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Life with braces

Advances in the orthodontic industry means treatment is relatively comfortable, achieves excellent results and fits in with your lifestyle. At the Oxford Orthodontic Centre, we want you to get the very best out of your treatment, so here are a few things to know about living with braces.


New braces

Once you have chosen your braces and had them fitted to your teeth, you will experience a little bit of discomfort for the first few days. Think of them a bit like shoes and how a new pair of shoes can rub to start with. But the discomfort is easily relieved:

  • Take your normal headache tablet regularly for the first 24-48 hours.
  • If your braces rub your cheeks you may find rinsing with hot salty water will help.
  • Use your wax pack as advised.
  • Keep your braces very clean because infected gums can be painful.

Life with braces

What to eat with braces

During those first few days of treatment when your teeth are a little tender, soft foods are your best option. Here are some yummy ideas for you to serve up at breakfast, lunch and dinner:

  • Porridge
  • Smoothies (just be careful of berry seeds as these can get stuck in your teeth)
  • Scrambled eggs
  • Pancakes
  • Soup
  • Macaroni cheese
  • Yoghurt
  • Baked beans

While wearing braces, make sure you don’t eat hard or crunchy foods, such as pizza crusts, or bite into hard foods, such as carrots, apples and corn cobs. You can still enjoy all your favourite foods, but just make sure you put the health of your teeth first. Our team can advise you on the best types of food to eat while having orthodontic treatment.

Life with braces

Orthodontic emergencies

Fortunately, orthodontic emergences are infrequent and if you follow our instructions carefully then very little will go wrong. However, occasionally you may run into problems. If you experience any of the following issues with your appliance, please let us know and follow our recommendations below until you can come in and see us.

Poking wire: If a fixed brace wire pokes out then you may be able to reposition it with your finger so that it is out of the way. Otherwise you may be able to cover the wire end with a bit of the soft wax we gave you at the start of treatment; suitable alternatives are a small piece of sugar-free chewing gum or a small piece of damp cotton wool.

Life with braces

Dislodged wire: If a long piece of thin wire becomes dislodged from several brackets then you may be able to get someone else to clip it off with sharp nail clippers. Be careful not to swallow the loose fragment.

Loose bracket: If a fixed brace bracket becomes unstuck and causes discomfort you may be able to flip it over to face the tooth.

If all else fails you may try and remove the wires. This can be done by removing ALL the small coloured elastics placed around each bracket; try using the end of a paperclip to help you. With all the elastics removed the wire may be gently pulled forward out of the mouth. Please let us know about this, as the wire should be replaced quickly to prevent unwanted tooth movement.

Life with braces

Emergency Appointments

We always keep a few emergency appointments free at 11.15; please ring early in the morning and let us know if you need one. These are very short appointments to get you out of discomfort. If your fixed brace is broken, it will be repaired at your next regular appliance check.

Life with braces