Everything You Need to Know About Life With Braces

Parts to Braces

  • Bands-Metal Rings around back teeth
  • Brackets-small square pieces glued to front of teeth
  • Wire- metal wire that runs through each bracket and band
  • Ligatures- Colored rings that hold wire in place (also what tightens braces)
  • Elastics/Rubber Bands- May be required to wear from top braces to bottom braces to correct bite (varying sizes)
  • Wax/Silicone- used if you have something on your braces sticking/poking you (in your beginner kit)

General Soreness

When you get your braces on, you may feel general soreness in your mouth and teeth may be tender to biting pressures for 3-5 days. This can be relieved by rinsing with warm salt water. Dissolve 1-2 teaspoons of salt in 8 ounces of warm water, and rinse your mouth vigorously 3 times a day. You can also take Advil or Motrin, as directed. The lips, cheeks and tongue may also become irritated for 1-2 weeks as they toughen and become accustomed to the surface of the braces. You can put wax on the braces to lessen this. You must dry the area before applying the wax or it will not stick.

Loosening Teeth

This is to be expected throughout treatment. Don’t worry! It’s normal. Teeth must loosen first so they can be moved. The teeth will again become rigidly fixed in their new – corrected – positions.

Brushing Teeth With Braces

What is "Poor Care"

  • NOT brushing all around braces (above, below & in between) at least 2 times every day.
  • NOT massaging gums with toothbrush.
  • NOT using fluoride every night before bed.

What is "Proper Care"

  • Brush all around your braces (above, below & in between) at least 2 times every day.
  • Massaging gums with toothbrush.
  • Use fluoride every single night before bed.

Follow these instructions to make sure your braces are properly cared for:

  1. Brush your teeth 3 times a day for 3 full minutes each time. The last brushing of the day is the most important. Hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle towards the braces when brushing the braces surface of the teeth. Brush both above and below the braces holding the brush at a 45-degree angle toward the brace. This cleans under the wires. Then brush at a 45-degree angle toward the gums. Spend equal amounts of time with all the teeth. Brush in a circular motion.
  2. If the gums in a certain area bleed after brushing, brush that area more. Bleeding is a sign of infection. Sometimes patients avoid brushing bleeding areas while the correct action is to actually brush these areas more.
  3. Use fluoride rinse every night after brushing. Swish the rinse on your teeth, AFTER you brush with your normal toothpaste and get your teeth clean. Then expectorate (spit out) the excess. DO NOT EAT OR DRINK AFTER USING. Using a fluoride rinse every night dramatically reduces the risk of getting decalcifications (permanent staining).
  4. Take extra good care of your teeth and your braces.

What Foods Can I Eat With Braces

You can eat most of the foods you are eating now.  However, in order to minimize breakage of your braces (which could delay completion of your treatment) you should not eat or chew the following things:

  • Foods containing hard caramels
  • Ice cubes
  • Gummy bears
  • Laffy taffy
  • Corn on the cob (Cut corn off of the cob)
  • Now-or-Laters
  • Sugar babies/Sugar daddies
  • Tootsie rolls
  • Nuts, or anything with nuts in it
  • Tops of ink pens/Pencils
  • Granola Bars
  • Granola cereal
  • Hard candy like peppermints, jolly ranchers, etc
  • Bubble gum (You can have sugarless gum)
  • Skittles
  • Whole apples/Carrots/Pears etc. (You need to cut them into bite size pieces)
  • Starburst
  • Hard Pizza Crust will need to be cut into bite size pieces. Do not bite into the crust if it is hard
  • Corn Chips and Doritos will need to be broken into bite size pieces

This list is not complete; you shouldn't eat anything that is similar to any of the above items.Thanks!

Remember to Love Your Dentist!

Please remember to visit them every 6-12 months! We cannot replace the care of your teeth at your dentist's office; we will make them straight, they will keep them healthy and strong.

Office Contacts:

We will respond to your e-mail as quickly as possible.