Braces work by gently applying pressure to your teeth, so it’s normal to experience some soreness when you start treatment and each time your braces are adjusted. This should last a day or so, and you can take over-the-counter pain relief such as paracetamol or ibuprofen to alleviate the pain.
Any rubbing or chafing in your mouth should subside too - usually within a few days. In the meantime, you can apply orthodontic wax to the brackets. This wax covers the brace, makes it smooth and relieves any discomfort.
Sometimes the wax is difficult to apply especially on the back braces, so you can also try using a cotton pellet as it will stay in place better than the wax.
The wax will come off when you eat so please repeat it after you have finished eating. And don’t worry if you swallow the wax. It’s not harmful.
There are also some good products to help, such as Iglu Protect Orthodontic Brace Gel. It helps to heal mouth sores by creating a protective barrier and you can buy it from most pharmacies.
What if a part of your brace breaks or comes loose?
Occasionally one of the brackets may come loose, or the wire may break, especially if you eat something very hard or chew on a pen. You can find a list of the foods you should avoid on this page. It’s not an emergency, but you will need to make an appointment with Marie or her team to get it fixed.
How to take care of your braces
Dr Heintz will take you through every stage of the treatment and show you the best way to look after your braces. We will give you an “ortho survival kit”. It contains a special ortho toothbrush, a tube of toothpaste, a travelling toothbrush to carry with you for your after-lunch brush and tiny brushes designed specifically for braces to help you clean them efficiently.
It’s easy for food debris to get stuck when you are wearing braces and it can be hard to reach all the areas you need to clean. So we recommend that you follow these essential guidelines:
- Brush after every meal.
- Brush for two minutes.
- At least twice a day.
Make sure you use the little brushes in your kit to clean under the ortho wire. We will show you how.
You should have a dental check-up and a professional clean every 4 months to make sure your teeth are healthy during the treatment.
What food should I eat when wearing braces?
You don’t have to completely alter your diet and should be able able to eat fairly normally whilst wearing your braces. But there are some foods it’s best to cut out to avoid any problems including
- Gum, popcorn, corn on the cob, or other foods that could get stuck
- Sticky foods such as toffee, gummies and sweets
- Difficult to chew crusty bread, which puts extra pressure on your braces
What to do in an emergency?
Sometimes, even with the best care and effort, things can go wrong. We are here to help so please get in touch if you have a problem. It’s important not to delay and to get your braces fixed quickly so your treatment isn’t interrupted.
Contacting our clinic
If you have an urgent orthodontic problem or would like advice about the care of your braces please call us on 020 7244 4200.