Taking Care of Braces

Dr.Alan Wishneff Boca Raton Florida Dentist Dr. Alan Wishneff D.D.S.
Restorative Dentistry / Oral Health
November 19, 2016

Braces help straighten out crooked teeth. Braces are made with wires, springs, rubber bands and other appliances. The intricate components of the braces can attract food particles that can become stuck and lead to other dental problems. Most dentists and orthodontists recommend brushing your teeth after every meal to get food pieces out. You should be using fluoride toothpaste and use a fluoride mouthwash to help reach places that the brush cannot reach.

Brushing and Flossing with Braces

Flossing teeth with braces can be very difficult. The first thing you need to do is to feed one end of the floss through the space between the main arch wire and upper portion of the tooth closest to the gum. Then use a gentle sawing motion to work the floss on each side of the two teeth the floss is between. Be gentle around the wires so you do not bend them. When brushing, brush with a regular soft bristle toothbrush. Brush the teeth down from the top and then up from the bottom on each tooth. After this it is best to use a proxabrush, which is specially designed for cleaning between braces. After the brush is inserted between the braces, use several strokes in each direction to clean the teeth. Repeat these steps until all the teeth are clean.

Foods to Avoid

You do not have to completely change your diet once you get braces. Cutting foods into smaller pieces allows you to still be able to eat the foods you want. Foods you should avoid include hard or tough to bit foods (taffy and caramel), chewy foods (taffy), corn on the cob and hard pretzels, popcorn, nuts or carrots. It is also advised not to chew on ice or bubble gum.


Retainers can also be used to straighten out crooked teeth. A retainer is removable, instead of the normal permanent metal braces. Once a day or at least once a week you should disinfect the retainer by soaking it in a denture cleanser. Always use warm, but not hot water, to clean them. Rinse the cleaner off with plain water before placing it back in the mouth.

If a Bracket of Wire Breaks

Wires that make up the braces can sometimes break or become loose. Most of the time, these breaks do not require emergency treatment. But you will need to go see your orthodontist to fix any problems that may arise with your braces before they get out of hand. You will need to see your orthodontists at the earliest and most convenient time. The following are some helpful tips for some of the most common problems that can be done until you get to the dentist.

  • Loose brackets: Use a small piece of orthodontic wax to temporarily reattach loose brackets. You can also put the wax over the bracket to provide a cushion between the bracket and the gums. Your orthodontist can give you wax when you first get your braces.
  • Loose bands: Bands will need to be replaced and re-cemented into place. Make an appointment for repairs.
  • Protruding or broken wire: Use the eraser from a pencil to move the wire into a less protruding position. If they won’t move, then add a piece of wax to the end. Do not try to cut the wires. You could accidentally swallow the end and it can get into the lung. If you end up getting a mouth sore from the rubbing wire, then rinse your mouth with warm salt water or an antiseptic rinse.
  • Loose spacers: If these fall out completely or slip, they will need to be replaced.

For more information about this topic or any other dental topic, contact Dr.Wishneff  at [email protected]  or call (561) 488-3111Dr. Alan Wishneff is a Boca Raton Dentist dedicated to bringing patients state-of-the-art dental care. As a cosmetic, family and restorative dentist, he helps patients enjoy a natural and healthy smile. He is trained in cosmetic dentistry, including porcelain veneers; advanced cosmetic bonding techniques; oral surgery; medical emergency procedures; advanced crown and bridge; advanced TMJ; implant dentistry; endodontics-root canals: utilization of most advanced dental materials. Dr, Wishneff and staff are dedicated to providing great smiles in Boca Raton for more than 30 years. After more than two decades of practicing dentistry in Boca Raton, Dr. Wishneff is more committed than ever to this community.