You will notice that it is much harder to keep your teeth clean with braces. Food compacts in the brackets and between your teeth, and can only be removed by brushing and flossing. If plaque remains on the teeth for any length of time, it will leave a permanent white scar on the surface. Brushing after meals should become part of your daily schedule. Use a soft toothbrush with firm pressure and brush at a 45-degree angle to the tooth and gum; brush in small circles above and below the brackets. Click here for visual instructions. Your toothbrush will wear out faster because of your appliances, so be sure to replace it whenever the bristles start to fray. A Waterpik® can be a useful addition but it cannot remove the sticky plaque that adheres to the teeth. Electric toothbrushes can be helpful. Flossing is important and should be done every day.
Please use caution with hard foods: crisp taco shells, whole apples and carrots (cut them into pieces first), hard breads, corn on the cob (cut the corn off the cob before eating), and popcorn! Stay away from nuts, ice, and hard candies. These foods risk breaking brackets and wires. Also beware of nail biting and pen or pencil chewing habits, since these can also damage your braces. Do not eat sticky foods: taffy, caramels, bubble gum, or sticky candy of any sort. Use common sense about most foods.
Eat with Caution:
Eat much less:
Drink much less: