Caring for Braces

Getting braces marks an essential step toward achieving a healthier and more attractive smile, but it also brings new challenges for keeping teeth and gums clean.

Braces have numerous small spaces where food particles can easily get trapped, creating a breeding ground for plaque. If not appropriately managed, this plaque can lead to various dental issues, including cavities, gum disease, and decalcification (white spots on the teeth).

Need to Know During Treatment

Brushing After Every Meal is Crucial

This helps remove food particles and reduce plaque buildup. Floss once a day to remove plaque between teeth and under your gums.

Avoid Sticky and Hard Foods

Foods like gum, caramel, hard candies, and nuts can damage braces and are challenging to clean off. More foods to avoid are listed below.

Regular Dental Checkups

Visit your dentist and orthodontist regularly for professional cleanings and check-ups. They can spot potential issues early and keep your treatment on track, so don't miss your appointments.

Commit to Your Treatment

Neglecting these steps can lead to prolonged treatment times, additional dental procedures, or permanent staining of teeth. It's essential for both parents and children to commit to these extra responsibilities to ensure successful orthodontic treatment and maintain optimal oral health.

Additional Foods to avoid

  • Chewy foods: bagels, hard rolls, licorice
  • Crunchy foods: popcorn, ice
  • Sticky foods: caramels, bubble gum
  • Hard foods: nuts, candy
  • Foods you must bite into: corn on the cob, apples, carrots. Cut corn off the cob and cut apples and carrots into bite-size pieces.

Chewing on hard things (for example, pens, pencils, or fingernails) can also damage the braces. Damaged braces may delay treatment and result in additional appointments, resulting in loss of school and work time for parents to repair the breakage.

Will my mouth feel sore?

  1. When you get your braces on, you may feel general soreness in your mouth and teeth, which may be tender to biting pressures for 3 – 5 days.
  2. Take Tylenol or whatever you usually take for headaches or discomfort.
  3. The lips, cheeks, and tongue may also become irritated for one to two weeks as they toughen and become accustomed to the braces. Orthodontics wax is an easy way to solve this. We will supply wax to put on the braces in irritated areas to lessen discomfort.

What should I do if I have a Loose Wire or Bracket?

Please don’t worry if a wire or bracket comes loose; this happens occasionally. If a wire sticks out and is irritating, use a blunt instrument (like the eraser end of a pencil) to gently push the irritating wire back under the archwire. Get it out of the way.

If irritation to the lips or mouth continues, place orthodontic wax or wet cotton on the wire to reduce the annoyance. Call our office as soon as possible for an appointment to check and repair the problem.

Rubber Band Wear

The patient must work with the orthodontist to successfully complete orthodontic treatment. The teeth and jaws can only move toward corrected positions if the patient consistently wears the rubber bands or other appliances as prescribed.

Lack of cooperation following instructions and damaged appliances lengthen the treatment time… so please … follow instructions.

Play Sports?

If you play sports, you must let us know. A protective mouth guard is provided for our patients playing contact sports.