Excellent oral hygiene is imperative when you have braces. We recommend you brush your teeth after every meal and floss and mouthrinse nightly after brushing. At each appointment, the clinical assistant will offer you a new toothbrush, floss, wax and floss threaders. It takes a few extra steps to keep your teeth clean with braces, so if you have any questions or concerns, your assistant will be more than happy to help you achieve a clean and beautiful smile!
Brushing & Flossing
Brushing and flossing will take a little extra time and care due to the appliances on and covering teeth. Following these steps will ensure proper care for your braces to keep your teeth healthy and clean.
Step 1: Using a piece of floss, carefully thread the end between the braces (You can use a floss threader if needed)
Step 2: Carefully floss around the braces
Step 3: Carefully floss around the gum areas
Step 4: Carefully floss around each tooth
Step 1: Place your toothbrush at a 45 degree angle to your gums
Step 2: Brush gently in a circular motion
Step 3: Brush the outer, inner and chewing surfaces of each tooth
Step 4: Use the tip of your brush for the inner surface of your front teeth
Eating with Braces
After having your braces put on, you will need to take special care to avoid any foods that could damage your new appliances. Hard, chewy and sticky foods can break brackets off and bend appliances, so try to stick with soft, easy to chew foods. Have a favorite recipe? Email it to so we can share it with all of our patients!
Life with Braces
Following each adjustment visit, you may experience some soreness or pain. This can usually be remedied by taking an over-the counterpain reliever such as Tylenol. This tenderness may last a day or two, but usually no longer than four days. You can also rinse with warm salt water to help alleviate any discomfort. Choose soft food to eat until the soreness subsides.
If your teeth begin to feel a little loose, don't worry! This is normal while moving your teeth to the correct position. Once your teeth are repositioned, they will no longer be loose.
If you have discomfort due to something sharp poking in your mouth, try wax. Dry the sharp spot with a paper towel then apply a small mount of wax to the area.
If a bracket on a back molar should come off, this is not quite as serious as it may seem. By clipping the wire as close to the next bracket as possible, you will be more comfortable until your next appointment.
If a front bracket becomes loose, you should call the office. These are the brackets, which are helping the arch wire do its work, so these should be in place at all times.
You can still play sports while going through orthodontic treatment! We just recommend that you wear a mouthguard to protect your teeth and your appliance. Let us know if you need any help providing the right mouthguard for the best protection.
If it is after office hours and you still have concerns after reading this you can contact one of our clinical assistants on our emergency line at (815) 990-9386.