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.

This page is to provide how to live with braces. You will find what foods you can eat, foods to avoid, precautions while participating in sports, and how to maintain a good level of oral hygiene.

Food to Avoid in Braces

Foods To Avoid

  • 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

  • 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

What To Eat/Not Eat With Braces

Playing Sports

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 any appliance you may have.

We recommend wearing a mouthguard for the following patients:

Playing Sports in Braces

  • All patients in braces while playing sports
  • Heavy grinders to wear while sleeping
  • Patients who wore a splint before braces and want to use some sort of protection during their braces treatment.
  • Patients in the retention phase of their orthodontic treatment who grind their teeth at night can wear it on top of their retainers while sleeping.

Brushing Facts

  • Soft-bristle brushes are best
  • Small-headed brushes are more effective at removing plaque
  • Match the size of the toothbrush to the size of your teeth
  • The bristle part of the toothbrush should cover two teeth at a time
  • Replace your toothbrush when it shows signs of wear, or every 3-4 months, whichever comes first
  • Proper brushing takes at least two minutes
  • Using a stopwatch will help you to keep track of the time you spend brushing
  • For removing plaque, the mechanical action of your toothbrush is more important than the type of toothpaste you use
  • Fluoridated toothpaste is better than non-fluoridated toothpaste
  • For fresher breath, be sure to brush your tongue, too
  • Use a proxy-brush to remove plaque in between your braces

Manual Brushing Instructions

  • Clean the top part of your braces by holding the brush facing down at a 45-degree angle.
  • Clean the lower part of your braces by holding the brush facing up at a 45-degree angle.
  • Use short, gentle small circular motions. It looks more like a vibration of the bristles than a saw-like movement.
  • Brush the inner surfaces of your teeth the same way.
  • To clean the inside surfaces of the front teeth, tilt the brush vertically and make several up-and-down strokes using the tip of your toothbrush.
  • To clean the chewing surface of your teeth, hold the bristles perpendicular to the surfaces.
  • Clean behind your last teeth.
  • Brush in between your braces.

Brushing While in Braces

E-Brushing Instructions

E-Brushing Instructions

  • Hold the brush parallel to the floor against your teeth.
  • The tip of the toothbrush is active and does the job.
  • You don't need to move your arm similar to when you use a manual toothbrush.
  • Do not press it hard against your teeth.
  • Guide the brush head from tooth to tooth.
  • Hold the toothbrush for a few seconds on each tooth before moving forward.
  • Follow the curvature of the teeth and gums.
  • Clean your braces one by one by angling the brush head properly against them.
  • Make sure to remove the plaque from all surfaces of your braces and under your wire.
  • Brush the inner surfaces of your teeth the same way.
  • To clean the inside surfaces of the front teeth, tilt the brush vertically and use the tip of your toothbrush.
  • To clean the chewing surface of your teeth, hold the bristles perpendicular to the surfaces.
  • Brush between your braces.

Brushing Between Braces

  • Use a proxy-brush to remove plaque between your braces.
  • Hold the proxy-brush parallel to your teeth between two braces and under the wire.
  • Keep the proxy-brush in contact with each brace in turn.
  • Move the proxy-brush gently up and down.
  • Avoid applying too much pressure on the braces.
  • Repeat this instruction for each bracket.

Brushing Between Braces – Proxy Brush

Flossing Facts

  • Floss at least once a day. The best time is before you go to bed.
  • Flossing does not replace brushing. They work together.
  • It should be a pain-free experience at all times.
  • You may feel some discomfort and minor bleeding the first few times if you haven’t flossed for a long time. With daily brushing and flossing, that discomfort should ease within a week or two.
  • Thin-Mono filament floss is better than a thick multi-strand floss.
  • Waxed and Un-waxed flosses are similarly effective in removing dental plaque.
  • You can use either a piece of floss about 18 inches long along with a floss threader or Superfloss.
  • Using Superfloss is Dr. Amin Movahhedian's and Dr. Hamed Vaziri's preferred method for patients with braces.
  • Superfloss is stiff on one end. Using that end makes it easier to thread it underneath the wire.
  • Remember that gums are attached to the teeth like a pocket. You have to clean inside the pocket.
  • Do not reuse your floss or Superfloss.

Flossing Instructions

Flossing Instructions

  • Make a loop with your floss around the floss threader.
  • You will not need a floss threader with Superfloss.
  • Thread the floss threader under your wire.
  • Once your floss is cleared of the wire, hold each side with your thumbs and index fingers.
  • Leave 2 inches of the floss to work with.
  • Slide the floss back and forth gently while moving toward your gum.
  • Gently curve the floss around the base of each tooth.
  • Go as deep as you can until you feel minor resistance. That means you have reached the deepest part of the pocket.
  • Applying too much pressure will hurt your gum.
  • Reverse the direction toward the chewing surface of your teeth.
  • Once you reach the wire, avoid any pressure, otherwise, you will damage the wire or braces.
  • Repeat this instruction 6 times per each tooth.
  • Use a clean section of floss as you move from tooth to tooth.