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Life With Braces

Life with Braces1) Keeping the braces clean

Everyone with braces must brush four times a day; once after breakfast, lunch and supper, and once before going to sleep. You must brush even if you skip a meal, since the bacteria present on your braces will damage your teeth and gums. If you eat between meals, you should also brush at that time. You should brush using the method you learned when you received your braces, for at least 4 minutes each time. You should floss your teeth once per day, before going to sleep. Improper brushing can result in the development of gum disease, and cause permanent damage to your teeth by allowing decay to occur. At each appointment, we will assess your level of brushing, and we give you a score from 1 to 4, with 4 indicating perfect brushing. If a patient receives four consecutive scores of 2 or less, we may consider removing the braces, to avoid the possibility of permanent tooth damage.

2) Keeping the braces undamaged

Eating the wrong foods, biting on hard objects, and mouth injuries can damage your braces. This may result in loose braces and bent wires. Damaging the braces may increase the time you wear them on your teeth. Consequently, you must avoid certain activities and foods. You must avoid chewing the end of your pen, biting your fingernails, or poking anything at your braces. If you play a contact sport, please tell us, and we will make you a mouth-guard. Many of the things you should not eat are probably the things you like most, but remember that each time you break a bracket or bend a wire, your treatment time can increase by as much as one month. This means that you will wear your braces for an additional month, for each time one of the brackets comes loose. You must be careful each time you eat or bite anything. These are some foods that will damage braces:

Ice (You must NEVER chew ice!!) Toffee, Caramels, Suckers or Hard Candies
Nuts, of any kind Toasted bagels or Bread crusts Raw Carrots
Pizza crust (the centre is fine) Ribs, Chicken wings Granola, Trail mix (of any type)
Taco or Potato Chips Dehydrated foods (fruit, beef jerky) Gum, Licorice
Taco Shells (soft shells are okay) Pretzels, Popcorn
Chocolate bars Cheezies or similar snacks