7 Tips for Taking Care of Your Braces

  Jan 17, 2024
Reviewed by Geeta Singh


Getting braces can be a life-changing experience, as they help correct dental issues and give you a beautiful, picture perfect smile. However, to ensure the best results and avoid complications during your orthodontic journey, it’s essential to take good care of your braces. 

Over four million people in the United States wear them, according to the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO). This trend is mirrored in places like Minnetonka, MN, where dental care is a common path to achieving a perfect smile. 

To make your experience as smooth and successful as possible, we’ve compiled valuable tips to help you maintain your dental appliance and oral health.

Regular Orthodontic Visits

Your journey to the perfect smile is a partnership between you and your orthodontist. Regular visits to the adult orthodontist are pivotal in ensuring your braces function correctly, and your teeth move as intended.

Nestled on the serene shores of Lake Minnetonka in Minnesota, Minnetonka is renowned for its community-focused environment and high-quality healthcare facilities. The city prides itself on housing some of the best dental care services in the region. 

Therefore, if you are looking for the top orthodontic clinic in Minnetonka, MN, rest assured, that it’s going to be a breeze. You can easily find an establishment specializing in comprehensive care, promptly addressing any adjustments or potential issues.

Maintaining Oral Hygiene with Braces

One of the biggest challenges individuals with face is ensuring that their oral hygiene is impeccable. Braces, with their intricate design and structure, provide numerous nooks and crannies where food particles and plaque can easily hide. This makes it even more crucial for people who wear them to adopt a rigorous cleaning regimen to prevent dental issues such as cavities and gum disease.

Brushing regularly becomes an indispensable ritual for those. It’s recommended to use a soft-bristled toothbrush coupled with fluoride toothpaste to get the best results. When brushing, one should angle the brush at approximately 45 degrees, ensuring that the bristles reach both above and below the wires and pins. This angled approach helps dislodge any trapped food particles, reducing the risk of decay and ensuring that the entire tooth surface is cleaned.

Yet, brushing alone isn’t enough. Flossing is equally essential, albeit a bit more challenging. Specialized tools, such as flossers or water flossers, have been designed to assist in navigating the tight spaces between teeth and braces. Daily flossing ensures that areas not easily accessible by a toothbrush get the attention they deserve.


The above-inserted graphic shows the distribution of fixed braces vs. clear aligners, along with the number of money involved in each industry.

Avoid Certain Foods

Braces come with dietary restrictions that are vital for ensuring the longevity and effectiveness of your treatment. Adhering to these dietary guidelines is not just about preventing damage themselves but also about safeguarding the progress made in aligning your teeth. To align your teeth, you can also use clear teeth aligners

When discussing the foods to avoid, hard items are at the top of the list. These can cause significant harm to the brackets and wires. Even a small break can result in setbacks in treatment timelines or, worse, unscheduled trips to the orthodontist for repairs. Meals that fall under this category include:

  • Nuts
  • Popcorn
  • Hard candies
  • Ice cubes
  • Crispy fruits like apples (unless they’re cut into thin slices)

Next on the list are sticky and chewy foods. These troublemakers tend to stick and can be hard to get rid of. They may tug at the brackets and create oral hygiene troubles. These meals can also bring in bacteria, paving the way for issues like cavities. Here are some common sticky culprits: 

  • Gum
  • Caramel
  • Taffy
  • Licorice
  • Sticky candies like gummy bears

In addition to hard and sticky substances, it’s also essential to be cautious with substances that require a biting motion. Biting directly can apply pressure on the front brackets, possibly loosening them. For example, biting directly into a whole carrot or corn on the cob can be risky. It’s safer to cut these items into smaller pieces.

Protect Your Braces 

If you’re involved in sports or any physical activity, wearing a mouthguard is vital to safeguard your dental appliance and teeth. The added structure from braces can make injuries more severe, leading to cuts and bruises to themselves.

A mouthguard acts as a cushion, absorbing shocks and preventing direct impact. Furthermore, there are special mouthguards designed specifically for individuals. These are tailored to fit over braces, providing comfort and protection simultaneously.

Not only do they prevent potential damage to the brackets and wires, but they also protect the soft tissues inside your mouth from getting scratched or injured. Always ensure your mouthguard is clean and fits well, and replace it periodically as it wears out or becomes less effective.

Use Dental Wax

Braces, although highly effective, can come with their fair share of discomforts. The metallic components might cause abrasions or irritations in the early days, especially after an adjustment. Dental wax emerges as a savior in these situations.

Crafted to be soft and easily moldable, wax can be applied over any sharp or protruding parts, offering instant relief. This protective barrier not only reduces irritation but also promotes faster healing of any minor cuts or sores.

Over time, your mouth naturally adjusts, and the need for wax may decrease. However, until then, it’s essential to have this handy tool in your braces-care kit.

Stay Consistent with Rubber Bands and Other Orthodontic Appliances

If your orthodontist has prescribed rubber bands or other appliances to aid your treatment, use them as advised. The consistency with which you wear these orthodontic devices is critical to the success of your treatment. These appliances are specifically intended to apply regulated pressure to your teeth, gradually moving them into the proper position.

Rubber bands, for example, are routinely used to treat bite abnormalities or correctly oriented teeth. Wearing them as directed ensures that your teeth shift gently and in the intended direction. Failure to wear them consistently can result in a longer treatment period or less effective results.

Other appliances, like headgear, expanders, or retainers, should also be worn as directed by your orthodontist.

Avoid Certain Habits

When receiving treatment, avoid bad habits that might harm both your braces and your dental health. To begin, avoid nail-biting, which can put undue pressure on your braces and possibly bend wires or brackets. Additionally, resist the impulse to chew on pens or pencils, as this can cause harm and increase the danger of an accident. Another no-no is opening packages or bottles with your teeth, as this can cause damage or dislodgement of your braces.


Your teeth are precious and braces do more than improve your smile. Taking care of your braces requires a bit of extra effort, but the results are well worth it. By following these tips, you can ensure your braces are comfortable to wear, do their job effectively, and keep your teeth healthy throughout the process.