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Brace Aftercare

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Medically reviewed by: Dr Anthony Lam Specialist Orthodontist, BDS (Hons), MSc (Lond), MOrth RCS (Edin)

25th February 2020
brace aftercare

brace aftercare

Having braces fitted is a breeze for some and a difficult for others – so we’ve written a handy brace aftercare advice to see you through. If you need to see us or to ask a question, then please get in touch right away. Making sure you’re comfortable is our priority.

As soon as your braces are fitted

If you have had fixed braces fitted, it’s totally normal for your brace to feel a bit scratchy and big –  your soft tissues will adapt over the next 2-3 days and the brace will feel like it’s always been there

Orthodontic Wax

If the brackets feel really rough on your cheeks and lips you can use the wax we have given you to alleviate the rubbing. Take a large piece, roll it into a ball and place it over the bracket- It’s important to stick the wax to a dry bracket as your saliva can stop it from sticking – Tip! Pull your lip out of the way and breathe in through your teeth to make it dry or use a hairdryer on the cool setting! Don’t be tempted to use a towel to dry the brace – the loops can get caught on the bracket and pull it off.

brace oral hygiene

Initial Brace Movement

The wire between each of the metal squares, called brackets, is putting a constant, gentle force onto your teeth which will mean that in the first few hours after the brace has been fitted your teeth will feel a bit bruised, sore or achey – again this is to be expected and totally normal.


If it is anymore than bruised & sore – you can take ibuprofen or paracetamol, whichever you would normally take for a headache. Be sure to read the dose instructions on the packet.

Food to avoid

For the first few days you’ll want to steer clear of hard, chewy & tough foods like French baguettes and try to have a softer diet – like mashed potato, pasta or white fish.

It’s important to have sugary food in moderation and to keep your brace immaculately clean. Throughout the duration of your treatment you need to avoid biting into hard foods like apples or carrots. The direction of force applied when you do is the same that we use to debond your brace,  you might end up sheering the brackets off your teeth. (This won’t be painful, but you will need to come back in, and of course, the brace won’t be working if its not bonded to your tooth).

cleaning your brace

Now that your brace is fitted the brace aftercare is its down to you. Happy, healthy, clean teeth move faster than teeth covered in plaque and if any plaque goes hard it can stop the teeth from moving along the brace altogether.

Think of your teeth in 3 sections – 1. On top of your brace, 2. Your brace and 3. Below your brace. The aim is to reach as much of your tooth surface with the toothbrush bristles as possible.

You  can also use a single tufted toothbrush, this is important to get to the tooth surface behind the brace wire, clean the tooth surface and the side of each bracket.

Cleaning your teeth is going to take you longer than 2 minutes in the morning and 2 minutes in the evening – you’ll need to allow about 5 minutes and most of our patients take the travel toothbrush in their bag and decant some mouthwash into a travel bottle so that they can get food out of their brace at lunchtime. You’ll notice food stuck in your brace quite a bit and you’ll want to fish it out.


If you don’t keep your teeth and your brace clean and reduce your sugar intake it’s probable that you’ll get decalcification – which is irreversible. Decalcification is the beginnings of decay and starts as white lesions that progress to brown and eventually, becomes decay. The worst thing about it is the squares it leaves on your teeth. You don’t want perfectly straight teeth with yellow squares.

brace aftercare

Other things to consider

Breakages can delay your treatment time – so avoid biting on anything with your front teeth. Tough food like baguettes, pizzacrust, toffees, carrots and apples, use your back teeth to chew. While we’ll always see you for breakages they can sometimes mean we have to go back a few steps in your treatment so try and avoid them. Make sure you come in and see us ASAP with a breakage.

Attending regular appointments is a vital part of brace aftercare. Missing appointments can also delay your treatment time, so try and be organised – book a few in advance so that we see you often.

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