Appliance Care 2017-07-17T15:55:14+00:00

Appliance Care

Find out here what patients should expect to happen before ortho treatment starts. What the braces procedure involves and the collaboration expected from each patient, potential risks and problems that may occur during orthodontic treatment.

Care of your removable or fixed appliance and fixed and removable retainers is also explained.

Watch this video to get a better idea of what it all means.

Before treatment starts

Patient Xray

Patient responsibilities

Successful orthodontic treatment is a team effort between patient and orthodontist. To achieve the best result possible patients must:

  • Keep all appointments as scheduled
  • Maintain excellent oral hygiene
  • Wear all appliances, elastics, headgears, retainers, etc as instructed
  • Avoid activities and foods that could damage or dislodge the appliance
  • Report all problems or broken appliances immediately
  • Attend their dentist or school dental therapist regularly during treatment.

Treatment may have to be discontinued if patient co-operation is not adequate. If treatment is discontinued prior its completion there may be severe adverse effects for the patient.

Potential risks & problems

As with all medical and dental treatment, orthodontic treatment has limitations and potential risks. Fortunately complications are infrequent and when they do occur are usually only of a minor consequence. Nevertheless, they should be considered when making the decision to undergo orthodontic treatment. Problems may be catagorised as common, relatively rare, and very rare.

Common problems

Relatively rare problems

Very rare problems

Care of removable appliances

Your removable appliance consists of an acrylic base plate with wire clasps for retention and gently activated springs andor screws to move individual teeth.

There is wide variation in the way springs are designed depending on the job we want them to do. Never try to adjust clasps or springs yourself – this is a difficult task to perform correctly.

  • Wear your appliance all the time night and day to obtain maximum benefit. It works on the principle that a gentle pressure applied for a long period will be most effective.
  • The plate may feel uncomfortable at first and talking may be difficult, but this will pass shortly and your speech will quickly become normal again.
  • Once your teeth have moved into better positions, Mr. Dearing will ask you to wear the plate at night time only (like pyjamas for your teeth). Keep you plate in the special container Mr. Dearing gave you during the day.
  • Remove your plate to eat your meals. Place it in the special container given to you. After each meal clean your teeth and plate with your toothbrush and toothpaste.
  • Do not rinse your plate under hot water, as it will warp.
  • To remove your plate, pull with a fingernail on the back clasps, but never on the springs or front wire, as these will bend and result in undesired tooth movement.
  • Do not eat chewing gum or bubble gum, as these stick very badly to plates.
  • Do not wear your plate when swimming, as it may wash out and be lost.
  • Do not remove your plate unnecessarily, as it is easily mislaid. When you do take your plate out put it in a small container – use the special container we gave you or something like a soapbox is a good idea – to make it easy to find and to protect it.
  • Do not put your plate in your pocket – you might break it when you sit down.
  • If the plate becomes uncomfortable or is broken make an appointment with Mr. Dearing immediately. If you are out of town when this happens, most dentists can repair retainers. However, it would be wise to check with Mr. Dearing on your return if this happens.
  • Always bring your plate with you on each appointment.
  • A fee will be charged to replace lost plates. This fee is currently $170.00 so take good care of your plate!
  • Although you are receiving orthodontic treatment it is still necessary to attend your family Dentist or School Dental Nurse for regular dental check-ups.

Care of fixed appliances

Care of fixed and removable retainers

Your retainers will normally consist of a removable acrylic plate for the upper teeth and a wire bonded on behind the lower incisors where it cannot be seen. Mr Dearing will normally ask you to wear the acrylic plate all the time (night and day) for four months and then go to night-time wear of this appliance for several years. For most patients this will mean until they leave high school. Dr Dearing will provide you with a special container to protect your plate while you eat your meals or play sport.

The lower wire should be left in place indefinitely, and certainly until the positions of the third molars (wisdom teeth) have been checked in several years time. There is no charge for this service for the first three years after your braces have been removed. Appointments made after that time may be charged for.

The plate may feel uncomfortable at first and talking may be difficult, but this will pass shortly and your speech will quickly become normal again. After four months of full-time wear, Mr Dearing will normally advise you to wear the plate at night time only (like pajamas for your teeth).

  • Remove your plate to eat your meals. Don’t forget to place your plate in its protective box. Clean your teeth and plate with your toothbrush and toothpaste after each meal. Do not rinse your plate under hot water as it will warp
  • To remove your plate, pull with a fingernail on the back clasps, but never on the springs or front wire, as these will bend and result in undesired tooth movement.
  • Do not eat chewing gum or bubble gum while wearing the plate, as these can really stick to plates.
  • Do not wear your plate when swimming, as it may wash out and be lost.
  • Do not remove your plate unnecessarily, as it is easily mislaid. When you do take your plate out put it in your retainer-box.
  • Do not put your plate in your pocket – you might break it when you sit down.
  • Always bring your plate with you on each appointment.

If the wire behind your lower front teeth becomes uncomfortable or is broken make an appointment with Mr Dearing immediately. If the wire behind your lower incisors comes off be sure to save it so that you do not experience any delays while a new one is made. If you are out of town when this happens, most dentists can repair retainers. However, it would be wise to check with Mr Dearing on your return if this happens.

A fee will be charged to replace lost retainers. The current fee for acrylic plates is $170.00 including GST, and for lower lingual retainers $100.00 including GST.