Looking after your fixed brace
It is important to look after your orthodontic appliance to ensure it works effectively and produces the desired results in the shortest possible time. This should include carefully brushing teeth after every meal, avoiding food that may damage your braces and visit both your orthodontist and dentist throughout the treatment process.
It is perfectly normal to experience some issues with your brace during the first few weeks after fitting. You may experience some discomfort during this time due to brackets coming loose or wires snapping, disengaging or sticking out at the end of the bracket. These problems may be a result of:
- Eating hard, crunchy or sticky food
- Overloading your mouth with food
- Habits such as chewing pens and nail biting
- Deep or strong biting – an upper tooth may be biting down too hard on a particular lower bracket or wire
- Teeth grinding at night (bruxism)
- The dental cement not holding the brackets properly
- Complex force systems – where a force applied to a certain tooth results in the seal with the bracket breaking or the wire snapping
- Deliberate damage
Dealing with discomfort
The following tips may help you deal with brace problems:
- Loose bracket – cover with wax.
- Long wire – cover with wax or try to cut it carefully with scissors or nail clippers.
- Snapped wire – pull the two pieces out (only possible if the wires are thin)
- Wire slipped out of the end of the bracket – try to push it back in or cover with relief wax. Ideally, the initial wire should be engaged in the end bracket, but if it comes out too easily it is best to wait until the next thicker wire size can be fitted.
If breakages occur during the later stages of the straightening process, it may result in extended treatment times. If you experience severe discomfort that you cannot resolve yourself, please call us on 01206 756210 to book an appointment. Please note, we charge for out-of-hours breakage appointments.
Don’t stop seeing your dentist and hygienist just because you are regularly visiting an orthodontist. It is still important to attend appointments so your teeth can be assessed and deep cleaned. You should have check-ups at least twice a year, or as often as your dentist and orthodontist recommend.
Eating with fixed braces
While you are wearing braces, you need to be wary of eating foods that could increase your risk of cavities. You should also avoid anything that might damage the brackets or wires, as frequent breakages will increase the treatment time.
Keep clear of hard and sticky foods, such as caramel, hard sweets and gum, as these can damage your braces and get stuck in the wires and brackets. In fact, it’s a good idea to cut down on all sugary foods. You can still have the occasional sweet treat or fizzy drink, but the more sugar you consume, the greater your risk of tooth decay. If you do indulge, always brush your teeth after eating sugary foods or sweets.