Here are the answers to some common questions about removable appliances and wearing them.
Will it hurt?
For the first 4-5 days of having your removable brace, and for a day or two each time it is adjusted, you may experience some discomfort in your mouth. The teeth may get a little sore, and parts of the brace may rub on your gum, lips, cheeks or tongue. You may also notice increased saliva flow, and an effect on your speech. This is normal, and soon you’ll get used to wearing your brace and your speech will go back to normal. To improve your speech sooner, you can practise by reading aloud while wearing the brace.
Try and wear the brace as much as possible during those first few days. If you leave your brace out for a long time, you will have to get used to it all over again when you start wearing it once more.
If necessary, you may wish to take mild painkillers such the ones you would normally take for headaches. Please read the instructions on the packet regarding how much you should take.
We can supply you with some orthodontic wax if you wish. If any part of the retainer is digging into your lips or cheeks, tear off a small piece of wax, roll it into a small pea-sized ball between your fingers, and gently mould this over any troublesome part of the retainer. This acts as a cushion, keeping your lip or cheek away from the retainer components.
If you continue to have discomfort beyond the first few days, contact the practice so that an emergency appointment can be arranged as soon as possible to adjust your removable brace. Don’t just wait for your next appointment as this could prolong your treatment duration.
Do I have to wear my removable brace all the time?
Yes. The key to successful orthodontic treatment with removable braces is wearing them, not removing them! Removable braces do not work in your pocket! Wear your removable brace(s) all day and all night wherever you are. There are only a few exceptions to this rule:-
You may remove them for:
- Eating main meals
- Brushing your teeth
- Playing contact sports or very active physical games or PE (in which case you should wear a mouthguard instead)
- Playing wind musical instruments
Going on holiday is not an exception to this rule! Only remove your brace for a short while for the above exceptions, and when you do, always store the brace in a small rigid container which we will provide to avoid damage to, or loss of your brace.
How do I take care of my removable brace?
Do not leave your removable brace lying around outside its container. Do not carry the brace loose in your pockets or your bag. Do not wrap up your brace in tissue paper or a napkin and then leave it lying around. To avoid damage to, or loss of your brace, always store it in its container/box when it is not being worn.
To keep your removable brace clean, brush it with your regular toothbrush and toothpaste whenever you brush your own teeth. You may wish to purchase brace cleaning tablets from a chemists as an extra measure.
Always insert or remove your brace according to your orthodontist’s instructions. Do not get into the habit of clicking it in and out. This can be damaging to your teeth, to your brace, and very annoying to those around you!
Should I brush my teeth as normal?
You should brush your teeth thoroughly preferably after each meal. Take a travel brush with you to school or work so that you can brush after lunch. Use a fluoride mouthwash or brush with a fluoride gel last thing at night after toothbrushing.
How long will I have to wear my removable brace?
Your orthodontist would have given you some indication of this. Treatment with removable braces usually takes between 4-12 months. You need to attend for regular appointments so that your brace is adjusted and your tooth movements are checked.
Why haven’t you fitted fixed braces instead?
Different braces have different functions. Your orthodontist has assessed and analysed your orthodontic problem to come up with the treatment plan that is customised to produce the best possible improvement for your bite. This sometimes involves wearing removable braces which act to bring about specific changes which fixed braces may not be very efficient at achieving. Treatment with removable braces is quite often (but not always) followed or preceded by fixed brace treatment.
Do I still need to see my regular dentist?
Regardless of the type of orthodontic treatment you are having, you should always continue to arrange six-monthly check-ups with your dentist.
What should I do if my brace is damaged or lost?
Contact the practice as soon as possible for an emergency appointment and/or advice. Do not wait for your next scheduled appointment as this may slow your treatment, or may result in unwanted tooth movement. Very occasionally we may be able to remake your brace in your absence; or repair it if someone else brings in the damaged brace. A charge is made for replacing very damaged or lost braces. If you repeatedly damage or lose your brace, no progress will be made, and treatment may be stopped.