Brace aftercare is ad important to your treatment as having the actual brace fitted!
Some people experience very few problems having their braces fitted whereas others find the adjustment more difficult – Here are some handy brace aftercare tips to help see you through and try to make managing them a breeze! If you need to see us or to ask a questions, please get in touch right away. Making sure you’re comfortable is our priority.
As soon as your braces are fitted
It is totally normal for your brace to feel a bit scratchy and big when you first have your fixed braces fitted – your soft tissues will adapt over 2-3 days and the brace will feel like it’s always been there.
Sometime the brackets can feel rough on your cheeks and lips – use the wax we have given you to alleviate the rubbing. Take a large piece, roll it into a ball and place it over the bracket – It’s important to stick the wax to a dry bracket as your saliva can stop it from sticking – Tip! Pull your lip out of the way and breathe in through your teeth to make it dry or use a hairdryer on the cool setting! Don’t be tempted to use a towel to dry the brace – the loops can get caught on the bracket and pull it off.
Initial brace movement
Your brace brackets (the wire between each of the metal squares) put a constant, gentle force onto your teeth which will mean that in the first few hours after the brace has been fitted your teeth will feel a bit bruised or achey – again this is to be expected and totally normal, but will wear off.
If it is anymore than bruised & sore feeling, you can take ibuprofen or paracetamol, whichever you would normally take for a headache. Be sure to read and follow the dose instructions on the packet.
Foods to avoid
For the first few days you will need to steer clear of hard, chewy & tough foods like French baguettes and try to have a softer diet – like mashed potato, pasta or white fish.
It is also important to limit the amount of sugary foods in your diet to keep your brace immaculately clean. Throughout the duration of your treatment you need to avoid biting into hard foods like apples or carrots. The direction of force applied when eating these types of food is the same that we use to debond your brace, so you could end up sheering the brackets off of your teeth. (This won’t be painful, but you will need to come back in, and of course, the brace won’t be working if its not bonded to your tooth).
Cleaning your brace
Once your brace is fitted the brace aftercare is its down to you. Happy, healthy, clean teeth move faster than teeth covered in plaque and if any plaque goes hard it can stop the teeth from moving along the brace altogether!
When cleaning your teeth think of your teeth in 3 sections – 1. On top of your brace. 2. Your brace and 3. Below your brace.
The aim is to reach as much of your tooth surface with the toothbrush bristles as possible.
You should also use a single tufted toothbrush, to get to the tooth surface behind the brace wire, clean the tooth surface and the side of each bracket.
Tip! – You’ll need to allow about 5 minutes for teeth cleaning and most of our patients take a travel toothbrush in their bag and decant some mouthwash into a travel bottle so they can get food out of their brace at lunchtime.
If you don’t keep your teeth and your brace clean and reduce your sugar intake you are likely to get decalcification – which is irreversible. Decalcification is the beginnings of decay and starts as white lesions that progress to brown and eventually, becomes decay. The worst thing about it is the squares it leaves on your teeth. You don’t want perfectly straight teeth with yellow squares. If you are thorough and consistent with your cleaning regime and brace aftercare this won’t happen!
Other things to consider
Breakages can delay your treatment time – so avoid biting on anything with your front teeth. Use your back teeth to chew tough food like baguettes, pizza crust, toffees, carrots and apples. While we will always see you for breakages they can sometimes mean we have to go back a few steps in your treatment so try and avoid them. If you do have a breakage make sure you come in and see us ASAP!
Attending regular appointments is a vital part of brace aftercare. Missing appointments can also delay your treatment time, so try and be organised – book a few in advance so that we see you often.