What are orthodontic elastics?

Elastics are essentially tiny elastic bands that are worn between the upper and lower brace to correct the way the teeth bite together. Not everyone will have to wear them but most patients will be asked to at some stage during their orthodontic treatment.

Elastics are an important part of treatment and their success is solely down to patient compliance. If your orthodontist asks you to wear elastics as part of your treatment plan it is essential you wear them as instructed to achieve the best result! If you run out of elastics just contact the practice and we will happily send out some more to you in the post.

How often do I get my braces checked?

Once your brace has been fitted your orthodontist will ask to see you approximately every 6-12 weeks to make adjustments. The interval between appointments will all depend on what stage of treatment you are at and what adjustments you orthodontist needs to make next time. Speak to a member of our reception team to book your next visit with us, this can be done in person at your next visit or over the phone.

What should I use to clean my braces?

Now you have your brace fitted you might find cleaning a bit trickier, but excellent oral health is essential to prevent damage to the teeth and gums. 

You will need to brush your teeth three times a day, ideally after eating. This may mean you have to take a manual toothbrush or mouthwash with you to school or work. It is fine to use either a manual or electric toothbrush with a brace, just remember you will need to charge your electric toothbrush more often and the heads of both brushes will need to be replaced regularly.

Using inter-dental brushes (TePe’s) to clean under the wire and around the brackets will help to keep the harder to reach areas of your brace clean. You will also need to use disclosing tablets regularly to highlight any areas that you may have missed when brushing.

Fluoride mouthwash can be helpful in reducing the risk of damage to the tooth surface and minimising the risk of ‘white marks’ on the teeth. We do recommend an alcohol-free daily mouthwash with a fluoride level of at least 225ppm. We are always happy to advise you on your oral hygiene and answer any questions you may have.


What if I play contact sports?

If you play any type of contact sport then wearing a mouth guard is essential, whether you have a brace of not!

Mouthguards are the best way to protect the teeth from damage while playing contact sports. The best type of mouthguard is one that is custom made for your teeth ensuring it is the best fit and therefore less likely to be dislodged during activity. Alternatively there are a variety of stock mouth guards available to buy which can be moulded at home. At Contour Orthodontists we aim to give you a beautiful smile which means protecting your teeth from damage during treatment, therefore we supply both custom made and stock retainers for our patients to purchase from reception.

What foods should I avoid with my braces?

When you have your brace fitted it is really important to bear in mind that there is now something in your mouth, and it is breakable!

Therefore when it comes to food there are certain things to avoid. Anything sticky or hard, including chewing gum should not be eaten as they are likely to damage the brace. Some examples of foods to avoid are, toffees, chocolate bars, sweets, biscuits, very crunchy crisps, nuts, crusty bread (such as pizza crusts) and similar foods. Fruit and vegetables should be cut into small pieces and chewed carefully on the back teeth.

If you find yourself getting hungry between meals we recommend you choose a savoury snack such as bread, ham or cheese rather that reaching for something sugary. Drinks should be kept to water, milk and tea or coffee without sugar. Juices should be kept to a minimum and consumed at meal times. It is a common misconception that drinking  through a straw will reduce the damage caused by sugary and fizzy drinks, unfortunately this is not the case and these should definitely be avoided during your orthodontic treatment.

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