More dental practices are beginning to resume their regular working hours, and people can now visit the clinic for different dental issues. However, dental practices are giving preference to people with emergency dental needs, so you may not be able to see a dentist for certain issues.
To ensure you remain safe and healthy, here are some tips to helps you care for your orthodontic device like braces while you are self-isolating.
Rubber (elastic bands) on fixed braces
Wear your elastic or rubber bands as instructed by your orthodontist until your front upper teeth are about 2 mm in front of your teeth on the bottom arch. After you achieve this result, wear the rubber bands only at night to ensure your upper front teeth remain in their new position. Ensure you bite your back teeth together as you normally would.
If you are unsure about the correct positioning of your teeth, take a picture of your teeth in a portrait view and send to your orthodontist. They may contact you to tell you the right steps to take.
While self-isolating, wear your Invisalign aligners as instructed by best London Invisalign dentist. If you have worn all your recommended aligners, ensure you contact your orthodontist to know the right steps to follow to get a new set.
Functional appliances (twin block braces)
If you use a functional appliance like twin block braces, leave them in, but stop turning the screw. Continue to wear your twin braces for nine months, counting from when you fitted the braces.
Wearing retainers and caring for then during self-isolation
If you concluded an orthodontic treatment and you are wearing retainers, ensure that you continue to wear your retainers as your orthodontist recommends. This will help prevent your teeth from gradually moving back to their previous position. If you discontinue wearing your retainers for only a day or two, your teeth may start shifting to their previous position.
For persons who concluded their orthodontic treatment within the past year, ensure you wear your retainers at night. If you forget to wear the retainer at night, ensure you make up for it by wearing the retainer the next day.
Persons who concluded their orthodontic treatment over 12 months ago can reduce their retainer wearing time if they have worn the retainer for about a year. If you are in this category, you can start by wearing your retainers on alternate nights. If the retainers begin to feel tighter than they should be or you notice that your teeth are gradually changing position, increase the number of nights or hours of wearing the retainers. You may opt for wearing your retainers every night to avoid a relapse.
If you are using a bonded or fixed retainer, ensure you brush your teeth and clean the retainers as you normally would. If you have removable retainers, clean them using liquid soap and cold water. You may also decide to clean your retainers with Retainer Brite.
Lost or broken retainers
If your retainers are missing or broken, or you think your teeth are gradually moving to their previous position, contact your orthodontist immediately. If you wear a fixed retainer and it comes off, continue to use your removable retainers before you go to bed. However, if your fixed retainer came off partly and you can’t wear the removable one, contact your orthodontist as soon as you can.
Braces wire digging into your mouth
If the wires of your braces are digging into your mouth, you can try using a tweezer or get a family member to replace the wire or use scissors or nail clipper to cut the long part of the wire causing the discomfort.
If the wire is a thin one, it may the right size but has rotated around your teeth so one end is short and the other long. You can use tweezers to push the long end of the wire that is digging in.
If it is a thick and stiff wire, you may not be able to cut it off using a home instrument, so you need to cover the wire to prevent it from digging in. you can use orthodontic wax. Alternatively, you can use a baby gel or chewing gun to cover the wire while you seek care from your orthodontist.
Diet and oral hygiene
It is important to brush your teeth regularly and thoroughly using a fluoride toothpaste and also be careful about what you eat if you are using braces.
Here are foods you should avoid while wearing braces.
- Acidic, sugary and sweet drinks which include flavoured water, smoothies that contain acidic foods, squash, diet drinks and fizzy water. These drinks can cause teeth decay and leave permanent marks in the skin
- Sticky and hard foods such as toffees because they increase your risk of having broken brackets and wires.
Ensure you follow these care tips because some orthodontic practices may not be available to offer immediate orthodontic care.
For more information about how to care for your orthodontic devices while on self-isolation, you can contact Dental Clinic London. Our orthodontist will always be available to receive your calls and offer you the support and advice you need to ensure your health and safety. Our orthodontist will always access your situation and tell you whether or not to come to the clinic for further care.