Braces and Colours
Dr Deborah Sykes may have recommended fixed braces to straighten your teeth so you can have a beautiful smile!
For your orthodontic treatment to work well and in the shortest possible time, it is important you take care of your teeth and braces.
What will braces look like?
There are several different types of braces available depending on the type of treatment you are having and your choice.
You may choose to have colours added to the metal brackets. You can choose different colours when you have your braces tightened.
Will it be painful?
Your teeth are likely to be tender for about 1-2 days each time the braces are adjusted. If necessary, painkillers such as the ones you would normally take for a headache may help (please read the instructions on the packet).
If the braces rub your lips or cheeks, you will be given some wax to help with this.
What foods can I eat?
You may experience some difficulty eating initially however this will ease after 1 or 2 days.
Do not eat-
- Toffees, boiled sweets, chewing gum, chocolate bars, lollies, potato crisps, etc.
- Fizzy drinks (including diet drinks), excessive amounts of fruit juice, flavoured milks and sport drinks, especially between meals.
- Hard foods which will damage the braces such as crunchy apples, raw carrots, crusty bread rolls, pizza crusts, etc. Cut these foods into small pieces.
- Avoid chewing on pens, pencils and fingernails.
How do I clean my appliances?
You will be given a ‘Braces Care Kit’. It will contain:
- Toothbrush and toothpaste- brush 3 times a day
- Interproximal brush- brush 3 times a day
- Brushing with braces brochure
- Fluoride mouth rinse- rinse daily at night time
- Wax- placed over rubbing brackets or wires
What will happen if I have lots of sugar or leave my teeth dirty?
If you do not keep your teeth and braces clean, or have lots of sugar or fizzy drinks, you will have permanent decay on your teeth as shown.
How long will treatment take?
It usually takes 12 – 24 months but will vary according to how severe your case is. Failed, cancelled appointments and breakages of the braces will add to the overall treatment time.
Will I need to wear anything in addition to the fixed braces?
It may be necessary for you at some stage during the treatment to wear elastics. Elastics are worn inside the mouth, and the time worn is variable and will be directed by Dr Sykes. You will be shown how to put the elastics on your brace.
How often do I need an appointment?
You will need regular appointments during the treatment for the braces to be adjusted, usually 4 – 6 weeks apart.
Do I still need to see my dentist regularly?
Yes. It will be important to still have 6 monthly check-ups with your dentist regularly throughout orthodontic treatment so that your teeth can be checked for decay.
What do I do if I play contact sports?
It is recommended you wear a mouthguard during any contact sport. Kids who use roller blades, skateboards and scooters have accidents with teeth. You will be advised about this.
What if I play a musical instrument?
If you play a wind instrument, particularly the flute or brass instrument then fixed braces may make it more difficult. Using wax may help initially. You will need to discuss this with your music teacher.
What do I do if my braces break?
Ring up for an appointment as soon as possible. Do not wait for your next routine appointment as the breakage may slow your treatment, or may result in damage to your teeth. The orthodontist may also charge a fee for repeated breakages.
Will I need to wear a plate once my treatment has finished?
Once you have the braces off, you will need to wear retainers. These are worn for approximately 12 months full time, then at night time for another 12 months.
There are several types of retainers:
- A removable retainer with a wire and a plastic base.
- A permanent wire fixed behind your front teeth may sometimes be used.
- A removable clear template.