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Life with Braces

Posted Sep 29th, 2016 in Patient Information

Life with Braces

Now that you have made the commitment to your brand new smile, it is important to know how to take care of your braces. Here are some tips to get you on the right track.

Your Hygiene Score

Maintaining good oral hygiene is critical to the success of your orthodontic treatment. At each visit, we’ll assess your oral hygiene using a 5 point rating scale. If at any time we feel that your oral hygiene is in need of improvement, we
will show you how to improve.

Flossing with Braces

Flossing is very important to keep your gums healthy and teeth free of cavities. Floss daily before bedtime. Your hygienist will show you how to properly use your floss threader.

Eating with Braces

There are a few rules that you will need to follow to prevent any damage to your braces. Don’t worry, you will still be able to enjoy the foods you love, they may just have to be prepared a little differently.

Always brush and floss your teeth after meals, especially before bedtime, to keep your gums healthy and to avoid plaque build-up.

Rules of Thumb:

• Don’t bite with the front of your teeth

• Avoid sticky, sugary foods

• Avoid hard, crunchy foods 

Foods to avoid with braces:

• Chewy foods: hard granola bars

• Sticky foods: caramel candies, gum, jujubes

• Hard foods: nuts, hard candies

• Foods that require biting into: corn on the cob, apples,carrots

Foods you CAN eat with braces:

• Dairy: All dairy is great. Just avoid ice cream with any hard candies or bits

• Breads: All crusty breads should be broken into bitesized pieces (french bread, bagels, pizza crust)

• Meats/poultry: Cut all meat off the bone (spare ribs, chicken wings, drumsticks)

• Fruits/vegetables: Cut fruits and vegetables into pieces, remove pits, and avoid biting into apples

• Treats: Ice cream without nuts, milkshakes, Jell-O, soft cake

Avoid Bad Habits

• Nail biting, chewing on pens, and opening packaging with your teeth can all damage your braces

Tenderness or Discomfort

When your braces are adjusted, you will experience some discomfort, especially when biting and chewing. Try your best to eat soft foods for a few days such as mashed potatoes, yogurt, oatmeal and omelette’s. You can also take some pain medication such as Advil, until the pain subsides.


Brackets may cause sore spots on the inside of lips and cheeks. This can be remedied by placing wax over the wire in the affected area.


You may be instructed to place small elastics around your brackets to enhance tooth movement.

Loose Wires, Brackets and Bands

The wires and bands on your braces may become loose or you may occasionally get a poking wire. If this happens, just let our team know so we can fix it. If a piece of your appliance comes off, be sure to save it and bring it with you so we can try to repair it.

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