During and After Treatment
If you’ve already started your treatment with iSmile, take a read below to find out all you need to know about the next steps, how you can adapt your lifestyle and diet around your braces and what to expect when you’ve finished your treatment.
Patients must come back to iSmile periodically throughout their treatment to ensure their teeth are making good progress. If you have metal or ceramic braces, these appointments will involve a tightening of the wire to increase the pressure on your teeth which causes them to move into place.
One of the most common changes you may notice when you first get your braces is your speech. It can take a few days for your mouth to get used to your braces and the way you speak may be affected by this for a brief period of time. However, it doesn’t take long for our mouths to learn how the braces feel within them. It is important not to feel shy and stop speaking after you get your braces. The more you talk, the quicker your mouth will adapt and your speech will return to normal.
It is natural to feel some pain and discomfort when you are undergoing orthodontic treatment. We are moving your teeth within your mouth by applying pressure which, at first, the teeth resist. A few days after your wire tightening or putting in a new Invisalign retainer, however, the teeth will already have moved enough that the pain will have subsided significantly. You can take painkillers if it helps and many patients drink iced water to numb their mouths too.
Patients who have Invisalign retainers will notice relatively few chances to their lifestyle. One of the best features of this style of treatment is their removability. This means you can eat normally, brush your teeth without problems and play sports safely throughout your treatment.
When eating with braces, you need to be careful not to damage them. Broken braces set treatments back and can be painful. Avoid biting anything hard (carrots, apples, ice) and eating sticky food (candy, toffee, peanut butter). After every meal you should brush your teeth thoroughly to dislodge any remaining food which is caught on your braces. It is a good idea to carry around a compact mirror so you can check to see if anything is stuck in your teeth wherever you are.
Sometimes braces break or something goes wrong. Read the scenarios below to find out what to do in each case:
- I broke a bracket
- In the event of a bracket breaking, you will need to make an emergency appointment to see your orthodontist and to reattach the bracket. Make it as soon as possible because the longer the bracket is off, the more at risk your teeth are of experiencing a relapse.
- My wire has come out
- This is usually an emergency case and you will need to visit iSmile as soon as possible to enable us to reattach it. If just the end of the wire has come out of the rear bracket, it is sometimes possible for patients to reinsert the wire using tweezers or needle-nosed pliers but be very careful. If you are not confident doing this or having a family member help you, simply call iSmile and we’ll fit you in as soon as possible.
- My wire is digging in
- The best way to combat this is to use dental wax, available from iSmile or a local pharmacy. Put a small amount over the end of the wire. Alternatively, try to gently bend the wire away from your cheek or gum using a Q-tip or the end of a pencil so it is not causing as much irritation. At your next appointment, be sure to tell your orthodontist about any discomfort and they can correct the problem. Before you leave our clinic chair, run your tongue over the braces to identify any sharp areas which can be corrected there and then.
- My appliance has broken/come loose
- Sometimes appliances get broken or dislodge. This can be painful and cause irritation in your mouth so it is best to make an emergency appointment with iSmile as soon as possible. We can usually fit you in for a repair quickly and with minimal impact to your overall treatment schedule.
- I’ve run out of elastics
- Rather than rationing your elastics or going without, simply call iSmile. You can either come in yourself to collect more or we will send you some in the post.
- I’ve broken/lost my retainer
- Call iSmile at once and we can arrange for a replacement to be made. Time is of the essence here as the longer you wait, the greater chance there is of a relapse. If your teeth move too much during the period you do not have your retainer, you might need to have another impression taken to create a mould which better fits your teeth. This will delay the overall program of your treatment and is best avoided. Always be careful with your retainer and when you take it out to eat, make sure you place it in a safe place.
More Helpful Information
Click on the links below to reach a helpful blog designed for our patients on each subject:
- How to Wear Your Elastics
- What Not to Eat With Braces
- Looking After Braces
- Dental Hygiene in Orthodontic Treatment
- Mouthguards and Sport
- Retainer Wear and Care After Treatment
You’ve got your braces off. Congratulations! But the work doesn’t stop here. To ensure your teeth stay in their new, correct positions, most people are required to wear a retainer at night for at least a few months. We will take an impression of your teeth to create a perfectly fitted retainer for your new smile. As soon as they arrive at the clinic, we will call you to come and collect them. This is an important part of your treatment because it allows the jawbone to remould itself around the new positions and stops your teeth from relapsing. Some people are fitted with a permanent retainer wire behind their teeth. Other people will have to wear a retainer for a specific length of time. Every patient is different so listen to your orthodontist’s advice when it comes to your personal after treatment.
Sometimes the exposed enamel of teeth can yellow slightly during treatment, a problem which is only noticeable once we remove the braces. It is possible to undergo teeth whitening to reduce this discolouration a few weeks after your braces have been taken off. It is best to wait for a short period to ensure the previously covered enamel is hard enough to withstand treatment. Maintaining good oral hygiene practices throughout your treatment is the best way to avoid this problem.
We will request a recall appointment six months after the end of your treatment and then one year later just to ensure the results are maintained.