Dr. Grewal and his staff provide warm and compassionate care for kids and do everything possible to make their experience with us a positive one! Lots of children are excited about getting braces and we strive to make their appointments with us fun.
We offer a free consultation for anyone interested in getting braces, and take pride in being able to offer every available option of braces to our patients, based on their preferences and budgets.
For example, if traditional metal braces or porcelain braces are the option you choose, your child can pick out the colors of the rubber bands used which adhere the brackets to the adjustment wire. They can be customized to be as colorful as your child desires. These are changed out at every follow-up visit, so they can change their look every single time! Clear or white bands can also be used to make braces less obvious if that is your child’s preference.
In addition to offering the typical traditional types of braces, we also offer the following:
- Invisalign, which are customized clear “trays,” not brackets, and are almost completely invisible.
- Lingual braces which are placed on the back of the teeth so braces are not visible to anyone else.
- Clear braces are bracket-type braces however they can be tinted to match the child’s teeth, making them less visible especially when used with white or clear bands.
- Self-ligating braces which do not involve the use of rubber bands and have smaller metal brackets.
When you come in for your free consultation, Dr. Grewal will complete a full examination of your child’s teeth with include x-rays. He can go over all options available to you and quote you prices to fit your budget and preferences.
Additionally, we are happy to check with your insurance to see if you have orthodontic benefits available, and we also offer zero down and zero percent interest financing options.
Adjusting to Braces – How you Can Prepare Your Child
Having braces applied to the teeth doesn’t hurt at all. Your child may only feel some slight pressure, so there’s no need for a numbing shot.
When kids know what to expect they are able to adapt much easier than if they don’t, so a big part of preparing your child for braces is letting them know what to expect, first from the “adjustment” period.
During the first week or so, here are some things to be expected:
- Teeth may be sore for a few days. This is also likely after adjustments are made at each appointment. Ibuprofen helps a lot, but it’s a great idea to have soft foods on hand until the soreness goes away. Soup, Rice, pasta, or chilled foods such as popsicles and ice cream are all good choices and anything that’s cold is going to be soothing.
- Hardware from braces can cause some mild irritation to the inside of the mouth, especially in the beginning when rubbing or chafing occurs against the lips or mouth. You will want to have plenty of orthodontic wax (also called dental wax) on hand during the adjustment period. A pinch of wax can be placed over the bracket causing irritation which eases any discomfort immediately until the mouth has time to adjust. We recommend sending some extra wax with your child if they leave the house so they will always have it on hand.
- Warm, wet tea bags can be especially soothing when applied to sore spots in the mouth.
- Fortunately, areas inside the mouth which are sore in the beginning will adjust to having braces on the teeth so this phase should not last long.
Teens who choose Invisalign braces can still eat the same types of food since the trays are removed while eating and drinking. However, for all other types of braces, there are some foods that should not be consumed since brackets or wires can be damaged.
Hard foods that are usually bitten into such as carrots, apples, etc., should be cut up into small pieces before being eaten so as not to damage the braces on the front teeth. Corn on the cob is another good example, and should be sliced off prior to eating.
Other foods that can be damaging to braces include:
- Hard candy
- Ice (if chewed on)
- Hard snacks such as tortilla chips or fritos (don’t bite down with front teeth)
- Berries or other foods or drinks with strong colors since they can stain rubber bands and clear, porcelain braces
- Other hard or sticky foods that can potentially damage braces
It’s also important to be aware that eating sugary foods/drinks can more easily form cavities in teeth that have braces since there are so many more nooks and crannies for fructose to stick to which can cause cavity-forming bacteria to grow.
Braces Require a Few More Steps to Maintain Good Oral Hygiene
Once you get braces, it’s important to practice good oral hygiene and to take a few extra steps to avoid tooth decay. Food and sugary type drinks can sit against your teeth for hours after eating. With braces, food particles aren’t always visible and can hide in the nooks and crannies between braces and the teeth. This can lead to tooth decay since bacteria can form quickly. You will also want to get into the habit of brushing your teeth after each meal, followed by a quick rinse with mouthwash.
We suggest the following tools to help with your oral hygiene when you have your braces:
- A soft toothbrush which should be replaced at least every three months.
- A non-alcoholic mouthwash to rinse with after brushing.
- Waxed dental floss.
- An interproximal tooth brush (looks similar to a pipe cleaner and works great for getting to those hard to reach places).
- Waxed dental floss along with a floss threader.
Oral Hygiene Best Practices with Braces
It’s best to brush in small circular type motions. Spend at least two full minutes brushing your teeth and remember to brush the inside of your teeth too. Make sure and also lightly brush the roof of your mouth and the tongue as this helps to loosen any bacteria in the mouth. An electric toothbrush can also be used gently to get the job done a little faster.
Second, use your interproximal toothbrush to really get between braces and wires, and also to get underneath and between the teeth and gums. You don’t want to brush too hard or you can damage your braces; use a light and gentle touch.
While it isn’t feasible to floss after each meal, it’s a good idea to floss every single day at least once. We recommend using a waxed dental floss. A floss threader can help to reach the nooks and crannies that are extra hard to reach. Flossing can be a little more cumbersome with braces, however, Dr. Grewal and our staff at Love Orthodontics can show you exactly how you should do this. With a little practice, it will become second nature and will get much faster.
The last thing you should do is to rinse with a good, gentle mouthwash which will help to kill any remaining bacteria that are stuck to the teeth.