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Brace yourself

Your braces are extremely delicate.

To do the best job in the shortest time great care is required.





Your braces are nowhere near as strong as your own teeth, therefore care is required with what you eat.
The initial wires are very fine, hard or sticky foods will break them or break the braces off your teeth.
Think before you eat!! Avoid very hard, sticky or chewy food. Please cut food up into small pieces and gently chew food on the back teeth.

Foods to eat

(Thanks for all the great suggestions)

  • Smoothies with any fruit are great!
  • Cheese, yoghurt, custard and ice cream!
  • Instant pudding and creamed rice.
  • Noodles and pasta eg. Spaghetti, lasagne.
  • Soups, stews, tender meat cut into small pieces, mice, sausages.
  • Chicken nuggets.
  • Fish pie, chicken pie and cottage pie.
  • Cooked vegetables MUST be eaten every day!!
  • Fruit MUST be eaten every day – just slice fruit into little pieces!
  • Pancakes and pikelets.
  • Soft crusted bread and soft corn-type crackers.

Please ask any questions about food whenever necessary.

Foods to avoid


  • Hard, sticky and chewy lollies, toffees, minties etc and chewing gum.
  • Hard biscuits eg, gingernuts and anzac buiscuits.
  • Nuts and large crunchy chips, hard pizza crusts.
  • Do not bite into apples or stonefruit, Cut these fruit up and take the stone out!
  • Roll ups.
  • Cut uncooked veges into small pieces or grate, eg. carrots.
  • Pork crackling!
  • Cut meat off the bone eg. chops and chicken.
  • Well cooked toast or baguettes (French stick) or ciabatta.
  • Corn on the cob - take the corn off the cob!!!

Brushing and flossing

As a matter of personal hygiene you MUST keep the gums, teeth and braces clean.
You should brush immediately after eating (this may mean carrying a toothbrush with you).

You must use two brushes when you brush.

  • First, the end-tufted brush to get under the wire, around the brackets/tubes and gums.
  • Second, the large headed brush for a general clean of the surfaces of all the teeth.

Scrub the three surfaces of the teeth – the biting surface, the side next to the cheeks/lips and the side next to the tongue.
We advise flossing daily as well.

It may all take time and effort BUT you will be rewarded with a speedy and successful treatment.
Your braces should shine!

Please ask if you are having any problems and require further demonstration.
Please ask anyone in the team when you require NEW brushes!

A fluoride mouthwash or tooth mousse may be beneficial during treatment to prevent tooth decay.



The braces are going to feel strange and your teeth tender for the first week or so as they first start to move.

  • Try to keep yourself occupied and you will forget the discomfort.
  • Paracetamol may be required to relive persistent or excessive pain.
  • After each visit you may also experience some mild tenderness.
  • Use the wax as shown to relieve any rough or irritating areas.
  • If you have no wax try using a damp piece of cotton wool for relief.

Parts of the braces

Band – the ‘ring’ of metal that you may have around your back (or molar) teeth. Not everyone has bands.
Tubes – the attachment or brace on your back teeth.
Bracket – the little square attachment ‘glued’ on the front and side teeth.
Archwire – the wire that connects all the teeth.
Modules or ligos – the colourful tiny elastic that hold the archwire into the bracket. These are changed at each appointment.
Chain – as above but joined together to close spaces.
Ligature – the fine wire used instead of a module or use to tie groups of teeth together.
Elastics – or rubber bands used to close spaces. VERY important and must be worn as instructed. These are like the motor of a car -they ensure your treatment progresses. Generally worn 24 hours per day and changed once per day. New bags of elastics can be picked up from the clinic.
Buttons or hooks – small attachments placed instead of brackets to help move those tricky teeth.
Holding arch – an additional appliance cemented in place which acts like a handbreak.
Expansion arch – an additional appliance cemented in place to gain some widening of the upper teeth.