If you are thinking about getting braces for either you or a family member, RiverLake Family Dental has complied a braces FAQ in Sacramento, California, for your reading pleasure. If there are any questions not on this FAQ, please contact Dr. Calvin L. Garland.

How should I brush and floss after getting braces?
Having braces will change the way and how often you brush and floss your teeth. It is recommended to brush your teeth right after every meal and before you go to sleep. Fluoride toothpaste is best to fight cavities, and you may be given an oral rinse to help prevent them.

Start by brushing the outside and inside surface of each tooth at least 10 times. Then brush where your gums and teeth meet, using a circular motion. Brush the chewing surfaces of your teeth last.

Because the toothbrush cannot reach between your teeth, you need to floss to keep your teeth clean and healthy. Use a floss threader, given to you by our dentist or a pharmacy. Thread the floss through the threader and slip it up behind your archwire, then pull the floss between two teeth up under the gums. Rinse with a good amount of water. This process will ensure your gums and teeth stay healthy and beautiful-looking through the braces treatment.

How should I eat with braces?
Wearing braces shouldn’t prevent you from eating most of your favorite foods, with a few exceptions:

  • Sticky foods, including gum, taffy, and caramels
  • Hard foods (apples, carrots, candy)
  • Crunchy foods, such as corn chips, popcorn, and nuts
  • Sweet foods that include cake, cookies, and candy

How important is it to continue seeing my dentist during orthodontic treatment?
Very important! You need to continue receiving regular cleanings and exams. Because cavities are easier to surface – mainly due to not good maintenance and cleaning – it’s especially important to continue seeing your dentist.

How long do I have to wear my braces and retainers?
When we sit down with you in your consultation, we will go over estimated completion date and advise patients. If certain conditions are not met, such as not wearing elastics or if maintenance appointments are missed, it could result in a longer treatment time. However, estimated time is generally 18-30 months for full orthodontic treatment. Retainers need to be worn all day and all night for the first year. After, it depends on your individual treatment and the difficulty in holding the teeth in their new, corrected position.

What is the recommended age for orthodontics?
According to the AAO (American Association of Orthodontists), it is recommended to have children receive an initial assessment starting at age seven. It’s very important to take care of orthodontic treatment at the earliest age possible, since it can affect the treatment result and prevent more serious issues in the future.

Please contact our office, 916-422-1823, for a consultation or request an appointment online.