Fixed Braces Instructions
Fitting Your Fixed Brace
- Brackets are stuck to each tooth with special glue, then a thin wire is fastened across the brackets, tightening your teeth.
- Please arrive promptly for your appointments. A late arrival disrupts the clinic and is unfair to other patients who arrive on time. If the clinic is busy, late arrivals may need to be reappointed.
- Your treatment time can take anything from 1-3 years, though we have found in all cases that patients who come regularly to appointments finish their treatment a lot quicker than those who continuously miss their appointments.
- Patients need to come in every 5-12 weeks for a check-up, depending on their clinical condition and stage of treatment. Braces work by tightening the wire and repositioning brackets every check-up, moving the teeth in small increments until, eventually, the teeth are fully straightened.
- After the 5-12 weeks, your teeth would have finished moving, and waiting any longer would just prolong your treatment, hence why it is important for you to come to all your appointments.
- Initial Discomfort – following the fitting of your braces, your teeth may feel loose and quite tender. A soft diet is recommended and painkillers may be required.
- Wax – use soft wax to ease any soreness or rubbing. Tear off a small piece of wax and roll it into a little ball, gently stick this over any part of your braces that feels sharp to your lips, cheeks or tongue. This is usually only needed for the first few weeks.
- Visiting Your Orthodontist – failure to keep appointments and repeated breakages will result in prolonged treatment. If your braces break and as a result you are in discomfort, ring the surgery to make an appointment as soon as possible so that we can sort this out for you.
Please return the broken parts of your braces to the practice. Please note that you may not be seen if you have not made an appointment and even then, a second appointment may have to be arranged to repair your braces at another time if the practice is busy on the day.
- Visit Your Dentist – to ensure good dental health, do not forget to visit your own dentist for regular check-ups while undergoing orthodontic treatment.
Get more advice
Important Oral Hygiene advice with a Fixed Brace
From now on, you will need to spend more time cleaning your teeth and your braces. Neglect will cause swelling and bleeding of your gums, tooth decay and marking/staining of your teeth around the brackets.
- Brush after each meal.
- Use a small compact-headed toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. Make sure the gum margins are also brushed thoroughly even if they bleed initially when you brush them.
- A fine interdental toothbrush will also be a particularly useful aid for getting in between the braces’ components and the tooth surface.
- The use of a daily alcohol-free fluoride mouthwash after brushing in the morning and last thing at night, is strongly recommended. Fluoride strengthens the enamel, making it more resistant to tooth decay.
- It may also be useful to use disclosing tablets occasionally to check that you are removing all the plaque from your teeth. To use the disclosing tablets in your new pack, chew one after brushing and make sure to swill it well around your mouth to get the resulting powder in your mouth around all of your teeth, spitting out any excess bits into a tissue. The tablets will stain the parts of your teeth that have not been cleaned properly in dark pink, then brush your teeth again, making sure to clean more thoroughly in these areas.
Out of hours, there are two things you can do:
- Call 111 for the NHS Helpline
- If you wish you can attempt to (temporarily) ease the problem yourself:
- If a bracket is loose and causing you pain, you can apply wax to it.
- If you have an ulcer, you can apply Oragel or Anbesol to relieve the pain.
Dos for your braces
The glue on your braces is not strong; braces and wires are fragile and eating the wrong food can break your braces and/or damage your teeth. Good diet and oral hygiene are key to having successful treatment with no problems.
- Do avoid all sticky foods like gum, caramel, toffee, skittles, lollies
- Do cut up all fruits and vegetables into bite size pieces
- Do THINK before you toss hard foods in your mouth – bite food gently
- Do drink things that are low in sugar and not carbonated. The sugar and acidity can stain your teeth and cause cavities.
- Do brush your teeth 3 times a day
- Do use interdental brushes to brush between the brackets
- Do brush the gums gently in a circular motion
- Do ask us for an orthodontic mouth guard if you play any contact sport
- Do follow your orthodontist’s instructions, including wearing elastic bands
- Do come for your appointment and reschedule as soon as possible if you need to
- Do use wax if your braces are irritating your lips or cheeks
Donts for your braces
- Don’t listen to people that say it is OK to chew gum with braces!!!
- Don’t chew on ice, hard sweets, tortilla chips, pretzels or hard bread
- Don’t chew on pens, pencils or your fingernails
- Don’t drink soda, fizzy and acidic drinks
- Don’t forget to use interdental brushes
- Don’t forget to gargle with alcohol free fluoride mouthwash twice a day and use it only after brushing the teeth (ideally after 30 minutes)
- Don’t touch the braces with your tongue or your hands!
- Don’t remove elastic bands unless your orthodontist has told you to. These bands are an important part of aligning your teeth and correcting your bite.
- Don’t forget that every time something in your mouth is loose or broken, your treatment becomes LONGER. We want your treatment to be short and FUN!
- Don’t forget to call if you have something loose or broken! We need to know in ADVANCE so we can schedule more time.
Do Your Best!
If you have any queries about your treatment please contact us on: