The importance of looking after your teeth and braces
Everyone’s saliva contains millions of bacteria. These bacteria stick to the surfaces of teeth and quickly multiply to form a layer called plaque.
Plaque is a soft, colourless substance that is difficult to see until the coating is quick thick. It collects on the surfaces of teeth mainly next to the gums and between the teeth.
Plaque causes dental caries (tooth decay_ and periodontal disease (gum disease).
In fixed orthodontic appliance treatment the brackets are more difficult to clean. It is therefore very important to care for your fixed brace by careful brushing and having a sensible diet.
How to care for your fixed brace
Clean your teeth and gums with a small-headed toothbrush.
- Start between the wire and gums. Press firmly enough so that the bristles spread into the gaps between the teeth. Move the brush head vigorously around all the teeth. Repeat the same process on the other side of the wire.
- Now clean all the inside surfaces of the teeth in the same way.
- Last of all clean the tops of the teeth and rinse thoroughly.
- Brush thoroughly twice a day with fluoride toothpaste.
- Rinse with water after every meal
- Use a fluoride rinse at night
Eating with fixed braces
Eat sensibly when wearing a brace. Avoid hard or sticky foods such as chewing gum, toffees, hard mints, hard crusts, whole carrots as they may break and bend wires which will slow down treatments. Also avoid fizzy drinks, sweet drinks, fruit juices, sweets and sugar as they can dissolve surface enamel and this will cause permanent damage to teeth.