Once your braces or aligners have been fitted to your teeth, we won't need to see you for another six to eight weeks. That's when you'll come in to have your appliance tightened or changed. But in between these 'tightening appointments', it's vital you look after your teeth for optimum results.
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. This means proper tooth brushing and flossing is paramount. We'll show you how to do this and it's important you brush as instructed. You may also need to carefully consider your diet to avoid consuming acidic food and drink.
How to clean your braces
- 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, concentrating on every tooth
- Brush the lower teeth upwards and the upper teeth downwards
- Brush the roof of your mouth and tongue too
What NOT to eat with braces
When you start wearing braces you should avoid the following foods;
- Chewy foods: crusts, hard rolls, liquorice
- Crunchy foods: popcorn, ice, chips
- Sticky foods: caramels, gum
- Hard foods: nuts, candy
- Foods you have to bite into: corn on the cob, apples, carrots
Chewing on hard things (for example, pens, pencils, or fingernails) can damage the braces which will cause treatment to take longer.