Caring For Your Braces

Orthodontic Diet Chart

Foods that cannot be cleaned off the braces may lead to discoloration and decay of your teeth. Even though our braces and wires are metal, they are fragile and are usually damaged by eating the wrong foods, thus taking us longer to finish our treatment.

Absolutely No:

Gum

Sugarless or otherwise

Sticky foods

caramels, carameled apples, toffee, Now & Laters, Sugar Daddies, Sugar Babies, Tootsie Rolls, Starbursts, licorice, gummy bears

Hard Foods

nuts, apples or carrots (unless cooked or cut into small piece), popcorn, hard candy, corn on the cob, Doritos, jerky, bagels, pizza crusts, hard pretzels

Minimize Sugar Intake:

Eat much less

candy, ice cream, cookies, foods with sugar, cake, pie

Drink much less

pop, drinks with sugar

Avoid chewing

pens, pencils, fingernails

Problems and Solutions

You may be able to solve many braces problems temporarily by yourself until you schedule a repair appointment with our office. These problems need not cause delay in your treatment.

Loose Bracket or Loose Band

If the bracket or band is still attached to wire, leave it in place. If uncomfortable, cover with wax. If it comes out completely, wrap brace or bracket in tissue and bring it with you to the next appointment. Call for an appointment.
DO NOT connect headgear or elastics to a loose band.

Lost Tie Wire or Elastic Tie

Please call to ask if an appointment is necessary. Notify the assistant at your next appointment.

Wire Out of Tube

Try to place wire back in place with tweezers. If that is not possible, clip wire with fingernail clippers behind the last tooth to which it is securely fastened. If any discomfort, place wax on it.

Rotated Archwire

Try to slide wire back around to the other side. If unsuccessful, place wax on wire and call for an appointment.

Poking Tie Wire

Try to bend wire back with a spoon or pencil eraser. If unsuccessful, cover with wax and call for an appointment.

Poking Archwire

Cover with wax or wet cotton. Call for an appointment.

Soreness from Braces

Rinse mouth with warm salt water. If necessary, take the pain reliever that you would use for a headache or similar discomfort.

Headgear or Appliance Doesn't Fit

Sometimes caused by not wearing as prescribed. If facebow is bent, call office at once.

Accidents Involving the Teeth

Call your dentist or orthodontist immediately.

Brushing and Flossing with Braces

  • Brush 4 times a day; morning, noon, dinner & bedtime.
  • Brush under, above, behind and around ALL surfaces of the teeth AND braces
  • Brush inside and outside of both top and bottom gums
  • Rinse mouth thoroughly after brushing
  • Use a soft toothbrush
  • Brush slowly
  • Take your time!
  • See your dentist regularly while you wear braces.

Use a soft toothbrush. Start brushing on the upper right. Brush above and below the braces using a small circular motion. Slowly work your brush toward the front teeth and over to the left side. Then brush the insides and biting surfaces. Take your time!

Starting on the right side, brush the outside of the lower teeth. Using the circular brushing motion, brush above and below the braces until the teeth and braces are sparkling clean. Move the brush slowly toward the front and left side. Then brush the insides and tops of teeth.

Insert floss behind archwire. Gently clean sides of teeth and under gums with and up-and-down motion. Floss between all teeth once a day.

After Braces:

Photos courtesy of O'Neil and Associates