Frequently Asked Questions

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Emergency Care

What should be done in an emergency situation?

If an orthodontic emergency arises (ex., something cutting or preventing mouth closure), please call our office at (508) 539-0355 immediately. If it is outside office hours and your treatment coordinator is out of reach, please visit the nearest emergency room.

What is considered an orthodontic emergency?

True orthodontic emergency situations are:
  • Injury to mouth
  • Tooth out of the socket
  • Facial swelling
  • Bleeding that won't stop
  • Cases where mouth closure is impossible

How to reach your office after hours?

If you have an emergency that occurs outside of our normal business hours...

Orthodontic Terms

What are the different types of braces?

Metal braces - are your typical metal brackets with fun, colored elastic ties that hold the wire in place. Self-ligating braces - look similar to metal braces except that it doesn't have colorful elastics to hold the wire in place. It usually has a sliding door mechanism that holds the wire in place. Clear braces - are made of transparent or ceramic material to blend naturally with your teeth, making them look less visible.

What is tongue thrusting?

Tongue thrusting is a parafunctional habit that requires early intervention in children. It is an action wherein the tongue habitually moves out of the mouth, causing the front teeth to move forward or have an open bite.

What is a palatal expander?

A palatal expander is an orthodontic appliance used to widen the arch of the upper and/or lower jaw to gain more space in cases of severe dental crowding. It is usually the appliance of choice during children's first phase of orthodontics. It prevents the need for tooth extraction and facial surgery in the future.

Brushing and Flossing

How do I brush and floss efficiently with braces?

Brushing and flossing may be challenging with braces, but with the help of adjunct tools, it will be much easier. You may use an interdental brush to clean the area between your teeth and the metal components of braces. You may also use floss threaders or water flossers to clean in between your teeth more efficiently.

How do I brush and floss while having Invisalign treatment?

The good news is that you can brush and floss your teeth as you usually do while on Invisalign treatment. Just remember to remove your Invisalign aligners before brushing and flossing.

Invisalign® Care

How to keep my aligners clean?

It is vital to keep your aligners clean to keep them as clear as possible. After eating and drinking, brush your teeth or at least gargle water before wearing your aligners back. This will prevent food and any colored drink from getting trapped in your aligners and your teeth soaked.

How to clean my aligners?

You may clean your Invisalign aligners by soaking them in warm water with Invisalign cleaning crystals. You may also wash them under running water and mild soap. Remember not to brush with a toothbrush or any rough cleaning tool to prevent any damage to your aligners.

Braces Care

What to do with a poking wire?

Poking wire is expected to happen as your teeth adjust and more wire gets exposed at the back of your teeth. If you experience this, simply cover the exposed wire with a small piece of orthodontic wax. Never do DIY solutions found online, such as cutting with a nail clipper or pushing with a pencil eraser, as it can cause damage to your braces.

What to do when a bracket popped off?

If you feel like a bracket pops out, see if it is still held in the wire by your colored elastics. If it is still attached, keep it in place by pushing a small piece of orthodontic wax to stick it in your teeth. If the bracket popped out of your mouth, wash it, put it in a clean container, and bring it to your next appointment with Dr. Nick.

Is orthodontic treatment painful?

As your teeth move to their ideal positions, you may feel some discomfort for the first three days after we place your braces and after your monthly adjustments. You may take over-the-counter pain medications to get relief and stick to a soft diet for a few days.

Retainer Care

How long should I wear retainers?

How long you wear your retainer varies in every case. Remember to wear your retainers full-time until Dr. Nick instructs otherwise.

How to take care of my retainers?

  • In cases wherein you need to remove your retainers (i.e., brushing, swimming, during sports), remember to always put them in their case to prevent loss or breakage.
  • Keep retainers away from hot water, car dashboards, pockets, washing machines, and napkins.
  • Clean the clear Essix retainers thoroughly twice a day with a toothbrush and liquid soap. Brushing retainers removes the plaque and eliminates odors.
  • If your retainers need adjusting, call us. Do not try to adjust them yourself.

If I lose or break my retainers, will you provide a complimentary replacement?

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