Having braces should not cause any major changes in your day-to-day activities. You can still dine out, sing, play a musical instrument, or have pictures taken. With proper care and maintenance, you can promote your oral health while on your way to a more beautiful smile.

If you play a wind instrument, several companies make mouth guards and lip protectors, although you may not need them.

For certain sports it is a good idea to wear a mouth guard. Ask us about recommendations based on your specific needs when you come in for your next appointment.

When making your dining choice, choose softer foods and avoid foods that are particularly hard, chewy, crunchy or sticky. Cut or tear pizza and sandwiches before eating them rather than trying to bite through them. Chopping up items like apples or carrots before eating them is a good idea. When your braces are adjusted, your teeth may be a little more sensitive, so choosing softer food like pasta, soups or a healthy smoothie can be a good choice. Please avoid chewing on ice.

Carefully follow all instructions you are given regarding your dental care. Specific steps may vary depending on the type of braces you have. Be sure to brush thoroughly after any meal or snack . It is important to keep your teeth and braces as clean as possible to avoid potential problems. Also, rinse with water or mouthwash after brushing. It’s a good idea to carry a travel toothbrush when you will be away from home. Before going to bed at night be sure to brush thoroughly and floss carefully. It may take a little extra time but this is an important step in maintaining your oral hygiene on your way to a better smile and healthier teeth.

Use a soft rounded-bristle toothbrush that is in good condition. Toothbrushes will wear out faster and need to be replaced more often when wearing braces, so be sure to keep some spare toothbrushes on hand. When brushing you should also brush your tongue and rinse thoroughly when done.

Flossing is an important part of good oral hygiene. With braces it may take a little more time and practice, and a floss threader may be necessary to get the floss under the archwire. Make sure you clean along and under the gum lines with floss each night before going to bed. After you have properly brushed and flossed, your braces should look clean and shiny, making it easy to see the edges of the braces.

If you have a removeable orthodontic appliance, it is important to clean it each night and morning to remove dental plaque.  Remove the appliance and clean it with a toothbrush and toothpaste. 

Dental wax can be very helpful with any areas that are irritating your mouth or gums. This can be especially helpful at night when sleeping when your mouth may get drier than during the day time when you can regularly hydrate.

Wear a mouth guard when playing sports to protect the mouth from injury.

Keep these materials on hand to help with the most common orthodontic maintenance and minor emergencies:

  • Interdental or Proxabrushes fit between teeth and help patients to clean around wires without damaging them.
  • Water Piks are also useful for clearing away food debris from the brackets without damaging them.
  • Non-medicated orthodontic relief wax can be placed over brackets or wires that may be irritating gum tissues.
  • Antibacterial Mouthwash can be used to reduce inflammation and prevent infection. For minor sores in the mouth, Peroxyl, an antiseptic rinse containing hydrogen peroxide may be used up to 4 times per day after brushing. Refer to the product label for specific instructions.
  • Dental floss, an interproximal brush or a toothpick can be used for removing food that gets caught between teeth or wires.
  • Sterile tweezers can be used to replace orthodontic rubber bands that have come off.
  • Salt is used for warm salt-water rinses, which help heal sore gums and tissues in the mouth.
  • Non-prescription pain relievers, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, can help with the temporary discomfort that sometimes occurs for the first day or two after an orthodontic adjustment.
  • Topical Anesthetic Treatments, such as Orabase or Ora-Gel, can be applied with with a Q-tip to any abrasions or sores in the mouth should they occur.

Please note that NONE of the ITEMS listed above are a replacement for FLOSSING. 

  • Patient is to wear at night only (while sleeping)
  • Patient needs to remove retainers while eating and or drinking, and PUT THEM IN THEIR CASE, *****DO NOT WRAP IN PAPER TOWEL, you will throw it away!!! (your insurance ONLY covers 1 set of retainers, any replacement ones are $150 upper & $150 lower, total of $300 for both!)
  • Patient needs to clean retainers once a day with water and toothbrush and let air dry in case
  • DO NOT leave anywhere close to where a dog can get to it, THEY WILL CHEW IT UP!!!!
  • If patient notices the retainer is rubbing a sore on their gums or it is sharp on a certain area, you can use an emery board on the retainer to file down, smooth the area. If this does NOT help and it is still bothering the patient, please call our office and make an appt. for us to look at it.
  • If retainers are not fitting patient properly, ( falls out when they are sleeping, or can’t get it in mouth ) please call our office and make an appointment for us to look at it, and you will NEED TO BRING IT IN WITH YOU FOR US TO LOOK AT IT!!!
  • If patient does NOT wear their retainers as instructed to wear, THEIR TEETH WILL SHIFT AND MOVE!!!!