Common Problems

Having braces fitted is usually a smooth-running process, with nothing more significant that some minor pain and discomfort to deal with. Occasionally, you may have some practical problems with the process, whether it’s suffering damage to your teeth and gums, issues with your orthodontist or even just worrying about kissing. These are all easily fixed, and should not put you off if you are considering having braces fitted.

Clean up

It is vital that you keep your teeth clean while wearing fixed or removable braces. It can be difficult to do this properly with fixed braces using brackets because of the small spaces and tight angles you have to squeeze your toothbrush into to even get to your teeth! If your regular dentist is concerned that you are not keeping your teeth clean enough, there are things you can try to help. Use an angled toothbrush with a small head to help you get to those hard to reach places.

Start with the area of the teeth between the bracket and the gum, using small circular motions before switching to the lower part of your teeth. Rinse thoroughly and check in a mirror to see if there are still any obvious areas needing further cleaning. Flossing is essential, and floss sticks might be a better idea than string as they are easier to use and less likely to get tangled. Finish up with a good swill of mouthwash to get rid of any last particles stuck in narrow spaces.

Moving on

If you are moving house and need to change orthodontists, there are a few things you need to do in advance to make the process as smooth as possible. The same goes if you are changing your orthodontist for other reasons; perhaps you are unhappy with the treatment. In this case, the first things to do is speak to your practitioner and see if there isn’t some way you can resolve the issues. Changing orthodontists can be difficult, logistically and financially, so it is better if you can find a way to stick with the same one throughout your treatment.

If you decide to move make sure you warn your current orthodontist well in advance so they can prepare your notes and alter any payment plan you have in place. You may end up paying more overall, as a new orthodontist may charge more for the same treatment or may charge you for a first consultation and any changes they want to make. Find a new orthodontist in your new area as soon as possible and put him or her in contact with your current surgery. It is important your new dentist knows everything about your treatment plan and has access to all the notes and x-rays to make sure the changeover goes smoothly.

OK to Kiss?

Kissing is a big worry for young people who have heard horror stories from their friends about people getting stuck on each other’s braces. It is extremely unlikely that the brackets will become entangled, but if you feel it happening, just turn your head slightly and the hooks should separate. You should probably be quite gentle to make sure your partner doesn’t end up with a cut tongue, but otherwise just relax and enjoy it.