Tuesday, 6 November 2012

How to Cope with Braces (Help Sheet)


Presented here is a fact sheet of issues and tips you may find useful when undergoing orthodontic treatment. 

  • No chewing gum.
  • Avoid hard or chewy foods (such as apples, pears, hard toffees, chewy sweets, steak, burgers, ribs, celery sticks and carrot sticks).
  • Cut back on sugary foods.
  • No fizzy drinks.
  • Drink all fluids through a straw when possible.
  • It is useful to carry a small pocket mirror and a food pick for the times when you eat out. 

  • Brush after every meal using strong minty toothpaste.
  • Brush your tongue daily to alleviate bacteria that can cause bad breath.
  • Purchase some brace brushes and small denture brushes to clean around the bracket area.
  • If you cannot floss, invest in a water pik. These can be purchased from most large retailers, such as boots. However, they do cost around £50.
  • Use a good mouthwash, such as Listerine or Aquafresh.
  • Steer clear of Corsodyl as your daily mouthwash, as this will stain your teeth.
  • Use a stain remover once a week, such as Eucryl or Pearl Drops.

  • Ulcers: treat with Bonjela (to numb the area), use cotton swabs at home to take some pressure off of the ulcer and stop it from rubbing. You can use Corsodyl as long as you brush your teeth within a couple of hours of use. You can also use pain relief, such as Paracetamol and ibuprofen.
  • Sensitive teeth: rub Sensodyne toothpaste directly onto your teeth and gum area. You can also use Sensodyne mouthwash. If the pain is too intense you can take some pain relief until the symptoms subsided.
  • Brace movement: if you experience pain after your braces are tightened you will need a soft diet for a few days. I found milkshakes, overcooked vegetables, egg, overcooked pasta and rice dishes to be the best options during this time. You can also take pain relief if you are in a lot of discomfort.
  • Broken braces: it is imperative to see your orthodontist immediately in the event of any breakages. If you do not this may delay your treatment.

  • Wear more natural toned make up.
  • Avoid bright blusher.
  • Avoid bright lip stick. I tended to used Vaseline on my lips.
  • I would draw attention to my upper face by using eye shadow and mascara.
  • For my long face shape I found wearing my hair down diverted some attention from my face and braces.
  • I did not wear high neck lines or turtle neck tops. I found this to better proportion my face and ensured that the braces did not look so striking.
  • Do not have coloured elastics in your the brace work. Keep to clear elastics.

It is important to note that this is not a professional document or medical viewpoint and the information presented is based on my experience and knowledge as a patient. If you experience any difficulties with your braces, pain in or around your mouth or experience any bleeding you should first seek out medical advice from your dentist or orthodontist to ensure that there are no other underlying issues. Additionally, consult your doctor or pharmacist before taking any medication to treat your symptoms.

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