IDL Orthodontic Patient Information
PATIENT INFORMATION SHEET
Fixed Orthodontic Banding (Braces)
What are braces?
Fixed braces include brackets and wires, that allow for controlled movement of your teeth. These components will be fixed to your teeth during the entire course of treatment and cannot be removed.
Brackets can be of different materials:
- Metal brackets
- Ceramic (clear) brackets
Wires can be of different sizes:
Wires will be of a metal colour, however will change in thickness over your course of treatment. You will start your treatment with thin, flexible wires that allow for the initial movement of your teeth. As your treatment progresses, you will have thicker less flexible wires for adjustment and refinement.
What needs to be done before putting on braces?
- Before putting braces on we need to make sure your teeth and gums are healthy.
- A complete dental checkup and all dental treatment needs to be completed.
- A history of good oral hygiene and healthy gums is also essential.
- We need to take records of you to prepare the right treatment for your teeth.
- These records include photographs, x-rays and molds/impressions.
What to expect after your braces are on?
- After your braces are on, your teeth may be sore when biting for the first 2-3 days. To avoid any discomfort, we recommend a soft diet for this period as you and your teeth adjust. Pain killers can be used for the initial few days to ease any discomfort (follow guidelines for medication).
- Braces rubbing on your cheeks and lips can develop ulcers and sore spots during the initial adjustment period. It is important to use wax provided by your dentist by placing it over any areas on your braces that are feeling uncomfortable.
- You may find some difficulties with your speech in the first few days. Practice speaking out load and in front of the mirror to help you get used to your new braces.
How can I take care of my braces?
- Avoid foods with a sticky or chewy texture, or hard foods. These can cause your wires to break or dislodge your brackets. It will help to cut up your food into smaller pieces to help with protecting your braces, and will prevent any unwanted bends in your wire.
- Restrict your intake of sugary foods and acidic drinks. It is very easy for teeth to decay whilst braces are on.
- Ensure you come to all of your appointments, so that your teeth move according to your treatment plan, and can be monitored by your dentist.
How do I keep my teeth clean with braces on?
Your oral hygiene has to be excellent whilst you have braces on, as poor hygiene can lead to decay and unhealthy gums during your course of treatment.
- Brushing twice a day for approximately 5 minutes will keep the plaque from building up around your braces. When you are brushing make sure you brush above and below your braces, and around your gums to remove all bacteria.
- Interdental brushes can be used to access the areas underneath your wires
- Dental floss can be used to clean between your teeth by threading the floss underneath your wires
- Occasional use of disclosing tablets can help assist you understand which areas you are unable to clean satisfactorily
Frequent hygiene visits (by the dentist or hygienist) is encouraged, as there is a higher chance of plaque buildup when wearing braces.
Are there any emergencies?
There are no major emergencies with braces, however it is important to understand when things are not right with your braces.
- Wires poking out – this is most common during your early phases of treatment, as your teeth are moving and excess wire can be felt at the ends. Use of wax will help eliminate the wire poking into your soft tissues, and can be trimmed by your dentist at your next appointment.
- Any breakages in the wire, or dislodgement of brackets need to be repaired. Call the clinic to arrange a time for your dentist to review these breakages.