INSTRUCTIONS TO PATIENTS WITH A FIXED APPLIANCE/BRACES
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.
- ALWAYS CLEAN AFTER EVERY MEAL AND BEFORE YOU GO TO BED
- Use toothpaste which has fluoride in it.
- Using a fluoride mouth rinse or fluoride gel is advisable. These should be used last thing at
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.
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.
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
- 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!
I acknowledge that the post-procedural instructions were given to:
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.