Oral Home Care

Now that you have your orthodontic appliances, you must be sure to brush your teeth and gums better than ever before. Extra care must be taken in the area between the gums and your appliance. Food that collects around your braces and wires can cause swollen gums, permanent stains (decalcification or white spots) and cavities.

Brush your teeth with a soft toothbrush after you eat and before bed.

Brush, rinse, and look; if you find any areas that are not clean, brush them again.

Brush your gums as you brush your teeth.

If no toothpaste is available, brush without.

If you are unable to brush, rinse your mouth vigorously with water.

Replace your old toothbrush when it gets worn out.

It is absolutely essential that you continue regular visits to your family dentist for checkups and cleanings throughout your orthodontic treatment.

After your orthodontic appliance has been placed, the teeth will be tender to biting pressure for 5 to 10 days. Of course this can vary with different patients. During this period of tenderness, softer foods are recommended. Tylenol or Advil will help relieve any discomfort. Warm salt-water rinses are also helpful. Use the soft white wax where it is needed.

Foods To Avoid

Hard and sticky foods will break off brackets, bend wires, and loosen bands, which will extend your total treatment time. Foods high in sugar can cause cavities, calculus build-up, and ugly stains on your teeth. Remember to limit your diet to softer healthy foods. There are certain types of foods that must be avoided during orthodontic treatment:

1. Hard Foods

Ice, nuts, popcorn, peanut brittle, rock candy, apples & carrots (unless cut into pieces), corn on the cob, hard pretzels, hard rolls, bagels, hard tacos, corn chips.

2. Sticky Foods

Jolly Ranchers, caramels, bubble gum, taffy, suckers, Starburst candy, Dots/jelly candies.

3. Chewy Foods

Pizza crust, crusty breads, beef jerky, gummy bears, avoid chewing on pens and pencils.

4. Sugary Foods & Drinks

Cake, ice cream, cookies, pie, candy, soda, drinks with sugar.