Your orthodontic treatment is more likely to go according to plan if you take good care of your braces and orthodontic appliances throughout the process.
As a patient, you must work together with your orthodontist to make sure your treatment is a success.
The teeth and jaws can only move toward their corrected positions if the patient consistently wears the rubber bands, headgear or other appliances as prescribed. Damaged appliances lengthen the treatment time.
How to Care for Your Orthodontic Appliances
Cleaning Your Removable Appliance
You should brush your removable appliance daily as a part of your regular brushing and flossing routine.
Since food particles and plaque can accumulate on your appliance just like they can on your teeth, it's important to soak the appliance. Dissolve a denture cleaning tablet, such as Polident, Efferdent in a glass of tap water at room temperature, and soak your appliance once a day. If you do this, your appliance will taste better, and you will prevent the accumulation of plaque and bacteria.
Keep in mind, however, that soaking your appliance is meant to be done as supplement to brushing, not as a replacement.
Cleaning Your Fixed Appliance
It can be difficult to clean teeth with a fixed orthodontic appliance in place. You must pay special attention to your oral hygiene in order to reduce the chance of developing tooth decay or gum disease.
- Always carry some rubber bands with you, so if one breaks, you can replace it right away.
- If you forget to wear your rubber bands one day, don’t double up the next day – just follow your regular instructions.
- Rubber bands wear out. If they lose their elasticity, they do not provide effective pressure to your teeth and jaws.
- Change your elastics after every meal, even when they are not broken.
- If your rubber bands break frequently or the hook for your rubber bands breaks off, call the office immediately.
If you are sore from the rubber bands, don’t give up. The soreness will go away, just like the soreness from new wires goes away.
Removing your elastics when you feel sore will ultimately only cause you to be sore for a longer time, and it can be damaging to your teeth.
Having braces should not stop you from having fun playing the sports you love. You just have to take extra precautions to protect your orthodontic appliances.
Their presence in your mouth can cause a lot of damage if you get hit in the face in any way, and they can be expensive to fix, too.
Protecting your smile during sports is essential when it comes to staying on track with your orthodontic treatment. If you play sports, it's important that you consult us for special precautions.
A protective mouthguard is advised for playing contact sports, to protect from potential injury. With the use of an orthodontic mouthguard, practically any contact sport can be played with braces.
Even if you play a sport with light or no contact, a mouthguard is still a good idea if you have braces, because physical activity always comes with an increased risk of injury.
While you can play almost any sport with braces, we do recommend you avoid participating in sports where you're sure to get hit in the face, like boxing, and certain types of martial arts.
In Case of Emergency
In case of any accident involving the face, check your mouth and the appliances immediately. If teeth are loosened or the appliances damaged, contact our office right away for an appointment.
In the meantime, treat your discomfort as you would treat any general soreness.