Brace Care

Useful brace information

Are braces painful?

No! ... but the braces may feel rough to the inside of your lips and cheeks for the first week. Soft wax is provided to ease this initial discomfort. Your teeth will be tender for a few days after each appointment and you may need to take mild pain killers as you would normally for a headache.

If your brace is broken you should phone the practice for an appointment to have it repaired.

It is very important to keep your teeth and gums clean and healthy during orthodontic treatment. Wearing an appliance makes this more difficult so we offer brace care kits to help you keep your mouth, teeth and gums healthy during orthodontic treatment.

Dos and Don’ts

    Do clean your teeth after every time you eat.
    Do use a fluoride mouthwash at least once a day – or you can swish around the toothpaste/water in your mouth for 30-60 seconds having cleaned your teeth before spitting out.
    Do avoid hard and sticky foods eg chewing gum, they may break the brace.
    Don’t eat too many sweets or fizzy drinks – keep nibbling/sweets to meal time.
    Don’t leave your brace broken – contact the practice to get it fixed, as soon as possible.
    Don’t loose your functional/removable brace – keep it safe in your mouth or in a brace box when playing sports etc.

Brace & Teeth Cleaning

It will take much longer and more care to clean your teeth with a fixed brace. Use your tooothbrush angled up to clean the edges of the teeth and under the wire and brackets of the brace. Then use the brush angled to clean the gums and again around the brackets. Do use disclosing tablets/ solution (food colouring is an alternative) every so often to help you see the plaque and see where you have missed. To use disclosing tablest - crush them between your teeth and sloosh it around your mouth for 10-120 seconds, then rinse out and see where the plaque is.

Use the spiral end of the orthodontic toothbrush (or use a single tufted brush or Interdental brushes) to clean under the wire and between the teeth and brackets. This is the most difficult area to clean and takes the most time. It is essencial to clean the teeth and brace properly to prevent decay and marks on your teeth.

Broken & Sharp Bits

Initally your teeth will feel slightly sore as they get used to the brace and the teeth start to move. This is normal, it usually takes 7-10 days to get fully used to having the brace on your teeth. If necessary, use mild pain killers eg paractemol or asprin.

The brace may cause a few rubs and irriate the cheeks and tongue until you get used to it. Use brace relief wax (or Brace-Eze) if required. If the brace is rubbing or feels sharp use the wax to relief the problem.

Pinch a small "pea size" piece of wax and roll it between your fingers to soften it. Dry the brace as best as possible and mould the wax on to the part of the brace causing the problem. If the brace has caused an ulcer, use warm salty water as a mouthwash 2-3 times a day to help healing. There is a more sticky version of wax called "Brace-Eze" which is used in the same way as wax.

Broken brace – Home fixes

Wire has come out at the back:

This usually occurs early on in treatment when the wire is thin and very flexible, particularly if a bracket has been lost or there is a long span between the last bracket and the back tooth.

You can take a pair of tweezers (or your fingers) and put it back in the hole on the tube (indicated by the arrow) on the back tooth.

The wire is digging in and you cannot put it back:

You can use nail scissors, small wire cutters or even nail clippers to cut the wire – cut as close to the last bracket as possible to no sharp end is sticking out.


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Tooth brushing in action

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Using disclosing tablets

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Using Brace-Eze and Wax