Caring for your braces

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Hygiene

Maintaining good oral hygiene is one of the most important things you can do for your teeth and gums. Healthy teeth not only look good but they make it possible to eat and speak properly. Good oral health is important to our overall wellbeing.

Daily preventive care including proper brushing and flossing, will help stop problems before they develop and will keep your smile looking beautiful while preventing bad breath. People undergoing orthodontic treatment need to be even more dedicated to good oral hygiene.

Diet

Diet can play a major role in the health of the oral cavity. Foods high in sugar and carbohydrates are the worst for teeth when it comes the development of decay. Bacteria in the mouth metabolise these sugars and during this process produce acid.  The mouth can become more acidic which can cause demineralisation of the enamel surfaces of the teeth, which over time forms cavities.

While wearing braces you need to think twice about eating foods that could increase your risk of cavities. You should also avoid anything that may damage or break your brackets or wires.

In general, braces, new retainers and other appliances are liable to cause teeth to be tender for a day or two. A balanced diet is always important for healthy teeth and gums and general wellbeing but while your teeth are tender eating soft foods or cutting food into smaller mouthfuls will help.

Caring for Retainers

Every time you brush your teeth, brush your retainer as well. Once a day or at least once a week, disinfect your retainer by soaking it in a denture cleanser recommended by your Orthodontist. Thoroughly rinse the retainer with plain water before placing it back in your mouth.

Playing Sports While Wearing Braces

You can continue to participate in any sport you choose when you have braces. When playing sports where there is a possibility of getting hit in the mouth, a specially designed mouthguard will need to be worn. The mouthguard, made of durable plastic, is designed to fit comfortably over your braces and will protect the soft tissues inside your mouth.

Will my teeth be sore?

After braces have been put on, it is usual for teeth to be sore for up to 24 hours. This initial discomfort may even last 3 to 4 days. Panadol will help to relieve this discomfort. A soft diet is also recommended.

Will braces cause ulcers in my mouth?

When you first get braces, you could experience some ulcers in your mouth due to irritation. If you rinse with warm salty water several times a day, they will usually heal within a week. We provide orthodontic wax to our patients when they get braces as this helps protect the inside of your lips and cheeks from rubbing against the brackets, which in turn helps prevent ulcers forming. Your soft tissues will become accustomed to the braces and after a while you shouldn’t need to use wax anymore.

Do I still need to see my dentist?

It is important that you maintain your normal six-monthly visits to your family dentist or school clinic during your orthodontic treatment to ensure oral health is maintained. Orthodontic treatment may need to be put on hold or stopped altogether if there is a significant deterioration in your oral health during the active treatment period.

Click here for more information on Caring For Your Braces.