Braces Care Instructions

Grand Rapids Braces Dentist

Dental braces can trap a lot of food against the teeth and gums. That’s why it’s vital for you to follow the braces care instructions from our orthodontists. We want to make sure you have all the information you need to maintain a healthy smile during treatment.

In this post, we’ll teach you how to brush and floss your teeth while you have traditional metal braces. We’ll also share what foods you should avoid and how you can take care of minor orthodontic issues at home.

Let’s get started.

Brush Your Teeth After Every Meal

Remember to always brush your teeth at least twice a day. If possible, we recommend also brushing your teeth 30 minutes after every meal. It's important to wait 30 minutes so your saliva has enough time to wash away the acids from your food.

Brush your teeth like this:

  1. Brush the outside of each tooth.
  2. Brush where your gums and teeth meet using a circular motion.
  3. Brush the inside surface of each tooth.
  4. Brush the chewing surfaces of your teeth.

Floss Once a Day

Plaque loves to hide between teeth where your toothbrush bristles can't reach. That's why it's important to floss once a day. A floss threader, available from us or a pharmacy, helps you floss with braces.

Floss your teeth like this:

  1. Thread floss through the threader and slip it up behind your archwire.
  2. Pull the floss between two teeth and up under your gum margins.
  3. Rinse with clean water.

Strengthen Enamel With Fluoride

Use fluoridated toothpaste as well as a fluoride mouth rinse. Fluoride will help strengthen your tooth enamel, decreasing your risk of cavities.

Avoid Sticky, Hard-to-Chew Foods

While you’re wearing metal braces, you can eat almost all your favorite foods. To learn more, check out our blog post on what foods you can eat with braces.

Please stay away from these troublemakers:

  • Sticky chewy foods like taffy, caramels, and jerky
  • Hard foods like raw carrots and apples, unless cut into bite-size pieces
  • Crunchy foods like corn chips, popcorn, almonds, and corn nuts
  • Candy and other sweets, unless in moderation
  • Sugary beverages like fruit juice, sports drinks, and pop

Take Care of Poking Wires or Brackets

From time to time, we may need to fix poking wires or loose brackets in our office. But there are many things you can do at home to take care of small issues.

  • If your wires start poking, trim the wire with clean nail clippers.
  • If a bracket is irritating your cheeks, place a small piece of braces wax on the offending bracket.
  • If a bracket comes loose, we will most likely replace it at your next visit.

Learn more: 5 orthodontic issues you can fix at home >>

Maintain a Healthy Oral Hygiene Routine

Take a moment and check where you are on the oral hygiene spectrum. We want you to prevent permanent damage to your teeth. Be a 5 and nothing less!

Grand Rapids Braces

Have Questions About Braces Care Instructions?

Our orthodontists in Grand Rapids and Grandville are accepting new patients, which makes now the perfect time to call our office. Our team would be more than happy to help you on your journey to a healthier, more attractive smile. To request an appointment with Armbrecht & Wierenga Orthodontics, call (616) 455-4800.

This blog post has been updated.