Visit your dentist
Orthodontic treatment aims at producing better functioning teeth more attractive smiles; it is important that, even during your orthodontic treatment, you maintain your regular visits to your general dentist. These check-ups should be at six monthly intervals unless your dentist says otherwise.
Keep your teeth clean & healthy – they are the last set you will ever have.
- Full cleaning every morning.
- Full cleaning every night.
- Brief cleaning after meals to remove obvious food deposits.
How? – 3 Steps
- Inter Dental Brushing.
- Tooth Brushing With Fluoride Toothpaste Using 3 Minute Timer.
- Fluoride Mouth Rinse.
1. Interdental brushing
- Inter dental brush resembles a small bottle brush.
- Wet the brush and slip it under the arch wire.
- Clean down the sides of each bracket to completely remove plaque and food particles.
- Change the interdental brush after 5 – 6 days or when worn.
2. Toothbrushing with Timer
- Use a toothbrush with a small head and medium bristles.
- Use a fluoride toothpaste (pea size amount).
- Start at the back in both the upper and lower arch.
- Angle toothbrush at 45 degrees to the gum line.
- Firstly brush between the gum and the tooth
- The bristle tips should move in a circular motion.
- Massage the gums then sweep the bristles away from the gum line.
- Brush the brace itself then the biting surfaces and then the insides of all teeth in both jaws.
- Brushing should take 3 minutes (use 3 minute timer).
3. Fluoride Mouthrinse
- Use 10ml of a 0.5%sodium fluoride rinse.
- Rinse for 1 minute.
- Do not rinse your mouth afterwards.
Avoid the sticky, hard and chewy foods that can break orthodontic appliances. This obviously includes things like chewing gum, toffees, jellies, wine gums, boiled sweets, lollipops etc. Eating these foods can damage your braces and set your treatment back, the result being that you will have to wear your braces longer.
However, it is not just “rubbish” food that will damage your braces – eating hard crusty rolls can damage them, as can eating meat off a bone, or biting through a large crispy carrot, or trying to bite off half an apple in one go….
It is not even just food that cause problems – chewing rulers, opening plastic bottle tops, biting on pens & pencils….all potentially damaging items.
Basically, what it is important to keep remembering is that you need to treat your braces with care. Gentle biting always, will minimise breakages and speed your treatment.
Keep them straight
Hang on to What You’ve Got!
After your days in braces have come to an end, be sure to wear your retainers. There are many different types of retainers but they all serve the same purpose – to keep your teeth straight. It is very important to realise your teeth will continue to move throughout your life. Although the fastest movement in a normal, healthy mouth is when you are young and immediately after your braces have been removed, the movement will continue as long as you live.
So be sensible – wear your retainers according to your Orthodontist’s instructions. Otherwise, your teeth may try to sneak back to their old positions. And, as much as you enjoyed your treatment, you don’t want to start all over again, now do you?
Immediately after you have stopped wearing your braces, the time you spend wearing your retainers will allow new, firm bone to form and help stabilise the correct position of your teeth. If you don’t wear your retainer, your gum tissue will act like an elastic band, dragging your teeth back into their old positions very quickly.