Person with braces practicing good oral hygiene

Caring for Your Braces: Dos and Don’ts


Last Modified: June 30, 2023


If you’ve recently gotten braces or are considering getting them, it’s important to know how to properly care for them. Taking care of your braces will not only help you achieve the best results but also ensure that your orthodontic treatment goes smoothly. In this blog post, we will discuss some essential dos and don’ts for caring for your braces. Let’s dive in!

Dos for Caring for Your Braces:

  • Brush and floss regularly: Keeping your teeth and braces clean is crucial during orthodontic treatment. Brush your teeth after every meal using a soft-bristle toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. Make sure to brush around each bracket and wire, paying extra attention to hard-to-reach areas. Flossing is also important, and you can use floss threaders or orthodontic floss to clean between your teeth and under the wires.
  • Use an interdental brush: In addition to regular brushing and flossing, using an interdental brush can be beneficial. This small brush is designed to clean between the brackets and wires, reaching areas that regular brushing may miss. Gently insert the brush between the teeth and move it back and forth to remove any food particles or plaque.
  • Eat braces-friendly foods: During your orthodontic treatment, it’s important to avoid foods that can damage your braces. Stick to braces-friendly foods like soft fruits, cooked vegetables, pasta, and dairy products. Cut your food into smaller, bite-sized pieces to make it easier to chew. Avoid sticky and hard foods such as chewing gum, caramel, popcorn, and hard candies, as they can bend wires or loosen brackets.
  • Protect your braces during physical activities: If you play sports or participate in activities that involve potential contact, it’s crucial to protect your braces. Wearing a mouthguard can help cushion your braces and teeth, reducing the risk of injuries. Ask your orthodontist for a suitable mouthguard that fits over your braces to ensure maximum protection.
  • Attend regular orthodontic appointments: Regular visits to your orthodontist are essential for the success of your treatment. Follow your orthodontist’s recommended appointment schedule to have your braces adjusted, and address any concerns or issues promptly. These appointments will help ensure that your treatment progresses as planned and that any necessary adjustments are made.

Don’ts for Caring for Your Braces:

  • Don’t Chew on hard objects: Avoid chewing on hard objects such as pens, pencils, or ice. Biting on these hard substances can damage your braces, wires, or brackets, leading to costly repairs and potential setbacks in your treatment. Be mindful of what you put in your mouth and refrain from using your teeth as tools.
  • Don’t Eat sticky or sugary foods: Sticky and sugary foods can become trapped in your braces, making it difficult to clean and increasing the risk of tooth decay. Avoid foods like chewy candies, taffy, caramel, and soda, which are high in sugar and can stick to your braces. Opt for healthier alternatives like fruits, vegetables, and water instead.
  • Don’t Skip brushing and flossing: Neglecting your oral hygiene routine can have serious consequences for your dental health. With braces, it becomes even more important to maintain good oral hygiene. Skipping brushing and flossing can lead to plaque buildup, bad breath, and even gum disease. Make sure to allocate enough time each day to thoroughly clean your teeth and braces.
  • Don’t Ignore discomfort or loose wires: It’s common to experience some discomfort or irritation when you first get braces or after adjustments. However, if you notice a loose wire or a sharp edge that is causing discomfort, don’t ignore it. Contact your orthodontist for guidance on seeking relief or scheduling an appointment to have it fixed. Ignoring these issues can lead to further discomfort or damage to your braces.
  • Don’t Attempt to adjust your braces on your own: While it’s important to be mindful of any issues with your braces, it’s equally important to leave the adjustments to your orthodontist. Trying to adjust your braces or fix any issues on your own can result in further damage or discomfort. If you have any concerns or notice something out of the ordinary, contact your orthodontist for professional guidance and assistance.

In conclusion, proper care and maintenance of your braces are essential for the success of your orthodontic treatment. Following these dos and don’ts will help you achieve the best results and minimize any complications along the way. Remember to brush and floss regularly, eat braces-friendly foods, protect your braces during physical activities, attend regular orthodontic appointments, and avoid damaging habits. By taking these steps, you’ll be on your way to a healthy and beautiful smile once your braces come off.

If you have any questions or concerns about your braces, don’t hesitate to reach out to your orthodontist. They are the best resource to provide personalized guidance and address any issues specific to your treatment. Stay committed to your oral hygiene routine and the care instructions provided by your orthodontist, and soon enough, you’ll be enjoying the rewards of a straight and confident smile.

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