Current Patients

Eating with Braces

Foods that can’t be cleaned off of braces may lead to discoloration and decay of your teeth. Even though your braces and wires are metal, they are fragile and usually damaged by eating the wrong foods, thus resulting in more appointments and longer treatment time. Here are some Dos and Don’ts for foods to eat and avoid during your treatment.


  • Eggs
  • Pancakes
  • Hot Cereals/Oatmeal
  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Toast
  • Spaghetti
  • Milkshakes
  • Grilled Cheese
  • Jell-O
  • Soups


  • No Sticky Foods: Caramels, Carameled Apples, Toffee, Twizzlers®, Gummy Bears®, Now & Laters®, Starbursts®, Sour Patch Kids®, Skittles®, Tootsie Rolls®, Butterfinger®
  • No Hard Foods: Apples or Carrots (unless cooked or cut into small pieces), Nuts, Popcorn, Hard Candy, Corn on the Cob, Bagels, Pizza Crusts, Jerky, Hard Pretzels, Ice, Doritos®
  • No Chewing: Fingernails, Pens, Pencils
  • Eat Less: Candy, Ice Cream, Cookies, Cake, Foods with Sugar
  • Drink Less: Soft Drinks, Drinks with Sugar

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Flossing & Brushing with Braces

Here are our steps for properly brushing and flossing your teeth while wearing braces!

Step 1

Floss daily! Pass floss threader under the main archwire.

Step 2

Pull up on the threader to get floss behind the archwire.

Step 3

Gently clean sides of the teeth and under gums with an up-and-down motion.

Tips: Use a soft toothbrush. Start brushing on the upper right and work your way to the lower left. Brush above and below the brackets using a small circular motion. Slowly work your brush toward the front teeth and over to the left side. Then brush the insides and biting surfaces until your teeth are sparkling clean. Take your time.

Braces Adjustment & Discomfort


The majority of patients will have to wear elastics at some point during their treatment. Elastics assist in tooth movement and it is important that you adhere to the directions and wear them as advised. This phase of your treatment is completely dependent on your cooperation. Failure to wear your elastics will prolong your treatment time.


Rubber separators make it easier for us to position the bands that hold wires in place on your back teeth. If you require separators, they will be put between your molars to make room for the placement of the metal bands on those teeth. If they fall out more than a day or two before your next appointment, please drop by the office for us to replace them.


You will receive a container of wax when we put your braces on. Orthodontic wax can be used while your mouth is still adapting to braces and helps prevent mouth sores from forming. It is also useful in emergency situations, like a broken wire or loose bracket. Use your wax as needed and contact our office if discomfort persists.

What To Do In An Emergency

Minor orthodontic problems can cause some discomfort or irritation. Below we’ve outlined the ways you may be able to soothe discomfort from home.

Loose or Broken Brackets, Bands, or Wires

If any part of your braces become loose or break, call our office as soon as possible. Please do not come directly to the office. By calling us, you will allow us to create a time to see you. If the band or bracket is still attached to the archwire, leave it just as is. Do not try to connect any elastics to it, and absolutely do not try to pull it off. If it is causing any irritation, you can use orthodontic wax to cover it or move it back into place with a pencil eraser, Q-tip, or small pair of tweezers (never your fingers). If the bracket or band comes off completely, make sure you keep it and bring it with you to your next appointment.

Tooth Pain or Loosening

To alleviate the pain, normal over-the-counter pain relievers will usually do the trick. Rinsing your mouth with salt water can help provide relief for mouth ulcers. All you need is an 8 ounce glass of warm water mixed with just one teaspoon of salt. Topical numbing solutions such as Ora-base are also helpful to ease ulcer pain.

Contact Our Offices

While actual emergencies are rare, if a traumatic event occurs contact any of our offices as soon as possible. If your emergency is after hours, please call 540.949.6600 and listen closely to the menu options. You will be able to follow the prompts to speak to someone who can help you. In these situations, X-rays are often necessary to determine the extent of the injury or incident and to determine whether or not the orthodontic appliances have been damaged.