Best Practices for Living with Braces

If you receive braces from Howell Orthodontics, you may find that several aspects of your life change. Here is some advice from our orthodontist in Meridian, Idaho, about the changes you need to make now that you have braces.


After you first receive braces from Dr. Jason Howell, you may find that chewing is more difficult as your mouth gets used to having brackets and wires. This is normal, and we suggest that you eat soft foods as your mouth adjusts to the change. Although you will eventually be able to eat food normally again, you will still need to take steps to prevent it from dislodging your braces. We suggest cutting your food into smaller pieces.

There are also several different types of foods you should avoid eating while undergoing a straightening treatment, including hard and sticky foods. Avoid hard foods like corn nuts, uncut apples, ice, hard bread, uncut carrots, hard pretzels, nuts, beef jerky and crunchy chips because these foods can break your braces. Also, avoid sticky foods that work up in your braces and pull them off. Some of the sticky foods to avoid include caramel, taffy, gummy bears, chewing gum, tootsie rolls and other sticky candies.

teen with braces



Though braces will give you a straighter, healthier smile, they are also more likely to trap the food and bacteria that cause tooth decay and enamel stains. This means that keeping good oral hygiene becomes more important than ever during a straightening treatment. Remember to brush twice a day for at least two minutes each time and floss once a day. We will teach you how to brush and floss your teeth correctly while wearing braces, so you can maintain the health of your smile.

Regular Dental Checkups

Even if you practice excellent oral hygiene while wearing braces, it is still important to receive a professional cleaning from a dentist in order to prevent oral health problems from developing in your mouth during a straightening treatment. Call our office if you want us to recommend good dental practices in the area.

Braces Hygiene

It is important to keep your braces and teeth healthy during orthodontic treatment, which is why Dr. Jason Howell provides braces hygiene instructions. After our orthodontist and team teach you how to properly brush and floss your teeth and braces, you can have a clean smile while it straightens. Call Howell Orthodontics today if you want to learn more about braces hygiene in Meridian, Idaho.

While you are wearing braces (as at any time), it is essential that you maintain good oral hygiene. Proper oral hygiene may be a bit more difficult with braces, but it is important that you take good care of your smile so you can prevent dental problems like tooth decay, gum disease, and demineralization. If left untreated, these problems can cause more serious oral health issues and even prolong your orthodontic treatment.

To keep your smile healthy while you have braces, our dentist and team encourage you to follow these guidelines:

  • Brush your teeth at least three times every day. Brush after every meal, and if you eat a sugary snack in between meals, it is best to brush again.
  • Use an interproximal brush to help clean around the brackets and wires. It can help to clean spots that your toothbrush might have a hard time reaching because of your braces.
  • Floss at least once every day. Using a floss threader can make it easier to thread the floss behind the wire of your braces.
  • Rinse your teeth with water every time you clean your teeth. Based on your specific needs, we may also recommend a specialized rinse.
  • Pay attention to the list of foods to avoid with braces. This can help to keep your smile healthy and avoid damage to your braces.

Braces Care Tips

Although we use the most modern types of braces at Howell Orthodontics, you may still experience some discomfort and problems during your straightening treatment. Our orthodontist is happy to provide some tips on how you can care for your braces and temporarily repair orthodontic problems.

Broken or Pokey Wire

If you have a wire that breaks or sticks out in the back of your mouth, we ask that you first check this area. If it sticks far out of one of the rear brackets, then it has detached from the bracket. You can temporarily repair this problem by moving the wire back with tweezers. If both sides of the wire stick out, then apply orthodontic wax to prevent tissue irritation. If the wire causes you severe pain, then cut it with a small wire cutter and then call Dr. Jason Howell immediately so we can make a repair.

Loose Bracket or Band

A loose bracket or band can not only be uncomfortable, but it may also harm your oral tissues. You can make temporary repairs to protect your mouth by either covering the loose bracket with wax or removing the bracket and bringing it to us for reattachment. You can remove the bracket by opening the small door that holds it to the band.

braces care

General Soreness

Your teeth may feel sore when you first receive braces as your mouth adjusts to the pressure. Chewing may also become uncomfortable for a short time because your teeth feel tender. You can soothe this discomfort by rinsing your mouth with warm salt water. You can also take over-the-counter pain medication for relief.

If you would like more information about how to maintain good oral hygiene with braces, we invite you to contact our office today. We are eager to speak with you!

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