Brushing your teeth is always important, but it is even more important when you are wearing braces. Food can get stuck on your braces and cause staining, tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath. Here are some suggestions on when and how to brush your teeth.

Placing orthodontic appliances on the teeth is not a painful procedure. At the end of the appointment, you will feel like you have foreign objects in your mouth, and you will probably find it hard to believe that you will ever become accustomed to the braces. Believe it or not, by the end of the week, it will feel as if the braces are part of your teeth.

Nevertheless, within the first several hours after the orthodontic appliances are put on, and for the following couple of days, your mouth is going to be sore. The soreness will be from two sources. As the teeth begin to move, an ache develops, and the teeth feel tender when you bite down. Motrin IB or Advil are the best drugs to take for this pain. Your mouth will also become irritated from the insides of your lips and cheeks rubbing against the orthodontic appliances. It takes about a week to become fully adjusted to the braces. In the meantime you can cover the irritating part of your braces with a small piece of the soft white wax which we give to you. You will find that during the first week of orthodontic treatment, you will be most comfortable eating soft food

When And How To Brush With Braces

Brush your teeth for two minutes after every meal with a soft-bristled, small-headed toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. Brush the outside and inside surfaces of your teeth using small, gentle, circular motions while positioning the head of the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gum line. Brush your teeth’s chewing surfaces and inside surface of your front teeth using short, gentle back-and-forth motions.

Type Of Toothbrush

You can use any brand of toothbrush you like. Try to buy one that is soft and has lots of bristles. Change your toothbrush often, no less than every three months. Toothbrushes are cheap compared to cavities. Whether you use a manual toothbrush or an electric is a personal choice. Properly used, all are effective. If you choose an electric, remember that the brush heads need to be changed as frequently as a manual toothbrush, so keep several spares on hand. A worn out head is ineffective and will not remove plaque properly.

Type Of Toothpaste:

You should choose toothpaste that will motivate you to brush. Avoid frequent use of whitening toothpaste. Any toothpaste that has fluoride is preferred. Fluoride can protect and rebuild your tooth structure. Use a fluoride rinse before going to bed; this can be bought at any drugstore.

Flossing With Braces

In addition to brushing your teeth, flossing while wearing braces is an important part of maintaining your oral health. Flossing after every meal will help keep your teeth and braces clean which will also keep your treatment time on track. Using a floss threader or special orthodontic floss, thread the floss behind each wire by wrapping the ends of the floss around your pointer fingers, leaving a few inches of taught floss between both fingers. Floss the sides of each tooth and beneath the gum line to remove any plaque and food particles. If the floss is not removing all the food particles between your teeth, ask about a water flosser.

Flossing while you are wearing braces is more difficult, but well worth it. You can pick up a floss threader at any drugstore or pick some up from our office to make flossing easier. Waterpik also makes an electric flosser that works well. We sell these at any of our office locations.

Invisalign Home Care
  • Wear your aligners for 20-22 hrs. a day, that means you can leave them out for up to 4 hrs. a day.
  • Wear your elastics, if applicable, as instructed.
  • Brush your Invisalign aligners at least once a day with a toothbrush and toothpaste.
  • Floss once daily.
  • Keep all of your aligners in a safe place away from pets and extreme heat.
  • Do not throw out any aligners until we tell you too.
  • If your aligner isn’t in your mouth it is the case.
Dental Maintenance

We ask that you see your dentist for a cleaning at least every three to six months; depending on your needs. Maintaining ideal hygiene with braces is very difficult even for a very diligent brusher.

  • Frequency of Brushing: Brush at least five times a day following this schedule.
  • As soon as you wake up, brush really well (at least three minutes). Plaque has had all night to build up on your teeth, do this before you get dressed or eat breakfast so you won’t be rushed.
  • After breakfast, give a quick brush. This is to remove breakfast from your teeth.
  • After work/school, brush really well again. Plaque has been sitting on your teeth since the morning.
  • After dinner, another quick brush.
  • Before you go to bed, scrub them good. Now is the time to floss and use a fluoride rinse.

The schedule we have suggested takes very little time. Keeping your teeth clean will eliminate bad breath, damage to your teeth, bone loss, gum infection, and will speed up the removal of your braces

We also recommend that you use an interproximal brush to clean difficult-to-reach areas around your wires, brackets, and bands. These brushes are especially helpful to remove food and plaque along the sides of the braces. You can purchase more of these brushes at your local drugstore.

Foods To Avoid during Orthodontics Treatment

If You Take Care Of Your Braces, Your Braces Will Take Care Of You!
For the first day or so, stick to soft foods, but moving your teeth frequently by chewing will reduce the degree of pain and its duration. Avoid tough meats, hard breads, and raw vegetables. Before long, you’ll be able to bite a cucumber again. But you’ll need to protect your orthodontic appliances when you eat for as long as you’re wearing braces.

You will need to take special care to avoid any foods that could damage your new appliances.

It is helpful to cut your food into small bite-size pieces. If you chew your food carefully and follow the food selection advice, your chances of broken or loose brackets will be much less.

  • No sticky foods or candy: Braces can be pulled apart with sticky foods.
  • No Hard Foods: Bands and brackets can bend, loosen or break off with hard food. Nuts, Popcorn, Pizza Crust, Ice, Hard Candy
  • Foods you have to bite into. Raw Carrots, Whole Apples
  • Do Not Eat Anything High In Sugar: Sugar will feed the bacteria that cause cavities.
  • No Carbonated Soda Beverages, Sugary Juices Or Sports Drinks: Drinks that are high in sugar and are acidic should be avoided completely.
  • Chewing on hard things (for example, pens, pencils or fingernails) can damage the braces. Damaged braces will cause treatment to take longer.
Retainer Instructions

Wear your retainer at all times, until the doctor instructs otherwise.

Take your retainer out when eating, and always put it back in its case! (Most appliances are lost in school lunchrooms or restaurants.)

Clean the retainer thoroughly once a day with a toothbrush and toothpaste. Use warm but not hot water. Brushing retainers removes the plaque, and eliminates odors. Orthodontic appliance cleaners can be used but do not take the place of brushing.

When your retainer is not in your mouth, it should ALWAYS be in its case. Pets love to chew on them!

Initially, you may find it difficult to speak. Practice speaking, reading, or singing out loud to get used to it faster.

Retainers are breakable, so treat yours with care. If your retainer gets lost or broken, call or text us immediately.

If you have any questions or concerns about your retainer, or you believe it needs adjusting, call or text us. Do not try to adjust it yourself.

  • Always bring your retainer to your appointments.
  • Retainer replacements are expensive, but with proper care they will last for years!
  • Remove your retainer when you go swimming.
  • Keep retainers away from hot car dashboards, pockets, the washing machine, and napkins.