As we head into the season of sweet treats, big meals and lapsed routines, it’s a good time to remind you of the importance of looking after your braces over Christmas. It’s so easy to get side tracked with festive shopping, gift buying and visiting loved ones and forget about the day to day care that you usually put into looking after your teeth, but now, more than ever, you need to remain committed to your treatment if you want to get the best possible results.
Before you settle down and enjoy the Christmas break, we urge you to have a quick read of the information below so that you can keep your teeth, mouth and braces in good health over the festive period and avoid any emergency dental appointments.
As the advice for looking after your braces varies slightly depending on the type of braces you are wearing, we have split our top tips into fixed appliances and removable aligners.
Braces Care for Fixed Appliances
Fixed appliances are those that are fixed to the front or back of your teeth and cannot be removed. In order to maintain good oral health over Christmas and keep your braces in good working order we recommend that you:
- Avoid hard, sticky, and chewy foods: be cautious of what you consume. Foods like gingerbread biscuits, candy canes, and sticky puddings can potentially damage your braces. Instead, opt for softer foods, like meats, fruits, and dairy products.
- Maintain a regular brushing and flossing routine: The festive season might get busy, but never be too occupied to skip your oral hygiene routine. Brush and floss regularly to keep your teeth and braces clean.
- Be mindful of sugary and acidic foods and drinks: While sweet treats are enticing during the festive season, remember to moderate your consumption. If you do indulge, ensure to brush thoroughly afterwards to remove the bacteria that can lead to plaque.
- Regular dental check-ups: despite the festivities, don't forget your regular visits to the orthodontist for check-ups and repairs if needed. These appointments are an important part of maintaining the health of your braces and the success of your treatment.
- Stay hydrated: drinking water regularly can help to wash away food particles that might be stuck in your braces, reducing the risk of cavities and staining.
Braces Care for Removable Aligners
Removable aligners are clear braces that fit over the teeth and can be removed for eating, drinking and cleaning. Invisalign are the most popular aligners and are offered as a treatment here at Marsh House Orthodontics. If you are currently undergoing Invisalign treatment we offer the following advice for looking after your braces this Christmas:
- Prioritise regular cleaning: brush and floss your teeth after every meal before inserting your aligners to prevent bacterial buildup and staining.
- Wear your aligners: ensure you wear your aligners for at least 20-22 hours a day. Schedule your meals and drinks accordingly and avoid snacking with your aligners.
- Carry an aligner care kit: always have a portable care kit with essentials like a toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, and an aligner storage case.
- Clean your aligners properly: rinse your aligners with cold water and avoid using toothpaste on them unless approved by your orthodontist.
- Moderate sugary treats: limit your intake of sugary treats and drinks during the festive season to prevent tooth decay and aligner discolouration.
- Keep aligners away from hot drinks: remove your aligners when consuming hot beverages to avoid warping them.
What To Do if Something Goes Wrong
If you have a braces emergency over Christmas we recommend getting in touch. An emergency might include a broken wire that is sharp and pointy inside your mouth, a broken bracket or that part of your brace is missing. If you experience any of these we recommend you contact us on 020 8646 6200 so that we can see you as soon as possible. If your emergency occurs outside of our opening hours we recommend that you call 111 or visit 111.nhs.uk for advice on what to do next.