Your orthodontist or orthodontic therapist has given you some advice about what to expect and how to look after your orthodontic appliance. Orthodontic treatment depends on your body’s biological response and it can’t be hurried. You wouldn’t want your treatment to take any longer! In the sections below, we have repeated some of that advice which you can follow to ensure that your treatment is completed not only successfully, but also in the shortest possible time! So, if you want your braces off as soon as possible, stay positive, and follow our advice. Your commitment to orthodontic treatment will be a small price to pay to get that perfect smile!
The sections below contain detailed advice about your particular orthodontic brace and about aspects of your treatment. The following are our most important recommendations in relation to aftercare, which apply to all types of orthodontic treatment.
Listen to Advice
Well, the first thing you should do is to listen to your orthodontist’s and his team’s advice carefully when your braces are fitted, and also at every appointment thereafter. Please read any written advice given to you.
Know What to Expect – Discomfort
You need to know what normal troubles to expect during the first few days of having your braces, and that after those first few days, your braces will become comfortable, and most of the time you will forget they are there.
The level of possible discomfort varies quite a bit from individual to individual. In general, the teeth may feel a little sore, slightly loose, and tender to biting pressure. Painkillers such the ones you would normally take for headaches would take care of any soreness or discomfort that may be experienced for the first few days.
Parts of the brace may rub on the lips, cheeks or tongue causing soreness. Very occasionally, some patients get mouth ulcers. There may also be increased saliva flow, and a minor temporary effect on speech. This is normal, and soon patients get used to wearing their braces and their speech will go back to normal. Our patients are supplied with some orthodontic wax. If any part of the brace is rubbing against the lips or cheeks, a small piece of wax could be moulded over the troublesome component of the brace to act as a cushion.
Watch What You Eat
Avoid certain foods and drinks such as sticky, chewy or hard sweets, chewing gum, and fizzy drinks. Try not to bite into hard food directly with your front teeth.
Certain habits can damage your teeth as well as your braces, and put the success of your treatment at risk. These include finger or thumb sucking, tongue thrusting, nail-biting, pen and pencil chewing, ‘clicking’ removable braces in and out, and touching or picking at your fixed braces. Stop these habits!
Keep Excellent Oral Hygiene
Keep your teeth clean using the toothbrushes we provide free of charge. Take your time when brushing, brush over your gum margins and make sure you have covered every surface of every tooth. Use the fluoride treatment we provide regularly. Ideally, you need to brush after every meal. Poor oral hygiene will cause gum disease, tooth decay, and leave permanent stains on your teeth.
Cooperate with Instructions
Wear your removable braces or elastics as advised. You are effectively carrying out your own orthodontic treatment by wearing these, and no progress will be made if your orthodontist’s instructions are not followed. If you forget what you have been advised, ask!
Keep Your Appointments
Attending for regular appointments means that your braces are adjusted as soon as they are ready to be adjusted, and this way your treatment will progress smoothly and rapidly. This also allows your orthodontist detect any potential problems and prevent them before it’s too late.
Tell Us About Problems
Let us know if anything goes wrong, especially if your brace is lost or damaged and you can’t wear it. We will advise you what to do and whether you need to make an emergency appointment.
Visit Your Regular Dentist
Regardless of the type of brace you are wearing, you must always see your regular dentist for six-monthly check ups.