All About Braces

Brushing and Flossing

It’s more important than ever to brush and floss regularly when you have braces, so the teeth and gums are healthy during orthodontic treatment. Patients who do not keep their teeth clean may require more frequent visits to the dentist for a professional cleaning. Adults who have a history of gum disease should also see a periodontist during orthodontic treatment. Watch the two videos below on the proper care of braces during orthodontic treatment.

Proper oral hygiene consists of:

  • Brushing – You should brush your teeth carefully after each time you eat and before bed
  • Flossing – Be sure to floss daily (a floss threader makes it easier to floss under your braces)
  • Rinsing – Can help minor gum irritations while reducing the level of bacteria in the mouth
  • Oral Irrigators – Can help to dislodge food debris from around the teeth
  • Interdental/Proxabrush – Can be used for added cleaning under orthodontic wires and around braces
  • Fluoride Rinse – We supply you with your first bottle to keep your teeth strong.
  • Incentive Program – Our contests are always changing! Our programs will always be posted.

It is important to note that braces don’t cause dental problems – they just make it more difficult to clean the teeth.

Eating with Braces

What can you eat? Let’s talk about what you shouldn’t eat! For the first day or so, stick to soft foods. Avoid tough meats, hard breads, and raw vegetables. Before long, you’ll be able to bite a cucumber again. But you’ll need to protect your orthodontic appliances when you eat for as long as you’re wearing braces.

(including, but not limited to)

Sticky and Chewy Foods such as:
  • Gum
  • Caramels
  • Taffy
  • Toffee
  • Starburst
  • Gummy Bears
  • Skittles
  • Tootsie Rolls
  • Licorice
  • Bagels

Hard and Crunchy foods such as:

  • Hard Pretzels
  • Corn and Tortilla Chips
  • Nuts
  • Hard Candy
  • Ice Cubes
  • Hard Crusted Rolls/Bread
  • Pizza Crust
  • Corn on the Cob
  • Whole Apples
  • Whole Carrots
  • Popcorn

Minimize Sugary Foods:

  • Candy
  • Ice cream
  • Cookies
  • Cakes, pies and other pastries
  • Soda, high sugar juices, fruit punch
  • Maple syrup and honey

You should also avoid chewing on hard things such as ice, pens, pencils or fingernails, since these can damage the braces. Broken appliances will extend the time in treatment.

General Soreness

When you get your braces on, you may feel general soreness in your mouth and teeth may be tender to biting pressures for 3 – 5 days. Take Tylenol or whatever you normally take for headache or discomfort. The lips, cheeks and tongue may also become irritated for one to two weeks as they toughen and become accustomed to the braces. We will supply wax to put on the braces in irritated areas to lessen discomfort.

Loosening of Teeth

This is to be expected throughout treatment. Don’t worry! It’s normal. Teeth must loosen first so they can move. The teeth will firm up in their new — corrected — positions after treatment is completed.

Loose Wire or Band

Don’t be alarmed if a wire or band comes loose. This happens occasionally. If a wire sticks out and is irritating, use a blunt instrument (eraser end of a pencil) and carefully, gently push the irritating wire back under the archwire. Simply get it out of the way. If irritation to the lips or mouth continues, place 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.

All About Braces and Rubber Band Wear

To successfully complete orthodontic treatment, the patient must work together with the orthodontist. The teeth and jaws can only move toward their 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.

Athletics

If you play sports, it’s important you let us know. A protective mouthguard is provided for playing contact sports.