Looking after your fixed brace
If you have been fitted with an orthodontic appliance, to get the most out of your treatment you need to look after it. This includes careful brushing and flossing after every meal, avoiding food that may damage your braces and visiting both your orthodontist and your dentist throughout your treatment.
The first few weeks after your braces have been fitted is the time you are most likely to experience some issues. This is perfectly normal as it can take a bit of getting used to wearing braces.
You may experience some discomfort during this time caused by loose brackets, wires snapping or disengaging, or the wire being too long at the end of the bracket. These problems may be a result of any number of issues, such as:
- Inappropriate food, i.e. hard/crunchy/sticky foods
- Too much food in your mouth (overloading)
- Habits such as chewing pens and nail biting
- Deep or strong biting – an upper tooth may be biting too much on a particular lower bracket or lower wire
- Grinding at night
- Cement or bonding problems
- Complex force systems – where a force applied to a certain tooth results in the bracket-cement seal breaking or the wire snapping
- Deliberate damage
How to deal with discomfort
If you have:
- Loose bracket – Cover with wax if it is causing discomfort.
- Long wire – Cover with wax if it is causing discomfort, or try to cut it with scissors or nail clippers.
- Snapped wire – Pull the two pieces out (only possible if the wires are thin)
- Wire slipped out of the end of the bracket – Try to push it back into the tube or cover it with relief wax if it causes discomfort. Ideally, the initial wire should be engaged in the end bracket, but if it comes out too easily it is best to wait until the next thicker wire size can be fitted.
Discomfort at the start of treatment very rarely increases the total treatment time. However, breakages during the later stages of treatment might result in increased treatment times if we have to revert to thinner wires. If you experience severe discomfort that you cannot repair please call us on 01245 46 3000 to book a comfort appointment if necessary.
** Breakage and comfort appointments out of hours are charged at £195 per appointment.
Don’t ignore your dentist just because you’re visiting an orthodontist regularly. It is still important to visit your dentist for a checkup and cleaning. You should go at least twice a year, or as often as your dentist and orthodontist recommend.
For more information on caring for your fixed brace, download our handy care guide.