How to Care for Your Braces: Tips from an Orthodontist


Braces are a common orthodontic treatment used to straighten teeth and correct bite issues. Proper care and maintenance of your braces are essential to ensure the best possible outcome and minimize the risk of complications. In this article, we’ll discuss tips from an orthodontist on how to care for your braces, including oral hygiene, dietary considerations, and what to do in case of emergencies.

Oral Hygiene

Maintaining good oral hygiene is crucial when you have braces. Here are some tips to keep your teeth and braces clean:

  • Brushing: Brush your teeth at least twice a day, using a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. Pay extra attention to the areas around your braces, including the brackets, wires, and gumline.
  • Flossing: Flossing can be challenging with braces, but it’s essential to remove food particles and plaque from between your teeth. Use a floss threader or special orthodontic floss to make flossing easier.
  • Rinsing: Rinse your mouth with water or mouthwash after brushing and flossing to remove any remaining debris and bacteria.

Dietary Considerations

Certain foods can damage your braces or make them more difficult to clean. Here are some dietary considerations to keep in mind:

  • Avoid Hard and Sticky Foods: Hard and sticky foods can damage your braces or get stuck in them, leading to discomfort or even broken brackets or wires. Avoid foods like nuts, popcorn, hard candies, and chewing gum.
  • Cut Food into Small Pieces: If you want to eat something hard or crunchy, like an apple or carrot, cut it into small, bite-sized pieces to reduce the risk of damaging your braces.
  • Limit Sugary Foods and Drinks: Sugary foods and drinks can increase your risk of tooth decay and gum disease, especially when you have braces. Limit your intake of sugary snacks and beverages, and be sure to brush your teeth afterward.

What to Do in Case of Emergencies

Even with proper care, accidents can happen. Here’s what to do in case of common orthodontic emergencies:

  • Broken Bracket or Wire: If a bracket or wire breaks or becomes loose, call your orthodontist for advice. In the meantime, you can use orthodontic wax to cover any sharp edges or wires that are poking you.
  • Pain or Discomfort: It’s normal to experience some discomfort when you first get your braces or after adjustments. Over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen can help alleviate any pain or soreness.
  • Lost or Broken Retainer: If you lose or break your retainer, contact your orthodontist as soon as possible. They may be able to repair it or provide you with a replacement.


Caring for your braces is essential to ensure the best possible outcome and minimize the risk of complications. By following these tips from an orthodontist, you can keep your braces clean and comfortable and avoid common orthodontic emergencies. Remember to maintain good oral hygiene, watch what you eat, and contact your orthodontist if you experience any issues with your braces. With proper care and maintenance, you’ll be on your way to a healthy, beautiful smile.

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