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Braces Care & Advice

Care and Advice

Fixed Braces

It is normal to experience some discomfort within a few hours of having your brace fitted. This usually settles within a few days. Here are some useful tips to help look after your brace.

• Brush your teeth 2-3 times daily. You should always ensure your toothbrush bristles are pointing towards the gum to ensure the white-sticky substance (plaque) is effectively removed from your teeth.

• An alcohol-free fluoride mouthwash is useful to take to school/work so that you can rinse your mouth in an event that you are unable to brush your teeth.

• Plain milk and water should be consumed in between meals; it is the safest drink for your teeth. Fizzy juice and fruit juice can cause decay around the teeth and around the brace.

• White permanent scars can occur on the teeth if you consume sugary drinks and do not brush your teeth properly.

• Continuous breakages of the brace should not occur, if this does happen you will need to review your diet. Repeat breakages of the braces can cause prolonged treatment times.

Care and Advice

Functional Braces

These braces need your patience, they are wonderful braces and work beautifully to help correct your bite, although they can feel as if a double decker bus has been parked in your mouth at the first visit!

These braces take 2-3 weeks to get used to and it is important to wear them 24 hours per day (Removing for eating, cleaning and sports).

When your brace is not being worn then you must keep it in a hard box. To clean your brace, use a liquid soap and warm water. Avoid using boiling water as this will break the appliance.If you lose or break your brace, there are associated costs to get one made/repaired. Please look after it.

Most patients with these braces become used to wearing them. It is important to stay positive throughout your treatment, if you wear them well then you will reduce the overall treatment time.

Care and Advice

Removable Braces

These braces are often used to correct the bite, to move one or two teeth or to expand the jaws. These braces need to be worn 24 hours per day, removing only to clean and for sport. It is important that these braces are used when eating.

To clean the braces, use a liquid soap and warm water. Store the brace away from dogs (they love to chew them!), it is also important to store these retainers in a hard box when not in use to prevent unwanted breakages.

Care and Advice


Retainers are the most important part of the orthodontic treatment. Without them, your teeth will move out of alignment and can become crooked again.

Retainers must be worn indefinitely as your teeth will continue to move as you get older (this is inevitable!).

There are several types of retainers, they can be made from a clear plastic or can be in the form of a wire placed at the back of your teeth. There are advantages and disadvantages to different types of retainers, your orthodontist will be happy to discuss these with you.


Answering your questions!

Your orthodontist will have a chat with you to find out what is concerning you about the appearance of your teeth. It is helpful to know this so that we can treat exactly what is bothering you. After the assessment, your orthodontist will advise whether they think you might be suitable for NHS orthodontic treatment and will discuss the treatment options available to you. If you wish to have orthodontic treatment on the NHS then you will need to have records taken of your teeth so that it can be sent to the health board for a decision on whether you are eligible for NHS treatment. The final decision as to whether you are eligible for NHS treatment is the decision of the health board. It usually takes around 6-8 weeks to hear an outcome from the health board. If you wish to independently fund the treatment, you will not need to apply for approval from the health board and can start treatment quickly. If you decide on this option, you can be assured that you will be informed about any costs beforehand and will be given a printed treatment plan with the cost breakdown before you consider embarking on treatment.

No, it is not painful. We place a plastic guard between your cheeks and teeth to help keep your teeth dry. A gel is painted on your teeth and washed off.

It is common that the brace may break or come loose from the tooth, we ask that hard food is avoided for the duration of the treatment. If your brace has broken and it is not causing any discomfort, it can be left until your next appointment. If your broken brace is hurting you then please contact us and we will provide an emergency appointment to have it repaired.

We encourage children to stop digit-sucking habits by the age of 7 to prevent abnormal tooth movement and development of the jaws. It is important to provide positive reinforcement to help your child stop their habit.

If this habit continues into adulthood it can affect how the jaws grow around the teeth and affect the position of the teeth. Most children and young adults who have a non-nutritive habit are unaware that they are doing this in their sleep. We encourage the use of elastoplasts or a “bitter” nail varnish on the offending finger to help make the child aware of the times they are doing this. If this treatment is not effective, your orthodontist can provide an appliance to help. There is some useful information available on the BOS website, please see the link below.


The braces are relatively fragile and require care and caution when eating. It is advisable to avoid foods which may break the brace. After you have had your appliance placed, you should consider eating soft foods as your teeth might feel uncomfortable. This includes:

• Soup
• Soft cheese
• Yoghurt
• Scrambled eggs
• Noodles
• Soft pasta
• Soft bread

It is really important to avoid sugary/fizzy juice as this may cause damage to your teeth and braces. If you are having juice, limit it to mealtimes and drink plain milk or water between meals.

During the latter stages of your treatment, you may have clear chain placed on your brace to help close the spaces; this chain often discolours with turmeric, tomatoes, black coffee, black tea. This is perfectly normal and the chain will be changed at your next appointment.

There is a brace-friendly recipe book available in the link below:


Still have questions?

If you still have some questions please get in touch

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