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What you need to know before getting braces

6th December 2019
things you should know

Before your braces are fitted

You will need to be dentally fit. Which means if you’re not a regular dental attender we’ll ask you to see your general dentist for a check-up before we can fit you with any orthodontic appliance.

You’ll need to have a great oral hygiene regime and be prepared to have an even better one once your braces are fitted.

 

Getting your braces fitted

It’s actually rather easy for you, there are no needles, numbing or drilling for any type of orthodontic treatment. If you’re having fixed braces we wash your teeth with a gel that makes the surface rough so that the glue sticks – then, we place the brackets in a precise place on each tooth and set the glue with a light.

With Invisalign, it’s a bit different, but still easy enough for you. Usually, Invisalign patients need ‘attachments’ and interproximal enamel reduction (IPR) before we fit their clear aligners. The attachments are fitted much like the brackets; gel, glue and a light. The IPR is done by passing a ‘sandpaper floss’ between the teeth to remove the required fraction of enamel. This just sounds like it should be uncomfortable but is akin to filing your nail as enamel has no nerves so has no feeling.

 

Be honest with yourself

Treatment selection is important. We can tell you what will work and what will deliver amazing results – but your compliance and commitment to treatment is a huge factor. Invisalign, for example, requires you to be committed to 22 hours of wear per day. You really can only take them out for eating, drinking & brushing your teeth. It does, of course, allow for the occasional night out, special event and work meeting. If you’d like Invisalign – but you’re not 100% confident that you’ll wear them, then speak to us about ‘wear indicators’!

If you’d like lingual braces that are fitted to the insides of your teeth you’re going to need to be patient and be scrupulous with your cleaning.

We’ve got dedicated treatment coordinators so if you’re considering a course of orthodontics and would like to know what brace treatment requires what commitment then you can book a free consultation either before or after your specialist orthodontic consultation.

 

Get your braces tightened

It’s not that bad, we promise! The first few days after you have them fitted your teeth will feel bruised, sore and achy – but that will never feel quite as bad again. The adjustments get easier and less achy each time.

The same can be said for changing your aligners  (which you do yourself at home every 1-2 weeks). The first few days of the new aligner make your teeth feel sore, but that eases off as you progress through your treatment.

 

Giving stuff up!

You’ll tell yourself you will, but in our experience less than half of our patients actually will give up peanuts, popcorn, caramel, gum, Doritos, apples, carrots, corn on the cob, ice, pizza crust, beef jerky, hard candy, pretzels, bagels, french stick, corn chips, and FIZZY DRINKS etc.

Tips to get braces off early

So here’s a guide to eating those foods, not getting caught, and tips and tricks on how to get your braces off early.

  1. Brush your teeth thoroughly after eating sticky foods, and  chew them lightly with the biting surfaces of your back molar teeth
  2. Don’t use your front teeth to bite into anything! The glue we use is designed to be ‘snapped’ off. This biting action mimics the force we use to remove your braces.
  3. You can eat popcorn. Just be prepared to get your interdental cleaning toothbrush out in the cinema! And, get a water pik –  you’ll be set to eat any food your heart desires. Except for jawbreakers. Don’t eat jawbreakers. Or Bhubba Chubbs!
  4. Keep all fizzy drinks, diet, sugar-free and otherwise to a minimum and try to have them with a meal rather than throughout the day.
  5. Your braces might break on stupid things – that’s life. just get into us ASAP. As soon as that tooth isn’t connected to your brace it starts heading back to where it came from!
  6. WEAR YOUR RUBBER BANDS, IT’S NOT RUBBISH. Just. Wear. Them. You SERIOUSLY get your braces off faster.
  7. Keep your teeth CLEAN. Happy, healthy, clean teeth move faster than those covered in plaque. Plaque can harden on the wire and stop your teeth moving altogether. Also! You don’t want to end up with irreversible white square stains on your teeth.

Getting your braces off

Following active treatment, it is vital to wear a retainer to keep your teeth in their newly aligned position. If you don’t, they could start moving and may need straightening again.

Retainers are usually worn full-time for the first three months and then just at night for a further three months.

If you want to protect the time and money you have invested in your teeth, it’s wise to keep your retainers and continue to wear them at least 2-3 nights a week.

 

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