Firstly, it is important to have a good level of oral hygiene and a regular oral hygiene regime that you follow before we put the braces on. Having braces on your teeth can make the cleaning a lot trickier! They provide great hiding places for foods to get stuck. We will give you an electric toothbrush and little gadgets (floss and interdental brushes) to help you keep your teeth clean, but it is important to follow proper ways of cleaning your teeth! We will ensure you have got all the right tips to set you for a good life-long habit!
Try to brush after each meal. If you don’t have a toothbrush with you after lunch, have a good rinse with water at least, to flush out as much food as possible.
Use interdental brushes (small ‘bottle’ brushes) to clean underneath the wire and around the brackets where your toothbrush cannot reach.
Plaque, often left on your teeth and gum with inadequate brushing, contains millions of bacteria. These bacteria produce acids, which can dissolve minerals on your teeth, leaving permanent white, opaque marks. The bacteria also can make your gum sore, swollen and bleed, which will make your brushing harder.
FOODS AND DRINKS TO AVOID DURING ORTHODONTIC TREATMENT:
Eat healthy and sensibly! Have a break in between meals so that your saliva has some time to recover from acid attack, resulting from various foods.
Avoid any hard, sticky or chewy foods while in braces. Fruits and vegetable such as apples and carrot need to be cut into small pieces.
Sticky foods such as toffies and lollies can stick around the braces. This will be a favourite hiding spot for plaque!
Minimise intake of sugary foods and drinks (fizzy drinks, juice and sports drinks) as they can cause tooth decay.
You may come across some problems with your orthodontic appliances during your orthodontic treatment. They are usually quite simple and quick to fix. The common problems you may encounter are described below. If you are unsure, please get in touch with us so that we can arrange an appointment to see you!
Sore teeth after adjustment
It is common to experience some discomfort for a few days after placement or adjustments of braces. In the initial stages, having cold rinses can be helpful in reducing discomfort. We also recommend taking painkillers such as panadol as required.
Sore lips and cheeks
The braces and the wire can rub onto the inside of your cheeks and lips, causing sore spots. Please use the orthodontic wax and the brace relief you have been given. Rinsing your mouth with warm salty rinses can be helpful too!
For any loose brackets, please call us and we can make an earlier appointment if we think it is needed. It is important to let us know before your regular appointments if there is anything loose, if we are not aware you will likely need to make another appointment to get it repaired. If it is the last bracket (on molar teeth) and digging into your gum, you can remove the loose tube and cut the wire short.
Loose, broken or poking wire
As your teeth are getting straighter, you may notice the wire poking out from the back of the bracket or band on the last tooth. You can cover the extra wire with the wax provided to help with the discomfort. Occasionally, the end of steel ties may bend out, irritating your lips or cheeks. You may push the end and tuck it in with a cotton swab or pencil eraser. It can be common for the wire to come out of the last bracket but this can easily be slotted back into place by a family member. If you have any problems resolving any of these issues, please call us and we can make an appointment to get it fixed.
Accidents involving teeth
Your teeth or mouth may get traumatised (injured) during orthodontic treatment through various accidents. If this happens, please contact your dentist immediately so that your teeth can be assessed and managed adequately. It is important we are informed of any injuries you have had to your teeth before or during orthodontic treatment.
Lost or broken O-ring/Powerchains (coloured modules)
Sometimes a small coloured ring around the bracket may come off. As long as the wire has not popped out of the bracket, it can be left until your next appointment. Make sure the wire is in the bracket and you can move the wire up into the bracket slot if not. If you have a powerchain that has broken, please call us and we can arrange an appointment to replace it.
Lost or broken plate/retainer
If your retaining wire (R-bar) has lost part of the bond (glue), or it has bent or broken, call us and we will arrange an appointment to get it repaired or replaced. If you have lost, broken or melted your proformer (clear retainer), also call us to arrange an appointment to get a new one made. There will likely be a cost with these appointment’s and you will need to bring in the models we gave you at your debond appointment.
Lost attachments for aligners
You can still wear your aligners when some of the attachments come off. If it is not seating well, use chewies for a few minutes to ensure seating. If they are still not feeling right, please call us and we can arrange an appointment to replace the attachment if needed.
When your braces are removed after your teeth are straightened, this is not the end of the orthodontic treatment. Although the ‘active’ phase of the treatment is complete, the next phase of orthodontic treatment known as ‘retention’ is as equally important. When the braces that once used to hold the teeth together are removed, the teeth have a natural tendency to move back towards their original position. This is why ‘retainers’ are required after the braces to hold the teeth in the new, corrected position, while the teeth and the surrounding gum and tissues adapt.
As you get older, you get wrinkles. With your teeth, there is some natural crowding of your teeth as you get older, whether you have had an orthodontic treatment or not. The orthodontic retainers will ensure that the teeth stay in the new position!
Fees for orthodontic treatment vary depending on the types of appliances used and the complexity of the treatment required. When you come in for the initial consultation, we will be able to give you an estimate of treatment cost. Once the treatment starts, our fee is all-inclusive – the fees for appliances and retainers, on-going treatment visits and one-year retention check (except for lost or broken appliances). There is usually a deposit required on the day the appliances are fitted and the rest of the fee can be spread over the duration of the treatment. We offer discounts for full payments.