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                                 Getting familiar with your braces


“The” brace

Archwire- Removable wires that fit into the slots of the braces and move your teeth into position. Archwires are made from different alloys such as stainless steel. Many of the new high tech wires are made from a material that has "memory". When the archwire is distorted from its “U” shape, like braces on crooked teeth, the "memory" in the wire restores itself and allows the wire to return to its original shape slowly over time and moving your teeth with it.

Hooks- Some brackets have hooks built into them for elastic wear. Hooks can also be attached to the archwire. (Elastics help to correct how the upper and lower teeth bite together. Everyone at some point during treatment will wear elastics.)

Ligature (Tie)- the ligature holds the wire into the slot of the brace. Ligatures can be colored, stainless steel or Placed on the four front teeth. Strictly for show of color if desired by patients. Some elastic ligatures are connected like a chain.

Soreness of teeth is to be expected for a few days, even up to a week is not unusual. Tylenol, Advil or any other pain medicine used for your discomfort is helpful. Peroxyl or warm salt-water rinses will help the inside of your lips and cheeks become used to the braces. Also, use wax as necessary. Give your mouth some time and your lips and cheeks will soon adjust to your new braces.

Visit your dentist at least every 6 months during orthodontic treatment- it is very important for all orthodontic patients to continue to visit your family dentist at least once every six months, even during active orthodontic treatment, for dental cleanings and checkups.