Patient Information

A recent study showed a definite connection between straight, healthy teeth and increased self-esteem. In this study, researchers looked at three factors: people’s willingness to invest in themselves, their desire to be seen as attractive to others, and their ability to socialize. The study concluded that poor oral health can lead to low self-esteem and a decreased sense of satisfaction. Should such an easily corrected problem like crooked teeth be allowed to cause such a dramatic effect?

Orthodontic problems require specialized care. Patients who have dental and facial irregularities should see an orthodontist. Our specific qualifications in the design, application and control of corrective appliances will bring teeth, lips and jaws into proper alignment for optimal facial balance.

Our goal is to provide you with the highest standard of treatment and an enjoyable experience. We are dedicated to providing the finest quality orthodontic treatment in a friendly, enjoyable and caring environment. It is our goal to:

  • Create extremely satisfied patients.
  • Create wonderful smiles and excellent bites.
  • Create raving and confident referrals.
  • Create an overall excellent experience for all of our patients

Diagnostic Records & Treatment Planning

If it is determined that treatment is indicated, you will be scheduled for diagnostic records. These records usually consist of study models, diagnostic photographs and orthodontic x-rays. Once these orthodontic records have been obtained, the doctor will determine a specific treatment plan for your orthodontic needs and will review it with you. We then set up the necessary appointments to begin your orthodontic treatment and set up financial arrangements for you.

Separators

Separators are small donut-shaped rubber rings placed between the back teeth. If you will require them (not everyone needs them), they will typically be placed about one week before your appointment to get your braces on. It is important to keep the separators in until your next appointment, and that is best accomplished by staying away from really chewy and sticky foods, and not flossing where they have been placed. Separators can sometimes cause mild to moderate discomfort, and though most people tolerate them well, your orthodontist may direct you to take some over-the-counter pain medication if needed.

Successive Visits

Periodic visits are an important part of orthodontic treatment. Generally, we will want to see you every 6 to 8 weeks to check your progress and make adjustments to your braces. During this time, you will need to keep appointments, follow instructions, eat nutritiously and practice good oral hygiene. Also continue your regular office visits for your other dental care needs.

Once your braces are removed, retainers are utilized to hold your teeth in their new positions until your bone, gums and muscles adapt to the new teeth positions. The retention period is an important part of your overall treatment and should not be neglected!

Length of Treatment

Braces may be on between 6 months to 30 months or longer depending on the age of the patient, the severity of the problem, the patient’s cooperation and the degree of movement possible.

Dental Care

Before any orthodontic treatment, your regular dentist should make certain that all cavities have been treated and the health of your gums and underlying bone are free of periodontal disease.

In addition, your dentist or an oral surgeon will remove any teeth that the orthodontist prescribed to correct your bite. Your dentist should also schedule cleaning and cavity checkup visits during your orthodontic care. We would like to emphasize the need to keep your regular visits with your dentist.

Please contact our office if you have any questions. The timing of your treatment is very important. You or your child may or may not be ready for treatment. Therefore, a consultation will allow us to better understand your needs.

Insurance Information

While many dental insurance plans now include orthodontic benefits for just a few dollars a month, our office will make every effort to provide you with the finest orthodontic care and the most convenient financial options. To accomplish this, we work with you to maximize your insurance reimbursement for covered procedures.

If you have any problems or questions, please ask our staff. They are well informed and up-to-date and can be reached at Cabot Dental Associates Office Phone Number 978-927-6250.

Please bring your insurance information with you to the consultation so that we can expedite reimbursement.

Home Care

Eating Habits

Please do not eat hard foods: nuts, ice, crisp taco shells, whole apples and carrots (cut them into pieces first), hard French bread crust and rolls, spareribs, corn on the cob (cut the corn off the cob before eating), and popcorn! These foods risk breaking brackets and wires. Also beware of nail biting and pen or pencil chewing habits, since these can damage your braces. Do not eat sticky foods: taffy, caramels, bubble gum, or sticky candy of any sort. Use common sense about most foods.

Absolutely No

Gum:
Sugarless or otherwise

Sticky Foods:
Caramels
Sugar Daddies
Starbursts
Caramel Apples
Sugar Babies
Licorice
Toffee
Tootsie Rolls
Now & Laters

Hard Foods:
Nuts
Popcorn
Bagels
Apples
Corn on the Cob
Pizza Crusts
Carrots (uncooked)
Doritos
Pretzels

Minimize Sugar Intake

Eat Much Less
Candy
Ice Cream
Cake, Cookies
Pie
Foods with Sugar

Drink Much Less
Pop
Drinks with Sugar

Braces

Check braces once a week for anything loose or bent. If a bracket or band comes loose or you break a wire, please call our office so that we can arrange an appointment long enough to repair it. Try to explain what has happened by using the diagram provided. Be as specific as possible with the receptionist. If you lose your rubber bands, call us so we can mail you some more or drop by the office and pick some up.

Sore Teeth

After braces are placed in the mouth it is normal for the teeth to be sore for about 2 or 3 days. Tylenol or Advil will help relieve this discomfort. Some irritation to the cheeks and tongue is normal, but if you feel anything sharp is poking you or any sores are developing, please call our office at Cabot Dental Associates Office Phone Number 978-927-6250.

Elastics

Attached to your braces, elastics (rubber bands) exert the proper force that creates the right amount of pressure to move teeth. In order for this force to remain constant, elastics must be worn all the time and changed every day. Any time missed in wearing your elastics will only make your treatment take longer, so remember these things:

You are responsible for placing the elastics on your braces between appointments. Make sure to wear them as instructed. Remove them only when brushing your teeth, gums and braces after meals. Then put them back on immediately.
Always carry a few elastics with you, so if one breaks you can replace it right away. If your supply is low, call the office and we will mail you an additional supply of elastics.
If you forget to insert your elastics one day, don’t double up the next day just follow your regular instructions.
Elastics become worn out. When they lose their elasticity, they don’t provide the proper pressure on your teeth and jaws. It is very important to change them as directed, even when they are not broken.

If your elastics break frequently, a wire or band loosens, or a hook breaks off call our office immediately. Don’t wait until your next appointment. These problems need to be corrected as soon as possible!

Removable Appliances

The removable appliance is carefully designed to move or to hold your teeth. It is important that it is worn according to instructions and brought to each appointment.
Wear your appliance at all times, even while you are asleep. It may be removed while eating, swimming, or playing vigorous sports activities. In two or three days your speech will return to normal with the appliance in place. Avoid flipping your appliance with your tongue. This can cause damage to your teeth or breakage of your appliance.
Your new appliance may make your teeth sore for a day or two, especially after an adjustment. If you have a sore spot on your gums call our office so that we can adjust the appliance.
Clean your appliance by brushing it daily with toothpaste. Denture cleaner can also be used for a more thorough cleaning. If you are wearing a bonded wire retainer behind your front teeth, be extra careful to clean the wire and the area around it. Flossing should be done every day.
Never wrap your appliance in a paper napkin or tissue and set it down on the table. You or someone else may throw it away. Don’t put it in your pocket when playing or you may break or lose it. Whenever it is not in your mouth it should be in its plastic appliance case.
Keep your appliance away from dogs or cats as they love to chew on them. Avoid storing them near any source of heat. Do not boil your retainer to sterilize it! If needed, bring it to the office and we will be happy to disinfect it for you.
An additional charge will be incurred for lost or broken appliances.

Orthodontic Brushing and Flossing

Brushing

You will notice that it is much harder to keep your teeth clean with braces. Food compacts in the brackets and between your teeth, and can only be removed by brushing and flossing. If plaque remains on the teeth for any length of time, it will leave a permanent white scar on the surface. Brushing after meals should become part of your daily schedule. Use a soft toothbrush with firm pressure and brush at a 45-degree angle to the tooth; brush in small circles above and below the brackets. Click here for visual instructions. Your toothbrush will wear out faster because of your appliances, so be sure to replace it whenever the bristles start to fray. A Waterpik can be a useful addition but it cannot remove the sticky plaque that adheres to the teeth. Interplak toothbrushes are great. Flossing is important and should be done every day. The floss threaders are reusable.

Brush after every meal.
(pictures are displayed on website corresponding to the instructions)

Use a toothbrush with a small amount of toothpaste.
Use circular, vibrating motions around the gumline for about 10 seconds on each tooth.
Brush every tooth slowly.
Brush the lower teeth up and the upper teeth down. Also brush your tongue and the roof of your mouth.

Floss nightly after brushing to remove the plaque missed by brushing.
Carefully pull waxed floss between wire and braces.
Floss carefully around the braces.
Floss carefully around the gum area.
Floss around each tooth.

Results
Proper Oral Hygiene
Improper Brushing and Flossing

First Aid

If a wire causes irritation, push the wire away from the area using the eraser end of a pencil or a Q-Tip. If the wire cannot be tucked away, cover the end of the wire with a small piece of wax, a cotton ball, or a piece of sugarless gum until you can see Your doctor for an adjustment.

If the main wire has come out of the tube or pipe on your back molar tooth, attempt to reinsert the wire with a pair of needle-nosed pliers or tweezers. If the wire is not sticking you, place a piece of wax over the area. If the wire is sticking you and wax does not help, the wire can be cut with a small wire cutter or toenail clipper close to the back of the last brace. This is a last resort if professional help is unavailable.

In case a rubber spacer falls out, take two pieces of dental floss and insert them through the spacer. Pull on both pieces of floss to stretch the spacer, then slide the spacer back and forth between the two teeth where it belongs. Once the bottom half of the spacer slips under the tight spot between the teeth, release and remove the floss and the spacer will fit back properly.

If a bracket becomes loose, it usually remains connected to the main wire by a little rubber colored ring. Eyebrow tweezers can be used to reposition the brace if it flips around the wire and becomes a source of irritation. Call our office and inform us of your situation.

If a piece of your braces breaks, save the piece and call our office to schedule a repair visit.

Remain calm if you swallow a piece of your appliance. This will usually go into the stomach, passing out of the body in a bowel movement. However, should difficulty breathing be experienced you should seek immediate medical attention. X-rays will be taken to determine the location of the swallowed piece.

If a retainer cracks, remove the retainer from your mouth and bring all the pieces to our office for professional repair.

Take Aspirin, Tylenol or Ibuprofen (unless allergic) if your teeth are sore after a monthly visit.

Rinsing your mouth with a cup of warm water and teaspoon of salt can also be soothing. If you teeth get sore suddenly in the middle of the month, give us a call. It is unusual for the teeth to get sore several weeks after your last office visit.

If food becomes stuck between your teeth, use dental floss or a proxy brush to dislodge the food.

If you cut your gums, tongue or the inside of your cheek, apply finger pressure to the bleeding site for several minutes. If the bleeding does not clot, call your orthodontist or family dentist.