Braces for nine months – and it’s baby pink!

I am now nine months into having my braces and coincidentally have gone for baby pink! They’ve been tightened, replaced with smaller wires, and Christina, the orthodontist, has also added springs on my lower mouth, where my gaps are.

I still have the gold hooks that were put on in November. After they were tightened, it hurt a bit to eat, so I had some pain killers.

On 3 June, it’s my brother Chris and his fiancée Louise’s wedding and, as a bridesmaid, I’m wearing a navy blue dress. I will need to make sure I have a colour to match when I next go to the orthodontist later this month – silver could be the best option!
That said, the lighter the colour, the easier it is that they can stain so dark colours are sometimes a safer option.

The braces on the lower teeth near the back are starting to rub a bit so I may start using the wax again. So far, I don’t mind braces but as the summer comes I am beginning to crave things like lemonade which is annoying – but I know having braces is worth it.

With the news that some of the bacteria found on retainers, worn after orthodontic treatment is completed, can be associated with the hospital superbug MRSA, chief executive of the British Dental Health Foundation, Dr Nigel Carter, suggests those who wear removeable braces or retainers must develop high standards of oral hygiene.

He says: ‘If you wear a removable appliance, it’s important you take the time and effort needed to keep your teeth and braces clean. If you have good oral hygiene while wearing a brace, this will help avoid developing problems such as dental decay, gum disease and tooth decalcification, and can often be the difference between a successful course of treatment or otherwise.

‘Removable appliances should be cleaned with a brush soak brush method of cleaning using an effervescent denture cleaner to help remove the bacteria and other organisms from the surface of the appliance.

‘Simple things such as washing your hands before touching anything that can come into contact with your mouth can go a long way to reduce the risk of infection.’
 
Tips
• Brush for two minutes twice a day, using a fluoride toothpaste (I use Duraphat) and pay special attention to each individual tooth and gumline around it. This will stop white spots on your teeth showing up after the brace is removed
• Avoid fizzy drinks and sugary food
• Use interdental brushes or floss threaders to remove trapped particles of food, particularly around fixed braces
• If you’re out of the house and haven’t a toothbrush, go somewhere alone, have water and swish around your mouth to clean
• Carry around a small pocket mirror to check there isn’t any food caught up in your brace.
 
The Foundation’s own ‘Tell Me About’ leaflet range has a title devoted to the topic called ‘Living With My Brace’, which gives all the relevant information about a fixed or removable brace.

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Visit www.dentalhealth.org/tellmeabout to find out more.

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