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Cosmetic & Implant Dentistry
Las Vegas, Nevada

Affectionate Dental Care
Henry H. Kim  D.D.S.,
F.I.C.O.I., F.M.I.I.I.

5680 W. Flamingo Road Suite A
Las Vegas, NV 89103
Tel: 702.876.3222
Fax: 702.876.4422
Complete Cosmetic Dentistry
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Cosmetic & Implant Dentistry
Las Vegas, Nevada
Dr. Henry Kim
Affectionate Dental Care

Excellence in Cosmetic Dentistry


Orthodontic After Care:

  • Life with Braces
  • Retainer Care


Life with Braces: 

Eating with Braces

What can you eat? Let's talk about what you shouldn't eat! If you've been wanting to drop a few pounds, the first week wearing braces is just your chance! For the first day or so, stick to soft foods. Avoid tough meats, hard breads, and raw vegetables. Before long, you'll be able to bite a cucumber again. But you'll need to protect your orthodontic appliances when you eat for as long as you're wearing braces.

Foods to Avoid

Chewy foods: bagels, hard rolls, licorice
Crunchy foods: popcorn, ice, chips
Sticky foods: caramels, gum
Hard foods: nuts, candy
Foods you have to bite into: corn on the cob, apples, carrots
Chewing on hard things (for example, pens, pencils or fingernails) can damage the braces. Damaged braces will cause treatment to take longer.
General Soreness

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 salt water mouthwash. Dissolve one teaspoonful of salt in 8 ounces of warm water, and rinse your mouth vigorously. 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!

Loosening of Teeth

This is to be expected throughout treatment. Don't worry! It's normal. Teeth must loosen first so they can be moved. The teeth will again become rigidly fixed in their new – corrected – positions.

Care of Appliances

To successfully complete the treatment plan, the patient must work together with the orthodontist. The teeth and jaws can only move toward their corrected positions if the patient consistently wears the rubber bands, headgear or other appliances as prescribed. Damaged appliances lengthen the treatment time.


It's more important than ever to brush and floss regularly when you have braces, so the teeth and gums are healthy after orthodontic treatment. Patients who do not keep their teeth clean may require more frequent visits to the dentist for a professional cleaning. Adults who have a history of gum disease should also see a periodontist during orthodontic treatment.


Cleansing Cleaning Cleaning!!

You would probably never dream of not bathing your body but give less thought to not brushing or flossing your teeth. When you have braces, it is incredibly important that you give as much attention to cleaning the braces as you do to cleaning the rest of your body.

The bands or bonded brackets on braces create small nooks and crannies where food and plaque (an invisible file of bacteria) can hide. If plaque is allowed to remain on the teeth for a long time, it can increase the likelihood of tooth decay. This same process can also cause permanent white lines and spots as enamel is dissolved by the acids.

Because of these problems, it is essential to brush after every meal and snack. You should also clean between your teeth and around each bracket daily. Brushing removes the food and plaque that forms on your teeth. When you brush, use a brush with soft and rounded bristles or a special orthodontic brush and also, use fluoride toothpaste. Look for the American Dental Association¨s Seal of Acceptance. The Seal is awarded to products that have proven to be effective.

How should I brush?

A number of different tooth brushing methods are acceptable. Whichever method you use, take the time to brush thoroughly. Here¨s an example of a method:

- Place a soft-bristled brush at a 45-degree angle against the gums.

- Move the brush back and forth in short strokes with a gentle scrubbing motion.

- Brush the inner, then outer, and finally the chewing surfaces of the teeth.

- Use the ^toe ̄ of the brush to reach the inner front tooth surfaces.

- Brush your tongue to help freshen your breath.

After brushing, rinse well. Then closely inspect your teeth and braces in a well-lighted mirror. You may have to brush and rinse several times before your teeth are clean.

Is flossing possible with braces?

Yes! But it can be a little tricky while wearing braces. A floss threader can help you slip the flow between the braces or under the arch-wire.

- Once the floss is in place, hold it between your forefingers, about an inch apart.

- Using a gentle sawing motion, guide the floss between your teeth. Do not snap it in place.

- When the floss reaches the gum-line, cure it against the tooth and gently slide it into the space between the gum and tooth.

- When you feel resistance, gently rub the side of the tooth moving the floss away from the gum.

- Rinse your teeth to wash away food or other particles that you removed with the floss.

Are there other products that can help me clean my mouth?

There are several dental aids that can be helpful. Specially shaped brushes, the other interdental cleaners and oral irrigating devices can often help clean some of those hard-to-reach areas. After brushing prior to bedtime, an ADA accepted fluoride mouth-rinse should be used for added protection of the enamel surfaces of the teeth.

Interdental Cleaners

Interdental cleaning devices with the ADA Seal of Acceptance are specially shaped brushes or other implements that help remove plaque. They are usually made of wood, plastic or rubber and shaped to help clean between the teeth. They can be particularly useful for people who wear braces or who have trouble handling floss. Discuss the proper use of these devices with your dentist to avoid injuring your gums.

Oral Irrigators

These devices create a focused stream of water to remove particles of food from the surfaces around and between the teeth. They are useful for cleaning hard-to-reach areas and may reduce gingivitis. They are especially helpful for people who have braces. Your dentist will tell you if you can benefit from using this device and provide instruction on proper use. Look for devices bearing the ADA Seal of Acceptance.

Fluoride Mouth Rinse

Fluoride with the ADA Seal of Acceptance provides extra protection for your teeth. Is an element that combines with tooth enamel, strengthening it against decay. Fluoride can even repair microscopic cavities by helping mineral incorporate into the teeth. You may want to discuss with your dentist the need for additional fluoride products such as non-prescription mouth rinses for children in your family over the age of 6.

Dental aids can play an important role in cleaning those hard-to-reach areas, but your diligence in daily cleaning is really the key to good oral health. By watching your diet, practicing good oral hygiene and following your dentist instructions, you can be assured that your orthodontic treatment will be a success. Remember, it is even more important that you



Retainer Care & Retainer Instructions

There are usually two types of Retainers:

  • Removable Retainers






  • Fixed Retainers







A removable retainer is a custom-made, usually a removable appliance that help teeth to maintain their new position after braces have been removed. Retainers can also be used to treat minor orthodontic problems.

In some instances a fixed retainer may be used as your final retainer. A thin flexible wire is bonded to the lingual (back side) of your (usually lower anterior K-9 to K-9) teeth. The retainer is now fixed in place and can in most cases only be removed by the orthodontists. There are some advantages and disadvantages to the fixed retainer.


There is no compliance needed.
The patient does not have to wear retainers that have to be taken in an out.
The retainer can not be lost.
Speech is not affected as much with a removable retainer.
Very difficult to see, practically invisible.
Retainer check ups can be scheduled further apart.
Great at keeping gaps closed.


Very difficult clean effectively.
Site for Tartar and Calculus build up.
Flossing is a must to avoid periodontal problems.

Wear your retainers full time, until the doctor instructs otherwise.

Take your retainers out when eating... and always put retainers in their case! (Most appliances are lost in school lunch rooms or restaurants.)

Clean retainers thoroughly once a day with a toothbrush and toothpaste. Use warm but not hot water. Brushing retainers removes the plaque, and eliminates odors. Efferdent or other orthodontic appliance cleaners can be used, but do not take the place of brushing.
When retainers are not in your mouth they should ALWAYS be in a retainer case. Pets love to chew on them!

Initially, you may find it difficult to speak. Practice speaking, reading, or singing out loud to get used to them faster.

Retainers are breakable, so treat them with care. If retainers are lost or broken call us immediately.

If you have any questions or concerns about your retainers, or your retainers need adjusting, call us. Do not try to adjust them yourself.

Always bring your retainers to your appointments.
Retainer replacement is expensive... with proper care they will last for years!

Remove retainers when swimming.
Keep retainers away from hot water, hot car dashboards, pockets, the washing machine, and napkins.

Removable Expander Instructions
Wear your expander all the time. That means all day, during meals, and while sleeping.
Remove your expander only to brush your teeth. Brush your expander at least twice a day with a toothbrush and toothpaste.

Fixed Expander Instructions

Turn your expansion screws as instructed. Insert the key into the hole and turn toward the arrow.
If you are unable to keep your scheduled appointment, stop turning the expander.


If you play sports, it's important that you consult us for special precautions. A protective mouth guard is advised for playing contact sports. In case of any accident involving the face, check your mouth and the appliances immediately. If teeth are loosened or the appliances damaged, phone at once for an appointment. In the meantime, treat your discomfort as you would treat any general soreness.

Loose Wire or Band

Don't be alarmed if a wire or band comes loose. This happens occasionally. If wire protrudes and is irritating, use a blunt instrument (back of spoon or the eraser end of a pencil) and carefully, gently push the irritating wire under the archwire. Simply get it out of the way. If irritation to the lips or mouth continues, place wax or wet cotton on the wire to reduce the annoyance. Call our office as soon as possible for an appointment to check and repair the appliances. If any piece comes off, save it and bring it with you to the office.

Emergency Care

As a general rule, an emergency appointment may be made when there is severe pain, a loose band, a broken wire or something sticking out that you can't take care of. It's important to know the names of the parts of your appliances. It will help, when you phone the office, to be able to identify what part is broken or out of place.

For the best in smile make over in Las Vegas, Summerlin, Henderson area of Nevada, contact our cosmetic dentistry professionals. Schedule your free consultation today!  702.876.3222

© 2005 Henry Kim DDS



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