After fitting your orthodontic appliance (brace), it is important to follow some simple but important instructions. We have also provided some useful information and advice regarding after care.
TOOTHBRUSHING AND ORAL HYGIENEOral hygiene
is critical to the success of treatment. Please brush normally 2-3 times a day using a manual or electric toothbrush. It will be very difficult to floss your teeth but interdental brushes can still be used, which are very effective. The use of a mouthwash is advised on a regular basis, ideally containing fluoride.
The latest developments in interdental hygiene include devices such as the Airfloss by Philips and Waterpik units. These are excellent adjunctive techniques and highly recommended for the hard to reach areas. They use a combination of pressure, air and water (or mouthwash) to flush debris away from the contact areas of the teeth.
PREVENTING TOOTH DECAY
Adhering to a sound oral hygiene regime coupled with the use of fluoride toothpaste and mouthwash will generally prevent any decay around the brace. However, you should also carefully monitor sugar intake throughout the day. High frequency of sugar throughout the day will increase the risk of tooth decay considerably especially when wearing braces. Now is the time to really cut down on those sugary snacks and drinks!
We strongly advise using MI plus paste by GC. This is excellent at reversing early decay within the tooth enamel and will help to prevent decay or dimineralisation around the orthodontic brackets. Simply rub a small amount of the paste around the brace with your finger and tongue and discard the excess. Then leave overnight, do NOT rinse with water or mouthwash afterwards.
It is important to adopt a soft diet for the first few weeks. This is especially important with lingual braces. Foods to avoid are:
- Hard crunchy foods such as crusty bread
- Sticky foods such as toffees
- Chewy meats
- Unpitted olives and stone fruits
If you have a tooth coloured brace, please avoid staining foods which could discolour the temporary elastics. These include:
- Rich tomato based sauces with oil
- Effervescent table drinks such as vitamin supplements and Berroca
LIP OR TONGUE IRRITATION
Braces can cause irritation to the tongue or lip after fitting. This will settle once you have become accustomed to the appliance. In the meantime, orthodontic wax or putty placed over the brackets can help to provide some temporary relief. We will provide this for you.
Due to the modern technology, there is much reduced pain compared to systems of the past. However, there may be some intermittent pain. Regular pain relief such as paracetamol, ibuprofen or a combination of both should be effective. If there is prolonged severe pain, please contact us.
Of course, the most important aspect is that dental braces are temporary! Time will fly by and your teeth will be straight before you know it!