Ortho instructions


Taking care of your fixed appliances is very important. You must clean your teeth thoroughly and be very careful not to break your braces.

  • Use your orthodontic toothbrush to go across at the front of your mouth and backwards and forwards at the sides i.e.: ALONG the arch wire. Clean the teeth in each jaw separately.
  • Use the small interdental toothbrush to clean any remaining plaque off your teeth. Concentrate on the area between your gums, the brackets and underneath the arch wire.
  • Use toothpaste which has fluoride in it.
  • Using a fluoride mouth rinse or fluoride gel is advisable. These should be used last thing at night.

EATING You must be careful with what and how you eat. You must avoid anything too hard or sticky i.e. toffees, chewing gum, crusty bread, nutty breakfast cereals and hard biscuits. You must also stay away from fizzy drinks because the high sugar and acidity can cause permanent marks on the teeth. From now on all food, even things you think are soft, MUST be cut up first into small pieces and chewed gently on your side teeth. Most of this is common sense but remember to think before you eat something. A breakage can put treatment time back and mean that your braces will be on longer than necessary.

PROBLEMS After your braces or appliance placement your teeth will feel tender, this is normal. Mild painkillers such as Tylenol or Ibuprofen will help. If brackets or bands rub your lips and cheeks you may need to use brace relief (wax) or an alternative product which is available at our office sale at the practice. Your teeth may feel slightly mobile. DO NOTWORRY, this is quite normal, but do not push or play with your teeth.

BREAKAGES If you break a brace please call the office immediately unless your next appointment is within a day or so. Always keep any bits that come off and bring them with you to your appointment. Try not to break your braces as it will continue to slow down your progress. Remember breakages mean longer treatment. You will still need to attend routine checkup appointments with your dentist during your orthodontic treatment.

YOUR FIRST WEEK IN BRACES The adhesive used for attaching the braces to your teeth dries on the outside quite quickly, but will take 24 hours to fully set. You can eat any time after leaving our office; however, we ask that you pay attention to the suggested list of foods that can be harmful to the braces (and your teeth). Until you get used to eating with your new braces it may be best to start on a diet of softer foods. The easiest foods to eat with braces are things like yogurt, pudding, seedless bread, boiled vegetables, pasta, or thin soups.

We will provide and show you how to use dental wax to apply over the braces as necessary. This wax/silicone creates a smooth surface and alleviates irritation on the inner cheeks and lips. Additionally, over-the-counter pain medication (ibuprofen is. Motrin and Advil usually works best if no allergies exist) and may be taken as directed in combination with a rigorous regiment of salt water rinses to relieve the soreness.

After five days to a week, any initial discomfort associated with the braces should be gone or much improved. The teeth will have gradually acclimated to the braces, and eating should be much easier.


  • At first your braces will feel like they are sticking out, which is completely normal. As you get used to your braces and tooth alignment improves, this sensation will disappear and will cease to be a concern. In fact, when you get your braces off, your teeth will feel strange without them for a while, too!
  • Even though the brackets have been rounded and smoothed you may find it helpful to use small piece of wax around a bracket that is creating an irritation. As your cheeks toughen, you will have fewer irritations.
  • Some teeth, often the front teeth, may be tender and sensitive to pressure at first. Most patients have some soreness during the first eight hours which will gradually disappear.
  • Exactly when the discomfort ceases is impossible to predict and is different for each patient. If you want, you can also take an over-the-counter pain medication to help.

Just Remember: Any soreness you feel from the braces is just the crookedness leaving your smile!

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Please call either of our offices if you feel like your dental health is questionable or if you have any concerns or questions after your procedure.

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