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Care for Your Orthodontic Braces is Easier Than You Think

The festive time is just around the corner. The last year and a half has been tumultuous because of the pandemic. Although things are not completely normal and rosy as yet but it is indeed a matter of delight that our practice is now open for ‘face to face’ care and treatment. As we are prioritising appointments on basis of inconvenience and acuteness of cases, we thought maybe this guide on how to take proper care of your braces will prove helpful, providing you the necessary mileage.

Go through these tips and at any point if you feel like a little more guidance is necessary, just feel free to reach us out through the Contact Us page in our website.

Elastic rubber bands ARE for fixed braces

You should continue with wearing the elastic bands as the dentist has prescribed till the front teeth at the upper jaw line come about 2mm of those in the lower. Once this is achieved, you have to wear those only at night to prevent the teeth from relapsing or sinking back into their original position. It is important to make sure that you are also biting together normally on the back teeth.

If you are unsure whether the teeth have achieved the right position there is nothing to feel helpless. Snap a picture of the mouth in portrait mode from your smartphone and do send it to us. Our dentist will study the picture to give you the crucial feedback. As a completely patient-centric practice, we – at the Chatfield Braces London – make it our utmost priority to make things easier for our patients.

Treatment with invisalign

Do continue wearing the invisalign aligners as instructed by your orthodontist. In case the given stock of aligners runs out, do contact us for further advice. Get in touch promptly and do not delay in getting us informed.

Twin block braces or functional appliances

If you are on twin block braces, you better keep wearing those but do not turn the screw any more. It is necessary to keep wearing twin block braces for nine consecutive months from date of their first fitting. Else the appliance does not prove to be effective. For example, if these braces were  fitted into the mouth six months ago, then you have to continue wearing those for another three months to complete the 9-month tenure.

Using and taking proper care of your retainers

Orthodontic treatments require wearing retainers and you must wear it according to the instructions of your orthodontist. Else there is always a possibility of relapse, that is the teeth may sink back into the original position after you have stopped wearing the braces. Thus all the effort and the money involved in the treatment will go into ashtray. Even skipping retainers just for a day or two may result in disaster.

So even if you have completed your orthodontic treatment last year do continue with your retainers religiously every night. In case you miss a night then make that up by wearing it the next day.

If your orthodontic treatment has completed over 12 months ago, you should start gradually reducing the amount of time on retainers. But before that you should know better that you are on retainers for a year now. Talk to your orthodontist before making any change to your retainer routine obviously.  Usually at this stage patients are asked to wear retainers on alternate nights. But if the retainers feel tighter to wear or you feel your teeth are changing positions then you have to increase the amount of time wearing the appliance. If you do not face such problems then you must wear the appliance every other night at least.

If you are on a bonded or fixed retainer then you must keep brushing the teeth normally every day while at night must switch on to removable retainers in the usual manner.

In order to maintain cleanliness and hygiene of retainers do wash those in cold water using liquid soap. Commercially manufactured orthodontic retainer cleansing materials are also available these days. If you want you can use such product as well.

Troubleshooting the issue of lost or broken retainers

The issues of retainers being either lost or broken are pretty common. These issues obviously keep people worried particularly when their teeth are moving. If you found yourself in such unfortunate condition then you must contact your orthodontist’s office immediately.

In case a fixed retainer gets completely dislodged from its position then you must continue wearing the removable retainer as usual during the night. Alternatively the fixed retainer may partially come out. In that case your removable retainer cannot fit in. In such cases go and see your dentist immediately to get the problem fixed.

Wires from your braces may dig in

This is yet another problem that shows up frequently. You can make use of tweezers to place the wire back safely in its place inside the band or tube. Alternatively you can shorten its long end using a pair of scissors or a nail clipper.

Problems faced with thin wires – it may be such a thin wire of correct size has been used but the wire has got rotated around the teeth badly; as a result one side of the wire is short while the other is long. To sort this out you need tweezers and a teaspoon to push the wire back to avoid its long digging end. If you cannot find a teaspoon the combination of a pencil with rubber at the tip is fine.

Problems with thick wires – if the wire is pretty thick and sturdy, it is difficult to cut it using the using usual tools in homes. Thus you have to cover it up to save yourself from being dug in. the most ideal substance to cover up is dental or orthodontic wax. You can buy the item easily online or may get it from your neighbourhood dental practice. Till you get the wax consider placing a hard cheese or a chewing gum as stopgap alternative.

Care your optimal oral hygiene 

Brushing the teeth properly as a daily routine is the basics of maintaining oral hygiene. Do use a toothbrush with soft bristles and fluoride based toothpaste at all times unless ofcourse you have been recommended something specific by your dentist.

In order to maintain oral hygiene you also have to be careful about what your everyday diet. Most importantly try having a balanced, all-round diet. Include crunchy and fresh fruits and vegetables; drink plenty of water. Avoid sugary foods and drinks as much as possible. These items facilitate decay and disease of the tooth. On the other hand, certain drinks like tea, coffee and red wine are known to leave permanent mark on the teeth surface that not only looks unsightly but also makes you appear aged than actually you are.

While you are on invisalign treatment, it is important to avoid hard and sticky foods like certain toffees, nuts, candies and the likes. These food items may damage your invisalign braces to derail your treatment.

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