Christchurch Orthodontics Ltd. - Russell Lovatt & Christine Bailey


Jun 30, 2011
Category: General
Posted by: editor
Read our care tips for Braces. Great info on comfort, oral hygiene, adjustments, diet and problems ad solutions

Caring for your new braces

What to expect in terms of discomfort

You will be quite aware of the feeling of the braces against your lips and cheeks straight after they are fitted. You will adjust to this feeling and after the first few days this will become quite natural to you.

Wax can be used as instructed to prevent any rubbing of the brace on your lips or cheeks, and warm salty mouth rinses can be used to ease the discomfort of any ulcers that may develop over the coming months. There will be a pressure feeling on the teeth which may last a few days. During this time you may wish to take some medication, as you would for a headache.  Until the teeth become used to the brace, a soft diet will help in the early stages of the braces being fitted.

Your oral hygiene

Adequate tooth brushing and flossing is paramount when braces are fitted. You will be shown how to brush and floss when the braces are first placed. Please ensure that you brush as instructed. Use the disclosing tablets supplied to self check that you are doing a good job. You may also need to carefully consider your diet to avoid consuming acidic food and drink. Orthodontic appliances do not cause cavities, but because of their presence, plaque and food particles are retained more readily and the cavity potential is increased. It is important to have regular check-ups at your dentist during orthodontic treatment.

  • Use a dry brush with a small amount of toothpaste.
  • Place bristles where gum and teeth meet.
  • Use a circular, vibrating motion around the gum line, spending about 10 seconds around each tooth.
  • Brush slowly around each arch (upper and lower teeth) separately. Concentrate on every tooth.
  • Brush the lower teeth upwards and the upper teeth downwards.
  • Brush the roof of your mouth and tongue too.

Your initial diet

You will expect to be limited to a soft diet for the first few days.  Sometimes it is hard to think of what to have for variety, so here are some suggestions.

Pureed fruit

Warmed waffles or pancakes
Weetbix with plenty of milk
Milk drink- warm hot chocolate or fruit smoothie

Noodles, pasta, rice
Omelettes, quiches etc
Fresh bread without crusts
Soft fruit eg bananas, kiwifruit, melons

Fish - poached or steamed
KFC - mashed potato with gravy is popular
Jelly and ice-cream
Custard and fruit

Even after you are accustome to your braces you will still need to be careful with the hard things you eat ie apples, carrots and hard biscuits. Everyone is different when coping with braces and some people find it easier than others. The same is true for food you can manage at this time. Soon you will realise what you can manage and it will be easy. Sore teeth don’t last for long, so this is always a short term diet. If you have any problems please do not hesitate to ring us for further advice.

Your initial adjustment appointments

With modern braces and wires adjustments are approximately every six to 10 weeks. The modules are replaced at every appointment and if you chose, this is a chance to be creative with your colours! These appointments are usually fifteen minutes long. The teeth will be tender after each adjustment but not as sore as the initial days when the braces were first fitted.

Your treatment time

Treatment time may depend on four things:

  • Patient growth
  • The rate at which the patient’s teeth move
  • The severity of the problem
  • Patient cooperation (most important of all)

To achieve the best result with the least amount of time the patient must do the following:

  • Keep scheduled appointments
  • Practice good oral hygiene
  • Maintain a proper diet
  • Follow instructions
  • See your family dentist for regular check-ups.