Dr. Sal Knows All About Braces and You Can Too

After treating patients for over 35 years, writing articles for numerous dental publications and teaching at Dartmouth Medical School, Dr. Salvatoriello knows all about braces and other orthodontic treatments. Below, you’ll find info Dr. Sal shares with his patients on how to making living with braces easier.

The Dos and Don’ts of Braces

Do: Seek treatment early for you or your child. The earlier you have your first orthodontic visit, the sooner we can come up with a plan of action.

Don’t: Let cost be the reason you avoid seeing an orthodontist. There are payment plans, loans, health credit cards and even Medicaid to help you pay for treatment.


Do: Ask lots of questions. We’re experts at this and are happy to share all we know about braces and removable appliances to help your experience be a smooth one.

Don’t: Try to fix a bracket if it’s knocked off your teeth. Remember that braces can only be knocked off - they don’t fall off on their own. If it’s uncomfortable and covering it with wax isn’t enough, call our office so we can schedule an appointment to remove the bracket. You can also schedule additional time for your future visit. If you aren’t in pain, simply wait until your next visit so we can discuss the appropriate action to take next.


Do: Make sure your child in braces is eating more eggs, smoothies and hummus than peanut brittle, gummy bears and fountain drinks.

Don’t: Let your child chew on ice, pencils or fingernails. It’s easier for sugar and plaque to hide and then attack tooth enamel when braces are present.


Do: Keep your appointments and arrive on time.

Don’t: Forget to ask Dr. Sal about a mouth guard if you play sports.


The Importance of Brushing and Flossing

Knowing all we do about braces, one thing is clear: brushing and flossing is extremely important. When orthodontic devices, or braces, are present in the mouth, the amount of food that can accumulate on or near the teeth increases.

To avoid plaque buildup and cavities, make sure to brush carefully after each meal and snack. Proper brushing technique was reviewed when your braces were applied. There was a series of pictures about proper brushing that we placed in your goodie bag, along with a new toothbrush and floss threaders. You can use floss threaders over and over again to help clean your teeth. If you lose them, just ask our office for more or buy them at a local drugstore. You don’t have to use them, since you can easily thread regular dental floss above or below the wires to floss properly.

Brushing and flossing takes longer when you have to remove the elastics and other removable parts, but you’ll be rewarded with a beautiful smile when your braces come off!

Dealing with Soreness after Orthodontic Adjustments

Your teeth may be slightly tender after we first put your braces on and, to a lesser degree, after each adjustment. That being said, we think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how comfortable you’ll be.

Here are a few ways to relieve the pain:

  • Eat soft foods for at least a day or two after each visit if you find that helpful.
  • If your physician or parents say it’s okay, take an aspirin or Tylenol after your visit.
  • Rinse your mouth a few times a day with a mixture of warm tap water and a teaspoon of salt (this also works if you have mouth sores unrelated to your braces).
  • Enjoy eating cold foods or drink some cold water, which may help soothe some tender teeth.

Knowing what braces are all about, and how best to deal with them on a daily basis is just another part of orthodontic treatment, which will lead to the beautiful, healthy smile you’ve always wanted! Make an appointment at one of our three offices today.