Caring for Orthodontic Appliances

We use a number of different types of appliances other than the traditional fixed appliance most people refer to as "Braces". The types of appliances we use can be categorised as either fixed or removable:

Fixed Appliances
Fixed appliances are cemented into position in your mouth. They are usually made up of metal bands around at least two teeth, and a wire joining these bands.

Care of Fixed Appliances:
Avoid eating all sticky foods, as they can cause the appliance to become loose. Eating sweets between meals should also be avoided, as there is a greater chance of decay while the appliance is in your mouth.

Brush carefully around all of the wires and where the band meets your gum. If you are having difficulties getting into the small areas, please speak to our hygienist, who will be able to advise you on brushing those hard to reach areas. Floss can be used under the wire. It needs to the threaded through under the wire and then used as normal.

Removable Appliances:
We use removable appliances to either hold the teeth in their new positions, or to make minor adjustments to form minor tooth movement. Clear aligners such as Invisalign are also a removable appliance. It is important that they are worn as instructed by your Orthodontist, and that you contact us if at any stage you are having problems with them.

Care of Removable Appliances:
Each time the appliance/ aligner is taken out of the mouth, it should be rinsed with water to remove the saliva. This will keep the appliance from becoming slimy and hard to clean. Twice a day the appliance must be taken out of the mouth and scrubbed with toothpaste and a toothbrush. A hard toothbrush can be used on the appliance, but always use a soft one in the mouth. Do not use hot water as it can distort the appliance. Don't forget to take your appliance out of your mouth to give your teeth and gums a thorough brush.

Your appliance should be in its box at all times when it is not in your mouth. It should never be in a pocket or bag as it can be easily lost or broken. Wrapping a retainer or aligner up in a tissue will usually result in the whole thing being thrown out, so leave it in the mouth to eat if the box is not available. If a retainer or aligner is lost or broken, a new appointment will be needed to repair or replace it.

Replacing retainers are costly mistakes, as a lab fee will need to be charged to your account.

Your speech may be affected for the first few days. Don't remove it though, if you need to speak clearly at first, or it will take longer to get used to. The only exception to this is for singing or playing a wind instrument.