If part of your treatment means that you need braces, don't stress. Provided you follow a few simple guidelines, your treatment will generally move along pretty smoothly and quickly. Once you get into the habit of looking after your braces, you will forget they are there.
Caring for your braces really revolves around three things - what you eat, protecting them from getting bumped and how well you clean them.
Eating with braces
We recommend that you don't eat sweets or lollies while you have braces, but we also know that sometimes you just have to give in to temptation! So, if you are going to eat sweets and lollies, choose carefully and clean your teeth straight away.
There are some things you really can't eat when you have braces:
- Sticky or chewy sweets. For example - Minties, Fantails, toffees, jubes, jelly beans
- Sticky or chewy chocolate or nut bars. For example - Snickers, Picnic, Mars
- 'Health' or energy bars. For example - sesame bars, Jupiter bars, Honey Logs
- Hard foods. For example - crusty bread rolls, ice, hard biscuits, nuts.
Some things you can eat if you are careful, when you have braces:
- Slice and dice crunchy fruit like apples and pears before eating them
- Peel and section citrus fruit like oranges and mandarins
- Grate or dice hard vegetables like celery and carrot
- Meat and chicken should be cut into small pieces. Don't eat meat or chicken straight from the bone.
- Be careful with chips (crisps, Twisties etc)
- Lick, rather than bite, ice blocks and ice creams.
Cleaning your braces
When you get your braces fitted, we will spend a fair amount of time talking to you about how to clean them properly. Cleaning your braces takes extra time as food can, and does, get stuck in them. If you don't clean them properly you can get some permanent white marks on your teeth, or you may have to keep your braces on for longer.
The golden rules for cleaning your teeth and braces.
- Clean your teeth thoroughly after every meal and snack
- Clean between your teeth at least once a day
- Brush well up onto your gums - if they bleed it means that you haven't done it properly the last few days.
- Clean carefully around your braces, making sure not to bend or break any of the wires.
Protecting your braces
Your braces are fragile and can be broken pretty easily if you bump them. If you play any sort of sport (except maybe swimming) you should wear a mouthguard. We will happily supply one to you, if you simply ask us.
If you chew your nails, or bite a pencil, you need to stop doing that, as you will break your braces at some point if you keep doing it. Also be careful of playful pets (particularly puppies) that may bump into your face or head and break your braces.