So first off there are two kinds of braces: fixed and removable. And they pretty much describe exactly what they are. A fixed brace is fixed to your teeth for a lengthy period of time and looks like this:
(By the way, this is just an picture example, we can offer you braces and bar in a colour to match your teeth).
And a removable brace can be taken out whenever you please and looks something like this:
Now that we have defined them we can get straight to the question that is the first out of everyone’s lips when they hear they have to wear braces…
How long will I have to wear them?
Now this really depends on how much correcting your teeth need, and which type of brace you get.
The average time needed for fixed braces is usually between 1-2 years, and could be even longer if your teeth are unusually out of shape.
These usually take less time than a fixed brace. It should be noted that in severe cases you may be told to wear removable brace before a fixed brace to correct your teeth.
How often do I have to / should I see the dentist while I am wearing my brace?
Usually an appointment every 4-6 weeks will be the optimal amount to make sure the teeth are heading in the right direction.
Will my mouth be sore in between visits?
The short answer is yes.
Your mouth is very sensitive to change and it will take you a few days to get used to wearing your brace. At first it will feel uncomfortable on your teeth because of the pressure put on them and on the insides of your mouth by the new addition of the brace.
Some parts of the brace may also cause discomfort to your gums and lips, causing sore spots. We can give you clear wax to place over the part of the brace that is causing discomfort.
However if after a few days any part of your brace is causing continual soreness, you should come back and we can adjust the tightness of your brace.
Will I be able to speak normally?
Lisping is often a problem initially but it soon passes as you begin to adapt your speech patterns to the new addition to your mouth.
You should avoid:
Nail biting and chewing pens/pencils as they can damage or break your brace.
Can I still play sports while wearing my brace?
It is best to take out your removable brace and place it in a protective plastic box whilst you’re playing sports (this includes swimming). We provide these cases for you here. While playing it’s important to wear a mouth guard and place your brace back into your mouth as soon as possible.
You will need to have a special mouth guard made for you to wear over your brace which we can make for you here. This is especially necessary for contact sports!
Can I still play musical instruments?
A small amount of practice with your newfound metal friends will ensure that you can play just as well without braces.
For removable braces, if you feel more comfortable to remove the brace, its ok to do so, it’s imperative to put them back in immediately afterwards.
Can I eat normally?
For the first few days it’s better to approach food cautiously as eating the wrong foods can damage or even brake your brace.
So for the first few days it’s best to stick to ‘Soft foods’
Scrambled eggs etc.
Water and milk are the best drinks
Avoid foods that are:
Fizzy drinks & Natural fruit juices – are high in sugar and acid and lead to – tooth decay, erosion and staining of the braces. If you do drink fizzy drinks then avoid constant sipping and use a straw.
Also avoid hard foods such as:
You want to aim for cutting your food into small easily digestible pieces.
Why should I look after my mouth when I have a brace?
The maintenance of your teeth is extremely important as it will help prevent problems such as inflamed gums, dental decay and ‘tooth decalcification’. This is when the calcium on the surface of your teeth have been eaten down. Signs of this are the presence of white spots on your teeth after the braces have been removed.
Routine dental appointments are also very important in order to make sure that your braces are serving their purpose and to keep your teeth and mouth healthy.
What if I lose or damage my brace?
If you lose or damage your brace it is vital to tell your dentist or orthodontist immediately. As any time your teeth aren’t in the correct position they will revert back to their old crooked placement and it may prolong your treatment.
How should I clean my mouth and brace?
After each meal is the recommended frequency and ensure that you pay special attention to each individual tooth and the gum line around it.
What products can I use?
- Flouride toothpastes – these help to control gum disease, plaque and dental decay while also freshening your breath.
- Manual or Electric toothbrushes – these can be used, although with care, as long as you can get to all your teeth.
- Interdental brushes – These are very handy for cleaning between teeth and are perfect for those with a fixed brace.
- Floss threaders – You can use these to help you get dental floss under orthodontic wires to remove trapped food particles.
- Disclosing tablets – these contain a harmless dye which stains the dental plaque. This makes it easier to see where the plaque is when you are brushing. This helps you to make sure that you are brushing your teeth properly. Your dentist, chemist or supermarket will stock these.
- Fluoride mouth wash – It is important to note that mouth wash should only be used as a complimentary method to brushing and flossing. It isn’t sufficient to be used on its own.
How do I clean my removable brace?
Your dentist or orthodontist will be able to show you special techniques for cleaning your brace. It is best to clean your brace over a sink full of water so that it isn’t damaged if you drop it. Keep a separate toothbrush just for cleaning your brace. Gently brush the brace and rinse it thoroughly with fresh water afterwards.
Call to see if you need a brace today:
01 834 1140