Appliance Care

With proper care, your orthodontic appliances will continue to work the way they're supposed to, and your orthodontic treatment will stay on track.

Damaged appliances can increase the length of your treatment process, so be sure to take care of all your appliances. Your teeth and jaw can only move into their correct positions if you consistently wear the rubber bands, headgear, retainer, or other appliances prescribed by your doctor.

Caring For Orthodontic Appliances, Coquitlam Orthodontist

Cleaning Your Removable Appliance

Your removable appliance should be cleaned every day, at the same time you brush and floss your teeth.

Since food and plaque can build up easily on your appliance, just as they can on your teeth, soaking your appliances regularly can be very helpful. 

To soak your orthodontic appliance, dissolve a denture cleaning tablet (such as Polident or Efferdent) in a glass of room-temperature water, and soak your appliance in this solution daily. Doing this will make your appliance taste better, and will prevent plaque and bacteria from accumulating.

However, it's important to remember that soaking your appliance should be done to supplement actual cleaning, not as a replacement for it.

Cleaning Your Fixed Appliance

It's not easy to clean teeth with a fixed orthodontic appliance is in place, but it's extremely important to do so, to reduce the chance of developing tooth decay or gum disease. » Learn more about brushing and flossing with braces.

Caring For Your Elastics

Your elastics will be changed at each adjustment appointment. Between adjustments, follow these steps to make sure your elastics are doing their job as well as possible.
  • Carry extra rubber bands with you everywhere you go. That way, if one breaks, you can replace it right away away.
  • If you forget to wear your elastics, don’t try to double up on them the next day – just continue with your regular instructions.
  • Rubber bands can wear out. When they start losing their elasticity, they don't provide effective pressure to your teeth and jaws.
  • Put in new elastics after each meal, even if they aren't broken.
  • If your elastics break often, or if the hook for your elastics breaks, call the office right away.

Don’t feel discouraged if you are sore from the elastics! Your soreness will fade, just like the soreness from new wires. If you remove your elastics when you feel sore, it will simply cause the soreness to last longer, and it may also damage to your teeth.

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