Life with Braces

Caring for Your Braces

When you have braces, you do have to make a few changes in order to keep your smile healthy and prevent your braces from getting damaged. However, once you get used to your braces, caring for them will become like second nature. If you ever have any questions, call or text our Tarrytown orthodontic office at (914) 332-0900 and we’ll be happy to help!

Brushing and Flossing With Braces

It can be a little more challenging to brush and floss with braces, especially at first. But, don’t worry, we’ll show you exactly how to do it when we put your braces on and you’ll get used to it quickly.

Make sure you brush your teeth using a fluoride toothpaste in the morning, after meals and snacks, and before bed. Brush for at least two minutes each session to keep your smile in tip-top shape. Using a soft-bristled toothbrush tilted at a 45-degree angle, brush along the top and bottom of your braces with moderate pressure. Brush all of your tooth surfaces, including behind your molars, and give every individual tooth some attention.

Floss at least once daily. You can purchase special orthodontic flossers or a floss threader to make flossing with braces easier. Thread the floss under the archwire and position it between two teeth. Floss up and down the side of one tooth, making sure you go all the way up to the gum line, and then up and down the side of the other tooth before moving on to the next set of teeth.

What to Eat With Braces

You can still eat most of the foods you love when you have braces with a few exceptions, which we’ll get to in a second. That being said, when you first get your braces put on and after adjustments, your teeth can feel a little bit sensitive. Cold drinks like ice water and smoothies and soft or cold foods, including mashed potatoes, yogurt, applesauce, ice cream and soup, are ideal until you feel ready to tackle your normal diet again. There are some foods you’ll have to stay away from until your treatment is complete, such as anything that can damage your brackets or get stuck and cause inflammation.

Foods to Avoid With Braces

  • Really hard foods and things that require directly biting into, such as hard rolls, pizza crust, hard candy, nuts, popcorn, Doritos, hard taco shells, raw, whole apples or carrots, corn on the cob and meat on the bone (off the cob or off the bone is okay)
  • Sticky foods, including caramel, licorice, gum, Starburst, Sour Patch kids and taffy
  • Chewy foods like bagels, beef jerky and tough meats

Athletics

When it comes to sports and braces, you can still play your heart out but you’ll need to take an important precaution: wearing a mouthguard. A mouthguard will prevent your braces from cutting your lips, cheeks or tongue if you sustain a blow to the face. It also protects your teeth from injury and ensures your braces won’t get damaged. A custom mouthguard from your orthodontist is designed especially for you, giving you the perfect fit and superior protection. We offer custom mouthguards at 914 Smiles, so if you play sports, let us know!

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