FAQS

Emergency Care

True orthodontic emergencies are very rare, but when they do occur we are available to you. As a general rule, you should call the office when you experience severe pain or when you have a painful appliance problem that you can’t take care of yourself. We’ll be able to schedule an appointment to resolve the problem.  Our emergency system communicates directly to the doctor or one of our staff members for more urgent matters.

You might be surprised to learn that you may be able to temporarily solve many problems yourself until you schedule an appointment with our office. When working with your appliances, you need to know the names of the parts of your appliances so you are able to identify what part is broken or out of place. After alleviating your discomfort, it is very important that you still call our office as soon as possible to schedule a time to repair the problem. Allowing your appliance to remain damaged for an extended period of time may result in disruptions in your treatment plan.

When you get your braces on, you may feel general soreness in your mouth and teeth may be tender to biting pressures for three to five days. This can be relieved by rinsing your mouth with a warm saltwater mouthwash. Dissolve one teaspoonful of salt in 8 ounces of warm water, and rinse your mouth vigorously. Placing Orabase on the affected area may help; this can be found in a pharmacy. If the tenderness is severe, take aspirin or whatever you normally take for headache or similar pain.

The lips, cheeks and tongue may also become irritated for one to two weeks as they toughen and become accustomed to the surface of the braces. You can put wax on the braces to lessen this. We’ll show you how!

Sometimes headgear discomfort is caused by not wearing the headgear as instructed by your orthodontist. Please refer to the instructions provided by your orthodontist. If the facebow is bent, please call our office for assistance. Surprisingly, the headgear may hurt less as it’s worn more, so be sure you’re getting in the prescribed hours.

If your appliance is poking you, place wax on the offending part of your appliance until you can see us.

If your bracket or band is still attached to the wire, you should leave it in place and put wax on it. If the wire comes out entirely, wrap the bracket with a tissue or in a small zip lock bag and bring it to office at your repair appointment.

Using a tweezer, try to put your wire back into place. If doing this and using wax doesn’t help, as a last resort use a small fingernail clipper to clip the wire behind the last tooth to which it is securely fastened. If your discomfort continues, place wax on it.

Using a pencil eraser, push the poking wire down or place wax on it to alleviate the discomfort.

Getting Started

Getting started in our office follows these simple steps

  1. Call or email our office to book a new patient examination. This is where Dr. Ziedenberg will spend about 30 minutes examining your teeth, bite and facial development and give you a summary of his findings. Then we can suggested the next step required.
  2. Once the new patient exam is completed, if needed we will gather the needed diagnostic records in our office to formulate your custom individual treatment plan.   Most of these records can be gathered the same day in our office.
  3. If you are not ready to start treatment, we will often suggest we put you into our recall program to monitor you until you reach the best time to start treatment.
  4. If diagnostic records have been gathered, Dr. Ziedenberg will then review them and book a case presentation appointment with you to review your custom treatment plan and review your financial options for a payment plan.

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.

The wonderful news about today’s high tech braces is that you can pretty much eat anything that you want! There are some foods that you should avoid, but they are pretty much the sticky, crunchy, chewy, gummy things. These foods include jube jubes, gummy bears, popcorn kernals , and chewing gum. If you have a concern about a certain food, please ask us. There are also some foods that should be eaten a little differently. These foods include carrots, apples, hard vegitables and corn on the cob. Our well-trained staff can teach you how to eat these foods and avoid problems with your braces.

When the wrong foods are eaten or the right foods are eaten in the wrong way, a brace may break off your tooth. This will make your orthodontic treatment longer to finish. Interestingly, biting on pens, pencils, and fingernails is the worst habit that causes a brace to break off a tooth. So if you have any of these habits, please try to stop them immediately. Remember, brace breakage equals longer treatment time.

This is the most common thing that patients tell us after their teeth start to move with braces. You can relax because it is totally normal for everybody! After the wire is placed into the braces, the teeth begin to move. In order for a tooth to move, it must loosen up in the bone and that is why it can feel different. Don’t worry, because after the treatment is finished, the teeth will tighten up in the bone again.

Tooth soreness usually lasts about two to four days when the teeth first start to move. After a wire adjustment appointment, it may last only a day or two or even a few hours. If your teeth are sore, it is best to eat softer foods. You can take a pain reliever like Advil or Tylenol if you wish for the first 24-48 hours every four to six hours ( like typical pain medication dosage)

The lips, cheeks, and tongue will need to get used to any orthodontic devices placed in your mouth. Most times, they do it without you even knowing. However, should your lips, cheeks, or tongue become irritated, you can use the soft clear wax that was given to you in your start-up kit. Simply place the wax right over the face of the brace. In a very short time, your lips, cheeks, or tongue will toughen up and you won’t need to use the wax any more. Of course, our office has lots of extra wax if you need it. Just ask or call us.

The orthodontist and the patient must work together in order to create a beautiful, healthy smile. Your teeth and jaws will only move into their ideal positions if you follow the instructions that Dr. Ziedenberg and his staff give you. Consistent wear of elastics, headgear, or any other orthodontic device is critical to the final outcome of your bite and smile. Inconsistent wear or broken devices only leads to longer treatment times, and often, increased costs.

Brushing and flossing your teeth with braces on is more important than ever! If your teeth and gums are not kept healthy, you may develop PERMANENT stains or cavities around the braces.  Fortunately, all toothpastes contain fluoride which helps harden the tooth enamel, making it less susceptible to staining and cavities. Dr. Ziedenberg strongly recommends nightly rinsing with a fluoridated mouthwash in order to strengthen the enamel while you sleep.  You will receive a special electric toothbrush kit with all these materials this when your braces are placed for the first time.  Regular checkups and cleanings with your regular dentist are strongly advised during the entire orthodontic treatment period. Adults with a history of gum or bone disease may need to see a periodontist before and during orthodontic treatment.

Brushing: Step 1

FAQs - LIFE WITH BRACES - Brushing 1

Place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to your gum.

Brushing: Step 2

FAQs - LIFE WITH BRACES - Brushing 2

Brush gently in a circular motion.

Brushing: Step 3

FAQs - LIFE WITH BRACES - Brushing 3

Brush the outer, inner, and chewing surfaces of each tooth.

Brushing: Step 4

FAQs - LIFE WITH BRACES - Brushing 4

Use the tip of your brush for the inner surface of your front teeth.

Extended FAQs

Orthodontics (also referred to as dentofacialorthopedics) is a specialized form of dentistry, focusing on the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of dental and facial abnormalities.

Orthodontics is more than just a beautiful smile. The goal of orthodontic treatment is to achieve balance and harmony between your teeth, joints and facial contours. When that balance is achieved, you can enjoy a lifetime of having a beautiful, healthy smile. Orthodontic treatment also improves the health of your mouth by helping to reduce your risk of tooth decay and gum disease and making cleaning easier. It can improve your ability to chew properly and correct speech problems. Most of all it gives you a beautiful, radiant smile that you won’t hesitate to show others!

An orthodontist is a dental specialist who has received 2 to 3 years of additional training and experience. Your orthodontist is able to straighten teeth, correct misaligned jaw structure, and improve the function of your smile and bite .

The practice of orthodontics requires professional skill in the design, application and control of corrective appliances to bring teeth, lips and jaws into proper alignment and achieve facial balance. Teeth and sometimes faces are permanently changed by orthodontic treatment. Only a specialist can give your mouth the care it deserves.

Dr. Mark Ziedenberg is a specialist limiting his practice to orthodontics and dentofacialorthopedics. He has completed advanced orthodontic education following dental school, honing the skills required to manage tooth movement and guide facial development.

If you want to improve the look and feel of your smile, then any age can be a great age to see the orthodontist. The American and Canadian Association of Orthodontists recommends that children first visit an orthodontist around the age of 7; however, orthodontic treatment is not exclusive to children and teens, with about one in every five orthodontic patients being over the age of 21. Whether you’re considering treatment for yourself, or for a child, any time is a good time to visit the orthodontist.

Phase I, or early interceptive treatment, is limited orthodontic treatment which occurs before all of the adult teeth have erupted. Such treatment can occur between the ages of seven and ten. This treatment is recommended to make space for developing teeth, correction of cross bites, overbites, and underbites and the elimination of harmful oral habits such as thumb/finger sucking and tongue thrusts.  It often centers around changes of growth patterns that will make new permanent teeth erupt into better alignment.

 

Phase II treatment, or comprehensive treatment, occurs once most or all of the adult teeth have erupted and usually involves full braces or alignment of both upper and lower arches. Successful Phase I treatment often leads to a more simple Phase II treatment with less likelihood of adult tooth extractions. Sometimes, Phase II treatment can even be avoided.

Orthodontic treatment can give anybody, of any age, a beautiful, healthy smile as long as supportive tissues are healthy.   At  Ziedenberg Orthodontics , three out of every ten patients are adults over the age of 21. With continued growth in dental technology, adults can take advantage of practically invisible tooth moving devices such as Invisalign. Together with faster bonding techniques, more efficient wires and shorter adjustment times, more adults are encouraged to seek treatment for themselves.

Teeth sit in living jaw bone. A light, constant force placed on a tooth can make it move through this bone just like your hand moving through water. Braces are bonded to teeth so that they can transfer the light force from the wire to the tooth. Springs activated on retainers or Invisalign aligners can transmit  forces directly to the teeth. These gentle pressures gradually move the teeth to their corrected position.

Treatment time varies from patient to patient, however the average time for comprehensive (full braces) is 18-24 months. Adult treatment usually takes 24-30 months because it takes a bit longer to move teeth with their increased bone density. The actual treatment time is affected by many factors. These include growth rate, severity of the dental problem, oral hygiene, and cooperation.  Attending Dr. Ziedenberg’s office regularly for adjustment appointments and reducing device breakages helps speed treatment . Most importantly, following Dr. Ziedenberg’s instructions regarding proper wear of orthodontic devices is critical to keeping treatment time on schedule.

Absolutely NOT! Putting on braces and bands does not hurt at all. There are no needles or freezing involved in our office EVER! When your teeth move for the first time, they will feel very “weird” or “ache” for the first two to four days. In adults, this weird feeling can last up to a week. This sore feeling occurs because the teeth are moving for the very first time. It is not a pinching type of discomfort, but more of a dull ache. This is completely normal and happens to everyone. After most adjustment appointments, patients feel some pressure on their teeth, but only for a few hours. In any case, soft foods and pain relievers, such as Advil or Tylenol, are recommended.

 

Your lips and/or cheeks may need a week to get used to your braces. That is because it is something new in your mouth and the oral cavity is one of the most sensitive areas of the body. A package of soft wax is given to every patient. This wax can be placed on top of the brace to shield the inside of the lip/cheek until the patient is accustomed to the new devices.

Absolutely NOT! However, Dr.  Ziedenberg strongly recommends that his patients wear mouthguards to protect their teeth and smiles while playing contact sports. Complimentary orthodontic mouthguards are provided for all our patients. These mouthguards are approved by all leagues, are comfortable and allow your teeth to move while they are being worn. Custom-fitted mouthguards can be obtained from your family dentist after the braces are removed.

Absolutely NOT! A patient can play any instrument he or she desires while having orthodontic treatment. However, there may be an initial period of adjustment to the pressure of the braces on your lips and cheeks.

Absolutely YES! Every patient should continue to see their family dentist for regular check-ups and cleanings every six to nine months. Should the patient have oral hygiene difficulties, then three-month checkups may be necessary. Occasionally, your family dentist will be asked to take X-rays of certain teeth so that Dr.  Ziedenberg can monitor specific tooth movements and positions.  Dr. Ziedenberg and your family dentist work as a team in providing and maintaining your optimal oral health.

For New Patients

Please take a minute to print and fill out the patient information form before your first appointment.


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