By now you’ve done the hard part, made the decision to straighten your teeth here at Park Lane Orthodontics in Reading and are looking forward to a lifetime of smiling with confidence. But whether you’ve gone through adult orthodontics or children’s orthodontics or if you’ve had fixed braces, clear braces, near invisible braces, Invisalign or any type of aligner fitted to your teeth there’s a number of things you should do to make sure your orthodontic experience is as effective and comfortable as possible.
1. Be prepared
There are certain things all patients experience when it comes to teeth straightening and we’ll explain and talk you through all them. For example, when your braces are fitted it’s perfectly normal for your teeth and mouth to be a little sore or tender. Your lips, cheeks, and gums may also be irritated for up to two weeks while they get used to the braces. At Park Lane Orthodontics we advise trying a saltwater rinse or over-the-counter pain reliever such as paracetamol to help reduce the amount of pain or discomfort you feel.
You may also experience your teeth loosening a bit but this is normal. Braces are designed to loosen your teeth while they move them into the correct position. They’ll feel as strong as ever once all the teeth are in line and in the desired position.
2. Breaking bad
Modern brackets are strong and durable but they’re not indestructible so you’ll need to break bad habits to stop breaking brackets. Biting fingernails, chewing pens and otherwise using teeth as a power-tool will break or damage your wires and brackets. This can lead to more visits to our Reading Orthodontic practice than needed, so use your teeth wisely.
3. Dental wax
While your mouth and teeth are getting used to new braces, dental wax will help prevent any blisters and sores developing. Simply place the wax over the brackets and wires that are irritating your gums to get some relief. Ask us and we’ll show you exactly how to apply the wax.
Orthodontic patients should brush after every meal to keep their teeth and gums healthy. Be sure to brush for at least two minutes and to reach the front, back, and top of each tooth.
Ask your Reading orthodontist about the best toothpaste and toothbrush for your teeth and braces also refer to our brace care advice sheets for your specific orthodontic treatment guidelines.
Your Reading orthodontists can also help you choose the right type of floss and provide a floss threader to make the process simpler. We recommend flossing after each meal which obviously requires time and effort but if you make it a habit to at least floss every evening, you’ll prevent food and plaque building up on your teeth and gums. Your teeth should be just as healthy after braces as they were before.
6. Right foods
When you first get braces stick to eating soft foods that require less chewing and can be swallowed easily. Soft foods will also avoid causing more pain and discomfort to your mouth. And, even when your mouth is healed, it’s best to eat foods that won’t damage your braces or get stuck between the brackets. For more details refer to our brace care advice sheets for your specific orthodontic treatment guidelines.
7. Wrong foods
Here are some foods to avoid while wearing braces:
For more details refer to our brace care advice sheets for your specific orthodontic treatment guidelines.
8. Mouth guards
Mouth guards protect the teeth, mouth, and braces while playing sports. At Park Lane Orthodontics we can create a custom mouth guard to provide you with the best, most comfortable protection. Be sure to properly clean and care for your mouth guard as you would a clear aligner like Invisalign.
9. Rubber bands
Rubber bands, also called inter-arch rubber bands and elastics, are used to correct malocclusion (how the upper and lower teeth line-up). Be sure to wear the elastics exactly as your orthodontist has instructed. At Park Lane Orthodontics we recommend patients wear them 24 hours a day. The rubber bands should be changed at least three times a day as they lose elasticity.
10. Call us
Contact your orthodontist if you experience any of the following:
Of course, always contact your orthodontist in any orthodontic emergency Our orthodontic team is here for you whenever you need our expert care.
For more information on looking after your braces contact Park Lane Orthodontics. T. 0118 9411628 or refer to our brace care advice sheets for your specific orthodontic treatment guidelines.