How do you take care of your teeth with braces on?

Treatment Information:

How do you take care of your teeth with braces on?

You will need to take extra care of your teeth while wearing braces. This includes being careful about what you eat and following the correct daily oral healthcare routine.

It is vital that you follow our advice on these issues to avoid damaging your teeth and to ensure that we can complete your treatment.

Damaged braces means an extra appointment to see us and can affect the length of your treatment. The best way to care for your braces is to be careful what you eat and make sure you do not bite too hard.

Avoid particularly hard and chewy foods such as toffee. You can still eat crunchy foods such as apples or carrots, but cut them into small pieces so that you don’t need to bite into them. You should also avoid chewing on fingernails, pens, etc.

If you take part in contact sports such as rugby or martial arts, you must protect your teeth and braces with an orthodontic mouthguard – this also includes Invisalign Aligners


Emergency appointments fortunately are very rare if the brace is looked after and well maintained. Instructions on caring for your brace is given when the appliance is fitted.

True emergencies are as follows;

  • dislodgement of brace such that you are unable to move it
  • trauma to the brace or appliance that has caused injury to the lips or cheeks

If this has occurred please call the practice on 020 8059 9587 for the emergency number where you can leave a short message and the orthodontist on call will ring you back.


Taking proper care of your teeth and gums during orthodontic treatment is absolutely vital to avoid problems such as decay and gum disease.

After every meal, you need to clean your teeth carefully using a fluoride toothpaste.

You need to brush around the braces, in between your teeth and where your teeth meet your gums. We will be able to supply you with special brushes to make cleaning easier and more effective. You should also use a fluoride mouthwash

Common problems

Fortunately serious problems are rare with orthodontic appliances.

Occasionally the following may occur:

  • loose bracket
  • poking wire
  • loose band
  • broken wire
  • broken or lost removable appliance

If any of the above do occur do not panic. These problems can be dealt with during working hours. If need be, remove the loose or offending item and ring the practice during the opening hours. We will try to arrange an appointment to repair the brace as soon as possible.


It is normal to have tender teeth and/or a sore mouth in the first week or so of wearing braces. This will wear off and can be treated with over-the-counter painkillers.

Pain caused by rubbing can be minimised by using orthodontic wax. If the pain persists, please consult the orthodontist.


If you have a broken wire, a loose bracket or part of the brace is missing, you need to see us ASAP. Even if you are due to see us, it would be advisable to contact the practice for advice as there may not be time to make repairs during a routine check-up.

If you fail to follow our advice about brace care, you may be charged for repairs or replacement if your brace is damaged excessively or frequently.

Your Diet

Your teeth are more vulnerable to problems such as decay during orthodontic treatment. You should avoid sweet and/or sticky foods, and acidic drinks such as fizzy drinks and fruit juices. You particularly need to avoid snacking between meals.

Each time you eat or drink, your teeth are attacked by acids for around 40 minutes, which leads to decay. Your saliva washes this acid away and re-mineralises your teeth, but it needs time to do this. If you snack frequently the acid is never washed away and your teeth become damaged.

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