Caring For Your Braces

To avoid problems while you are in orthodontic treatment, take special care of your braces, teeth and gums to ensure you will have the best possible result. Click the information below for tips and guidance to maintaining good dental hygiene with braces.

Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and apply a small strip of fluoride toothpaste. When you brush your teeth, move the brush in small circular motions to reach food particles. Hold the toothbrush at an angle and brush slowly and carefully, covering all areas around the braces as well as the surface of the teeth. It will take you several minutes to thoroughly brush your teeth. Brush your tongue and the roof of your mouth before you rinse.

As soon as the bristles start to wear down or fray, replace your toothbrush with a new one. It is important to carefully floss and brush daily for optimal oral hygiene.

For areas between the teeth that a toothbrush can’t reach, dental floss is used to remove food particles and plaque. It is very important to floss between your teeth everyday. Our staff will review with you techniques to floss with braces. Guide the floss between the braces and the teeth so that you can clean the food and plaque between your teeth. Flossing your teeth daily, especially while wearing orthodontic appliances, will help to ensure healthy gum tissue and minimize the risk of cavities.
You will need to take special care to avoid any foods that could damage your braces.

Foods to avoid:
Chewy and sticky foods – gum, caramel, taffy
Crunchy foods- popcorn, tortilla chips
Hard foods- suckers, ice, nuts

You should visit your family dentist twice a year (once every six months) in order to maintain healthy teeth and gum tissue. Your dentist will examine your teeth and provide an evaluation of existing dental problems and proposed treatment. Seeing your family dentist is just as important while wearing orthodontic appliances, even though you are seen in our office frequently.

If you have a dental emergency, you should call your dentist immediately.

Emergency Care

If you have a situation that you cannot resolve on your own, call us as soon as possible so we can see you for a repair appointment. In the meantime, the information listed below can help resolve minor problems you may encounter during your orthodontic treatment.

During the first week after your braces are placed, it is not uncommon to have some discomfort or irritation. You may take acetaminophen or other non-aspirin pain relievers while you adjust to your new braces. Your cheeks and lips may be irritated for several days following the placement of braces. We provide wax to place over the offending appliance as your cheeks become used to the braces.
Sometimes irritation caused by a wire on your braces can be resolved by moving the wire away from the irritated area with a cotton swab or eraser. If the wire will not move, try covering the end of it with a small amount of wax. If you cannot resolve the wire irritation, call our office for an appointment.
Call our office for advice if a bracket or wire is loosened. The bracket may need to be re-fitted as soon as possible. Please call our office the next business day, so that we may schedule an appointment for you.