Wear & Care
Your Smile Journey
Tips, Tricks & Rules for Wearing Braces
As a new wearer of braces, you may find some challenges along the way. Your orthodontist and the entire team at ARCH are here to help, from your first appointment until the very last time you take out your retainer. We want you to begin this adventure well informed and knowing what to expect, so here’s a handy guide to get you started.
Let us take the guesswork and confusion out of orthodontic care. We’re always here to help make your treatment as simple, comfortable, and affordable as possible. Call ARCH today for straight talk about achieving straight teeth.
When it comes to wearing braces, there are five major suggestions you may follow to help your orthodontic treatment progress as quickly and comfortably as possible. You have the most important role in this process. When you follow these suggestions you will finish with braces quickly and beautifully.
- Gum Chewing
Gum should be avoided. It can pull brackets off the surface of your teeth, which slows down treatment. This same rule applies to all gooey, sticky foods – that includes chewy candy like taffy or caramel. We are concerned with the cavities these candies can promote.
- Hard Foods
Hard fruits and vegetables should be cut into pieces. For example, instead of biting into a raw carrot, be sure to cut the carrot into thin sticks. Always cut meat off the bone to avoid popping off a bracket while eating ribs, wings, or similar foods. Similarly, you should never, ever try to crack nuts open with your teeth.
- Brush, Floss, Fluoride Every Day
Braces contain lots of nooks and crannies where food can get stuck and promote bacterial growth, so good hygiene is very important. You can keep your mouth healthy and clean by brushing with a soft toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste for 5 minutes after every meal or snack, and again before you go to sleep at night. Your final brushing of the day should be followed with an over-the-counter fluoride rinse – and don’t forget to floss daily! We recommend superfloss, which can be easily threaded through braces. Above all we recommend the ARCH Rule of 5’s as the tooth brushing technique. Click here to download our Brushing Rule of 5’s instructions.
- If Braces Break or Become Loose, Please Call Us At Once
Although a broken bracket or loose wire isn’t an emergency unless you’re in pain, they may affect the amount of time we need for your next appointment. Give us a call so we can plan accordingly.
- Wear Your Elastics All the Time
If your doctor asks you to wear elastics, you will need to wear them all the time, even during meals, and change them every 24 hours. If you have any trouble with your elastics fitting properly, call us immediately to schedule an appointment so you don’t lose progress. If you lose or run out of elastics, let us know right away so we can provide a new supply or mail you replacements.