How Do I Clean And Care For My Braces?

Congratulations on getting your braces! Whether you are toward the end of your braces journey or just getting started, the Adult & Pediatric Orthodontics team is here to share with you how to clean and care for your braces to ensure excellent oral health throughout your care plan. Read on to learn more about the importance of keeping your oral health in top shape, recommended foods to eat, the tools you need for care, and much more! 


The Importance of Keeping Your Appliances Clean

Keeping your braces and teeth clean throughout treatment is essential to ensure your treatment plan stays on schedule. Following Dr. Yu and the rest of our expert team’s care instructions will help prevent tooth decay, cavities and staining, as well as protect your tooth enamel from breaking down.

Having braces requires more effort each day to keep up your oral health, but the better shape you are able to keep your oral health in throughout treatment, the sooner you can enjoy your brand-new smile! If you have any questions about properly brushing, flossing or caring for your appliance, please don’t hesitate to contact our team!


Eating Braces-Safe Foods

Many braces emergencies come as a result of eating foods that are not braces-safe. Situations such as these can prolong treatment and allow your teeth the opportunity to shift out of place. In order to avoid breaking a wire or dislodging a bracket out of place, Dr. Yu recommends avoiding foods that are sticky, crunchy, or require a bite to them. This may include gummy candies, fresh vegetables, popcorn, and nuts, among similar items. 

Instead, we encourage you to begin with a soft-food diet with foods such as pasta, tender chicken, eggs, mashed potatoes, and so many more delicious items. If you cannot eat one of your favorite foods during treatment, we assure you the wait will be worth the beautiful smile that awaits you at the end of treatment! You may even find a brand-new food you love in the process. 


How Do I Clean And Care For My Braces?

Using the Right Tools for Cleaning


You will want to keep your braces polished and shiny throughout treatment, so we suggest using a soft, rounded-bristled toothbrush twice daily to clean your braces and teeth. Thoroughly clean every surface of your teeth, gums, and appliance in a circular motion for about three minutes. Doing so preserves their functionality and strength long-term, so your permanent teeth last a lifetime.

The Adult & Pediatric Orthodontics team will provide you with one at the start of your treatment and will be happy to replace your toothbrush later. Properly cleaning your braces each day can be rough on the bristles, so we encourage you to have a new one ready to go to ensure you can reliably continue your oral health routine.  


In choosing a strong toothpaste during your braces treatment, Dr. Yu recommends one that includes fluoride in the formula. This substance helps to rid the surface of any plaque buildup and lingering bacteria as effectively as possible. Additionally, it is nonabrasive, meaning you won’t have to worry about scratching your appliance. We will be happy to provide you with recommendations for any tools you need for proper oral upkeep. 

Floss Threaders

When wearing braces, you’ll quickly notice you can’t reach all the way down each tooth with a traditional floss string or stick due to wires blocking the way. To help keep your teeth and braces in perfect condition, we provide each of our patients with floss threaders. All you need to do is thread a piece of floss through the thin plastic and thread it below the wire of each tooth. This will loosen any stubborn pieces of food stuck between your teeth from past meals. 

We recommend doing so nightly after your brushing routine. Not flossing often enough can allow particles of food left behind to build up bacteria and quickly lead to tooth decay. When you come in for your scheduled appointments, our team can point out specific areas for you to focus on when flossing where food may be likely to hide.


Though it doesn’t directly influence the functionality of your braces, using mouthwash each night keeps your teeth in excellent condition. Many mouthwash formulas include fluoride, similar to your toothpaste of choice, further protecting you against cavities and tooth decay. Remember to keep in mind that using this liquid is a great way to complement your oral health routine, but it does not replace the act of brushing.


We Are Here For Your Emergencies!

We understand orthodontic emergencies can be an unnerving experience if you are unprepared. If something happens to your braces and you are unsure what steps to take at home, please let our team know as soon as possible. We are here to make your experience stress-free and help you along any bumps in the road. Dr. Yu can tell you if an emergency appointment is necessary or if you can wait until your next scheduled appointment for treatment. Our team will also be happy to cover how to deal with both mild and severe emergencies during your braces placement appointment.

How Do I Clean And Care For My Braces?

Keep Your Smile Treatment On Time!

You can rely on Adult & Pediatric Orthodontics to be your resource throughout braces treatment. Whenever you have questions about cleaning and caring for your appliance, our expert team will be able to share the simple steps you can take to enjoy your beautiful smile. Dr. Yu provides orthodontic services to Portland, Windham, and the surrounding communities. You can take the first steps of scheduling your free consultation through our website to begin your smile journey today. We can’t wait to meet you!