Specialist in Orthodontics • Diplomate of American Board of Orthodontics • Member of the College of Diplomats
Linda D. Sheridan, D.D.S, A.B.O
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PATIENT EDUCATION

We encourage every patient to review the information below and return as often as needed to keep your treatment on-track.

BRACES

Spacers

Spacers are used to make room for back braces that fit like a ring around your finger. Watch Video

Soreness

As your teeth begin to move, they are likely to feel sore for several days. As the braces are activated at each visit, the pressure created will add some mild tenderness. Also, sometimes during treatment, your tongue or cheeks can become temporarily irritated. Tylenol or Advil or wax as a buffer should relieve the discomfort. However, if anything sharp creates unusual pain, or if sores develop that don’t heal, please contact us. (530-272-2373)

Weekly Self-Checks

Inspect your braces once a week to be sure no parts are loose or bent. If a bracket or band becomes loose, or if you break a wire, contact us, so we can repair the problem, keeping your treatment on track. Please be as specific as possible when you describe your situation to the receptionist, so she can respond appropriately. Also, if you lose your rubber bands, contact us immediately. We’ll mail replacements to you, or you can pick-up a fresh supply at our office – whichever you prefer.

Eating Habits

Always use common sense when choosing foods during treatment. Remember the braces are made to “give up” if there is too much pressure placed on them (we have to remove them when you are finished). It’s important to avoid hard, chewy and sticky foods that might break your brackets or wires (see food guidelines below). Also, remember that by nourishing yourself, you’ll promote bone growth and gum health, and you’ll protect tooth enamel from cavities. And gently using those teeth speeds up your movement and eliminates the soreness.

It’s equally important to curb habits such as nail biting and pen or pencil chewing, because this can damage your braces. Watch Video

FOOD GUIDELINES

ELIMINATE STICKY FOODS

Bubble gum & chewing gum
Spareribs
Caramels
Sugar Daddies/Milk Duds
Toffee & taffy
Tootsie Rolls
Licorice
Starburst chews
Jolly Ranchers & hard candies
Lollipops

AVOID HARD/CRUNCHY FOODS

Nuts
Popcorn
Ice
Taco chips/shells
Doritos
Pizza crust
Raw carrots (unless pre-cut)
Whole apples (unless pre-cut)
Corn-on-the-cob
Pretzels
Crusty french bread/rolls
Bagels

MINIMIZE SUGAR INTAKE

Candy
Ice cream
Cake
Cookies
Pie
Sugar-coated foods
Soda pop
Sugar-based drinks

WHY BRUSH? Scrupulous dental hygiene is an essential aspect of your treatment, because braces make it more difficult to keep your teeth clean. Food easily compacts inside the brackets and between your teeth. If you don’t pay attention, plaque can form on your teeth – causing decay, gum disease or permanent white discolorations.

The only way to remove food residue and plaque is by brushing properly after every meal and flossing daily. Watch Video

HOW TO BRUSH: Applying firm pressure with a soft toothbrush, make small circular patterns above and below each bracket, at a 45-degree angle to your teeth. Be prepared to replace toothbrushes more frequently – whenever the bristles become frayed. Watch Video

SPECIAL TOOLS: A Waterpik can be a useful addition to your manual routine, but it doesn’t remove the sticky plaque that adheres to teeth. Interplak or Braun/Oral-B electric toothbrushes are excellent. They clean teeth very thoroughly, when used as directed. Also, if you have difficulties handling floss directly, we recommend reusable floss threaders. Watch Video

Elastics

Elastics (rubber bands) attach to your braces – exerting gentle, constant pressure that slowly moves teeth into correct position. For the force to remain constant, you must wear elastics continuously, and change them 3-4 times a day. If elastics aren’t always in place, you’re treatment is likely to be prolonged. For best results, follow these guidelines:

HEADGEAR

Orthodontic headgear is a very important part of treatment for some young patients with bite problems. Headgear attaches to your braces, creating forces that guides facial and jaw growth.

For best results, you must wear headgear consistently, as directed. If you don’t follow usage instructions, we may need to extend your treatment process or alter the corrective procedures.

RETAINERS

Once the “active” phase of your treatment is complete, you’ll need to wear a retainer until your underlying bone, gums and muscles become accustomed to the new location of your teeth. This retention period is a vital part of your overall treatment. Neglect it, and you may jeopardize your new SHERIDAN SMILE! Dr. Sheridan will determine exactly how often you need to wear your retainer, as well as the total length of time you’ll need to wear it.

Remember to:

REMOVABLE APPLIANCES

Removable appliances are custom-fitted to shift your teeth or jaws. Because it’s easy to remove this type of device, you might be tempted not to wear it exactly as Dr. Sheridan prescribes. However, it’s important to resist this temptation. Otherwise, your teeth could return to their original position. Additional recommendations:

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