Looking after fixed braces

Fixed braces are worn permanently throughout treatment and are made up of archwires and brackets. Gentle force is applied overtime to gradually move the patient’s teeth into a desired position.

Treatment time is between an average of 18-24 months and during this time you will need to take care of your brace – continuous damage and wear and tear will prolong your orthodontic treatment.

Female patient showing her invisible lingual braces braces on dental mirror

  • If you feel the brace is rubbing on the inside of your mouth, apply an ulcer soothing gel to the area – comfort wax can also be used. Dry the bracket square before applying the wax, crimping it firmly in place to secure it.
  • Clean your teeth after each meal and before going to bed for at least 2 minutes each time. It will no doubt take you slightly longer than normal because of the complexity of the appliance. Brush with an interdental brush, as this will reach between your teeth and under the appliance wire. Try to clean above your brace to ensure that the gums stay healthy. Before attending a check-up, always carefully brush your teeth first.
  • Once your teeth begin to shift, you may notice that the wire is too long at the back and is perhaps causing you some discomfort. If this occurs early on during your treatment, your orthodontist may advise you to trim the wire yourself using nail clippers. Seeing gaps and spaces appear between teeth during treatment is normal and will be dealt with.
  • Protect your teeth by using a 0.05% fluoride mouth-rinse each night after brushing to remove any bacteria and food particles that are lingering.
  • Avoid chewing plastic items and your nails and absolutely do not open things such as bottle caps with your teeth, as this could seriously damage your brace and your teeth.
  • Your top teeth may be resting on your lower brackets or your orthodontist may have placed some glue onto the back teeth to prevent you from biting onto the lower brace. As your treatment progresses, the interference will lessen though it is important that you take care when eating and biting together in the short term.

If you are worried about your brace maintenance and would like some additional advice, please do not hesitate to contact us straight away. If you are thinking about undergoing orthodontic treatment, please speak to one of our orthodontists at a consultation.


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