Preventing Orthodontic Problems

It is even more important than usual to look after your teeth and braces well. If you do this, we will still be able to help you get a beautiful smile at the end of your brace treatment.


Fixed braces (train tracks) should be cleaned after each time you eat – at least 3 times a day. Food and plaque left sitting around a brace will lead to decay and ugly marks on the enamel. Plaque also causes swollen, sore or bleeding gums. The most common place for plaque to build up is behind the wire and between the gum and the bracket (the block attached to each tooth). Don’t forget to use your interdental brush in hard to reach areas.

Eating Carefully

It is easier to snack when at home all day and those of you celebrating Easter are likely to be looking forward to a few chocolate eggs this weekend too! With so many fun things banned at the moment we’d like you to know how to avoid those (few please!) treats causing lifelong stains on your teeth.

The secret lies in knowing that how often sweet food and drink is eaten is more important than the amount. If you fancy a treat, save it up to eat at a mealtime and then brush well afterwards. Avoid spreading little sweet snacks and drinks through the day.

At the moment you are very unlikely to be seen if your brace breaks. We will give advice over the phone about how to remove broken pieces or stop a broken brace from causing pain, but your treatment is likely to take longer because teeth will begin to move back toward where they came from.

You can avoid breakages by:

  • not eating hard, crunchy or chewy foods,
  • cutting food up small
  • eating slowly
  • not biting on pens, pencils or anything else that isn’t food

Fluoride Mouthwash

Using a fluoride mouthwash once a day (225ppm fluoride) helps keep enamel strong and less likely to decay. If you run out of mouthwash, toothbrushes or interdental brushes these can be bought in chemists, large supermarkets, or online.

What will happen to my treatment?

Overall treatment time is likely to be longer than it would have been normally but will be much quicker than if you had a lot of breakages allowing teeth to move backwards. We will do everything possible to catch up again and get your treatment finished once

Elastics: For patients wearing elastics, continue as you were last advised until they run out. We won’t send out more elastics after that, because we need to assess your teeth and the way they bite to know whether more are needed. The best way for the front teeth to meet is with the lower incisors biting on the back of the upper incisors. If you are worried that your elastics are pulling the teeth too far, stop them. It will be easy to restart once you have been seen again by your orthodontist.

Let us know if your brace breaks. We can still provide advice when needed and help make sure you get the best end result for your treatment.