- A minimum of 5 minutes each morning and night is sufficient to keep the plaque from building up around your braces, providing you are concentrating on the correct areas. Work the toothbrush over your braces and remember to brush half on the tooth and half on the gum. If your tooth brushing is unacceptable, we will make you brush your teeth at the sink before each adjustment appointment.
- Electric Toothbrush – This Oral-B “Pulsar” toothbrush is to be used in the same manner as a regular toothbrush; however, the vibrations help to remove plaque and food caught in the braces.
- Orthodontic Toothbrush – This toothbrush has specially designed bristles that help to get in between the braces to remove plaque and dislodge food.
- Interdental Brushes – The interdental toothbrush allows access to areas under brackets and wires, to help remove stubborn food and clean away plaque that was missed in your regular tooth brushing routine. The interdental brush has a fine tip that enables you to slide the brush under the wires and around the brackets. Do not force the brush between gaps in your teeth and always aim away from your gums.
Disclosing tablets are used as an indication of how well you are brushing your teeth. After brushing your teeth, chew one tablet and sit it under your tongue for 30 seconds until the tablet has dissolved. Swish around the dye in your mouth for another 30 seconds making sure you spread the dye over all areas of your teeth. Rinse your mouth out really well until what you are spitting out is clear. Check your teeth in the mirror. Any areas on the teeth that are stained dark pink or red are areas that you have missed when brushing your teeth. It’s best to use these once a week for the first month, then use once a month, or as needed to check that your brushing is adequate.
Brace Relief Wax
The wax is very useful if the braces are rubbing or cutting the inside of your cheeks, lips, and gums. If any bracket or wire is causing irritation, dry the area and apply a small portion of the wax to the bracket/wire. If the wax is accidentally swallowed when eating it is okay, as the wax is non-toxic. It is very important to remove all of the wax before brushing to make sure you get a thorough clean.
Tooth & Gum Care
During braces treatment, we recommend the use of ACT rinse. This mouth rinse is designed to strengthen any areas that may become compromised from a build up of plaque and areas that are hard to reach with your toothbrush. The mouth rinse is to be used daily. After brushing your teeth, hold the rinse in your mouth for one minute, swishing around all the braces, then spit out. It’s best to use the rinse before going to bed as you won’t be able to eat or drink anything after rinsing for a period of time. It is important to keep the rinse out of reach of young children who may swallow it. We also highly recommend the nightly use of an Oral Water Irrigator.
If something breaks, comes loose, or you are having problems with long wires digging in, please contact the surgery as soon as possible. We may not need to see you immediately; however, the sooner the problem can be fixed, the better.
Do not eat hard foods such as nuts, popcorn, ice and boiled lollies. Do not eat sticky or chewy foods such as caramels, toffees, chewing/bubble gum and minties. These foods can cause unnecessary breakages and become lodged between the wires. When eating fresh fruits, vegetables, and meats (especially steak), always cut into small, bite-sized pieces and try to chew on your back teeth. Do not bite directly into apples, carrots, corn on the cob etc, as they cause extra strain on the front brackets, and can cause the brackets to break away from the teeth. It is also important not to chew on pens, pencils etc. Extra bends in the wires are the result, and can cause teeth to move in the wrong direction.
There will be initial discomfort for a few days after the braces are fitted, and discomfort can also be expected at major adjustment appointments. We recommend keeping acetaminophen or ibuprofen on hand throughout your treatment to help relieve discomfort.
We will see you frequently once your braces have been fitted. Initial adjustments may be as frequent as 5 weeks, but as the teeth straighten and we use different wires, the adjustments may be as far as 3 months apart. It is important to keep your adjustment appointments so that your teeth move in accordance to your treatment plan. This could also help your braces to be removed sooner.