The most important fact to remember about fixed appliances therapy is hygiene. If the patient does not keep the appliances clean, either decay or a change in tooth colour will result around the braces. The patient must brush after every meal being careful to clean around each individual tooth. In addition, an irrigation cleaning system with fluoride should be performed after breakfast and just prior to bed. The standard plaque controlling fluoride mouthwash can be added to the water reservoir or used after irrigation. If these rules are observed, no damage will occur to the teeth or gums as a result of orthodontic therapy.
A second major factor in appliance care is diet. Orthodontic appliances are very delicate instruments and can be very easily damaged by improper diet. Sticky foods such as gum and sweets must be avoided. In addition, hard items such as ice, nuts or crisps can break the appliance away from the tooth. Common sense dictates that careful attention to eating habits can speed treatment and reduce the cost of orthodontic therapy. If elastics are required as part of the therapy, they should be worn exactly as requested by the Dentist. All rubber bands should be exchanged for new ones every twelve hours. If the rubber band supply becomes low, please contact the dental office for an additional supply.