Life with Braces

Now that you have your braces, how do you take care of them? It’s important for you to know how to properly take care of your braces throughout your entire orthodontic treatment.

Clean Teeth, Better Treatment

Any form of braces – clear, metal, or Invisalign – need extra attention to make sure teeth and gums stay completely healthy throughout treatment. Clean, healthy teeth help treatment go smoothly and keep your smile whiter and brighter, longer.

Oral B and Crest have teamed up to give you tips and information to keep your teeth and gums in the best shape possible.

Brushing and Flossing

Brush after every meal using fluoride toothpaste to clean food from the braces. Floss once a day. It will be much easier if you use the floss threader. Make sure to clean behind the wire and between the teeth. Rinse with a fluoride rinse, such as Phos-Flur or ACT, every night to strengthen your teeth against decay and gingivitis.

Foods to Avoid with Braces

  • Chewy foods – bagels, licorice
  • Crunchy foods – popcorn, chips, ice, pizza crust or hard bread, pretzels, carrots
  • Sticky foods – caramel candies, chewing gum, caramel, taffy, jelly beans, toffee, etc.
  • Hard foods – nuts, hard candies
  • Foods that require biting into – corn on the cob, apples, carrots
  • Sugary foods – soft drinks, candy, cookies, pies, cakes
  • Do NOT chew on pens, pencils, fingernails or ice cubes

Foods You Can Eat With Braces

  • Softer foods are better — soups, pastas, stews, chicken, meatloaf, etc.
  • Bite size is better — cut your food into small bite-size pieces to avoid wear on your braces when chewing
  • Dairy – soft cheese, pudding, milk-based drinks
  • Breads – soft tortillas, pancakes, muffins without nuts
  • Grains – pasta, soft-cooked rice
  • Meats/poultry – soft-cooked chicken, meatballs, lunch meats
  • Seafood – tuna, salmon, crab cakes
  • Vegetables – mashed potatoes, steamed spinach, beans
  • Fruits – applesauce, bananas, fruit juice
  • Treats – ice cream without nuts, milkshakes, Jell-O, soft cake

How to Take Care of Your Orthodontic Appliances

Damaged appliances can increase the length of your treatment process, so be sure to take care of all your appliances. Your teeth and jaw can only move into their correct positions if you consistently wear the rubber bands, headgear, retainer, or other appliances prescribed by your orthodontist.
Learn More About the Proper Care of Orthodontic Appliances!

Playing Sports With Braces

You can still play sports even while undergoing orthodontic treatment. If you do play sports, we recommend that you wear a mouthguard in order to protect your teeth and your appliance. Let your orthodontist know if you need help finding the right mouthguard for the best protection.

In case of a sports emergency, be sure to immediately check your mouth and your orthodontic appliance for any damage. If you notice any loose teeth, or if your appliance has been damaged, please contact our office right away. You can temporarily relieve the discomfort with wax or by rinsing your mouth with warm salt water.

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