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1450 Columbus Avenue Suite 101 • Washington Court House Ohio 43160 • 740.335.2921
What are Braces?
Braces are the gadgets orthodontists use to move teeth.  They consist of several components, each of which serves a specific purpose.  Braces usually include not only the brackets you see on the teeth, but also the wires that run from one bracket to the next.  For more information, watch the ADA video: What is Orthodontics?
Who wears Braces?
Braces are for almost anyone.  To qualify for braces, you must be willing to cooperate with treatment.  This means that you must be an excellent tooth-brusher.  Also, if your teeth need a certain type of movement using rubber bands, you must be able and willing to insert and remove the rubber bands daily.
What are Retainers?
There are many different types of retainers.  They all serve the same purpose – to keep teeth in place after the braces are removed.  Everybody’s teeth have a tendency to move throughout life.  The retainer shown in this picture is removable – that is to say, the patient removes the retainer to eat.

Retainers are easily removed by the patient before eating
What are Brackets?
Brackets are the braces that you see on the front teeth.  They are custom-made to the doctor’s specifications.  Brackets are bonded (kind of like cement) to the front of the teeth.

Brackets on teeth
What are Bands?
Most patients, but not all, get bands on some of their teeth. Bands look like metal rings. They go around the molar tooth, and are held in place with cement. Generally, bands serve the same purpose as other brackets.

A Band around a molar
What are Separators?
Separators are also sometimes called spacers.  Some patients get them before their braces.  Separators are used to slightly move teeth just enough to be able to place bands on the teeth.
What is Bonding?
Bonding is the term dentists and orthodontists use when they are gluing something to a tooth.  The term bonding is more specific and denotes a particular chemistry unique to the dental profession.  Bonding is often completed with the use of a special light.
What is Cement?
Dentistry uses all types of cements, for various purposes.  They all function to glue something to a tooth.
Will Braces hurt?
Braces frequently cause a small amount of discomfort.  This can usually be alleviated with an over-the-counter medication such as ibuprofen.  The discomfort typically lasts for 2-3 days after an appointment.  Some people have no pain at all.
What food can I eat with Braces?
Most of your favorite meals are fine to enjoy with your braces.  However, any foods that are hard, crunchy, or sticky are off-limits.  Crunchy fresh vegetables and fruits are to be sliced into smaller pieces before enjoying.  Popcorn is a no-no.  Pizza is fine, but a hard crust is to be avoided.  Ask your orthodontist, Dr. Thompson, about any specific food questions you may have.
What about brushing?
Patients with braces should brush after every meal and snack.  Care must be taken to brush thoroughly at the gum line, where plaque accumulates.
Can I smoke when I wear Braces?
Dr. Thompson strongly discourages any of her patients from using any tobacco product.  Tobacco is known to cause cancer, gum disease, cavities, and poor wound healing.
What if I break something?
Occasionally a bracket may come off of a tooth, or a wire may start poking and irritating your cheek. If this happens, please call us right away. We are happy to fix things up such that you can be comfortable. To prevent these things from happening, remember to be careful with what you eat, and do not pick at or play with your braces.
Is My Dentist an Orthodontist?
The state of Ohio permits your dentist to provide braces to patients; however, not all dentists are specialists in this field. As a specialist, Dr. Thompson has completed all the training of a general dentist, and more. An Orthodontist, by ADA standards, must also complete extensive residency training dedicated solely to this type of care (braces).
Sarah J. Thompson - Your Washington Court House Orthodontist
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