Brace Care

So You Now Have a Fixed Brace

Your orthodontist has told you "keep it clean" ; "don't eat sticky or hard food" and "don't break it"

It is important that diet and oral hygiene is strictly controlled to minimise decay/marks on the enamel, gum disease and breakages of the braces. If the brace is not cared for properly, the braces may need to be removed to prevent unnessary damage to your teeth.

So How Do You Actually Look After Your Brace?

The following are some tips with photos and video of how to care for your brace.

What To Eat/Not Eat

Be careful when eating - Avoid chewing with your front teeth and use less force when chewing as this may cause the brackets to break off. Consider eating a healthy diet. Foods to consider for the duration of the treatment, with the emphasis being on eating a soft food diet, include vegetables, meat, fish, pasta and rice dishes. If the food needs chewing, cut the food up into small pieces and to chew gently with the back teeth.

Avoid sugary foods, including sweets, toffees, chocolates, chewing gums and fizzy drinks. Less obvious foods to avoid include are hard/tough foods eg toast, crusty bread. Be careful when biting into 'hard' fruit such as apples.

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 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/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 that you would use for a headache.

The brace may cause a few rubs and irriate the cheeks and tongue until you get used to it. Use brace relief wax 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 ‘Gishy Goo’ which is used in the same way as wax.

Broken brace – Home fixes

Wire has come out at the back:

Brace Care Image

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, fine pliers or your fingers and put it back in the hole on the tube (indicated by the arrow) on the back tooth.

Brace Care Image

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.

Brace Care Image

Brace Care Image

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VIDEO: Using disclosing tablets
State of the art facilities
VIDEO: Tooth brushing in action
State of the art facilities
VIDEO: Using Brace-Eze and Wax

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