Orthodontics - Care of Orthodontic Appliance

Ortho appliance colour chartIntroduction:

It is important that your orthodontic plates are looked after properly. Please read these instructions to ensure correct care and cleaning of them. Should you have any questions call our office.

Wearing the appliance:

You must wear the appliance strictly according to the instructions given to you by the treating dentist. Failure to do so may cause relapse and prevent your orthodontic treatment from proceeding according to plan. Any time you are not wearing the appliance, it should be placed inside the retainer box. Any time that you feel the appliance is not fitting properly, contact our surgery.

Cleaning the appliance:

The appliance should be cleaned after meals. This is best done by holding the appliance under cold running water and using a toothbrush to clean it thoroughly. A small amount of toothpaste can be used to give the appliance a fresh taste. Alternatively, it can be placed in a denture cleaner or glass of mouthwash for two minutes after brushing it to freshen it up.


Should the wires or plastic break, inform the surgery straight away. It will be necessary to have the appliance looked at as it may need to be repaired. You may be able to wear the appliance whilst broken, depending on the dentists instructions.


It is necessary to visit your dentist for adjustments. You must follow the instructions exactly as your dentist has instructed for your orthodontic treatment to be successful. If you are unsure or you forget, contact the office for clarification.

Good oral hygiene:

It is also vital to keep up with meticulous oral hygiene while you are wearing an orthodontic appliance—as you can imagine, food particles can collect more easily when you are wearing a plate. Ensure you clean your teeth thoroughly twice daily with a soft toothbrush. Floss regularly also, and if required, use a mouthwash. Use your disclosing tablets and mouth mirror (from your pack) to check you are doing a thorough job.  If you have any problems with swollen gums, bad breath etc, don’t hesitate to call the office for advice.

Very Important Notes:

  • DO NOT place the appliance in or under hot water—this could warp it.
  • DO NOT wear a broken appliance without telling the dentist and getting his permission, sharp wires or broken plastic can cut sensitive gums and cause damage.
  • DO NOT adjust more often than instructed. This will cause many unwanted problems and jeopardise the treatment plan. It will also cause the appliance to become ill fitting.
  • DO NOT use any other cleaners other than those recommended for cleaning oral appliances.
  • DO NOT leave your appliance out of your mouth unless you are cleaning it or it is in a retainer box.
  • DO NOT put your retainer in your pocket or wrap in tissues.

Ortho plateRemember:

  • Take good care of your dental appliances and store in the retainer case when not being worn.
  • Clean after each meal with a small amount of toothpaste and cool water.
  • Soak appliances in a denture cleaner (such as polident) once a week.
  • Follow the instructions from your Dentist and if in doubt, telephone us for reassurance.
  • If your plate ever cracks or gets broken call our office for advice.