Helpful Information & Tips for Your Treatment
It is important to note that tooth sensitivity and irritation to the cheeks, lips, and tongue is to be expected for the first 4 - 5 days after the initial placement of the braces. The chewing of sugar-free gum during this period will reduce such sensitivity.
Elastics & Oral Hygiene
It is absolutely imperative to follow the instructions on how to wear your elastics. This is a crucial part of ensuring treatment success.
The instructions regarding perfect oral hygiene must also be complied with to ensure successful treatment.
Remember to use a tongue scraper daily for fresh breath and to remove the dead cells and plaque which collect on the tongue.
Additional elastics and wax are available during office hours at our practices.
Should the patient’s oral hygiene be so poor that Dr Hugo feels it is in the patient’s best interests to discontinue treatment, the braces will be removed immediately. This will help to prevent further damage to the teeth, until such time as the oral hygiene and condition of the gums is acceptable and treatment can continue.
how to brush
Use a toothbrush with a small amount of toothpaste. Place bristles above the bracket, where gums and teeth meet
Use circular, vibrating motions around the gum lines
Brush slowly, upper and lower teeth separately, every tooth inside and outside
Brush the lower teeth upwards, and the upper teeth downwards
Brush your tongue or use a tongue scraper
Brush the roof of your mouth and your cheeks
You should aim to brush your teeth after every meal. If you cannot brush your teeth rinse your mouth with water. The use of an interdental brush is recommended for effective plaque removal. For sore places or ulcers in the mouth a salt water solution is recommended - 1 teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water twice a day.
how to floss
Carefully pull a piece of Superfloss between the wire and the tooth
Floss around each bracket
Floss around the gum area
Floss around each tooth
Concentrate on areas between the bracket and the gum
Chewing of any hard foodstuffs is forbidden during the entire treatment period. Certain “foods” like toffees or Fizzers are not soft enough and shouldn’t be eaten at all. Dry wors and biltong are serious culprits too; not only breaking the braces, but resulting in sinewy strands of biltong / dry wors wrapping themselves around the braces for weeks afterwards, a perfect breeding ground for germs and clearly an unhygienic situation.
Patients sometimes say that they were eating something soft and the brace just broke. This is not possible – what really happens is that the bracket or arch-wire is fractured due to some earlier insult, such as grinding or clenching the teeth or eating hard food.
We use the best quality braces and composite adhesive (glues). If the brackets can withstand the forces involved in placing the arch-wire, they will withstand careful chewing of the correct foods.