Getting braces might seem like a daunting step, but you’ll soon find your life doesn’t change much once the braces are on. Of course, you should alter your diet and routine appropriately for a smoother process. But you’ll find those changes are easier than you were expecting.

We’ve laid out what you should and shouldn’t do with braces to help you get started. If you have questions, we encourage you to reach out to us. We’re always here to help you through your entire journey.

Start Treatment Early

If you’re a parent or guardian of a young child, it makes sense to have your child’s mouth evaluated as soon as possible. By keeping an eye on your child’s developing mouth, we can recommend short, simple treatments early that can reduce the need for longer, more complex treatments later on.

Brush and Floss Your Teeth

Many people wonder if you can brush your teeth with braces or if you can floss your teeth with braces. The answer is yes! Brushing is always important, but it’s even more important when you have braces. The same goes for flossing. We recommend finding a flexible toothbrush, brushing at least two to three times a day, and flossing at least once a day.

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Stay Active

You can continue to play all sports with braces. We do, however, recommend that you wear a mouthguard during play to minimize any injuries. If you’re not sure whether your sport requires a mouthguard, please ask us.

Don’t Bite Your Nails

Nails are much harder than most foods, and they can cause the same damage that hard foods can. Think of this as your opportunity to kick an unpleasant habit.

Don’t Smoke

In addition to the damage smoking can wreak on your teeth when you’re not wearing braces, it can also discolor your braces. Again, think of this as your opportunity to kick the habit.

Foods to Avoid with Braces

Wearing braces requires an adjustment in your eating habits to prevent damage to your orthodontic appliances. Snack foods you may have enjoyed previously can easily get stuck between wires, causing damage to your braces or your teeth. Avoiding some foods altogether and using caution with others will limit the risk of damage.

Sticky foods can get stuck in the brackets and wires and be very difficult to remove, even with proper brushing and flossing. Hard foods can bend or damage the brackets and wires of your braces.

We suggest avoiding the following:

  • Hard candy
  • Sticky candy
  • Popcorn
  • Nuts
  • Hard fruits that you bite into (apples, pears, etc.)
  • Corn on the cob
  • Potato and corn chips
  • Pizza crust
  • Bubblegum
  • Jerky
  • Ice
  • Very chewy foods

Foods to Eat with Caution

You might notice some items on the list above (corn on the cob, apples) are healthy foods. You can still enjoy these foods with braces; just cut them into smaller, bite-sized pieces. The important thing is to avoid foods that require you to bite with your front teeth.

More Braces & Invisalign Home Care Instructions

Visit this page to see more home care instructions for your aligners or braces.

Call Us for More Information

If you have questions regarding foods you should avoid or how to care for your teeth, we are always here to advise you. Give us a call if you ever need our advice or assistance on aftercare for braces or Invisalign or aftercare for Invisalign.

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