day activities. You can still dine out, sing, play a musical instrument, or have pictures taken. With proper care and maintenance, you can promote your oral health while on your way to a more beautiful smile.
If you play a wind instrument, several companies make mouth guards and lip protectors, although you may not need them.
For certain sports it is a good idea to wear a mouth guard. Ask us about recommendations based on your specific needs when you come in for your next appointment.
When making your dining choice, choose softer foods and avoid foods that are particularly hard, chewy, crunchy or sticky. Cut or tear pizza and sandwiches before eating them rather than trying to bite through them. Chopping up items like apples or carrots before eating them is a good idea. When your braces are adjusted, your teeth may be a little more sensitive, so choosing softer food like pasta, soups or a healthy smoothie can be a good choice. Please avoid chewing gum and chewing on ice.
Carefully follow all instructions you are given regarding your dental care. Specific steps may vary depending on the type of braces you have. Be sure to brush thoroughly after any meal or snack . It is important to keep your teeth and braces as clean as possible to avoid potential problems. Also, rinse with water or mouthwash after brushing. It’s a good idea to carry a travel toothbrush when you will be away from home. Before going to bed at night be sure to brush thoroughly and floss carefully. It may take a little extra time but this is an important step in maintaining your oral hygiene on your way to a better smile and healthier teeth.
Use a soft rounded-bristle toothbrush that is in good condition. Toothbrushes will wear out faster and need to be replaced more often when wearing braces, so be sure to keep some spare toothbrushes on hand. When brushing you should also brush your tongue and rinse thoroughly when done.
If you have a removable orthodontic appliance, it is important to clean it each night and morning to remove dental plaque. Remove the appliance and clean it with a toothbrush and toothpaste.
Wear a mouth guard when playing sports to protect the mouth from injury.
Keep these materials on hand to help with the most common orthodontic maintenance and minor emergencies:
Interdental or Proxabrushes fit between teeth and help patients to clean around wires without damaging them.
Non-medicated orthodontic relief wax can be placed over brackets or wires that may be irritating gum tissues.
Antibacterial Mouthwash can be used to reduce inflammation and prevent infection. For minor sores in the mouth, Peroxyl, an antiseptic rinse containing hydrogen peroxide may be used up to 4 times per day after brushing. Refer to the product label for specific instructions.
Dental floss, an interproximal brush or a toothpick can be used for removing food that gets caught between teeth or wires.
Sterile tweezers can be used to replace orthodontic rubber bands that have come off.
A Q-tip or pencil eraser can be used to push a wire up against a tooth if it has come loose and is irritating the cheeks or gums. If it is not possible to reposition the wire so it is more comfortable, place wax over the end of the wire and call our office so that we can set a time to have the wire adjusted and put back into place.
Salt is used for warm salt-water rinses, which help heal sore gums and tissues in the mouth.
Non-prescription pain relievers, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, can help with the temporary discomfort that sometimes occurs for the first day or two after an orthodontic adjustment.
Topical Anesthetic Treatments, such as Orabase or Ora-Gel, can be applied with with a Q-tip to any abrasions or sores in the mouth should they occur.
Carefully clean around the restoration, brushing and flossing daily. When flossing, take extra care not to loosen the temporary restoration by removing the floss too roughly. You can slowly thread the floss out by one end if necessary to avoid too much pressure on the temporary.
Once your final restoration has been placed avoid chewing on hard, crunchy or sticky foods for 24 hours in order to give time for the cement to fully bond. Mild sensitivity to hot or cold foods is not unusual and should dissipate after a few weeks. If sensitivity lasts more than six weeks please let the office know, although this happens infrequently.
Ongoing care for your restoration includes brushing your teeth after every meal and snack, and flossing at least once a day before bedtime. Rinsing your mouth with water or mouthwash with also help to remove any additional particles that may have been missed during brushing and flossing.
Please call our office if you are in pain or have any questions regarding your treatment.
Sensitivity to cold and heat, as well as any soreness, shouldn’t last more than a few days. Please call our office if you experience pain or discomfort for more than a few days.
For the first 24 hours you may experience some cold and heat sensitivity. Do not eat, drink, chew or consume hot foods or beverages until the numbness has worn off following anesthetic. Avoid vigorous physical exercise as well as foods and are extremely hot or spicy for the first 24 hours. Do not consume alcoholic beverages or smoke for at least 48 hours. Some bleeding following a deep cleaning is normal, but if you experience excessive bleeding please call our office.
You can take ibuprofen or acetaminophen according to the instructions on the label or those provided by your doctor as needed. A warm salt water rinse, approximately one teaspoon in an eight ounce glass of water, three times a day can be helpful. Brush and floss gently following a deep cleaning, resuming normal brushing and flossing when the soreness is gone.
Follow any other instructions provided by our office on your visit. Please take all medications as prescribed.
For the first 48 Hours Following Bleaching:
Teeth are more susceptible to staining for 48 hours after bleaching treatments. For the 48 hours after whitening, it is best to avoid dark-colored food or beverages that can stain your teeth. Any item that can stain your clothes, can also stain your teeth.
Avoid: berries, cola or other dark sodas, red wine, coffee and tea, tobacco and ketchup, soy or other dark sauces.
Using Your Custom Trays:
Follow the instructions given by our office, placing the bleaching gel in the center of each tooth position on the tray so that the gel will rest against the anterior surface of the teeth once it is placed in your mouth. Wear trays for the recommended time. Rinse the mouth and gently remove any gel remaining on your teeth with a soft bristle toothbrush. Clean the trays.
For the first 24 hours you may experience some cold and heat sensitivity. Do not eat, drink, chew or consume foods and beverages that are extremely hot or spicy until the numbness has worn off following the anesthetic. Avoid vigorous physical exercise for the first 24 hours and do not consume alcoholic beverages or smoke for at least 48 hours. Do not brush, rinse or spit. Do not use a straw for drinking. During the first few days after surgery a diet of liquids and soft foods such as soups, yogurt, juice and smoothies are recommended. If you experience excessive bleeding or discomfort after 48-72 hours, please call our office immediately.
Follow any other instructions provided by the office on your visit. Please take all medications as prescribed including your prescribed antibiotics to help prevent infection.