How to look after braces and retainers

How to look after braces and retainers

Actionable tips on taking care of braces and retainers

Once you’ve had your braces fitted, it is important that you learn how and remember to regularly clean your teeth and braces to maintain their condition. The oral hygiene necessary for mouths fitted with braces or retainers is a little more complex and important to ensure not only that your teeth remain in good shape but also that you take care of your orthodontic appliance as best as you can.

How to take care of fixed braces

Fixed braces offer plaque and food more places to hide and get stuck in. You will need to be vigilant with your oral hygiene routine. Where before braces, you would have only been brushing twice a day, you will now need to brush after every meal to get rid of any small pieces of food that can get trapped in your braces. It is a good idea to carry a toothbrush with you so that you can brush after meals and use a fluoride mouthwash each evening to protect your teeth from decay.

If you are not vigilant about keeping your teeth and braces clean, you stand the risk of ending up with permanent markings on your teeth. Remember that you will need to continue seeing a regular dentist and hygienist during your orthodontic treatment to maintain your oral health.

While it is still possible to eat most foods, there are some that can break or loosen braces and should be avoided which include hard, chewy and sticky.

How to take care of removable braces

Removable braces make care far more simple. You will just need to remove your brace gently and make sure to keep it in a protective box when you are not using it.

To clean it, soak your removable brace in a cleaning solution once a week. You can also use a toothbrush and water – do not use toothpaste.

Try to avoid playing with your brace while wearing it as it may cause it to weaken and break. If you experience any problems, call Ortho3 as soon as possible and do continue to wear your brace in the meantime.

How to take care of twin block braces

Make sure to clean your twin block braces by soaking both parts in a retainer cleaning solution once a week. It is also possible to clean it with a toothbrush and water – again avoid toothpaste. Also, avoid clicking your twin block brace in and out repeatedly to prevent them from weakening and breaking.

How to take care of fixed retainers

It is important to keep the areas around your fixed retainers clean. An interdental brush or orthodontic dental floss is the best way to clean between your front teeth and beneath your fixed retainers.

How to take care of removable retainers

Whenever you are not wearing your retainer, make sure to keep it in a protective box. To clean the retainer, soak it in a retainer cleaning solution weekly for 20 minutes. You can also clean them with a toothbrush and water but not with toothpaste. Don’t put them in hot water as it may cause them to lose their shape.

Remove your retainer before you eat to prevent trapping food and plaque and carry your retainer case with you to make it easy to store. If you don’t wear it that often then be sure to store it in a container that has enough airflow so that it doesn’t breed mould and bacteria. Never brush your teeth while wearing your retainer as you will miss large areas of your mouth.

What to do if a wire or bracket breaks

Although broken braces, protruding wires and loose bands can cause problems, they rarely require emergency treatment though you should call Orth3 immediately to book an appointment. If you have suffered a more severe mouth or facial injury, then it is best to seek help immediately.

If your wire is broken, then use the eraser end of a pencil and move the wire to a position that will be less annoying. Do not attempt to cut the end of the wire but rather apply a small amount of orthodontic wax over the end.

If your bracket is loose then apply a small piece of orthodontic wax for a temporary fix.

Any loose bands will need to be replaced and recemented, so save the band for when you come in to get the repair done.

Take care of your orthodontic appliances and they will take care of you. If you encounter any issues or problems, then please book an appointment with Ortho3 as soon as possible.