Now that you have your braces, how do you take care of them? It’s important for you to know how to take care of your braces properly throughout your entire orthodontic treatment.
Eating With Braces
Don’t worry; you’ll be eating popcorn and snacking on potato chips again in no time! Before you can start enjoying some of the treats you love, however, you will need to take special care to avoid any foods that could damage your new orthodontic appliances.
Foods to Avoid With Braces
- Chewy foods — bagels, licorice
- Crunchy foods — popcorn, chips, ice
- Sticky foods — caramel candies, chewing gum
- Hard foods — nuts, hard candies
- Foods that require biting into — corn on the cob, apples, carrots
Foods You Can Eat With Braces
- Dairy — soft cheese, pudding, milk-based drinks
- Bread — 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
Take Care of Your 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 wear the rubber bands, headgear, retainer, or other appliances consistently as prescribed by Dr. Woods.
Brushing and Flossing With Braces
When you have braces, it’s especially important to keep up with a good oral hygiene routine to keep your teeth and gums healthy. When brushing, we recommend doing so after every meal. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and move the brush in small, circular motions to reach food particles that may be hiding in your gum line. For your teeth’s chewing surfaces and the inside of your teeth, use short, gentle, back-and-forth motions, paying close attention to the areas around your braces.
Flossing after each meal is essential to ensuring that your teeth and braces are clean and no food particles are left behind. Flossing takes more time and patience when you are wearing braces, but it is important to floss your teeth every day. To floss with braces, use a floss threader or special orthodontic floss to thread the floss behind each wire. Wrap the ends of the floss around your pointer fingers of both hands, leaving a few inches of taut floss between them. Gently slide the floss between each set of teeth using a back and forth motion. Floss the sides of each tooth beneath the gum line to remove plaque and food particles. Repeat this process until you’ve flossed all of your teeth. If you find that regular dental floss isn’t quite doing the trick, ask us about a water flosser for those hard-to-reach areas.
Playing Sports With Braces
Game, set, and match — we have great news for athletes! You can still play sports even while undergoing orthodontic treatment! If you do play sports, it’s recommended that you wear a mouthguard to protect your teeth and your appliance. Let us know if you need help finding the right mouthguard for the best protection.
In case of a sports emergency, be sure to check your mouth and appliance immediately for damage. If you notice any loose teeth or appliance damage, please contact our office right away. You can relieve the discomfort temporarily by applying wax or rinsing your mouth with warm saltwater.