All About Braces

Brushing and Flossing

It’s more important than ever to brush and floss regularly when you have braces, so your teeth and gums stay healthy during orthodontic treatment. Because braces make brushing and flossing harder and require adjusting your habits to keep a healthy smile, patients who do not keep their teeth clean may require more frequent visits to the dentist for a professional cleaning. 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.

Eating with Braces

Eating with braces requires some adjustments to your eating habits to avoid damaging the braces or causing discomfort. Watch the video below for some tips on the do’s and don’ts of eating with braces.

Foods to Avoid

  • Chewy foods: bagels, hard rolls, licorice
  • Crunchy foods: popcorn, ice
  • Sticky foods: caramels, gum
  • Hard foods: nuts, candy
  • Foods you have to bite into: corn on the cob, apples, carrots

Chewing on hard things (for example, pens, pencils or fingernails) can also damage the braces. Damaged braces will cause treatment to take longer. and may result in additional appointment time

General Soreness

It’s quite common to experience some general soreness or discomfort after getting braces or after adjustments to your braces. This soreness is usually temporary, can last a few days, and can be managed with some simple strategies. Generally speaking, you can take Tylenol or Advil to alleviate soreness and discomfort. 

Loosening of Teeth

It’s not uncommon to experience a sensation of looseness in your teeth after getting braces or during the course of orthodontic treatment. This feeling is generally normal and is a result of the pressure applied to your teeth as they are being moved into their new positions

Loose Wire 

Don’t be alarmed if a wire comes loose, this can  happen occasionally. If a wire sticks out and is irritating, use the orthodontic wax to cover  the sharp end to lessen the pain. If that doesn’t work,  carefully use a blunt instrument (like the eraser end of a pencil) and  gently push the irritating wire back under the arch wire. If irritation to the lips or mouth continues, you can use a clean pair of nail clippers to cut the wire and place additional wax to help. As your orthodontist we are always here to help. Give us a call to schedule an appointment if you are unable to get comfortable.


If you play sports, it is recommended to wear a mouth guard to protect your mouth and teeth from injury.