How to look after your braces while self-isolating
Are you currently in a situation where you are unable to come in for any brace care due to having to self-isolate? Well fear not, we have come up with a few tips on how to look after your braces during self-isolation.
Elastics (rubber bands) for fixed braces
Continue to wear your elastic bands as prescribed until the top front teeth are about 2mm in front of the bottom teeth. Once this is achieved, wear them at night-time only to maintain the position of your teeth. Make sure you’re biting together normally on your back teeth.
If you aren’t sure whether your teeth are in the correct position, take a portrait picture on your phone and send it to us (if you’re a patient) and we’ll let you know what to do.
Continue to wear your Invisalign aligners as discussed with your orthodontist. If you get to the end of your aligners and need more, please contact Northenden House to get further advice.
Wearing and looking after your retainers
If you’re wearing a retainer following orthodontic treatment, you must continue to wear this as directed by your orthodontist, otherwise your teeth will move back to their pre-treatment position, or even worse. Even leaving your retainer out for one or two days can result in your teeth moving.
- If you’ve finished your orthodontic treatment in the last year: Make sure you continue to wear your retainer every night. If you miss a night, make up for this by wearing them the following day.
- If you finished your orthodontic treatment over 12 months ago: You can start to reduce the amount of time you wear your retainer. Start by wearing them on alternate nights, but if the retainers feel tighter than usual or you feel that the position of your teeth is changing, then increase the amount of wear. We advise you wear the retainers for a minimum of every other night.
- If you wear a fixed (bonded) retainer: Continue to brush your teeth as normal and wear your removable retainers at night-time as usual.
Remember to clean your removable retainer in cold water and liquid soap, or Retainer Brite.
Broken or lost retainers
If you’ve lost or broken your retainer, or you’re worried your teeth are moving, then contact Northenden House Orthodontics immediately.
If a fixed retainer comes off completely, continue to wear your removable retainer at night. If it has partly come off, meaning your removable retainer doesn’t fit, our practice as soon as possible.
Wires from braces digging in
If wires from your braces are digging in, it might be possible for you or a family member to use tweezers to replace the wire in the tube/band or use a nail clipper or scissors to shorten the long end.
- For thin wires: It may be that a thin wire is the correct size but may have rotated around the teeth so that it’s short on one side and long on the other. Using tweezers it may be possible to push the wire back round to prevent the long end digging in.
- For thick wires: If the wire is very thick and stiff it may not be possible to cut the wire with home instruments. If this is the case, it may be necessary to cover the wire to prevent it from digging in. The best thing to use is orthodontic wax, which you can buy online, or we can send to you if necessary. Failing that, using a wax covering from hard cheese such as a Babybel may help.
So, now you know a few ways to take care of your braces during self-isolation, if you are in need of any help with braces though make sure to get in touch with Northenden House today at 0161 884 1481.
- Mohammad Malik