How to look after your fixed braces from your Orthodontist

If you have fixed braces now, or even if you (or a friend or family member) have gappy or crowded teeth that you would like to improve, then this article might help you understand how important it is to maintain healthy and happy gums and teeth by regularly brushing your teeth and drinking water rather than fizzy drinks at meal times and in between meals.

It is so important to take good care of your teeth, and so here is a gentle reminder of how to look after your teeth without braces but even more so if you have your fixed braces in place.

Maintain your healthy teeth

* Avoid sweets, sugar, sugary foods and sweet, fizzy drinks (including sugar-free and low-calorie type) between meals (which can dissolve surface enamel and cause permanent damage to teeth)

* Rinse your mouth with water after every meal

* Brush thoroughly twice a day, using a fluoride toothpaste

* (If advised by me, use a fluoride rinse once a day, ideally at a different time from brushing your teeth)

* Attend your dental health check ups regularly

*  Avoid hard and sticky foods such as sweets and hard mints, hard crusts and whole raw carrots (which may break or bend wires and slow down your treatment)

How to brush your teeth with fixed braces

Clean your teeth and gums with a small headed toothbrush.

1 Start brushing between the wire and gums.  Press firmly enough so that the bristles spread into the gaps between your teeth.  Move the brush head around all the teeth. Repeat the same process on the other side of the wire.

2 Clean all the inside surfaces of your teeth, in the same way.

3 Clean the top parts of your teeth and rinse with water after brushing.

Frequently asked questions about your braces

1 Why is it so important to look after my teeth and braces?

Everyone’s saliva contains millions of bacteria.  These bacteria stick to the surfaces of the teeth and form a layer call plaque.

Plaque is a soft, colourless substance which is difficult to see until the coating is quite thick.  It collects on the surfaces of your teeth mainly, next to the gums and between the teeth.

Plaque causes tooth decay and gum disease.

2 Do I need to clean my teeth?

You will not have braces fitted unlesss you clean your teeth effectively.  When braces are fixed to your teeth permanently, the brackets are more difficult to clean.  So it is very important to care for your braces by careful brushing as well as rinsing and eating sensible foods.

3 What happens if I don’t clean my teeth properly?

You could cause permanent damage if your teeth and brackets are not kept clean.  The enamel that makes your teeth strong could be damaged, leaving unsightly white marks.

4 What happens if the appliance rubs my mouth?

You can buy dental wax from your |Orthodontist at the practice if you experience rubbing. Take a small piece, and rub it between your finger and thumb to soften it.  It should then be applied to the part of the appliance that is rubbing you.

Your mouth usually adapts to the appliance after a day or two and any discomfort is usually temporary.  After fitting, or after any adjustments, it is not unusual to experience a little discomfort.

In both cases above, the correct dose of painkillers is recommended. Please always read the instructions on the packet. If you are under 18, never take any medicines without first discussing it with your parent or guardian).

If any discomfort persists for more than a few days, contact your Orthodontist at the practice immediately on 0161 969 7464.

5 Can I play sports?

If you play contact sports, ride your bike or go skateboarding, always wear a gum shield. You will need a special one to go over your fixed braces.

6 What if my braces break?

If you break your appliance, this is likely to increase the length of your treatment.  In addition, you will need an extra visit to have the appliance repaired, which will result in further cost and time spent at the dentist, while they are being fixed. It is better to be careful!

We hope that the information above is useful to you.

If you have any further questions or are concerned about your teeth or braces, please call us on 0161 969 7464.

Best wishes

The Sale Dental Team

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