Life with Braces

Hygiene

During orthodontic treatment oral hygiene is extremely important! Because food can get caught between all the brackets/wires/bands/retainers, careful brushing and flossing after every meal is the best way to prevent plaque build-up, tooth decay, and gum disease. Brush your teeth in slow, circular motions, holding the brush at an angle and making sure to get above AND below the brackets!

You also need to floss at least once a day to clean where the brush can’t reach to prevent swollen infected gums and cavities between your teeth.

Foods to Avoid

The most notorious part of the braces treatment is the list of foods that you need to avoid. Hard foods can damage wires and brackets; sticky foods can get caught between brackets and wires; and sugary foods cause tooth decay and other problems.

Hard Foods to Avoid:

  • Ice
  • Nuts
  • Corn on the cob/Meat on a Bone
  • Carrots & apples (unless cut into small pieces)
  • Hard candy (toffee, jolly ranchers, jaw-breakers)

Sticky Foods to Avoid:

  • Skittles
  • Starbursts
  • Caramels
  • Laffy-Taffy

Minimize Eating Foods Like:

  • Cake/Cookies/Ice Cream
  • Soda/Juice/Sport Drinks
  • Any candy

Emergency Information

Orthodontic emergencies are rare, and most problems can be corrected either at home or during a scheduled appointment. If a situation occurs that you cannot resolve, call our office so we can schedule a repair appointment as soon as possible.

Wire Irritation

If a wire on your braces is causing irritation try to reposition the wire with an pencil eraser, or replacing wire back in bracket tube with some tweezers . If the wire is causing pain by protruding into your gums, you can cover it with wax or sugar-free gum.

Loose Bracket

If the main wire or a bracket has come loose, call our offices immediately to determine if the bracket needs to be re-bonded. We will make an appointment to correct the problem.

Sore Teeth

Some soreness or discomfort is common after an initial braces fitting and routine adjustments. If you experience any pain, we recommend taking ibuprofen because of its anti-inflammatory properties.

Retainers

After completing orthodontic treatment we recommend retainers will be worn every night to ensure that you retain your beautiful smile, as teeth tend to move over time. Depending on your finish, Dr. Brad will recommend the appropriate type of retainer (Permanent fixed, Removable, or Invisalign (clear) retainer to maintain your smile. If your retainer is ever lost or broken, call the office as soon as possible.