Life with braces

Common questions about orthodontics

At Auckland Orthodontics, we want to ensure all our patients get the very best result possible. We want to work with you to achieve this, so have put together some information on what we recommend you do at home to help your braces do their best job possible.

How do I keep my teeth clean with braces?

If you are wearing braces, you need to be extremely dedicated to keeping your teeth and gums clean. Plaque is your enemy. If plaque is left on your teeth or around the braces, you can develop swollen gums, bad breath, and cavities. Brush your teeth twice a day with a fluoride-based toothpaste. Our team will demonstrate how to take care of your braces and teeth. You will also be given some handy dietary advice. And don’t forget to visit your family dentist for regular check-ups.

What foods should I avoid with braces?

Braces won’t interfere too much with your diet but there are some foods we recommend you avoid while having treatment. These include:

  • sugary foods (as these cause more bacteria, more plaque and higher risk for cavities)
  • coke, including diet coke, sweet or acidic drinks like orange juice, energy drinks and all other fizzy drinks
  • sticky or chewy foods (like chewing gum or minties)
  • hard foods (like pork crackling or chicken bones)
  • foods that could get stuck in your braces (like corn). These can break your braces. Remember frequent breakages will prolong the time in treatment.

What if my braces or a part of my braces breaks?

Fixed braces are normally quite robust. However, from time to time, a component may break. This is not normally a cause for panic. Should part of your brace become loose, broken or lost, give us a call. A special appointment may be needed to repair the brace. We have emergency time allocated during the day especially for these problems should they arise. In some circumstances it may be ok to leave it until your next appointment with us.

What should I do if my teeth hurt or my braces feel sharp?

It is common for the pressure from the braces to make the teeth tender to bite on for a few days after they have first been placed and after any major adjustments. A soft diet and if necessary some simple painkillers (like Paracetamol) usually do the trick.

Braces often feel sharp in the first few weeks after they have been fitted. Break off a small piece of wax given, roll it into a ball and place it over the sharp spot. It may need to be replaced if it comes off when you next eat or brush your teeth.

As spaces between teeth are being closed with braces or in the early stages of treatment, a small bit of wire can protrude from the back of the brace which can be annoying. For temporary relief, place some of the wax given to you over the wire to stop it from pressing into your cheek. If it is a nuisance, call us for an appointment and we will trim the end of the wire to relieve the discomfort.

What do I do if I’ve used up or lost my elastics?

If this happens, give us a call and we can pop some in the mail to you. Don't wait until your next visit. It is important to wear these as directed.

Can I still play sport or musical instruments with braces?

Yes absolutely. If you are playing a contact sport where there is a chance you can get hit in the face, we recommend you wear a mouthguard.

What do I do if my bonded retainer comes off?

Please call us and let us know. We will organise a time to put this back in place for you. This is more urgent if you have not had the braces off for long, as we need to get the wire back in place to prevent the teeth from moving. The bonded retainer should be worn for a lifetime to avoid these teeth moving back to their original crooked position.

What do I do if I’ve lost my retainer?

Please call us and let us know. We will organise an appointment to retake an impression of your teeth and make you a new retainer. This is more urgent in patients who have not had their braces off for long, as we want to prevent any unwanted tooth movement.

What if I miss an appointment?

Oops! Please call us as soon as possible to make a new one so that your treatment isn't delayed.

If at any time you have questions about your orthodontic treatment, please contact our friendly team at Auckland Orthodontics today.

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Patient information

Auckland Orthodontics

6 Exminster Street
Blockhouse Bay
NZ, 0600

09 627 3555

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