We're happy to help with tips on how to best care for your braces during the duration of treatment. We will review all of these items with you or your child on the day that your braces go on. Please let us know if you have any questions!

Go ahead and smile!

Caring for Your Braces

Brushing and flossing with braces can be tricky but excellent oral hygiene care is essential to achieving a beautiful healthy smile.

We review brushing and flossing instructions in detail with every patient on the day that braces go on and regularly during their treatment. We have great handouts to give you that will help you do your best in maintaining great oral hygiene.

Regular visits to your general dentist for check ups and cleanings at least every 6 months are also vital to keeping your teeth healthy in braces.

Brushing & Flossing


Hard, sticky foods, and popcorn should be avoided when in braces. Foods that are high in sugar (including pop and energy drinks) should also be limited to help avoid decalcification (early cavities) from developing around the braces. Please watch the video below for more details!

Eating with Braces


Braces should not interfere with your ability to play sports, but mouthguards are extremely important to help reduce the risk of injuries. You can still wear a mouthguard when you have braces, but you may need a special type. We will discuss appropriate mouthguard choices  at the start of your orthodontic treatment. 

Playing Sports

Comfort Issues

Refer to our Parts of Braces page to learn more about some of the terms used below. 

It’s normal to have tooth tenderness for a day or two after braces or retainers are adjusted, and it may make eating uncomfortable. This discomfort is both normal and temporary. Soft foods are encouraged. 

Tooth Tenderness


Loose Brackets or Bands

If the braces have come loose in any way, please call us to determine appropriate next steps. Brackets can come loose if the patient is eating hard foods that should be avoided or if the mouth is struck while playing sports. 


Loose or Lost Ligatures

An elastic ligature has come off part of the bracket.

An elastic ligature has come off part of the bracket.

Tiny rubber bands or small, fine wires, known as ligatures, hold the wire to the bracket. If a rubber or wire ligature is lost, please notify us so that we may advise you on whether the patient should be seen.

If a rubber ligature should come off, this is not an urgent emergency, but this should be brought to the attention of our office so that it can be corrected. If the wire ligature is sticking out into the lip but is not loose, it may be bent back down with a Q-tip or pencil eraser to eliminate the irritation.


Protruding Wire

If a wire is poking, try placing orthodontic wax on the area until you're able come in to have the wire trimmed. We'll review other tips for addressing this on the day you get your braces on.


Lip & Cheek Tenderness

Irritation to the lips and cheeks is common for the first few days in braces. Rest assured that the soft tissues of the lips and cheek become more resistant to the braces over time.

Many of our patients find that rinsing their mouth several times a day with warm salt water helps to heal the tissues during this short adjustment period. To help cushion the area, orthodontic wax can be placed onto the braces. The involved area of the braces should be dried and a small pea sized amount of wax should be gently pressed onto the area.