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Knowing your braces

Congratulations, you've taken the first step towards a healthy, beautiful smile.

Now your braces are fitted there are a few things you need to be aware of. There are some types of food and drink you’ll need to avoid, and some types of food you might have to eat in a different way.

Also, your braces might be uncomfortable from time to time and you might occasionally have a breakage. This guide to your braces should help you deal with these problems if and when they arise.

First aid

  1. During the first few days of wearing braces your teeth will be slightly sensitive. During this time, try to eat a soft diet, food like pastas, soups, eggs, yoghurt, etc.
  2. If you’re having some discomfort, pain relief like Panadol or Disprin should help.
  3. When you talk, smile, and laugh, your braces may rub on your lips and cheeks, possibly causing ulcers. This usually happens before your mouth gets used to having braces. If this is a problem, place the Brace Relief supplied by your orthodontist onto your braces to create a smooth surface. Make sure the area is completely dry before you apply the Brace Relief to ensure it sticks properly.

Dealing with breakages

Sometimes your braces might break; this can happen for a variety of reasons. If you have a breakage, call our office as soon as possible to arrange an appointment to have repairs or adjustments made.

Bent or broken wire

As your teeth move, the archwires from your braces can become distorted, or the ends of wires can protrude from the back of the molar tubes. If this occurs, use Brace Relief on the exposed wire for temporary relief until you can come in to have the wire trimmed.

Loose bracket or tube

Brackets, which act as handles for the archwire, have been bonded on to each of your teeth. If a bracket breaks off, you may need to wear your braces for a longer period of time, so it is very important to notify us as soon as this happens. If more than one bracket is loose please mention this when you call, because we’ll need to book a longer appointment to fix them.

Sometimes it’s difficult to know straight away when a bracket has come off. You should notice it when brushing as the bracket will be loose on the archwire. Another reason to brush regularly!

Missing O rings and ligatures

O rings and ligatures are used to attach the archwire to the brackets. If one of these comes off, it is not an urgent problem, although if the wire comes out of the bracket as a result, you’ll need to schedule an appointment to have this fixed within a week. 

Eating with braces

To help avoid breakages, you need to be very careful while eating. There are even some foods you must not eat at all while you are wearing braces. To help your treatment go smoothly, take the following advice into consideration.

Do not eat

  1. Lollies- particularly chewy ones, like Toffees, Minties, Redskins, Fantales, Etc.
  2. Chocolates and chocolate bars, like Mars, Crunchie, Cherry Ripe, etc
  3. Roll-ups
  4. Muesli bars
  5. Pork crackling

Be aware

  1. Hard, crunchy fruits and vegetables like apples, pears, carrots and celery should be cut into bite-sized pieces and chewed on the back teeth, not bitten with the front teeth.
  2. When eating bones (i.e. chicken wings, drumsticks, chop bones), use a knife and not your teeth to cut the meat off.
  3. Use a knife, rather than your teeth, to eat corn on the cob.
  4. Be particularly careful when eating food such as pizza crusts and baguettes.
  5. Soft drinks like Coke, Pepsi, & 7Up are very sugary and acidic and should be avoided during treatment. 

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