How to Care for Braces

Getting braces can be both an exciting and somewhat nerve-wracking time for you. On the one hand, you are probably really looking forward to how your smile is going to look at the end of our treatment. On the other hand, your braces are also probably a little bit tricky to take care of properly. Orthodontic treatment does not have to be a frustrating challenge, however. If you are wearing braces, or you are still in the process of considering them, Eastside Orthodontics would like to offer you some advice on how to take care of your braces.

Caring For Your Braces

Most people do not realize how tricky it is to maneuver proper oral hygiene with braces. While dental braces are worth it and will help you attain your best smile ever, there are some tricks to learning how to take care of them. At Eastside Orthodontics, we want to make sure you properly take care of your braces to help ensure your outcome is its very best after we remove them.

  • Watch your diet. We recommend that you stay away from gummy, sticky foods like taffy and caramel. If you like foods like popcorn, we hate to break it to you, but those are on the “no” list, too! The unpopped kernels can be damaging to your braces. Avoid overly hard foods, too, as they can damage them.
  • In addition to watching your diet, we also need to warn you about putting things in your mouth that are not food. If you are a nervous nail-biter, we are going to have to ask you to stop. If you are an ice cruncher, that habit is going to have to go, too. (Sorry!) Also, those of you who chew on pen lids or other non-food objects, please stop immediately. Not only is this bad for your teeth, but it can also pop the wires and damage the brackets on your braces
  • If you feel discomfort on the side of your mouth, you can place some wax on your brackets to avoid scraping as you adjust to metal braces. Your orthodontist will have wax for you. 

  • No matter what type of braces you have, if a wire comes loose, you should call our office. The team at East Side Orthodontics will let you know if you can clip the wire and wait for your next visit, or if an emergency appointment is necessary. In the rare case a bracket comes loose, you should also contact us. 

Clear Braces

Today’s clear braces are designed to resist stains, but it’s still important for patients to care for them properly. While the brackets will not stain, the small and porous rubber bands used for braces can stain. This is especially true if you drink a lot of stain-causing beverages. With that being said, we change the rubber bands every time you come in for an adjustment, so you’ll always have new bands in about a month’s time.

Clear brackets are slightly larger than traditional brackets, so it’s even more important to brush and floss twice a day in addition to rinsing after meals. 

If our Orthodontists determine that this clear orthodontic solution is best for you or a family member, we will provide you with specific care instructions for your braces. This can include best cleaning practices, specific foods to avoid during treatment, and more.

Brushing and Flossing with Braces

Brushing and flossing twice a day is just as important, as rinsing after meals. This prevents food from getting under your brackets and wires, which can lead to cavities or decay.  You will have to carefully brush above and below your braces with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Brush at a 45-degree angle both above and below your braces, and brush for at least two minutes per session. Afterward, you will need to floss your teeth and your braces. You can pick up special dental flossers at any drugstore, and that will make it easier for you to floss around your braces. You can also buy a special brush (called an interdental brush) to help you get between the wires and brackets.

Let's talk more about dental braces and how to take care of them!