CARING FOR YOUR BRACE

How to deal with problems presented with wearing a brace

There are three main aspects in caring for your fixed appliances. 

  1. Awareness of the problems the brace may cause / how to avoid them 

  2. Diet 

  3. Oral hygiene 

 

Awareness of the problems the brace may cause

If the brace starts to cut or rub against the inside of your mouth and lips, using the orthodontic wax as a barrier will help to relieve this.  The wax is applied to the area of the brace that is causing the discomfort. Make sure that the section of the brace you are placing the wax on is dried. Cut 1/4 to 1/3 of the strip of wax and place over  the top of the metal area pressing the wax over any sharp areas (taking care not to cut the skin on your fingers). The whole wax strip may be applied from canine to canine. The wax is re-usable up to a point but must be removed for eating and brushing. Following eating / cleaning the wax may be reapplied. If short of wax / emergency wax is required the exterior rind of a Babybel/ edam cheese may be used as a substitute! 

 

Diet

You will be advised by the Orthodontist and nurses to follow a soft diet and TO BE AWARE NOT TO BITE into foods now  that you  have  your  fixed  brace  or  to  cut  any harder foods up in to small bite sized pieces to prevent any breakages to your brace. Even foods that you would normally consider suitable must be pulled apart/cut into smaller pieces e.g. sandwiches, toast and pizza.  Instead we recommend a soft diet AND ELIMINATING SUGARY FOODS AS THIS IS THE MAIN CAUSE OF TOOTH DECAY.

DIET should consist of SOFTER WELL COOKED foods such as; 

  • Pasta, rice and noodles

  • Soups, stews and casseroles 

YOU SHOULD AVOID

Sugary foods and drinks as this will promote TOOTH DECAY.

EXAMPLES ARE LISTED BELOW BUT ARE NOT EXCLUSIVE

  • Fizzy drinks

  • Chewy sweets such as toffees, chewits, boiled sweets or mints

  • Sticky foods such as chewing gum

  • Nuts, popcorn and crisps

YOU WILL BE EXPECTED TO KEEP APPOINTMENTS WITH YOUR REGULAR DENTIST THROUGHOUT TREATMENT. If you experience any breakages on your brace you must contact the practice for advice and we  will book  an  appointment  for  you to  see  the  orthodontist  dependent  on  the  type of  emergency you are experiencing.  Please note that if you have numerous breakages / the braces are not being cared for / advice is not being followed due to a lack of care the brace will be removed. 

Oral hygiene

Your oral hygiene is very important especially when you are undergoing orthodontic treatment AND YOU WILL BE EXPECTED TO KEEP APPOINTMENTS WITH YOUR DENTIST THROUGHOUT TREATMENT. You must brush your teeth at least twice a day but ideally after each meal or snack! We advise that you wait 30-45 minutes ideally after eating any acidic foods before brushing your teeth to allow saliva to neutralise the acids in your mouth and prevent erosion e.g. fresh juices and fruit. Studies show up to six times more enamel loss if brushing takes place straight after consumption of these types of foods/drinks. It is good practice to NOT RINSE your mouth after brushing but spit the toothpaste out and leave a minimal amount of paste as a residue over the teeth. The fluoride in the  toothpaste  will  coat  your  teeth  and  help  strengthen  them. Alternatively  if  you would rather, you can use a fluoride mouthwash after brushing but DO NOT RINSE WITH WATER.  

As  well  as cleaning  using  your normal  toothbrush  you  must  use  an  inter-dental  brush  to remove  left  over  food  from  around  your  brace  as  your  normal  toothbrush  will  not thoroughly  clean  the  smaller  areas  e.g.  brackets,  wires  and  bands  on  your  teeth. You  can also use Oral B ‘Super floss’ to clean under the wires of your brace. Electric toothbrushes are fine to use and if used  with  attachments for orthodontic appliances and if used with care will not cause problems.  Leaving  left  over  food  on  your  teeth  and  lack  of  attention  to  your  oral hygiene may result in staining once the brace is removed ie. decay of the teeth (requiring restorations to your teeth).  It is important that you take good care of your teeth and brace to achieve the best possible results. 


Oral-B "Super Floss" is ideal for cleaning braces, bridges and wide gaps between teeth. Its three unique components (a stiffened-end dental floss threader, spongy floss and regular floss) help to allow the passage of the floss under the applainces. (it is used in a simple up and down motion) and by applying toothpaste to the thicker part of the floss, it helps you get toothpaste to those hard to reach areas. 

FLOSS

  • Allows you to CLEAN under appliances  

  • Cleans around appliances and between wide spaces 

  • Removes plaque under the gum line  

  • Oral-B "Super-floss" supplies you with pre-measured strands

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