Life With Braces

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Tooth Brushing & Oral Hygiene

Foods to Avoid

Appointments

Mouthguards

Taking care of Problems

What to expect over the first few days

  • There might be some general tenderness of your teeth and mouth. You may need to take some form of pain reliever (what you would normally take for a headache). This tenderness usually subsides within 7 to 10 days.
  • Use the wax provided in your kit to stop the braces and wires from rubbing on the inside of your cheeks and lips to prevent sore spots.
  • If you develop sore spots rinse your mouth with warm salty water several times a day. Ulcer creams such as Bongela or SM 26 can be purchased from your local pharmacy.
  • While your teeth are tender stick to softer foods such as pastas, fish, ice cream, custards, soups etc.

Tooth Brushing & Oral Hygiene

Brushing

  • We recommend you use a soft bristled tooth brush with a small head. Electric tooth brushes are also acceptable.
  • Brush your teeth after breakfast and before bed. If you’re at home it would be a good idea for you to clean your teeth after lunch and any snacks.
  • If you have eaten while away from home, at least use your interdental brush to dislodge any food that may get caught around your braces.
  • Agitating a mouthful of water is another way to dislodge food from your braces, and to keep sugar from sitting on your teeth.
  • Floss your teeth at least every second day.
  • We recommend that you have a regular check up with your dentist every 6 months.

Recaldent Chewing Gum

Recaldent chewing gum helps to prevent acid attacks from food, bacteria, plaque and mouth acids. If you are away from home and brushing is not an option, we recommend that you chew recaldent gum after eating or drinking acidic or high sugar content foods and liquids. Do not have more than four pieces per day. We do not advise you to take Recaldent gum to school.

Tooth Mousse

When undergoing orthodontic treatment you may be advised to start using Tooth Mousse. Tooth mousse contains calcium and phosphate, the major minerals teeth are made from. Like saliva, Tooth Mousse replaces minerals lost by regular acid attack after eating and drinking. When using the paste, place a small amount onto your finger or toothbrush and apply around the areas where the bands and brackets are attached to the teeth. Do not rinse after applying Tooth Mousse however spit out the excess. This product is to be used each night after brushing.

Eating

Foods to Avoid

Eating these or similar foods will break or loosen your braces. Please be careful at all times when eating.

Sticky Foods

  • Bubble gum
  • Toffee
  • Chocolate bars with Nuts and Caramel
  • Roll ups
  • Red Skins
  • Minties and Lollipops

Hard Foods

  • Nuts, Popcorn & Corn Chips
  • Pork Crackling
  • Hard Biscuits
  • Hard Muesli Bars
  • Ice
  • Crusts on Pies and Pizzas
  • Cut up raw carrots, apples and corn on the cob into bite size pieces, to avoid knocking off a bracket.
  • Avoid chewing on pencils, pens and fingernails.

Appointments

  • Adjustment appointments are usually between 8-12 weeks apart.
  • If you wish to know what is happening with your child’s treatment, parents are welcome to come in with their child so that they can specifically speak with Dr. Hall
  • As a health and safety requirement it is preferable that only one person or both parents come into the surgery, as it can become overcrowded.
  • We understand that our patients lead busy lives, however we ask that you provide our practice with at least 24 hours notice should you be unable to attend your scheduled appointment. Your orthodontic care needs to be given a high priority.
  • Cancelling an appointment may mean that your ideal appointment time may then be unavailable.
  • On arrival at our practice and prior to departure, please approach reception to notify of your arrival and to arrange your next appointment.
  • Late arrival for your appointment may result in the need to reschedule your appointment to another date and time. Late patients have a detrimental effect on our other patients who arrive for their appointments on time. Patients who miss their appointment without prior notice will incur a fee.

Mouthguards

  • If you play full contact sports such as football or hockey you need to wear a mouthguard.
  • Custom made mouthguards will not fit for long as your teeth are constantly moving.
  • Dr. Hall can mould a mouthguard for you at your appointment, so please inform us if you require one. There is an additional cost for mouth guards.

Taking care of Problems

Poking wires

As your teeth straighten the arch wire may begin to poke out of the very back brackets and bands, causing it to rub on your cheeks. If the arch wire is poking, place wax over the area. Call our office so that we can arrange an appointment for you to have the wire trimmed.

Broken or loose brackets

It is not uncommon to have 1-2 broken brackets during the course of your orthodontic treatment. It’s important to avoid breakages of brackets (brackets coming off the teeth) as this can have an adverse affect on the progress of your orthodontic treatment. To avoid needless breakage appointments, hard or sticky food must not be eaten. This, as well as playing with the appliances, is the major causes of broken appliances and /or brackets. If a breakage occurs we require you to contact the practice as soon as possible. Please do not leave it until your next appointment to tell us if something is broken or bothering you. We will arrange an appointment to fix this problem as soon as our schedule allows. Please note that the appointments to fix breakages are usually scheduled during school hours.

NOTE: Continue your regular check-ups, cleaning and fluoride treatments from your family dentist at 6 monthly intervals. Your best effort to follow instructions and your hard work will soon reward you with a healthy, beautiful smile. If you ever have any questions / concerns regarding your orthodontic treatment, please do not hesitate to contact the surgery. We are always happy to help.

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