Living With Braces

Congratulations on beginning your braces treatment here at Risinger Orthodontics! Dr. Richard Risinger and our team understand that adjusting to your braces can be difficult. Check out some of our guidelines below to learn best practices for living with braces in Glastonbury, Connecticut!

Care Instructions for Your Braces

  • In order to best care for your teeth while you are in orthodontic treatment, brush your teeth at least three to four times per day.
  • Make sure to angle your toothbrush to get above and below the brackets each time you brush.
  • To clean in between the brackets and the wires easily, our patients find that using a proxy brush (shaped like a Christmas tree) works best.
  • To clean in between your teeth, try using a power flosser or floss threader.
  • To help prevent decalcifications (white marks) from forming on your teeth, use ClinPro or Prevident prescription toothpaste every night.
    • First, brush with regular toothpaste, then follow with ClinPro or Prevident.
    • Use a pea-sized amount.
    • Brush on the prescription toothpaste, but do not rinse, eat or drink for 30 minutes.
  • Keep your appointments for regular dental cleanings at least every six months while in orthodontic treatment. Many of our patients find that having cleanings every three months is a great way to help prevent cavities and protect against decalcifications.

Frequently Asked Braces Questions

Q: Will my teeth hurt?
A: We tell our patients to expect some soreness at the start of their treatment. Typically this discomfort peaks about 48 hours after braces are placed. It is best to take Advil or Motrin to help with this soreness. A school medication form is given to our student patients when they begin treatment. We also provide our patients with wax to smooth any areas that feel sharp or rub against lips and cheeks.

Q: What do I do if one of my brackets comes off?
A: If you have a scheduled appointment within two weeks, it is okay to wait for your appointment. If your regular treatment appointment is scheduled more than 2 weeks away or if the loose bracket is causing discomfort, please give our office a call to have your bracket put back on.

Q: How often do I have to be seen and how long are the appointments?
A: Typically, we plan to see you for active treatment appointments every 8 to 12 weeks. These appointments are about 30 minutes long. If we need to schedule you for an appointment that will last longer than this, we will let you know.

Q: What foods should I stay away from while I am wearing my braces?
A: We recommend that our patients in braces stay away from foods that are really sticky, because they make it difficult to keep everything clean. We also ask that you stay away from very hard foods, as they can break your brackets and bend your wires.

Foods to Avoid

In most situations, common sense will tell you what to avoid. Hard foods, sticky foods and foods high in sugar should be avoided. Hard foods can break or damage wires and brackets. Sticky foods can get caught between brackets and wires. Minimize sugary foods; they cause tooth decay and related problems.

Nail biting and chewing on foreign objects like pens and pencils should always be avoided.

Examples of Sticky Foods to Avoid:

  • Skittles
  • Starburst
  • Laffy Taffy
  • Sugar Daddies
  • Tootsie Rolls
  • Caramels
  • Regular gum

Examples of Hard Foods to Avoid:

  • Ice
  • Nuts
  • Hard taco shells
  • Corn on the cob
  • Apples (unless peeled and cut into small pieces)
  • Jolly Ranchers
  • Pizza crust
  • Uncooked carrots
  • If you are going to have a hard roll/bagel, break it into small pieces and chew them with your back teeth

Minimize Sugary Foods Like:

  • Cake
  • Ice cream
  • Cookies
  • Candy
  • Soda
  • Sweetened tea
  • Gatorade
  • Kool-Aid

It is important to regularly check your braces for bent wires and loose brackets. In the event of a loose bracket or poking wire, call our office so that we can determine if the patient needs to be seen sooner than your regularly scheduled appointment.

Do you have additional questions? Please do not hesitate to call our office! Our orthodontist and team are happy to help. 860-633-8321