Children’s braces – Give them the best start
Lots of people don’t have perfectly straight teeth and this is not necessarily a problem. Your teeth might be crooked or your upper and lower jaws might not be the same size. Orthodontists are specialist dentists who deal with straightening teeth, correcting the way the teeth and jaws meet.
Today, braces are much less noticeable than they used to be. Fixed“train-track” metal braces are still used but we can also use braces which are the same colour as your teeth, removable braces, such as Invisalign, or even lingual braces which fit on the back surface of your teeth…hidden away where no-one can see them.
Why Use Braces?
Braces can be used to straighten teeth to:
- improve your appearance, to prevent abnormal wear of your teeth and gums
- prevent jaw problems occurring
- allow easier cleaning of your teeth
- close gaps between your teeth
- prevent accidental damage happening to your teeth or to help your dentist restore your teeth.
Looking after your fixed brace
You will need: a toothbrush (travel toothbrush for daytime use), interdental brushes, wax, fluoride mouthwash. These can be purchased from reception.
To ensure that your treatment progresses as quickly as possible and that your teeth remain undamaged throughout your treatment please follow these instructions:
Keep your gums and teeth clean:
Please brush your teeth at least 3 times a day after every meal. You will need to use your normal manual or electric toothbrush to brush the tips of your teeth, across the brace and between your teeth and gums, including the gum margin. You must also use an interdental brush behind the wire between each bracket. For a demonstration of how to brush visit the ‘first few days’ video click here.
The use of disclosing tablets once or twice a week is a good idea to check your brushing is up to scratch.
Please use fluoride mouthwash with a concentration of 0.05% fluoride (225ppm) last thing at night after brushing – rinse for 1 minute then spit out. This helps to strengthen your teeth to avoid ugly marks developing.
Don’t break your brace:
Avoid chewy and crunchy foods e.g. chewing gum, toffee, crusty bread, pizza crusts etc – use your common sense. Cut up hard foods such as apples and raw carrots. Don’t pick at your brace with your fingers and don’t bite pens. If your brace breaks contact us straight away– if your brace remains broken your treatment could take longer.
Keep your teeth healthy – decalcification marks are permanent:
Do not eat sticky or chewy sweets or sweets that take a long time to suck e.g. mints, boiled sweets etc. Chocolate will be fine on occasion (1-2 times per week as a treat). Avoid fizzy drinks of any type including diet drinks and fizzy or flavoured water. The best things to drink with braces are plain water, plain milk or squash diluted as much as possible. Fruit juice will also damage your teeth so have no more than 1 glass a day and drink it through a straw to prevent it swilling around your teeth.
Use a gumshield if you play contact sports: either off-the-peg or custom-made (we supply both).
What to expect:
Your teeth will start to ache a few hours after having the brace fitted and the next day tends to be the most uncomfortable. The aching will then start to subside and after a week, it should be a lot more comfortable. Use ibuprofen (as long as you don’t have asthma) or paracetamol if necessary. Use brace wax to help prevent rubbing of the insides of your cheeks and lips. Have a really soft diet for the first few days as your teeth will be tender.
Please watch our instruction video on ‘fixed appliances’ click here.