Patient instructions

Keeping a healthy smile

Braces create small ledges, nooks, and corners for food to collect, which can lead to cavities and gum problems. This makes brushing and flossing even more important while you’re wearing braces. When you brush and floss, handle your appliances carefully so you won’t break or loosen them. Following these eating tips will also keep your appliances, and your smile, healthy.


Be sure to brush your teeth right after every meal and before you go to bed. It’s best to use a fluoride toothpaste to help fight cavities. Your orthodontist may also prescribe a fluoride mouth rinse to help prevent cavities. Try to brush like this:

  • Start by brushing the outside of each tooth at least 10 times.
  • Brush the inside surface of each tooth at least 10 times, too.
  • Then brush where your gums and teeth meet.

You can click to see this video that demonstrates how I would like you to brush


Because your toothbrush won’t reach between your teeth, brushing alone won’t keep your teeth clean and healthy. Flossing can help. A floss threader, available from your orthodontist or the nearby chemist, helps you floss with braces on. Floss once a day, like this:

  • Thread floss through the threader and slip it up behind your archwire.
  • Pull the floss between two teeth and up under your gum margins.
  • Rinse with lots of clean water, and watch your teeth bands sparkle.

You can click to see this video that demonstrates how you can floss with a bonded retainer.

You might be asked to rinse using a mouthwash that contains ingredients to help prevent cavities. You must use the mouthwash twice a day throughout treatment and swish it in your mouth for at least 2 minutes.
Eating Tips
While you’re wearing braces, you can eat almost all of your favorite foods. Just be careful with these four troublemakers: sticky food , hard food, crunchy food, and sweets.
Eating Tips
  • Avoid sticky foods like chewing gum, toffee, and , caramels. Try smooth shrihkand, soup, or dahi (yoghurt) instead.
  • Cut hard foods like apples and carrots into bite sized pieces so you don’t break your appliances. Alternatively, boil or  steam the carrots so that they are not as hard.
  • Avoid crunchy foods like corn chips, popcorn, or nuts. Try softer fruits or hot cereals instead.
  • If you eat sweets, be sure to brush right away. Eating fewer sweets helps prevent cavities.


Your orthodontist, office staff, dentist, and parents can all help you have a winning smile. You, too, are an important member of the team. You can help by taking good care of your appliances and by following your orthodontist’s instructions carefully while you’re wearing your braces.

  • Be sure to keep all of your appointments so you’ll help speed your treatment along.  
  • Be sure to wear your removable appliances as many hours as your orthodontist advises.
  • If an appliance breaks, call your orthodontist right away and bring the pieces to your next visit.
  • Have regular checkups to help keep your teeth and gums healthy.