All About Braces

Brushing and Flossing

Good oral hygiene is essential throughout orthodontic treatment in order to maintain healthy teeth and gums. Patients who do not keep their teeth clean may require more frequent visits to the dentist for cleanings and additional treatment. Adults who have a history of gum disease should also see a periodontist during orthodontic treatment. Watch the two videos below on the proper care of braces during orthodontic treatment.

Foods to Avoid

  • Chewy foods: bagels, pizza crust
  • Crunchy foods: popcorn, potato chips
  • Sticky foods: caramels, gum
  • Hard foods: nuts, candy
  • Foods you have to bite into: corn on the cob, apples, carrots

Habits including chewing on ice or pens and fingernail biting can cause broken brackets. Broken brackets can prolong time in braces.

General Soreness

When you first get braces or whenever they are adjusted, you may feel general soreness in your mouth and teeth may be tender to biting pressures. This typically lasts for about 3 – 5 days. Take Tylenol or whatever you normally use for a headache or discomfort. The lips, cheeks and tongue may also become irritated for one to two weeks as they become accustomed to the braces. We will demonstrate how to use wax to help with these sore spots.

Loosening of Teeth

Slight tooth mobility is to be expected throughout treatment. Don’t worry… it’s normal! Teeth must loosen, so they can move. The teeth will firm up in their new — corrected — positions after treatment is completed.

Loose Wire or Band

Don’t be alarmed if a wire or band comes loose. This happens occasionally. If a wire sticks out and is irritating, use a blunt instrument (eraser end of a pencil) and carefully, gently push the irritating wire back under the archwire. Simply get it out of the way. If irritation to the lips or mouth continues, place wax or wet cotton on the wire to reduce the annoyance. Call our office as soon as possible for an appointment to check and repair the problem.

Rubber Band Wear

To successfully complete orthodontic treatment, the patient must work with the orthodontist. If rubber bands are prescribed as part of your treatment, compliance is key. Failing to follow instructions could result in prolonged treatment time or compromised results.


If you play sports, it is important you let us know. A protective mouthguard is required for playing contact sports.