How to Care of Your Braces
For the first few days after the braces have been placed:
- The teeth will be sore from the pressure of the wire. Take pain relief such as Panadol or Nurofen as required and be aware of personal drug allergies.
- The soft tissue such as the lips, tongue or inner cheeks may develop ulcers from the brackets. Orthodontic wax from your hygiene pack can be placed over the irritating bracket to smooth and nurture this area. Topical gels from the pharmacy such as SM33 can be applied over ulcers to improve the symptoms.
How do I clean my teeth?:
- Try to brush at least 3 times a day, after every meal. It will be handy to carry a toothbrush with you when you are out, as food debris often lodges embarrassingly between your braces.
- Flossing will be difficult. Use Superfloss from Oral B which has a stiffer end to thread itself under the wire and in between the teeth. Alternatively, floss threaders in the oral hygiene aisle of supermarkets and pharmacies are also handy to help.
What types of food should I avoid?:
- For the first few days after each adjustment, the teeth will be sore to pressure. Please prepare softer foods to eat during this time.
- Avoid a high frequency of sugary, sticky foods or acidic drinks such as soft drinks. One of the long term concerns is demineralisation of the enamel around your orthodontic brackets. This results in "white rings" on the surface of your teeth which can adversely affect the aesthetics of your smile. Fluoride mouthrinses and tooth mousse during orthodontics can help to minimise demineralisation.
- Be careful of very hard or brittle foods such as nuts, seafood with shells and breaking ice or opening bottles with your teeth. Not only can they break the brackets and wires on your teeth, they can also chip and damage your teeth affecting the aesthetics of your smile.
How often do I need to come back for adjustments?:
- We like to monitor your progress every 4 weeks. Some appointments may involve new photos, whereas others may involve changing wires. Progress radiographs may be requested to check that everything is going smoothly.
- Hygiene appointments will be required every 6 months at our standard fee. It is important to continue to have professional cleaning to prevent gum disease during orthodontics and minimise demineralisation or cavity development.
- Please contact us immediately if you find a bracket debonded, a wire out of place or something loose. Keep any appliances if they have fallen out of the mouth.
Read more about braces cost.