When an orthodontist fits you for braces, she (or he) first must take impressions of your mouth. They cast molds of the configurations of your teeth, arch and gums. These models show the orthodontist how all the components of your mouth fit together, which lets her devise a plan to carry out your orthodontic treatment. It’s not unusual for a patient’s gag reflex to kick in during the impression process. But there are ways to manage this defense mechanism that your body uses to prevent foreign objects from entering your upper respiratory tract.
The office of Robert Weeman, DDS provides orthodontic treatment that best meets your needs. Our knowledgeable and caring professionals make sure you can enjoy attractive and well-functioning teeth. Your oral health is in the best of hands.
To form a dental impression, an orthodontist puts a putty-like material into an arch-shaped plastic or metal tray and positions the tray over your upper (or lower) teeth. After three to five minutes, when the material has hardened, she removes the tray and does the same to your lower (or upper) teeth. The tray or some overflowing putty might make you want to gag.
Take some of these tips if you’re an “impression gagger.”
Breathe through your nose. Besides the fact that the trays and possible putty drips make it challenging to breathe through your mouth, deep breaths through your nose will calm you down. Tip: If you tend to have a stuffy nose, open your sinuses with a decongestant spray right before your appointment.
Do drool. It’s OK! Really! Sure, it’s not the classiest look, but an orthodontist is used to it. It’s easier to let it all hang out rather than to swallow it, which could lead you to gag. And sit upright in the chair so saliva won’t head straight for your throat.
Get distracted. Replay your favorite song in your head. Recall pleasant memories. Ask the ortho to chat you up with an entertaining story. The best diversion is to listen—at high volume, if necessary—to music through your cellphone or another personal electronic device.
We at the office of Robert Weeman, DDS use a variety of techniques and appliances that are at the forefront of orthodontic care. These advances offer a wide variety of benefits to each patient. Please don’t hesitate to contact us for an appointment.
By Robert Weeman, DDS
April 25, 2023