Best Practices for Caring for Your Braces at Home

Adjusting to life with braces can take time, but we are with you every step of the way. We pledge to work with you as a team to ensure that you'll have a smile ready to WOW everyone! While we provide you with the highest quality orthodontic care, here are a few things you can do on your end to ensure that your treatment achieves its best possible results.

Salinas Orthodontist

Don't Rush the Brush

Brushing and flossing is a little tricky with braces, but it\'s more important than ever! When you get your braces off, we want your straight teeth to be white! Food gets stuck in braces and between your teeth so it\'s important to brush after EVERY meal!

Use a soft toothbrush with firm pressure and brush at a 45-degree angle to the tooth; brush in small circles above and below the brackets.

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 teeth. Interplak toothbrushes are great. We also recommend Sonicare toothbrushes.

Wear Your Elastics Like Your Bite Depends On It (...It Does!)

Attached to your braces, elastics (rubber bands) exert the proper force that creates the right amount of pressure to move teeth. In order for this force to remain constant, elastics must be worn all the time and changed every day.

Any time missed in wearing your elastics will only make your treatment take longer, so remember: if you lose your rubber bands, call us so we can mail you some more or drop by the office and pick some up.

Salinas Orthodontist

Don't Go Without Elastics

If your elastics break frequently, a wire or band loosens, or a hook breaks off - call our office immediately.

Don\'t wait until your next appointment. These problems need to be corrected as soon as possible!

Broken Braces Delays Treatment - Foods to Avoid:

Having braces means there are a few foods you need to stay away from. Hard, sticky and chewy foods can break or damage your appliances which can delay treatment time! We know it can be a bit of an adjustment but trust us, it WILL be worth it!

Hard Foods

Hard foods can bend wires and break brackets. Some examples of hard foods to avoid are:

  • Corn nuts
  • Hard candies
  • Hard fruits - like apples - unless you cut them up first
  • Hard veggies - like carrots - unless you cut them very thin
  • Nuts
  • Hard rolls, bagels or French bread
  • Ribs or meat on the bone
  • Corn on the cob - unless it\'s cut off the cob
  • Hard pizza crust
  • Hard chips
  • Popcorn that is not TOTALLY popped, but even then, watch out!
  • Hard taco shells
  • Ice, ice baby. Don\'t chew on ice! It\'s strictly forbidden!

Sticky Foods

Sticky foods can bend wires, loosen brackets, looken the cement holding the brackets on your teeth and even pull the brackets right off your teeth! Some examples of sticky foods to avoid are:

  • Starbursts
  • Sugar Daddies
  • Taffy
  • Caramels
  • Candy apples
  • Now & Laters (try Not and Never!)
  • Licorice
  • Peanut brittle
  • GUM!