Things to do
- Brush and floss frequently; minimum once a day. Always brush and floss after eating. Rinsing with plain water, mouthwash, or a fluoride rinse are additional ways to help remove food particles, but rinsing alone is not a substitute for slow and careful brushing. < ?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /?>
- Check your brushing by looking in the mirror. Especially check the areas between the brackets and your gum tissues to make sure that all the plague and food have been removed. Braces require extra time to clean! Your gums may bleed when you brush and floss, and this is usually an indication that you need to brush and floss MORE CAREFULLY and FREQUENTLY. Remember to slow down when you brush and floss!
- Use the wax as a cushion if the wires or the brackets rub your lips or cheeks.
Things NOT to do:
- Do not pick at your braces with your fingers or foreign objects. The only things that you should put into your mouth are food and oral hygiene aids.
- Do not eat hard or sticky foods. This includes: caramel, gum, taffy, hard candy, sticky candy; chewing on ice, beef jerky, or hard crusty bread. Brackets will be loosened from the teeth by chewing on hard or sticky foods. Loose brackets will mean longer appointments and longer time in braces!
- Avoid sugary food and drinks. Teeth can still become decayed with braces on. Immediately after eating or drinking anything sweet, clean your teeth as soon as possible.
For most situations, common sense will tell you what to avoid: hard, sticky and sugary foods. Hard foods can break or damage wires and brackets. Sticky foods can get caught between brackets and wires. Minimize sugary foods; they can cause tooth decay and related problems. Nail biting, pen and pencil chewing or chewing on foreign objects should be avoided.