Category Archives: Brace Instructions

How to keep your smile – Retainer wear

Now your teeth are straight you must wear your retainers as advised by your orthodontist.

Your teeth will move throughout life if you do not wear your retainers because the fibres between them retain a force for a long time after treatment. When we remove the braces the force in these fibres may make your teeth try to twist back to where they started. The teeth need to be held straight until these forces reduce.

Your retainers must be worn full time for the first 2 days and every night after this, gradually reducing over time as advised. As part of your aftercare the orthodontist will continue to check on your retainer wear for 18 months after the brace is removed and you should bring your retainers to the appointments.

If your retainers begin to feel uncomfortable, you should contact us immediately and increase the wear as it maybe due to the teeth moving position. If you retainers are lost, broken or stop fitting then replacements are charged at £149.00 per appliance.

If you have a wire retainer behind your teeth you must contact us immediately if this is broken or loose. You must also wear your removable retainer full time until the wire retainer has been repaired.

You should keep your retainers in a box when not wearing them and let us know if there is a problem with them as soon as you can.

Please do not use toothpaste on your retainers as this will damage them – Retainer-Brite cleaner is advised. Use lukewarm water (NOT HOT) to dissolve the tablets.

How to care for your Invisalign aligners

So your on the road to your dream smile! 


Follow this simple advice to care for your aligners

  • Aligners must be worn for 22 hours per day. They should be removed for cleaning the teeth and for eating and drinking anything other than water. Failure to wear the aligners as instructed will produce unpredictable tooth movements and full alignment of the teeth cannot be guaranteed.
  • Drinking sugary drinks or eating sugary foods with the aligners in your mouth can cause extensive damage to the teeth. The aligners should also be removed for contact sports or swimming.
  • When aligners are fitted, they can feel tight and uncomfortable. This feeling usually wears off after a few hours. The plastic also increases salivation and again this wears off after a few hours. We recommend using chewies to seat the aligners every time you put them in.
  • Your speech may be affected slightly when the aligners are first inserted but this will reduce after the first day or so.
  • Each set of aligners is worn usually for 10 days unless instructed by your orthodontist. When changing to the next aligner it is advisable to change this just before going to bed to minimise discomfort and reduce lisping.
  • Aligners should be stored in a box when not in the mouth to keep them safe. If aligners are lost or broken beyond repair please inform the orthodontist immediately.
  • When the aligners are first fitted and the teeth start to move it is normal to feel some discomfort of your teeth. This is usually worse for the first 24-36 hours and then eases. Painkillers can be taken to relieve this
  • If the aligner irritates the gum, please contact the orthodontist to smooth the appliance. A nail file can used to smooth any rough areas.
  • Tooth coloured attachments are fitted to the teeth to help with tooth movement. Please contact us if any of these attachments come off.
  • Retainer Brite is recommended for cleaning the aligners. Always use lukewarm water to dissolve the Retainer Brite tablets. DO NOT USE HOT WATER as this will distort the plastic.
  • DO NOT USE TOOTHPASTE to clean the aligners as this will damage and discolour them.
  • Do not smoke when wearing aligners as the heat of the cigarette will distort the plastic. The nicotine will discolour the plastic.

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How to care for your fixed brace

Caring for your fixed appliance

Follow the instructions below to ensure that you care for you brace as well as possible!

grren monseter                                 Toothbrushing

Toothbrushing is very important. The brace should be cleaned after every meal. This means that you will need to clean your teeth at school or work. You will need two types of brush to clean your teeth thoroughly. The first is an orthodontic toothbrush it has a ’v’’ shape, designed to go around the brackets. The second is called an interdental brush. This one is essential to clean between the brackets and under the wire, areas which your toothbrush will not reach!

All the necessary items to care for your brace and oral health during treatment can be purchased at reception.

blue monster                                   Eating and drinking

You are not allowed to eat sticky foods, toffees, chewing gum etc. as these damage the brace. Sugary foods should be avoided, especially snacking between meals. Tough or crunchy foods such as apples, carrots,pizza crusts and baguettes should be limited and if eaten should be cut into bite size pieces. Do not consume fizzy drinks (including ‘diet’) as these can cause irreversible damage your teeth. Milk and water are the only safe drinks.

purple monseter                                             Mouthwash

A fluoride mouthwash is recommended to keep the enamel of the teeth strong when the fixed appliance is in place. This should be used every night, at a different time to brushing. It should be held in the mouth for a full minute to be effective. The instructions on the bottle should be followed carefully and kept out of reach of young children!

This is NOT a substitute for tooth brushing.

orange monster                                  Pain and discomfort

Initially each time the brace is adjusted your teeth will be quite tender. This usually wears off after 24-36 hours. Your usual pain relief should be used during this period. However, if the pain is excessive please contact the surgery for an earlier appointment. If you have any sore areas caused by the brace rubbing, soft wax can be purchased at reception to place over the brace. This provides protection to the soft tissues of the mouth allowing them time to harden up to the new brace.

Broken or loose parts

It is very important that you check your brace thoroughly for any lost or broken parts. Things to look for are the square brackets sliding along the wire or completely missing and wires which are no longer tucked into the brackets. If you notice this happening or anything else which seems unusual contact the reception on 01924380680 (the repair clinic is run every day 12.30 – 12.50 by appointment only). Remember failure to have the brace repaired can extend treatment times by months!


Keep your regular dental check-ups with your own dentist.

If you have an out of hours emergency contact 111.

So your getting braces?



If you’re about to get braces, you’re probably wondering why they’re so important, whether or not they’ll hurt and how long you’ll have to keep them. Get the answers here, plus info on eating with braces and cleaning your braces …

Over 202,300 people in the UK started orthodontic treatment 2014-15!

What are they?

Braces straighten crooked or overcrowded teeth.

There are lots of different types of braces, including see-through ones, white ones, and some that stick to the inside of your teeth.

They exert a steady pressure on the teeth to gradually realign them.

Why have I got to have them?

You’ll get a beautiful smile. Your teeth will be easier to clean (clean teeth = less fillings = less falsies when you’re older).

What will happen at the orthodontist?

The orthodontist is the braces expert. They’ll probably take some X-rays, or some photos of your jaw. You may have to bite down on some mushy stuff or have your teeth scanned to record how your teeth come together.

Once you’re fitted with a brace, you’ll return for check-ups every month or so. The orthodontist may adjust the braces to keep the pressure on your teeth.

Will it hurt?

A little. For a few days after you first get a brace, and for a few days after each adjustment, your mouth may feel a bit sore. But nothing that a pain relief tablet can’t handle. If a wire or bracket is rubbing, smearing on some Vaseline or wax should ease it.

How long will they stay in for?

Fixed braces usually stay in for between eighteen months to two years, but it varies. The longest ever recorded? 20 years. He forgot to go back.

Do I have to stop eating?

No. For a few days after they first go in, you may be advised to stick to soft food. The last thing you want is to dislodge them on a chunk of carrot.

How do I keep them clean?

Braces are like magnets for food. Not only does debris look alarming, but it can also accelerate decay. Clean thoroughly after meals and before bed.

Am I a freak?

No way. Over 202,300 people in the UK started orthodontic treatment in 2014-15 and more adults than ever before are having treatment – often through choice. So just sit tight, safe in the knowledge that you’ll have a killer smile when they come off!

BBC Advice factfiles are here to help young people with a broad range of issues. They’re based on advice from medical professionals, government bodies, charities and other relevant groups. Follow the links for more advice from these organisations.

BBC Advice

10 things you need to know when you’ve had your brace fit


  • It is normal to experience a mild aching in your teeth. If you experience excessive pain contact the practice for advice.
  • During treatment one or two teeth may feel bruised to bite on or feel like they are in the way of your bite.
  • Gaps in your teeth may increase as teeth as moved into their new positions, this is nothing to be concerned about all the gaps will be closed as the teeth are aligned.
  • If any of the square brackets which are stuck to each individual tooth slide or spin on the wire the brace has broken, you will need to telephone the practice to get it repaired.
  • If any metal parts of the brace rub you can cover these with wax until your lips and cheeks toughen up. Wax can be bought at any orthodontic practice.
  • Occasionally the wires may twist and rub cheeks. This will need correcting by your orthodontist as wax will only offer a temporary relief for it. If anything suddenly feels sharp or like it is ‘sticking in’ contact the reception staff for an appointment.
  • Delaying repairs can add weeks to the duration of your treatment.
  • We will work hard to align your teeth but your perfect smile also depends on good oral hygiene! An effective tooth brushing regime is essential throughout treatment to avoid the white ‘chalky stains’ known as decalcification. This is irreversible but easily avoided by ensuring time is taken to remove all plaque using the specific oral hygiene products recommended by your orthodontist. Visit for more advice.
  • Adjustments to your diet will be necessary during treatment. Sugary foods and drinks should be avoided; this includes ‘low sugar’ varieties of drinks! Sticky and hard foods can damage the brace; this will mean added appointment time and possible delays to the progress of your treatment.
  • During treatment it is essential to continue regular check-ups with your dentist and inform us if you change practices.


So your on your way to a new smile! Follow these 6 essential steps to ensure that you maintain excellent oral hygiene. Plaque left on tooth surfaces can cause irreversible damage called decalcification. These white ‘chalky marks’ are not caused by the brace but by ineffective tooth brushing during treatment.



  • 3-4 times a day – Tooth brushing is very important! Brush on a morning, an evening (before bed) and after every meal. This means you will have to clean your teeth during school/work hours. Make sure you brush all your tooth surfaces and get in and around the brackets efficiently. Don’t forget to brush your gums!
  • Brush for at least 2 minutes each time



  • There are two types of brushes you will need to clean your teeth thoroughly. The first is and orthodontic toothbrush – It has a ‘V’ shape, designed to go around the brackets. The second one is called an interdental brush
  • This is essential to clean between the brackets and under the wire
  • The places your toothbrush can’t reach.
  • Replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months to ensure your teeth are getting the best clean.

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  • Use fluoride toothpaste, it doesn’t matter which one as long as it contains fluoride. Use a pea sized amount on your toothbrush.


  • A fluoride mouthwash is recommended to keep the enamel of the teeth strong when the fixed appliance is in place. This should be used every night at a different time to brushing.
  • Hold it in the mouth for a fill minute and ‘swish’ around for it to reach all areas of your mouth.
  • This is NOT a substitute for tooth brushing!


  • It might seem like you can’t floss whilst your braces are on, but you can. You can get special flossing products for when you’re wearing your orthodontic appliance
  • These include interdental brushes and floss threaders. You can do this at least once a day.


  • If you or your orthodontist feels like you aren’t brushing your teeth correctly these are perfect for showing you the places that you have missed.
  • Simply chew the tablet and ‘swish’ it round your mouth for a few seconds and it will colour the areas of your teeth and gums that you have missed. You can then brush away the areas that you haven’t reached. Do this a 1-2 times a week to keep you on top of your brushing and keep your teeth and gums healthy.
  • Remember to put Vaseline on your lips to avoid dying your lips a bright colour!

By following these 6 simple rules you can ensure a wonderful new smile.