Care and cleaning of removable braces

Instructions about removable braces

What are removable braces? Removable braces are orthodontic appliances, which move the teeth selectively to correct your bite. “They are not usually designed to straighten your teeth”.

What is “bite”? Your bite is the way your top and bottom teeth meet.

Why do I need braces? You need braces because your bite is wrong. Your bite might be wrong because your upper and lower jaws are not growing at equal speed or displacement of a tooth or some teeth have altered your bite from its normal position.

Do I still need to see my dentist when I am having treatment with my orthodontist? Yes. Your orthodontist is only responsible for you brace treatment and your general dental health still needs to be checked up by your own general dentist on a regular basis.

I want my teeth straightened, but I don’t care about my bite! Your bite is the foundation of your mouth. If your bite is wrong, the growth of your jaws may become affected and cause asymmetry in your face.

Can I choose the type of brace I need to wear? No, there is usually one brace that fixes your problem the best. Your orthodontist will advise you on what suits your problem the best. You are not qualified to make that decision as you are not qualified to decide which medicine the doctor should give you when you are ill.

OK then, I want to get these removable braces, but is it sore? Not really! When we fit your brace, it will feel like wearing a gum shield, it might be a bit uncomfortable for the first few days as you are not used to having something in your mouth, but you get used to it and if it is worn full time, soon you don’t feel it is there at all.

When can I take it out? You take your brace out for brushing, contact sports and swimming. Some can take out their brace for eating. Your orthodontist will tell you if you can take your brace out or if you need to keep it in for eating.

Should I keep my brace in when I am sleeping? Absolutely! This is a 24-hours brace. If you do not wear your brace full time it won’t work!

How do I make sure I don’t lose my brace? You need to wear your brace all the time apart from the times mentioned above. You need to make a hard box or buy a removable brace box from the reception to keep your braces in when it is taken out. Remember, if your brace is always in your mouth or kept in the box when you need to take it out, you are very unlikely to lose it. If you lose your removable brace or break it beyond repair, there would be some time before we can make a new one for you. In that time, you can lose a considerable amount of correction in your teeth that you have previously achieved. In addition, you need to pay for the new brace. Ask the practice reception about the cost of a new brace.

How do I clean my brace? Brush your brace with your toothbrush and water every time you brush your teeth. Do not use toothpaste on your brace. If you are out of home and do not have access to a toothbrush, simply take out your brace and rinse out your mouth and your brace with water after eating. There is also a special cleaner called “Retainer Brite ®” for cleaning removable braces if you would like it to be extra clean. Ask the practice receptionist about “Retainer Brite ®”.

Can I use an electric toothbrush? Yes, but do not use toothpaste on your brace.

Does the brace affect my speech? It usually does for the first day or two as you might get a lisp. The speech problem goes away after a day or two if the brace is worn full time.

I play a woodwind instrument. Is it going to affect it? It may be difficult to play some of the notes initially, but if you do enough practice, you won’t have any problems after a short while. If you have a lot of difficulties playing the instrument with the brace in, take it out just for playing.

What are the foods I should avoid? You should avoid hard food as they can break your brace. Use your common sense! Chewing into a lollipop for example can break your brace. You should also avoid acidic drinks with your brace in. Fizzy juices, diluted juices, citrus fruit juices and flavoured water are all acidic and can erode your teeth very rapidly with your brace in. If you have been told that you can take your brace out for eating, you can have anything that you usually eat.

What if my brace breaks anyway? Contact the practice and see if you can get an extra appointment to have it fixed. The extra appointments are very limited and there is no guarantee that you can get one. If your brace is causing a lot of discomfort or the brace does not stay in your mouth because of the breakage, stop wearing it, but arrange an extra appointment as soon as possible.

My brace is very loose and does not stay in my mouth or falls out easily. “Wearing a loose brace at night is very dangerous” and can block your airway when you are sleeping. You must not wear the brace at night if it does not stay in place. Contact your orthodontist to make an extra appointment to have it tightened.

Do I need to have my braces adjusted once they are fitted? Yes. Your braces need to be adjusted once every 4-12 weeks. You need to arrange your next appointment every time you see your orthodontist.

What does happen if I miss my follow up appointments? If you have a brace fitted, the brace is adjusted to do a certain amount of movement to your teeth over a certain period of time. If you miss your appointment, the movement can exceed its required amount and either cause damage to your teeth or delay your treatment. We will not contact you if you miss your appointment to make a new one. You are responsible to keep your appointments. Please kindly note that there might be a penalty charge if you fail your appointments, and if this happens frequently we may discontinue your treatment and close your case.
If you have a screw in your brace and you have been told to turn it, you should stop turning it if you miss your appointment until you can arrange a new appointment to be seen. You should carry on wearing the brace full time through.

How long do I need to wear my braces? Ask your orthodontist as it varies. It is not always possible to give you an exact time as the speed of tooth movement varies from individual to individual. Breakages and part-time wearing prolong your treatment.