Ask us

Eating and caring for your braces

You will need to watch your diet very carefully while wearing braces to avoid damage to your teeth and gums. Avoid sweet and/or sticky food, sweets, and drinks full of acid like fizzy drinks and fruit juices. If you cannot avoid them, have them with your main meals and drink them through a straw.

Snacking between meals is the main problem. Every time you eat or drink, your teeth are attacked by acids for around 40 minutes, which leads to decay. Your saliva washes this acid away and re-mineralises your teeth, but it needs time to do this. If you eat too frequently the acid is never washed away.

If we see marks appearing on your teeth we may have to remove your brace even if the treatment is not complete.

Braces are quite delicate and so you need to make sure you do not damage them. Breaking your brace may prolong your treatment, and will require you to make an additional visit to us.

The best way of avoiding damage to your brace is to simply be careful what you eat and how hard you bite. Hard and chewy foods and treats such as toffee are off the menu until your treatment is finished. Apples or crusty bread can still be eaten, but do not bite into them – cut them up into small pieces first.

If you are prone to chewing pens or fingernails you need to stop as this can also damage your brace. If you take part in contact sports such as rugby, hockey or martial arts you should protect your teeth and your brace with a special orthodontic mouthguard – please ask for more details.

Care during treatment

Care for your teeth

Keeping your mouth clean and healthy. While wearing a brace, you need to take extra care of your teeth and gums, which means following a strict daily oral healthcare routine.

After every meal you must clean your teeth carefully, using a fluoride toothpaste. Brush around the brace thoroughly, between your teeth and especially brush the gums. If your gums bleed you are not keeping them sufficiently clean.

care for your teeth

Taking proper care of your teeth and gums during orthodontic treatment is absolutely vital to avoid problems such as decay and gum disease.

You should also use a fluoride mouthwash morning and night, after cleaning. Sometimes if your gums are badly swollen and bleeding we may recommend an extra mouthwash containing Chlorlexidene. If you do not keep the brace clean enough, the wires will have to be removed to help cleaning, and we may even have to abandon treatment to avoid permanent damage to your teeth and gums.
It is extremely important that you see your own dentist for regular examinations.

Brace repairs and discomfort:

Brace repairs

brace relief

Your brace is broken if a block is loose, a wire snapped or the chain is missing. Call us for advice, but you must tell us before your next visit that it has broken as we do not always have the time to fix your brace at a routine appointment. We prefer to repair the brace within seven days to avoid problems that can spoil or delay your treatment. If the damage is excessive there may be a charge for the repair/replacement, and if the brace is broken more than three times your treatment may be discontinued.

Discomfort

After your brace has been fitted, you may find that your teeth are tender and your mouth is sore for the first week. This is perfectly normal, and it will get better. We advise you to take whatever painkillers you would normally use for a headache (aspirin should be avoided for children). To minimize the rubbing, you can use Bonjela, Brace Relief or Braceze.

Appointments

We would appreciate it if you would make your appointment before leaving the practice to ensure that we can see you at the appropriate time – we are always booked many weeks in advance. Usually your appointments will be at 10 week intervals. If you are unable to attend, please call and let us know.

More than one missed or cancelled appointment without 48 hours notice may incur a charge. More than three missed or late cancelled appointments may lead to the discontinuation of your treatment.

As most of our patients are of school age, we regret that we are not always able to see children out of school hours. Preference is given to those undertaking GCSE and A levels.

Occasionally we may need to rearrange clinics at short notice for a variety of reasons such as training courses or illness. Please can you make sure we have up-to-date mobile telephone numbers and email addresses so we can contact you easily. Similarly, we do sometimes run late, often due to emergency repairs or a previous patient arriving late – please bear with us and allow sufficient time if you have to wait.