Why should you choose Dr. Walle as your orthodontic specialist?
Teeth, and sometimes entire facial structures, are permanently changed by orthodontic treatment. It is important that the treatment be appropriate and properly completed to meet your individualized needs.
Orthodontic specialist Dr. Walle at Klamath Falls Dental Specialists has extensive and specialized training beyond dental school, enabling him to provide his patients with professional, personalized treatments that produce results that last a lifetime.
The average time for full orthodontic treatment is usually 18 to 24 months. This varies from patient to patient, depending on such factors as difficulty of the existing problem, age of the patient, certain physiological characteristics of the patient, and most important: patient cooperation during treatment.
Cooperation Leads to a Bright Smile!
The success of orthodontic treatment is founded on cooperation. It is very important that all instructions be carefully and completely followed. The main areas of concern include:
- wearing elastics as instructed
- being present and on time for all appointments
- maintaining good oral hygiene
- minimizing appliance breakages
- immediate reporting of broken appliances
Poor cooperation in any of these areas can markedly lengthen treatment time and may detract from the end result.
Importance of Elastics
Elastics are worn to correct bite relationships. They are to be worn as close to 24 hours as possible. Replace two to three times per day when brushing, after eating, or as necessary due to breakage. Wearing them in the wrong positions may result in the teeth moving in the wrong direction. Insufficient wear will lengthen treatment time. If you run out of the rubber bands, call our office for a new supply. We will even mail them to you!
At-Home Orthodontic Care
It’s more important than ever to brush and floss regularly when you have braces so your teeth and gums are healthy after orthodontic treatment. Patients who do not keep their teeth clean may require more frequent visits to their regular dentist for professional cleanings. Adults who have a history of gum disease should also see a periodontist during orthodontic treatment.
Orthodontic brackets and wires are food-catchers. It is therefore important that the teeth be carefully brushed after each meal and snack. After brushing, the appliances should be checked to see if they appear clean and shiny with no food particles or plaque. Flossing at least once per day is also an important step to good oral hygiene.
Failure to keep the mouth clean increases the likelihood of dental decay and etching of the enamel around the edges of the brackets and bands, leading to permanent discoloration of the teeth.
After braces are placed, you may feel general soreness in your mouth and your teeth may be tender to biting pressures for three to five days. If tenderness is severe, it can be alleviated with over-the-counter pain relievers. Chewing sugarless gum after an appointment will reduce the discomfort too!
Lips, cheeks, and tongue may also become irritated for one to two weeks as they toughen and become accustomed to the surface of the braces. The team at Klamath Falls Dental Specialists will show you how to use wax on the brackets to lessen any discomfort.
These areas may also be soothed by rinsing your mouth with a warm salt water mouthwash. Dissolve one teaspoonful of salt in 8 ounces of warm water and rinse your mouth vigorously 2 to 3 times a day.
Care of Orthodontic Appliances
Loose Wires or Bands
Occasionally, a wire or band may become loose. If a wire protrudes and is irritating, use a blunt instrument (the back of spoon or the eraser end of a pencil) and carefully, gently push the irritating wire.
If the wire has shifted, use fingers or small forceps to gently move it back. If irritation to the lips or mouth continues, place wax or sugarless gum on the wire to reduce the annoyance until you can be seen in our office
Call Klamath Falls Dental Specialists as soon as possible for an appointment to check and repair any loose appliances. If any piece of the orthodontic appliance comes off, save it and bring it with you to your appointment.
Athletics and Orthodontic Treatment
Damaged appliances lengthen the treatment time. If you play sports, it’s important that you consult Dr. Walle at Klamath Falls Dental Specialists for special precautions. A protective mouthguard is advised for playing contact sports.
In case of any accident involving the face, check your mouth and the appliances immediately. If teeth are loosened or the appliances damaged, call Klamath Falls Dental Specialists at (541) 884-8668 for an appointment. In the meantime, treat your discomfort as you would treat any general soreness.