Caring for your braces

We will take impressions of your teeth for our dental technicians to make your retainers.

Here are some of the common terms: –

Thin wires that guide your teeth as they shift

Small squares (with a slot) stuck to each tooth that hold the archwires to your teeth

Anchor Bands
Metal rings glued around your back teeth that hold archwires to your teeth (in fine metal tubes)

Small latex rings that hold the archwires to the brackets

Ties (Ligatures)
Fine wires that hold the archwires to the brackets

Latex bands to be worn where and when instruced to help move teeth

Metal wires that help open or close the space between your teeth.

  • For the first few days after your appliance is fitted there is usually some discomfort. A panadol or similar medication can be taken to relieve this.
  • If a band or bracket becomes loose telephone immediatly to let us know.
  • Do not damage your appliance. Damaged appliances always means extra appointments, inconvenience, extended treatment time and increased cost.
  • Damage is usually caused by careless eating habits, so to avoid damage please follow these rules faithfully.

a). Hard or tough foods such as apples, meat, hamburgers, French Bread or biscuits should be cut or broken up into small peices and chewed carefully
b). Avoid sticky foods such as chewing gum, Minties, Moro bars, toffee and k-bars. These types of foods will pull your braces off. You can still have some lollies such as Barley Sugars and boiled sweets so long as they are sucked! Chips and chocolate can be eaten but break them up first!
c). Avoid bad habits such as biting fingernails and chewing on pens and pencils.

Use the correct angle – Place brush at a 45 degree angle, aiming bristles into the junction between your teeth and gums. It is important to massage your gums whilst brushing your teeth. This can strengthen your gums and removes any food particles trapped underneath

Use the correct brushing action – Twist, jiggle or circle the brush head while the tips of the bristles remain in the same place. Spend about 10 seconds on each tooth (surface) before moving to the next one.
Clean your top braces first – using the correct angle and brushing action, clean in and around all the wires on your braces. To make sure the brush removes all plaque and food particles, you will have to brush both sides of the wires.

Now for the remaining outer surfaces – clean from the top of the wires, then clean from the bottom. Ensure that you have worked al the way around on the braces on your back teeth on both sides. When you have finished cleaning your top braces, repeat this on lower braces.

Brush the inner surfaces – Use the same brushing action to throughly clean behind teach tooth. Tilt your brush to reach in behind your top front teeth. Repeat for your bottom teeth. Use the interproximal brushes or superfloss as we have shown you.

Brush the chewing surfaces – Use a back and forth stroke with moderate force to clean both your upper and lower teeth.

Important things to remember
Wear a mouthguard…when you play sports. An easy sort of mouthguard for you to buy is one from a pharmacy – that can be trimmed to the correct size for you, then put in boiled water and shaped over your braces, to fit your mouth. These are easily re-moulded as your teeth continue to move. Remember to check your mouthguard fits the night before you need it – as it’s not much use to you if you get to training or the game and find your teeth have moved and it doesn’t fit. We can make a fitted mouthguard if you would like us to, just ask.

CUT OR BREAK UP ALL FOOD…including apples, carrots, meat, bread and biscuits. Don’t bite into things – break food up and place it in small peices on the biting surfaces of your back teeth. Be patient – it will take longer to eat, especially at first.

AVOID EATING HARD AND STICKY FOOD…like ice, popcorn, nuts, tough crusts, hard biscuits, chewing gum, bubble gum, toffees, caramels, eg Minties, kbars, MacIntoshs, Moro Bars, Pixi Caramels etc… these will pull your braces off your teeth.

CUT DOWN ON SUGARY FOODS…braces can trap food particles and make it more difficult to brush away plaque. Sugar sticks to teeth and braces; if it’s left on your teeth and not brushed off, it will start the process of decay and mark the teeth. So it is better to avoid sugar all toghether if you can. If you must, you may occasionally have some softer lollies (but it’s up to you to make sure they’re not too hard or sticky of course) or broken up potato chips or a small piece of chocolate of course you must brush afterwards.

DRINKS…What do you normally drink? Water, plain milk and diet cordials are fine for your teeth – but remember that normal cordial, fruit juice and flavoured milk all have sugar in them…Coke, Sprite, Fanta etc and especially energy loaded sports drinks are extremely high in sugar, are very acidic and must be avoided.

YOU MUST BRUSH YOUR TEETH THROUGHLY AFTER EATING…to avoid decay (holes) in your teeth, bad breath and your friends telling you that you have something stuck in your braces… Remember when you are not at home, to take your toothbrush and toothpaste… (but if ever your forget your brush, at the very least, rinse your mouth with water).

NOW OUR TREATMENT IS UNDER WAY…we will be seeing you to help guide your teeth about every 5-7 weeks. These appointment usually take 10 minutes. After school or work times are not possible for everyone each time. Please be prepared to be flexible with your appointment times and we will try to keep interferences with your commitments to a minimum. We attempt to keep to time – so you’re not kept waiting, however patients with breakages or who are late affect everybody else….If you have questions please ask….



  • Brush thoroughly at least three times a day (and especially after eating)
  • Use Flouride toothpaste with soft-bristled toothbrush
  • Clean between teeth daily to remove plaque from areas your toothbrush can’t reach
  • Use a fluoride mouth rinse at least once daily to help prevent cavities
  • Eat a well balanced diet – but avoid sticky or chewy foods than can damage your braces and increased the risk of cavities
  • Continue to visit your dentist and hygienist for regular check ups
  • Ring us immediately if you have a breakage