Orthodontic Post-Op Instructions


The process of placing an orthodontic appliance is non-surgical, but it does require special post-procedural instructions to minimize patient discomfort and protect each patient’s appliance from damage. Failure to follow these instructions can prolong treatment, make treatment more costly, or even result in a dental or orthodontic emergency.

Did you know…

it is sometiems normal for orthodontic patients to experience some discomfort following an orthodontic procedure? Sometimes the discomfort can last for 1 to 3 days. During this time you may find eating difficult, especially foods that ar hard or crunchy. To relieve discomfort, it is recommended that patients temporarily consume a diet of soft foods or otherwise cut harder foods, like apples, into very small bites.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to follow my orthodontist’s post-op instructions?

Yes. Every directive is given for a reason, so it is imperative that you follow doctor’s recommendations between orthodontic appointments. Also, never leave your orthodontist’s office without the supplies necessary to facilitate post-op care. This may include acquiring orthodontic wax to protect your cheeks and gums from poking wires, or obtaining enough elastic bands and cleaning aids to last until your next orthodontic visit.

What types of post-op instructions will I need to follow?

Instructions vary from patient to patient and according to treatment. But if you have braces, you will have to follow special dietary guidelines to prevent damage. Popcorn is a very big no-no. The husks can work their way between the gum and the braces to cause painful infections.

Will my post-op instructions apply to every visit?

Possibly. There may be some visits where you are told to wear elastics or activate your expander until your next visit. It is important to never leave your orthodontist’s office until you have a thorough understanding of your responsibilities at home. Continue to use proper brushing and flossing techniques, visit your dentist for periodic cleanings and examinations, and contact your orthodontist’s office if you have any post-op questions.

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