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After Care

Fixed Braces

Fixed braces are made up of brackets and wires. Brackets are small blocks attached to each tooth joined by wires that gently straighten the teeth. Because the brackets are stuck onto your teeth, you won’t be able to remove the brace during your treatment.

When the brace is first fitted, it will feel very strange and possibly temporarily uncomfortable for a few days.

It is likely that for the first few days, your teeth will ache because of the pressure the brace puts on them. If this is the case, you may find a painkiller helps, what you might normally take for a headache will be fine.

Fixed braces can break so you should avoid biting into anything hard or chewy throughout your treatment.

Cut up hard fruit such as apples into small pieces before eating. Avoid chewing on pens, pencils or fingernails during your treatment.

Fizzy and acidic drinks during your treatment should be kept to a minimum.

Wearing a brace can make keeping your teeth clean much more difficult, so you’ll need to be very thorough with your dental hygiene. Brushing your teeth three times a day with fluoride toothpaste is essential. If you don’t look after your teeth while you’re wearing your brace, they may become damaged underneath the braces.

If you play contact sports like rugby or hockey we can supply you with a specially designed mouth-guard to protect your teeth and brace from sports injury. It can be easily remoulded as your teeth straighten.

If you play a wind instrument, particularly the flute or a brass instrument, it may take several weeks for you to adapt to playing your instrument with the brace in your mouth. This will become easier with time and more comfortable the more you practice.

Removable Braces

Your removable brace has been carefully made to fit your mouth exactly. Initially it will feel very strange and for the first few days it may feel a little uncomfortable. Your speech is likely to be affected however this will be temporary and be normal again after a few days.

To keep your removable brace clean, brush it gentle with water and a brush also soak it in Retainer Brite 2-4 times a week o remove bacteria. Don’t use toothpaste to clean your brace.

We will regularly assess your appliance progress but it’s also important that you continue to visit your general dentist for regular check-ups.

Lingual Braces

Your lingual brace is made up of cast gold or stainless steel brackets glued onto the back surfaces of your teeth and wires joining these brackets together. The wires are secured onto the brackets by small elastic rings.

For the first four or five days of treatment you are likely to experience significant discomfort because the brackets and wires will rub against your tongue and your teeth will feel tender.

You may find that a painkiller you would normally take for a headache will help to reduce any initial tooth discomfort. Rinsing your mouth with warm salty water (glass of warm water and a teaspoon of salt) may help to ease the tongue soreness.

The soft wax can be used to cover any parts of the brace irritating your tongue.

You will need to brush after every meal to remove the small pieces of food that will get trapped in the most awkward places. We advise that you carry a toothbrush with you at all times. We also recommend that you see a hygienist on a regular basis throughout your treatment.

Your speech will be affected to a varying degree and a lisp or whistling sound is common in the first few weeks. Your speech will improve rapidly but you need to practice! The more you speak the quicker you will adjust and the sooner your speech will return to normal. Most patients find that within a few weeks they speech is normal again.

You will find that soft foods are easier to manage . Avoid hard foods and cut up hard food into small pieces before eating. Please don’t chew on pens, pencils or fingernails during your treatment. You mustn’t bite into anything hard or chewy because this may break the brackets off the teeth. A broken brace will not straighten your teeth and your treatment will last much longer if it keeps getting broken.

Retainers

The journey is still not over, as we need to make sure your lovely teeth stay beautiful and straight.

Retainers hold your teeth in their straight position and are an essential part of your overall treatment.

Removable Retainers

Your removable retainers have been custom made to fit your mouth exactly following the removal of your brace. Your orthodontist will advise you on how often you will need to wear your retainers.

Should your retainers start to feel uncomfortable this may be a sign that your teeth are starting to move. If this happens wear your retainers more frequently and make an appointment to visit the orthodontist sooner than arranged.

If your retainer starts to rub please contact the practice.

When your retainers are not being worn, please keep them safe in their protective box. To keep your retainers clean soak them in Retainer Brite as instructed. You can also clean them with a toothbrush and water. Don’t use toothpaste to clean your retainers and don’t put them in hot water as this may cause them to lose their shape.

Always bring your retainers to every appointment, so that we can make any adjustments if necessary. If you lose, break or cannot wear your retainers please let us know as soon as possible. Please be aware there is likely to be a charge for replacement retainers.

Fixed Retainers

Fixed retainers are thin wires attached to the back surfaces of your front teeth to keep them straight. Initially they will feel odd and noticeable but after a few days you will soon forget that they are there.

It is important that you keep the area around your fixed retainer clean. We recommend using an interdental brush or Superfloss to clean between your front teeth and underneath your fixed retainer.

In addition you should see your general dentist or hygienist regularly for a professional clean.

Your fixed retainer can stay in place indefinitely and with proper care it will last for many years.

Take care when eating to avoid putting excessive force on the fixed retainer. If your fixed retainer does become detached please make an appointment to see us as soon as possible. In the meantime wear your removable retainer during the day as well as at night.

Gumshields and Braces

Wearing a gumshield, whether you are wearing a brace or not, is advisable for all activities where there is a reasonable chance of physical contact and essential for contact sports e.g. rugby, hockey, lacrosse.

Gumshields can be custom-made (made specially for you from an mold of your teeth) or over-the-counter (these can be standard or mouldable). we only recommend using the moldable type as the fit is usually much better.

Please ask your orthodontist the gumshield we recommend for your mouth to keep you teeth safe.