The success of your treatment depends on wearing your brace as much as possible. All removable appliances are to be worn full-time unless instructed otherwise. Full-time means virtually 24 hours a day, including eating, sleeping and going to school or work. The only time the brace is to be removed is to clean both your teeth and brace after meals, and during sports and games (including swimming).
- Frequently, there are problems in the early stages with a brace, and there may be some discomfort. It is quite common to want to seek an extra appointment to sort these problems out, but do try and persevere for at least a week. Wearing the brace as much as possible will quickly accustom the mouth and any discomfort will ease.
- Avoid hard sticky foods as they may damage the brace.
- On the rare occasions when you are not wearing the brace, keep it in a brace/retainer box. It will not get broken or lost if kept in a box. There is a good chance it will break if you put it in your pocket or sit on it. If you lose the brace, or if it is broken beyond repair, there will be a charge to replace it.
- Practice reading aloud with the brace in the mouth. If your speech is affected by wearing the brace, this will help it rapidly return to normal. Swallowing may be difficult at the start of treatment and saliva can pool at the back of the mouth. This will improve as you wear the brace more.
- If the brace breaks or is uncomfortable, continue to wear it (if possible) and telephone the practice immediately for an appointment. Small bits of plastic can sometimes break off the brace – this is of no concern if the appliance stays in. Any sharp edges can be smoothed with sandpaper or an emery board. If a metal part breaks, continue to wear the brace and ring the practice for advice.
- Some appliances have platforms at the front that deliberately keep the back teeth apart. This is a design feature of the brace which may make it difficult to eat with. Please persevere with this to get full benefit from the brace.
- If you have a brace with a screw that you must turn, please turn it the number of times instructed and always turn it the way the arrow points. The orthodontist can easily turn the screw back to see if it has been turned enough. Do not turn the screw and not wear the brace. This is because the brace will quickly lose fit and may mean you need to return to the start of treatment. If the brace is loose, do not turn the screw to try and tighten the brace – this is not what it is for. Seek an appointment immediately if the brace will not stay in your mouth.
- Continue to see your own dentist for regular check-ups.
The fee for replacement is up to £200 per brace.