Living with Braces

What's it like living with braces?

Our Orthodontists will give you advice about looking after your brace and teeth. On this page we have included some handy tips to help whilst living with braces.

Brushing your teeth

Don’t be afraid to brush your teeth! It is very important that you take the time and effort needed to keep your teeth and braces clean. This will avoid problems such as tooth decay and inflamed gums. It is also important to keep attending your regular dental check-ups with your dental team during your Orthodontic treatment. This is to make sure that your teeth and mouth stay healthy.

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Looking after your brace

Clean your teeth and the brace thoroughly after each meal. It is best to leave around one hour before brushing. Pay special attention to every tooth and the gum line around it.

For removable appliances, our Orthodontist will be able to show you the best techniques for cleaning your aligner or brace. Clean your appliance over a sink full of water to avoid damage if you drop it. Use a separate toothbrush for cleaning your brace. Gently brush the brace with toothpaste and rinse it thoroughly with fresh water.

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Adjustment appointments

After your initial fitting and each adjustment appointment, it will take you a few days to get used to your brace. Your brace may feel uncomfortable and tight against your teeth due to the pressure. Painkillers can help.

Some parts of the brace can also cause discomfort to your gums and lips. You can use orthodontic wax to put on the troubled area, as we have shown you at your fitting appointment. You can always purchase more wax from us if you’ve run out.

If your brace is causing continued soreness that cannot be managed with dental wax at home, get in touch with us for more guidance.

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Contact sports

If you have a removable appliance, it is best to take it out before any sport and put it back in straight after.

If your brace is fixed, use a mouthguard to protect the brace and your teeth- whilst in treatment, as your teeth move, it’s best to avoid mouthguards that are custom-made (boiled in water, made by a laboratory). Please speak to our reception team for more information and to purchase one.

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Eating with braces

Eating the wrong foods can damage or break your brace. Keep to soft foods for the first few days.

Whatever type of brace you have, you should avoid sticky, chewy and sugary foods. Chewing gum is not recommended as it can stick to your brace. Avoid hard foods such as whole apples, raw carrots, baguettes, and crusty rolls. These foods can break the wires and brackets.

Food may build up in the brackets and in between your teeth so maintaining a regular and thorough cleaning regime will avoid any embarrassing food between the teeth.

Avoid fizzy drinks and natural fruit juices, as these are often high in sugar which can lead to tooth decay. Fizzy drinks can also stain the brackets of your brace. If you do drink these types of drinks, use a straw. Water and plain milk are the safest drinks.

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Broken braces & wires

If a wire breaks, cover the end with orthodontic wax, a small cotton ball, or piece of gauze until you can get to the Practice. Never cut the wire, as you could end up breathing it into your lungs or swallowing it.

If a bracket comes away from your tooth during treatment, please contact your orthodontist. Usually, the bracket will stay attached to the wire and can be left until your next appointment unless causing irritation. If the bracket does come away from the wire please keep it safe and bring it with you to your next appointment.

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