Oral hygiene

If you fulfil the criteria for orthodontic treatment at our hospitals, you must be able to demonstrate excellent oral hygiene (tooth brushing) before treatment can start. You must also be free of decay and gum disease. Your dentist may need to perform some dental treatment before we begin orthodontic treatment.

The greatest risk of any orthodontic treatment is decay of the teeth and permanent damage to the gums. This could leave you in a worse situation at the end of treatment than before you started. Our priority is to perform safe and efficient care for every patient we treat and treatment will not be offered if you cannot show excellent oral hygiene.


Plaque disclosure solution image Plaque is an accumulation of food and bacteria which sticks to your teeth. The food you eat is taken up by the bacteria, which multiply and produce acid as a by-product. High levels of plaque in your mouth cause gum disease and tooth decay. Physical removal of plaque using a toothbrush is the most effective way of keeping plaque levels low and your mouth healthy. 

To achieve excellent oral hygiene before brace treatment we recommend:

  • brushing your teeth effectively for three minutes, three times a day 
  • using a toothpaste that contains at least 1350ppm of fluoride
  • using a fluoride mouth rinse once a day, at a different time from brushing
  • eating a healthy, well balanced diet, low in refined sugar
  • avoiding snacking on sugary food and drinks in between meal times

After the brace is fitted we recommend avoiding hard and sticky foods as these can damage the brace, slowing the treatment down. It could also mean you need to attend an emergency appointment to have the brace fixed.

You need to continue regular attendance at your dentist to check the health of your teeth and gums throughout your orthodontic treatment; our orthodontic team will only check the progress and alignment of your teeth.

Teeth before brace treatment - crooked but healthy

Before brace image

Teeth after brace treatment and bad oral hygiene - decay evident; fillings needed

After brace decay image

Cleaning products available

To support you through your orthodontic treatment, we have a range of cleaning products available to buy. Please speak to your orthodontist or nurse for further information.

We stock for sale the following products to support you in your orthodontic treatment;

  • Effer-Ves Appliance cleaner
    Great for keeping your retainers and removable braces in excellent condition.
  • Oral Hygiene Kits
    A handy travel pack of all the cleaning products needed to keep your brace clean.
  • Value and Deluxe Appliance Cases
    To keep your retainers and removable braces safe when not being worn.  Various colours available. 
  • Disclosing Tablets
    Used to aid plaque removal through staining. Sold in packs of 10.  
  • Te-Pe brushes
    Required to assist in cleaning under the wires of your fixed brace. Various colours/sizes available.

Cleaning products image

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