1. Can I eat normally with fixed braces?
For the first few days, it is best to keep to soft foods in order to prevent damage to your teeth and brace. You should avoid:
- Sticky, chewy foods such as toffees, boiled sweets, chewing gum, chewy chocolate bars.
- Hard foods which might damage the brace such as carrots, tough meats, hard pizza bases and crusty bread. Try cutting up food into small pieces and chewing on your back teeth.
- Fizzy drinks(including fizzy water) and excessive amounts of fresh fruit juices-these can
cause decay and dental erosion. Milk, water and dilute squash are the safest drinks.
- Nail biting and pen chewing as this can damage the brace.
2. What about brushing my teeth?
The teeth, gums and braces must be kept completely clean. It is important that you brush your teeth thoroughly at least twice a day and ideally take a spare brush to school/work to brush after lunch. If the teeth are not kept clean then permanent staining of the teeth (decalcification) can result. This is the first indication of tooth decay and the braces will be taken off before the end of treatment to minimise the damage.
3. Will I be able to speak normally?
Lisping may be a problem at first but most people soon adapt and quickly begin to speak clearly within a few days.
4. Will it be painful?
The brace may feel rough to the inside of your lips and cheeks for the first week - soft wax is provided and this can ease the initial discomfort. We also recommend you buy some 'Brace-Eze'from the reception. The teeth are likely to be tender for the first few days due to the pressure put onto them by the brace, this is also the case after each adjustment. Painkillers, such as the ones you would normally take for a headache, may help.
5. What will you need to clean your brace-brushing essentials?
- Small, soft/medium bristled toothbrush and a fluoride toothpaste. Pay particular attention to brush where the gums and teeth meet. Try and have an ordered sequence of brushing so you don't forget to brush the front, back and biting surfaces of the teeth - it is time consuming but essential.
- lnter-dental brush - The inter-dental brush helps clean in between the brackets and around them.
- Fluoride mouthwash - A daily fluoride mouthwash is advisable as this can help prevent decay and decalcification - your orthodontist will advise you.
6. How often will I need to see my Orthodontist?
You will need to be seen every 6-8 weeks for the brace to be adjusted.
7. Do I still need my regular dentist?
Yes - you must continue regular check-ups with your dentist so your teeth can be checked for decay.
8. Can I wear a mouthguard for sports?
Yes, but it will have to be a special orthodontic one to fit over your fixed brace, ask your orthodontist. Mouthguards should be worn for sports such as rugby, hockey, football etc.
At the end of treatment, a dentist-made custom fit mouthguard is recommended.
9. What if my brace breaks?
Please contact the surgery without delay. An appointment will be made for you to have it repaired. Place wax over any sharp areas or 'Brace-Eze' (available at reception).
Breakages can slow your treatment or may result in damage to your teeth. Please be careful with the braces.
10. What happens at the end when the braces are removed?
When the fixed braces are taken off, impressions of the teeth are taken and retainers are made. Retainer braces are either removable or fixed behind the teeth. Removable retainers are usually worn just at night to hold your teeth in the new position - your orthodontist will advise you. lf you don't wear your retainers as instructed your teeth may start moving back towards where they started!
We have provided some information about some commonly asked questions which may be of help to you:
General Soreness: It is normal to experience some soreness during your orthodontic treatment. This can last three to four days after an adjustment. To alleviate discomfort, we recommend that patients eat softer foods and rinse after each meal. Pain relievers may also help (To be taken in line with instructions).
Sore spots: Occasionally patients may develop ulcers while wearing braces. To help relieve any discomfort we suggest placing wax in the problematic area of the braces. Wax can be purchased from our practice. Please contact us for further information and advice. Ulcers generally heal within 10 days. Please seek further information from us if your situation continues.
Injury: Orthodontic appliances can be damaged when a patient sustains an injury to the face or mouth. Call for an appointment if the teeth feel loose or if the appliance is broken. If you choose, we can create a customized mouthguard to protect your teeth and appliances during contact sports.
Loose teeth: It is perfectly normal for teeth to feel loose during treatment. Teeth need to loosen before they can move into their new positions.
Rubber bands: Rubberband wear will cause sore teeth when you first begin wearing them (approximately the first 3 – 4 days). Once the teeth begin to move, this soreness will go away. Continue to wear the rubber bands during this initial period of soreness and take pain relievers if necessary. Do not continue wearing the rubber bands if you are unsure how they are to be worn. Call us during practice hours and we will let you know how to wear your elastics.
Broken Archwire: Call us during practice hours to arrange an emergency appointment. Place wax over the area if the wire digging in or causing discomfort.
Loose band or bracket: Call us during practice hours and arrange a repair appointment. If the loose band or bracket is irritating the gums or cheek, place wax over the area. Remember to brush very well around the loose appliance, as it may tend to trap plaque.
Gaps: Gaps may appear between your teeth during your treatment, this is quite normal. All gaps will be closed prior to the end of your treatment.