How To Look After Your Braces At Home

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Orthodontist In London Waterloo | Whites Dental
Orthodontic Braces & Invisalign In London | Whites Dental

Looking after your braces for maximum results and oral hygiene

Millions of people around the world straighten their teeth using orthodontic braces. Braces aren’t just for teenagers; adults also are just as interested in straightening their teeth with braces. We will go so far as to say that a vast majority of our brace patients are adults over the age of 25. Straightening your teeth can be life-changing for many people; it can transform your smile and give you the confidence to smile freely again. The process can take anywhere between 3-4 months to sometimes over a year to complete. With advances in orthodontic technology, a number of brace options are available to both adults and teenagers. Regardless of what brace option you have decided to use, it’s important that you look after your braces at home, to ensure you get the maximum benefit from the treatment.

We provide below some guidance on how to look after your orthodontic braces from home. This becomes all the more important during the lockdown.

Invisalign braces – Wear your Invisalign aligners as advised by your orthodontist. If you are on your last set of aligners provided to you and need more, contact your dentist to get further advice. You need to ensure you accurately follow the guidance provided by your dentist – e.g. wear the aligners for 22 hours a day, remove them while eating, drinking and brushing. Regularly clean your aligners to remove food debris and prevent them from cracking or turning yellow.

Fixed braces – Just as you need to be aware of how to look after your Invisalign braces at home, it’s important you follow the guidance of your orthodontist on how to maintain your fixed braces at home. Ensure you avoid hard food items that can cause your brackets to come off. Also avoid edibles such as corn on the cob, ice cubes, sugary chewing gums etc. They can damage your orthodontic hardware. You also need to ensure you maintain good oral hygiene to reduce the risk of tooth decay and caries.

Elastics bands for fixed braces are a case in point. Continue wearing your elastic rubber bands as prescribed by your orthodontist until such time that the top front teeth are roughly 2mm in front of your bottom teeth. Once this position has been achieved, wear the elastic bands at night only in order to maintain the position of the teeth.

how to look after your orthodontic braces at home | Whites Dental

Also ensure that you are biting together normally on the back teeth. If you are unsure whether your teeth have moved to their correct positions, take a portrait picture of your teeth on your mobile phone and email the pictures to your dentist. Your dentist will then be able to let you know what to do next.

Functional appliances (or twin block orthodontic braces) – If you are wearing twin block orthodontic braces, you should keep them in, but do not turn the screw (in-case you are still turning the screw as discussed with your dentist). You should continue wearing the twin block braces for 9 months from the time your braces were fitted. So for example, if your braces were fitted 5 months ago, continue to wear the braces for another 4 months.

Retainers (wearing and caring for them) – If you are wearing a retainer on completion of your orthodontic brace treatment, you should continue to wear the retainer as advised by the dentist. If you don’t do this, your teeth will likely start to move back to their original pre-treatment positions. Leaving your retainer off for even 1 to 2 days could cause your teeth to move again.

You should ensure you wear your retainer every night. If for whatever reason you miss a night, you should make up for this by wearing your retainer the following day. If you completed your orthodontic brace treatment over a year ago, you can begin to reduce the duration of time that you wear the retainer. Start by wearing the retainer every other night; however, if the retainer feels tighter than it usually does or you feel that the positon of your teeth is changing, you should increase how long and how often you wear the retainers. At Whites Dental, our orthodontists advice patients to wear their retainers every other night at a minimum to ensure teeth remain straight. If you wear a fixed retainer, you should continue to brush teeth as normal and also wear the removable retainer as usual at night. Clean the removable retainer in liquid soap and cold water. You can also use Retainer Brite.

Broken / lost retainers – If you have managed to lose your removable retainer or broken it by mistake, you should contact your orthodontist as quickly as possible. Your dentist will then order you a replacement retainer. If your fixed retainer has come off completely, you should keep wearing your removable retainer while sleeping at night. You should contact your dentist, who can then fix your fixed retainer.

Brace wires digging in – If your brace wires are digging in, you or a friend or a family member may be able to use a regular set of tweezers to position the wire within the tube or band. Alternatively, you can use a nail clipper or a pair of scissors to reduce the long end of the wire.

Orthodontist In London Waterloo | Whites Dental

We hope the guidance above will address the vast proportion of common issues that can arise at home during the lockdown. However, if you have any specific question about orthodontic braces at home, please email us and we will try to answer your question as quickly as we can. If you haven’t decided on your type of braces yet you could opt for a removable brace treatment consider a complementary orthodontic consultation with our Whites Dental dentists. Email us at [email protected] or call us on 0208 616 0590 to book a complementary consultation. You can find out more about fixed braces on our orthodontic homepage we have two clinic locations at London Waterloo and Marble Arch and can offer a range of consultations in-clinic, via telephone or video meeting.

At Whites Dental, our orthodontic dentists provide a range of fixed orthodontic braces to patient’s in London – these include traditional fixed metal braces, Damon braces, Lingual braces, fixed ceramic braces and Fastbraces. We are located in London Waterloo, right adjacent to Southwark tube station. We are also a short walk away from Borough Market, Elephant and Castle and London Bridge.

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