The Dos and Don'ts of Wearing Braces

When you first get your braces put on, you are likely excited about the prospect of having a beautiful, straight smile before too long. However, if this is your first time with braces, there are some things to know. Here are some dos and don'ts to keep in mind.


The wires and brackets on your braces are made to be strong and handle a good amount of chewing, but they aren't impenetrable. During the course of your orthodontic treatment, you might end up with a bracket or wire that breaks. If this happens, just relax and leave the wire where it is. Don't try to pull it out or bend it. Instead, use some wax to cover it so it doesn't scratch your gums or cheek. Call your orthodontist to have it fixed as soon as possible.

One of the most important things to keep in mind when you have braces is that you need to keep your teeth and the area between the braces clean. Food debris is likely to get caught in them, so it may take a few tries before you develop a rhythm of removing it from the brackets. Your orthodontist might recommend brushing your teeth more often than you normally would. Get a toothbrush with soft, round bristles, as they work around the brackets a little easier. For flossing, ask your orthodontist to show you the technique to get this done while wearing braces.

If you play sports or participate in physical activities while wearing braces, protect them by wearing a mouthguard. You can get a custom-made one that fits around the braces and protects them during practice and games.


Be very careful about what you eat when you have braces. There are certain foods you should avoid at all costs, such as caramel, chunky peanut butter, hard candy and hard nuts. You also need to avoid popcorn, chewing gum and candy that is chewy, such as taffy and gummy bears. These foods can break or get stuck in the braces. Foods that you can eat but need to careful with are hard fruits and vegetables, chips and chewy breads.

Don't suffer from chafing inside your mouth due to the wires and brackets of your braces. If you are getting soreness or tender areas inside your lips from the braces, coat the brackets and wires in wax. This is usually sold in the dental area of drugstores, or you can request it from your orthodontics specialist.