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Common Ortho Problems

Front Teeth Protrusion

The appearance and function of your teeth are impacted by this type of bite. It is characterized by the upper and lower teeth extending too far forward. Tooth stability and gum health can be affected by this type of problem.






The upper front teeth extend out over the lower front teeth, sometimes causing the lower front teeth to bite into the roof of the mouth.





The upper teeth sit inside the lower teeth, which may cause premature toothwear and improper jaw function.






Proper chewing is impacted by this type of bite, in which the upper and lower front teeth do not overlap. Openbite may cause a number of unwanted habits, such as tongue thrusting.






Crowding occurs when teeth have insufficient room to erupt from the gum. Crowding can often be so severe that the removal of some teeth may be needed.






Spacing problems may be caused by missing teeth, or they may only be a cosmetic or esthetic issue.




Dental Midlines not Matched

This type of problem is caused when the back bite does not fit and match appropriately, which may negatively impact proper jaw and dental function.







This situation is when the upper front teeth fit behind the lower front teeth. Premature wear of the front teeth can result from this.




Parts of Braces




Bands are metal rings of varying sizes that are made to fit snugly around molars. These rings are sealed securely into place with a special fluoride-enhanced dental cement that protects your tooth from decalcification during the treatment process.






Brackets are attached directly to the tooth or a band and have a small slot that holds the archwire in place.



The main wire (archwire) is shaped to fit the specific arch of your mouth and attaches to the brackets on each tooth. By applying constant, gentle pressure the wire moves teeth into the desired position.


Rubber Bands or Elastics

These are small elastic rubber bands that are worn to correct your bite.


Elastic Ligatures (Elastic Tie)

These are miniature rubber bands that hold the wire to the brace.



Hooks are small parts on a bracket that are used to attach elastics.


Coil Springs

Coil springs are special springs that fit between brackets and over the archwire to push or pull teeth on the archwire.



These are similar to elastic ligatures only very thick.  They are used to make space between your back teeth so bands can be placed more easily.  Normally they are worn for approximately one week prior to betting braces on.

Life with Braces



Now that you have your braces, how do you take care of them? It's important for you to know how to properly take care of your braces throughout your entire orthodontic treatment.

Eating with Braces

Don't worry, you'll be eating popcorn and snacking on potato chips again in no time! However, before you can start enjoying some of the treats you love, you will need to take special care to avoid any foods that could damage your new appliances.


Foods to avoid with braces:

• Chewy foods - bagels, licorice
• Crunchy foods - popcorn, chips, ice
• Sticky foods - caramel candies, bubble gum
• Hard foods - nuts, hard candies
• Foods that require biting into - corn on the cob, apples, carrots (you can still enjoy these but should slice them or cut your corn off the cob)


Foods you CAN eat with braces:

• Dairy - soft cheese, pudding, milk-based drinks
• Breads - soft tortillas, pancakes, muffins w/o nuts
• Grains - pasta, soft cooked rice
• Meats/poultry - soft cooked chicken, meatballs, lunch meats
• Seafood - tuna, salmon, crab cakes
• Vegetables - mashed potatoes, steamed spinach, beans
• Fruits - applesauce, bananas, fruit juice
• Treats - ice cream w/o nuts, milkshakes, Jell-O, cake


Soreness caused from braces and appliances

When you first get your braces, you may notice that your teeth and mouth feel a little tender or sore. This is perfectly normal for patients who have just gotten their braces put on, and we promise your mouth will not be sore forever! To relieve the pain, we recommend dissolving one teaspoon of salt in eight ounces of lukewarm water. Swish and gargle this solution in your mouth for just a couple of minutes (do not swallow the saltwater).
If the pain is more severe and does not go away after rinsing, you can also try taking a pain reliever such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen. It is also not uncommon for your lips, cheeks, and tongue to become irritated for one to two weeks as they toughen and become used to the braces. We would be happy to give you some wax that you can put over the braces to lessen the tenderness. If you need some wax, please let us know!


Loose Teeth

If your teeth begin feeling a little loose, don't worry; this is normal! Your braces must first loosen your teeth in order to move them into the right position. Once your teeth have been repositioned, they will no longer be loose.


Loose Wires and Bands

The wires and bands on your braces may come loose. If this happens, please contact us as soon as possible so that we can check and repair your appliance. If any piece of your appliance comes off, be sure to save it and bring it to the office with you.
You can temporarily fix the loose wire by using a cotton swab or the eraser end of a pencil to carefully and gently push the wire back into place. If the loose wire is causing irritation to your lips or cheeks, put wax or a wet cotton ball over the broken wire to relieve the pain.


Take Care of your Appliances

Damaged appliances can increase the length of your treatment process, so be sure to take care of all your appliances. Your teeth and jaw can only move into their correct positions if you consistently wear the rubber bands, headgear, retainer, or other appliances prescribed by your doctor.


Playing Sports with Braces

Game, Set, Match - we have great news for athletes! You can still play sports even while undergoing orthodontic treatment! If you do play sports, it's recommended that you wear a mouthguard in order to protect your teeth and your appliance. Let Dr. Delio know if you need help finding the right mouthguard for the best protection.
In case of a sports emergency, be sure to immediately check your mouth and your appliance for any damage that may have occurred. If you notice any loose teeth, or if your appliance has been damaged, please contact our office right away. You can temporarily relieve the discomfort with wax or by rinsing your mouth with warm saltwater.