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5 Essential Care Tips for Metal Braces


Having a set of metal braces isn’t always easy. Not only do they require careful cleaning, but extra thought must go into your diet and daily lifestyle to ensure no damages occur. But to get the most out of your orthodontic treatment plan, follow all recommended advice from Dr. Kurt Stormberg and our team of orthodontic specialists.

1. Keep your mouth clean

Braces trap food particles, so it is important to brush and floss regularly to avoid cavities, gum disease, and discoloration of the teeth called decalcification. Additionally, regular dental exams are essential for ensuring the teeth and gums stay healthy throughout the process. You might also want to use an interdental brush or water flosser to remove food particles and plaque around your braces.

Brush your teeth after every meal. It is helpful to brush with water at first, to see all the food has been removed, then repeat with toothpaste for the added fluoride protection.  Do not use a whitening toothpaste during this time, your brackets are covering a portion of your teeth, over time this could lead to uneven shades of your teeth. Also, remember to floss and use floss threaders.  Brushing and water pics do not clean between the teeth, the most common area to get decay, inflammation of the gums or the beginnings of bone loss. Do this at least once a day.

Healthy gums do not bleed, if you notice any areas of bleeding, gently brush and floss the area until the gums are healthy, pink and flat next to the tooth/teeth.

2. Be careful what you eat

You have to watch what you eat when you have braces. Avoid hard, chewy, or sticky foods that can damage or get stuck in your braces. Be careful with crunchy fruits and vegetables like apples and carrots. The harder foods can be cut into smaller, bite size portions or just cooked enough to take away the hard crunch.  Some fruits/vegetables should be modified, like taking corn off the cob or sunflower seeds without the shell,  to avoid bumping off brackets.

Should a bracket/band come loose, please call the office on the next business day to make an appointment to repair the breakage or add time to your next appointment if it’s in the near future.  This is not an emergency unless the patient is in pain.

3. Don’t forget to brush your tongue

Brushing your tongue when you have braces is important because bacteria can build up on it and cause bad breath. To remove bacteria from your tongue, use a tongue scraper or toothbrush with a tongue cleaner.

4. Rinse your mouth after eating

Rinsing your mouth with water after eating can help remove food particles and plaque from around your braces. It’s especially important to rinse after eating sugary or acidic foods that can damage your teeth.

5. Visit your dentist regularly

Regular dental checkups and cleanings are necessary when you have braces on your teeth. This is because the brackets and wires of the braces create small spaces and crevices where food particles can get stuck, leading to a bacterial buildup in the mouth.

5 Care Tips for Metal Braces from Dr. Kurt Stormberg in La Mesa, El Cajon & East County San Diego

These five essential care tips are for patients with metal braces to help maximize both comfort and the results of your treatment plan. If you have any questions, please contact our office. We’re happy to help!

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We have treatments to bring out the best in any smile. Learn about your options at your complimentary visit.

What are you waiting for?

Smile Brighter Today!

We have treatments to bring out the best in any smile. Learn about your options at your complimentary visit.