All About Braces

Brushing and Flossing

It’s more important than ever to brush and floss regularly when you have braces, so your teeth and gums stay healthy during orthodontic treatment. Because braces make brushing and flossing harder and require adjusting your habits to keep a healthy smile, patients who do not keep their teeth clean may require more frequent visits to the dentist for a professional cleaning. Adults who have a history of gum disease should also see a periodontist during orthodontic treatment. Watch the two videos below on the proper care of braces during orthodontic treatment.

Foods to Avoid

  • Chewy foods: hard toasted bagels, hard bread crust, pizza crust
  • Crunchy foods: popcorn, ice, thick tortilla chips
  • Sticky foods: caramels, gum, gummy candies
  • Hard foods: nuts, lollipops, jolly ranchers
  • Foods you have to bite into and pull: corn on the cob, apples, raw carrots (with these foods we recommend cutting them up into small bites)

Chewing on hard non-food items (for example, pens, pencils or fingernails) can also damage the braces. Damaged braces will cause treatment to take longer. and may result in additional appointment time

General Soreness

When you get your braces on, you may feel general soreness in your mouth and teeth may be tender to biting pressures for 3 – 5 days. We recommend taking whatever over-the-counter medicine you normally take for headache or discomfort. The lips, cheeks and tongue may also become irritated for one to two weeks as they toughen and become accustomed to the braces. Orthodontics wax is an easy way to solve this, we will supply wax to put on the braces in irritated areas to lessen discomfort.

Loose Braces and Pokey Wires

Occasionally, braces may come loose, or a wire may move out of place.  We typically say that braces are meant to come off one day, so we have to treat them gently! If any part of your braces feels loose or like it is moving, it is important you contact us during business hours so we can help. Frequently loose or broken appliances can delay treatment. 

Wires may occasionally slide out of place as your teeth start to move.  We often recommend placing orthodontic wax on any areas causing irritation until we see you to adjust or repair anything that has moved out of place.

Elastics/Rubber Bands

To successfully complete orthodontic treatment, the patient must work together with the orthodontist.  Dr. Phillis will always review with you if elastics are going to be a big component of your treatment.  Following instructions related to elastics is SUPER important. Poor cooperation with elastics can delay treatment, and affect your treatment results. 


If you play sports, it’s important you let us know. A protective mouthguard is provided for playing contact sports.

Orthodontic Supplies

We want you to have EVERYTHING you need to take care of your orthodontic appliances. If you need any supplies for home, please let us know when you check-in so we can get them for you!