The Do’s and Don’ts For Caring For Your Braces
By Dr Gwen Ho
Now that you’ve had your braces fitted, there’ll be some discomfort and it will take a few days to weeks for you to get used to the feeling of braces in your mouth.
Here are some do’s and don’ts to follow that will help you to make the best out of and to keep your braces treatment on track to reduce unnecessary delay in your journey to straight teeth.
Do brush your teeth after every meal
Proper brushing after every meal and paying attention to the areas around your braces is important to prevent swollen gums and tooth decay.
You will need an orthodontic brush and proximal brush for the care of your oral hygiene. Fluoride mouthwash can also be used as an adjunct to prevent gum problems and tooth decay.
Do take painkillers
It is normal to feel discomfort in the 1-2 days after fitting of your braces or after each braces adjustment appointment as your teeth starts to move. You may go on a soft diet during this period or take mild painkillers such as Paracetamol to relief your discomfort.
Do use your dental wax
If your braces are irritating your lips or cheeks which may cause ulcers, be sure to place a small amount of dental wax over the bracket that is rubbing.
Do see your dental hygienist
It is important that you see your dental hygienist for your regular 6 monthly scaling and polishing to prevent gum problems or for early detection and prevention of decay.
Don’t eat hard, chunky and sticky food
You can still be able to eat most of the food while wearing braces, but start with soft foods in the first week to prevent breaking off your brackets. Biting into large, tough food can damage your braces and wires. This includes biting onto whole apples, nuts, corn on the cob, French loaf etc. Be sure to cut them into bite-sized pieces before you eat them.
You should avoid eating hard or sticky sweet eg. toffee, caramel, chewing gum as these food tends to pull on the wires and brackets off your teeth.
Also, avoid biting onto ice cubes as cold temperature can soften, distort or break the wires on your braces.
Don’t drink soda
Soda/carbonated drinks, juices and energy drinks are high in sugars and acid which will promote demineralisation and tooth decay when proper oral hygiene is deficient.
Don’t self-adjust your braces
If you notice that any of your brackets has loosen or the end of the wire is poking onto your cheeks, do not adjust the braces yourself or cut the wire.
Be sure to make an appointment to get them fixed as soon as possible, so your treatment stays on track.
Don’t miss your appointment
It is important that you keep to your appointment schedule and be punctual for your braces appointment so that you allow your dentist to adjust your braces to avoid delay in your treatment.