The better you care for your braces during treatment, the more likely it is that your treatment will go according to plan, meaning you won't have to wear your braces for additional time.
To successfully complete the treatment plan, the patient must work together with the orthodontist.
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. >> Learn more about brushing and flossing with braces.
- 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 them will cause you to be sore for a longer time and can be damaging to your teeth.