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Managing orthodontic problems at home during COVID-19

Looking after your braces

To reduce the need for emergency appointments and a potential increase in the duration of your treatment, it is very important that you look after your braces by maintaining a high standard of oral hygiene and avoiding breakages. 

The British Orthodontic Society advise:

  • Avoid hard, sticky and chewy sweets and foods. Remember to cut up foods such apples, carrots and crusty bread before eating them.
  • Avoid sticky, chewy or hard sweets, mints and sugared chewing gum
  • Preventing damage to the tooth enamel and gums
  • Avoid sugary snacks/drinks between meals and at bedtime
  • Avoid fizzy drinks (including diet drinks and sports drinks) and large amounts of fruit juice
  • Brush your teeth for 2 minutes at least twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste
  • Rinse your teeth at a separate time to tooth brushing with an alcohol free fluoride mouthwash on a daily basis

Common brace problems

The British Orthodontic Society have some great advice on managing common brace problems such as loose or sharp wires on their website. However, before attempting any at-home fix you should call your orthodontic practice for advice. They will make sure you are able to do it safely, and give further support to resolve the problem.

Visit the British Orthodontic Society website to view the following videos:

  • Replacement of Lost Module
  • Debonded (Loose) Bracket
  • Lost Module/Loose Wire
  • Broken Bonded Retainer
  • Sharp Wire
  • Broken Elastic Chain (Power Chain)
  • Broken Long Wire (Ligature)
  • Exposed Metal Tie
  • Placing Wax to Prevent Rubbing
  • Interdental Brushes
  • Toothbrushing 

Looking after your elastics

Six simple steps to caring for your elastics:

  1. Elastics should be worn at all times, including whilst sleeping, unless otherwise instructed
  2. Put new elastics in each day. The best time is after you’ve cleaned your teeth, before you go to bed
  3. If you do not wear your elastics, the brace will not work and your teeth will not progress. This means you’ll end up having to wear the brace for longer
  1. If you’re running out of elastics, please contact the practice before you run out. Don’t forget any spares you might need!
  2. If you are in any doubt about how to wear your elastics, just ask any member of our team
  3. Wearing your elastics as instructed will mean that your smile will be better and we will finish the treatment sooner

Fixing your braces at home

The British Orthodontic Society have released a series of video's around fixing your braces at home. You can find these video's here:

Replacement of lost module

Debonded (Loose) Bracket

Lost Module/Loose Wire 

Broken Bonded Retainer

Sharp Wire

Broken Elastic Chain (Power Chain)

Broken Long Wire (Ligature)

Exposed Metal Tie

Placing Wax to Prevent Rubbing

Interdental Brushes

Toothbrushing