Appliance Care

The better care you take of your braces during the treatment process, the more likely it is that it will go according to plan. This means the length of time you wear your braces will stay in check.

To complete your treatment plan successfully, and your orthodontist should work together.

The teeth and jaws can only move into their proper positions if the patient wears the rubber bands, headgear and other appliances prescribed. Damaged or irregularly worn appliances make the treatment last longer.

How to Care for Your Orthodontic Appliances

Cleaning Your Removable Appliance

You should brush your removable appliance every day at the same time you brush and floss your teeth.

First of all, since food and plaque can easily accumulate on your appliance just like they can on your teeth, it helps to soak it regularly. To do this, dissolve a denture-cleaning tablet like Polident or Efferdent in a glass of tap water at room temperature, and soak your appliance in this solution once a day. If you do this, your appliance will taste better, and you will help prevent plaque and bacteria from accumulating.

But remember, soaking your appliance should be done as a supplement to brushing, not as a replacement for it.

Cleaning Your Fixed Appliance

It can be difficult to clean teeth when a fixed orthodontic appliance is in place. While wearing a fixed appliance, you must pay careful attention to your oral hygiene, to reduce the chance of developing tooth decay or gum disease. >> Learn more about brushing and flossing with braces.

Elastics Care

  • Always carry extra rubber bands with you, so if one breaks, you can replace it straight away.
  • If you forget to wear your rubber bands, don’t double up on them the next day – just continue to follow your regular instructions.
  • Rubber bands wear out. When they lose their elasticity, they don't provide effective pressure to your teeth and jaws.
  • Put in new elastics after every meal, even when they are not broken.
  • If your rubber bands break frequently, or if the hook for your rubber bands breaks, call the office right away.

If you are sore from the rubber bands, don’t get discouraged! The soreness fades, just like the soreness from new wires does. Removing your elastics will simply cause you to be sore for a longer time and it might also damage your teeth.

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