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Life With Braces

A healthy smile starts with YOU! Good oral hygiene with braces is very important, so make sure you brush and floss properly, watch what foods you eat, and take care of your brackets and wires. Now that you’ve bonded with your braces (literally), keep these tips bookmarked so you can keep your smile comfortable and clean.

There’s an art to keeping your teeth clean with braces

Brush with Finesse

You should thoroughly brush all tooth surfaces—that means the outside, inside, and chewing surfaces of the teeth—for at least two minutes, after each meal. Pro Tip: Turn on your favorite song, start brushing gently, moving the bristles in small circles at a 45-degree angle to your gums and when the song is over, so are you!

Floss with Precision

In addition to brushing, we recommend flossing every time you brush to keep your teeth and gums healthy. Wondering how to floss around those wires? Try using a simple tool called a floss threader. We show every patient how to floss their teeth with braces. You’ll be a pro in no time!

To eat, or not to eat: that is the question

Nom Nom Foods

For the first few days, your teeth will be adjusting to your new braces, so try to stick to soft foods that won’t damage or break your appliances. Try to get in the habit of cutting your food into tiny pieces and stick to items like those in the list below.

  • Soft Fruits – Grapefruits, kiwi, tangerines, applesauce
  • Vegetables – Steam helps them soften
  • Dairy Products – Ensure®, yogurt, cheese
  • Soft Meats – Tender chicken, turkey, meatloaf, lunch meat
  • Desserts – Pudding, applesauce, smoothies, ice cream, gelatin
  • Soft Grains – Cooked pasta, cooked rice, oatmeal
  • Soft Breads – Tortillas, biscuits, muffins, pancakes
  • Eggs – Another good alternative to tough meats

No No Foods

You can start snacking on your favorite potato chips after everything has settled in, but try to avoid hard foods that can cause your brackets to break or sticky foods that may get caught in your braces.

  • Avoid – Nuts, hard breads & pretzels, uncut fruits & vegetables, frozen candy bars, beef jerky, crunchy chips, hard tacos, meat on the bone, corn on the cob and bubble gum.
  • Do not – Bite your nails, chew ice, bite pencils or other objects or pick at your wires
  • Eliminate – Hard candy, caramels, soft, chewy candy, taffy, gummy bears, sticky candies

Other ways to keep your smile happy

Regular Dental Checkups

Because your teeth can gather more food and bacteria with braces, it is extremely important to get regular dental checkups to prevent any decay or spotting. Good oral hygiene at home and regular dental visits are an essential combination.

Care of Appliances

Your doctor will give you specific information on how to care for your appliance. Just remember: all orthodontic gear, such as a retainer, is fragile, so handle with care! Make sure to clean it regularly, and be careful not to sit on, step on, or otherwise damage your expensive gear.

Athletics + Instruments

If you play sports, especially contact sports, it is important to consult us for special precautions. The same goes for playing musical instruments that put stress on the mouth and lips such as the trumpet or trombone.