You and Your Braces



Make sure to brush well – always get between the braces and the gums!
Make your appliance shine!
Remember you will be evaluated at each visit on your brushing

Regularly check your braces for bent or loose wires and brackets. In the event of a loose/broken wire or bracket, call our office immediately to arrange an appointment for repair.


Don’t bite on hard things, gum or sticky foods – these will loosen your braces. These foods will also break your braces and slow your treatment.

Examples of Sticky Foods to Avoid:
Gum (sugar-free or regular), licorice, Sugar Daddies, toffee, Tootsie Rolls, caramels, Starburst

Examples of Hard Foods to Avoid:
Ice, nuts, hard taco shells, french bread crust/rolls, corn on the cob, apples and carrots (unless cut into small pieces), bagels, chips, Jolly Ranchers, pizza crust, uncooked carrots (unless cut)

Minimize Sugary Foods like:
Cake, ice cream , cookies, pie, candy, soda, sweetened tea, Gatorade, Kool-Aid

Broken Braces and Emergencies:

While broken braces, loose bands and broken wires may occur, they are not orthodontic emergencies. If something breaks, call us. We will get you in for a repair; but be careful with your braces; most repairs are scheduled during school hours. If you have a true orthodontic emergency (pain versus discomfort), call us so that we can make you comfortable as soon as possible.

Now that you have your braces it is important to know each part and how it functions:

Molar Bands – Thin rings of metal fitted around a molar tooth and cemented into place. The band provides a way to attach the bracket and wire to the tooth.

Headgear Tubes – Small round hollow attachments on the back bands.

Brackets – Small metal, plastic, or ceramic attachments that hold the archwire in place. They are bonded directly onto the tooth’s surface.

Archwire – Main wire that acts as a track to guide teeth along. It is changed periodically throughout the treatment, as teeth move to their new positions.

Elastic Ligatures – Tiny rubber bands used as tie wires to hold the archwire in the brackets. These are available in many different colors.

Elastics Auxiliaries – Chains, elastic threads, and other elastics used to move teeth.

Tie Wires (Ligatures) – Fine wires that are twisted around each bracket to hold the archwire in place.

Buccal Tubes – Small hollow metal tubes attached to the back bands to hold the archwires into place.

Interdental Toothbrush

A Proxabrush is an interdental (between the teeth) toothbrush that you may use to clean underneath and around your wires and braces. Use the Proxabrush gently to avoid damaging your wires. The Proxabrush will help you to clean your braces while maintaining healthy teeth and gums.


For most situations, common sense will tell you what to avoid. Hard foods, sticky foods and foods high in sugar must be avoided. Hard foods can break or damage wires and brackets. Sticky foods can get caught between brackets and wires. Minimize sugary foods; they cause tooth decay and related problems. Nail biting, pencil and pen chewing and chewing on foreign objects should be avoided.

Retention Care

Caring for Your Retainer

  • Rinse your retainer with water when you take it out – and brush it with toothpaste when you brush your teeth. Also brush the roof of your mouth.
  • Soak your retainer in denture cleaner about once a week. Never boil your retainer to clean it – the heat will make it lose its shape.
  • Always bring your retainer to your appointments for us to make periodic adjustments.
  • When not wearing your retainer, it is important to put it in your case. Don’t wrap it in a napkin as it will get lost or thrown away. Keep your retainer away from any pets as it could turn into a costly chew toy.



Phos-Flur is a sodium fluoride gel that helps prevent tooth decay while you are wearing braces by killing bacteria and replacing minerals in tooth enamel that have been exposed to harmful acids. The use of Phos-Flur does not replace daily brushing and flossing but should be done following your daily schedule at bedtime. Place a small strip of Phos-Flur on a toothbrush and apply it to your teeth for one minute and spit it out. You may not eat or drink for 30 minutes after you use Phos-Flur. It is important for the active ingredient to stay on your teeth for 30 minutes, so do not wash it away by eating or drinking.



Peroxyl, (or Gly-Oxide), a hydrogen peroxide antiseptic mouth rinse, will reduce inflammation to your gums and cheeks. Peroxyl helps to prevent infection and decrease irritation that may develop from your braces. Rinse your mouth with two teaspoons of Peroxyl (half a capful) for one minute and then spit it out. You may use Peroxyl up to four times daily following your schedule for brushing: after meals (or after school) and before bed. Just like using peroxide for a scrape on your skin, Peroxyl helps the inside of your mouth heal. Peroxyl can be used to treat general irritation caused by your braces or for canker sores, cheek bites and other minor injuries to the gums.


brush retainer

Brush your removable appliance every day as a part of your regular brushing and flossing schedule. Because food particles and plaque can accumulate on your appliance just as they do on your teeth, soak the appliance weekly. Dissolve a Polident, Efferdent or other denture-cleaning tablet in a glass of tap water at room temperature and soak your appliance once every week. Your appliance will taste better, and you will prevent plaque and bacterial accumulation.

Call our office:

Please call our office if anything becomes loose or broken.
You should use your wax, if needed, until you come into the office.

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