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Are elastics uncomfortable?

When you first start wearing elastics, you may experience some discomfort. Discomfort is normal and should subside as your mouth gets accustomed to the new accessory. Please do not remove the elastics to relieve the soreness, even temporarily, as consistent wear is crucial to adapting to their use and staying on track with your treatment plan. However, if discomfort persists or intensifies, don’t hesitate to contact your orthodontist.

How do I keep my retainer clean? 

If you’ve been fitted with a removable retainer, it’s easy to clean when you take it out. Your orthodontist will show you how. If your retainer is attached to your teeth, it’s important to brush thoroughly after meals and clean under the wire with dental floss at least once a day. Ask your orthodontist how to care for your fixed retainer.

My retainer feels tight. Can I still wear it?

As long as your retainer doesn’t hurt and still fits over your teeth, you can wear it – even if it feels tight. Your teeth may have slightly shifted, and you may need to wear your retainer longer each day to prevent your teeth from moving. 

Try wearing your retainer full-time for a few days to encourage your teeth to move back into their correct positions. If the retainer continues to feel uncomfortable, contact your AAO orthodontist to determine the next steps.

How often should I wear my retainer?

Retainers are effective only if you faithfully follow your orthodontist’s instructions for wearing them. Wearing a retainer after your braces are removed is the best way to preserve that healthy, beautiful smile you worked so hard to get.

How will my mouth feel after getting clear aligners?

As with anything new, you can expect an adjustment period of about a week as it gets used to your aligners.  Mild discomfort is common for the first few days. This is temporary and can be relieved by rinsing with warm salt water (1 tsp. salt to 8 oz. of warm water), or by taking an over-the-counter pain reliever.

How long does it typically take to get clear aligners?

You should be in and out of the office within an hour.

Is there anything that needs to be done before getting clear aligners?

Before you get aligners, visit your family dentist for a cleaning and check-up. Any dental work needs to be completed before getting scanned for clear aligners as your aligners will be custom created to the exact shape of your teeth. Visits to your dentist should continue at least every six months for the duration of the treatment or more often if needed.

Is there anything that needs to be done before getting braces?

Before getting braces, visit your family dentist for a cleaning and check-up. Be sure to ask your orthodontist how far in advance of your braces appointment you should schedule your dental appointment. Visits to your dentist should continue at least every six months for the duration of treatment, or more often, if recommended. If you typically take an antibiotic before dental visits, make sure to notify your orthodontist, who will advise you if pre-medication is recommended before the appointment to place braces. In addition, let your orthodontist know of any allergies you have, especially any allergies to metals including nickel.

What are the Options for Invisible Braces?

“Clear or invisible braces” can refer to clear aligners, ceramic braces, or lingual braces. Discuss with your orthodontist to determine the best fit for you.

How do You Prepare for the Day Braces are Put On?

No special preparations are needed. Eat as usual and ensure your teeth are clean by brushing and flossing thoroughly.