Welcome to the world of orthodontics! Here are some suggestions and information on your removable appliances and what to expect.
During the initial adjustment period, patients may experience minor symptoms.
- Discomfort can be expected during the first week of having your appliances and after your regular adjustments. Your teeth may become sore, especially when you bite down. Common pain relievers, such as Tylenol and Advil will help, along with eating softer foods until the discomfort subsides. Rinsing with warm salt water (1/2 tsp. salt in 8 oz. warm water), will be soothing to sore spots until these areas “toughen up.”
- Mobility – As your teeth begin to move, they sometimes feel “loose” and mobile. It is a normal but strange sensation: in fact, you may feel your teeth becoming mobile off and on throughout the treatment.
Here are some tips for effective appliance use:
- Wear it: Your appliances must be worn ALL THE TIME except when you eat or when you brush your teeth. You might have problems with speech in the beginning. It should take a few days to a few weeks to get used to talking with the appliances, but you will need to practice speaking with them in to allow your tongue to adapt. You will also notice more saliva in your mouth at first because your mouth thinks it’s food and is trying to digest it. This will subside as your mouth gets used to your appliances.
- Expanders: If there is an expander screw in your appliance, activate it according to Dr. Jow’s instructions, which is usually one movement of the key from front to back per week, in the direction of the arrow. If a full movement is too much at once, turn it from front to the middle the first half of the week, and from the middle to the back the second part of the week.
- Keep it clean: Brush your appliances just like your teeth – with a toothbrush after every meal. If you can’t brush, rinse your mouth and appliances thoroughly with cold water. You can soak them in a denture cleaner such as Efferdent or white vinegar if they develop hard deposits on them (calculus or tartar). Don’t put them in hot water or leave them in a hot place. This will distort them. To sterilize them, soak them in a solution of one part household bleach to ten parts water for about half an hour.
- Don’t lose or break it: The easiest way to avoid losing the appliance is simply by keeping it in your mouth. It should always be worn as instructed or safe in the case provided. Otherwise it can be lost, sat on,thrown away in a napkin, etc. There will be additional charges if lost or broken. Please call us immediately if your appliance is lost or broken so you don’t give your teeth a chance to relapse.
- Don’t adjust it yourself: If for any reason the appliances don’t fit properly, leave them out of your mouth and call us right away for an appointment so Dr. Jow can adjust them for you. Your appliances are delicate; do not try to adjust them yourself.