Dr. Jason Aleman D.M.D., M.S. ABO997 Clock Tower Drive  |  Springfield, IL 62704

(217) 546-9600


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Frequently Asked Questions


Yes. Some foods can damage braces and appliances. If you avoid them, you won’t need to make extra visits to the office for repairs. So you’ll need to give up sticky stuff like gum, taffy and other chewy candy. Hard foods like peanuts and popcorn should also be avoided. You can still get your apple a day, just slice it first. Same with carrots and other crunchy vegetables. But don’t worry, you’ll be back to eating your favorites in no time.

It’s not uncommon to be a little sore after your braces are put on or adjusted. You can get relief by rinsing your mouth with warm salt water. If that doesn’t do it, try whatever over-the-counter pain medication you usually take. A lot of our patients will stick to soft foods until the soreness goes away. If the braces are irritating your tongue, lips or cheeks, use that wax we gave you to cover the braces until you mouth gets used to them. Just remember that you’ll be feeling fine in no time. 

Maintaining healthy teeth and gums is always important so you’ll still need to brush and floss after every meal. On the day you get your braces, we’ll teach you some new brushing techniques.

If a wire, band or bracket becomes loose, don’t be alarmed; this occasionally happens.Here are some tricks you may try at home before calling the office. If a wire is protruding and is irritating, use a blunt instrument (back of spoon or the end of an eraser) and carefully push the irritating wire under the arch wire. If a wire is irritating the lips or mouth try placing a strip of wax over the bracket or wire.

If the wire should come out of the bracket, try placing it back in the tube with a pair of tweezers.

If you are unable to get comfortable, you may contact our office. An emergency appointment will be made when there is severe pain, a loose band, bracket or a broken wire sticking out and causing irritation. If you have an emergency on a weekend or on a day that the office is closed, please call the office phone number. A message will direct you to a person whom is capable of handling your situation.

No, you do not need a referral to come to our office. Another misconception is that all baby teeth must be gone to schedule. We along with the American Association of Orthodontics (AAO), recommend that children be seen by an orthodontic specialist by age 7. By then, a child’s teeth have developed enough to where subtle problems can be spotted with jaw growth and emerging teeth but usually by this time not all baby teeth are gone.

Once your teeth are straight and your bite is aligned, you’ll want to keep them that way. That’s why retainers are so important. The upper retainer should be worn at all times (unless otherwise directed), but you should take it out after you eat and brush it with toothpaste and water. You’ll also have a bonded retainer on your lower teeth that doesn’t come out, but you’ll need to brush that as well. Also, you’ll need to be careful eating super crunchy foods like carrots and apples. If a permanent retainer comes loose, please save the wire and call our office for instructions.

We, along with the American Association of Orthodontics (AAO), recommend that children be seen by an orthodontic specialist by age 7. By then, a child’s teeth have developed enough to where subtle problems can be spotted with jaw growth and emerging teeth. Early treatment, or a first phase of treatment, can serve as an intervention for developing problems, particularly with the jaw, while also offering esthetic benefits.


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