Caring For Your Braces

Congratulations! As you begin your journey to a straighter, more beautiful smile, we recommend specific care instructions to ensure a fabulous end result. So that your treatment goes quickly and smoothly, we suggest you give your teeth extra attention while you are in active treatment.

shutterstock_282947237Brushing Your Teeth With Braces

To avoid problems such as decalcification (white spots), cavities, and gingivitis, proper and fastidious hygiene is necessary throughout your orthodontic treatment. At North Spring Dental, monitoring hygiene at every visit ensures straight teeth and a healthy smile.

  • Brush: We ask that you brush your teeth 3 to 4 times each day, after each meal and snack.
    • Brush in a circular motion around your braces with the bristles of your brush at a 45-degree angle to your gums.
    • Brush the inner (tongue side) surface, and your biting surface.
    • We recommend using an electric toothbrush.
  • Floss: Floss once daily.
    • We recommend using the Waterpik® in addition to flossing, and/or floss threaders.

Foods To Avoid With Braces

  • Chewy/sticky foods: Caramel candies, chewing gum, bagels
  • Crunchy/hard foods: Nuts, hard candies, ice, potato chips, popcorn
  • Foods that you bite into: Corn on the cob, apples, carrots, meat on the bone


  • Initially, soreness and tenderness is perfectly normal. It will take 1 to 2 weeks for your cheeks and lips to become adjusted to having braces on your teeth. Wax may be used for relief if you develop a sore area. You may also rinse with warm salt water or use Colgate® Peroxyl® Mouth Sore Rinse to help heal any sore areas.
  • To help relieve soreness we suggest ibuprofen or Tylenol as needed. Softer foods will be easier to consume while you are sore.

Loose Bracket, Band, or Wire

  • If a bracket comes loose, it is best to have it replaced sooner rather than later. Be sure to save it and bring it to the office with you. Repairing a bracket or band soon after it comes loose helps avoid prolonged treatment time. Please know, however, that this is not an emergency as long as you are not in any discomfort.
  • If you develop a pokey wire, you may trim it with a fingernail clippers or place wax at the end of it. You can also temporarily fix a loose wire by using the back of a spoon, or the eraser end of a pencil, to carefully and gently push the wire back into place. You may also call our office to schedule a time to stop by and we will be more than happy to clip it.
  • We will replace any loose or broken bands/ brackets at no charge up to 4 times. After 4 loose or broken bands/ brackets, there is a broken bracket fee.

Playing Sports With Braces

Game, Set, Match – we have great news for athletes! You can still play sports even while undergoing orthodontic treatment! If you play sports, however, it is recommended that you wear a mouth guard to protect your teeth and your appliance. Let your doctor know if you need help finding the right mouth guard for the best protection.

In case of a sports emergency, be sure to immediately check your mouth and appliance for damage. If you notice any loose teeth or appliance damage, please contact our office right away. You can temporarily relieve the discomfort by applying wax or rinsing your mouth with warm saltwater.